Boys State Shows Us Democracy in Action—For Better and Worse

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As you hop across your channels and streaming services, looking for something (anything?) new to watch, you might cross paths with Boys State, a documentary that just hit Apple TV+ today. It’s a fascinating, depressing and oddly inspiring look at politics in America—if it was driven by high school guys. A little background: The Boys […]

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The Virus That Ate the Summer Multiplex

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The coronavirus has ravaged our world for the last six months, forcing unprecedented closures, quarantines and adjustments to our normal ways of living. And that’s been especially true when it comes to movies. The big studios have repeatedly shifted opening dates for summer tentpole movies, each time hoping and believing the next date will really […]

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The Plugged In Show, Episode 35: The Enduring Appeal of War Movies

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War is among the most terrible of human experiences. And yet, the struggles that vast armies and individual soldiers face in combat has been the stuff of epic stories as far back as we have written records. War is horrible, yet we cannot look away from it. Perhaps that helps to explain appeal of war […]

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New Flannery O’Connor Doc Unpacks Her Life and Faith

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When she was attending the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the mid-1940s, Flannery O’Connor asked her priest whether she could write about “difficult things.” We can only assume that the priest gave O’Connor his blessing: Few writers have tackled more “difficult things” than O’Connor. The new documentary Flannery, playing at a variety of “virtual cinemas” […]

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Can’t Keep a Good Evil Empire Down

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The empire did indeed strike back: The Disney empire, that is. We’re back again with an encore Movie Monday, but only because the box-office charts are just too interesting to let go without comment. According to Deadline, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back climbed back to the top of the box-office 40 years after its […]

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Hamilton! (Oh, and some other important news, too.)

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The coronavirus continues to change the world of entertainment. We’ve chronicled those changes in this space over the last several months, watching as the box-office dollars shrank from the hundreds of millions to the just plain hundreds, and as movies moved from the multiplex to streaming services and video on demand. Well, we’re changing a […]

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Studios Play Wait-and-See While Will Ferrell Wins the Weekend

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We were this close. It looked like the movie business was just a month away from returning to some semblance of normalcy. Disney’s live-action Mulan was set to crack open the delayed summer season July 24. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was set to premiere July 31. Theaters were warming up their popcorn poppers in gleeful anticipation. […]

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And the Cinematic Shuffling Continues

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The coronavirus is still out there, of course. But for many of us, life is returning to some semblance of normalcy. Restaurants are opening again. Businesses are welcoming back workers. Even movie theaters are thinking about how they’re going to serve their returning movie-hungry patrons. But will those patrons have anything to watch? That remains […]

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Wretched Aside, Family Films Rule Theater-Free Season

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If you look at official box-office results, The Wretched is the uncontested coronavirus-season champion. The indie horror flick just passed the $1 million mark, theatrically speaking—an impressive achievement, given the lack of theaters actually open. Indeed, Box Office Mojo says it’s been the No. 1 movie in the land since the first week in May. […]

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Thirty-Four Years on Screens?!

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If you’ve ever worried whether or not you spend too much time looking at screens, consider this: A new study commissioned by Vision Direct reports that “the typical person will spend a staggering 34 years looking at phones, computers or televisions.” Staggering actually seems like the correct word to use here, especially when I consider […]

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When Are the Movies Coming Back?

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It sounds like a pretty simple question: When are the movies coming back? But in our coronavirus-altered age, even simple questions have complicated answers. And the answer is this: No one is 100% sure. That’s because the return of movies depends on multiple, overlapping factors—all of which dynamically influence each other. First, of course, individual […]

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Movie Theaters Head Back to the Future … Literally

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So what happens if your theater is ready to reopen … before there are any new movies to screen there? It’s a strange predicament for a strange time, but one that some theaters are facing by going back to the future. As in, screening yesteryear’s beloved blockbusters at a reduced ticket cost. Hollywood studios without […]

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