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Movie Interviews
12:09 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Tyler Perry Transforms: From Madea To Family Man

Tyler Perry stars in the action thriller Alex Cross, which is now out on DVD.
Sidney Baldwin 2012 Summit Entertainment LLC

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 15, 2012.

Whenever Tyler Perry is in front of the camera, he's usually behind it as well. A screenwriter, director, producer and star, Perry grew up poor in New Orleans, but he has become a movie phenomenon — he was described in the New Yorker as the most financially successful black man the American film industry has ever known.

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All Songs Considered
12:08 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

The Real Instrument Behind The Sound In 'Good Vibrations'

Cover art for the "Good Vibrations" single, released in 1966.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:29 pm

  • Hear how 'Good Vibrations' was created

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Movie Reviews
12:08 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

A '70s 'Playroom,' Without Much Room For Fun

Donna (Molly Parker) is the drunk, distracted matriarch to Maggie (Olivia Harris) and her nervous siblings in The Playroom.
Freestyle Releasing

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:04 pm

There's a sequence early in the laughable drama The Playroom that epitomizes everything wrong with it: With her parents out of the house, 16-year-old Maggie Cantwell (Olivia Harris), the eldest of four latchkey kids, sneaks into the garage with her boyfriend on a determined quest to lose her virginity. While the two fumble around clumsily on the floor, Maggie's youngest brother, Sam (Ian Veteto), sits outside the garage door, trying to sew a merit badge onto his shirt but struggling to thread the needle.

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Movie Reviews
12:07 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

A Sorcerer, A White Snake, And Lots Of CGI Magic

The demon snake sisters (Charlene Choi and Eva Huang) disguise themselves as beautiful women in The Sorcerer and the White Snake.
Magnet Releasing

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:14 pm

In the opening sequence of The Sorcerer and the White Snake, two monks step through a giant gate and find themselves in a new world — one made entirely of computer-generated images. Only Fahai (Jet Li) and his disciple Neng Ren (Zhang Wen) are human.

"Don't believe everything you see," the older man warns.

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Movie Reviews
12:07 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

'Identity Thief': Nearly Two Hours, Stolen

An overextended Sandy (Jason Bateman) must prevent the raunchy Diana (Melissa McCarthy) from continuing to use his identity as a financial crutch in Identity Thief.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:09 pm

The new road-trip comedy Identity Thief — about a guy who confronts a woman who's wrecking his credit rating — is such a catalog of missed opportunities, it probably makes sense just to list them.

The setup: Sandy Patterson, who works in a Denver financial firm (and is not supposed to be mentally challenged), blithely hands over his Social Security number to a stranger on the phone who says his accounts have been compromised, at which point his accounts get compromised. No tricks, no subterfuge, no laughs — he's just stupid.

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Movie Reviews
12:06 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

'Lore': After Hitler, An Awakening For The Reich's Children

A band of virtually orphaned children (Nele Trebs, Mika Seidel, Andre Frid and Saskia Rosendahl) trek through southern Germany seeking shelter — and answers — at the end of World War II.
Music Box Films

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:04 pm

It took years for our fictions to consider the Holocaust narrative. And for an even longer time, a stunned silence hovered over the fate of "Hitler's children" — ordinary Germans during and after World War II. That embargo, too, is lifting, with a significant trickle of novels, movies and television dramas that imagine what it felt like to be the inheritors of the worst that humans can do to other humans.

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Movie Reviews
12:04 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Sheen's 'Swan' Is One Ugly Duckling

Charles (Charlie Sheen) is a none-too-likeable ladies's man in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.
A24 Films

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:40 pm

There's no separating Charlie Sheen from Charles Swan, the titular representation of the male id at its most self-obsessed in Roman Coppola's uneven A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. But for better and decidedly worse, that's the point.

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Movie Reviews
12:03 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Warning: 'Side Effects' May Include Eye-Rolling

In Steven Soderbergh's medical thriller Side Effects, Emily (Rooney Mara) goes through an emotional crisis — and then a psychopharmacological one — after her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from prison.
Eric Liebowitz Open Road Films

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:04 pm

It's the drug's fault, man. That's the defense offered by the perpetrator brought to trial in Side Effects, a stylish, vaguely Hitchcockian dud. But what excuse does this fatally silly movie have?

The film, reportedly the final big-screen effort for prolific director Steven Soderbergh, begins in a New York apartment where something bad has happened. Blood on the floor, smeared and tracked by footprints, suggests murder, suicide or extreme clumsiness.

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A Blog Supreme
12:03 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Why J Dilla May Be Jazz's Latest Great Innovator

J Dilla in the studio of fellow producer Madlib.
Roger Erickson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:12 pm

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Planet Money
12:02 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Follow-Up To Our Show, 'An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car'

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:51 pm

We recently received an email from a listener about our show, An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car.

In that show, Cathy Tinsley of Georgetown University told a story about negotiating to buy pumpkins in a market in Africa.

The listener wrote:

Subject: Credibility issue w/ French pumpkin story

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