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Sundance Preview: Jane Campion’s ‘Top Of The Lake’ Feels Like ‘The Killing’ Only With Haunting, Lasting Sustain

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 20, 2013 5:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Moody, without being oppressively dark or atmospheric, compelling and mysterious, Jane Campion's seven-part Sundance Channel series, "Top Of The Lake" – based on two episodes thus far – is an intriguing crime drama and mystery that's got this writer hooked.

Recap: Marnie Becomes Hannah In Season 2 Premiere Of 'Girls'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 14, 2013 10:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Adam (Adam Driver) got hit by a car, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) lost her virginity, Marnie (Alison Williams) moved out of her apartment with Hannah (Lena Dunham), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) got married....change was is in the air for the characters of "Girls" at the end of season one. And as season two opens, Hannah is (literally) waking up as a woman with a reoriented set of ways to take control of her life. But not without first making some bad decisions.

Review: 'My Brother The Serial Killer' Offers Thin Alternate Theory About The O.J. Simpson/Nicole Brown Murder

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 21, 2012 3:02 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Few court cases captured the public imagination in recent memory quite like the O.J. Simpson trial. An American football hero, part-time movie star and color commentator, a whole different side to his public persona came through when he was charged with murdering his ex-wife. And when the not guilty verdict reverberated throughout the nation, it hardly put an end to the story. Some folks said it was an example of the justice system's failings, others pointed the finger to the ineffectual prosecution, while others declared that Simpson was innocent all along. And now the waters get muddier with "My Brother the Serial Killer," which is arriving on screens and heated up by the news that its titular subject is linked to the slaying of Nicole Brown Simpson. Does it let O.J. off the hook? Not exactly, but it also doesn't make much sense either.

Review: 'Inventing David Geffen' Is Wildly Entertaining, But Never As Insightful As It Should Be

  • By Christopher Schobert
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  • November 20, 2012 9:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments
David Geffen is so powerful, wealthy and connected that he could probably kill this review right now were he so inclined. He is a show business titan; a controversial figure who is revered—and feared—by equal measure. He is perhaps the closest thing we have to the kingpins of old, the Selznicks, the Zanucks. (How fitting that Geffen now lives in Jack Warner’s stunning old mansion.) But like Harvey Weinstein, what most differentiates Geffen from the other powers-that-be in his ranks is an ability to spot talent. As “American Masters: Inventing David Geffen” reveals, he helped break artists as far reaching as Laura Nyro, Jackson Browne, and even Guns N’ Roses.

Review: David Frankham & Michael Mann's 'Witness' A Raw & Powerful Look At The Front Lines Of Photojournalism

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 8, 2012 11:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The news media hasn't been in good shape in the past few years, particularly when it comes to on the ground, investigative journalism. Dwindling budgets, an audience shift from newspapers and television to the internet, and some would argue a lack of drive from the media themselves to do hard reporting, has made it a grim time to be involved in the industry. But as producer and director David Frankham told us recently, he hopes that the HBO series "Witness" (also produced by Michael Mann), is able to enact the kind of change that the classic reportage of "60 Minutes" managed to achieve. And while it doesn't quite go that far, "Witness" is an eye-opening, riveting look at conflicts raging around the world, and the complex and mostly ignored narratives that are unfolding.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Builds Up To An Explosive Finale In Episode #8, 'The Pony'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 5, 2012 12:07 PM
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  • 3 Comments
"Jimmy deserved better than this," Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) says with disgust. The "funeral" for Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) is equal parts sham, disgrace and an utter joke. Shockingly killed off at the end of season 2 by his mentor and only real father figure Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) as vengeance for an earlier betrayal, Jimmy's mother Gillian (Gretchen Mol) has spent the last few months in delusional mourning, claiming Jimmy was off on one of his "adventures" rather than acknowledging his death. But when faced with practical matters -- her brothel business is failing, the house being in Jimmy's name stopping her from acquiring a loan -- Gillian proves her head's not entirely in the clouds and she can be sinisterly lethal. Buried in lieu of Jimmy is the dead-ringer Roger McAllister (Billy Magnussen), a handsome bumpkin Gillian lured into her web for the specific purposes of having a surrogate body to bury. It's ruthless stuff and it makes Harrow, Jimmy's dear friend, ill and sickened by the charade Gillian puts on.

Review: 'Cafeteria Man' A One Sided, Fly By Look At The Food Activism Of Chef Tony Geraci

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 24, 2012 10:27 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Who is Tony Geraci? For director Richard Chisolm and everyone else involved in the slim, one-sided but no less interesting "Cafeteria Man," he is a saint. Arriving on his houseboat in the marina of Baltimore, Maryland, he rolled up his sleeves and fought to reform school lunches for children in the city in his role as the new Director Of Food & Nutrition. Promising a program that emphasizes locally grown and nutritious food over frozen, pre-packaged slop, the ideas were big and some of the execution was grand. Did he achieve what he set out to do? That depends on who you ask, but the documentary never brings up that question.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Continues To Spin Its Wheels With 'Blue Bell Boy'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 8, 2012 10:03 AM
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  • 4 Comments
In retrospect, perhaps we’ve been too generous about the slow pace of “Boardwalk Empire” season three. After all, even one of our comrades at IndieWIRE, Anne Thompson, said she was dismayed at HBO’s decision to renew the show for a fourth season considering the molasses like rhythm of season three so far. It’s a wee bit hyperbolic a statement in the scheme of things, but it’s also a valid point: “Boardwalk Empire” has been moving painfully slow and the absence of the conflicted, but charming and handsome Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) is still being felt like an ache. While the season could be seen as a mourning of such, everyone, and every plot line, is taking far too long to develop. As patient as we’ve been, we’d like the fog to lift, the metaphorical grieving to stop, and for everyone to move on and move forward.

Recap: Nucky & Gyp Rosetti Seemed Poised For A Showdown In ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Episode 3 'Bone For Tuna'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 1, 2012 10:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
While the opening two episodes of season three of “Boardwalk Empire” have been characteristically languid, the drama of this season seems to be finally coalescing; albeit still at a rather leisurely pace. But the character-driven show has always been more interested in the arcs and personal dilemmas of its various players over plot and yet, the show’s disparate arcs are starting to tether a little tighter, setting the stage for some larger showdowns down the road. The gait isn’t quick, but the wheels are in motion.

Recap: 'Louie' Closes Off Its Third Season With A Pair Of Classics

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 28, 2012 4:59 PM
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  • 3 Comments
In a very fine article on the always excellent AV Club this week, Todd Van Der Werff argues that "Louie" isn't just a strong contender for the best comedy on TV right now, but also the first show since "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" to genuinely move the form forward. Whether it becomes a touchstone for comedy writers of the future in the same way as those two endlessly influential series remains to be seen, but the timing of the piece is certainly persuasive. Not just because it follows from Louis C.K. winning two Emmys this past Sunday, but also because it was bookended by the final two episodes of the show's third season, which saw the series at its very best.

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