After 18 years, Janet Evanovich makes it to the big screen

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“One for the Money” opened Friday with two big strikes against it — the distribution company’s decision not to press-screen the film in advance of its premiere and the presence of Katherine Heigl in the starring role. The absence of critics’ screenings before a movie debuts — particularly something that “opens wide” as “One for […] [Read More]

Lifetime examines ‘stereotyping’ of unwed pregnant teens

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Tonight’s “Lifetime Original Movie” — “The Pregnancy Project” airing at 8 p.m. — is a bizarre based-on-fact soap opera about a Washington State high school student who pretended to be pregnant for her senior class project. Gaby Rodriguez (played by Alexa Vega) said she wanted to explore the treatment and stereoptyping of high school girls who […] [Read More]

Rent it now: sexually confused high school kids grow up

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Emmy Rossum has been knocking around in movies for several years — she was the ingenue opposite Gerard Butler in “Phantom of the Opera” and was lost in the ensemble shuffle of “The Day After Tomorrow” — without making a very strong impression one way or the other. That’s why it is so sad that […] [Read More]

‘Mavericks’: juggling art and money in American ballet

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It’s hard to think of another arts documentary like “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance” — one that digs so deeply into the personal and financial challenges of keeping an arts organization alive over several decades, as funding sources dry up and artistic relationships buckle. A standard “American Masters” approach to the late choreographer/artistic director Robert […] [Read More]

‘Silent Oligarch’: a terrific post-Cold War espionage thriller

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Add Chris Morgan Jones to the ever-growing list of fine writers who have found ways to reinvent the international espionage thriller long after the end of the Cold War. Fans of the genre probably recall the reports of the demise of the John LeCarre/Len Deighton spy story after the fall of the Iron Curtain. What […] [Read More]

‘Balibo’: when journalists don’t see the danger around them

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Some foreign movies leave you thinking that there are few real differences between countries and cultures, but then there are films like the Australian docudrama “Balibo” that keep you at a slight distance. Set mostly in East Timor in 1975, the film is about the disappearance of five Australian television journalists who were covering the […] [Read More]

Rent it now: when Coco flipped over Igor in 1913 Paris

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Jan Kounen’s smart and sexy 2010 bio-pic “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky” opens with a tremendous flourish — a recreation of the legendary 1913 Paris premiere of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” which nearly caused the audience to riot. Kounen shows us Nijinsky and his patron Sergei Diaghilev getting the Ballets Russes dancers ready to […] [Read More]

A (very) late report on ‘Defending the Caveman’

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Obviously any piece of comic material that has been performed continuously for 20 years has to have a lot going for it. But it was still a very pleasant surprise to have such a good time watching Paul Perroni perform the Rob Becker piece “Defending the Caveman” at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport last […] [Read More]

‘Royal Pains’: a winter escape to the Hamptons

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So far, we haven’t had much of a winter in the Northeast, but it’s still nice to dream of summers at the beach via the USA series “Royal Pains,” which restarts tonight at 10. The Hamptons-based show has been a small but significant hit for the basic cable channel since 2009, reflected in Penguin’s decision […] [Read More]

‘The Look of Love’: murders at an upscale L.A. spa

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Mary Jane Clark delivers another superior traditional mystery with “The Look of Love” (William Morrow), the second in the writer’s new series about Piper Donovan, an aspiring New York actress who moonlights as a cake decorator for upscale clients. The first book “To Have and to Kill” took readers into the world of daytime drama […] [Read More]