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A Perfectly Good Movie Gets a Remake — Why?

Movies: ‘After the Wedding’

This movie has all of the elements of a successful soap opera except amnesia, a split personality played by the same actress, twins separated at birth or a plane crash that requires plastic surgery to explain replacing a fired actor with a new one. But, even without those tried and true daytime drama tricks, if  “Guiding Light” used this story line, it would defy belief. 

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How’d You Get Gone, Girl?

Movies: ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’

There’s a small subsection of YouTube videos that recut footage from typically grim or self-serious films into coming attraction trailers steeped in the qualities of a near opposite genre. As works of comedic bathos, they are a peek into an alternate world of American cinema. “Jaws” becomes a Rob Reiner-style romantic comedy between man and shark, while “The Shining,” through clever use of select dialog and Peter Gabriel’s enduringly upbeat “Solsbury Hill,” becomes the story of a father and son reconnecting. 

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A Lie Is a Lie, Is a Lie, But When Is a Lie OK?

'The Farewell'

In the words of one of my favorite TV antiheroes of all time — Dr. Gregory House — everybody lies. It’s inevitable, even as we all pretend we do it less than we do. But can lying come from love? Can love make lying pure?

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Gangly Kids on Bicycles Try to Change the World

Television: ‘Stranger Things’

Maybe nothing feels more quintessentially American right now than fighting Russian bad guys and mind control, and so that’s what happens in this season of “Stranger Things,” the cultish Netflix hit fueled in part by nostalgia for 1980s Americana.

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Imagine There’s No Beatles

Movies: ‘Yesterday’

How could there be a world without a single Beatles song? In the new film “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle of “Slumdog Millionaire” fame, that’s the world that failing singer-guitarist Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) finds himself in after a sudden worldwide electrical blackout coincides with him getting hit by a bus. 

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David Hockney’s Lovelorn Youth Remastered on Film

Movies: ‘A Bigger Splash’

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When The Nerds Party At The End Of High School

Movies: ‘Booksmart’

Molly’s revelation came, as so many of them do, in her high school bathroom.

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Season Two of HBO Series Features Meryl Streep

Television: ‘Big Little Lies’

How do you take a limited-run television series and live up to its critically acclaimed first year, without experiencing a “sophomore slump”?
In the case of the darkly humorous HBO “dramedy” “Big Little Lies,” the answer is deceptively simple: add acting great (and local legend) Meryl Streep to an already all-star cast.
“Lies” is back for its second season, with a vengeance.

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More Yawns Than Chills In Hipster Zombie Flick

Movies: ‘The Dead Don’t Die’

You know the scene. The full moon. The graveyard at night. The gravestone, a little crooked. Then an arm pops up through the soil! Aaagh! The dead are rising from their graves!
What the makers of zombie movies never really explain is the mechanics of becoming reanimated while interred in a box bolted shut and buried under six feet of earth. I mean, this is an arduous undertaking, and the zombie can’t be in the greatest shape. And how does the zombie know which way is up?

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‘The Souvenir’ — Postcards From Your Younger Self

Movies

Arthur Rimbaud wrote, “When you are 17 you aren’t really serious,” and Taylor Swift wrote, “Everything will be alright, if we just keep dancing like we’re 22.” But the trouble with turning 25 is that no matter how much you dance or how unserious you are, the clay begins to harden, and the things — and the people — that happen to you get stuck within the little crevices. They harden too; trapped within you and impossible to extract. This is how you become a person. And, if you’re lucky, an artist.

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