Arts & Life

Monkey See
10:41 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Great Big Summer Movies Show

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This is the time of year when we take a deep breath and a look ahead to the long summer movie season. And this year, as Stephen is quick to point out, things look pretty dire. There's a lot of apocalyptic stuff going on, and zombies, and vampires, and even the Iron Man movie looks dark. (Don't even get us started on the fact that the Star Trek movie is actually subtitled "Into Darkness.")

Read more
Arts & Life
10:39 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Dance Theatre's 'Fusion' Concert Sets Funny Bones Tingling

North Carolina Dance Theatre performs Jiri Bubenicek's "L'heure bleue" as part of its "Contemporary Fusion" concert, an eclectic evening of dance.
Credit T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer

  Was it a happy accident that N.C. Dance Theatre’s “Contemporary Fusion” concert premiered Thursday, on the night of the full moon? All three pieces had a touch of lunacy, from the giddy ecstasy of Sasha Janes’ “Rhapsodic Dances” to the mad humor of Jiri Bubenicek’s “L’heure bleue” to the wild hijinks of Twyla Tharp’s “The Golden Section,” which looked like the coolest aerobics class there never was.

Read more
Monkey See
8:27 am
Fri April 26, 2013

How 'The Office' Took A Scene From The Heart And Shot It In The Foot

John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer as Jim and Pam Halpert.
Chris Haston NBC

This has been a difficult year for The Office. There are only three episodes left after "Paper Airplanes," which aired Thursday night, and where 30 Rock rallied as it headed to the finish, The Office has seemed lost, particularly by devoting substantial time to world-building Dwight's beet farm, a remnant of a failed spin-off effort.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Book News: DeLillo Wins First Library Of Congress Fiction Prize

Don DeLillo at the 2012 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards dinner in Chicago.
Timothy Hiatt Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
The Salt
2:48 am
Fri April 26, 2013

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Us To Talk About Coffee

In an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee called "Larry Eats A Pancake," Jerry Seinfeld has coffee with Larry David.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:48 pm

According to Jerry Seinfeld's publicist, the comedian was listening to Coffee Week on Morning Edition and decided he had something to add. So he called up host Steve Inskeep. Here's what he shared, edited for brevity.

On his new coffee habit

Read more
Media
7:06 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

China Seeks Soft Power Influence in U.S. Through CCTV

Before joining CCTV America, Phillip T.K. Yin was an anchor and reporter for Bloomberg Television.
CCTV America

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

At a time when so many major American news organizations are cutting back, foreign news agencies are beefing up their presence abroad and in the U.S. One of the biggest new players arrives from China and, more likely than not, can be found on a television set near you.

CCTV, or China Central Television, is owned by the Chinese government. With more than 40 channels in China and an offshoot in the U.S., the broadcaster has been highly profitable for the country's ruling Communist Party, which is liking profits a lot these days.

Read more
Theater
7:06 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

On Broadway, One Runt To Rule Them All

The Broadway musical Matilda put NPR's Bob Mondello in mind of two other big-budget tuners with plucky kids at the center of the action — and got him thinking about what these shows say about their eras.
Joan Marcus

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

Broadway's newest family-friendly musical, Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl novel about a precocious child who proves smarter than all the adults in her life, opened earlier this month to some of the best reviews of the year.

While it's a brand-new show, seeing it jogged my memory — jogged it all the way back to my very first commentary for All Things Considered exactly 29 years ago.

Read more
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.

Read more
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 — 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.

Read more
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 — 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 — Heyerdahl (Pal Sverre Hagen) has already been soundly rejected by every publisher, magazine editor and potential financier in the city — the Danish explorer Peter Freuchen (Soren Pilmark) recognizes him and lets him in.

Read more

Pages