Arts

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:42 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

NIH Director Francis Collins Plays Not My Job

NIH

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 11:25 am

Dr. Francis Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health, which among other things means he's going to outlive us all. We've invited him to play a game called "OWWW!" Three questions about athletes and the surprising ways they find to injure themselves, inspired by Bleacher Report's list of The 50 Weirdest Injuries in Sports History.

Movie Reviews
2:52 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Looking For Bin Laden In 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Stationed in a covert base overseas, Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a member of the elite team of spies and military operatives who secretly devote themselves to finding Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty.
Jonathan Olley Sony Pictures

Kathryn Bigelow's kill-bin-Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty is cool, brisk and packed with impressively real-sounding intelligence jargon. It presents itself as a work of journalism — just the facts, ma'am — but there's no doubting its perspective. It's the story of America's brilliant, righteous revenge.

The prologue is a black screen with sounds of Sept. 11: a hubbub of confusion and then, most terribly, the voice of a woman crying out to a 911 operator who tries vainly to assure her she'll be OK. The recording is genuine.

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Movie Reviews
1:49 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Behind The Scenes Of The Beatles' 'Magical Mystery Tour'

The Beatles look out of the Magical Mystery Tour coach skylight, on location in England in September 1967.
Apple Films Ltd Channel Thirteen

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:01 pm

On Friday night on PBS, Great Performances presents a documentary about the making of a Beatles TV special from 1967 — Magical Mystery Tour — then shows a restored version of that special. Magical Mystery Tour has the music from the U.S. album of the same name, but it's not the album. It's a musical comedy fantasy about the Beatles and a busload of tourists taking a trip to unknown destinations.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
1:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of December 13, 2012

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:20 pm

Calvin Trillin's Dogfight sends up the 2012 presidential election. It debuts at No. 7.

Monkey See
12:18 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

'Trouble Man' At 40: A Classic, But Where's Its Cult?

Robert Hooks is Mr. T, the abrasive detective hero of Trouble Man, a 1972 blaxploitation classic that gets less than its due these days.
JDF/B Productions The Kobal Collection

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Monkey See
10:56 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Is Everything Worse Than Ever? And A Gift Guide!

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

You can't fill your end-of-the-year season with nothing but good cheer, or you'll turn into a candy cane. (That's science.) So we chose to tackle a slightly darker topic this week: Is everything worse than ever?

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Movie Interviews
3:21 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Laura Linney, Keeping History Hush-Hush In 'Hyde Park'

Linney's Daisy was on hand, along with Eleanor Roosevelt (Olivia Williams), to support the president on the weekend of a momentous visit by the king and queen of England in June of 1939, as Europe teetered on the brink of World War II.
Nicola Dove Focus Features

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:33 am

For presidential-film buffs, this holiday season has some high-profile offerings. First, there was Steven Spielberg's biopic Lincoln. And out now, there's Hyde Park on Hudson, a peek behind the curtain and into the life of America's longest-serving president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

A 'Girl' Deconstructed, And Rebuilt To Last

A series of mishaps and bad choices leaves the impetuous, impoverished Ashley (Abbie Cornish) caring for a young Mexican immigrant (Maritza Santiago Hernandez).
Brainstorm Media

Using illegal immigration as a frame to explore the slow awakening of a tough-shelled young Texas woman, The Girl is a patient chamber piece about the emotional bruises left by poverty and neglect.

Even before we fully know her circumstances, Ashley (Abbie Cornish) introduces herself as a victim of race and class discrimination. A sullen single mother and minimum-wage drone in a south Texas supermarket, she opens the film with a request for a raise. When denied, she refuses to accept her supervisor's criticism of her attitude.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Fighting For Their Family, One Day At A Time

When a boy with Down syndrome (Isaac Leyva) is abandoned by his mother, a neighbor couple (Garret Dillahunt and Alan Cumming) takes him in.
Music Box Films

It would take a heart of stone — or zero tolerance for soap — to resist Any Day Now, a full-throttle weepie about a West Hollywood gay couple trying to adopt a neglected boy with Down syndrome.

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Movies
5:03 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

A 'Love' Letter To The Blonde Everyone Preferred

Marilyn Monroe's life has captivated the public's imagination for decades, and most recently has been given voice by today's famous actresses in Love, Marilyn.
HBO

We're long past the point where, at least among half-sentient beings, we need to make a case for the intelligence and sensitivity of Marilyn Monroe. Even when cast as a dumb blonde, she was never just your stock ditzy dame: She always showed a breezy self-effacement that was too sly to be purely accidental.

And to look at her, of course, is to love her, particularly now that her sad story has become part of the cultural landscape: How can you not want to protect such beauty and vulnerability from the cruelty of the world?

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