Tom Cruise

Sundance Docs ‘Going Clear’ and ‘Prophet’s Prey’ Ask: Religion or Cult?

PARK CITY, UT: Late in Prophet’s Prey, Amy Berg’s provocative
and powerful documentary case against FLDS church head Warren Jeffs, author Jon Krakauer says this about the church’s continued dedication to a man who is clearly a monster: “It speaks to something disturbing about human nature. Once you believe something, it’s very, very difficult to give that up completely.” That simple yet undeniable truth lies at the center of not only Prophet’s Prey but Going Clear, Alex Gibney’s already controversial look at the history and methodology of the Church of Scientology. Both films use extensive documentation, buried tapes, and testimony from departed members to paint portraits of organizations that would call themselves one thing (church), while most sensible people would call them another (cult). … Read More

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New Documentary Alleges Church of Scientology Facilitated Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s Break-Up

PARK CITY, UT: High-ranking officials within the Church of Scientology facilitated the break-up between Tom Cruise, the organization’s best-known… Read More

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Noted Gender Expert Russell Crowe Explains Why Actresses Over 40 Complain About Hollywood’s Obsession With Youth

There are already plenty of reasons to loathe Russell Crowe. He is, by most accounts, a bullying boor; he hasn’t made a good movie in years (2007, by my clock); he’s one of those actors who insists on also playing rock star. Well, if all that weren’t enough, we can now add “sexist mansplainer” to Crowe’s CV, thanks to a face-palming interview in The Australian Woman’s Weekly, wherein he just wishes that all these lady actresses would learn to act their age. … Read More

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The 10 Worst Movies Based on Real Political Events

Last week, everybody got a big chuckle (some more than others) out of The Hollywood Reporter’s scoop that Michael Bay — best known for making movies about cars transforming into giant robots and blowing shit up — is in talks to helm 13 Hours, a political drama about the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Benghazi. And while most of those titters come from the participation of meathead entertainment maker and short-short connoisseur Bay (and from speculating on the various ways in which he could fumble the attack’s narrative, in light of its subsequent status as a political football), there’s also some rightful skepticism about the ability of anyone in Hollywood to make this particular “political drama,” since that’s a subgenre the movie industry seems so inclined to fuck up. So on this most political of days, let’s take a quick walk down that hall of shame, shall we? … Read More

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Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Earwax or the Badness of ‘Titanic’ : Links You Need to See

Have you seen those nifty black cotton swabs from Muji? They look really cool — well, about as cool as cotton swabs can look — but they actually suck. The whole point of cleaning your ears is looking at the resulting honey-colored gunk, a pleasure that’s wholly denied by the black cotton swabs! But, apparently, we shouldn’t even be cleaning our ears, regardless of the color of the cotton swabs. … Read More

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The 10 Greatest Lip-Sync Scenes in Pop Culture History

This weekend, the Bill Hader-Kristen Wiig dramedy The Skeleton Twins rolls out in limited release, and it’s well worth a look. When I saw the film at Sundance earlier this year, I had one immediate thought: that lip-sync scene is gonna be huge on YouTube. It’s part of a long tradition in pop culture, wherein a mood of camaraderie, eccentricity, or affection is established by having our characters throw themselves into a live, mimed performance of a recorded classic. These are a few of our favorites. … Read More

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“I Took Part”: Werner Herzog on Truth, Fiction, and ‘Parks & Recreation’

When you get down to it, what’s even more odd and interesting about the fact that Warner Herzog talked about Parks and Recreation last night is how it came up. It’s not like the conversation, in front of a full house at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, pivoted from some other point about television comedy; mere moments before, Herzog was talking about Bavaria’s King Ludwig II, “the only other person who could have made Fitzcarraldo.” Up on the screen behind him came an image of the king’s famed “fairy tale castle,” which reminds Herzog of Disney World, and then he added, “Just ten days ago I acted in a tiny cameo part in a TV show called, uh, Parks and Recreation?” The audience laughed and cheered, and he went on to explain how he’s playing “an elderly guy who sells his decrepit house to the young couple who are the leading characters in this, and directly to the camera, I address the audience and I say, ‘You know, I lived in this home for 47 years. And I decided to move out now and sell this because I’m moving to Orlando, Florida, to be close to Disney World.’ I’ve never seen the show, but I hope they kept some of it.” … Read More

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25 Things You Didn’t Know About Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut celebrated its 15th anniversary this week. The film stars Tom Cruise as a restless doctor, Bill Harford, whose curiosity takes him on a nightlong sexual odyssey that threatens his life and marriage. Nicole Kidman — who was Cruise’s real-life spouse at the time — plays his wife, Alice, whose sexual fantasies and equally wandering eye rattle her husband’s deepest insecurities. Sex, marriage, and mystifying symbolism: a combination only Kubrick could make as compelling as he did. Here are 25 facts, details, and asides about Eyes Wide Shut you might have… Read More

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