In praise of Kim Raver (and a 2008-2009 ‘flop’)

on
Tonight’s Lifetime movie, “Bond of Silence,” is a better than average production for that network because it sidesteps most of its soap opera potential in favor of looking at tricky legal/moral issues. The film also gets a boost from a good performance by Kim Raver as a woman who lives in a small California resort […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Behind the scenes with Hollywood survivor Sylvester Stallone

on
Say what you will about Sylvester Stallone, but he is one of the great Hollywood survivors. A star since he wrote and appeared in “Rocky” 34 years ago, Stallone’s career has probably had more downs than ups — his filmography is littered with unwatchable (and long forgotten) flops such as “Rhinestone” and “Judge Dredd” — […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Rent it now: The movie of Paula Fox’s ‘Desperate Characters’

on
Jonathan Franzen has been getting extraordinary advance press for his novel “Freedom” — set to be published Aug. 31. A critic as well as a novelist, Franzen did one of the great literary good deeds of the modern era when he helped to restore the reputation of novelist Paula Fox (below) a decade ago. Fox had […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Reading Nelson DeMille’s ‘The Lion’ while waiting for ‘when’

on
As we head toward the ninth anniversary of 9/11, I keep thinking about that phrase we heard over and over from Bush Administration officials regarding a follow-up terrorist attack: “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.” So, when is “when”? The extremists who brought down the Twin Towers nine years ago […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Temple Grandin’: Claire Danes makes a huge leap

on
There’s a long Hollywood history of bio-pics forcing female performers to take big chances that paid off: Sally Field in the title role of “Norma Rae.” Bonnie Bedelia in “Heart Like a Wheel.” Jessica Lange as Patsy Cline in “Sweet Dreams.” In all three of those cases, beautiful young actresses had to show respect for […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The old-fashioned craftsmanship of ‘Promises, Promises’

on
When the cast album of the current Broadway revival of “Promises, Promises” was released a few months back, I wrote here about how much I admire the song score of Burt Bacharach and Hal David and how sad it is that after the original production of the show opened in 1968 these two artists never […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Rent it now: ‘Into the Wild’

on
Sean Penn is one of the very Hollywood stars who directs movies with as much passion and skill as he brings to his acting. Starting with “The Indian Runner” in 1991, Penn has shown himself to be a good judge of material and a wonderful director of actors (Viggo Mortensen played one of his first […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The mystery of ‘Me and Orson Welles’ thickens

on
Richard Linklater is one of the most interesting filmmakers in this country — his resume includes “Dazed and Confused” and “Before Sunrise” — so the complete mishandling of his most recent film, “Me and Orson Welles,” is one of the great movie mysteries of the past few years. As they say in the movie business, […] [Read More]
Categories: General