Oscar Categories I’d Like to See

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If you tune in for this year’s Academy Awards telecast, listen for the phrase in ceremonies held earlier.  Simple words rich with meaning.  For starters, this is a warning.  It says, “The following awards categories were deemed too much of a ratings-kill for inclusion on prime time TV.”  Best Left-Handed Director of a Foreign-Language Stop-Motion […]

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Privacy Schmivacy

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The concept of privacy is, um, really, really different in China. Over there, it seems, everyone has a right to know just about anything they want to know about you. Even the Mandarin word for privacy—yinsi—implies a menacing selfishness among those who want secrecy. As my personal stories from living in China attest (oh, man, […]

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Johnny Depp Freaks Me Out

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My wife and I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly. And this week when the magazine showed up in our mailbox, the image smiling at me from the cover was enough to make me blurt out “AHHHHH” and jump back into the street. What was it, you ask? It was Johnny Depp, made up as the orange-haired, […]

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Movie Monday: Cop Out

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Sure, Shutter Island may have lost nearly 50% of its box-office take in a week. Sure, it might’ve made just $22.2 million—less than Avatar has probably earned through themed lunchbox sales. But it was still enough to push the Martin Scorsese thriller to the top of the movie heap again, besting newcomers Cop Out ($18.6 […]

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The Sounds of Success

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So, what’s the most enticing sound you can think of? Birds singing? The engine of a Ferrari 458 Italia? Rain spattering on your window? How about … a buzzing cell phone? According to neuromarketing research expert Martin Lindstrom, we love the soft hum of a silenced cell phone—or, at the very least, we can’t ignore […]

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Elton and Jesus

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Last week, Parade magazine published Internet-exclusive outtakes from an interview with enduring pop icon Elton John. In it, the English singer talked about, well, just about everything: love, drugs, fame, commitment, friendship, HIV and … Jesus. “I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems,” John told interviewer Dotson Rader. “On […]

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Movie Monday: Shutter Island

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As stormy and dark as Shutter Island is, it seemed to be the place to be this past weekend. The ominous, R-rated insane asylum thriller blew a kiss to star-laden Valentine’s Day as it rushed past with hurricane force—netting a whopping $40.2 million and the top of the box office. This was the biggest opening […]

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The Agony of De Camera

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I like the Olympics. I like almost everything about them. I like the snowboard cross. I like bobsledding. I like it when figure skaters hit the perfect quad and when short-track speed skaters careen into walls. I even like the biathalon, for goodness’ sake. Every night for the last week, my family has postponed its […]

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‘The Wolfman’ is One Ruff Film

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Halfway through The Wolfman, I began wondering, “would the werewolf be quite so murderous if someone just gave him some Milk Bones?” I know Milk Bones always cheer my dog up. Really, you’d think someone would’ve tried to formulate a better strategy for dealing with the film’s rampaging werewolves. Perhaps if they’d brought in Cesar […]

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