Arts

Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

There's Madcap, And Then There's Plain 'Mental'

Shaz (Toni Collette), a hotheaded stranger new to the Australian town of Dolphin Heads, becomes the unlikely answer to a local politician's problems when she steps in to nanny his children.
Dada Films

Human beings are imperfect — which is one reason we have the movies.

The Australian comedy Mental, written and directed by P.J. Hogan — the man behind the 1994 hit Muriel's Wedding — is filled with troubled people who, like most of us, strive not for perfection but at least for some understanding.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

'The Place Beyond The Pines': It's A Far Piece

Angsty stunt performer Luke (Ryan Gosling) quits the circus and becomes a busybody father after a former girlfriend reveals she's had his child.
Focus Features

There are moments, as Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine informed us, when the barely controlled rage that is masculinity can be tempered by feelings for woman and child. But eventually the male Id will erupt, and everything will go to hell.

That happens more than once in Cianfrance's new The Place Beyond the Pines, a would-be epic that shifts from character to character and story to story to show how fury passes from fathers to sons. But too much of this seething drama is devoted not to characterization but to posturing.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

'Retaliation': Harsh Payback For Poor G.I. Joe

Duke (Channing Tatum) and Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) are live-action G.I. Joes in the big-screen franchise's latest thoroughly disposable installment.
Jaimie Trueblood Paramount Pictures

What's the difference between an action figure and an action star? Very little in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which features no performances of note, even from such combat-tested thespians as Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce and Dwayne Johnson.

The sequel to 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the latest Joe is a near-surrealistic mashup of serious themes and juvenile humor, realistic locations and cheesy CGI. Adapted to 3-D after it was shot, the movie is also one of the most aggressive examples ever of the chucking-stuff-at-the-viewer aesthetic.

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Found Recipes
1:50 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Tuscan Pie A Sweet Springtime Take On Spinach

Tuscany's sweet spinach pie is a dish that's often associated with Easter and spring.
Courtesy of Pinella Orgiana

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 12:55 pm

Easter brings with it many predictable foods: chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, ham, and hard-boiled eggs. But some Italians use the season to feature a surprisingly sweet vegetable dish on their tables.

It's called torta co'bischeri agli spinaci. Francine Segan calls it "Tuscany's sweet spinach pie." Segan is a food historian and author of Dolci: Italy's Sweets. She shared a recipe for the pie for All Things Considered's Found Recipe series.

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Movies
11:31 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Former NJ Governor On His 'Fall To Grace'

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:24 pm

In 2004, Jim McGreevey was the governor of New Jersey and a rising political star. That was until he admitted his homosexuality, and an improper relationship with a male staff member. What happened next is the subject of the new HBO documentary, Fall To Grace. Host Michel Martin speaks with McGreevy and filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi.

Monkey See
8:37 am
Thu March 28, 2013

The Good News Is That We Know 'Idol' Is Really Live Now

Michael Becker Fox

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:56 am

Last night on American Idol was Motown Night, when we all learned that Motown songs (like "I Heard It Through The Grapevine") should all be sung as seriously as possible, wearing a scowl, with all the fun sucked out. (And that was a performance that was pretty good.) It's in keeping with this season, in which melodramatic ballads have dominated even more than usual.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Book News: Taliban Shooting Victim Is Publishing A Memoir: 'I Am Malala'

Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai is pictured during her recovery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, about a month after she was shot.
AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:25 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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First Reads
7:03 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Exclusive First Read: Kate Atkinson's 'Life After Life'

  • Listen to the Excerpt

On a snowy night in 1910, a baby girl is born — and dies before she can take her first breath. She is born — and grows up to become an assassin who eliminates Hitler before he can take power. She is born — and lives a handful of different lives in a Britain descending into war; the book jumps from one narrative to another with a dreamy sort of logic. "Time isn't circular," she tells a therapist at one point. "It's like a ... palimpsest. ...

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The Salt
3:43 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Reviving The Spirit And Schmaltz Of The Jewish Deli

Nick Wiseman, partner at DGS Delicatessen, inspects the kitchen as an employee prepares pastrami sandwiches for lunch in Washington, D.C.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:55 am

  • Hear David Greene's Story

On a recent morning, just south of Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle, about a dozen people are lined up outside a restaurant waiting for its lunchtime opening.

Jon and Ralph Rosenbaum are at the front of the line and are the first to be greeted by DGS Delicatessen general manager Brian Zipin, who leads them down a white tile hallway and seats them at a small table against a brick-exposed wall.

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Movies
5:33 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Hollywood's History Of Putting Gay Rights On Trial

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

With the Supreme Court hearing arguments this week on same-sex marriage, I'd like to point out a parallel evolution in what I see as a Hollywood mini-genre: films in which gay characters are either taken to court or seek redress in court for issues involving their sexuality.

Arguably the most famous question ever asked in a courtroom about a line of poetry — "What is the love that dare not speak its name?" — was originally put to playwright Oscar Wilde in 1894 by a British prosecutor. It was an attempt to trap Wilde into admitting to then-illegal homosexual conduct.

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