The Wire

Paramount Pictures

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.

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Drafthouse Films

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.

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True Detective Titles

One of the best things about True Detective is the complicated relationship between detectives Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) with McConaughey’s Rust working as the perfect philosophical foil to Harrelson’s gregarious man’s man. The two have the ability to rub each other the wrong way personally, but they also make each other better detectives. Viewers who love the relationship between Rust and Marty (and McConaughey and Harrelson) were likely disappointed when the show’s creator, Nic Pizzolatto, announced that not just two, but three, new detectives would be taking the reins in season two, leaving Team Rust/Cohle behind. True Detective will not only be changing up the cast, but also leaving the bayous of Louisiana to explore sun-soaked California. These changes may be less than great news for fans of season one’s location and character dynamic, but this approach is an exciting way to keep the series feeling fresh and expansive from season-to-season. For a series rooted in unraveling mysteries, it makes sense that certain elements need to change to keep viewers on their toes, always guessing and always questioning what may happen next. But there is one element of True Detective that should remain constant – the music.

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Home Box Office

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid), and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.

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Andy

Movies and TV shows are fun to think about and discuss. Clearly. But as much as this is the case, there’s still a point past which we’re not talking about the movie or show in any meaningful way. One thing that becomes clear after doing any kind of serious critical work for any significant period of time is that, just because something’s there doesn’t necessarily give it meaning. True Detective is a great example: the best part about all those great McConaughey four-bong-hit college philosophy student monologues about nihilism is that they don’t mean anything with regards to the big picture. (Even with two episodes remaining, consider that an ironclad guarantee.) And sometimes people apply the same four-bong-hit college philosophy student mindsets to the movies and TV shows themselves. They lead Andy’s Mom to have a deeper identity, or for entire stories to shuffle off their context, so it’s always nice to have a reminder of what these theories really are. Here are some of the most beside-the-point “mind-blowing” theories about films and TV.

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Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 8.45.49 PM

What happens when you’re the loudmouth who spoils an episode of Breaking Bad for President Obama? Recently, The New York Times did an oddly in-depth piece on the viewing habits of the 44th President of the United States, and though I’m disappointed he’s not working his way though the Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition box set, as everyone should be, his list of series he’s keenly interested in is a solid one nonetheless.  Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad is a series the president is late to the game on, where, as noted above, there appears to be a standing order not to spoil his early entry into the world of Walter White. On the opposite end of that spectrum, the entire Obama clan likes to catch episodes of Modern Family and NBC’s Parks and Recreation, thought the president himself has noted that his alone-time viewing habits tend to go a bit darker. Political thriller Homeland, led by Claire Danes’ oft upset and cry-faced CIA operative Carrie Mathison, political drama House of Cards, of which Obama was invited to cameo by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, fall under his must-watch list. I’ll leave other journalists to pick apart any subtle associations between Mr. Obama’s viewing habits and his current occupation. Also, the guy loves HBO’s The Wire, calling it “one of the greatest shows of all time,” which is fine, and pretty standard. Like, I’m almost certain it’s a requirement for sealing the Presidential deal, like taking the oath of office.

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The Bridge

Here’s one of my pet peeves: critics describing the setting of a TV show or film as a “character,” the way Manhattan was routinely called a “fifth character” in Sex and the City. Describing a location as a “character” is supposed to be a compliment — it means the writers, set designers, and directors have done their job of building a convincing world — but to me it usually just sounds like a disparagement of TV shows and films that don’t bother to feature a unique background. The current “golden age of television,” which dawned after a conspicuous New Yorkification and Californization of the TV landscape in the 1990s, has largely taken place outside of the five boroughs and the Golden State. The Sopranos, the herald of the prestige cable drama era, took place in northern New Jersey — geographically close but culturally far from the big city. Breaking Bad has achieved brilliant cinematography in New Mexico, while The Wire and Friday Night Lights accomplished in-depth explorations of why Baltimore and the fictional town of Dillon, Texas, are the way they are. Justified gets great mileage out of its unique and detailed portrayal of Harlan County. All the above shows were filmed on location — enriching TV as a visual medium. Even Mad Men, The Shield, and Sex and the City, which do take place in America’s two cultural capitals, have grander ambitions regarding their settings. The action in those shows takes place mostly in relatively small neighborhoods of their respective cities. Thus, Don Draper’s Manhattan isn’t Jerry Seinfeld’s. Vic Mackey’s LA isn’t even in the same universe as Beverly Hills, […]

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Omar Little

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news round-up that is fully prepared for the apocalypse. It watches enough movies to know what’s up. Our night begins with the iPod playlist of Omar Little. More to the point, it’s a playlist that actor Michael K. Williams designed for his character on The Wire. In order to maintain a character’s temperament, Williams often creates playlists that help keep him in the zone. Vulture has his playlist for Omar, which you can also get on Spotify. If you be comin’, that is.

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When you take all of the distaste for remakes and reboots that’s out there and add it with the love that people have for Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 film RoboCop, it adds up to a situation where not very many people are looking forward to José Padilha’s upcoming re-do of the material. And yet, with every casting announcement that this new RoboCop makes, it’s becoming harder and harder to not be at least a little excited about its possibilities. First off, Padilha cast an on-the-rise young actor who’s done nothing but impress so far named Joel Kinnaman in the title role. Then he systematically surrounded his star with supporting names that everyone loves, like Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, and Jackie Earle Haley. It would be hard to sneeze at that cast no matter what they were being assembled for, but get them all together for a post-apocalyptic tale of robot cops versus violent street gangs and evil corporations, and it’s not too difficult to start forgetting how much you dislike all of the remakes going on in Hollywood. I don’t know how they get ya, but that’s how they get ya.

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We’ve done so much drooling over Twelve Years a Slave that you should have a pretty good idea what it is by now. It’s the next film from visual artist extraordinaire, Steve McQueen, and his third in a row that sees him collaborating with the most exciting actor on the planet today, Michael Fassbender. It goes without saying that any chance we get to watch this actor/director duo work together again is reason enough to celebrate, but what’s been so exciting about watching this project develop is that, unlike Hunger and Shame, Twelve Years a Slave doesn’t seem like it’s going to be the Michael Fassbender show. No, this true story of the life of free man turned slave Solomon Northrup seems like it’s going to give McQueen the chance to spread the love around and direct a real ensemble. The cast is deep and impressive enough at this point that our own Kate Erbland has declared it to be the best of the year, so instead of getting too much into the who’s and what’s of things let’s just do a quick rundown. Joining lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor will be the aforementioned Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Scoot McNairy, Ruth Negga, Garret Dillahunt, and Adepero Oduye. That’s an impressive list to say the least. And, seeing as the film has already started production, it wouldn’t seem like there’s much room left for anyone else to be added. Still, somehow McQueen has managed to […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly celebration of all that is good and right in the world. Mostly movie and television related stuff. A lot of love for Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, but also some things that you won’t see coming. Like Omar. Because Omar comin’, yo. We begin tonight with a snipped version of the new Magic Mike poster. Since our last edition of News After Dark was headlined by a bikini-clad supermodel, here’s a little something for the equally undersexed female masses that read this column. Hello, all three of you. Welcome.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Usually it’s just a nightly column dedicated to the best news and links from around the movie blogosphere. Tonight it comes with a disclaimer: Its author has just returned from a bender of Pixar films and is in the midst of a Marvel films marathon as he writes this. This sort of situation may cause over-zealous Avengers coverage, animated goofiness and spontaneous, uncontrollable bouts of crying — that is, if the score from UP comes on. Be prepared. We begin tonight with an awesome image of Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bruce Lee in 1978 courtesy of the Tumblr blog of film critic Shawn Levy. Beyond being an exceptionally nice guy, Levy also has a taste for the moving pictures and the icons of said medium. This shot, in my opinion, is certified awesome.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of links from around the movie blogosphere that is impressed with the rest of the FSR staff’s ability to cherry pick all the really good news for full articles. That just makes it have to dig deeper. So lets do this. We begin this evening with a new image from The Dark Knight Rises. One of six, to be exact. This one shows Anne Hathaway as Catwoman doing some of her cat burglary with her high-tech ears on. There’s another with Batman and his iPad, which you can see if you click over to /Film and check out the gallery.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the mysterious tribute from District 12. A coal minor’s daughter who learned to hunt in the woods outside the fence. A girl on fire. Survivalist. Star-crossed lover. Oh wait, that’s not right. It’s a nightly column dedicated to bringing you the best in stuff about movies, TV and happenings across Panem. Or something like that. We begin this evening with a shot of Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe: Retaliation. He’s got a rebooted mask for this sequel, which reboots the G.I. Joe series in a way by taking out most of the previous film’s characters and bringing in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson instead. Good move.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of movie news and links that is quickly finding out that even though SXSW isn’t over, there is such a thing as an early SXSW hangover. A pre-hangover hangover, perhaps? We begin this evening with the coolest image of the day. Easily the coolest image of the day, from The Happytime Murders, a noir murder mystery set in a world where puppets are second class citizens. Henson Studios is putting the thing together, and there’s no end to my own personal excitement.

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Barnabas Collins by Tim Burton

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of movie news, stories, articles, happenings and thingamajigs that is not interested in your excuses, just your unwavering loyalty. We begin tonight with a new look at Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, courtesy of Hollywood Elsewhere’s ability to scan a page of the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. It’s quite retro, somewhat chic, a lot emo and… oh, those bangs. Depp truly does have a bit of a Nosferatu thing going on, which is refreshing. At least he doesn’t sparkle.

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Who is the Nielson Family?

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is celebrating Monday Funday with what amounts to a bunch of shenanigans. Don’t worry though, we’ve slipped in at least one legitimate piece of news. We’ll get to that shortly. We begin tonight with something found a few weeks ago via Warming Glow, where an image from the Twitter account of Charley Koontz, best known as Fat Neil on Community, shows that Executive Producer Dan Harmon is just as bitter about Community‘s ratings as the rest of us. Seriously, who is the Nielsen Family? In other news, I hope Dan Harmon never changes.

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A year ago, John Boyega was a name that nobody knew. And, okay, it’s probably still a name that a lot of people aren’t familiar with. But if the hype he’s been getting from film critics for his starring role in this summer’s Attack the Block is any indication, Boyega won’t be able to enjoy anonymity for very much longer. Attack the Block director Joe Cornish found Boyega performing in a small stage show in London and cast him in his hoods versus aliens monster movie based on that. One to take his work seriously, first-time film actor Boyega then took to studying season 4 of The Wire to get a handle on how to approach playing an urban youth, and brought reality to the character of Moses, in a performance that felt genuine and raw even when there was tons of alien monster insanity going on around it. Suddenly, it looks like the mess of film critics who have been pimping for Attack the Block all summer aren’t the only ones who noticed the work Boyega put in, because THR is reporting that Spike Lee has taken notice of the young actor and cast him as the lead of his HBO dramatic series Da Brick. Da Brick is about a young man from Newark, New Jersey (Brick City) who, upon being released from juvenile detention on his 18thbirthday, must traverse the harsh environment of his hometown and learn what it takes to be a man, with a little bit of […]

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Right now I’m stranded alone in Long Island waiting for what I’ve been told is my impending doom… Or maybe it’s just some rain. At least that’s what a birdie named Kevin Carr told me. Regardless, you’re gonna need some entertainment to pass the time once you’ve put away the lawn furniture and brought in anythything not nailed down. What better than a television marathon? Here are five shows to cuddle up with during a hurricane. *All entries are available digitally on Netflix, Amazon and/or iTunes (because I would just be an ass if I offered options only available in stores).

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly thing that you read. You know it, I know it, and little Baby Jesus knows it. We begin tonight with one of 70 new images from Contagion, Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming viral thriller. Early buzz insists that it’s not only good, but that it will make you want to wash your hands. As if you needed another reason — germs are everywhere, I tell you. Everywhere!

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