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Caryn James

Penn & Teller Conjure 'Tim's Vermeer'

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 31, 2014 8:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Did Vermeer paint by numbers? Tim Jenison, a software innovator with lots of time, imagination and money to throw around, has an idea that comes close to that. In Tim's Vermeer, the delightful new documentary narrated by Penn and directed by Teller, we watch as Jenison tries out his theory.

George Clooney Saves the World (Or At Least Art) in 'The Monuments Men'

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 29, 2014 12:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Monuments Men begins with a captivating scene, set in Belgium during World War II. We see close-ups of a work of art -- van Eyck's oversized Ghent Altarpiece—hear banging, then see priests crate up the individual panels of the painting, put them in a truck in the dark of night and send it off for safekeeping.

The Best of Jonah Hill's SNL: DiCaprio Revisits 'Titanic,' And a 'Her' Parody

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 26, 2014 9:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It was a pretty safe guess that there would be some Wolf of Wall Street reference during Jonah Hill's stint as SNL host, but the opening monologue turned out to be better than any sketch.

Stephen Colbert's Book Club Takes on Hemingway (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 22, 2014 12:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ernest Hemingway – genius writer or macho cliche? Or both? Stephen Colbert's latest installment of The Colbert Book Club, lovingly and admittedly stolen from Oprah, lets you choose, as the host puts on a safari jacket, holds a gun and swigs from a wineskin while pretending to have read A Farewell to Arms.

'Her' In, Redford Out: Best and Worst of the Oscar Nominations

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 16, 2014 2:06 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Let's start by stipulating that the Oscars have little or nothing to do with art or even how good a film is. Like any political contest, movie awards are about money and campaigning and popularity and image -- so if a good idea or vision sneaks in, what luck!

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Crazy-Good Golden Globes Hosts (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 13, 2014 12:07 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Totally fun and totally (allegedly) drunk, the Golden Globes show rose to the crazy-high comic level of its hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It was loose and as slyly fun as the opening monologue, which at first seemed a bit tame -- until you noticed the edgy lines the hosts slipped in.

Visceral, Tough, Apolitical: Mark Wahlberg in 'Lone Survivor'

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 10, 2014 12:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments
With its solid but conventional filmmaking, Lone Survivor looks like one more popcorn–action movie, this time about Navy SEALS on a mission. But as it puts viewers in the center of a fatal fight in Afghanistan, Peter Berg's fact-based story becomes something timely and deeply important.

For 'Downton' Obsessives: Dan Stevens in 'Summer in February'

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 7, 2014 8:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments
As I said in my review of Downton Abbey, Season 4, we all miss Matthew, and since Julian Fellowes has made it clear that the character is not coming back as a ghost, Summer in February is the closest we're likely to come to a post-death sighting.

Lady Mary Meets Vic Mackey in Funny or Die Spoof

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 3, 2014 10:33 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Lady Mary is the kind of role that could stereotype an actress, but Michelle Dockery has the good sense to be making fun of her aristocratic counterpart already. In this Funny or Die spoof, she plays opposite Michael Chiklis in a pretend -- but painfully close to real -- new TNT crime series, Tough Justice.

'Downton Abbey,' Season 4: Bad Lines, Extra Melodrama, Still Irresistible

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 3, 2014 12:19 PM
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  • 0 Comments
"Kiss me now!" says Lady Edith to her married beau, as they sit the middle of a restaurant. "Kiss me!" says Cora, Countess of Grantham to Lord Grantham as he heads off on a trip. "Kiss me!" says ... oh, at least a couple of other people in season 4 of Downton Abbey, as if writer and creator Julian Fellowes were intermittently channeling dialogue from some bad romance novel.

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