The sheer authority of Michael Douglas in “Money Never Sleeps”

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What a blast it is to watch Michael Douglas reconnect with the role of Gordon Gekko in the new “Wall Street” sequel “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” The movie is flawed in terms of plotting and tone — so was the first one — but the authority that Douglas brings to his performance blotted out […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’: who poisoned the sugar?

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One of the most exciting developments in the theater in recent years has been the way that serious playwrights have begun to expand our notions of musical theater. Tony (“Angels in America”) Kushner worked on the magnificent “Caroline, or Change.” Doug Wright followed his Pulitzer Prize-winning play “I Am My Own Wife” with the book […] [Read More]
Categories: General

More baggage for Liza Minnelli to carry

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Although there has been confusion about the release date — some say it was last Tuesday, the record label’s press release says it will “drop” Sept. 28 — the new Liza Minnelli CD “Confessions” wouldn’t be likely to find much favor with fans or non-fans whenever it appeared. Presented without the sort of production “protection” she […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Spartacus’: somewhere Cecil B. DeMille is smiling

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There is a long Hollywood history of using Biblical tales and adventures in ancient Rome and Greece as an excuse for showing off a lot of skin and indulging in violence that might not go down so easy in a contemporary story. Master showman Cecil B. DeMille wasn’t the only canny director who — when […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The long, downward spiral of M. Night Shyamalan

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How long can writer-director-producer M. Night Shyamalan continue to coast on the well-deserved success of “The Sixth Sense” 11 years ago? The Philadelphia-based filmmaker displayed great visual style, and extremely clever storytelling in a smash hit that had some critics speculating that Shyamalan could be an heir to Alfred Hitchcock. Sadly, hubris set in almost […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Notes on a preview of ‘Angels in America’

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It wouldn’t be kosher for me to “review” the new production of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” at the Signature Theatre in Manhattan — the two-part production just started previews last Tuesday and isn’t set to officially “open” for a few weeks — but why can’t I share some good news with you? The first New […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Ted Danson as George Christopher on ‘Bored to Death’

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A long-running TV series has a way of using up actors so that we think we’ve seen everything they can do. Series stars have been able to do successful variations on their first hit (Mary Tyler Moore as Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and then as Mary Richards on “The Mary Tyler […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘The Grifters’ + ‘Mad Men’ + ‘Dallas’ = ‘Lone Star’?

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One of the challenges in talking about a new TV show is the yet-to-be-solved mystery of whether or not it will hold up in the long run. Shows that start off with a bang (i.e. “Entourage”) can sometimes run out of gas very quickly. Other less promising series (“Seinfeld”) gain momentum and turn into super […] [Read More]
Categories: General