The Conversation

Entertainment: Discussions and News about Entertainment

Our Father, who art in the White House

Feb 6, 2013 9:32 AM PT

Chris Rock led an unimpressive little celebrity posse to Capitol Hill to "demand a plan to end gun violence" today, and unbosomed himself of this brilliant observation

"I’m just here to support the president of the United States. The president of the United States is, you know, our boss. But he’s also, you know, the president and the first lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something, you listen. And when you don’t, it usually bites you in the ass later on. So, I’m here to support the president."

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The Democratization of Music Videos

Feb 4, 2013 2:19 PM PT

We can all stop making jokes about MTV not playing music videos anymore.

As my colleagues John Nolte and Christian Toto have been pointing out for a long time now, Internet streaming is eroding the corrupt business model of cable subscriptions, slowly but surely, when it comes to teleplay and film distribution. The same has been happening with music videos.

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'Godfather III' Gets a Bad Rap

Feb 2, 2013 8:13 AM PT

It was enough of a miracle that "Godfather II," lived up to its predecessor, and I think it's close to a miracle number three is as good as it is. It's most certainly a worthy entry in the saga, but that hasn't stopped many from acting as though it were -- oh, I don't know -- a "Star Wars" prequel?

I will say this: "Godfather III" does not work as a standalone. If you just pop it in, the story and characters are hard to follow. But if you watch them all in succession, the movie not only works, it's seamless.

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Groundhog Day: the fine line between breezy comedy and cosmic horror

Feb 2, 2013 7:37 AM PT

Jonah Goldberg's perennial "Groundhog Day" column at National Review makes the case for Bill Murray's movie as one of the great moral fables of the modern era.  It's become a staple on top-20-of-all-time comedy lists.  But it might just also be a good example of cosmic horror... depending on how long you think Bill Murray's character was stuck in that time loop.

A while back, director Harold Ramis offered his opinion that it takes Murray's character about ten years of repeating Groundhog Day before he gets everything right and escapes the loop.  Film-geek bloggers dug into the clues presented during the film and tried to calculate the total duration of the loop more precisely, coming with extremely detailed estimates that ranged from a little over 8 years at minimum, to an even more amazingly detailed subsequent analysis that concluded it must have been at least 34 years.  

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Five Reasons I Love the 'Resident Evil' Franchise

Feb 1, 2013 11:32 AM PT

Whenever I mention my unwavering affection for Paul W. S. Anderson's ongoing "Resident Evil" film franchise, in the comments and Twitter, people always ask why. Normally, I don't like to be questioned about anything ever, but just this once…

1. What attracts people to genre flicks is not that they're genre flicks; it's that the stories are simple -- and nothing is more difficult than telling a simple story. RE 1, 3 and 4, are simple and very well-told. Good concepts, plenty of turning points, well-paced, and exciting. Two and five, are weaker in this respect, but still hold my attention.

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Name the Baby Clydesdale

Feb 1, 2013 10:10 AM PT

I am a sucker for the Budweiser Super Bowl commercials with the Clydesdales.  The one after 9/11 was beautiful.  This year they upped the ante by including one of my favorite songs ("Landslide") and a baby Clydesdale. Info at the end for a contest to name the baby Clydesdale.


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What sins we may justify

Jan 31, 2013 1:32 PM PT

It seems like this season of "Justified" is an extended meditation about the terrible things people can justify to themselves.  Even Raylan is talking himself into feeling entitled to break an awful lot of rules, and his fellow marshals are getting nervous about the amount of slack they need to cut him.  The last episode ended with Ava making her peace with full-blown, heartless evil... and, in contrast, a killer who previously showed himself capable of murder without a second thought suddenly found it hard to pull the trigger.

It's an interesting theme to explore.  The show also offers characters who are crooked without apology, and harbor no illusions about themselves... but for everybody else, it's one step at a time toward corruption, with all manner of justifications and excuses for every step they take.


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