A surprisingly bleak ’50s adventure film from Warner Archive

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In the years before she became an iconic figure in Federico Fellini’s 1960 blockbuster “La Dolce Vita,” Anita Ekberg had a brief flirtation with Hollywood stardom. The stunning blonde was named Miss Sweden in 1950. She didn’t win the Miss Universe pageant that year, but Ekberg did land a modeling contract that resulted in a […] [Read More]

‘The Bad and the Better’: an orgy for theater lovers

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With their new show “The Bad and the Better,” The Amoralists have moved a bit closer to New York City’s mainstream — from the Lower East Side to 42nd Street — but they haven’t given an inch in terms of challenging, confrontational theater. The Amoralists’ resident playwright Derek Ahonen is peerless when it comes to […] [Read More]

Another naughty, record-breaking ‘Broadway Bares’

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The guest stars at the annual “Broadway Bares” benefit last week might not have been as impressive as the turn-out at previous years’ shows — it will be hard to top the opening number with Vanessa Williams and Kristin Chenoweth in 2010 — but the dance numbers were some of the best ever. The theme […] [Read More]

Rent it now: Eytan Fox’s ‘The Bubble’

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From April 23, 2011 — A musician acquaintance of mine who played a gig in Tel Aviv a few years ago was shocked by the stable and rather apolitical atmosphere he encountered in the city’s bohemian quarter: “I felt as safe there as I do in New York.” That comment is reinforced by the controversial […] [Read More]

When John Lennon moved to New York City

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From Dec. 5, 2010 — If you missed the airing of “LENNONYC” on the PBS series “American Masters” you can catch up with it on DVD via A&E Home Entertainment. As usual with Susan Lacy’s long-running series, the Lennon documentary is way above average, examining one specific period in the musician’s life rather than trying to cover […] [Read More]

Giving ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ another look

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From March 29, 2011 — Warner Home Video is releasing “Tracy and Hepburn: The Definitive Collection” on April 12 and I began working my way through the nine movies the two stars did together over the weekend. I decided to start with the final Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy picture — the 1967 “Guess Who’s Coming to […] [Read More]

‘The Other Woman’: a not-so-wicked stepmother

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From Feb. 13, 2011 — The Don Roos film “The Other Woman,” starring Natalie Portman, was ready for release two years ago, but has just debuted in New York City at the IFC Center and as an On Demand choice of Sundance Selects, but don’t let this slight aura of damaged goods put you off. […] [Read More]

Sutton Foster — these are the good old days

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From April 20, 2011 — Oldtimers continually bemoan the supposed absence of stars on Broadway these days — the chatrooms are filled with show queens asserting there is no one now who can hold a candle to Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Gwen Verdon. etc. etc. They don’t seem to recognize the fact that Merman and […] [Read More]

Brian DePalma’s ‘Blow Out’ gets the Criterion treatment

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From April 27, 2011 – The most important movie event of the past month happened in video stores rather than in theaters — Brian DePalma’s masterpiece “Blow Out” appeared on DVD in a two-disc Criterion Collection edition. Criterion releases are a tad pricier than the standard issue DVD but they always use the finest prints and […] [Read More]

Can Tom Cruise become Jack Reacher on screen?

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From July 23, 2011 — One of the favorite games readers have played with bestselling novels for years is: Who should play X in the movie version of Y? At the moment, many of the people who have loved Lee Child’s series of thrillers about ex-military policeman Jack Reacher are fuming about the announcement last […] [Read More]