In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review the new Renny Harlin action flick, "The Legend of Hercules," starring Kellan Lutz. They also give their predictions for the major film categories of this weekend's Golden Globes (Sunday, January 12). And, bonus: this week's trivia winner gets a very special prize!
One of the biggest challenges in American cinema has been bringing the stories of war to the civilian big screen. "Lone Survivor" is a new film by director Peter Berg that attempts to bring the story of a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan to a civilian audience. Donna Axelson's son, Matt, was one of the SEAL team members killed in the mission. She discusses what it was like to see her son portrayed on film and shares her thoughts on how and why filmmakers should attempt to bring the realities of war to a civilian screen.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence in South Sudan that erupted last month, following a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar. The Takeaway talks with Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, about the roots of the current crisis. Deb Dawson, of Fargo, North Dakota also weighs in. Dawson works closely with Sudanese Lost Boys and Lost Girls both in the U.S. and abroad.
The song that frames an Olympic figure skater's routine needs to have a variety of tempos. It needs to have emotional resonance and perhaps a little bit of edge. Most importantly, it needs to be something the skater can listen to over and over and over again. As competitors gear up for the 2014 Olympics, Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic Champion in ladies' singles, reflects on the kind of music that brings home medals.
Nothing says happy birthday to one of the world's most ruthless dictators more than a basketball game led by former NBA star Dennis Rodman. Today in honor of Kim Jong-Un's birthday, Rodman has assembled a 12-member team to play a game in North Korea. Is this just classic Dennis Rodman? Or is there something deeper going on? To help us get inside his head we've called upon William Rhoden, sports writer for our partner The New York Times.
The latest film by British director Stephen Frears is Philomena, the true story of BBC reporter Martin Sixsmith's effort to reveal the extraordinary tale of a mother’s search for her lost son. Whatever the subject, this filmmaker prefers stories that get to the heart of the matter, but he says that any genius in directing is about getting out of the way.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen answer a few of the many listener letters they've recently received. Along the way, they try to lend some movie therapy and (hooray!) end up on a surprise speed date. Bonus: Rafer and Kristen have some big announcements to make. Among them: a recent smackdown with the Game Night Guys and an upcoming singles mixer at WNYC.
If Friday's winter storm has got you stuck indoors this weekend, the timing couldn’t be better because it’s officially the start of awards season, with the Golden Globes just 9 days away. Joining The Takeaway to fill you in on all the must-see films that you may have missed before awards season are Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for The Takeaway.
Jazmine Fenlator is like a lot of Olympic athletes. She played sports growing up, excelled in high school athletics, and was recruited by a university to compete on their Division 1 Track and Field team. She holds the university’s records for the indoor shot put, outdoor shot put, and discus. But while it sounds like Jazmine is the track star we’ll all be cheering for in the near future, she is, in fact, the pilot the U.S. Olympic Women’s bobsled team.
The highly anticipated fourth season of Downton Abbey premiers Sunday night, and Lucy Lethbridge, author of Servants: A Downstairs View of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times, argues that the servant/nobility relationship shaped nearly everything in British life.
More than five years ago, photographer Rachael Jablo developed chronic migraines. As a side effect of the medication she took to help treat those migraines, Jablo developed aphasia which caused her to lose her ability to remember language. Slowly, she was able to speak but could no longer remember certain words to identify simple objects or feelings. Eventually, she came up with the idea of using photography as a way to relearn language.
About 40 percent of Americans make new years resolutions, but just 8 percent actually achieve them. Samantha Henig, digital editor for the New York Times Magazine, has been interviewing a family with an outstanding New Year's resolution track record. Robin Marantz Henig, a freelance science writer for our partner The New York Times, has been looking into the science of new year’s resolutions with the NYU Motivation Lab.
The year ahead is full of promise and pitfalls, and The Takeaway is there to make sense of it every step of the way.
What’s in store this year for the U.S. economy? Will unemployment fall back down to pre-recession levels? Will we see a soaring stock market and stabilized ...
It was almost four years ago that Oscar Grant was killed in Oakland, California. Grant was a young, black man, shot in the back by a white BART police officer, just hours after midnight on New Years Eve. That tragic New Years Day for Oscar Grant was captured in the film, "Fruitvale Station," the first feature-length film produced by the very young Ryan Coogler, who by all accounts, has had a very good year.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen round up some the best documentaries of the year. From the front lines of late-term abortion clinics to the unsung backup singers, the genre thrived in 2013. "20 Feet from Stardom," "We Steal Secrets," "After Tiller," "The Act of Killing," and "Room 237" all make the Movie Date's list.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review seven of the big movies being released on Christmas Day 2013. The films touch on everyone's favorite holiday topics, including family fights, financial corruption, elder abuse, war, extramarital affairs, lay-offs, and samurais. So pour yourself a cup of eggnog, and hear what Rafer and Kristen have to say about: "Lone Survivor," "August: Osage County," "Invisible Woman," "47 Ronin," "Wolf of Wall Street," "Grudge Match," and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."
Tomorrow is Christmas, the last and biggest movie release date of the year. Movie Date co-hosts Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer give their thoughts on some of the big ones: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Grudge Match," "47 Ronin," and "Wolf of Wall Street."
What's it like to write a hit holiday song? Randy Brooks has some idea. Nearly 35 years ago, he wrote “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” a holiday song which has sold an estimated 40 million copies worldwide, even outselling classics like “White Christmas” in some years. The song is Randy’s one and only real hit, and depending on who you ask, it’s either brilliant or awful. He joins The Takeaway to discuss how the song became such a hit and how he feels each year when he hears it on the airwaves.
This week's Movie Date podcast has Rafer wishing he knew how to do the hustle and Kristen questioning whether computers will eventually try to have sex with us all. On the chopping block: the star-packed heist film by David O. Russell, "American Hustle"; the long-awaited next chapter in the Ron Burgundy saga, "Anchorman 2"; and the Spike Jonze artificial intelligence romance, "Her." To help separate fact and fiction in her "Her," Kristen and Rafer are joined by a very special guest. Gary Marcus is an artificial intelligence expert and NYU professor, and, as he sees it, we could be only a few years away from living the plot of "Her."
In his heyday, Charles Dickens was a literary and political rock star who attracted crowds everywhere he went. But behind closed doors, the writer and family man actually harbored a secret. For 18 years, he carried on an extra-marital affair with a woman 30 years his junior. The story of their affair is told in the new movie, “The Invisible Woman” which was directed by it's leading man—Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes tells an intriguing story of hidden passion and celebrity, set against the backdrop of Victorian era morality.