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arts

Sunday, February 1, 2015

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IFC Films

'The Babadook' brings scary back to the worn out horror genre

BY ANDREW MCCLURE

Rookie director Jennifer Kent splashes big and dark in her debut, “The Babadook,” which is not only among the best pictures of 2014, but one that’ll surely secure her seat at the not-big table of aughtie indie filmmakers to watch.

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Natalie Gadbois: For God's sake, watch 'The Fall'

Netflix

BY NATALIE GADBOIS

Mic dropped. Game changed. Feminist icon born.

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'Grantchester' is comfortable, humorous Sunday night viewing

PBS

BY SOPHIA KAUFMAN

It follows the formulas of crime procedurals and period dramas, but it adds bits of tongue-in-cheek humor that keep the show relevant

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'Princess Kaguya' a feat in animation, yet storytelling falters

Toho

BY JACOB RICH

There is no doubt that “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” will be remembered as an important moment in the history of animation. It’s just a shame that its animation didn’t have a more daring or interesting purpose.

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'Selma,' history and the 'great man' theory

Paramount Pictures

BY ZAK WITUS

We should be weary of the great man theory, along with texts that perpetuate it, because they have high potential for deterring activism.

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Aziz Ansari will text your boy-toy

NBC

BY KAREN HUA

Ansari seamlessly melded a casual, conversational effect with his formal content. There was structure in his set, but he was also such a brilliant improviser that his material never felt forced, or stale even after repetition to other tour cities already.

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'The Americans' is one of the best shows on TV

FX

BY ALEX INTNER

The leap that “The Americans” took in its second season was nothing short of extraordinary.

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Folk the Police mixes hip hop with folk

BY CHRISTIAN KENNEDY

Folk tributes to hip-hop certainly had me intrigued, and even a tad anxious. Could this keep me entertained for four whole hours? The answer: YES.

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Hilariously trashy yet surprisingly thrilling 'Boy Next Door'

Universal Pictures

BY CHLOE GILKE

“The Boy Next Door” is aware of exactly what kind of movie it is. It takes its trashiness in stride, embracing all the elements that should make it objectively bad and spinning crap into pure entertainment.

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'Force Majeure' a tour de force

Magnolia Pictures

BY ANDREW MCCLURE

Screeching tires, a baby wailing, an avalanche.

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Enoteca Corsi

Giancarlo Buonomo: How I learned to stop worrying and love Rome

BY GIANCARLO BUONOMO

I grew up in a family that was consciously, and conspicuously, more Italian than Italian-American. We said “parmigiano,” not “parmesan,” and only ate spaghetti with meatballs on Christmas.

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'tick, tick…BOOM!' promises personal storytelling from Ann Arbor Civic Theatre

BY REBECCA GODWIN

Despite being limited in set and costume choices, Francisco found a way to make the show more character-focused as well as uniquely her own.

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Universal Music Australia

New Pond album a fun, psychedelic ride

BY MELINA GLUSAC

At points, the album is downright fun — Pond reminds us that this is a key ingredient in the often-too-chill genre of psychedelic rock.

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Walt Disney Studios

'Strange Magic' exemplifies the negatives of computer animation

BY NOAH COHEN

For examples of computerized animation done right, see: “How To Train Your Dragon 2” and “Big Hero 6.” Avoid “Strange Magic.”

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Paige Pfleger: Detroit's immense, underpublicized lit-scene

BY PAIGE PFLEGER

Much like Detroit’s art and music scenes, the city’s literary culture is immense. Detroit’s literary history for lit-buffs is as rich as the legacy of Motown for the rest of the country.

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Paramount Pictures

Oscars nominations: A lack of color

BY REBECCA LERNER

The refusal of the Academy Awards to recognize the breath-taking work of American Americans in film shows a great divide between those who will listen to their stories and those who will not.

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Natalie Prass's debut is timeless country

BY CARLY SNIDER

Her debut album, Natalie Prass, is short but sweet, pulling from some of the best aspects of old-school country music – the slight twang of vocals and a no-nonsense lyrical style.

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Bechdel delivers insightful, witty talk at Penny Stamps

BY CAROLINE FILIPS

She came. She spoke. We laughed. As soon as cartoonist and writer Alison Bechdel appeared on stage and graced the nearly-full crowd with her presence, she too laughed … at herself.

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Comedy Central

Intelligent 'The Nightly Show' has promise to grow

BY ADAM THEISEN

Jon Stewart never set out to make a point. When he took over “The Daily Show” from Craig Kilborn in 1999, he shifted the program’s focus toward more explicitly political satire, and Stewart has undoubtedly made an impact through the years on America’s current political climate.

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Netflix

'The Fall' season two enthralls with slow burn suspense

BY KIM BATCHELOR

We are quickly reminded of the eerie feeling that no one is ever safe.

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