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SANTA MONICA, July 22nd, 2014 – Focus Features, Entertainment One (eOne), Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), and Blumhouse Productions announced today that Insidious: Chapter 3 has begun production in Los Angeles. Leigh Whannell, co-creator of the terrifying horror franchise, is writing and directing the new movie. 

To commemorate the start of production of the series’ newest chapter, Focus is launching a sweepstakes on the official Insidious Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages. Insidious buffs and fans will have the chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to visit the set of Insidious: Chapter 3. The contest begins on Tuesday, July 22nd, and ends on Friday, July 25th. The contest’s complete official rules can be accessed at

Insidious: Chapter 3 stars Dermot Mulroney (of August: Osage County) and Stefanie Scott (of Blumhouse’s upcoming Jem and the Holograms) alongside Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, and Mr. Whannell, with the latter trio reprising their roles from the first two movies in the franchise.

In Insidious: Chapter 3, a twisted new tale of terror begins for a teenage girl and her family, predating the haunting of the Lambert family in the earlier movies and revealing more mysteries of the otherworldly realm The Further.

Focus Features will release Insidious: Chapter 3 domestically nationwide on Friday, May 29th, 2015. eOne will distribute the picture in Canada, U.K., and Spain; and Sony will distribute the picture in the rest of the world. Jason Blum of Blumhouse, who produced both previous movies in the series, is producing the next installment with returning producer Oren Peli and franchise co-creator James Wan, who directed the two earlier films written by Mr. Whannell with story by Mr. Wan and Mr. Whannell. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Steven Schneider, Charles Layton, and Xavier Marchand are executive-producing Insidious: Chapter 3.

Insidious, released in 2011, and Insidious: Chapter 2, released in 2013, grossed a combined $257 million worldwide.

About Blumhouse Productions

Blumhouse Productions, which has a first-look deal with Universal Pictures, is a multi-media production company that has pioneered a new model of studio filmmaking – producing high-quality micro-budget films for wide release. Since its launch, Blumhouse has produced the highly profitable Paranormal ActivityThe PurgeInsidious, and Sinister franchises. For television, Blumhouse is working on both scripted and non-scripted shows including projects for Syfy (Ascension), MTV (Eye Candy), ABC and Mike Darnell. Blumhouse previously executive-produced the Emmy-nominated and Critics’ Choice Award winner The Normal Heart for HBO, Stranded for Syfy, and The River for ABC. Blumhouse’s upcoming micro-budget wide releases include Ouija and The Boy Next Door for Universal. Whiplash with Sony Pictures Classics, which won both the Grand Jury and Audience prizes at Sundance, will be out this fall. 

About Focus Features

In addition to Insidious: Chapter 3, current and upcoming releases from Focus include Wish I Was Here, the new comedy from actor/director Zach Braff; the true-life dramatic thriller Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner; Black Sea, the suspenseful adventure thriller starring Jude Law for Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald; The Boxtrolls, the new family event movie from LAIKA, directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable with a voice cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, and Tracy Morgan; the romantic drama The Theory of Everything, directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh and starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones; Tarsem Singh’s Selfless, starring Ryan Reynolds and Michelle Dockery; Race, the spectacular true story of Olympic legend Jesse Owens, directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Stephan James, Jeremy Irons, and Jason Sudeikis; and Fifty Shades of Grey, the highly anticipated film adaptation of E L James #1 bestselling book that is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.

Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 22, 2014 in Film | Permalink
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Clint Eastwood Speaks About His Friend James Garner

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 22, 2014 in Celebrity , Culture, Film | Permalink

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You Know Your Country Sucks When You Look Wistfully Back At Stalin

By Ted Rall


You can tell a lot about the state of a country by comparing the state of its public and private infrastructure.

Take a look, if you can sneak past the gated community guard shack and peek through the privets without getting tackled by a rented goon, at the homes of the wealthy. Note the manicured lawns of the one percenters, fertilized the months recommended by experts depending on climactic zone, painstakingly controlled for weeds, irrigation calibrated by volume, on timers. Check out the garden: lines of shrubs that run a hundred bucks each, red-dyed mulch hiding the dirty brown dirt and tamping down unwanted dandelions before they get a chance to sprout. The driveway is flat, smooth, free of cracks. Stucco walls, if you live out West, are similarly crack-free; if you’re east of the Mississippi, bricks are framed by perfect pointing. Every detail, from the brass numbers on the mailbox to the baseboards to the perfect absence of cobwebs in high ceiling corners, reflects thorough, routine, frequent maintenance and repairs by a retinue of professional service providers.

Tasteful. New. Kept up.

Bear in mind: all this perfectly-maintained stuff houses a single family. At most, we’re talking two parents, four kids and a nanny or two. Certainly fewer than 10 people.

Now look at our public infrastructure.

Drive on a public highway in any major city: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles. It’s a disaster. Potholes so big you worry about breaking an axle. (And you should. In New York State, for example, a recent study estimated that bad roads and bridges cost motorists $20.3 billion in repairs annually.) Cracked concrete and asphalt everywhere. Missing guardrails, stolen signs, and everywhere you turn, garbage. Graffiti and vandalism take a toll but mostly it’s all just old. Old, rusted, worn out, years of “deferred maintenance” — i.e., none at all. Yeah, people throw crap out their car windows — but municipal governments don’t clean it up for days, weeks months at a time.

Connecting two of NYC’s biggest boroughs, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is used daily by 160,000 vehicles. It is hideous. It is narrow. It is literally falling apart. Constantly. “With its multitude of trucks and dangerous on-ramps, the BQE is a den of congestion at virtually all hours of the day,” The New York Times reported in 2012. “But one factor has condemned this antiquated 16.8-mile stretch of highway to a place of longstanding infamy in the New York metropolitan area, if not all of urban America: construction that never seems to end. As Gerry Michalowski, a truck driver who has traveled the BQE since 1978, put it, ‘It was under construction then, and it’s still under construction now.’”

Think again about that house I described at the beginning of this column.

It’s used by half a dozen people a year.

The BQE is used by 58 million vehicles a year.

If you don’t think there’s something wrong with this, if you defend the “right” of the wealthy to aggregate more and more until the point when they own everything including our bodies and souls, consider this: rich people have to drive on those roads too. By definition, 580,000 of those BQE users are one percenters.

America isn’t broke, but most Americans are. The reason is simple: too few people have too much of our national wealth. The pauperizing of our common property — the deliberate starving of public funding for roads, bridgesparksschoolspublic hospitals, even hospitals charged with caring for veterans of America’s oil wars — reflects the economic and political system’s ass-backward priorities. It’s immoral. Because any society that spends more resources to maintain and upgrade private homes than public works is crazy stupid.

And it hurts the economy.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States needs to spend $3.6 trillion over the next six years to replace and repair the nation’s decaying dams, upgrade its parks and outdated schools, rusting water mains, and our crumbling airports, train and bus terminals, roads and bridges — many of which have deteriorated to Third World standards. (Although, to be fair to the Third World, I’ve seen U.S.-funded roads in Afghanistan in better shape than some in L.A.) The ASCE gives the U.S. a D+ on infrastructure.

The World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. 25th in the world in infrastructure, behind Oman, Saudi Arabia and Barbados.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Josef Stalin, of all people, showed how infrastructure could be prioritized over private property. The dictator approved every extravagance — and why not? Obama signs off on every luxury the military can dream up.

Determined that his new Moscow Metro be a “palace of the people” for the Soviet capital’s subway commuters, Stalin ordered that no expense be spared to create a system that was not only fast and efficient, but beautiful. “In stark contrast to the gray city above,” The Timeswrote as late as 1988, “the bustling, graffiti-less Metro is a subterranean sanctuary adorned with crystal chandeliers, marble floors and skillfully crafted mosaics and frescoes fit for a czar’s palace.” With good reason: first Stalin had chandeliers ripped out of the czar’s old palaces and moved underground; for future stations he had even more stunning ones designed from scratch using radically innovative techniques.

The Moscow Metro remains a showcase of what socialism could do at its best: prioritize the people and thus improve their daily lives.

Then there’s us.

Earlier this week President “Obama appeared at the I-495 bridge over the Christina River in Wilmington, Del., a span that has been closed since June, when engineers discovered that four of its columns were leaning to one side. That has created a traffic nightmare for the 90,000 vehicles that travel the major East Coast highway every day.”

The President went to Delaware to “announce new initiatives to encourage private-sector investment in the nation’s infrastructure, including the creation of a ‘one-stop shop’ at the Department of Transportation to forge partnerships between state and local governments, and public and private developers and investors.” In other words: the usual too little, too late, and even that probably won’t happen.

You know you’re in trouble when you look up to Stalin.

(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and cartoonist, is the author of “After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan,” out Sept. 2.Subscribe to Ted Rall at Beacon.)


Posted by Cole Smithey on July 21, 2014 in Politics | Permalink

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Posted by Cole Smithey on July 20, 2014 in Art, Culture | Permalink

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New York, NY (July 18, 2014) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will make its World Premiere as the Centerpiece selection for the upcoming 52nd New York Film Festival (September 26 – October 12) on Saturday, October 4. The first feature film adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel, Inherent Vice stars Oscar nominees Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin; Academy Award winners Reese Witherspoon and Benicio Del Toro; Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, and newcomer Katherine Waterston. This marks Anderson’s third time at the festival, having previously screenedBoogie Nights (1997) and Punch-Drunk Love (2002). The Warner Bros. Pictures release is slated to open in limited release on December 12, 2014 and wide on January 9, 2015.
New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said: “Every new Paul Thomas Anderson movie is an event, an experience – when the lights come up, you feel like you’ve been somewhere, and come back with your mind altered. Inherent Vice is a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early 70s SoCal counterculture back to full blown life. It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”
Inherent Vice is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures in association with IAC Films, a JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production.  Anderson directed from his own screenplay, based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon.  JoAnne Sellar, Daniel Lupi and Anderson produced the film, with Scott Rudin and Adam Somner serving as executive producers.
The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Senior Programming Advisor; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief,Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound.
NYFF previously announced the Opening Night selection Gone Girl, retrospective Joseph L. Mankiewicz: The Essential Iconoclast, as well as initial selections in the Revivals section of the festival to include Burroughs: The MovieThe Color of PomegranatesHiroshima Mon Amour, and Once Upon a Time in America.  
Tickets for the 52nd New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public at noon on Sunday, September 7. Becoming a Film Society member before July 31 provides access to a pre-sale period for single tickets to festival screenings and events ahead of the general public on-sale date.
Subscription Packages and VIP Passes to NYFF52 give the buyer the earliest access to tickets and are on sale through July 31. Depending on the level purchased, packages and passes provide access to Main Slate and Special Event screenings including those on the Opening, Centerpiece and Closing nights of the festival. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “Evening With…” Dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. For information about purchasing Subscription Packages and VIP Passes, go to To find out how to become a Film Society member, visit
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Latinbeat, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, The Film Society recognizes an artist's unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, HBO®, the Kobal Collection, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Row NYC Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Support for the New York Film Festival is also generously provided by KIND Bars, Portage World Wide Inc., WABC-7, and WNET New York Public Media.
For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 19, 2014 in Film Festivals | Permalink

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Posted by Cole Smithey on July 19, 2014 in Culture, Current Affairs, Film, VIDEO COLUMN | Permalink
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Ninja Cat

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 18, 2014 in Cats | Permalink

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"Gone Girl" to Open NYFF 2014

Gone Girl PosterVariety reported today that Ben Affleck's suspense thriller "Gone Girl" will open this year's New York Film Festival on September 26. Directed by David Fincher, and starring Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Patrick Fugit, "Gone Girl" marks David Fincher's 11th feature film behind such milestones as "Se7en" and "Zodiac."

The World Premiere of David Fincher's Gone Girl will open the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center said Thursday. The film, starring Oscar-winner Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry, will launch the 52nd annual festival September 26 at Alice Tully Hall, while later that night the after-party will return to Tavern on the Green.

Gone Girl, based on the global best seller by Gillian Flynn, features Fincher's return to the festival after The Social Network opened the 2010 New York Film Festival. 20th Century Fox and New Regency will open Gone Girl in theaters on October 3.

"Even when I was writing the book I'd thought that Fincher should direct this," Gillian Flynn, who adapted her hugely successful thriller for the screen, told FilmLinc on Wednesday. "It's a rather grand notion to think of having a great filmmaker [like him] direct your book but there were so many scenes in Gone Girl that I'd see through his lens. I thought he'd understand the sense of tension and dread but at the same time there's this dark humor that runs through his films. Gone Girl has a lot of dark humor and I knew he wouldn't back away from that."

The Film Society noted that Gone Girl is "at once a grand panoramic vision of middle America, a uniquely disturbing exploration of the fault lines in a marriage, and a comedy that starts pitch black and only gets blacker, Gone Girl is a great work of popular art by a great artist."


Ben Affleck and David Fincher on set. Photo: Merrick Morton

A portrait of a recession-era marriage that simultaneously indicts celebrity-media culture stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary. He is a prime suspect in her disappearance. Neil Patrick Harris is Amy’s former boyfriend Desi, Carrie Coon is Nick’s sister Margo, while Kim Dickens is Detective Rhonda Boney, and Tyler Perry is Nick’s superstar lawyer Tanner Bolt.

"The movie [questions] how well you can possibly know one another," Flynn said of her look at a relationship in which one member is a suspect in the disappearance of another. "We're so steeped in pop culture and so steeped in different roles. How can you possibly combine with another person and have that truth exist in a relationship. The [story] definitely plays off of that idea."

"My fondest dream," Flynn explained, "is that it will be the date movie that breaks up couples nationwide. Maybe people will walk out of there and think, 'Maybe not. I don't know if I know you well enough.'"

When Fincher's Social Network opened the New York Film Festival in 2010, the event moved its opening night party to the Harvard Club and this year the filmmaker ushers in the event's return to New York City's Central Park. Tavern on the Green will again be the site of the NYFF Opening Gala. The legendary location had long served as the festival's opening night post-screening celebration, but that tradition ended when Tavern closed in 2009. In May, owners Jim Caiola and David Salama reopened this New York landmark, decorated to evoke the original Victorian Gothic structure.

"Gone Girl is so many things at once: sharp as a razor about many aspects of American life that have been untouched by movies, very tough and just as funny, brilliantly acted, and 100% entertaining—a wild ride from start to finish," said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones. "In short, a great American movie based on a literary phenomenon, directed by one of the best filmmakers alive. I’m so proud to have the world premiere of this film as our opening night." 

NYFF has typically featured some of the year's pivotal films throughout its more than half-century early fall run, including its anticipated Opening Night selections. Luis Buñuel's The Exterminating Angel screened as NYFF's first Opening Night film back in 1963. Some of the other landmark selections that have screened in the slot include Jean-Luc Godard'sAlphaville (1965), Paul Mazursky's Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), François Truffaut'sSmall Change (1976), Agnès Varda's One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977), Bernardo Bertolucci's Luna (1979), Lawrence Kasdan's The Big Chill (1983), Petro Almodóvar'sWomen on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), Joel Coen's Miller's Crossing (1990), Robert Altman's Short Cuts (1993), Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994), Lars von Trier'sDancer In the Dark (2000), Stephen Frears's The Queen (2006), Alain Resnais's Wild Grass(2009) and last year's selection, Captain Phillips by Paul Greengrass (a full list of NYFF openers can be found below). 

NYFF previously announced the retrospective, Joseph L. Mankiewicz: The Essential Iconoclast, to take place during this year’s festival, as well as initial selections in theRevivals section of the festival to include Burroughs: The Movie, The Color of Pomegranates, Hiroshima Mon Amour, and Once Upon a Time in America.   

The 17-day New York Film Festival takes place September 26 - October 12. FilmLinc will have a full interview with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn soon. 

Tickets for the 52nd New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public at noon on Sunday, September 7. Becoming a Film Society member before July 31 provides access to a pre-sale period for single tickets to festival screenings and events ahead of the general public on-sale date. 

Subscription Packages and VIP Passes to NYFF52 gives the buyer the earliest access to tickets and are on sale through July 31. Depending on the level purchased, packages and passes provide access to Main Slate and Special Event screenings including those on the Opening, Centerpiece and Closing Nights of the festival. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “Evening With…” Dinners, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. For information about purchasing Subscription Packages and VIP Passes, click here. To find out how to become a Film Society member, click here. 

The list of New York Film Festival Opening Night Films follows: 

1963 The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)
1964  Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, USSR)
1965  Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
1966  Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1967  The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria)
1968  Capricious Summer (Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia)
1969  Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, US)
1970  The Wild Child (François Truffaut, France)
1971  The Debut (Gleb Panfilov, Soviet Union)
1972  Chloe in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, France)
1973  Day for Night (François Truffaut, France)
1974  Don’t Cry with Your Mouth Full (Pascal Thomas, France)
1975  Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy)
1976  Small Change (François Truffaut, France)
1977  One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, France)
1978  A Wedding (Robert Altman, US)
1979  Luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/US)
1980  Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, US)
1981 Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, UK)
1982  Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1983  The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, US)
1984 Country (Richard Pearce, US)
1985 Ran (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1986 Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, US)
1987  Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, Soviet Union)
1988  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1989  Too Beautiful for You (Bertrand Blier, France)
1990 Miller's Crossing (Joel Coen, US)
1991  The Double Life of Veronique (Krysztof Kieslowski, Poland/France)
1992  Olivier Olivier (Agnieszka Holland, France)
1993  Short Cuts (Robert Altman, US)
1994  Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US)
1995 Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou, China)
1996  Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK)
1997 The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, US)
1998 Celebrity (Woody Allen, US)
1999 All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
2000 Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
2001 Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette, France)
2002 About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, US)
2003 Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, US)
2004 Look At Me (Agnès Jaoui, France)
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney, US)
2006 The Queen (Stephen Frears, UK)
2007 The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, US)
2008 The Class (Laurent Cantet, France)
2009 Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, France)
2010 The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2011 Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Poland)
2012 Life of Pi (Ang Lee, US)
2013 Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, US)


Posted by Cole Smithey on July 17, 2014 in Culture, Film Festivals | Permalink
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Posted by Cole Smithey on July 16, 2014 in Culture | Permalink

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Weird Al Yankovic - "Word Crimes"

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 15, 2014 in Culture, Music | Permalink
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Posted by Cole Smithey on July 15, 2014 in Documentary | Permalink

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Jenny Lewis — "Just One Of The Guys"

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 15, 2014 in Culture, Music | Permalink

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20,000 Days on Earth — Trailer

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 14, 2014 in Culture, Film, Trailer | Permalink

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Posted by Cole Smithey on July 14, 2014 in Culture, Sports | Permalink

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