The Week: Most Recent Entertainment Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 17 Dec 2014 06:08:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Entertainment Posts from THE WEEKWed, 17 Dec 2014 06:08:00 -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 -0500TV needs to stop treating black characters as expendable<img src="" /></P><p>Anyone turning on a television over the past few weeks has seen no shortage of news bulletins about unarmed black men, women, and children being shot dead by police. When the news ends, however, the virtual killings begin.</p><p>TV dramas have become absolutely riddled with black bodies. If you want to hazard a guess about which characters might get killed off on your average show, your safest bet is to start with the color of their skin.</p><p>The trend continued this week on ABC's <em>Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. </em>Last week, the show seemed prime to kill off Mack (Henry Simmons): He was lowered into a hidden alien...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/monika-bartyzel" ><span class="byline">Monika Bartyzel</span></a>Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:44:00 -0500Why Jon Stewart doesn't see The Daily Show as fake news<img src="" /></P><p> Jon Stewart's <em>Daily Show</em> empire is at something of a crossroads.</p><p><em>The Colbert Report</em>, for which he serves as executive producer, is dissolving next week and will be reincarnated in January as <em>The Nightly Show</em>, starring Larry Wilmore and a "diverse panel of voices, providing a perspective largely missing in the late night television landscape." Stewart's <em>Daily Show</em> contract is up in fall 2015 and he's openly toying with leaving the show to do something else.</p><p>It's not clear what he might do next, but while heavily promoting his new film, <em>Rosewater</em>, Stewart answered a lot of questions about his...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:14:00 -0500Ignore the naysayers: The future of sitcoms has never been brighter<img src="" /></P><p>In a recent article, <em>Vulture</em>'s Joe Adalian describes what he has proclaimed the "Great Sitcom Recession." With the exception of the occasional <em>Big Bang </em><em>Theory&ndash;</em>sized hit, networks are struggling to maintain successful comedy lineups, and sitcoms are being canceled left and right, including freshmen entries like <em>Manhattan Love Story</em>, <em>A to Z</em>, and <em>Selfie</em>. But those examples disguise a greater truth: there's never been a better time to be a sitcom fan.</p><p>Adalian offers four ideas for how networks can improve their sitcom schedules. And while he raises good points, he ignores the breadth of high...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/meghan-demaria" ><span class="byline">Meghan DeMaria</span></a>Mon, 08 Dec 2014 06:10:00 -0500Laura Kipnis' 6 favorite books about wounded masculinity<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong> Self-Consciousness</strong> by John Updike (Random House, $16). Would Updike have been such a fabulous writer if he weren't afflicted with terrible psoriasis? And a stutter? According to Updike, they should be credited with whatever courage and originality he possessed. His shamelessness on the page distracted him from his real-life shame.</p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Experience</strong> by Martin Amis (Vintage, $18). In <em>Experience</em>, Amis transforms his horrendous dental problems into the sort of life-and-death epic we once got from men who'd gone to war: He's obsessional and (sorry!) biting. He provides a sharp portrait of his irascible father...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 07 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500The unlikely post-Hollywood careers of 16 retired child actors<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><strong>Peter Ostrum, Veterinarian</strong></p><p> </p><center><div ><div ><iframe width="594" height="489" src=";similar=off&amp;sig=-Tp81DUWpOv5lupvUm0dEoLc6iuYEIu_QzqAGDOIU-k=" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe></div><p > </p><div >#452441088 /</div></div></center><p><br />It didn't take long for Charlie Bucket to lose his taste for acting (and, presumably, blueberry gum) after <em>Willy Wonka &amp; The Chocolate Factory</em> was released in 1971. He's now a veterinarian specializing in horses and cattle.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michael Schoeffling, Carpenter</strong></p><p ><br /><br />(<em> Candles</em>)</p><p><br />Molly Ringwald's human birthday present in <em>Sixteen Candles</em> has withdrawn from the public eye to work as a carpenter in Pennsylvania, producing what are no doubt that the hunkiest hand-carved chair legs of all time.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Kirk Cameron, Evangelist...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By Molly FitzpatrickSun, 07 Dec 2014 11:00:00 -0500