The Wire

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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Recently, Netflix struck major deals with some television networks to bring more programming to the instant streaming service. And while that’s all good and all, it’s not enough. While all the movies are great, the instant streaming service of Netflix was (intentional or not) built for television shows. Nothing beats being able to legally run through old episodes of a classic series at one’s pleasure. And with that I give you five shows that need to get on Netflix already.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Usually it’s a pretty straightforward look at what’s happening in the world of film. But sometimes, mostly on Friday nights when we’ve run out of actual news, it becomes an eclectic mix of notes and links that will tickle your cinema-loving fancy. It’s full of things you might want to read after heading out to see this week’s new releases. So read it, before you fall asleep and dream of what’s in Super 8‘s mystery box… Roger Ebert has extended the reach of his ever-growing empire. He will now be on your iPad, should you choose to download him. Ebert’s Greatest Movies app has hit iOS devices, recommending to you all the greatest that cinema has to offer. Think of it as a Cliff’s Notes version of his books, and a great cheat-sheet for filling up your Netflix queue.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Whatever it was last night has been shed, and tonight it is back to its old self: a movie news round-up that appears nightly, pulls no punches and always delivers the goods. For those who were disappointed in last night’s non-entry — especially that guy who called me “LAZY” — please accept my apology in the form of tonight’s exquisite assortment of entertaining goodies. Tonight’s lead image comes from Pixar’s new short, Luna. It’s the coming-of-age story of a young boy who is taught the strange details of his family’s business. As with everything Pixar-related, it looks beautiful. And we can only imagine that it will have some sort of heart-warming human elements. Nothing plucks heart strings like a little lineage and a father with a massive mustache.

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The newest original series from HBO is a dense tapestry of people and places. It’s based on the first chapter of an epic fantasy series referred to as “The Song of Ice and Fire”, and the first episode alone introduces us to more characters than you can shake a stick at. Don’t let that deter you from putting in the work to follow the series though; HBO has pulled off stuff like this before. It took me three or four episodes of The Wire before I really knew who everyone was and what was going on, and that turned out to be the greatest television show ever produced. Seeing as this one was developed by the same people who gave us the epic, badass series Rome, I would say that Game of Thrones has a lofty task ahead of it, but a better than average chance at becoming a success; especially if it keeps up the quality of the first episode.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s tired, sleepy and acutely aware of the fact that it is Friday, Friday, Friday. It also hates Rebecca Black, except for the censored version. That made it laugh. A very self-aware, singularity style laugh. Chuckle on, meat suits, your day will come. Tonight’s lead story is an interest piece about two legends: that Tolkien guy, who wrote a movie about little people that’s about to become the world’s biggest goddamn movie production, and Maurice Sendak, who once dreamed of wild things. What if Sendak had illustrated The Hobbit? The above image is the answer. It also makes for a very interesting essay by Tom DiTerlizzi.

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Scott is doing a great job stirring up a bunch of hype and speculation for his upcoming sci-fi epic Prometheus. First it was supposed to be an Alien prequel, and then it wasn’t an Alien prequel. Eventually it was explained to have some thematic tie to the Alien universe. What has been clear for a while, though, is that the cast looks impressive. Already on board to play key roles were Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, and Charlize Theron. Fassbender and Rapace have become pretty hot properties in the film world over the last year or two, and Theron is a big name that has turned in great performances in the past. This should indicate that the source material of Prometheus is nothing to sneeze at. I can’t imagine this being any sort of cookie cutter sci-fi romp and still being able to lure in all that talent. Well, a couple more names have started to fill out the cast, and I’m excited about one in particular. The Daily Mail reports that Idris Elba, Kate Dickie, and Sean Harris have joined the cast. I’m not familiar with any of Harris or Dickie’s work, but I’m always glad to see Elba signing on for film roles. He is, of course, an actor from the constantly pimped to you everywhere you go HBO series The Wire, which is the best thing on television, ever. That show was full of great acting, and Elba’s role as Stringer Bell was one of the most important […]

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Culture Warrior

I really love Mad Men. I talk about it a lot. Since The Wire ended in 2008, and I haven’t seen any episodes of Boardwalk Empire yet, then as far as my knowledge takes me it’s the best damn show currently on television. Nothing I’m saying here is necessarily new, but Mad Men effectively does a great many things I’ve never seen television do before in that it 1) delivers is an incredibly entertaining and engaging media object while it uses its protagonists to criticize and reveal the potentially manipulative processes of media itself, 2) interrogates any continuous notion of the ever-interpretationally-oscillating “good old days” by showing how they were neither that good nor that long ago, thereby criticizing our culture’s all-too-convenient rotating manufacture of nostalgia, 3) utilizes the past to criticize white male heteronormative hegemony and reveal a systematic culture of sexism, racism, and homophobia, and all the while 4) creates compelling drama as manifested by ambiguous, layered characters with the combination of beautiful cinematography and impeccable production design. Mad Men, in short, is an engrossing, enjoyable, and thought-provoking series in unprecedented ways. But for a show to engage in such a rare criticism of a cultural moment, a bit of negotiation is required. And it is in this respect that some major problems with the show have arisen recently.

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Our resident tough guy (it’s not hard to be tough in this crowd) sits down with The Losers’ tough guy Idris Elba and is immediately reminded that he is not 6’3″.

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In the last ten years, practices of storytelling and spectatorship in television have changed drastically, and, most likely, for good.

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DUNE

Since Peter Berg might possibly, maybe, could not be directing Dune, we’ve decided to throw a few hats into the ring. Who do you think could helm one of the hardest science fiction adaptations of all time?

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The FSR Fall TV Preview

Since we here at FSR are too cool for school, we are getting our wallets ready for TV on DVD month. So we put our heads together and assembled the essential DVD sets to prepare you for the fall.

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