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Movies / TV

Around the Remote: Chuck Barney’s Picks for Aug.30-Sept. 5

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Don’t Miss 2015 MTV Video Music Awards — Two years ago, Miley Cyrus caused an uproar with her naughty twerking. Now that she’s back to host the 32nd annual bash, will she behave herself — or push the envelope even further? As for the nominations, Taylor Swift leads everyone with nine, including Video of the Year. Somewhere, Kanye West is throwing a tizzy fit. 9 p.m. Sunday, MTV. Other Bets …

Movie Review: ‘Friends’ Lacks the Courage of Its Convictions

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The style of music known as EDM, short for electronic dance music, can sometimes be made by someone alone on a laptop with a pair of headphones, then played at throbbing volume for enormous high-energy crowds. That tension between intimacy and boisterousness motivates a lot of the movie We Are Your Friends, which …

Movie Review: Flee From ‘No Escape’

Saturday, August 29, 2015

If you’ve really been wanting to see endless shots of Owen Wilson running, sometimes while carrying a medium-sized child, the thriller No Escape might be just for you. Those looking for nuanced screenplays, believable characters, and movies that don’t feature the offhand dismissal of hundreds of people being brutally killed, might want to …

Around the remote: Chuck Barney’s Picks for Aug.23-29

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Don’t Miss Fear the Walking Dead — This “companion” series to prime time’s monster hit tells the story of the zombie apocalypse from an entirely different angle. Set in Los Angeles at the brink of the scourge, it follows a dysfunctional blended family, led by a high school …

Movie Review: ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Leaves Some Truths on the Cutting Room Floor

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Straight Outta Compton is a musically propulsive mixed blessing of a biopic, made the way these things often get made: with the real-life protagonists breathing down the movie’s neck to make sure nothing too harsh or unflattering gets …

Movie Review: Woody Allen Revisits Mystery Genre With ‘Irrational Man’

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Joaquin Phoenix has grown an unsettlingly prodigious potbelly for his role in Irrational Man, in which Woody Allen revisits the terrain of his 2005 murder mystery Match Point, with more conclusive, if less memorable, results. Phoenix plays Abe Lucas, a dissolute philosophy professor as known for his affairs …

Movie Review: ‘The End of the Tour’ Is a Complex Conversation Worth Hearing

Saturday, August 22, 2015

On the most superficial level, The End of the Tour is about David Foster Wallace, who electrified the literary world in 1996 with the publication of his epic breakout novel Infinite Jest, and who took his own life …

Film Notes: Sabra Field Documentary Screens at Middlebury Film Festival

Friday, August 21, 2015

Along with counting his blessings, Bill Phillips can’t help chuckling about the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival inviting him to screen Sabra, his documentary about East Barnard printmaker Sabra Field, next weekend at Middlebury College. “I made their definition …

Around the Remote: Chuck Barney’s Picks for Aug.16-22

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Don’t Miss Documentary Now — Former Saturday Night Live castmates Fred Armisen and Bill Hader immerse themselves in the mockumentary genre with this offbeat six-part series that lovingly parodies notable documentaries and “honors some of the most important stories that didn’t actually happen.” Lending humorous gravitas to the …

‘Man From U.N.C.L.E’ Was Must-See Television in Mid-’60s

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

When NBC aired its flashy, fun spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 50 years ago, it made quite an impression on viewers. The series, noted Steve Rubin, author of The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia, was “appointment television. You had to be watching Man from U.N.C.L.E., like today …

David Foster Wallace’s World

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Right after the new road movie The End of the Tour premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, a movie-industry friend texted me her thoughts. Starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg, End of the Tour chronicles a …

Silent Movie Buffs Search the Screen for Clues to ‘Mostly Lost’ Films

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Culpeper, Va. — Beneath glimmering chandeliers at an art deco movie house built into the side of a mountain, 150 silent movie buffs sat wide-eyed as snippets from films lost decades ago lighted up the screen. Their quest: …

‘Fantastic Four’ Must Stop a Friend Turned Enemy

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent …