Last Comic Standing recap: Final 5

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NBC/Ben Cohen
This season of Last Comic Standing has been an overwhelming success for NBC. In addition to having strong summer ratings and earning itself a subsequent ninth season, this past week it was announced that the final five comedians would hit the road this fall for the Last Comic Standing tour, which will stop at Mystic Lake Casino on November 15.

But before all that, this week began the final sprint toward crowning a brand-new Last Comic Standing champion.

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Film podcast: The over-stuffed end-of-summer edition with Guardians, Lucy, and Get on Up

Categories: Film and TV

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Universal Pictures
Chadwick Boseman works up a sweat as James Brown
On this week's , Stephanie defends her Guardians of the Galaxy review against internet trolls who tell her to go suck eggs, and we touch on Scarlett Johansson in Lucy and the excellent James Brown biopic Get on Up. There's a lot to be had in this one. Enjoy.


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Podcast: Karina Longworth on Old Hollywood

Categories: Film and TV

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On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, Amy Nicholson of the L.A. Weekly and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice interview film critic and author Karina Longworth, who's just launched a fascinating new podcast on the history of Hollywood called You Must Remember This.

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Fargo renewed for a second season, don't cha know

Categories: Film and TV

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Matthias Clamer/FX
Aw jeez, we're excited to return to Fargo next season.
FX finally announced Monday afternoon that the breakout show Fargo would return for a second season. Writer Noah Hawley's bold re-imagining of Joel and Ethan Coen's brilliant 1996 film struck a chord with both audiences and critics alike this year. The first season of Fargo garnered 18 Emmy nominations, the most for a single program in the network's history according to FX's CEO John Landgraf.

See also:
Billy Bob Thornton on Fargo, technology, and looking like a Simpsons character

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Podcast: The mystifying world of Planes with L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson

Categories: Film and TV

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On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we hear from L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson, who's intrigued by the bizarre universe of Pixar's Planes movies. We also hear about the film critic's background and how she became interested in the movies by way of subliminal advertising and photography.


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Last Comic Standing recap: The talk-show challenge

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Photo by Ben Cohen/NBC
After taking a break for the Fourth of July, Last Comic Standing got back to the business of crowning a new champion this week, as the remaining eight contestants prepared for potential superstardom during the talk-show challenge.

See also:

Last Comic Standing recap: Sketch challenge


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Podcast: Why you should see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Boyhood

Categories: Film and TV

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On this week's Voice Film Club episode, film critics Alan Scherstuhl, Amy Nicholson and Stephanie Zacharek recommend seeing Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (12:00) and Richard Linklater's Boyhood (20:00), a movie filmed over 12 years with the same cast.

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Rifftrax's Kevin Murphy on Sharknado!, Twilight, other cinematic trainwrecks

Categories: Film and TV

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Get excited, bad movie fans. The boys of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are back.

This Thursday night, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett of MST3K will be riffing on Sharknado!, arguably the worst/best movie of the past decade, live at the State Theatre for the first-ever Rifftrax event.

Unlike its predecessor, Rifftrax has no puppetry, and allows the guys to take on newer films, like Sharknado!, as opposed to sticking with obscure B-movies from yester-year.

Before they annihilate Ian Ziering and Tara Reid's epic cinematic comeback, we chatted with Minnesota's own Kevin Murphy about movie riffing, his hatred of movie theaters, and why Twilight is his dream film.


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Podcast: A Hard Day's Night gets a beautiful re-release on its 50th anniversary

Categories: Film and TV

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Janus Films
On this week's Voice Film Club episode, film critics Alan Scherstuhl, Amy Nicholson and Stephanie Zacharek race through the latest (and the most terrible) Transformers movie (2:01), Earth to Echo (13:14), and Tammy (16:30).

They then discuss Life Itself (21:54), a film about the life of the late Roger Ebert, which is in theaters and on-demand. The group then moves onto A Hard Day's Night (36:25), the Beatles movie that received a beautiful re-release on its 50th anniversary. It's just out on Bluray, too.


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Podcast: Is this the rom-com that finally kills the rom-com?

Categories: Film and TV

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JoJo Whilden
They Came Together
On this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast, Voice film critics Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, along with L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson, discuss rom-com Begin Again (2:26), starring the always-interesting Mark Ruffalo. They also talk about the biting rom-com parody They Came Together (15:47), which might finally put a stake in the heart of the genre. Also, we hear about the post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie Snowpiercer (23:47).

Amy recommends Nothing Bad Can Happen (31:56) and the ESPN 30 for 30 doc The Two Escobars (33:25). Stephanie shouts out the eponymous biopic Yves Saint Laurent (35:43) and Alan encourages us to see You Can Count On Me and Do the Right Thing, which sees its 25th anniversary this month (38:30).


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