Posts by Author

Joe Meyers

badjews

‘Bad Jews’: grandpa dies, family implodes

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Like an intricate puzzle, a family can fall apart after you remove one piece. Perhaps the saddest coming-of-age moment occurs at a funeral when you realize that things will never be the same after the death of the beloved relative who cared enough to keep your extended family together. The human linchpin can be the […] [Read More]
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‘Mirage’: Peter Stone 9 years before ‘Pelham 123′

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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]
joel

‘Joel Delaney’: 1970s NYC in all its gritty glory

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Shirley MacLaine has always made fun of the B-level British producer Lew Grade, who convinced the actress to do a disastrous, short-lived TV series in the late 1960s (“there’s high grade and Lew Grade,” she wrote in one of her memoirs). But, thanks to her TV deal with Grade, MacLaine was able to get a […] [Read More]
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‘The First Deadly Sin’: Frank Sinatra’s swan song

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Although he would live another 18 years, Frank Sinatra stopped acting in movies after “The First Deadly Sin” opened to mixed reviews and indifferent business in 1980. Sinatra was a huge film attraction in his prime, but always put music first, and he became somewhat notorious for losing interest in many of his movies before […] [Read More]
doomsday

‘The Doomsday Equation’: 3 days until the end

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In addition to his day job as a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, Matt Richtel has launched a second career as one of our best thriller writers. “The Doomsday Equation” — which William Morrow is publishing today — is Richtel’s fourth novel. Like his three earlier tales, the book is rooted in the writer’s […] [Read More]
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‘The Last Five Years’: unhappily ever after

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Why do so many of the most beloved romantic movies end so unhappily? Hollywood might think audiences hate sad finales but there is plenty of evidence to discount that notion — “Casablanca,” “Annie Hall,” “The Way We Were,” “Gone with the Wind.” Perhaps “what might have been” holds more allure for us as a fantasy […] [Read More]
oscarhype

Oscar exhaustion: a season of hype & dirty tricks

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I’m sure there will be a lot of fun to be had watching ABC’s telecast of the Oscar ceremonies tonight — who doesn’t want to watch what Neil Patrick Harris does with the host gig? — but I must admit I will be happy to see the end of the foolish and fraught run-up to […] [Read More]
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‘Star 80’: Bob Fosse’s hate letter to show biz

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Bob Fosse’s scathing 1983 biopic about the (short) life and death of Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratten — “Star 80” — will make its wide-screen DVD debut on Tuesday via Warner Archive. To say that the movie was disliked when it came out is an understatement — critics and audiences hated Fosse’s ice-cold approach to celebrity […] [Read More]
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Remembering the Oscar campaign pioneer Joseph E. Levine

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Although his name has been largely forgotten, producer and distributor Joseph E. Levine was a towering movie figure in the 1960s and 1970s, first for his ability to sniff out and market low-budget turkeys, and then for the energy he brought to Oscar campaigning years before Harvey Weinstein arrived on the scene. Levine was a […] [Read More]
KubrickStrangelove3

A ‘Strangelove’ picture worth several thousand words

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The 1964 Stanley Kubrick film “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” is in my all-time top-ten movie list — or maybe even my top-five, depending on the mood I’m in. The film remains the funniest and most sophisticated satire ever produced by a Hollywood studio. And, “Dr. Strangelove” […] [Read More]