Pop Culture

1:23pm

Fri May 18, 2012
Movie Reviews

Coming Soon — To A Theater Nowhere Near You

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

A scene from Battleship, which opens this weekend in the U.S. Thanks to earlier releases abroad, the film has already grossed $215 million worldwide.
ILM/Universal Pictures

The movie Battleship, based on the popular board game, opens today in the U.S. In most respects, it's a typical popcorn picture — the kind of effects-laden action movie that audiences often turn into a summer blockbuster.

And while it may not be any good, it is undeniably ours — American from the water up: a Universal Studios picture about an alien invasion, crammed with special effects from Industrial Light and Magic and set largely on American warships.

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2:36pm

Tue May 15, 2012
Monkey See

Home Video Picks: 'Being John Malkovich'

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:46 pm

John Cusack and Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich.
Criterion Collection

Time now for a home viewing recommendation from our film critic Bob Mondello. This time Bob urges taking the plunge from the seven-and-a-half-th floor into the Criterion Collection's Blu-ray release of Being John Malkovich.

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3:41pm

Sun May 13, 2012
Movies

Johnny Carson: 'King Of Late Night,' A Man Unknown

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 4:52 pm

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962 - 1992 NBC) c. 1970's
NBC/Photofest

Fifty years ago, Johnny Carson became the host of The Tonight Show. During his 30 years as host, he reached a nightly audience of 15 million people and became one of the most trusted and famous men in America.

But Carson was intensely private off-screen, and very few people — including members of his own family--really knew him. Documentary filmmaker Peter Jones wanted to try and change that. Once a year, for 15 years, Jones sent Carson a letter, begging him for permission to make a documentary on his life.

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12:57am

Thu May 10, 2012
Movies

'Dark Shadows': The Birth Of The Modern TV Vampire

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 9:20 am

In the influential Dark Shadows, a 1960s ABC soap opera with a gothic and supernatural bent, Jonathan Frid played Barnabas Collins, a vampire who returned to claim his coastal Maine manor.
Dan Curtis Productions The Kobal Collection

When it comes to monsters on television, vampires have the market more or less cornered. Think about it: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries ...

Vampires' enduring popularity on TV may not be eternal, but they have been appearing on the small screen for decades. Mark Dawidziak, who's written books about vampires and teaches a class at Kent State University on their appearances in film and TV, says that part of the way vampires have remained a force in popular culture is through their evolution on TV.

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4:08pm

Tue May 8, 2012
The Record

'Mad Men"s Beatles Coup Misses The Mark

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:50 pm

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Don Draper (Jon Hamm) tries to relax as The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" plays on the stereo at the end of the latest episode of Mad Men.
Courtesy of AMC

Don Draper sure has a lot of power for a fictional character. At the end of this week's episode of Mad Men, Don dropped the needle on that copy of Revolver ("start with this," his wife Megan said as she pointed at Side B's final track) and the tape loop distortion of "Tomorrow Never Knows" started dripping through his hi-fi speakers. As Lennon sang, "You may see the meaning of within," the camera showed Don's wife and his co-workers, all caught in moments of uncertainty and transition. Don's own response to this hit of mind-expanding music? Disinterest.

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