‘Mirage’: smart but unheralded New York thriller at FTC

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Peter Stone was a rare writer who was as successful on Broadway as he was in Hollywood. In 1969, Stone was involved with one of the biggest sleeper hits in the history of Broadway — “1776” — and show folk gave most of the credit for the musical’s success to the book writer who turned […] [Read More]

‘Around the World in 80 Days’: nostalgia isn’t what it used to be

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From July 8, 2011 – It can be dangerous to tamper with your past by going back to a movie you loved as a child but haven’t seen since. When I impulsively pulled “Around the World in 80 Days” off a video store shelf last week, I thought I was in for a nostalgic treat. […] [Read More]

‘Lethal’: another masterful Sandra Brown thriller

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From Oct. 11, 2011 – Unlike some of her bestselling peers who can fall back on continuing characters who have sold well in the past, Sandra Brown starts each of her new thrillers with a blank slate. We never know where Brown will be taking us, or what might happen to her characters, but fans […] [Read More]

Is there sex after death? ‘L.A. Zombie’ says ‘yes’

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From Aug. 31, 2011 – With pop culture in the middle of another big zombie revival no one should be too surprised by the crazy Bruce LaBruce picture “L.A. Zombie” (Strand Releasing) — due on DVD next month — which presents “intimate” moments among the undead that are probably beyond the wildest dreams of George […] [Read More]

The daring Marlon Brando performance that few have seen

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From Nov. 16, 2011 – Thanks to Netflix, last night I watched the 1967 John Huston film “Reflections in a Golden Eye” for the first time in many years. An adaptation of the Carson McCullers novella set on an Army base in the South, the movie was largely dismissed at the time of its release […] [Read More]

Hello I must be going!

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Your faithful blogger is taking a few days off for R & R and to recharge my cultural batteries. I will be running a few vintage posts over the next few days, but will return shortly with reports on the new Broadway musical “Newsies” (above) and lots of other film and reading adventures. Be well! [Read More]
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‘Spine-Tingler’ recalls the B-movie Alfred Hitchcock

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Last night, thanks to Netflix, I watched a wonderful documentary, “Spine Tingler,” about William Castle, a B-movie producer-director of the 1950s and 1960s who is fondly remembered as one of the masters of P.T. Barnum-style ballyhoo. If you are not a baby boomer, the name will probably mean nothing to you unless you happen to […] [Read More]

‘Damsels’: the wacky alternate universe of Whit Stillman

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Is it another remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” in which the pods are taking over a college campus? Or, a recycling of “The Stepford Wives” set in academia? Those were just a couple of the questions that floated through my mind as I watched Whit Stillman’s strange but captivating new film, “Damsels in […] [Read More]

‘Dropped Names’: reinventing the show-biz memoir

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Frank Langella has written just the sort of smart, funny and honest memoir you might expect from the great stage star and dynamic film actor. “Dropped Names” doesn’t really tell the story of the life and career of its author; instead, it’s about notable people who have crossed Langella’s path over the course of his […] [Read More]

‘Clybourne Park’: laughs that stick in your throat

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Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” arrived on Broadway last week in the wake of several successful regional theater productions after it won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Fortunately, the comedy-drama about American racism fully lives up to its advance hype — this is the sort of tough-minded ensemble piece that rarely makes it to a […] [Read More]