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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Deborah Ann Woll (5)


Daredevil Season 2 (Episodes 1-3)

Matt Murdock can't wait to hit the streets and rooftops each night as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. And I can't wait to finish my "Best Shot" entry super early for once. For this week's assignment (anyone can play along!) you can pick any one episode or multiple episodes of Daredevil Season 2 and choose a Best Shot. You have just under 24 hours left to pick one and post it since the Best Shot Roundup goes up tomorrow night at about 10 PM EST. 

I'll get to my three choices, one per episode, after the jump. But damn it's good to have Charlie Cox's naked torso Daredevil back on Netflix

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Daredevil 1-2

I fell in love with Daredevil as a young boy when Frank Miller, pre Dark Knight, took over the comic. It wasn't just the sexiness of a blind superhero (what?). Miller's run in the early 80s brought us famous characters like Bullseye and Elektra and Stick and a dangerous physical immediacy that other comics just didn't have. Naturally the Frank Miller run, plot-wise, was what the execrable 2003 movie tried to cover, jamming it all together with spectacularly disastrous and silly results. Marvel's first foray into Netflix territory gets so much right in its first few episodes that people need no longer fear The Man Without Fear but embrace him. Instead we need only fear, together whilst binge-watching, that Daredevil won't be able to keep this quality up for for its whole first season.

Herewith thoughts on the first two episodes...

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Linkman & Emmywoman

First Things First: at Movie City News the "Gurus of Gold" have begun (yes, I'm a part of it again) and as David Poland points out there are seven films that made almost every list: Birdman, Gone Girl, Boyhood, and Unbroken tied at 1st place with Foxcatcher, Selma, and Interstellar just behind themMost pundits are feeling these as Best Picture threats. Look at the whole chart though to see how everything fared. The highest ranking films that were not on my list (we were asked to submit 15 films) are Wild and Inherent Vice

Birdman Flies
Early rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival from The TelegraphVariety and THR and a couple positive but not ecstatic reviews from The Guardian and The Film Stage are up and surely bode well for the film.  I'm holding off on reading them as I want the movie fresh when I see it. But others may want to dive right in.

Anger Making
Yahoo talks to Tyler Perry. The Madea franchise star/director claims he didn't know who David Fincher was when he signed on to Gone Girl and he wouldn't have done it if he knew how "mainstream" he was. What the F'in hell? Yes, Tyler Perry a bastion of "edgy" cinema. He's also been a voting member of the Director's branch of the Academy since 2009 which means he's been asked to judge and vote on Fincher's work twice. Way to be a conscientous voter!

Other Linkage
The Playlist 10 overlooked greats from the 1970s. I gladly support the inclusion of Girlfriends (1978) but I haven't seen the others
HitFix Deborah Ann Woll talks about moving on to Daredevil and the difficulty of leaving True Blood's Jessica behind
Pajiba Ridley Scott is 76 years-old but his plate is super full. How many more films is he planning to make exactly? 
Cinematically Insane will layoffs and monetization at Turner Broadcasting affect TCM? 
My New Plaid Pants Superman takes the ice bucket challenge 
The Dissolve Mike D'Angelo looks back at "Best Actress" of 1989 -- we all know that shoulda been Michelle Pfeiffer but others are discussed, too. 
VF Neil Marshall (The Descent) wants to direct a Black Widow movie. Also talks Game of Thrones

Emmy Hangover
The Nib Liza Donnelly's caricatures from the evening 
Pajiba's liveblog with Courtney Enlow icymi
We Recycle Movie's "lateblog" with Anne Marie and Margaret 
Towleroad icymi it on Emmy night, Billy on the Street's Emmy dash was the most hilarious of few hilarious things that night 
Showtracker wonders if Game of Thrones can rise in Emmy estimation with Breaking Bad moving out of the way 
Salon what the Emmys revealed about the broadcast vs cable war on television 

Vulture Mark Harris has a long read on "The Making of Foxcatcher" - so much Mark Harris to read. (I'm reading "Five Came Back" very slowly because I am learning so much about late 30s/early 40s Hollywood on every page.)
Funny Or Die Mark Duplass and Ted Danson go to couples therapy over Prince's Purple Rain suit

Fun Interview
Assignment X talks to one of our favorite British thespians, Olivia Williams about her new series, films (very briefly), makes fun of her own accent work and this, my favorite part, on her stellar role in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse:

Joss legendarily starts to adapt your character as the series goes on to how you really are, and I started off as sort of a calculating bitch and ended up being rather motherly and a bit of an alcoholic, and I can’t think where he got that from.




True Blood Finale (Plus: Season 4 Awards!)

The final episode of True Blood's witchy season four had a cleft heart, one half beating only for past glories (i.e. Season 4 ... or even earlier seasons if their name is "Bill") and the other half beating for an imagined future (Season 5 if you'd like to get cynical about it). You could just about divide the sprawling cast down the center as to which half they belonged to, some characters hanging on to the past either tearfully, fearfully or violently (Marnie, Eric, Bill, Debbie, Hoyt, Arlene, Pam), others ready to forge ahead and move on with varying degrees of optimism, fear, and willpower (Sookie, Jessica, Jason, Tara, Sam, Holly & Andy). It's the very drama that infuses the episode's opening conversation with Jesus & Lafayette. Isn't that always the drama of the heart? 

Jesus and Lafayette (who is actually Marnie!) over breakfast eggs.

4.12 "And When I Die"
Not that True Blood thrives on "the universal". Most of us don't have to worry about malevolent spirits possessing our lovers, stabbing our hands over breakfast, duct-taping us to our chairs, and stealing our demon-headed magic while thrusting a butcher knife into our heart. But maybe Jesus, familiar with both violence-prone spirits and demon-headed Crazy, should've worried himself towards protection spells or some such! Goodbye Jesus (2010-2011) we hardly knew you. Goodbye Kevin Alejandro, go-to guy for "regular cast" killings (see also: Southland).

True Blood's season finale had a cleft heart but its body was divvied up into smaller pieces, drawn and quartered one might say.

If that sounds torturous, it definitely was... at least for the characters. And maybe some audiences members who wanted a more cohesive finale. More after the jump, plus best & worst of the season.

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True Blood 4.7 "Cold Grey Light of Dawn"

She hurts him to save him. Unless they're silvered all the vampires will walk into the sun.With Sunday night's episode, fang-bangers are now past the hump. This season's witchy storyline is now on its way to resolving itself. The halfway mark also suggests that from here on out we might have droppings that set things up for Season Five. 

Cold Grey Light of Dawn
We begin where we left off with Marnie (Fiona Shaw) wreaking havoc. Controlling vamps, as it turns out, seems to be getting easier and easier for her. With a whisper of "Resurrection" her former rapist Luis (Peter Macdissi) stakes himself with Bill's silver weapon after a scuffle. One vampire down, all the rest of them to go. Marnie wants them all to meet the true death. After the burst of action that opens the show (Tara also narrowly avoids death at Pam's rotting hands), things slow down considerably. We stop in on unhappy couples (Alcides and Debbie) still shaky couples (Sam &) and new ones (Sookie & Eric). Meanwhile, Tara dumps her lover and signs up with Marnie's vampire slaughter plans, Jason tries to avoid Hoyt "I'd rather be cooking then talking anyhow" and realizes (again) that he's hot for Jessica. Most oddly, Bill tells Jessica the Antonia story which seems like a really strange storytelling move. We've heard and seen this storyline via Marnie and Luis so many times now it felt like a "previously on..." in the middle of the show.

But any scene with Deborah Ann Woll's Jessica gives us great visuals. Such a screen face [spoiler image after the jump]

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