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Stuck in the Middle: 30 Great Films about Middle Age, PART TWO

I must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on: here we are with round two of what I consider to be the best movies about middle age. If you’re still with me, you’ve admitted your age, and acceptance is the first step towards…whatever, here’s the list.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • April 22, 2014 4:37 AM
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“No redneck is this creative”: TRUE DETECTIVE and the Horror of Folk Art

Now and then a television series comes along that seems to define its own, unique genre: think of Twin Peaks, The X Files, The Singing Detective. Now think of "True Detective," which might be described as the first Cult Ritual Serial Killer Southern Gothic Weird Procedural.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • February 24, 2014 3:43 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Electronic Meditation: The Musical Synthesis of Tangerine Dream and Michael Mann

While the sound Tangerine Dream pioneered, combining melodic minimalism and taut synthetic rhythms, would become almost a cliché in films and on dancefloors throughout the 1980s, in Mann’s "Thief" their music serves to create an aural environment that is simultaneously meditative and driving, and is a crucial element of the film’s achievement.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • February 18, 2014 10:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Art of Unease: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Inundated with obnoxious reality television, sensationalistic twenty-four hour news coverage, and a film culture that grows louder and brasher by the day, it is all the more remarkable when an actor is able to unsettle us. Philip Seymour Hoffman had this talent in an abundance that verged on the indecent.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • February 3, 2014 1:28 PM
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VIDEO ESSAY: Monsters Are a Child's Best Friend

Most responsible parents will tell you that using the television as a surrogate nanny is bad for kids. My own experience as a child would argue against this. My parents knew that they couldn't raise me alone, and the only reliable guides were creatures of the night.
  • By Jed Mayer and Jeffrey Canino
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  • October 31, 2013 9:00 AM
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Kubrick in Reverse: The Earthly Pull of GRAVITY

Far from being a mere homage to Kubrick's "2001," Cuarón's "Gravity" offers an ingenious and moving revision and critique of its predecessor, one that begins in the stars but returns us to our own earthly soil.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • October 9, 2013 9:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: My Life as a Chick Flick

That’s me up there. See? That nine-year-old boy cheering on Lexie Winston to victory? No, actually I can’t see me up there either. But I was there, along with hundreds of other lucky people who managed to get spots as extras on the set of "Ice Castles."
  • By Jed Mayer and Jeffrey Canino
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  • September 26, 2013 9:05 AM
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INSIDIOUS, CHAPTER 2: The Haunting of the American Male

The Insidious films take place in an America haunted by faded dreams of a prosperity provided by a loved and respected father. In James Wan’s vision this patriarchal figure has been replaced by a maniacal presence brooding in the dark corners of a house where women are the strongest presence and men have become peripheral.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • September 18, 2013 10:10 AM
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Kill the Rich: YOU'RE NEXT and the Discreet Charms of the One Percent

In its by turns disturbing and hilarious portrayal of a privileged family’s reunion gone horribly wrong, You’re Next gives us what is perhaps this year’s most trenchant commentary on an America increasingly riddled by narcissism and greed.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • August 28, 2013 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Summer of the Sharknado

This year we were subjected to one bloated action film after another, all of which treated their subject matter with the kind of ponderous gravitas usually accorded to European art films. Who can save our popcorn fare from this inflated sense of self-importance? Forget Wolverine, Iron Man, and Thor: this is a job for Sharknado!
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • August 20, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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