Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:20 pm
Iowans Laura (Jennifer Garner, front right) and Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell) fight to remain the first couple of state-fair butter sculpting.
Unless you've attended a Midwestern state fair — or perhaps a Renaissance-era banquet — you might be unfamiliar with the ephemeral but much beloved art of butter sculpture.
Yes, the creamy dairy spread, when chilled to between 32 and 60 degrees, achieves a consistency ripe for carving, and artisans working with hundreds of pounds of the stuff can fashion almost anything: cows, the Liberty Bell, cows being milked, Mount Rushmore, cows jumping over moons, Yoda, Newt Gingrich on a horse.
After Albanian criminals kidnap his daughter and estranged wife, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) must race across Instabul to save them.
Credit Magali Bragard / Twentieth Century Fox
Even though he has the face and build of a leonine Celtic warrior, there's also something gentle and mouselike about Liam Neeson. That's what makes him such an unlikely and invigorating action hero, and it's part of what made the 2008 thriller Taken so disreputably pleasurable: Somehow, watching this sad, sweet galoot zap Albanian bad apples with a jillion volts of electricity just felt so right.
Eugene Jarecki's <em>The House I Live In </em>takes a measured, multiperspective look at U.S. drug policies, which approach drug use as a criminal matter rather than a medical one.
Credit Samuel Cullman / Charlotte Street Films
Drug abuse is primarily a medical problem, not a crime against society. American anti-drug policy is a means of social control that's rooted in racial and ethnic prejudice. The country's incarceration industry has become a self-sustaining force, predicated on economics rather than justice.
Lea Seydoux plays the titular role of a young woman largely living off the generosity of her younger, petty-thieving brother.
Credit Adopt Films
The Swiss canton of Vallais isn't exactly South Central, but it does have a crime problem: His name is Simon, and he seems to have found the perfect racket. Sister's 12-year-old protagonist (Kacey Mottet Klein) steals skis, gear and clothing at an upscale mountain resort that's just a short tram ride above his bleak flatland apartment.
Not only is the ski lodge convenient, but it's frequented by people who are too rich to sweat the loss of their stuff. ("They'll just buy a new one," Simon explains to one of the townies who buy his purloined goods.)
The Ostroffs (Allison Janney and Oliver Platt) and their good friends, the Walling family (Hugh Laurie and Alia Shawkat), are shaken when the Ostroffs' daughter comes home for the holidays.
Credit Myles Aronowitz / ATO Pictures
Dang if Home for the Holidays season hasn't rolled around again — that jolly time of year when screenwriters dust off childhood memories of mildly distressed families and distress them further for our sentimental education. Yet if it seems a little early-autumn yet for that sort of thing, please welcome a surprisingly superior specimen of the genre, courtesy of the best indie ensemble money can buy.
Surrounded by equipment in his attic lab, Victor (Charlie Tahan) attempts to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life.
Credit Walt Disney Pictures
Every filmmaker has the right, of course, to remake his own film. And what filmmaker wouldn't relish the chance to redo something he felt he didn't get quite right the first time around, either for lack of funds or for lack of support from a studio?
Miami reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) investigates the murder conviction of Hillary Van Ward (John Cusack), who may have been wrongly charged.
Credit Anne Marie Fox / Millennium Entertainment
The words "florid" and "inert" are not quite antonyms, but it would nonetheless seem impossible for those two adjectives to apply to the same thing. And yet here comes The Paperboy, a swamp noir so spectacularly incompetent that even the ripest pulp attractions are left to rot in the sun, flies buzzing lazily around them.
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There's a battle under way in Arizona to stop the demolition of a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The legendary architect lived his later years outside of Phoenix. And in 1952, he designed the Spiraling House for his son.
Now, the architectural community is trying to save it as Peter O'Dowd reports from member station KJZZ.
Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.
"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."