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   ARTS/MOVIES Movie NewsDec 14, 2017
Confirmed: Disney Acquires Fox Movie and TV Properties
UPDATE: Disney has now confirmed the company's acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Here's the portion of the press release that may excite movie fans the most:  "The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love. The addition of Avatar to its family of films also promises expanded opportunities for consumers to watch and experience storytelling within these extraordinary fantasy worlds." (Original article follows.)   Long ago, the Star Wars movies were released by Fox. Then Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, and now the Mouse House is busy...
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The A.V. Club - TVDec 14, 2017
Harvey Weinstein denies or 'can't recall' Salma Hayek's allegations
In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Salma Hayek revealed the extent to which Harvey Weinstein, who''s now been accused by about 90 women of sexual harassment or assault, was also 'her monster.' Hayek collaborated with Weinstein on her 2002 film Frida, a partnership she initially considered a once-in-a-lifetime…


AV Club FilmsDec 14, 2017
Last night in TV Club
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: A | Riverdale: C- | Vikings: B | Happy!: B- | Mr. Robot: A- | Designated Survivor: C+ | She’s Gotta Have It: C


AV Club FilmsDec 14, 2017
Jezebel Morgan Spurlock Admits to Past Sexual Misconduct In Social Media Post, Says He’s ‘Part Of th
Jezebel Morgan Spurlock Admits to Past Sexual Misconduct In Social Media Post, Says He’s ‘Part Of the Problem’ | Deadspin USMNT Starlet Josh Sargent Inadvertently Offers Scathing Indictment Of MLS | The Root Washington State Bar Manager Brutally Attacked While Defending Black Bartender From Racist Customers | Splinter…


The A.V. Club - TVDec 14, 2017
It's official: Disney is buying 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion
After weeks of publicly mulling over a merger, Disney confirms it is buying some of 21st Century Fox''s assets, including of course its movie and TV studios, for $52.4 billion in stock.


It’s official: Disney is buying 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion (AV Club Films)

Time EntertainmentDec 14, 2017
Here's a Complete List of All the Upcoming Star Wars Movies
From 'The Last Jedi' to 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

Make Your Friends Hate You and Binge Watch All Seven Star Wars Episodes (AV Club Films)

Billboard Music NewsDec 14, 2017
Jeezy Debuts Smooth New Single 'Like Them' On 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert': Watch
With his forthcoming album Pressure set for release this Friday (Dec. 15), Jeezy took to the stage of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on...

AV Club FilmsDec 14, 2017
After Alabama, Late Night's Amber Ruffin has one message for white America: "You're welcome"
After black voters in Alabama voted for Democrat Doug Jones and against bigot and accused child molester Republican Roy Moore to the tune of 98 per cent, Late Night With Seth Meyers’ writer, performer, future sitcom star, and general force of charm and delight in the world Amber Ruffin took to the stage for an Alabama…


AV Club FilmsDec 14, 2017
ABC pulls The Great American Baking Show in wake of harassment claims against judge Johnny Iuzzini 
Variety reports that The Great American Baking Show—ABC’s answer to the British culinary hit—is being pulled off the air, after fielding sexual harassment claims against judge Johnny Iuzzini. The claims against the well-known pastry chef came to light late last month, just a few days before the series aired its…


The A.V. Club - MusicDec 14, 2017
Get ready to barrage people with your thoughts much more efficiently on Twitter
Ah, the tweetstorm—the last refuge of the person who has something urgent to say, whether it''s denouncing the serial abuser who''s in the highest government office or just slamming Porgs, that simply cannot be summed in 140 to 280 characters. It is by no means an efficient way of getting something off your chest, what…


The A.V. Club - MusicDec 14, 2017
From Jimmy Stewart to typing cows: Some new and old favorites for your kids' holiday viewing
Our A.V. Club Field Guide To Parenting is designed to guide you toward the best kids'' books, shows, movies, and music, just like we do with The A.V. Club for adults. Every month or so, we feature a new subject with a few essential pop culture takes parents should know, saving you from the mountains of kids'' dreck out…


AV Club FilmsDec 14, 2017
Did Riverdale just unmask its Black Hood?
Riverdale says goodbye to 2017 with a holiday-themed episode that puts the focus on family bonds, and answers the season’s biggest question—or does it?


The A.V. Club - MusicDec 14, 2017
Do you want to spend the holidays with Taylor, Taraji, or Tribute To The Troops?
Here''s what''s happening in the world of television for Thursday, December 14. All times are Eastern.


The A.V. Club - MusicDec 14, 2017
If Happy End is indeed his last film, Michael Haneke deserves a better send-off
In today''s second edition of Film Club, A.V. Club film editor A.A. Dowd and staff critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky are discussing the latest—and possibly final—film from Michael Haneke, Happy End, a family drama set in Northern France during the European refugee crisis. If this is in fact Haneke''s last film, it functions…


NYTimes ArtsDec 14, 2017
Review: ‘The Rape of Recy Taylor' Takes a Deep Dive Into Systemic Injustice
Nancy Buirski''s film is one of multiple layers and marvelous gumption.

NYTimes ArtsDec 14, 2017
Review: The Sidekick as Hero in ‘The Ballad of Lefty Brown'
Bill Pullman stars in this Montana-set western, which tips its cowboy hat to classics of the genre.

Yahoo! ArtsDec 14, 2017
Joe Biden Says He Wishes He Had 'Been Able To Do More For Anita Hill'
Joe Biden is offering another apology to Anita Hill.

AV Club FilmsDec 14, 2017
Designated Survivor goes through the motions
For its mid-season finale, Designated Survivor makes a bold choice: to spin its wheels a bit while it patiently waits for the moment when it can kill somebody off. Unsurprisingly, it’s not a great approach. It’s hard to earn any sort of catharsis when the big emotional moments — Alex’s death and Hannah’s shooting of…


NYTimes ArtsDec 14, 2017
Mr. Robot: ‘Mr. Robot' Season 3 Finale: Reveals, Reversals and Reconciliations
The season finale of 'Mr. Robot' was thick with reveals and reconciliations, and cycled through suspense, tragedy, high melodrama and horror spectacle.

In its third season finale, Mr. Robot rejects the revolution (AV Club Films)

The A.V. Club - TVDec 14, 2017
Happy! lets up on the gas a little in episode 2, 'What Smiles Are For'
After a slam-bang premiere episode, it''s not surprising that Happy!''s follow-up episode was slightly less high-octane. It still had some great action sequences, good jokes, and some incredibly creative camera work, but it wasn''t as captivating as the premiere. Luckily, the show isn''t pussyfooting around with setting…


NYTimes ArtsDec 14, 2017
Review: In ‘Soufra,' a Women-Run Food Truck Grows in Lebanon
This documentary from Thomas Morgan, about a female entrepreneur establishing a business just south of Beirut, is a stirring tale of empowerment.

AV Club FilmsDec 13, 2017
Actual space people will be getting a special screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Very few people can relate to the characters in Star Wars like the astronauts working on the International Space Station can. After all, they’re the closest thing our universe has to the space-faring adventurers of the Rebel Alliance, since they also live among the stars and believe in an invisible Force that…


Yahoo! ArtsDec 13, 2017
The Latest: Mother found guilty in 'Baby Lollipops' killing
MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a Florida woman accused of fatally beating her toddler (all times local):

NYTimes ArtsDec 13, 2017
New Trailer: ‘Annihilation,' Starring Natalie Portman
The sci-fi drama is written and directed by Alex Garland, the filmmaker behind 'Ex Machina.'

Natalie Portman pulls back a mutating curtain in the new Annihilation trailer (The A.V. Club - TV)

Yahoo! BooksDec 13, 2017
Family of 5-year-old boy shot in Texas church massacre ask public to send him Christmas cards
The family of a five-year-old boy who was injured last month in a bloody Texas church shooting is appealing to the public to help them bring a bit of holiday cheer to the boy this Christmas. Ryland Ward, who was shot five times in the First Baptist Church last month, is still in the hospital after the shooting. 'You got so many nice people that are sending a card and a dollar to Ryland,' Sandy Ward, his grandmother, told local news.

Roger Ebert Movie ReviewsDec 13, 2017
A New Frontier: Bill Pullman and Jared Moshe on 'The Ballad of Lefty Brown'

The opening scenes of 'The Ballad of Lefty Brown' will no doubt seem familiar and comfortable to any viewer with even the slightest working knowledge of the Western film genre. In them, we see legendary lawman Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) dispensing his own brand of justice to yet another outlaw. With him is Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman), his longtime friend and sidekick, and while the 65-year-old Lefty isn''t much good at most things, Eddie is nevertheless loyal to him, even going so far as to considering leaving his ranch in Lefty''s care while he goes off to Washington to serve as the newly elected Senator from the state on Montana. This is a decision that Eddie''s wife (Kathy Baker) does not approve of at all, fearing that Lefty, good-natured as he may be, is not cut out for such a responsibility and will run the entire thing into the ground. Like I said, you have seen this kind of setup before in any number of Westerns populated with larger-than-life heroic types like John Wayne and cantankerous goofballs like Walter Brennan or Gabby Hayes alongside him—but all of that ends just a few minutes into the movie when putative hero Eddie is shot dead and Lefty determines that he will assume the heroic role and bring his friend''s killer to justice, no matter how ill-equipped he may be for that duty.

Written and directed by Jared Moshe, who also helmed the 2012 Western 'Dead Man''s Burden,' 'The Ballad of Lefty Brown' is a solidly entertaining film that starts off as a sort of intriguing commentary on the beloved genre tropes (what would happen, after all, if Gabby Hayes was forced to take center stage instead of remaining in the margins throughout?). As Lefty gradually transforms from sidekick to hero, the movie transforms itself into a straightforward example of the Western genre that hasn''t been seen in a while—exciting, funny, sincere, and beautifully filmed in the great outdoors of Montana on 35mm. Moshe's film is also filled with nifty performances from a supporting cast that also includes Jim Caviezel and Tommy Flanagan as former colleagues of Lefty who want to track him down before he gets into too much trouble and Diego Josef as the young man who eventually steps into the role of Lefty''s own sidekick. Best of all, however, is Bill Pullman, whose performance as Lefty is right up there alongside his work in the cult favorite 'Zero Effect' as one of the very best of his entire career. He may be a goof but you can instantly understand what a man like Eddie would see in him and when Lefty is forced by circumstances to finally grow up and assert himself, his transformation is both endearing and absolutely convincing. 

While visiting Chicago in order to present 'The Ballad of Lefty Brown,' at the Chicago International Film Festival, Pullman and Moshe sat down with me to talk about the film, playing with genre conventions and the elements that go into making a great Western sidekick.

I have noticed that for the most part, Western movies tend to fall under one of two particular approaches. For a long time, you had the classic take in which the stories were told in a straightforward and direct manner—something like 'Stagecoach,' for example. In recent years, on the other hand, you have had Westerns that are oftentimes films that are about Westerns

Time EntertainmentDec 13, 2017
Netflix Fires Exec Who Told One of Danny Masterson's Alleged Victims ‘We Don't Believe' the Rape Claims
A Netflix spokesperson said Andy Yeatman, a kids'' programming executive, was 'no longer employed' at the company

The A.V. Club - MusicDec 13, 2017
The mediocre Ferdinand mostly fails to bring a beloved kid-lit bestseller to life
The children''s book The Story Of Ferdinand was a commercial success upon publication in 1936, outselling Gone With The Wind to become the No. 1 bestseller in the United States. Written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, the book follows a peaceful bull who would rather smell flowers than battle matadors,…


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