‘The Walking Dead’: enough with the zombies already!

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Who knew when we were watching George Romero’s midnight movie sensation “Night of the Living Dead” that the flesh-eating zombies he created would prove to be one of the biggest influences in the horror genre for more than 40 years? Romero himself reworked the idea in a series of sequels that had little of the […] [Read More]

Rent it now: Michael Crichton’s underrated 1978 thriller ‘Coma’

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Michael Douglas served a long and unusually varied apprenticeship in Hollywood before he became a major box-office star — and Oscar-winning actor — in the 1980s. Douglas appeared in a series of unsuccessful small films in the late 1960s and early 1970s that failed to move him out of the shadow of superstar dad Kirk […] [Read More]

‘On the Line’: high anxiety on the streets of New York

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I had a great time last night moderating a discussion at the Westport Library with two of our best crime writers, S.J. Rozan and Daniel Judson. They are both good talkers as well as writers so it was an entertaining and illuminating session (with terrific questions from the audience). Rozan has created a unique crime […] [Read More]

‘Cash Crop’: a road trip through the California pot scene

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It’s a “crime” that many of us — most of us? — committed more than once. Especially when we were young and foolish. Show me a baby boomer who claims he or she was never in the presence of the illegal consumption of marijuana in the 1960s or 1970s and I’ll show you an AARP […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Notes on a preview of ‘Women on the Verge…’

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Broadway has been inundated with musicals based on movies over the past decade, but I don’t think there has ever been a show that displayed more reverance for its film source material than “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” Director Bartlett Sher and set designer Michael Yeargan and costume designer Catherine Zuber (the […] [Read More]

‘Follow Me Down’: college days without nostalgia

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The new play “Follow Me Down” by Patrick Barrett takes place at Oxford University in 1925, but it tells a timeless story of those intense (and unlikely) friendships we form at college out of sheer proximity to people we would never get to know so well in the “outside” world. Barrett introduces us to a group […] [Read More]

There’s no people like show people (especially Klea Blackhurst)

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What a treat it was to see Klea Blackhurst’s show “Everything the Traffic Will Allow” yesterday at the Music Theatre of Connecticut in Westport. The singer-actress has been doing this 90-minute piece about “the songs and the sass of Ethel Merman” since 2001, but it felt fresh and up-to-the-minute in MTC’s super-intimate space (perfect for […] [Read More]

n + 1 asks: ‘What Was The Hipster?’

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The smart folks behind the Brooklyn journal n + 1 put out a terrific book on the financial collapse (“Diary of a Very Bad Year”) a few months ago and now they offer up a lighter but equally sharp little volume, “What Was The Hipster? A Sociological Investigation.” The book takes off from an n […] [Read More]

‘Too Fat for 40′: Kevin Smith kicks himself when he’s down

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As I watched a preview copy of “Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40” the other night I couldn’t figure out if it was a comedy special or a cry for help. The show debuts as a video-on-demand option on EPIX tomorrow night and is a gruesome experience for those of us who are fans of […] [Read More]

Sinatra as actor: from ‘The Kissing Bandit’ to Oscar winner

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Although Frank Sinatra was called “The Voice” throughout his career, he managed one of the longest and most successful crossover careers in movies of any major vocalist. Barbra Streisand won an Oscar for her acting, and Doris Day topped the movie box-office polls in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but neither of those great […] [Read More]