Sequels Symposium I: The BeginningA reflection on Hollywood's obsession with sequels and a candid guide to making 'em better

UNLIKE FINE WINE, some things just don’t age well at all. A glass of milk on a warm day; clothing from H&M; that hot, cigarette-smoking chick from your high school—each may have it’s moment as the object of your desire, but it’s all downhill from there. Perhaps more disappointing than any of these haggardly maturing archetypes, though, is the foul stench of a slowly dying movie franchise.

There isn’t much worse than helplessly watching as a once well-spun story spins listlessly into superficiality and eventually irrelevance; it’s one of the most frustrating aspects of being confined to the consumer side of the entertainment industry. Yet it happens again and again to far too many good films. How many times have you slunk down in your cushioned seat at the theater, hand over your eyes in empathetic embarrassment for the veritable train wreck in progress onscreen in front of you? And as you commiserate with the actor whose career the film will surely kill, you can’t help but think, Damn, even I could’ve done a better job than THIS.

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The Week in Entertainment, Vol. 21We discuss the songs, shows, flicks, and videos that caught our attention over the past seven days

This week, R&B enigma The Weeknd concludes his “Balloon Trilogy”; The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit send geeks everywhere into a frenzy; The League wraps up another solid season; and the passing of an eccentric despot sends shock waves throughout his nation and the world. 

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Treat Her Right: Holiday EditionAn occasional briefing on the latest goods, getaways and hot spots your lady will love

Believe it or not, the Holiday season has snuck up on us once again. If you haven’t found a present for your lady friend yet, fret not — we’ve enlisted the services of blogger extraordinaire Charlotte Wilder of The Wilder Things to help us put together a list of stuff she owns and loves that the woman in your life will adore. We returned the favor with a list of gifts for dudes on her site, which you can check out right here. Without further ado, we present Charlotte’s picks for presents that’ll make your better half’s heart swoon this Christmas.

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The Week In Entertainment, Vol. 20We discuss the songs, shows, flicks, and videos that caught our attention over the past seven days

This week, Wilco drop their best album since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; Jack the Giant Killer continues a bizarre Hollywood trend; Jason Segel and Emily Blunt take a prolonged trip down the aisle; the most compelling sports series on television returns for a second go-around; and we share perhaps the creepiest, most disturbing video on YouTube.

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The Cold ShoulderA breakdown of all the biggest moves, trades and signings from baseball's Winter Meetings

IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY December, we’re talking about who the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox are looking to sign or trade for. It was unusual, then, that during Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings last week we didn’t hear a peep out of either camp, giving credence to the theory that we had suddenly entered into an alternate universe.

For once, it wasn’t the traditional baseball titans who dominated the headlines during the four-day meetings. For the first three days, it was the freshly renamed Miami Marlins making big splashes in free agency.

The Marlins have been one of the most maddening franchises over the last couple of decades. They won the World Series in 1997 and 2003. They gutted the team after the ’97 championship and after ’03 plummeted back to mediocrity, prompting another fire sale. The fans didn’t take too kindly to this, as you would know if you’ve watched even one Marlins game over the past few seasons. I’ve seen more people at middle school football games than Marlins games recently.

The organization’s aggressive strategy had a lot to do with their stadium situation. With a snazzy new ballpark set to open up in 2012, the Marlins are now taking a “we need to sell these tickets or we’re screwed” approach, and they were doing so successfully. They made two big signings and were rumored to be making more.

Then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rained all over their parade. And it was raining straight cash, homey.

Let’s delve deeper into the transactions, shall we?

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