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Midday at the Movies: Stream vs Big Screen & A "Roadrunner" DeepFake

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"Roadrunner" director Morgan Neville's use of AI to create some Anthony Bourdain narration has stirred controversy (courtesy Focus Features)

Our movie critics consider theater-only movie releases amidst a COVID spike, plus documentary ethics.

After an important COVID update at the top of the show, we begin another edition of Midday at the Movies, our monthly look at films and the filmmaking industry.

Tom is joined once again (on Zoom) by our movie regulars: Ann Hornaday, a film critic for the Washington Post and author of the bestselling movie-goers’ guide, Talking Pictures: How To Watch Movies; and Jed Dietz, the founding director of the Maryland Film Festival and its restored Parkway Theater.

We talk about the ongoing argument over streaming vs theatrical film releases, and the lawsuit filed against The Walt Disney Company by actor Scarlett Johansson for the studio's decision not to limit the release of her latest action film, Black Widow, to theaters.

We also discuss the ethical and artistic concerns raised by the undisclosed use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to generate some of Anthony Bourdain's voice in Roadrunner, Morgan Neville's new documentary about the late chef and host of CNN's "Parts Unknown" series.

And some summer movie nods to David Lowery's fantastical The Green Knight, with Dev Patel as a medieval knight confronting a supernatural challenge, and Tom McCarthy's Stillwater, a complex and somewhat muddled drama about truth and justice, starring Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.