How did they do that?

Stephen Colbert is a huge fan of the Hobbit world created by J. R. R. Tolkien and is familiar with the most minute aspects of it. When I saw that he was going to interview Smaug (apparently is a character in some of the books) I thought it would be someone dressed as the character and was wondering whether it would be worth watching since I am not a big fan of the books or the films. I am glad that I did because it was really something to see.
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Why we are easily fooled by film doubles

In films, the star is often replaced by a double in many situations, either because the task involved is too dangerous to risk injury or the star simply cannot or will not do what the role requires. We in the audience almost never notice the switching back and forth. One might think that this is solely due to the care that the film makers take to make sure the double has the same build as the star and is made up to have the same exterior appearance in terms of clothes and hair, and by avoiding close ups of the face.
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Review: Doc Martin

A colleague recommended this British TV series to me a long time ago but I only got around to watching it over the past long weekend and I was immediately hooked, ending up watching the better part of the first two seasons, about 12 episodes in all. I plan to watch the remaining ones in the days to come. The series began in 2004 and there have been a total of 46 episodes spread over six seasons and the coming season is supposed to be the last one.
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Chris Rock talks about race and class and politics

The comedian was interviewed by Frank Rich prior to the release of his new film Top Five. The interview has been widely commented on because Rock says many things that are likely to make people uncomfortable and that is unusual for celebrities who typically do not talk politics for fear of offending anyone. Here’s a sample:
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Gregory Peck (1916-2003)

I always liked Gregory Peck. Although he was sometimes criticized for having a somewhat wooden acting style, there was no question that he had an impressive on-screen presence where he seemed to ooze integrity and the viewer was confident that he would do the right thing. I haven’t seen all his films of course, but as far as I am aware, there were very few in which he played a villainous character, one being Joseph Mengele in The Boys From Brazil.
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Laura Poitras speaks!

The notoriously publicity-shy documentarian is making the rounds promoting her Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour (see my review here) and she appeared on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart makes the same point that I did, that the picture of Snowden that was painted by his early critics has no resemblance to the person seen in the film and that he seems to an earnest, idealistic young man who realized that he had information the people needed to know and was willing to take the risk to tell them. Poitras thinks that history will vindicate Snowden like it has with Daniel Ellsberg
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