Arts & Life

Monkey See
5:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

The Gold Standard: In NPR's survey, most readers chose Sean Connery (above, in Goldfinger), as the best James Bond. Daniel Craig placed second in our survey.
The Kobal Collection

It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

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The Salt
3:16 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Shake It Up, Baby: Are Martinis Made The Bond Way Better?

One martini; shaken, not stirred.
Karen Castillo Farfan NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 8:12 am

In the movie Goldfinger, a minion of bad guy Auric Goldfinger asks 007: "Can I do something for you, Mr. Bond?"

"Just a drink," Sean Connery's Bond replies, deadpan. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," he intones.

From Connery to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, this preference is repeated again and again in 007 flicks. (Check out this video montage for the full Bond effect.)

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Movie Reviews
5:42 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

No Contest: Everything Is Better With 'Butter'

Iowans Laura (Jennifer Garner, front right) and Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell) fight to remain the first couple of state-fair butter sculpting.
Radius-TWC

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:20 pm

Unless you've attended a Midwestern state fair — or perhaps a Renaissance-era banquet — you might be unfamiliar with the ephemeral but much beloved art of butter sculpture.

Yes, the creamy dairy spread, when chilled to between 32 and 60 degrees, achieves a consistency ripe for carving, and artisans working with hundreds of pounds of the stuff can fashion almost anything: cows, the Liberty Bell, cows being milked, Mount Rushmore, cows jumping over moons, Yoda, Newt Gingrich on a horse.

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Asia
5:33 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Pakistan Heartthrob Trades Pop For Political Protest

Pakistani pop singer Shehzad Roy (right) sings for teenage prisoners at a prison in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2008. Known originally for fluffy pop songs, Roy's music has taken a harder, more political edge, protesting injustice in Pakistan.
Shakeel Adil AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:35 pm

Shehzad Roy, one of Pakistan's most popular signers, rocketed to fame in the 1990s singing sweet songs about love. He was a favorite among Pakistani elites who like to dance to secular tunes but don't otherwise rock the boat.

So those fans might be slightly shocked by the Roy of today, who has traded candy-coated pop for fiercely political songs.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'Sister': Children Living On The Fringe Of Society

Lea Seydoux plays the titular role of a young woman largely living off the generosity of her younger, petty-thieving brother.
Adopt Films

The Swiss canton of Vallais isn't exactly South Central, but it does have a crime problem: His name is Simon, and he seems to have found the perfect racket. Sister's 12-year-old protagonist (Kacey Mottet Klein) steals skis, gear and clothing at an upscale mountain resort that's just a short tram ride above his bleak flatland apartment.

Not only is the ski lodge convenient, but it's frequented by people who are too rich to sweat the loss of their stuff. ("They'll just buy a new one," Simon explains to one of the townies who buy his purloined goods.)

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'Oranges' Appeal: Not Your Average Suburban Holiday

The Ostroffs (Allison Janney and Oliver Platt) and their good friends, the Walling family (Hugh Laurie and Alia Shawkat), are shaken when the Ostroffs' daughter comes home for the holidays.
Myles Aronowitz ATO Pictures

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:22 pm

Dang if Home for the Holidays season hasn't rolled around again — that jolly time of year when screenwriters dust off childhood memories of mildly distressed families and distress them further for our sentimental education. Yet if it seems a little early-autumn yet for that sort of thing, please welcome a surprisingly superior specimen of the genre, courtesy of the best indie ensemble money can buy.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'Frankenweenie': Burton Revives A Morbid Favorite

Surrounded by equipment in his attic lab, Victor (Charlie Tahan) attempts to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life.
Walt Disney Pictures

Every filmmaker has the right, of course, to remake his own film. And what filmmaker wouldn't relish the chance to redo something he felt he didn't get quite right the first time around, either for lack of funds or for lack of support from a studio?

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'The Paperboy': A Crime Drama Lacking Conviction

Miami reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) investigates the murder conviction of Hillary Van Ward (John Cusack), who may have been wrongly charged.
Anne Marie Fox Millennium Entertainment

The words "florid" and "inert" are not quite antonyms, but it would nonetheless seem impossible for those two adjectives to apply to the same thing. And yet here comes The Paperboy, a swamp noir so spectacularly incompetent that even the ripest pulp attractions are left to rot in the sun, flies buzzing lazily around them.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

'2' Bad: Plot, Style Taken Straight From The Original

After Albanian criminals kidnap his daughter and estranged wife, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) must race across Instabul to save them.
Magali Bragard Twentieth Century Fox

Even though he has the face and build of a leonine Celtic warrior, there's also something gentle and mouselike about Liam Neeson. That's what makes him such an unlikely and invigorating action hero, and it's part of what made the 2008 thriller Taken so disreputably pleasurable: Somehow, watching this sad, sweet galoot zap Albanian bad apples with a jillion volts of electricity just felt so right.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

When It Comes To Drugs, A 'House' Deeply Divided

Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In takes a measured, multiperspective look at U.S. drug policies, which approach drug use as a criminal matter rather than a medical one.
Samuel Cullman Charlotte Street Films

Drug abuse is primarily a medical problem, not a crime against
society. American anti-drug policy is a means of social control that's
rooted in racial and ethnic prejudice. The country's incarceration
industry has become a self-sustaining force, predicated on economics
rather than justice.

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