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The Fatal, Fixable Flaw of the Entourage Movie

I loved the show Entourage—partially because it was once so damn addictive (obligatory ‘primarily the early seasons’ addendum goes here), partially because my introduction to it dovetailed with my burgeoning fascination with Hollywood, and partially because I’m a sap sometimes. Now, the Entourage boys have once again taken the Sex and the City lead and made…

Image courtesy Paul Walker's Facebook page.

Flying Off Into the Sunset: Assessing Furious 7

No matter how much danger and damage covers the screen, death is not supposed to truly consume an action movie.  Almost always, the concept of it, of genuine sadness, of legitimate worry, is a mirage.  Action flicks toy with it for the sole purpose of exhilarating us with its resounding defeat.  And that’s what makes…

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Ride or Die: Ranking The Fast and Furious Movies

Today, as far as I’m concerned, should be a national holiday.  The reason, of course, is the release of Furious 7, the latest intrepid installment of a virtually unprecedented movie franchise.  (By the way, since we’ve now moved beyond midnight showings to evening-before showings, can we just say that movies like this open on Thursday…

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Interstellar: Don’t reach for the stars

I would love to appear reasonable about a Christopher Nolan movie.  Nolan discussions so easily sink into Scalding-Hot Takes (especially when his fanboys do things like ‘make Interstellar the #12 (!) movie of all-time on IMDB’), and having a strong opinion on him can look like either blindly following the silly sheep or curmudgeonly marginalizing someone just…

Rooney Mara, left, and Jesse Eisenberg in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network."

Five for Five: Grant’s Picks

To celebrate our fifth birthday, each Earn This contributor is selecting his five favorite things from the past five years. Here are Grant’s picks. 5) Parks and Recreation The Office was good, but Parks and Rec was better.  There’s not much new to be said about PnR, but for me, the biggest takeaway is how it’s possible…

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The Absurd Fiction and Uncomfortable Reality of Gone Girl

(Article contains spoilers.) It’s been so long since a movie in theaters has looked worthy of your afternoon and $9 that Gone Girl should be a thirst-quencher.  After a disastrous summer that left audiences covering their eyes, the mere promise of a watchable film is enough to drag you out the door to a 10:00 AM…

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House of Cards: Pretty, Vacant

As the first original series produced by Netflix, House of Cards has provoked a lot of discussion about the future of television creation, the ideal method and timing for releasing episodes, and the increasing number of movie stars jumping to the small screen.  That’s all well and good…but is the show ultimately effective? The answer,…

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Conor Oberst’s Return to Glory

Conor Oberst is 34?! No part of that makes sense, and I’m not even sure why.  Given that his first major album (as Bright Eyes) came out the same year as Michael Jordan’s last championship, you’d certainly be forgiven for assuming he’s old enough to run for president.  On the other hand, 34—with all the marriages…

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U2, Songs of Innocence, and the Loss of Mine

Nothing about U2’s new album Songs of Innocence makes any sense. Suddenly foisted on everyone this September, the album is the group’s 13th and first since 2009’s largely ignored No Line on the Horizon, which was the first since 2004’s largely terrible How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.  Despite working with a smorgasbord of producers for…

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A Plea to Our Screenwriters

What is the most pervasive, systematic flaw in mainstream movies and television? What’s the common thread?  Everyone bemoans Hollywood’s over-reliance on existing source material.  We criticize the general soullessness of many movies, the predictably sophomoric humor of many sitcoms, the disaster porn in action movies.  I think the biggest problem is none of those, and it…