See and Win Earth Like You've Never Seen or Won It Before

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Yuri Gagarin, Sally Ride, John Glenn, and other spacefaring humans have seen Earth in a way many of us likely never will. Sure, we'll see hi-res photos of our shiny blue marble taken from satellite's and space-roaming telescopes, but something always gets lost in translation when viewing a grainy still photograph. NOVA's recent special "Earth from Space" rectifies that shortcoming slightly with stunning HD footage of our planet spinning in the deep, dark oblivion while studying the larger systems of the planet and how they interact and shape life. At the very least it's a compelling substitute for that fireplace or aquarium screensaver disc you put in when company comes over, and at most it's just utterly beautiful.

If you want to win a copy of NOVA's "Earth from Space" on Blu-ray, just keep reading.

May
04
2013
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Kung Fu, Zombies, Counterfeiters, & Spies in One Giveaway

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It's not often you get a solid genre crossover movie. While Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright have made a (wildly entertaining) hobby out of it, it's otherwise an uncommon occurrence. Therefore it's something of a pleasure for us to introduce to you Gordon Chan's The Four, which crosses espionage with superheroes, a counterfeiting scandal, kung fu, and zombies. If it seems a bit eclectic, that's because it is, but wonderfully so. The Four stars Deng Chao, Liu Yi Fei, Collin Chou, Ronald Cheng, and Anthony Wong, and it's all kinds of crazy. If you enjoy flicks like Woochi: The Demon Slayer or Kung Fu Hustle, The Four will be right up your alley.

And if you want a copy, you're in luck as we're giving three away on Blu-ray. To find out how you can win, just keep reading.

May
04
2013
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Summer Viewing: Catch Up With AMC's "The Walking Dead"

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While cable TV offers an ever increasing number of series that air new episodes throughout the summer (like HBO's The Newsroom or FX's Burn Notice), for the most part it's an excellent time to get caught up on seasons of TV or entire series you've never had the time for. In the ongoing column "Summer Viewing" we'll be looking over some of the more recent series worth taking the time to dive into, and to kick it off we'll take a quick look at AMC's The Walking Dead, which capitalized on the zombie craze at just the right time and has since recovered from a few stumbles to make for exciting escapist television.

May
04
2013
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Gramatik's "The Age of Reason Tour" Arrives in NY Tonight

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If there's an electronic equivalent of Jazz, Gramatik might just have found it with his blend of instrumental, electronic funk that takes the familiar basslines and sampling of the digital music world and mixes them into fantastical grooves that seldom need words to hook you in. Currently Gramatik is midway through his Age of Reason Tour and will be appearing at New York City's Webster Hall with supporting acts Cherub and HeRobust starting at 8pm. If you like live music and you're in the city needing something to do, you can't do much better than Gramatik. It's like Jazz updated for the dubstep/electronic era. For a taste of his music and a listing of the rest of his tour dates, check out below.

May
03
2013
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Emancipate a Blu-ray Copy of "Lincoln" From Us

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Five months and two weeks ago, Steven Spielberg brought forth into our cinemas Lincoln, a biopic of our 16th president as played by Daniel Day-Lewis. And when I say played by Daniel Day-Lewis, what I really mean is that Day-Lewis borrowed a time machine and went back in time to steal Lincoln's identity, body, mind, and mannerisms to give us one of the most disturbingly realistic portrayals of Abraham Lincoln ever. For all of that time traveling effort, Day-Lewis won himself a Best Actor Oscar (though it's entirely possible he kept going back in time and altering the past until he achieved that outcome, but that's another conversation altogether). The film is packed with some great performances by the likes of Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and if you haven't seen it yet, or you have and you liked it, this is your chance to own it.

We're giving away two Blu-ray and DVD combo packs of Lincoln, and if you want to win one, just keep reading.

May
02
2013
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In May, Criterion has Men in Hats, Snacks, and Protests

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If you're a cinephile then you don't mark the coming and going of months by birthdays, holidays, or any of that nonsense, you go by the monthly slate of new releases from the Criterion Collection as they push on in their mission to preserve classic and modern films deemed artistically and culturally deserving of preservation for future generations. For May 2013, Criterion unleashes upon Blu-ray two westerns by Delmer Daves (3:10 to Yuma, Jubal), Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool, Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet, and Jean-Luc Godard's Band of Outsiders. For the full details on each of these Blu-ray releases, just keep reading.

May
02
2013
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New Screenshots and Art from "Batman: Arkham Origins"

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So many things give me concern about the upcoming prequel entry to the excellent, Rocksteady-produced Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City (which I loved for their embrace of Batman: The Animated Series' voice cast) but every now and then they release some images that quell my worries. Am I disappointed that Batman: Arkham Origins isn't being produced by the same company that hit the first two out of the park? Sure, but it sounds as if they've done quite a bit of advising on the new installment. Am I sad that Batman voice acting mainstays Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill won't be onboard this time as Batman and Joker, respectively? Sure, but we've had plenty of movies to get used to it, (with Batman: Under the Red Hood having the most memorable substitutions of Bruce Greenwood as Batman and Futurama's John DiMaggio as Joker)

There are just things you have to accept about a franchise moving on (or back in a prequel's case), and as long as the franchise can retain its excellent visuals, mechanics, and storytelling, there's no big loss. The newly released screenshots and concept art below suggest that at least the first criterion is still being met.

May
01
2013
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Make 'Em Laugh: Craig Shoemaker's Good & Bad "Daditude"

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Sometimes there's merit in going for a very specific niche in your comedy, and for Craig Shoemaker his target of choice seems to be audiences above the ages of 40 - although if you're just a pop culture glutton who's watched shows that came on before you were born, his comedy won't go over your head. Shoemaker's comedic arsenal relies heavily on familiar comic tropes like parenting woes, the romantic waning of an aging marriage, and general references to older films and TV. There's nothing very groundbreaking or new to be found in Craig Shoemaker's Daditude stand-up special, and sometimes the bits feel stale or like rehashes of jokes comedians have been telling for ages, but he engages his audience well while still coming up with a few new nuggets to keep things moving.

May
01
2013
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Music Video Spotlight: Gentlemen Hall

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Sometimes you come across a song that feels like the encapsulation of pure summer or relaxation, and there's really no better way to describe Gentlemen Hall and their track "Sail into the Sun" which many people may now know due to its use in Target and Samsung commercials. (You're lying if you deny discovering new music via commercials and TV shows - everyone does this.) It's an aural joy infusion and the kind of track you can listen to over and over before eventually adding it into some kind of beach mix, assuming you do that whole playlist thing. Gentlemen Hall are currently just wrapping up a tour of shows with a final one coming on May 18th in Boston, but to tide you over until they come to a city near you, we've got the music videos for three of their songs below. Enjoy.

May
01
2013
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Tribeca Film Festival 2013: A Single Shot

large_a_single_shot_1While out hunting a deer, notorious poacher John Moon (a heavily-bearded Sam Rockwell) accidentally shoots and kills a young woman. As he searches for a place to dump the body, he stumbles upon her encampment and a box full of cash. Haunted by the dead woman’s image, John attempts to redeem himself by using the money to salvage what’s left of his tenuous marriage to Jess (Kelly Reilly), with whom he shares a son. But as the men who want that money begin to terrorize him, John is caught in a deadly (and dull) game of cat and mouse.

Apr
29
2013
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