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Showing posts from August, 2012

Media Morsels 8.31.12

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The Newsroom What an incredible season finale. All the humor, all the heart, the master class in storytelling... I loved every minute of it. From Maggie's diatribe about what it's really like to be single in the city, to Will, Charlie and Mackenzie's showdown with Reese and Leona, to the title and explanation of "The Greater Fool" and back to the beginning of the series... Aaron Sorkin sure knows how to end a season. The only downside is that there's no new Sorkinese for almost a year! But, you can rewatch the season on HBO Go, which is what I'm sure I'll be doing...several times :) And now, some final bonuses:Go inside the episode with Aaron Sorkin, who talks about how the first season follows the trajectory of Don Quixote. (Also below)

The Atlantic's Jason Bailey writes "Why I Love The Newsroom: A Defense of Imperfection."

A few good HBO Connect chats, with:Aaron Sorkin (turns out, the amazing use of "Baba O'Reilly" almost …

Media Morsels 8.24.12

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The Newsroom The only thing I didn't like about this week's episode, "The Blackout Part 2: The Debate" is that it is the penultimate episode and now we only have one new Newsroom left in the season. Other than that, though, I thought this was an incredible episode. The humor, the progression of the relationships, the way they're trying to raise the level of public debate in this country, John Gallagher, Jr.'s Jim Harper wondering if the two women in the fitting room were kissing... Too much goodness! (Go inside the episode with Aaron Sorkin.) And now, take a look at a preview of the final episode of season one, "The Greater Fool." (It looks AMAZING!)


BonusesTerry Crews, who plays Will McAvoy's bodyguard, Lonny, answered fans' questions in an HBO Connect Q&A today. Read the archive to find out how the former NFLer found himself speaking Sorkinese. Submit your questions for HBO Connect Q&A sessions: Emily Mortimer (August 28) and Kelen …

Media Morsels 8.17.12

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The Newsroom What an incredible episode. (Go Inside the Episode with Aaron Sorkin.) I can't wait for part two! What I found was so interesting about "Tragedy Porn" is that we're seeing this team we have come to admire do something so seemingly beneath them. We're seeing them do a big thing badly. And it elicits newly found sympathy for some real life news teams because it makes you think that some of the anchors really want to be doing News Night 2.0, i.e., good, informative stories that matter, not news as entertainment, but their hands are tied because they do, after all, have network bosses, ratings analysts and shareholders to answer to. Plus, the episode brought us some great lines, like "There's not enough bourbon in Kentucky."; "Have you been listening? Because we have."; and the show-closing punctuation, "I didn't know we had that kind of comic timing." Below, take a look at next week's episode, "The Blackout…

Bachelorette

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The film adaptation of Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette, which the playwright wrote and directed, succeeds in its own ways. It’s just as biting and darkly funny as the play (which ran at Second Stage a few summers ago). Because there’s no concern for scene changes, it takes the story and characters to places that a play can’t. The three bridesmaids collective journey is essentially the same - they just take different detours here.

I was a little disappointed that the movie tagged on a bit of a tidy, Hollywood ending. My preferred ending happened about seven minutes earlier, serving as a cheeky punctuation mark and driving home Headland’s gluttony theme. (Remember that the play Bachelorette is part of her seven deadly sins cycle. The "greed" play, Assistance, was satisfyingly sardonic.) Still, it is rip-roaringly funny with spot on performances from the terrific ensemble cast.

A quick rundown of the plot: Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Katie (Isla Fisher), Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Bec…

The Dark Knight Rises

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What an incredible conclusion to a rich and expertly told story. It’s a little difficult to talk about the things I really loved about The Dark Knight Rises without giving away spoilers.

Suffice it to say that fans of the Batman lore and of Christopher Nolan’s series will be rewarded in the way Nolan wraps up his Batman saga. Fans of comic book movies will likely thrill over the super hero-villain dynamics and the epic fight scenes. Fans of movies with an actual story to tell will like the social conscience and sociopolitical questions brought up (though I’m not sure I’m satisfied with what Nolan and company present as good policy).

And fans of good acting will be grateful for the masterful team Nolan assembled, particularly Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Sure, Christian Bale (The Fighter) does his thing as Bruce Wayne; Marion Cotillard (Inception, Nine) seduces you with those beautiful green eyes; Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs) is serviceable and slinky at Selina Kyle/Catwoman; Tom Hard…

Media Morsels 8.10.12

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The Newsroom This week's episode is the pinnacle of storytelling. It was absolutely perfect, don't you agree? From the opening party, which sees John Gallagher, Jr., playing guitar and singing along with Jeff Daniels, to the team's human reactions to the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed (including Charlie Skinner (the great Sam Waterston) asking, "What's the virtue of being first?"), this was an incredible episode. (And, as Aaron Sorkin reminds viewers in "Inside the Episode" on HBO.com, Elliot, Don and Sloan were on a plane because they were coming back from the White House Correspondents Dinner, which took place the night before.) Check out the preview for the next episode, "The Black Out Part 1: Tragedy Porn" (I love a good Aaron Sorkin two-parter!), which pits news against ratings and brings some personal skeletons out of the closet (and also features more theatre vets!) And then check out a preview of what to expect in the we…

Bring It On

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For pure fun on Broadway, Bring It On is definitely the way to go.
The book by Jeff Whitty is snappy; the score by Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Amanda Green is clever and catchy; the direction and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler is fluid and super energetic. Bring It On is nothing incredibly sophisticated or important with regard to artistic expression or musical theatre history, but that’s okay. Sometimes, shows are meant to be entertaining, and this is. This is “fun fluff” of the best kind.
As noted in the Playbill, Bring It On: The Musical is "inspired" by the 2000 Kirsten Dunst-Gabrielle Union movie, and that’s actually accurate. The plot of the musical diverges a great deal from the movie, and as such works better at focusing the story and bringing out the heart. In the musical, Campbell (Taylor Louderman) is a senior at Truman High, the high school for the affluent and mostly white suburban crowd. She’s captain of its cheerleading squad, and has aspirations of …