Two conversations this week on the sensitivity of certain subjects in the classroom produced lots of reaction from listeners. A ban on ethnic studies in Tuscon Arizona, and a resistance to teaching Climate Change as an accepted body of knowledge in certain school districts around the country raises a broader question. Are there pieces of history and science that are simply too hot to handle in a classroom where active debate may get away from the truth and consensus on what to teach may be hard to find?
Three-year-old Amelia Rivera has a rare genetic disease called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. She suffers from mental impairment, epileptic-like seizures, and she can't walk or talk. Besides her illness she's in desperate need of a kidney transplant to live to see her fourth birthday. But the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Amelia is treated, told Amelia’s family that they would not perform a transplant even if a family member donates a kidney. The reason, according to her mother's blog, is because she is “mentally retarded.”
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is infamous for many atrocities. As one of the first African leaders to be tried for war crimes, Taylor was a notorious dictator who oversaw the murder of over one million people. He was also an active participant in the diamonds-for-guns trade, and at one point gifted Naomi Campbell a pouch of blood diamonds. Monday the Boston Globe revealed that during his rise as a ruthless despot, Taylor worked with U.S. spy agencies like the CIA and Pentagon since the early 1980s.
Last night was the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards and once again Ricky Gervais played host. Gervais did what he does, a little more gently this time around. The stars were out, well Winner Woody Allen didn't show, but it was a party as usual. Here to weigh in are our Movie Date team, Rafer Guzman, who's also movie critic for Newsday and his co-host Kristen Meinzer, who's also culture producer for the Takeaway.
The Golden Globe awards are Sunday. Who will come out as Hollywood's big winner? Who will look stunning on the red carpet? And who will flame out? Find out what Takeaway Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer think about the winners and losers. Have any favorites, or movies that you think we're overrated? Let us know here or call us at 1-877-8-MY-TAKE.
After the December onslaught of Oscar-hopefuls and arthouse faire, two star-powered crowd-pleasers open this week: "Contraband" and "Joyful Noise." The latter sees the big-screen return of Dolly Parton after a decade, and the former promises big-budget CGI thrills from Mark Wahlberg. But whether or not the year's first popcorn flicks deliver on their excitement and laughter remains to be seen.
Chic Flicks and Dude Flicks released on the same day? It happens this week as Mark Wahlberg packs heat and battles bad guys in the new thriller "Contraband." Also being released is "Joyful Noise," a musical starring the dynamic duo of Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah. Which movie will please both genders, and more importantly, which makes a good movie date? Takeaway Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer tell us about what movies you might want to take your spouse to, and which one you should see alone.
In 2011 two franchises based on novels for teens — "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One" — overtook stoner comedies, CGI kiddie movies, and comic book adaptations at the box office. In 2012, the bigscreen adaptation of "The Hunger Games" will wage a similar battle against "The Dark Knight Rises." But this year won't be all explosions: a new take on "The Great Gatsby" starring Leonardo DiCaprio and a biography of Lincoln starring Daniel-Day Lewis will also hit theaters.
Louis CK is a veteran stand-up comedian who writes, stars, and frequently directs the cult FX series "Louie." Known among comedy connoisseurs for wittily playing with language and awkward social scenarios, his most recent venture has been to independently produce the feature-length concert film "Live at the Beacon Theatre." Distributed exclusively online, it has earned over one million dollars since its December 10 release. (Watch an outtake from the special after the jump.) Louis CK talks about his special, and gives his predictions for the coming year.
The last week of the year brings with it Hollywood's last chance to release movies eligible for 2012's Academy Awards. "The Iron Lady" (trailer after the jump), the Margaret Thatcher biopic starring Meryl Streep is among them. The movie is getting mixed reviews, but Streep's performance is said to make her a shoo-in for this year's Oscars. The Takeaway's Movie Date podcast team gives their assessment of "The Iron Lady," and look back at their picks for the best and worst movies of 2011.
Jonah Hill returns to his slacker comedy roots as an overgrown man child who finds work as a babysitter in his most recent film entitled "The Sitter." Known for his hilarious roles in movies such as "Superbad" and "Knocked Up," Hill recently dropped some weight and starred next to Brad Pitt in "Moneyball." But the actor tries to bring back the laughs with his latest slapstick film. Takeaway Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer give us their critique.
Margaret Thatcher is known as the somewhat belligerent former prime minister of the United Kingdom, and a new film starring Meryl Streep looks into the life of this historic figure. "Iron Lady" follows Thatcher's life as the young daughter of a grocer to a one of the most powerful heads-of-state in a male dominated world. But is "Iron Lady" engaging enough to match the charismatic, strong-willed personality of Thatcher? Takeaway Movie Date podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer tell us if this movie is worth a date.
Stephen Spielberg's adaptation of the Michael Morpurgo novel "War Horse," the adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," and Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo" are slated to be this week's newly-released, big box office winners. "The Artist," which topped many years' best lists and has only been in a handful of theaters, also opens across the country this weekend.
It's Christmas week, and Oscar season, which means lots and lots of movies. Our Movie Date podcasters try to cut through the muck and get to the quality films by looking at this week's releases. Find out what they think about the self-explanatory feel-good story "We Bought a Zoo," the new blockbuster "Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol," the bestseller-turned-feature film "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and much more.
It’s the week before Christmas, and The Takeaway is celebrating with our annual "Remixing the Holidays" series. All week long we're talking with musicians, music lovers, and you about the best, and worst, songs of the season. On Wednesday, The Takeaway spoke with Jon Solomon, a DJ who hosts an annual 24-hour Christmas show on Princeton University's WPRB. Today, we speak with Jason Segel, star of the new "Muppet Movie," as well as "How I Met Your Mother," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and "Freaks and Geeks" about why the Muppets are among his favorite holiday music-makers.
Three big movies come out this weekend as we head into the holidays: "Sherlock Holmes," "Mission Impossible" and "Carnage," a black comedy directed by Roman Polanski. Co-hosts of the Movie Date Podcast Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman review this week's big releases.
Every Friday, The Takeaway looks at the weekend's new releases. Opening this weekend: slacker comedy "The Sitter" with Jonah Hill; and "New Year's Eve" starring Sarah Jessica Parker among many others. Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Takeaway producer Kristen Meinzer, co-hosts of The Takeaway Movie Date podcast, give their recommendations on this weekend's new movies.
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Seventy years ago today, Japan attacked a naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing and wounding thousands of Americans. The enemy might have been Japan, but in the American melting pot there were many Japanese faces. The Pearl Harbor inspired solidarity in America soon gave way to distrust and a staggering suspension of the U.S. Constitution. "War Relocation Camps" for 100,000 Japanese-Americans were set up, and entire families of American citizens were forced to halt their lives and move. Some of those relocated Japanese-Americans petitioned the U.S. to serve in combat as a way of demonstrating their loyalty. The petitions were accepted, and soon Japanese-Americans were fighting as both volunteers and drafted servicemen.
Who doesn't get chills when they hear the opening banjo riff to "Rainbow Connection"? That was the popular tune payed by a lovable Kermit the Frog in the original 'Muppet Movie' way back in 1979. This week, 'The Muppets' return to the screen after a long hiatus. When Muppet-master Jim Henson died in 1990, some thought these lovable puppets might be gone for good. But they got the whole band back together for a Muppets reunion, with help from Jason Segel and Amy Adams.
Takeaway 'Movie Date' podcasters Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer take a trip down memory lane and talk about what the new installment of the series brings to the table.