Sherlock

Universal Pictures

This weekend, Luc Besson’s Lucy topped the box office with more success than expected. You might say that the film performed above its potential. Coincidentally, the film is about a woman (Scarlett Johansson) who, through an unexpected side effect of being a drug mule, was able to access the full potential of her brain. This led her to various super powers, including being a genius in mathematical calculations, having the ability to diagnose medical conditions by hugging someone and controlling radio waves with her mind. The film rests on the belief that human beings only use about 10 percent of their brain’s full potential, and the drugs that leaked into Lucy’s system helped unlock the other 90 percent. It’s not the first time this theory has been brought to the silver screen. Bradley Cooper got similar powers in the 2011 film Limitless. Both the 90s cheese-fest The Lawnmower Man and the more down-to-earth 70s drama Charley feature similar ideas. Even the character of Sherlock Holmes, seen in everything from classic Basil Rathbone films to Benedict Cumberbatch and his “mind palace” in the BBC’s Sherlock, have found a way to access seemingly limitless and unnatural brain power. This got me thinking. We might never be able to look like Scarlett Johansson or Bradley Cooper, but could we think like their characters on screen? What extraordinary things could we achieve if we tapped into our brains’ “full potential”?

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header discs all is lost

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. All Is Lost Robert Redford stars as a man sailing solo who encounters trouble out at sea. He awakens to the impact of his sailboat colliding with a derelict shipping container and quickly sets about trying to fix the damage before catastrophe occurs. His experience grows increasingly precarious, and soon he’s fighting against nature and circumstance for his very life. Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s follow-up to the excellent Wall Street drama Margin Call is even more engaging, but it accomplishes the feat through an opposite degree of dialogue. While that film was filled with fast-talk and lots of it, Redford’s character is the only one onscreen here leaving him no one to talk to but himself. (Sure, that didn’t stop Sandra Bullock from being a lonely chatterbox in Gravity, but this is a smarter movie.) The drama and suspense build naturally here as we work alongside the sailor in his efforts, and the script treats viewers as intelligent enough to follow along without needing every detail spelled out. This is a beautiful film about strength, resiliency, and the will to survive. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, featurettes]

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Sherlock

Are you ready for more of the BBC’s Sherlock? I am. Particularly because it has been so long since Benedict Cumberbatch has donned a scarf and delivered the wit to his trusted friend Martin Freeman. Sure, these two have been busy teaming up with Peter Jackson to make the latest film in The Hobbit trilogy, which not accidentally hits theaters this week, but I much prefer their Sherlock/Watson duo to their Smaug/Bilbo. Plus, I’m not such a glutton for CGI as I was when I was a younger man. To the rescue comes an emotional trailer for Sherlock‘s third series. Set two years after the events of the Reichenbach Fall, we see Sherlock planning his surprise return to Baker Street, John’s new facial situation and plenty of Mycroft sass. It’s all quite titillating, if you ask me. So much so that I can’t wait until the show premieres on PBS January 19, 2014. For now, this trailer will do.

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The Best TV Shows of 2012

While the new fall line-up wasn’t too impressive (there are only two freshman series on this list, neither of which premiered in the fall) and former powerhouses have stumbled (Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire), this is still an amazing time for TV. The most outstanding programs don’t just have excellent writing and actors, they’re reinventing genres and challenging viewers with daring storytelling. TV is gutsier now (sometimes literally gutsier with blood and innards all over the place) and its fantastic. When compiling this list, I chose the shows that sparked visceral reactions. These are the comedies, dramas, and (often overlooked) animated gems that made me laugh out loud, cringe, cry like an idiot, or yell “oh snap” at every wild turn.

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Gary Oldman and Michael K Williams

What is Movie News After Dark? Tonight, it’s beside itself… We begin this evening with a photo of Gary Oldman and Michael K. Williams on the set of Robocop, in which they both will undoubtedly bring their usual level of quality. It’s unrivaled, the sort of awesome that exists in this one still image. The only thing that could possibly be better would be some sort of random, inexplicable Peter Weller photobomb. But lets just leave that up to the photoshoppers, shall we?

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Channel Guide - Large

On CBS’ Elementary, Johnny Lee Miller plays a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. The English actor’s interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth is hyperkinetic. Holmes is indelicate. He jitters. When observing some liar or crime scene, he’s prone to biting his bottom lip—presumably, an outward manifestation of all of those synapses firing off in his big ol’ genius brain. Although none of these character quirks are particularly unexpected or novel they work. Miller is mesmerizing. His performance is the one thing that distinguishes this new series from other crime dramas. But shouldn’t the show’s connection to Conan Doyle’s stories be what sets it apart? This updated Holmes lives in Manhattan. His female Dr. Watson, Joan (Lucy Liu), isn’t a flatmate but a sober companion—like the Holmes of Conan Doyle’s stories, he struggles with drug addiction. He’s recently left rehab, living in an apartment owned by a father whom he resents, and consults for the NYPD. Holmes also seems to be fond of wearing clothes that are too small for him (but he looks very cute in his child-sized sweaters, so it’s hard to find fault in that). For CBS, bringing the character into the modern age, in part, means making him less refined. He isn’t a gentleman detective; he’s a scruffy, eccentric hipster detective.

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Pacific Rim

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movie news that wasn’t exactly nightly this week, so it’s giving you a Friday edition with a little extra umph… We begin this evening with one of four new images from Pacific Rim, courtesy of the most recent edition of Empire magazine. It features Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and those sweet, shiny suits worn by the drivers of the giant-ass robots in Guillermo del Toro’s exciting next film. Now, when are we going to get a shot at those robots in action?

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The Way Way Back

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the ongoing saga of one man’s quest to catalog every great movie and TV-related link the blogosphere has to offer. It happens on weeknights, just before bed time, and you should read it often. Share it with your friends, even. We begin tonight with a first look at The Way, Way Back and its stars Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, who will get in front of the camera for Jim Rash and Nat Faxon the Oscar winning duo behind The Descendants and two men who have acted their way into your hearts in various other properties. In the case of Rash, it was as the Dean on Community. The NYT has a great piece on the pair and their upcoming film.

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Russell Crowe in Noah

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a column about movies and stuff. With a particular focus on “and stuff.” We begin tonight with a shot of Russell Crowe as Noah, in the upcoming vision from director Darren Aronofsky. He’s looking quite grizzled, like an older version of his character from Gladiator. And that’s alright. Because that situation worked out pretty well. Then again, he also looks like a slightly older version of his Robin Hood…

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Some great releases hit shelves today with two of the best hailing from the UK. Also out this week are the McG misfire This Means War, the classic TV series Route 66, the hilarious tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen Red Tails, Daniel Radcliffe’s creepy period piece The Woman In Black, and many more. Bonus points to anyone who can match the three ‘giant’ items from this week’s title above to the three characters/performers below. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Perfect Sense A chef (Ewan McGregor) and an epidemiologist (Eva Green) meet and fall in love just as a strange new disease begins to spread worldwide. People are struck with a strong emotional response immediately followed by the loss of one of their senses. It’s like Contagion but with heart and personality. This is a beautiful film about life, love and what it means to be human. It’s a must-see about mankind’s resilience in the face of loss and devastation. Just be sure to watch it before your vision and hearing fade away.

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The Art of Ralph McQuarrie

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of links, movie news, happy things and sad things. Tonight we begin with something sad, because it’s easily the biggest story of the night. We begin this evening on a sad note. Over the weekend, Ralph McQuarrie passed away. Some of you may not know the name, but you’ve seen his work. In fact, his work may have defined a lot of what you consider to be the iconography of your childhood. He’s the man who helped George Lucas craft the look of a little project called Star Wars, among other things. Better men than I have written excellent obituaries. I found Drew McWeeney on Ralph McQuarrie and AICN’s Eric Vespe on Ralph McQuarrie to be the best of them. Also, Geek Tyrant has a great gallery of Ralph McQuarrie art.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome to This Week in DVD! Lots of titles hitting shelves today, and we’re covering nineteen of them below. High profiles like Real Steel and Paranormal Activity 3 are releasing alongside indies like The Woman and Beware the Gonzo. There’s also several older titles worth checking out including Punishment Park, The Arena with Pam Grier and a Criterion release of Godzilla. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Whistleblower A female cop (Rachel Weisz) from the Midwest takes a temporary but high paid job as a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia and discovers despicable crimes and criminals in her midst. Her instinct as a cop is to help people and bring the guilty to justice, but the systematic corruption may be too widespread and unbeatable. Weisz gives a strong and emotional performance, and the film pulls no punches in its exploration of the sex trafficking trade that exists in Bosnia (and around the world). It manages to be both powerful and suspenseful too while never feeling the need to glamorize or Hollywood-ize the story. This isn’t the sexiest release of the week and there are some better films below, but it’s an important and well made movie with a message worth sharing.

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Attack the Block Chuck Taylor

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has a bit of a fashion sense, a sometimes sexy side and perhaps even a creepy streak. It will use and abuse all of these facets of its game in tonight’s edition. This one, as they say, is a must-read. We begin tonight with an image of custom Attack the Block themed shoes made by Toni Taylor-Salisbury, whom you may know as Mrs. Junkfood Cinema. The lovely Kayla Kromer tweeted them earlier this evening, as yet another example of Mrs. Salisbury’s amazing work in the realm of geek footwear. You can check out her other work over on her Etsy store. Do it now. Then come back, because there’s more news.

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Channel Guide - Large

Fire up the kettle and break out the Jaffa Cakes, because I’m ready to curl up with a cup of tea and devote my television habits exclusively to the efforts from across the pond. Okay, even I know I couldn’t live without a weekly one-two punch of Leslie Knope and Liz Lemon (returning this week on Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, respectively), but the BBC has been offering up a bevvy of programming that seems tailor-made for TV geeks like myself, and I’ve aristocratically sipped the British Kool-Aid in a big way. I’ve long been a fan of television with a stiff upper lip. At a young age, my European mother, bored with some of the comedies of the 80s (not everybody loved Mork & Mindy, apparently), turned to the programming of her mother continent – re-runs of Are You Being Served?, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, heck, even Mr. Bean, and I soaked it up like a tea-soaked sponge; the only second grader at Maple Hills Elementary to practice her cockney British accent on the playground. So it should come as no surprise that when it came time to curate my own cultural landscape, I looked to the Brits for inspiration. Sure, most teenagers listen to The Smiths at one point or another, and The Clash is pretty much a staple of adolescent angst, but as for TV? I watched each episode of Ricky Gervais’ take on The Office ad nauseam, got an education from Doctor Who, […]

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Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

What is Movie News After Dark? If you have to ask, then maybe it’s not for you. We begin this evening with a shot of Noomi Rapace in Prometheus. The former Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is going interstellar for director Ridley Scott, whose return to big sci-fi has made my own 5 most anticipated of 2012 short list when I delivered such picks on this week’s Reject Radio. It seems a fitting start to the final News After Dark of the week.

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Ben Affleck in Argo

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly thing that collects things about movies, television and other things. Lots of things in store for you tonight, including some more Dark Knight Rises things… We begin tonight with an image of Ben Affleck as a real life former CIA agent from the early 1980s in Argo. In a way that can only be from the 1980s, he also looks like a Die Hard villain. So much mulleted intensity.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Mural

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a thing that chronicles the day in movie news. Or in many cases, a day’s worth of interesting articles that you should be reading. If you want a bunch of trade news reprinted with a lone, snarky comment, there are plenty of mediocre movie blogs out there who can deliver such things. We choose the higher road. Or the lower road, depending on our mood. We begin this evening with a mural painted by Australian street artist Anthony Lister in Los Angeles. He’s painted a mural in honor of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which just so happens to come out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Go figure. The completely marketable timing aside, it’s quite cool. I’ve even included a time lapse video of Lister putting this work together just after the jump.

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Sherlock Season 2 Preview

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that had one hell of an extended weekend this week. For starters, its author had a birthday. He’s old. Moving on. And then it had a “reaction” to “ice cream cake” that is too embarrassing to describe in detail. It’s also now very well acquainted with Rooney Mara’s body. All of it. But that’s another story for another time. Lets get back to doing what this column does best: things that are almost news. We begin tonight with a first look at Lara Pulver as Irene Adler in Sherlock, the second series of which will hit BBC screens early next year. The much-anticipated second frame of the Steven Moffat produced series will build on the events of the last series, including showing us what the hell happened in the pool house! 

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a thing about movies that happens every week night, just before you go to bed. It brings you dangerous ideas, fascinating movie news and all that in between copious helpings of shenanigans. We begin tonight with one of three beautiful new images from Pixar’s upcoming film Brave. As with all Pixar projects, Brave looks absolutely gorgeous and in a point of interest to many, stars their first leading lady hero, Merida, voiced by Kelly MacDonald. Personally, I’m looking forward to it. Then again, I’ve been pot committed to Pixar for a while. In a terribly sad bit of news, NBC has pulled Community from its midseason schedule. This doesn’t mean that it’s been cancelled, but it’s definitely not a good thing for Community fans (also known as “anyone has ever watched Community“). We should have known that it was too good to last.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that combines movie news remainders and interesting links, but at the moment it’s a column that can’t remember what day it is. Is it Thursday? How about Saturday? It’s had a rough week, and that’s putting it lightly. Anyway, lets do the news. After months of posturing, casting and even getting us all worked up over the prospect of Armie Hammer riding on ole’ Silver, Disney has put a bullet through The Lone Ranger. According to a Deadline report, the Mouse House didn’t like the $240 million dollar budget turned in by director Gore Verbinski, nor did they appreciate that 43% of it was to be used for Johnny Depp’s eyewear. With any luck, the project will get re-shopped, re-chopped and still happen. I did like the idea of that Winklevoss guy in the lead.

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