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Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Sony Pictures

Pleasant 'Moonlight' doesn't quite match Allen's previous heights

BY JACOB RICH

I have seen far worse Woody Allen films than “Magic in the Moonlight.” It’s a charming 1920s period piece, a comfort dessert to be served after 2013’s more daring main course, “Blue Jasmine.”

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'My Everything' announces Ariana Grande's arrival to superstardom

Republic

BY ADAM THEISEN

Grande’s astounding voice is front-and-center, and this is undoubtedly the album that will make her an international superstar. While the famous producers made the blueprints, it’s Ariana Grande’s power, talent and charisma that make My Everything sparkle and pulsate with energy.

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Outside Lands Report: Hella chill in San Francisco

FilmMagic/FilmMagic

BY ARIANA ASSAF

A stellar lineup combined with the city’s innate liberated atmosphere, work by local artists, and even organically grown food gives Outside Lands a unique back-to-basics vibe that can’t be found anywhere else.

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Remembering Robin Williams

Universal

BY AKSHAY SETH

There can be solace in thinking on the ways all those tiny pieces fit together, prop each other up to create a persona as iconic as many of the movies it inhabited.

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'The Colbert Report' Live: Errors and all

BY ALEX INTNER

Watching a live taping of a TV show is a completely different experience from watching that show on television. There's so much more that happens in that little room. And, it's those moments that made the experience worth the 3 hour wait.

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Lollapalooza 2014: A young person's game

BY ERIKA HARWOOD

I was continually comforted by the presence of acts I’ve recently discovered along with longtime loves, and I refused to let some punk-ass teens who’ve been at back-to-back EDM shows since one p.m. ruin that for me.

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'The Honorable Woman' intrigues behind Middle East backdrop

The Sundance Channel

BY ALEC STERN

Unlike its seasonal companions, this smart, engaging thriller is in a unique position to not only entertain but also spark a dialogue, encouraging its audience to remain informed and educated on both sides of the decades-old struggle, just as the series strives to do.

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The Rock's 'Hercules' is a Greek tragedy

Paramount

BY JACOB RICH

So the film is not a movie for great acting. That’s not the end of the world. But does great action make up for the not-so-great acting? Surprisingly, no.

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Innovation and realism make 'Boyhood' an instant classic

IFC

BY CATHERINE SULPIZIO

“Boyhood’s” ambitious scope is undeniably rewarded. It’s a portrait of a family in motion, and it captures all the messy, ambiguous emotion that comes with it. More than that, it taps into a very poignant knot of emotion within the viewer. After all, how many movies have so artfully grappled with the persistent wash of time (twelve real years) in just two hours and 40 minutes?

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Festival Report: Pitchfork 2014

Katherine Pekala/Daily

BY JOHN LYNCH

Before I heard any band play at Pitchfork Music Festival 2014, I took one lap around Chicago’s Union Park and already knew that I was in for a weekend of bizarre sights, sounds and tastes.

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In Spite of Time: A Few Immortal Songs

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

Here are five songs that sound as great today, after countless listens, as they did when I first heard them.

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Barsuk

Cymbals Eat Guitars honor a lost friend on 'LOSE'

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

The band tempers their state of mourning with memory, and they recreate specific events and places with such vividness, such intensity, that the album feels like a time capsule buried beneath New Jersey soil, still rollicking with life.

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Enigma

Revisiting Sonic Youth's no-wave milestone, 'Daydream Nation'

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

26 years have passed since its initial release, which, come to think of it, christens a rather odd anniversary date for a reissue. Why now? What designates 2014 as prime temporal real estate?

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On Screen Entertainment

'The Giver' film doesn't do justice to the classic story

BY ZAK WITUS

Overall, it’s the cinematic version of vanilla pudding. “The Giver” doesn’t build on or revise the major or minor dystopian classics. Instead it regurgitates them partially digested for a younger audience.

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Atlantic

On 'Blacc Hollywood,' Wiz is holding himself back

BY ADAM THEISEN

While sticking to “safe” hip hop and pop may seem appealing, Wiz is only going to be able to stick around if he follows his potential to make honest, emotional music.

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Walt Disney Pictures

'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a human tale in deep space

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

What makes this film so special is how so many scenes evoke this crazy yet very real sense of humanity.

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Akshay Seth: 'Guardians' of a new age in filmmaking

BY AKSHAY SETH

This subversion is present in every breathing crevice of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as is a complete disregard for the many markedly recognizable tropes used to guide films like “Man of Steel” or “The Dark Knight” trilogy.

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Starz

Appealing 'Outlander' follows time-traveling romance

BY CHLOE GILKE

The Starz network doesn’t have a built-in following like HBO or FX, but its newest offering, “Outlander,” will surely bring new fans and acclaim. Like that other popular cable show, “Outlander” is a vaguely historical drama punctuated by spilled guts and unbuttoned pants, and is based off a beloved series of novels.

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Loma Vista

Spoon returns reinvigorated with 'They Want My Soul'

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

In many ways, Spoon did with this album what Arcade Fire did in 2013 with Reflektor. While Arcade Fire infused disco into classic rock structures, Spoon infuses rockabilly and blues with newer alternative songwriting techniques.

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Matador

1994: The Year Indie Broke

BY BRIAN BURLAGE

Part of what makes ‘90s music so fascinating, particularly the year 1994, is its place in time: a strange and unique buffer between music in the 20th century and music in the 21st century.

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