The double life of Charlie Chan – stereotype or ‘Chinese hero’?

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Yunte Huang has written an important book that also happens to be a hell of a lot of fun to read, “Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History.” Part true crime book, part cultural history, part Hollywood expose, Huang’s exhaustively researched and gracefully written tale of the […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The ‘Sex & the City’ money machine keeps spinning

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Although it was widely viewed within the media as a disaster, the early summer release “Sex and the City 2” made $100 million in this country and at least that much overseas. Commentators scolded writer-director Michael Patrick King and producer-star Sarah Jessica Parker for being grossly insensitive to the current financial malaise in the United States […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The return of 1950s style 3D

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Last weekend’s disappointing opening of the musical “Step Up 3D” left some industry analysts wondering if the current 3D vogue is beginning to wane. Yes, “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” earned blockbuster grosses in 3D earlier this year, but the biggest hit of mid-summer — “Inception” — has soared over the $200 million mark in […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Tough Customer’: a thriller with heart

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Sandra Brown’s ability to empathize with men as well as women is so acute that if you took the writer’s name off one of her terrific bestselling thrillers you might have a hard time guessing the gender of the novelist. Case in point: The latest Brown page-turner, “Tough Customer,” to be published tomorrow by Simon […] [Read More]
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Rent it now: ‘The Parallax View’

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The creators of the new Sunday night AMC series “Rubicon” say it is meant as an homage to the great paranoid political thrillers of the 1970s, but so far the show’s lame plot about life in a New York City intelligence agency office is only a dim echo of films such as “The Conversation” (1974) […] [Read More]
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‘Hollywood’: Larry McMurtry from ‘Hud’ to ‘Brokeback Mountain’

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On Tuesday, Simon and Schuster will publish the slim but very entertaining “Hollywood: A Third Memoir” by Larry McMurtry. McMurtry has been lucky enough to enjoy three separate careers — as a novelist, a bookseller and Hollywood screenwriter. The new book about the writer’s adventures in the movie trade follows “Books: A Memoir” and “Literary […] [Read More]
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‘Wartime’: Todd Solondz’s sort-of sequel to ‘Happiness’

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It has taken the independent film “Life During Wartime” longer than usual to open theatrically. The latest work by Todd Solondz played the international festival circuit last year to mixed notices, but has just been released in this country. It’s a fascinating oddity, a sort-of sequel to the same writer-director’s audience-dividing 1998 picture, “Happiness,” which […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Robert Boyle, R.I.P.

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An incredibly gifted and durable film artist died in Los Angeles Sunday at the age of 100. Robert Boyle was a production designer and art director whose career included the fabulous look of Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” in 1959 as well the same director’s beautiful 1963 horror movie, “The Birds.” It was Boyle who […] [Read More]
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