‘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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An oldie but goodie from a master entertainer

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Nelson DeMille is one of my favorite thriller writers, but somehow I never got around to reading his 2000 bestseller, “The Lion’s Game.” Fortunately, Grand Central Publishing recently put out a new paperback edition of the book, tied in with the release of a hard cover sequel, “The Lion.” Over the weekend, I picked up […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The return of the rollicking, rebellious Amoralists

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Playwright-director Derek Ahonen has had a great year, with three of his plays “The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side,” “Happy in the Poorhouse” and “Amerissiah,” opening to good reviews and strong audience response in downtown Manhattan. Ahonen is the resident playwright of The Amoralists, a New York theater troupe that is second to […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Rent it now: ‘A Prophet’

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The terrific 2009 French crime drama ‘A Prophet’ arrives on DVD Tuesday and it should go to the top of your Netflix queue. Earlier this year, writer-director Jacques Audiard received a well-deserved Oscar nomination in the best foreign language category for the movie, but when he failed to win, “A Prophet” seemed to lose momentum […] [Read More]
Categories: General

What time does to youthful relationships

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Sally Koslow’s new novel, “With Friends Like These” (Ballantine Books), arrives in bookstores Aug. 10 with many ingredients that might lead some potential readers to dismiss it as yet another “chick lit” spin-off of “Sex & the City.” The book tracks a quartet of professional women over the course of a decade in New York […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘On the Road’: out of the reality TV discount bin

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Did you see the pictures of the “Jersey Shore” cast ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange the other day? A wag writing for the Associated Press dubbed the event “Tan Tuesday.” The PR stunt demonstrated once and for all that reality TV is an entrenched genre and pop culture phenomenon, with Snookie […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Rubicon’: lots of style, not much substance

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The producers of the new AMC series “Rubicon” — debuting Sunday night — caught my attention when they announced that they were hoping for a contemporary equivalent of the Watergate era paranoid thrillers “Three Days of the Condor,” “The Parallax View,” “The Conversation” and “All the President’s Men.” Those happen to be four of my […] [Read More]
Categories: General