Arts & Life

Monkey See
8:20 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Tiny Plastic Men And The Teenage Blues

NPR
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We're encased in ice as we prepare to send you this show, but when we taped it, our hearts were warm from enjoying The Lego Movie, also known as "I'm sure it's good, but is it really that good?" We'll try to get to the bottom of whether it really is that good, and we'll talk about the super-terrific Chris Pratt, the wonderful Will Arnett, and whether — as has already been suggested — this might be one of the truly great Batman movies.

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Race
5:03 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Pop Music Lags In Dealing With Interracial Love Anxieties

They're most likely not listening to a song about cross-cultural love.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:00 pm

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Movie Reviews
5:33 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Into An 'Adult World,' With A Quirky Coterie To Assist

Emma Roberts is an aspiring poet, and John Cusack a played-out one, in the quirky comedy Adult World.
IFC Films

In the opening scene of Adult World, a modestly scaled comedy of the sort that littered the prime-time landscape before TV and film traded places, we meet Amy (Emma Roberts), a poet-yet-to-be with her head in a plastic bag. A poster of Sylvia Plath trembles with significance on her bedroom wall.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

A Zombie Plague, But It's Covered By Your Health Plan

Kate (Emily Hampshire) treats the victims of zombie attacks — among them her husband, Alex (Kris Holden-Reid), in a world where medication can keep the zombie-bitten human, but supplies may be running low.
levelFILM

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 10:19 am

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Two Exiles, Digging Through The Past For Clues To Their Present

Georges Devereux (Mathieu Amalric) and James Picard (Benicio Del Toro) develop a bond as doctor and patient in an intriguing film from French director Arnaud Desplechin.
Nicole Rivelli IFC Films

"It's strange living in a place where people are so sick," observes the title character in Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian. James Picard (Benicio Del Toro) is talking about the Topeka clinic to which he's traveled, from his home in Montana, for treatment. But his comment also applies to the world outside the institution's walls.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

'RoboCop' Remake, As Mechanical As Its Cyborg Hero

Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a Detroit cop brought back from the brink of death — as a cyborg supercop built for reducing crime and increasing profit.
Kerry Hayes Sony Pictures

Gotta feel a little sorry for director José Padilha, tasked with taking over an action-classic remake that had been stuck in development for years — and that fans of the much-admired original eyed with considerable skepticism.

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The Record
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In The Digital Era, Hit Songs Aren't Everything

Billboard Hot 100. Each time it's played in public, the song's writers get a royalty, which is tracked and collected by ASCAP. Bigger hits usually translate into bigger checks." href="/post/digital-era-hit-songs-arent-everything" class="noexit lightbox">
American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, whose song, "Gone, Gone, Gone," went to No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Each time it's played in public, the song's writers get a royalty, which is tracked and collected by ASCAP. Bigger hits usually translate into bigger checks.
Buda Mendes Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

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Book Reviews
3:09 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Robert Frost's Letters Reveal: He Really Cared What Readers Thought

Courtesy of Belknap Press

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:32 am

On July 4, 1913, Robert Frost wrote to his good friend John Bartlett, describing his strengths as a poet: "To be perfectly frank with you I am one of the most notable craftsmen of my time. ... I alone of English writers have consciously set myself to make music out of what I may call the sound of sense."

Frost was 39 years old when he wrote those words. Despite the hubristic and self-assured tone, he had published one book of poetry, A Boy's Will, and was relatively unknown in literary circles.

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Code Switch
2:46 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Instagram Posts, KKK Rallies And Other Racial Sensitivities

Clarence Thomas is seen in a high school year book photo, circa 1959. He said that people are more sensitive about race now than they were when he lived in segregated Georgia and was the first black student to attend his school.
AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:21 pm

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke to an audience at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Thomas, the second black member of the Supreme Court, felt that in one clear aspect of racial and cultural relations in the U.S., we've not moved forward:

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Television
1:51 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In 'Whole Gritty City,' Marching Bands Vie For Coveted Mardi Gras Spots

The Whole Gritty City follows young student marching bands as they prepare for coveted spots in the New Orleans parade." href="/post/whole-gritty-city-marching-bands-vie-coveted-mardi-gras-spots" class="noexit lightbox">
Eleven-year-old Jaron "Bear" Williams practices trumpet before marching in his first Mardi Gras season. The Whole Gritty City follows young student marching bands as they prepare for coveted spots in the New Orleans parade.
Courtesy of CBS

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:51 pm

There are times when television really does try to put its best foot forward — promoting a new fall season, for example. But it's an almost twisted rule of TV that sometimes, the better a television offering is, the more likely it is to be shown when even the network presenting it doesn't think many people will be watching.

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