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‘The Chapman Report’: a very un-sexy movie about sex

Director George Cukor never hid the fact that he had a very bad time in post-production on his 1962 film, “The Chapman Report.” The movie lost 20 minutes at the hands of a studio editor — who worked without the director present — and then an anonymous hack was brought in to shoot a new […] [Read More]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: General

‘I See You’: terrific extra-marital romantic comedy

The romantic comedy genre is more or less dead in movies — the victim of shifting demographics favoring teen boys and undemanding Chinese audiences — but I saw a good example of the form at The Flea Theater in downtown Manhattan last week. “I See You” by Kate Robin is what might be labeled a […] [Read More]

‘Betrayed’: everything comes together for Scottoline

For the past few years, the best-selling crime writer Lisa Scottoline been pulling off a very successful split personality act — in public and to the delight of her readers. There has been no let-up in the Philadelphia-based novels that made her name 20 years ago, but the author has made a slight change in […] [Read More]

BAM focuses on ‘sun-drenched’ crime dramas

The decade of the 1980s is viewed by many film historians as an era of Hollywood blockbusters and feel-good hits that were in stark contrast to the dark films of the previous decade. According to this theory, the huge success of two 1970s hits — “Jaws” in 1975 and “Star Wars” in 1977 — set […] [Read More]

‘Pittsburgh’: the lost Michael Chabon adaptation

“The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” arrived on video five years ago as seriously damaged goods. Shot in 2006 and screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, the picture received mostly withering reviews and was barely released in this country. The trade papers Variety and The Hollywood Reporter liked the movie, but if you look at the […] [Read More]

Catching up with Julianne Moore’s taboo performance

The angriest phone call I’ve ever received from a reader came after I praised David O. Russell’s 1994 debut film “Spanking the Monkey” and mentioned in passing that the story included a darkly comic treatment of mother-son incest. The woman on the phone said she was a psychologist and thought that it was a disgrace […] [Read More]

‘Behind the Scenes’: Judi Dench’s scrapbook memoir

Reading the text and savoring the many pictures in the new Judi Dench memoir, “Behind the Scenes” (St. Martin’s Press), often feels like going through one of the the actress’ scrapbooks with her sitting by your side commenting on each page. It’s a delightfully casual book that takes us from Dench’s early days as a […] [Read More]

Mike Nichols & the unimaginable terror of ‘Streamers’

The scope of the work of the late great Mike Nichols on stage and screen was vast, but when I heard the news of his death this morning I immediately flashed back to his indelible staging of the David Rabe play “Streamers” in 1976. The Vietnam War drama had stirred up lots of negative vibes […] [Read More]

‘The Adventurers’: when a trashy movie isn’t fun

On paper, the Warner Archive release “The Adventurers” sounds like it should be a lot of good bad-movie fun. After all, it’s a big budget 1970 Paramount production based on a novel by Harold Robbins, who ruled the best seller lists 50 years ago with lurid potboilers such as “The Carpetbaggers” and “Where Love Has […] [Read More]