Leonard Nimoy Represented the Best of Humanity

Categories: Film and TV

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Nimoy in a publicity still for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock .
Leonard Nimoy has died at the age of 83. Both on camera and off, he exemplified the best of what Star Trek, and thus humanity, could represent.


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Archer Sags into Middle Age in Its Sixth, 'Unrebooted' Season

Categories: Film and TV

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Image still from the show
TV shows aren't too different from people in at least one respect: The longer they've been around, the less interest they tend to garner. But the sixth season of FX's beloved spy spoof Archer is like few others. It's an "unrebooting" of the previous year, in which creator Adam Reed, reportedly bored with his own show, jettisoned virtually everything about it at the height of its popularity. Archer Vice, as the fifth season was called, found the animated cast peddling cocaine and country music after the disbanding of ISIS, the show's espionage agency, by the federal government in the season premiere. Vice was a bold gamble, but unfortunately a flameout of a season; the show's stakes changed too fast and too furiously for viewers to keep up or care.


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Podcast: Winners, Awkward Moments, and Losers from the 2015 Oscars

Categories: Film and TV

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Screengrab from coverage
There was an awkward moment between Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson and her mom, Melanie Griffith, on the red carpet before the Oscars on Sunday. But the world got to see Johnson's impressive talent for pretending uncomfortable situations don't seem to bother her (see also: Fifty Shades of Grey). It was an eventful Oscars, and that was only the start. Your Voice Film Club hosts Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek break down the 2015 Oscars winners and losers, while Amy and Stephanie unveil their all-time favorite Oscar dresses. Plus, Amy tells us about how Channing Tatum is going to blow our minds in the new Coen Brothers movie, Hail, Caesar! As always, send mail to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub.


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Kevin Smith Wants to Bring Mallrats Back to Eden Prairie

Categories: Film and TV

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Screenshot from trailer
What!
It's hard to believe that Mallrats is turning 20 this year... but time flies like Silent Bob dressed as Batman soaring through the Eden Prairie mall. The cult classic's writer-director Kevin Smith recently hinted on Twitter that the Twin Cities hasn't seen the last of Mallrats.

See also:
Michael Rooker on Merle Dixon,
Guardians of the Galaxy, and recreating his Mallrats look

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Film Podcast: Kevin Costner Eases White America Into the Present with McFarland, USA

Categories: Film and TV

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Ron Phillips/© Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Disney's McFarland, USA
Kevin Costner eases white America into the now with McFarland, USA, we hear about the Berlin Film Festival's highs (Queen of Earth) and lows (Knight of Cups), and dip into the lukewarm waters of a second Hot Tub Time Machine movie. Also, there's much praise for teen comedy The DUFF and Wild Tales, a movie filled with stories of humans acting badly. We also hear about the plight of Fluffy, the cat owned by film director Alex Ross Perry. Your hosts (Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek) are joined by film critic Jordan Hoffman for this week's feature-length pod. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims, or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at villagevoice.com/movies.


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Oscar-Nominated Timbuktu Offers a Tale of Defiance, Screens at the Walker

Categories: Film and TV
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Photo: courtesy of Cohen Media Group
Abderrahmane Sissako, Timbuktu, 2014 
If you're madly trying to catch up on all the Oscar nominees before Sunday, you have a chance to see one of the foreign-language contenders this weekend at the Walker Art Center. Timbuktu, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako with a screenplay by Sissako and Kessen Tall, is a devastating look at a small community in Timbuktu, Mali, who are taken over by jihad extremists. Inspired by real events, the film offers a stunning portrait of not only the villagers who see their way of life shattered by the new regime, but of the jihad themselves. 


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Five Reasons Why Fox's Empire Has Become a Breakout Hit

Categories: Film and TV

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Promo still
Empire most certainly wasn't built in a day, but its reputation as a breakout hit has been made in virtually no time at all. Since the series debuted six weeks ago, every episode has drawn more viewers than the one before it. Buoyed by positive reviews and especially word of mouth, its ratings trajectory is quite simply bonkers, making the Fox midseason replacement a genuine cultural phenomenon.


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Don't Watch That, Watch This: February 2015

Categories: Film and TV

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Le Pont du Nord, now on Blu-ray
In the olden days, what month it was never mattered to movies. But today the late winter months are well-known as a weedy boneyard of mouth-breathing Hollywood castoffs, and we explore it at the cost of our patience, time, shekels, and optimism. For the love of everything holy, stay home — warm, high, popcorned, in pajamas, in chosen company, and with an infinity of choices at your disposal. If you don't, Jupiter Ascending 2 will be your fault.


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Cary Elwes on Surviving the Fire Swamp and Other Princess Bride Shenanigans

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Miranda Penn Turin
Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles... The Princess Bride has it all. Actor Cary Elwes, better known to diehard Princess Bride fans as farmboy Westley-cum-Dread Pirate Roberts, has harnessed the magic of the movie in his new book, As You Wish.

Even though The Princess Bride has won over legions of fans since its initial release in 1987, Elwes wasn't quite sure what the reception to his behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film would be like. Turns out he had nothing to be worried about. Since its release in October, As You Wish has spent three months on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

This weekend, Elwes will continue his book tour, which will bring hundreds of Princess Bride fans to the Mall of America where there will be both a signing and a screening of the movie.

See also:
Cary Elwes Says As You Wish to Fans With a Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Princess Bride


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Interview With (Totally Lame) Vampires

Categories: Film and TV

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Film still
Ten years ago, Wellington, New Zealand, was less welcoming of vampires. When Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, two unknown comedians, walked the streets in velvet frocks and ruffles for a 2005 sketch, dudes would drive by and scream homophobic slurs. Says Clement, "We were constantly abused."

Over the next decade, things changed. In 2006, Clement landed an Outback Steakhouse commercial. In 2007, he and college classmate Bret McKenzie launched the cult hit Flight of the Conchords and played the lead in Waititi's first feature, the cross-continental indie darling Eagle vs Shark. Their gang put a generation of New Zealand comics on the map. By the time Clement and Waititi had earned the clout to go back and expand their vampire short into a feature, What We Do in the Shadows, even Wellington had evolved. Clement and Waititi slithered into their bloodsucker threads and steeled themselves for more showdowns with brutes in too-big suits and running shoes. But today, Wellington out-hipsters Brooklyn.


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