The House


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

When you reach a certain age, you realize just how much of your life you've spent wasting time. Time that you'll never get back, and time that could have been used productively, time in which you could have been learning something, creating something to admire, building something to care about, or just plain loving someone. There's a big wide world out there, full of possibilities and ways to spend time before you die. Then there's Diablo III.

The game offers precisely the experience that fans who love the series come to it for, and this latest release, the Ultimate Evil Edition, which includes the base game and the Reaper of Souls expansion, has all the features one expects. The mouse-based controls have been expertly adapted to a controller, online multiplayer includes all the desired functions, and the ability to play co-operatively on the same screen will entice a specific audience. The gameplay itself represents the peak of the isometric "Dungeon Crawl" genre, with an amazing variety of settings, masses of loot to collect and trade for, and smart RPG elements seamlessly crafted into the adventuring.

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TAGS: blizzard entertainment, diablo, diablo iii: reaper of souls ultimate evil edition, magicka


Emmys 2014

1. "2014 Emmy Winners." Breaking Bad, Modern Family Earn Top Emmy Awards in Night of Repeats and Upsets.

"In a night marked by a few upsets and a host of repeat winners, Breaking Bad grabbed its second consecutive Emmy for best drama series while Modern Family made it a record-tying fifth consecutive win for comedy series. The surprise wins at the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards came not from buzzed-about newbies such as Netflix's Orange Is the New Black or HBO's True Detective but lower-profile contenders including Sherlock: His Last Vow. HBO's The Normal Heart and FX's Fargo prevailed as expected for movie and miniseries, respectively, but the PBS drama Sherlock wound up leading the Emmy field overall with a total of seven wins—a result that no Emmy prognosticator managed to forecast. CBS' The Good Wife got its moment in the sun with Julianna Margulies taking her second win for lead drama actress. Julia Louis-Dreyfus scored her third straight win as lead comedy actress for HBO's Veep. And Allison Janney became a rare double winner in snaring supporting comedy actress for CBS' Mom—a week after landing guest actress in a drama for her turn on Showtime's Masters of Sex."

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TAGS: adrian martin, alfred hitchcock, breaking bad, david fincher, emmy awards, gone girl, jason bailey, kim's video & music, lgbtq, love is strange, Menahem Golan, modern family, mpaa, nick pinkerton, notorious, sherlock, the apple


Doctor Who

Last August's announcement of Peter Capaldi's casting as Doctor Who's new leading man was met with almost universal approval. The highly respected actor's long list of film and TV roles includes two previous appearances in the Doctor Who universe, as Caecilius alongside David Tennant's Doctor in 2008's "The Fires of Pompeii," and his powerful performance as the doomed civil servant John Frobisher at the center of the Torchwood miniseries "Children of Earth." In the whimsical early scenes of "Deep Breath," with the TARDIS being vomited onto the banks of the Thames in Victorian London by a time-displaced dinosaur that had accidentally swallowed it, Capaldi gets to have fun with the Doctor's traditional post-regeneration wackiness—and some of his funny moments resonate strongly with those in Tom Baker's first episode nearly 40 years ago.

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TAGS: catrin stewart, dan starkey, deep breath, doctor who, jenna coleman, neve mcintosh, peter capaldi, recap, steven moffat


Richard Attenborough

1. "Richard Attenborough R.I.P." The acclaimed actor-director dies at 90.

"Acclaimed actor and Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, whose film career on both sides of the camera spanned 60 years, has died. He was 90. The actor's son, Michael Attenborough told the BBC that his father died Sunday. He had been in poor health for some time. Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement calling Attenborough 'one of the greats of cinema.' 'His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning,' Cameron said. Ben Kingsley, who shot to global fame for his performance as Mahatma Gandhi, recalled Attenborough's passionate 20 year struggle to bring Gandhi's story to the big screen. The film won eight Oscars, including best picture, best director for Attenborough and best actor for Kingsley. 'He placed in me an absolute trust and in turn I placed an absolute trust in him and grew to love him,' said Kingsley. 'I along with millions of others whom he touched through his life and work will miss him dearly.'"

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TAGS: alex pappademas, david thomson, frank miller, gawker, miley cyrus, mtv video music awards, rich juzwiak, richard attenborough, Sam Smith, sin city, white bird in a blizzard, wrecking ball


The Leftovers

The return of the deer. The crack in the wall. The proverb on the calendar. "The Garveys at Their Best" is one long presentiment of disaster—the "tremors," as Patti Levin (Ann Dowd) remarks, before "the big one." Circling back to the day before the Sudden Departure, this striking interlude in the season's narrative arc satisfies our desire to know what life was like in Mapleton before October 14th, and to understand the intensity of the grief that followed. But the episode rejects our craving for an explanation as to why, littered with premonitions that add up to nothing more than the knowledge that the course of human events is beyond our command. "A man said to the universe, 'Sir, I exist,'" Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) reads, toasting his father (Scott Glenn), Mapleton's Man of the Year. "'However,' the universe replied, 'that fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.'"

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TAGS: amanda warren, Amy Brenneman, ann dowd, carrie coon, chris zylka, Christopher Eccleston, hbo, joan didion, Justin Theroux, margaret quallet, recap, scott glenn, the garveys at their best, the leftovers, the year of magical thinking


Justin Theroux

In his recap (to be posted here tomorrow at 11pm EST), Matt Brennan calls the cold opening of this Sunday's episode of HBO's The Leftovers "a disorienting change of pace." And while I'm pretty sure he's referring to both a previously unseen location and the understated, genial tone of characters we've otherwise come to know as edgy and combative, it was hard not to be distracted by the sight of Justin Theroux jogging commando on his way to retrieve a package hidden underneath a mailbox. And we're not the only ones. Co-star Liv Tyler apparently also has trouble averting her eyes during Theroux's jogging scenes.

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TAGS: hbo, Justin Theroux, liv tyler, the garveys at their best, the leftovers


The Knick

The Knick remains one hell of a panoramic contraption, and Clive Owen's starring turn as Dr. John Thackery is one of the show's major draws. "The Busy Flea" opens ice-cold with a jarringly long scene wherein Thackery is confronted by a former lover, Mrs. Alford (Jennifer Ferrin), who arrives at the hospital insistent on seeing him without an appointment. Framed in cold blue daylight, the absent-minded nurse at the front desk responds more with a stinging awkwardness than revulsion: Her eyes hidden behind sunglasses, Mrs. Alford's nose has been replaced by a prosthetic. Within minutes she's managed to talk her way into Thackery's office, broken him down in the way only a former lover knows how, called him out for shunning their past in conversation, and insisted that he's the only one qualified to operate on her ravaged, empty nasal bridge. Instead of shrugging her off, Thackery meets her condition with a hardened, dispassionate stare, signaling to her that he's not kidding around—and signaling to us how deep he's sunk into his own isolation. It's official: This is the episode that verifies he's going to be The Knick's Don Draper.

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TAGS: andre holland, clive owen, grainger hines, Jack Amiel, Jennifer Ferrin, jennifer rylance, jeremy bobb, mad men, Michael Begler, recap, steven soderbergh, the busy flea, the knick


Inherent Vice

1. "Kent Jones talks Inherent Vice, Godard, Resnais, Kristen Stewart, and more from NYFF52." Brian Brooks speaks with the festival's director and selection committee chair.

"Wild movie. You know, it's the first [Thomas] Pynchon film adaptation, and it really catches his tone. It really catches the antic nature of him: the crazy names of characters, the nutty behavior, and then also the emotional undertone. It has the flavor of Pynchon. It has this Big Lebowski element to one side of it, but the emotional undertone, the desperation, the paranoia, and the yearning in the film...[Paul Thomas Anderson's] an absolutely amazing filmmaker and it's incredible to see him responding to someone else's creation and then building his own creation out of it. He sort of did that with There Will Be Blood, but not really. It's his own movie, inspired by the novel Oil! I was born in 1960, but I certainly remember 1971 very well and I gotta say, from the minute the movie started to the minute it ended, I was back—way back—to the point where I was thinking 'Gee, my son was born in the '90s.' So it's a different kind of relationship that he would have. It's an amazing piece of work, and at this point Joaquin Phoenix and Paul have something so rare between them as an actor and director, and Sam Waterston's daughter, Katherine, is in it, and she's riveting every minute she's on screen. It's quite a film."

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TAGS: aaron paul, academy awards, bryan cranston, emmy awards, eric hynes, film society of lincoln center, inherent vice, julia louis-dreyfus, kent jones, kirk douglas, kyle buchanan, lauren bacall, mad men, matthew weiner, new york film festival, paul thomas anderson, telluride film festival, toronto international film festival


The Knick

1. "The Real Knick." Richard Brody on S. Josephine Baker's 1939 biography Fighting for Life

"The mortal intricacies of the surgical theatre and the laboratory work on which it depends are the centerpiece of Steven Soderbergh's TV series The Knick, set in a downtown Manhattan hospital in 1900. Soderbergh (who does his own camera work) films it thrillingly, but his greatest inspirations unfold the details—intellectual and physical, analytical and gory—of medical practice. Closely bound to the show's unstinting view of scientific progress is the bureaucratic wrangling—in effect, the backstage business—that makes stunning medical productions possible. Clearly, Soderbergh and the screenwriters, Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, and Steven Katz, did their historical research. But, for a real-life, Knick-like account of the grim spectrum of sickness in turn-of-the-century New York that pierces the screen of dramatic artifice and shows the sort of visionary practicality that it took to change things, there's a very worthwhile read: Fighting for Life, the 1939 autobiography by S. Josephine Baker (1873-1945), which was reissued last year by New York Review of Books Classics."

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TAGS: anaconda, david lynch, david simon, durga chew-bose, fighting for life, herzog: the collection, j. hoberman, john cassavetes, love streams, nicki minaj, noah berlatsky, on the wire, pitchfork, richard brody, s. josephine baker, the knick, the wire, twin peaks, twin peaks: fire walk with me, twin peaks: the entire mystery, werner herzog


Tori Amos

Tori Amos is best known for her brutally honest, often opaque original songs, like "Silent All These Years" and "Caught a Lite Sneeze," but longtime fans also know her to be a consummate interpreter of other musicians' work. In 2001, Amos released Strange Little Girls, a collection of songs originally written and performed by men, and she's covered the music of everyone from Joni Mitchell to Metallica during her live shows. The crimson-haired singer-songwriter's Unrepentant Geraldines Tour features a segment coined the Lizard Lounge, in which she performs covers selected by fans, and her Tori-fied renditions of Radiohead's "Creep" and Madonna's "Frozen," not to mention a mash-up of songs by feuding songstresses Sinéad O'Connor and Miley Cyrus, recently got the blogosphere buzzing. Amos, who celebrates her 51st birthday tomorrow, wraps up the North American leg of her tour in the great state of Florida this weekend, and while there's bound to be more gems given the straddled-piano-bench treatment when she hits Australia in November (our pick: Aussie pop icon Kylie Minogue's "Slow"), here are our favorites from 2014 so far.

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TAGS: björk, calvin harris, careless whisper, cloud on my tongue, creep, dolly parton, george michael, god, hyperballad, jolene, kate bush, madonna frozen, nine inch nails, pictures of you, pj harvey, radiohead, rihanna, running up that hill, something i can never have, the big picture, the cure, tori amos, trent reznor, unrepentant geraldines, unrepentant geraldines tour, we float, we found love, y cant tori read






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