The Colbert Report's Greatness Arrived With Its Very First Episode

Categories: Film and TV

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Comedy Central
Colbert in the opening of the very first Colbert Report.

The funniest and most incisive show on television is ending this week -- so let's look back at how it began. On October 17, 2005, a power-suited Stephen Colbert furrowed his eyebrows and showed off highlights of his new set. Red letters above him shouted, "The Colbert Report." The title of his show was silhouetted in back of those letters, so it appeared twice. The host's last name was also proclaimed by a plasma-screen on the front of his desk, and it flashed four times on a ticker that ran below it, and was even spelled out on either side of that desk -- "which," he pointed out, "is itself shaped like a giant C." There were nine "Colbert"s in all, not counting the initial he sat in.


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Marion Cotillard Wins -- Twice -- in Our 2014 Film Critics' Poll

Categories: Film and TV

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Sundance Selects
Marion Cotillard was voted best actress in this year's film critic's poll.

What kind of circle is time again? A year after blowing the doors off our annual critics’ poll, golden boy Matthew McConaughey won just a single vote for his turn in the loudest movie of the year, Christopher Nolan’s tears-in-space effort Interstellar, which has tied with the unprescient Transcendence as 2014’s worst film. (Transcendence dreamed that Johnny Depp’s character would take over every screen in the world — that didn’t happen.) But his margin of victory lives on, this year in the form of Marion Cotillard, who wins best actress twice: first for the Dardenne brothers’ vote-gathering drama Two Days, One Night, then besting second-place Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin) with her turn in James Gray’s glorious melodrama The Immigrant, available now on Netflix streaming because Harvey Weinstein doesn't believe Oscar voters will bite.

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Here's Why We Love Chris Rock's Top Five (PODCAST)

Categories: Film and TV

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Paramount Pictures
Chris Rock in Top Five.

We begin this week's Voice Film Club podcast with a Thomas Pynchon story, before hosts Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, move onto Paul Thomas Anderson's movie adaption of his novel, Inherent Vice. It's "in some ways a godawful mess, indulgent in a way a less-respected director would never be able to get away with. And it's two and a half hours long not because it needs to be, but because it can be," writes Stephanie Zacharek in her review. The middle movie this week is Chris Rock's Top Five, a movie that we love. Skip to 21:20 to hear that segment.


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Star Wars! The Return of Droids and the Millennium Falcon (PODCAST)

Categories: Film and TV

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Walt Disney Pictures
Hey, force, quit hitting snooze.

If we're honest with ourselves, the teaser-trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens looks better than the original Star Wars movies. That's how this week's Voice Film Club podcast opens, with your hosts Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly.


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5 Must-See Movies in Metro Phoenix This December

Categories: Film and TV

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Sony Pictures Classics

Welcome to December, a.k.a. awards season, when the movie studios release their best and brightest and Benedictiest into the wild (including, ahem, Wild) and onto cineplex screens across the country. Here's what to head to the theater for this month, from likely blockbusters and breakthroughs to indies and what might be the scariest movie of all time.

Foxcatcher

Based on a true and twisted story, Foxcatcher follows unstable millionaire wrestling enthusiast John du Pont (Steve Carrell) as he coaches a pair of Olympic-level wrestler brothers, Dave and Mark Schultz (played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), on a private wrestling team named for and housed at his Foxcatcher estate.

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Cary Elwes on Acting, As You Wish, and Andre the Giant's Awesome Hugs

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Miranda Penn Turn
Cary Elwes brings As You Wish to the Valley.
UPDATE: Cary Elwes' December 2 book signing has been postponed. Changing Hands has not announced a new date as of this writing, but tickets purchased for the December 2 event will be honored on the new date.

I was elated when I found out that actor Cary Elwes had written a book about The Princess Bride. "Great," I thought, "Now he's not just my first love, not just the star of my favorite movie of all time, now he's gotta go and be a goddamn writer, too."

You can imagine that I just about peed my pants when I was asked to interview Elwes about his upcoming Changing Hands Bookstore signing of his book, As You Wish.


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Has Jennifer Lawrence Outgrown Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games?

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo: Murray Close
Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay

Can The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 keep up with the first two films? Why was the final book split into two movies? Does Katniss even want to be part of this revolution? On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we discuss all things Hunger Games before moving onto a documentary about Sheffield, England's Pulp, and finishing with a recommendation for Happy Valley, a documentary on the fallout after the Penn State scandal. Be sure to follow our hosts on Twitter: Alan Scherstuhl (@studiesincrap), Stephanie Zacharek (@szacharek), and Amy Nicholson (@theamynicholson).


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Hunger Games Movie Marathons Hit Metro Phoenix This Week

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Murray Close
(From left to right) Commander Paylor (Patina Miller), Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and Pollux (Elden Henson) in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I, which can be seen in theaters around the Valley on November 20.
All right, all you Tributes and Panemaniacs, we know you're freaking out right now. You have a right to be. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I is coming to theaters Friday, November 21, and it is a big deal. But in all this excitement, don't forget to make plans to actually go see it.

A couple Valley theaters have your back and are offering more than just a few midnight showings on Thursday, November 20, the night before the new movie is released nationwide. If you want to commit your entire day to Katniss, Peeta, and Gale's efforts to take down the Capitol, several Harkins and AMC locations are hosting Hunger Games marathons. You can start back at the beginning to volunteer with Katniss in The Hunger Games, get caught up in the evil, yet genius construction of the Quarter Quell in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I before the rest of the country.


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It's Our All Daily Show Week with Foxcatcher and Rosewater

Categories: Film and TV

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It's a special The Daily Show edition of the Voice Film Club podcast, as we talk about Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher (starring Steve Carell) and move onto Rosewater, the movie Jon Stewart left The Daily Show for three months in 2013 to direct. Both are in theaters starting November 14.


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Interstellar Is Grand But It Doesn't Connect (PODCAST)

Categories: Film and TV

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Paramount Pictures
Interstellar goes big.

Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar is a big, ambitious picture but it didn't connect with our critics. We discuss the film at the top of this week's podcast before moving onto a few other notable films on screens large and small this week.


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