Longform

'The Imitation Game' Director on Why He Didn't Cast a Gay Actor: "Sexuality Is Completely Irrelevant"

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by Nick Romano September 10, 2014 09:23 AM
The Weinstein Co.
In case you weren't aware, perhaps because of all the war and code-cracking action at play in the trailers, the lead character in the TIFF 2014 standout and early awards hopeful 'The Imitation Game' is gay. I know, it's nothing like we've seen in the...

'Big Hero 6': Can the Disney Legacy Make This Marvel Superhero Story Stand Out?

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by Matt Patches September 03, 2014 11:28 AM
There was a post-”princess movie” moment where Disney chased the “boy demographic.” It didnt' work out so well; Films like 'Atlantis' and 'Treasure Planet' came and went. Under the current Disney brand, 'Big Hero 6' isn't as aggressively alternative — not with Marvel as an in-house entity — but but the competition raises questions of what the Mouse House can bring to the table. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was basically a cartoon. Guardians of the Galaxy's five-character team had two fully CG characters. The Transformers moves are basically the pixel equivalent of a Stan Brakhage film. And now there's 'Big Hero 6,' a fully animated feature competing with live-action bombast. How will it stand out from the crowd? The Walt Disney legacy, and the idiosyncratic creative process that comes with it.

Revisiting 'Return to Oz', the Bizarre and Horrifying Sequel Your Childhood Forgot

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by Britt Hayes August 29, 2014 08:43 AM
This week marks the 75th anniversary of 'The Wizard of Oz,' the classic 1939 film that stands out in the minds of many as one of the greatest films in cinema history. But what you may have forgotten is Disney's often overlooked 1985 sequel, 'Return to Oz' -- the arguably more faithful but much darker and totally terrifying follow-up that eschewed the musical elements and the vibrant colors to embrace metaphors about childhood trauma and escapist fantasies ... you know, for kids.

'The Simpsons' Marathon and Our Ongoing Pan-and-Scan Nightmare

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by Nick Schager August 26, 2014 01:25 PM
Fox
'The Simpsons' marathon continues for its sixth straight day on FXX today amidst a growing chorus of complaints about the network’s decision to alter the format of every episode from the show’s first nineteen seasons. As detailed in Max O’Connell’s recent article on Indiewire, FXX has cropped and stretched pre-HD 'Simpsons' installments from their original 4:3 aspect ratio (the height and width of our old standard-definition TVs) to 16:9 (the dimensions of our new HD sets), apparently in order to make sure that no one suffers through old television episodes with black bars on the sides of the image.

'My So-Called Life' 20th Anniversary: Why It Still Gets You Like No One Else Does, 20 Years Later

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by Britt Hayes August 25, 2014 02:35 PM
ABC
20 years ago, 'My So-Called Life' thrashed and pouted its way onto television screens -- an antidote for the deadly case of the warm and fuzzies we were collectively suffering from all those family sitcoms and all those pleasant lessons they taught us in 30-minute spurts each week.  It was a show for everyone: for the angst-ridden and misunderstood teens, for the tweens emerging into what we now call "all of the feels," and for the parents trying to reconcile their struggles with the struggles of their own children. It was the first series to portray teenage life with such brilliant, shaded honesty, that showed us that our youth wasn't disaffected, but deeply, terribly affected. 20 years later, 'My So-Called Life' still resonates; whether you're 28 or 15, you can see yourself painfully reflected in Angela Chase's insecurities and heartaches.

Dave The Triumphant: How Retirement Has Made Letterman Great Again

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by Mike Ryan August 25, 2014 12:22 PM
CBS
Back in April, David Letterman announced that he was retiring as host of ‘The Late Show.’ Almost immediately, the Internet flooded with speculative lists on Letterman’s possible replacement -- which eventually turned out to be Stephen Colbert – and...

Reel Women: It's Time for 'Doctor Who' to Get More Diverse Companions Again

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by Britt Hayes August 22, 2014 11:04 AM
BBC
It was recently announced that Jenna-Louise Coleman is leaving 'Doctor Who' later this year, following the annual Christmas Special. At that point, she'll have played the role of Clara Oswald (in some iteration) for 25 episodes, making her one of the longest-running companions of the eponymous Doctor. This position has traditionally been filled by a younger white woman, though the Doctor has occasionally taken on a male companion, but while the modern version of the series has seen some diversity, Clara's exit provides an opportunity for showrunner Steven Moffatt to once again pair the Doctor with a companion who subverts expectations.

'Love Is Strange,' the Most Unexpectedly Important Gay Film of the Year

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by Nick Romano August 22, 2014 10:00 AM
Sony Pictures Classics
“I think it’s harder – as hard as it’s ever been – to get stories like this made,” said writer-director Ira Sachs of ‘Love Is Strange,’ his latest film starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as an elderly gay couple living in New York City. “If I...

A Night Alone at the Marvel Universe Live Stage Show

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by Mike Ryan August 14, 2014 12:56 PM
Marvel Entertainment
For weeks, a friend of mine had been asking if I’d attend Marvel Universe Live with him. For weeks I had been saying “no,” because I had little interest in attending a two-hour production geared for kids that mainly consists of people running around in costumes on the floor of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The mistake I made was mentioning this to my editor, who then insisted it would be a good idea for me to attend.