Posts filtered on Category



Finding good New York theater on the cheap

Whenever I hear people complaining about the high cost of theater in New York City I know that they aren’t very adventurous folk. Yes, a good seat this weekend for “The Book of Mormon” or “It’s Only a Play” will set you back several hundred dollars, but those are two of the hottest tickets on […] [Read More]

‘Government Girl’: Olivia de Havilland’s last straw

After watching the new Warner Archive DVD release “Government Girl” it’s easy to see why after being forced to do this lame 1943 comedy Olivia de Havilland became ever more resolved to launch a legal suit against the studio that held her contract. de Havilland was a Warner Bros. contractee who became increasingly frustrated by […] [Read More]

CrimeCONN gets off to a great start

The first annual gathering of crime writers and readers at the Westport Library — CrimeCONN — was a hit Saturday. The event attracted a full house in the McManus Room of the library and the day of panels and schmoozing went off without a hitch. Crime writers and their fans are a convivial group. Witness […] [Read More]

Through the years with ‘Goodbye, Columbus’ & Ali MacGraw

Unless a filmmaker or studio decides to tinker, a movie travels through time without changing. It’s one of the mysteries of movie watching — and the aging process — that some movies we loved as kids become unwatchable as adults (I was a huge Jerry Lewis fan up until I was 12 or 13). Other […] [Read More]

Rent it now: a fresh look at the Hollywood fame game

Who would imagine that a documentary about celebrity culture — with extensive interview footage involving Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan — would turn out as well as Adrian Grenier’s “Teenage Paparazzo”? Grenier was one of the stars of my least-favorite HBO series, “Entourage,” which was all about movie people in Los Angeles, so I feared […] [Read More]

‘Newsies’ even better the second time around

The many virtues of the Disney sleeper hit musical “Newsies” became even more apparent to me last night when I caught the opening of the first-rate first national tour at the gorgeous Palace Theater in Waterbury. Based on a 1992 movie flop, the story of an 1899 strike by New York City newspaper boys against […] [Read More]

The star who changed our notions of beauty

Barbra Streisand has been a star and pop culture icon for so long now that it is easy to lose sight of the revolutionary impact she had on show business 50 years ago. Streisand’s distinctive looks were called “ugly” by some industry insiders who couldn’t imagine a place for the actress and singer in a […] [Read More]

‘Days and Nights’: Chekhov in Connecticut

The very gifted stage actor Christian Camargo makes an auspicious film directing debut with “Days and Nights,” an adaptation of “The Seagull” set on a rambling Connecticut estate in the early 1980s. The movie opened at the IFC Center in New York just a few weeks ago, but it has already been made available for […] [Read More]

Bad Movies We Love: ‘Rich and Famous’

Veteran Hollywood director George Cukor’s final film, “Rich and Famous,” was not well reviewed when it debuted in 1981 and the box-office results were mediocre. A mini-controversy erupted when New Yorker reviewer Pauline Kael wrote about what she saw as homosexual undertones in the storytelling, but Kael’s critics blasted her review as thinly veiled homophobia directed […] [Read More]

Solving many mysteries at CrimeCONN on Saturday

You wouldn’t think that people who write about murder and deep psychological disturbances would be be fun to hang out with, but you would be wrong. After spending many hours at assorted crime writing conferences — from Bouchercon to ThrillerFest to the New England Crime Bake — I am continuously impressed by the generosity and […] [Read More]