Film

Movie Reviews
10:44 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Familiarity But No Contempt: The Sequel Says 'Jump,' You Say 'Oh, Hi!'

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return in the absolutely expected sequel 22 Jump Street.
Glen Wilson Sony Pictures

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 4:03 pm

If there's any doubt that 22 Jump Street is a cartoon dressed in live-action clothing, it should disappear completely when Channing Tatum's lovably lunkheaded Detective Jenko is puzzling over an obvious set of connected clues when – DING! – the answer suddenly comes to him. That "Ding" is literal – the sound is just an office noise from somewhere in the formerly abandoned Vietnamese church where his investigative unit is based.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Legendary Actress Ruby Dee Dies At 91

Actress Ruby Dee and director Spike Lee attend a special 20th anniversary screening of Do the Right Thing, in New York, in 2009. Dee died Wednesday at age 91.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 1:58 pm

Editors' Note: An earlier version of this post, as well as an accompanying breaking news alert, incorrectly stated that Ruby Dee had won an Oscar for her role in American Gangster. Dee was nominated for the award but did not win.

Ruby Dee, an actress and civil rights activist who built a career on stage and screen at a time when African-Americans had few such opportunities, has died at age 91.

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Movie Reviews
11:15 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Soaring A Second Time In "Dragon 2"

Credit Dreamworks Animation

“How To Train Your Dragon 2” is a rare sequel that lives up to the original, here in both visual quality and tone. Sometimes, animated sequels tend to go off the razzle-dazzle rails in an attempt to prove their worth (see: “Shrek” franchise), but HTTYD2 eschews flash in favor of keeping with the spirit of the first film, a great animated adventure with heart. 

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Autistic Young Adults Train In The Movie Business

Director John Martin works with autistic adults on set. (Rebecca Wilbanks)

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 1:49 pm

More than 80 percent of people diagnosed with full spectrum autism are under age 21, raising concerns about what will happen to this “great wave” of kids when they reach adulthood.

One new program in Michigan is trying to give young people with autism the skills to they need get a job by training them in the movie business. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Kate Wells of Michigan Radio reports from the set.

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Author Interviews
9:44 am
Thu June 5, 2014

John Green's 'Stars' Shines Bright On The Silver Screen

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort play the cancer-stricken lovers in The Fault in Our Stars.
Temple Hill Entertainment

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 11:40 am

It's a writer's fantasy. You author a book. It hits the young adult jackpot. It sells 10 million copies. Hollywood actors fight for parts in the movie.

Welcome to John Green's reality. Not too long ago, in New York City, he introduced a screening of the film based on his novel, The Fault in Our Stars, to an audience of hundreds of teenagers ecstatically screaming his name. They cried copiously throughout the film, which follows a romance between two teenagers with cancer.

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Movie Interviews
9:44 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Film Critic Kenneth Turan Picks 54 Films That Are 'Not To Be Missed'

The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, is one of the 54 movies Kenneth Turan says should not be missed.
CinemaPhoto Corbis

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 11:40 am

You normally hear Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan reviewing new movies, but this week, we're talking about old films with him instead. That's because he's written a new book called Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film. In it, he offers up tidbits of Hollywood history and behind-the-scenes drama, as well as his critical analysis of some of the world's greatest movies — some familiar, some obscure.

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Movie Reviews
10:42 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

A Documentary That's "Partly Fiction"

Credit Adopt Films

With close to 200 appearances on screen, Harry Dean Stanton is one of our best character actors, and it’s often through his quiet moments that he does great work, from a rare starring turn in Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas,” to a blue-collar space engineer in “Alien," to Lyle Straight, brother of Alvin Straight in David Lynch’s “The Straight Story,” to the sympathetic father of Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink.”

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Music Interviews
10:05 am
Sun June 1, 2014

In Perfect Movie Music, Filling Space Is An Art

Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray's performances got an emotional boost from Brian Reitzell, the music supervisor for Lost in Translation and many other films.
Focus Features

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 11:47 am

For more conversations with music makers, check out NPR's Music Interviews.

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Movie Reviews
9:22 am
Fri May 30, 2014

'Night Moves' Leaves Too Much In The Dark

In Night Moves, Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) and two other partners in crime (played by Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard) plot to load a boat with explosives and blow up a dam in an act of consciousness-raising eco-terrorism.
Cinedigm

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:09 pm

The natural world has never been the most hospitable place for Kelly Reichardt's characters. In Meek's Cutoff, a group of 19th century settlers nearly lose their lives while traveling west across the scorching Oregon desert. In Wendy and Lucy, when Wendy is forced to sleep in the woods after her car breaks down on the way to Alaska, she wakes up in the middle of the night to a deranged man talking to himself right by her side.

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Movie Reviews
9:21 am
Fri May 30, 2014

MacFarlane's 'Million Ways To Die In The West' Is An Assault Of Its Own

Seth MacFarlane, who wrote and directed A Million Ways to Die in the West, stars as Albert, a cowardly sheep farmer who inadvertently falls in love with the wife (Charlize Theron) of a dangerous outlaw (Liam Neeson).
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:54 pm

There's a scene in Seth MacFarlane's animated sitcom Family Guy in which the precocious baby Stewie attempts to get his mom's attention through a solid 30 seconds of just repeating her name or variations on the word "mom." That's the whole joke: A kid just keeps repeating essentially the same word for 30 seconds until he wears her down, and then he doesn't have anything more to say than "hi" once he finally gets her attention.

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