‘White Collar’: old-fashioned capers in modern New York

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After an odd five-month break, season three of the USA series “White Collar” will resume Tuesday night at 9 with six new episodes running through Feb. 21. It’s the sort of bizarre scheduling that can kill a good show, and this sleek, shot-in-New York series is a good one, judging by the three January episodes […] [Read More]

Give Max Von Sydow an Oscar!

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Like most baby boom film buffs, I’ve been enjoying the performances of Max Von Sydow for most of my life. The 82-year-old Swedish actor conquered art house audiences here when he was still in his 20s in a series of Ingmar Bergman classics including “The Seventh Seal,” “Wild Strawberries” and “The Virgin Spring.” George Stevens […] [Read More]

‘Betrayal’: Boston gangsters in league with corrupt feds

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The new non-fiction book “Betrayal” (Forge) is about the FBI man who was sent to Boston to clean up its shockingly corrupt office — it’s a gripping story of gangsters having their way with those who are supposed to enforce laws. Everyone knows that undercover cops and FBI men who work with informers run the […] [Read More]

‘School of Flesh’: how many women are willing to pay for sex?

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Did you see the recent news stories in 2010 about the first “legal” male prostitute in America? He worked for one of the state-regulated bordellos outside Las Vegas and was available to any woman who wanted to hire him (the prostitute made it clear in news reports that his services were not available to men). […] [Read More]

‘The Devil Inside’: somewhere P.T. Barnum is smiling

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Old-fashioned showmanship is still alive and well in Hollywood. We might be in the middle of the “prestige season” in which critically acclaimed Oscar contenders are being rolled out for awards consideration, but at the box office last weekend, the little, Z-grade exploitation film “The Devil Inside” soared over all of the competition with a […] [Read More]

Perfect casting or: when Bette Davis replaced Claudette Colbert

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Tonight’s “Martini & a Movie” screening at the Fairfield Theatre Company continues my 10-month series of films that celebrate — and criticize — just about everything to do with New York City. So far, we’ve had fun with some less well known comedies (“A Thousand Clowns”), dramas (“Heights”) and satires (“Just Tell Me What You […] [Read More]

Rent it now: glossy throwback to earlier movie era

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Luca Guadagnino’s lush and swoony romantic 2010 film, “I Am Love,” oozes style — and just a smattering of substance — and will probably remind the baby boomers who watch it of some of the gorgeous foreign make-out movies of their youth. Back in the 1960s, three of the biggest hits from overseas were “The […] [Read More]

Knowing when to go during ‘Ghost Protocol’ or ‘War Horse’

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When a young film buff friend told me there was an iPhone app designed to let you know when it was safe to take a bathroom break during a movie, I scoffed. But, sure enough, “RunPee” is now in the third year of its existence with nearly 75,000 customers drawn in by the slogan “Because […] [Read More]

‘Hypnotik’: dreaming while awake in the East Village

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We get so used to small-scale, traditional storytelling in the theater that it can be hard to adjust to something surreal and non-linear like “Hypnotik: The Seer Will Doctor You Know” which opened at the Theater for the New City last weekend. Conceived and directed by Ildiko Nemeth for The New Stage Theatre Company, the […] [Read More]

NC-17 ‘Shame’ takes sex back from the pornographers

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The new Steve (“Hunger”) McQueen-directed film, “Shame,” opened to mostly strong reviews last month — after stirring a lot of talk in Europe and on the U.S. festival circuit earlier in 2011 — but it appears to have stalled in the marketplace. After early grosses in limited released proved to be strong, the film’s distributor, […] [Read More]