Holiday Movie Roundup: “Into the Woods,” “The Imitation Game”

Into the Woods

Fairy tales come to life, and some die, in Into the Woods, Disney’s long-awaited screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s beloved Broadway musical. Director Rob Marshall struggles with the trickier second part of that equation, but for the first hour or so, he conjures an engaging blend of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, soaring musical numbers and lively performances.

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The M&M Report, Episode 23: Ty Meems

Pharrell and Lupita

Listen to Episode 23 of The M&M Report here.

(Note: “Ty Meems” is “The M&M Report” Travoltified.)

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I sat down as soon as the Oscars to unwind with thoughts on Ellen DeGeneres, Lupita Nyong’o, Steve McQueen, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, pizza, selfies and much more.

Thanks for listening!

Pop Culture Hopes and Dreams for the New Year

Sherlock

Before the new year loses its new year smell, here are a few of my pop-culture hopes for the next 358 days. Let’s reconvene in 12 months to see how many of these came to fruition, shall we?

I hope that the third season of Sherlock is every bit as delectable as the first two.

Not much more to say about this riveting series of mini-movies. Love Cumberbatch. Love Freeman. Love the cliffhanger. Bring it on, PBS. January 19th can’t come soon enough.

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The M&M Report, Episode 7: Injustices Unforgiven

Ejiofor

Click the link for this week’s episode.

This week on The M&M Report, Devin and I had lots to say about the remarkable new movie 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. We discussed the movie’s approach to historically tricky subject matter, the searing performances and McQueen’s impressive command of visual storytelling. We both think this movie is more than worth seeing – it just might be essential.

(Note: we discussed the movie in general terms before getting into spoilers. If you’re on the fence about seeing this movie, listen to the first few minutes for our verdict.)

At the end, we simply couldn’t resist making room for a new feature: Devin Doesn’t Like Things. This week, Devin explains his true feelings about Halloween. Beware: he’s not a fan.

We’ve got lots of exciting things on the way in the next few weeks, including a return to music and a parade of guest stars certain to keep things interesting. We hope you’ll stick around!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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The M&M Report, Episode 5: M&M at the Movies

Captain Phillips

What’s going on at the movies? Somali pirates, slave owners, folk singers, Wall Street tycoons and much more. Devin Mitchell and I stepped away from the small screen to go bigger this week. (Click the link to hear this week’s episode.)

First, we saw Captain Phillips together and talked about this movie’s uncompromising thrills and powerful performances. (Spoiler alert: we talk in detail about plot points and the ending in particular. Of course, the movie is based on real events, so nothing is really a spoiler, but if you prefer to know nothing going in, skip this segment.)

After that, I told Devin that he probably shouldn’t see The Fifth Estate, which comes out next Friday.

We closed with a Fall Movie Preview, in which we talked about upcoming movies, got really excited about great actors and found out that Devin doesn’t like fantasy and Mark doesn’t like excessive Oscar hype.

Enjoy the podcast!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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Take 5: “Mad Men,” Fall TV, Pixar and More

Jon Hamm

Each week, I take a survey of the five most notable pieces of entertainment news and synthesize them for your reading pleasure for my The Eagle column Take 5. From the bifurcation of Mad Men Season 7 to the postponement of the next great Pixar adventure, it was a busy week.

AMC will air the final season of “Mad Men” in two seven-episode arcs, one in 2014 and one in 2015.

AMC will commission spinoff series tied to its established hits “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead,” rankling viewers who are craving new originals rather than tired retreads. Now, AMC has announced that it will split the seventh and last season of “Mad Men” into two years to capitalize on ratings, buzz and Emmy awards before the show can finally ride off into the sunset. This same strategy worked like gangbusters for “Breaking Bad,” but “Mad Men” may be approaching its expiration date faster.

Read the rest here.