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<p>&quot;The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz&quot;</p>

"The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz"

Credit: Sundance

Review: 'The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz' is a harrowing cyber-thriller

Brian Knappenberger's Sundance doc generates sadness and anger
There is a perception that on the list of liberal enclaves, the Sundance Film Festival ranks only slightly below a poetry reading in San Francisco and Communist Party fundraiser in Boston.
 
There's probably some truth to that. 
 
However, hell hath no fury like a Sundance documentary director disappointed and the unfulfilled potential of President Obama has been a running theme over the past couple years. No amount of Fox News Obama condemnation could ever match the sense of betrayal illustrated in Rick Rowley's "Dirty Wars." Michelle Obama hasn't been immune either, as the First Lady's difficulties taking a hard line with food mass-producers is depicted as a major letdown in "Fed Up." Half of the World Docs seem to wish their central dilemma were receiving more or less attention from the Obama Administration.
 
With the possible exception of "Mitt," you'd be hard-pressed to find a Sundance documentary that wants to claim things would be better had the election results gone differently, but a consistent running undercurrent of recent Sundances is, "President Obama. Dude. You were supposed to be better than this."
 
When it comes to eroded idealism, it's hard to get more damning than Brian Knappenberger's "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz," which begins with news talking heads declaring that the title cyber-activist was "killed by the government" and spends the next 100 minutes confidently underlining that point. No, President Obama isn't really blamed for Aaron Swartz's death, at least not directly, but when it comes to the overzealous prosecution of the Reddit co-founder, there's little doubt that the message is, once again, "We expected better."
 
Actually, I should change the punctuation there. It has to be "We expected better!" because Knappenberger's doc, playing in the US Documentary Competition at Sundance, is all about exclamatory mood. For maybe 30 minutes, you go "Wow, look at this brilliant young man!" Then for maybe 40 minutes you go, "Wow, I'm so angry about what was done to this brilliant young man" and then for the last 30 minutes, you go, "Boy, it's so sad what happened to that brilliant young man!" Of course, all of that exclamation can sometimes be exhausting and Knappenberger maybe underlines some of his points a little aggressively, but he really wants to make sure you feel the outrage of Swartz's tragically brief life. 
 
And I did.
 
[More after the break...]
 
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<p>Alfonso Cuaron (left)&nbsp;holds the 2014 DGA prize alongside presenter Ben&nbsp;Affleck.</p>

Alfonso Cuaron (left) holds the 2014 DGA prize alongside presenter Ben Affleck.

Credit: AP Photo

Alfonso Cuarón wins DGA prize for 'Gravity,' is Oscar next?

Soderbergh surprised with Robert B. Aldrich Award presentation

Surely coming as a surprise to precious few, "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuarón has just won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) prize for theatrical motion pictures. He beat out fellow Oscar nominees Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"), Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street") and David O. Russell ("American Hustle"), as well as "Captain Phillips" helmer Paul Greengrass to land his first such honor from the guild.

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NEAR....FAR...WHEREVER YOU ARE, LEO....

NEAR....FAR...WHEREVER YOU ARE, LEO....

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Jonah Hill And Bastille

Is third time the charm for the Oscar-nominated actor
Fresh off his second Oscar nomination, this time for his work in “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” Jonah Hill arrives at “Saturday Night Live” to host for the third time. For someone with such a charismatic comedic personality, his previous two appearances have been strangely muted affairs, with only the recurring Benihana-set sketch making any lasting splash. (Given Benihana’s place in “Wolf,” that either means we won’t see the sketch at all or Leonardo DiCaprio will be the chef in it tonight. Anything’s possible!) But that says more about the writing for those particular episodes than anything Hill himself has brought to the table. There’s been roughly a 50% cast turnover since Hill last hosted in March 2012, so there are plenty of new comedic combinations possible.
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<p>Miles Teller in <span class="st">Damien Chazelle's &quot;Whiplash.&quot;<br />
</span></p>

Miles Teller in Damien Chazelle's "Whiplash."

'Whiplash,' 'Rich Hill' and 'The Case Against 8' lead 2014 Sundance Film Festival winners

Who gets the big boost out on closing night?

The competition juries and audiences have spoken from Park City. "Whiplash" earned two key awards Saturday night, the U.S. dramatic grand jury prize and the U.S. dramatic audience award. These were impressive wins for director Damien Chazelle and distributor Sony Pictures Classics, who acquired the drama during the festival. Featuring impressive performances by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, the film focuses on a young music student (Teller) who is willing to go above and beyond to make it into a competitive jazz band at one of New York City's most prestigious music schools. It's the rare opening night film to take home the festival's top prize.

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Best and Worst of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: 'Cold in July,' Roger Ebert, 'Boyhood'

Best and Worst of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: 'Cold in July,' Roger Ebert, 'Boyhood'

Plus: 'Young Ones,' 'Infinitely Polar Bear' and the terrible 'Low Down'

PARK CITY - It certainly won't go down as one of the greatest editions of the Sundance Film Festival, but reports of it being a bad or weak festival are completely off base.  There were few highs, few terrible lows (although some).  Instead, there were many good, very good, but not great films.  The festival experimented with mixing up the genres in the dramatic competition and for some longtime media it might have been off putting. Well, if they attended the public screenings they would have found audiences more engaged than usual. It was an experiment for the programmers and gave high profile debuts for movies such as "Life as Beth," "Dear White People" and "Cold in July."  Those are flicks that could have been relegated to the Midnight or NEXT sections in the past.  That's a win in our book.

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<p>&quot;The Overnighters&quot;</p>

"The Overnighters"

Credit: Sundance

Review: 'The Overnighters' is a frontier tale for 2014

Jesse Moss' Sundance doc received some of the Fest's best reviews
[Preamble: I saw "The Overnighters" before touching down in Park City last Sunday, which meant I saw it kinda in a vacuum. When I got to the Festival, I wasn't hugely surprised that "The Overnighters" was the doc I was hearing the most buzz about. At that point, I'd written the intro to the review, the part that precedes the page break. I never finished the review, because Sundance is all about starting reviews that I never finish. It's fun! Anyway, I'm expecting "The Overnighters" to be a big winner at Saturday night's closing awards ceremony, so I'm taking one last stab at the review.]
 
Jesse Moss' "The Overnighters," featured in the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, plays at times like a modern frontier Western. 
 
Like HBO's classic "Deadwood" or AMC's much-admired [by the people who pop up in online comments whenever its renewed] "Hell on Wheels" or Discovery's decent new miniseries "Klondike," it's the story of a migration of desperate men, many of them criminals and reprobates, seeking riches in the unspoiled wilderness. Like most Westerns, there seem to be fortunes to be made, but the brass ring remains just out of reach for most settlers. Like many a Western, there are clashes with the natives, who feel like they're being disenfranchised by the scruffy, dirty, dangerous men pushing in on their land. And, like more than a few Westerns, there's a wacky priest at the heart of the story, trying to save souls in the influx of sinners. 
 
I may be overselling "The Overnighters" with that description. Moss' film is slightly at war with itself, trying to tell two stories, not necessarily arcing either story satisfactorily and then relying on what's presented as a somewhat strange twist in the final act to tie the whole thing up in a bow that either makes the whole movie feel too neat or too messy, depending on how you view it. [A couple critics I've talked to have said that they don't think Moss is trying to use the twist to tie things up or explain them. I think that in terms of authorial intent, they're right. However, I know how the story presented on the screen arcs. Causation is implied, even if it's not intended.]
 
And the more I think back on "The Overnighters," the less I buy the "twist," the less the twist satisfies the arc of the story and the more I wish that Moss could have better focused on one of his two stories. But I still wanted to use the frontier Western analogy, because I'm sure it's part of what Moss is going for and, even if it doesn't always work, it's still a big part of what keeps "The Overnighters" watchable, probably endlessly discussable and, in the end, tantalizing.
 
[More after the break...]
 
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<p>Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick and Jude Swanberg in &quot;Happy Christmas.&quot;</p>

Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick and Jude Swanberg in "Happy Christmas."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Review: Melanie Lynskey and Anna Kendrick delight in warm, authentic 'Happy Christmas'

The latest from prolific writer-director-star Joe Swanberg might be his best

PARK CITY - Some small movies are bigger than others, and few contemporary filmmakers' careers are better suited to that sliding scale than Joe Swanberg, the self-sufficient indie all-rounder who has quietly reeled off 16 feature films since 2005. Until recently, they've been uniformly scrappy in scope and construction, with some more considered than others: the personal, plainly self-reflexive relationship studies (2008's Greta Gerwig-starring "Nights and Weekends" was a standout) rather than the quick-sketch genre exercises.

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<p>Lady Gaga at MusiCares</p>

Lady Gaga at MusiCares

Credit: AP Photo

MusiCares Red Carpet with Lady Gaga, Miguel, Carole King and more

Yoko Ono, Tom Hanks and others honor Person Of The Year honoree

From Lady Gaga to Yoko Ono, the stars turned out to help honor Carole King at Friday (24) night’s MusiCares Person of the Year gala.

The annual  event, put on by The Recording Academy two nights before the Grammy Awards, benefits MusiCare’s Emergency Financial Assistance and Addiction Recovery programs.

Among the artists and celebrities spotted on the red carpet were Sara Bareilles, Ozzy and Sharon Osborne, James Taylor, Ben Folds, Miguel, Aeromith’s Steven Tyler, LeAnn Rimes, Kacey Musgraves, Jackson Browne, Jason Mraz, and, of course, evening’s honoree, Carole King. The event also drew from the political world, with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz  in attendance, as well as  Hollywood royalty Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

 

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<p>Gareth Evans took some time out from making the most badass films being made right now to talk to us about making those uber-badass movies during the Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Gareth Evans took some time out from making the most badass films being made right now to talk to us about making those uber-badass movies during the Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: HitFix

Director Gareth Evans discusses breaking bones and blowing minds with 'The Raid 2'

Watch me as I realize Evans pulled off the impossible for real in his film

PARK CITY - Even before planning for the Sundance Film Festival began at HitFix headquarters in LA, I had challenged director Gareth Evans and the cast of his new film "The Raid 2: Berendal" to a snowball fight in Park City.

After all, for the cast, this is their first time traveling together to a place with snow. Co fight master and co-star Yayan Ruhian had never seen snow in his life when he arrived, and according to Evans, Ruhian's first reaction was to grab two big handfuls of snow and just smash them to his face. His second reaction was to immediately regret his first reaction.

The damnedest thing happened, though. There was no real snow at Sundance this year. The weather's been cold and clear and dry, and so when we finally got to the day where I was scheduled to talk to the cast and the crew of "The Raid 2," we decided to shoot the chats inside the Yarrow Hotel, one of the two hotels that serve as part of the nerve center of Sundance.

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<p>&quot;Frozen&quot;</p>

"Frozen"

Credit: Disney

'Frozen' warms back up to the top album spot next week

Soundtrack fends off three chart newcomers

As the east coast thaws out from its latest Polar Vortex, the soundtrack to “Frozen” is, appropriately enough, poised to return to the top of the Billboard 200 next week, halting Bruce Springsteen’s run at No. 1 with “High Hopes” after one week. The Boss’s 11th No. 1 album will likely drop to No. 8.

It’s a bleak week for sales as no title comes close to the 100,000 mark. “Frozen” looks good for up to 90,000, according to Hits Daily Double, but then sales plummet as the No. 2 title, Beyonce’s “Beyonce,” is slated to sell no more than 50,000, the same number expected for A Great Big World’s “Is There Anybody Out There,” which will likely debut at No. 3.

Two other titles bow in the top 10: the 2014 Grammy Nominees set, at No. 4 (45,000) and Young The Giant’s latest effort, “Mind Over Matter,” at No. 6 (35,000).

Also in the top 10 next week:  the latest installment of “Kidz Bop Kids” will be at No. 5 (35,000), Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” at No. 7 (35,000), Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” at No. 9 (24,000) and Katy Perry’s “Prism” at No. 10 (24,000).

The Grammys, held Sunday night, will have little effect on next week's chart as the survey period ends Sunday at midnight. Look for most artists' Grammy bounce to be reflected in the chart released a week from Wednesday.

 

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Aaron Paul discusses 'Hellion,' 'Better Call Saul' and Corn Pops

Aaron Paul discusses 'Hellion,' 'Better Call Saul' and Corn Pops

Also from Sundance, young star Josh Wiggins discusses this big break
PARK CITY, UTAH. Aaron Paul has been wearing out a groove between Los Angeles and Sundance over the past 10 weeks, making appearances for the Golden Globes and SAG Awards in one location and zipping back and forth for premiere and press on the indie drama "Hellion" in the other.
 
In "Hellion," directed by Kat Candler, Paul plays a widower struggling to keep his family together, particularly rebellious, motocross-loving teen son Jacob (Josh Wiggins).
 
"Hellion" is Wiggins' first credit on any screen bigger than YouTube, which led me to ask Paul about his own first screen role and how his work in that project compared to his Sundance co-star. We also discussed how they kept things estranged on-screen, but warm and convivial off. 
 
Since this is the second time in three Sundances that I've interviewed Paul for a film in which he plays an alcoholic (following 2012's "Smashed"), I asked about different versions of addiction.
 
And, of course, we discussed "Breaking Bad," Jesse Pinkman and Paul's relief at escaping from that character's tortured headspace, but his excitement about returning to a younger, goofier version for the AMC spinoff "Better Call Saul." How soon will Paul be ready to return to that world? He explains.
 
"I love that family so much. Whenever they want me, I'm there, because it would be nice to jump into Jesse again in his lighter days," he says of the prequel.
 
Check out the full interview above.
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<p>&quot;Shark Tank.&quot;</p>

"Shark Tank."

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank' nets ABC Friday win, 'Enlisted' up

'Shark' has highest-rated regular episode ever

Fast National ratings for Friday, January 24, 2014.

ABC won Friday night thanks to the highest-rated regular "Shark Tank" episode ever, while FOX's timeslot swap of "Enlisted" and "Raising Hope" paid dividends for the first-year military comedy without really hurting the veteran show.

For the night, ABC averaged a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, and 7.2 million viewers overall. FOX was second (1.4, 5.1 million), followed by NBC (1.3, 5.4 million), CBS (1.1, 8 million) and the CW (0.3, 772,000).

8 p.m. --
"Bones" won the hour for FOX with a 1.8 rating and 7.4 million viewers, up from last week.  "Dateline NBC" was second (1.4, 7.3 million), followed by an "Undercover Boss" repeat on CBS (1.2, 6.4 million), "Last Man Standing" and "The Neighbors" on ABC (1.1, 5.1 million) and "The Carrie Diaries" on the CW (0.3, 916,000).

9 p.m. -- "Shark Tank" (2.2, 8.1 million) won the hour for ABC with its highest-rated regular episode ever. NBC's "Grimm" (1.5, 5.9 million) was second, followed by a "Hawaii Five-0" repeat on CBS (1.0, 8.1 million). Placed immediately after "Bones," "Enlisted" (1.0, 3.2 million) added more than a million viewers from last week and was up significantly in the demo, while "Raising Hope" (0.8, 2.4 million) actually did slightly better in the demo this week than it did a week ago at 9.  A CW "Supernatural" repeat (0.2, 628,000) was in last place. 

10 p.m. -- "20/20" (1.9, 8.3 million) won the hour for ABC, followed by a "Blue Bloods" repeat on CBS (1.0, 9.7 million). The "Dracula" season finale (1.0, 3.1 million) was up slightly over last week.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
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