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Nerve

Nerve wants to be a cautionary tale about the perils of desiring fame through social media, but it isn’t willing to go to the darker…

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Star Trek Beyond

The Star Wars-ification of Star Trek continues; better than the others, but still not good enough.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Martin Short: 'Cross My Heart'

There's a benefit at Second City for Comic Relief, the stand-up's favorite charity, and word is all over the room that Martin Short is going to sit on on the 11 p.m. improvisational set. Nobody budges when the lights go up after the early show, and there is a certain buzz in the room. These guest appearances by famous former Second Citians have become a tradition over the years, a promise that if others who once labored in wretched anonymity made it onto "Saturday Night Live," there is hope for us all.

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Mickey Rourke plays a tough barfly

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LOS ANGELES -- Down here in the bad part of town, a man named Big Ed runs a bar named Big Ed's, which pretty much sums up the way he sees things. A lot of the regulars live upstairs in low-rent rooms, and come downstairs to drink when the bar is open. When the bar is closed, they go upstairs and wait for it to open again.

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Writing the book on Clint Eastwood

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LOS ANGELES -- Someday someone is going to write a scholarly book about the films of Clint Eastwood, and go plumbing about down there in the depths of his psyche, looking for clues. There may be some interesting discoveries. It's a tricky business, analyzing the obsessions and longings of most movie stars, because they don't generate their own movies; examine their careers and what you'll really discover is what their directors thought about them. The late Cary Grant, for example, remains an enigma despite all of the words written about him; he buried his original self so deep inside that he was even able to joke about how he became the characters that he played.

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In Memory: Cary Grant 1904-1986

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Everyone knows that Cary Grant was the most charming man in the history of the movies, but charm alone did not make him a star, and indeed he rarely offered only charm in a performance. There was always something underneath, a quiet reserve, a certain coldness, a feeling that he was evaluating his leading ladies even as he romanced them - and that dual nature is what made him so important in so many different kinds of films. He brought comedy to thrillers, danger to romance, and even a certain poignancy to slapstick farce. He always gave us more than we bargained for.

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The Shat boldly goes on another trek

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LOS ANGELES -- All right, now, we already know how Catherine Hicks felt about that tender little romantic moment in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," the one where she shares a gentle kiss with Adm. James T. Kirk and after he says "Beam me up, Scotty," she leaps into his arms and travels with him to the 23rd century.

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Happiness is being on the road again

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Most people who are on the road all the time seem to be running from something. Willie Nelson seems to be looking for it. One of his best friends says Willie can't be happy for long unless he's going somewhere -- by plane, car, train, bus, foot; it doesn't matter, just as long as he's in motion. One recent rainy day, Willie flew out of Austin, Texas, and spent some time in Chicago, and later that night laid his head to rest in New York City.

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Norman Mailer: Tough guy directs

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PROVINCETOWN, Mass. -- Not far down the street there has been a bloody fist fight, two men pounding each other senseless over a woman, blood on the sidewalk, the police involved, but Norman Mailer hardly hears of it, he is so engrossed in the movie he is directing.

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Tom Cruise: Color him bankable

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NEW YORK"For years, all I had were a bed, a desk and a chair," Tom Cruise said. "When I was making a movie, they put me in hotel rooms. Between jobs, I moved back into my apartment, and my lifestyle dropped considerably."

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My problem with "Blue Velvet"

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If you want to understand David Lynch, maybe the place to start is with his paintings. He paints in a style he describes as "bad primitive art," and says that one of his paintings works if you feel the desire to sink your teeth into it.

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Sean Connery learns "The Chicago Way"

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This was the kind of night a movie star's life is made of, a lonely, chill and windy night in a vacant lot somewhere in the middle of a strange city. Sean Connery said he rather enjoyed such nights. We were down near the corner of 46th and Calumet, on Chicago's South Side, where a film crew had rented a building to shoot some scenes for a movie.

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