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The Two-Way
6:48 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

U.S. Filmmaker Held In Venezuela

This undated family photo released Thursday shows Timothy Tracy inside of a vehicle in Venezuela. The 35-year-old filmmaker from California was arrested Wednesday by Venezuelan authorities.
AP

Venezuela has detained an American filmmaker, accusing him of "creating violence" at the behest of the U.S. government.

Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said Timothy Hallet Tracy was paying right-wing youth to hold violent protests in the aftermath of the elections narrowly won by Nicolas Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez's chosen successor. Torres said Tracy worked for a U.S. intelligence agency. His comments were reported by the Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias.

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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Texas Town Honors Dead From Fertilizer Plant Blast

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend a memorial service at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on Thursday, for those killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

West, Texas, said goodbye to 14 people, including 10 firefighters and first responders, who were killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant that leveled part of the town.

President Obama attended a memorial service on Thursday to console the grieving families. He said the "tragedy has simply revealed who you've always been."

He told the audience of about 10,000 gathered at Baylor University's Ferrell Center in Waco that the country would help the community rebuild.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Between Two Worlds, A 'Reluctant Fundamentalist'

A probing conversation between Changez (Riz Ahmed), a young Pakistani activist, and Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American agent, forms the core of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
IFC Films

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 11:08 am

Coming as it does amid intense public debate about the alienation of immigrants in America, the release of Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist is both timely and slightly eerie.

The movie, based on a well-received novel by Mohsin Hamid, charts the political and spiritual journey of Changez, a driven young Pakistani who arrives in New York determined to succeed, American-style.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Arthur Newman': A Bored Man's Bland Ambition

Mike (Emily Blunt) and Wallace (Colin Firth) try on new clothes β€” and new identities β€” in the unconvincing comedy Arthur Newman.
Cinedigm Entertainment Group

Being a movie actor is glamorous servitude. On the silver screen, the actor's presence is necessarily bigger than life β€” yet it's often yoked to parts that are much smaller.

The dreary Arthur Newman inspires such musings not just because it's about role-playing, but also because its two principals are so clearly acting β€” if for no other reason than they're famous Brits playing ordinary Yanks. This is a movie that wants viewers to believe that Colin Firth, best known to filmgoers as King George VI, is a nobody from nowheresville.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Big Wedding': But The Reception Was A Riot

Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried) take a break from the chaos swirling around their Big Wedding to appreciate the luck that brought so many big-name celebrities out for their big day.
Barry Wetcher Lionsgate

If anything, the title of The Big Wedding feels like an understatement. The wedding that gives the film its climactic setting is outsize, to be sure, but then so is everything about this overstuffed farce.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Pain & Gain': Michael Bay's Suffering Fools

Paul (Dwayne Johnson), Daniel (Mark Wahlberg) and Adrian (Anthony Mackie) are three Miami bodybuilders with big ambitions and not much in the way of smarts.
Mark Fellman Paramount Pictures

For Michael Bay, the director of Armageddon and the Transformers movies, to comment on the excesses of American culture would be a little like β€” well, Michael Bay commenting on the excesses of American culture.

And yet that's exactly what he does with Pain & Gain, a stranger-than-fiction yarn about a South Florida crime spree that points and snickers in the direction of precisely the supersized grotesquerie that's long been Bay's stock-in-trade. He blankets the film in a tone of smug self-awareness that obscures everything but its bald hypocrisy.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Kon-Tiki:' Seaworthy, And Then Some

The titular craft in Kon-Tiki might seem an unlikely vessel to conquer the high seas β€” but the real-life Norwegian explorer and journalist Thor Heyerdahl put it to just such a test in 1947. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg dramatize his story in a handsome new movie filmed simultaneously in both English and Norwegian versions.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 10:35 am

Early in Kon-Tiki, a dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl's famous 1947 trans-Pacific raft expedition, the Norwegian ethnographer arrives at the New York Explorers Club trying to drum up support for his crazy adventure.

Though the host initially tells him he's not welcome β€” Heyerdahl (Pal Sverre Hagen) has already been soundly rejected by every publisher, magazine editor and potential financier in the city β€” the Danish explorer Peter Freuchen (Soren Pilmark) recognizes him and lets him in.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

In 'Paradise,' Pursuing Something Less Than Love

Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel) travels to a beach resort in Kenya for vacation, where she dabbles in sex tourism with a series of local men.
Strand Relesasing

The opening sequence of Paradise: Love doesn't really have anything to do with what follows, but it does establish director Ulrich Seidl's unflinching eye. At a pavilion somewhere in Austria, a group of cognitively challenged children, many apparently with Down syndrome, ride bumper cars under the supervision of Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel). There's no hint of sentimentality, no attempt at reassurance.

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NPR Story
4:30 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Illinois River Crests To All-Time High Near Peoria

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Peoria, Illinois, down the middle of Water Street, 30,000 sandbags are stacked on top of barriers. This is Peoria's new floodwall, its first ever. People started building the wall last week to hold back water from the Illinois River. This week, the river crested at an all time high.

From members station WCBU in Peoria, Tanya Koonce reports.

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Music Reviews
4:28 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal

Jonny Fritz's third solo album, after two under the alias Jonny Corndawg, is called Dad Country.
Josh Hedley Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Dad Country is the ersatz debut of Jonny Fritz, but it's actually his third album: He recorded the first two under the name Jonny Corndawg. I enjoyed his 2011 album Down on the Bikini Line, but it's so much slighter, so much sillier and more risquΓ©, that at first I didn't connect the two. From the new album's first seconds, Jonny Fritz sounds more intense and pained.

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