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Transcendence

"Transcendence" is a serious science fiction movie filled with big ideas and powerful images, but it never quite coheres, and the end is a copout.

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Heaven Is for Real

Faith-based film tries reaching past its audience, but falls back on preaching to its own choir way too much.

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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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Leno, late night & me

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(AP photo)

Jay Leno and I go way back. One of my fondest memories is of Jay chasing me around the parking lot of the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. I always tell people that I thought of the Bel-Air, which I could still afford in those days (long long ago), as more a sanitarium than a hotel. You know how in L.A. your waiter has probably written a screenplay or two? At the Bel-Air, one of the parking attendants had actually starred in an ABC network series several years earlier! He played a wolf-boy.

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The Oscars: Captain Kirk was right

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(AP photo)

Listen -- a billion people are throwing up. That's a rough estimate of course, but every year somebody at the Oscars says a billion people on the planet are watching the program; however many watched this year's Oscar show, they may well have felt sickened by it. It was a stomach-churning, jaw-dropping debacle, incompetently hosted and witlessly produced.

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The rousing return of Robin Roberts

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(ABC photo)

Roughly five months ago, back in the summer of '12, the spectacularly popular Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning, America," left the show for a sabbatical of indeterminate length. She might be gone for six or eight months, viewers inferred, or for a year. Or, forever.

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This one's a keeper

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(AP photo)

Back in ancient days of rampant ignorance and sexist effrontery, a TV commercial for a product now forgotten depicted a happy married couple whose cheer seemed guaranteed by the woman's subservience to the man. At the end of the ad he uttered a phrase that entered, to the dismay of millions, the iconography of the time: "My wife -- I think I'll keep her."

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How many Beyonci does it taketo blow out a Super Bowl?

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by Tom Shales

Okay, now we know: God DOES "care" about the Super Bowl, as people were wondering during the big build-up to the game -- the one that began around Thanksgiving, 2012. Yes, God cares; He HATES it. And that's why He (or, yes, She) turned off the lights on Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans Sunday night and left everybody standing there and waiting for the second half to continue. Maybe it was a kind of Old-Testament warning -- ya think?

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