The Week: Most Recent Entertainment Posts recent posts.en-usSun, 21 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Entertainment Posts from THE WEEKSun, 21 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500Ismail Kadare's 6 favorite books<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong> Inferno</strong> by Dante Alighieri (Signet, $6). The first book in Dante's <em>Divine Comedy</em> can be characterized, in the most universal terms, as a forewarning in every age for the collective human consciousness.</p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Don Quixote</strong> by Miguel de Cervantes (Oxford, $10). <em>Don Quixote</em> is another universal story, because it contrasts the life we live with the one we erroneously dream we are living.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Dead Souls</strong> by Nikolai Gogol (Vintage, $16). Gogol's 1842 novel incorporates the two aforementioned masterpieces. The idea originated with the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, who suggested in a letter to Gogol that he should...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 21 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -050015 harsh things critics said about The Nutcracker after its 1892 premiere<img src="" /></P><p><em>The Nutcracker</em> has become a holiday classic and one of the most popular ballets in the world. The ticket revenue generated during <em>Nutcracker</em> season can often fund a ballet company for the rest of the year. But the road from its Saint Petersburg premiere in 1892 to annual must-see was neither direct nor easy. The ballet remained rather minor and neglected until the staging of George Ballanchine's New York City Ballet version in 1954, and it wasn't really considered a Christmas tradition until the late 1960s. Tchaikovsky himself, who was commissioned to compose the music, didn't have high hopes for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/arika-okrent" ><span class="byline">Arika Okrent</span></a>Sat, 20 Dec 2014 11:00:00 -0500Your weekly streaming recommendation: The One I Love<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe></p><p>Watch a trailer for <em>The One I Love</em>:</p><p><iframe width="600" height="398" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>Stream <em>The One I Love</em> on Netflix.</p><p><strong>Listen to more of <em>The Week's</em> streaming recommendations:</strong></p><ul><li>Your weekly streaming recommendation: <em>Snowpiercer</em></li><li>Your weekly streaming recommendation: <em>The Double</em></li><li>Your weekly streaming recommendation: <em>Much Ado About Nothing</em></li></ul><p> </p><p ><em><em><strong>*You can also find The Week's mini podcasts on iTunes, SoundCloud, and TuneIn.*</strong></em></em></p><p ><em><em><strong>*Rate The Week's podcasts on iTunes.*</strong></em></em></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:05:00 -0500Girls on Film: 5 essential World War II movies directed by women<img src="" /></P><p>With her sophomore feature<em> Unbroken</em>, Angelina Jolie is the only female director releasing a film on December 25. And she is battling a number of notable male directors &mdash; including Rob Marshall, Tim Burton, and Clint Eastwood &mdash; for Christmas box office supremacy.</p><p><em>Unbroken, </em>based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand (who also wrote <em>Seabiscuit</em>), tells the story of real-life Olympian Louis Zamperini. As a soldier during World War II, he repeatedly faces death: a near-fatal plane crash, more than a month at sea on a raft, and incarceration as a prisoner of war.</p><p>There's a good reminder for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/monika-bartyzel" ><span class="byline">Monika Bartyzel</span></a>Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:56:00 -0500You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview<img src="" /></P><p>A multi-billion-dollar Hollywood studio was brought to its knees by nine disjointed sentences from an anonymous hacker.</p><p>"Warning," the threat began. "We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places <em>The Interview</em> be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to. Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you'd better leave.) Whatever...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:17:00 -0500The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels<img src="" /></P><p>By and large, Peter Jackson's <em>Hobbit</em> trilogy has been an unwelcome journey. The first movie is riddled with bizarre comic relief, including an extended dishwashing sequence and a bunch of farting cave trolls. The second entry &mdash; by far the best one &mdash; succeeds due to two genuinely thrilling set pieces: a trip down a river and a confrontation with a terrifying dragon.</p><p>The third movie, which turns out to be the worst, is so clearly overstretched that it's hard to justify its existence at all. There's about a half hour of story in <em>The Battle of the Five Armies</em>' 144 minutes; most of the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Wed, 17 Dec 2014 06:08:00 -0500Terrorists are threatening to attack movie theaters showing The Interview. You should go see it anyway.<img src="" /></P><p>The hackers behind the Sony Pictures leaks have pushed their cause to new extremes. Having spent several weeks making the lives of movie executives miserable, they're now literally threatening the lives of average moviegoers.</p><p>It's easy to imagine the executives at Sony Pictures sitting around a conference table, cursing the day they decided to greenlight <em>The Interview</em>. A hyper-violent comedy about the assassination of Kim Jong-un was never going to be the easiest sell, but the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy may well go down as the biggest headache in studio history. Several weeks ago, a group...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:39:00 -0500Diagnosing Die Hard's craziest injuries: A professional weighs in<img src="" /></P><p>If you enjoy the holidays but cringe at the do-goodiness of sappy Christmas classics like <em>It's a Wonderful Life</em>, you should immediately add <em>Die Hard</em> to your annual viewing repertoire. The 1988 action thriller opens on Christmas Eve (Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" plays in the background), as hardened New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Los Angeles to visit his kids and estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who moved across the country for a job. Except instead of a romantic reconciliation at Holly's office holiday party, McClane finds himself in the middle of a deadly terrorist...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:15:00 -0500Billy Collins' 6 favorite books<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong> New and Selected Poems</strong> by Charles Simic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30). Simic acolytes like me will find the breadth of this hefty volume irresistible. Newcomers will meet one of the clearest yet most bizarre and mysterious poets of our time. These poems leave me with feelings of stunned admiration and jealousy.</p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>The Poetics of Space</strong> by Gaston Bachelard (Beacon, $16). In this classic work of French phenomenology, Bachelard examines the symbolic and emotional meanings of such spaces as attics, drawers, closets, and nests. The book moves us easily back and forth from deep theory to everyday experience...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 14 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500Where have all the TV dogs gone?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Name a dog who's famous for appearing on television. No, not Lassie &mdash; a dog who's on TV today.</p><p>Got one? Good. You might be thinking of Isis, the Earl of Grantham's yellow Lab on <em>Downton Abbey</em>, or possibly Stella, the French bulldog spoiled by patriarch Jay on <em>Modern Family</em>. Digging deeper, on <em>Parks and Recreation</em> there's Andy and April's three-legged mutt, Champion, who can claim maybe five minutes of total screen time over six seasons. We're also told that Mike's mother on <em>Mike &amp; Molly</em> owns a Brussels Griffon named Jim, whom we'd describe in further detail if we could ever bring ourselves...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Molly FitzpatrickSun, 14 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500