Louis CK: ‘stupidity followed by self-hatred & analysis’

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A very funny film that truly lives up to its bragging title — “Hilarious” — is debuting on the EPIX video-on-demand service tomorrow. Starring the comedian known as Louis CK – who also wrote, directed and edited “Hilarious” — the film captures the comic in action for 80 minutes of crude but pointed analysis of his […] [Read More]
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From Janis Joplin to Bruce Springsteen at Max’s Kansas City

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Abrams Images has just released a juicy, over-sized book, “Max’s Kansas City,” about the famed downtown bar/eatery/club where the hippest New Yorkers — and visiting celebs — assembled nightly from 1968 through 1981. Gallery operator Steven Kasher edited a collection of photographs, interviews, and memorabilia designed to give those of us who weren’t around at […] [Read More]
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‘American Idiot’: the continuing resistance to rock on Broadway

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While I was on vacation, I finally caught up with the Broadway musical that director Michael Mayer has made out of the Green Day album, “American Idiot.” The staging is truly thrilling and the songs are given a real theatrical charge by an excellent cast that includes John Gallagher Jr. (who won a Tony for […] [Read More]
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‘The 19th Wife’: Lifetime grows up

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It looks like we’re all going to have to retire the phrase “Lifetime movie” used as a way of knocking any soapy, female demographic-pandering film we hate. There was a time not that long ago when I would rather watch one of those live surgery specials on PBS than the hokum Lifetime served up on […] [Read More]
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Hello, I must be going

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Your faithful blogger is taking some time off for R&R, plus my annual search for the best crabcake on the Delmarva Peninsula (above). I’ll be back on Sept. 13 to pick up where I left off. I’ll also be micro-blogging on Twitter while I’m away. You can follow my Twitter feed on this page or […] [Read More]
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‘Freedom’: living up to great advance press

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The new Jonathan Franzen novel “Freedom” has been so extravagantly praised for so many weeks now that the actual appearance of the book in stores on Tuesday felt slightly anti-climactic. Not since Pauline Kael started raving about Robert Altman’s “Nashville” way in advance of its 1975 release date has there been so much negative backlash […] [Read More]
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‘I’d Know You Anywhere’: coming to terms with the past

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In an age in which pollsters and media pundits seem to demand snap judgements on even the thorniest issues — are you for or against the mosque at Ground Zero? — the new Laura Lippman novel, “I’d Know You Anywhere” (William Morrrow), revels in complexity and doubt. Lippman first made a name for herself with […] [Read More]
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Fighting over the deck chairs on the Titanic

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The advance rave reviews and, especially, the Time magazine cover story on Jonathan Franzen have prompted an interesting backlash from other novelists. Instead of being happy that a novel has been deemed worthy of the sort of press treatment accorded to movies or TV shows in 2010, Twitter and Facebook have been filled with barely […] [Read More]
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