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]

Hello, I must be going (but not really!)

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Even a confirmed arts junkie like myself needs to recharge the old cultural batteries every once in a while, so officially I will be away on vacation for the next week. But, as Neil Young once said, rust never sleeps, so I will be seeing a lot of fun stuff to report back on next […] [Read More]

Lots of ‘Happy Endings’ promised at Broadway benefit

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I don’t think there is a more entertaining annual benefit in New York than “Broadway Bares” which is presented every June as one of the major fundraisers of the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Now in its 21st edition, the show has gotten more polished and more spectacular each year, showcasing more than 200 Broadway […] [Read More]

‘Never Tell’: was a rich teen’s ‘suicide’ actually a murder?

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Harper is publishing the fourth Ellie Hatcher novel by Alafair Burke — “Never Tell” — on Tuesday and it is another of the writer’s knock-out mixtures of great plotting and a series protagonist who is unusually complicated and compelling. Hatcher is a New York City police detective and she has quickly become one of the […] [Read More]

Grading trash TV — where does ‘Next Big Thing NY’ fit?

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I think all of us have moments when we just want to go home and veg out with mindless TV — i.e. a reality show that you would be half-embarrassed to tell anyone you watch. It’s always liberating when a smart friend pauses for a moment when they’re talking about what they were watching last […] [Read More]

‘The Columnist’: when pundits (thought they) ruled the world

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David Auburn’s play about the once very influential journalist Joseph Alsop — “The Columnist” — is such a well made, old-fashioned play that you probably don’t have to be a politics or journalism junkie to enjoy it. Auburn has shaped the life of Alsop for maximum drama. The curtain goes up on a room in […] [Read More]

‘The Daytrippers’: a slice of Manhattan life from 1995

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I’ve had the best time hosting the “Martini and a Movie” series at the Fairfield Theatre Company over the past ten months. The theme of the fall-to-spring season has been New York City movies — films that used it as a primary location, stories that could only be told in Manhattan. We’ve looked at everything […] [Read More]

‘Coriolanus’: one of the ‘losers’ in the 2011 Oscar derby

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It seems that every year’s end includes a few good movies that are put into limited release in New York and Los Angeles for awards consideration and then quickly disappear when they are passed over. That was the fate that befell “Shame” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin” when the films’ stars — Michael […] [Read More]

‘The Last Trade’: making a (financial) killing from terrorism

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Save a spot near the top of your summer beach book bag for “The Last Trade” by James Conway, the terrific thriller Dutton will publish Thursday about the lengths to which some people will go to make money. The novel uses as its jumping off point the reports a decade ago that someone made a […] [Read More]