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    Halt and Catch Fire, Ep. 1.02, “FUD” excels when focusing on process

    Joe MacMillan has lots of secrets. Last week it was revealed that he disappeared after quitting IBM and wasn’t seen for over a year. This week scars are revealed, literal scars all over his torso, which are uncovered after Gordon tears off his shirt in the middle of a fistfight. While this revelation primarily calls into question Gordon’s unorthodox fighting technique, it also prompts Joe to improvise a story about how, as a nine-year-old, he was mercilessly bullied for being way too excited about Sputnik and was pushed/fell off a roof. Which gave him these scars. And made him miss the greatest football game of all time. More

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    Halt and Catch Fire, Ep. 1.01, “I/O” boots up a promising new series

    Last fall, AMC tried to launch a new show in the hour after Breaking Bad, hoping that the millions of viewers watching and tweeting about Walter White would keep tuning in. But Low Winter Sun was a bonafide flop, a critical and ratings fiasco, and the name itself became a sort of punchline to certain snotty TV viewers. Rather than helping launch the new show, its proximity to Breaking Bad only magnified Low Winter Sun’s shortcomings. It became the poster child for poor quality “quality” television, the skeleton of a dark cable drama with none of the skill or soul needed to sustain itself. The network is taking a different tactic with its new drama, Halt and Catch Fire. By debuting in Mad Men’s timeslot after the veteran show wraps up its truncated demi-season, the newbie can live or die on its own merits rather than forced comparisons to one of the greatest shows of all time. That being said, the fact that this is a period piece and a workplace drama is no accident, and I think Halt and Catch Fire’s superficial similarities to Mad Men might entice viewers hungry for more Don Draper but resigned to the fact that they won’t get him for another year. More

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    TIFF 2013: ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place’ is an entertaining thriller buoyed by strong performances

    The crime thriller is not an easy genre to tackle. The cinematic landscape is littered with movies that were unable to illustrate stakes worth caring about, characters worth emotionally investing in, or stories worth following. Good additions to the genre, however, are always fascinating to watch, as they show a side of things that very few people see otherwise, and put people in situations that reveal a lot about them. More