Arts

5:04pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

A '70s 'Playroom,' Without Much Room For Fun

Donna (Molly Parker) is the drunk, distracted matriarch to Maggie (Olivia Harris) and her nervous siblings in The Playroom.
Freestyle Releasing

There's a sequence early in the laughable drama The Playroom that epitomizes everything wrong with it: With her parents out of the house, 16-year-old Maggie Cantwell (Olivia Harris), the eldest of four latchkey kids, sneaks into the garage with her boyfriend on a determined quest to lose her virginity. While the two fumble around clumsily on the floor, Maggie's youngest brother, Sam (Ian Veteto), sits outside the garage door, trying to sew a merit badge onto his shirt but struggling to thread the needle.

Read more

5:04pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

A Sorcerer, A White Snake, And Lots Of CGI Magic

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:14 pm

The demon snake sisters (Charlene Choi and Eva Huang) disguise themselves as beautiful women in The Sorcerer and the White Snake.
Magnet Releasing

In the opening sequence of The Sorcerer and the White Snake, two monks step through a giant gate and find themselves in a new world — one made entirely of computer-generated images. Only Fahai (Jet Li) and his disciple Neng Ren (Zhang Wen) are human.

"Don't believe everything you see," the older man warns.

Read more

5:04pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Lore': After Hitler, An Awakening For The Reich's Children

A band of virtually orphaned children (Nele Trebs, Mika Seidel, Andre Frid and Saskia Rosendahl) trek through southern Germany seeking shelter — and answers — at the end of World War II.
Music Box Films

It took years for our fictions to consider the Holocaust narrative. And for an even longer time, a stunned silence hovered over the fate of "Hitler's children" — ordinary Germans during and after World War II. That embargo, too, is lifting, with a significant trickle of novels, movies and television dramas that imagine what it felt like to be the inheritors of the worst that humans can do to other humans.

Read more

5:04pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

Sheen's 'Swan' Is One Ugly Duckling

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:40 pm

Charles (Charlie Sheen) is a none-too-likeable ladies's man in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.
A24 Films

There's no separating Charlie Sheen from Charles Swan, the titular representation of the male id at its most self-obsessed in Roman Coppola's uneven A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. But for better and decidedly worse, that's the point.

Read more

5:04pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

Warning: 'Side Effects' May Include Eye-Rolling

In Steven Soderbergh's medical thriller Side Effects, Emily (Rooney Mara) goes through an emotional crisis — and then a psychopharmacological one — after her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from prison.
Eric Liebowitz Open Road Films

It's the drug's fault, man. That's the defense offered by the perpetrator brought to trial in Side Effects, a stylish, vaguely Hitchcockian dud. But what excuse does this fatally silly movie have?

The film, reportedly the final big-screen effort for prolific director Steven Soderbergh, begins in a New York apartment where something bad has happened. Blood on the floor, smeared and tracked by footprints, suggests murder, suicide or extreme clumsiness.

Read more

5:04pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Identity Thief': Nearly Two Hours, Stolen

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:09 pm

An overextended Sandy (Jason Bateman) must prevent the raunchy Diana (Melissa McCarthy) from continuing to use his identity as a financial crutch in Identity Thief.
Universal Pictures

The new road-trip comedy Identity Thief — about a guy who confronts a woman who's wrecking his credit rating — is such a catalog of missed opportunities, it probably makes sense just to list them.

The setup: Sandy Patterson, who works in a Denver financial firm (and is not supposed to be mentally challenged), blithely hands over his Social Security number to a stranger on the phone who says his accounts have been compromised, at which point his accounts get compromised. No tricks, no subterfuge, no laughs — he's just stupid.

Read more

1:51pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Monkey See

'The Americans': When You're Rooting For The Bad Guy

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play a spy couple on FX's The Americans.
FX

The new FX show The Americans follows the Jennings family — a typical American family in Ronald Reagan's America, who happen to be Soviet spies. With Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) at the center of the show, viewers will find themselves rooting for the couple that's secretly working for the KGB and against anyone who might blow their cover.

Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever notes that this is just the latest in a slew of TV shows that focus on deeply flawed leads.

Read more

11:56am

Thu February 7, 2013
Media

NLGJA President: When Political Is Personal

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we want to turn to the challenge of bringing diversity to the newsroom. You've probably noticed that all kinds of issues and stories relating to sexual orientation have been in the news recently - from same-sex marriage to the Pentagon's plan to offer benefits to same-sex partners to the debate over what role gays can play in the Boy Scouts.

Read more

11:29am

Thu February 7, 2013
Movie Interviews

Bradley Cooper Finds 'Silver Linings' Everywhere

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:14 pm

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film Silver Linings Playbook.
Jojo Whilden The Weinstein Company

Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as the bipolar Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he and director David O. Russell approached the role with the idea that Cooper would "play as real and authentic as [h]e could."

The role is informed by Russell's son, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Says Cooper: "I definitely felt that anchor for [Russell]."

Read more

10:15am

Thu February 7, 2013
Monkey See

Remembering Central Park Birder Starr Saphir: 'Time Has A Different Meaning'

Starr Saphir, seen here at an HBO event in 2012, died on Tuesday.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images/HBO

Pages