The Marilyn Monroe death industry gears up again

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There should be a tremendous outpouring of entertainment feature stories, columns and photo essays on Marilyn Monroe in early August when we mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic star’s death. Vanity Fair has already done a June cover story with excerpts from photographer Lawrence Schiller’s new book “Marilyn & Me” (Doubleday) about his relationship […] [Read More]

‘Marigold Hotel’ or, actresses who don’t go under the knife

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The British comedy-drama “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” has many virtues but one of the most refreshing aspects of the movie is to see a company of UK actors who have clearly avoided the plastic surgery nightmares suffered by so many performers on this side of the Atlantic. It’s refreshing to see mature people in […] [Read More]

‘Diner’: the 1982 classic that was saved by a film critic

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Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman made an often quoted statement about Hollywood that it’s a business in which “Nobody knows anything.” Hits can’t be manufactured by computers and focus groups and many films that have been written off as failures by studio brass have turned out to be very popular. It was Francis Coppola, coming off […] [Read More]

‘Gossip’: three New York City women moving through time

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There’s something deeply satisfying about stories that allow us to follow a small group of friends over many years — watching careers rise and fall, personal lives fit together or fly to pieces. Trios of young women trying to make a place for themselves in the big bad city were the subject of Rona Jaffe’s […] [Read More]

‘Too Big to Fail’: HBO film too short to be coherent

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Last spring’s made-for-HBO movie “Too Big to Fail” — based on New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book of the same title — races so quickly through the events of the financial collapse of 2008 that there is virtually no way for it to land as drama. (HBO Video is making “Too Big to […] [Read More]

‘Hysteria’: there’s hope for romantic comedy yet

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Things have been so dire in the romantic comedy genre recently that some of its reigning stars have gone to crazy extremes. Kate Hudson appeared in a bizarre rom-com last month — “A Little Bit of Heaven” — that opened and closed in record time, as one might expect from the story of a young […] [Read More]

Why the 3D boom isn’t about to bust anytime soon

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Paramount Pictures startled Hollywood recently when it decided to pull “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” from its June 29 release slot. Release dates tend to be engraved in stone in Tinsel Town, with studios staking out a claim for a Memorial Day weekend or July 4 release date several years in advance. Pulling the plug so close […] [Read More]

Happy Memorial Day 2012!

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Categories: General

What a ‘Shame’ we are still so juvenile about movie sex

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Michael Fassbender gave one of the strongest movie performances of the past few years in the late 2011 release “Shame,” but it is easy to imagine that the 35-year-old British actor might now have some regrets about appearing in the Steve McQueen-directed drama. Because he agreed to go full frontal in this searing story of […] [Read More]

Will Ridley Scott’s R-rated ‘Prometheus’ gamble pay off?

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Going against the Hollywood summer movie grain, director Ridley Scott and Twentieth Century Fox decided to bite the bullet and release June 8′s ultra-expensive science-fiction film “Prometheus” with an R rating. Raunchy lowish-budgeted comedies like “Bridesmaids” and “The Hangover” have gone out with R-ratings in recent summers, but the $200-$300 million tentpole movies have all […] [Read More]