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How “Divergent” Co-opts the Revolution

The floodgates have now officially opened. The success of Divergent, a Hunger Games knock-off that grossed $54 million in its opening weekend, ensures that we’ll see many more of its kind in the coming years. In fact, we won’t have to wait that long. Later in 2014, The Maze Runner and The Giver will follow…

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This is Not the “Newsroom” We Need Right Now

I’m not breaking any news when I say that there are a lot of folks who don’t like The Newsroom. Their criticism, however, comes from many places. Some are frustrated that the show seems to be just a vehicle for Sorkin to voice his liberal politics. Others have have pointed to its inaccuracies (“Embedded reporters…

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“The Newsroom” – Season 2, Episode 2

It’s time that I accept that The Newsroom is never going to be what I want it to be, i.e. The West Wing. I want to see these characters do their job well, struggle with ethical issues, and lean on each other for support. I don’t want to see them quibble over issues in their…

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"

Fall Political Movie Preview, Part Two: Democrat

Instead of a traditional fall movie preview, I have identified four movies that will appeal to Republicans and five that will appeal to Democrats. Here are those five movies: Branded (September 7) With echoes of “The Matrix,” “Branded” paints a portrait of a dystopian society (we’ve seen a lot of those this year) in which…

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Will Ferrell: Liberal Folk Hero

There is a certain kind of comedian – the best kind, really – who is more  truth-teller than entertainer. We laugh with them because they so perfectly capture with words what the constraints of polite society keep us from saying and sometimes even thinking. A short, incomplete list of these comedians would include Will Rogers,…

Jessica Biel and Colin Farrell

“Total Recall” is Worse Than You Think

If someone in the future wanted to know what political and cultural issues Americans were grappling with in 2012, they would only need to go to the movies. Films as diverse as “The Hunger Games,” “Cabin in the Woods,” and “The Dark Knight Rises” have all been set in one specific social, cultural, and political…