When Rob Thomas created Veronica Mars, his show about a sharp-elbowed girl detective, he had an ulterior motive: He wanted to kill off the reigning queen of teenaged sleuths â€” one who's been around for more than 80 years.
"Nancy Drew," Thomas says, his soft-spoken affect barely betrayed by a trace of a snarl. "Like, I feel like she had her run."
There's a lot that needs forgiving if you want to enjoy the few simple pleasures offered by Shirin In Love, but the most egregious fault is perhaps too structural to overlook: The love triangle set up for the title character (Nazanin Boniadi) by writer-director Ramin Niami angles too obviously in one direction. The end result is too much of a foregone conclusion even for a predictable romantic comedy.
Strange and stylish and surpassingly dark, Denis Villeneuve's Enemy â€” especiallypaired with the same director's recent cop thriller Prisoners â€” makes a strong case for star Jake Gyllenhaal as maybe our most enigmatic young leading man.
Nick and Meg have gotten into a bit of a rut in Le Week-End, and to get out of it they're "celebrating" â€” if that's the word â€” their 30th anniversary by heading back to a city they last saw on their honeymoon. Nick has even booked a room in the same hotel â€” which is not, alas, quite the way Meg remembers it. "Beige," she sniffs.
As the star of Arrested Development, Jason Bateman became best known for being the most mature member of the emotionally stunted Bluth family; the roles that followed were largely of the same tone, casting the actor as the affable, mild-mannered, often put-upon nice guy.
Always playing the straight man amid casts of clowns must have created some built-up performance envy, because in his directorial debut he trades in Mr. Nice Guy for Mr. Guy Trilby, finally getting to play an apparent case of severely arrested development himself.
Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:13 am
Unhinged by crises both monetary and amorous, a provincial Frenchwoman tells the employees at her restaurant, "I'll be back." Then she takes off in her ancient rattletrap with no escape plan beyond an illicit smoke and a drive to clear her addled head. Turns out she'll be gone a while.
Yes, there's a road movie in Bettie's cards. Yes, there will be formative ordeals. And yes, the payoff will be uplift, along with one of those toothsome al fresco country lunches where Mediterranean types wave their arms around and argue in friendly fashion.
There are three categories of schemers in Big Men, Rachel Boynton's illuminating documentary about the oil business in West Africa: businessmen, politicians and bandits. Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell the types apart.
Painted lips, slicked-back hair and pumping fists form the core of Matt Wolf's documentary Teenage, an impressionistic history of how our concept of the teenager came to be. Composed almost entirely of dazzling archival footage â€” young people laboring, exercising, fighting, dancing, drinking and playing â€” the film traces the history of the teenager from the late 19th century to 1945.
Things can take off fast on Twitter. And that's what happened when a couple of writers expressed how much they like riding trains, Amtrak specifically. It started with an idea: Wouldn't it be great if Amtrak would offer writers a chance to ride the rails for free and do some writing along the way? Soon, the idea was being tweeted and retweeted, and Amtrak replied: Sure.
Nonfiction writers often have to go scrounging for their dream subject. They may buy themselves a ticket to some far-flung place, or join an Iditarod team, or start researching a historical figure who seems to have led a colorful life. Sometimes, writers are fortunate enough to already have a personal passion for one subject, and writing a book about it seems only natural.
As the snow melts, even in Minnesota, and daylight lingers into evening, people who like to eat with the seasons know what's coming: asparagus.
"Asparagus means the beginning of spring. It's spring!" says Nora Pouillon, chef and founder of Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. Later this month, she'll revise her menu, and it will certainly include asparagus with salmon, and asparagus soup.
It's an elegant vegetable, Pouillon says, and unique: "Sweet and bitter at the same time."
You might expect that the actor who's brought Community's most idiosyncratic character, Abed, to life, with such skill and empathy must relate to him in some way. Danny Pudi admits that while he's not so similar to his encyclopedically-inclined alter ego (save one incident of lighting himself on fire as a teenager), there is one area in which the actor and the character overlap: their love of film.
Adam Savage, along with partner-in-science (and snark) Jamie Hyneman, has tested over 800 myths, used 12 tons of explosives and destroyed over 100 cars on the hit TV show Mythbusters. Not only is his job incredibly cool--it's often incredibly dangerous.
Many will recognize the "@" or "at" symbol from its place in Twitter usernames. Here, @jonathancoulton leads a challenging word game involving a play on adding the letters "a-t" to word beginnings. @tempt it if you dare!
Who's a "dead guy with crazy hair because he invented physics"? In this game, The New York Times' tech columnist Farhad Manjoo and his opponent try to identify historic figures from dubious Yahoo! Answers descriptions.
We don't know a whole lot about the upcoming season of Orange Is The New Black, but Netflix put out three images today that might give you something to at least chew on. It certainly appears that we'll be picking up where we left off, in a very immediate sense.
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Movie trailers have changed a lot, and if you show a teenager now a trailer from (for instance) 1997, it will seem almost comedically anachronistic and corny.
But this is how, for many years, we got excited about the movies. And these growly narrations â€” which were recently the subject of Lake Bell's fine comedy In A World â€” were a big part of that excitement.
This series on first novels continues with a look at the book auction: what triggers one, how one is organized, and what running one is like. Previous posts covered how agents fall in love with books and how editors acquire them.
The thing about historical novels is that above all else, they must stand as good fiction. If not, the reader's supposed trip back into the past isn't worth the time or the token. The writer must give the feel and flow of the time in question in a manner that seems natural; characters on a street corner shouldn't remark to themselves about all of these 1922 motor cars rolling past, nor Roman legionaries point out that an axe is bronze when it should be steel.
Many of us can barely make it through the morning without first downing a cup of hot coffee. It's become such a big part of our daily rituals that few actually give much thought to what it is that we're putting in our bodies.
To help us break down the little-known things about caffeine, NPR's David Greene spoke with Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts and Hooks Us. These are the things you probably aren't thinking about as you wait in line at your local coffee shop.
This weekend, Decatur will play host to some pretty serious guitarists.Â It's the annual Mid America Classical Guitar Ensemble and it will be held at Millikin University.Â It's mainly for those who study classical guitar at a college level.
While those students will have a chance to learn, they can also perform.Â And there are opportunities for the public to hear some tremendous musicians.
Producer Bill Taylor says even the show's creators didn't buy the idea at first. "If you speak to all of the authors and all of the creative team, their instinctive reaction, when first hearing about Rocky becoming a musical, ranges from incredulity to plain crazy," he says.