Back to the grassy knoll

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Did you catch Moammar Qaddafi’s 90-minute speech at the U.N. yesterday? Noting that he was suffering from jet lag, the Libyan leader went off on a stream of consciousness rant that included a reference to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In the latest conspiracy theory, Qaddafi laid the blame for Kennedy’s death on […] [Read More]
Categories: General

What’s so funny about that?

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It’s hard to describe the shaggy dog appeal of the HBO program “Flight of the Conchords” to someone who has never seen this comic serial about the adventures of two New Zealand musicians in downtown Manhattan.  (The second season — 10 half-hour episodes which were shown on HBO last winter — just came out on […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘A Bubble in Time’: how quickly we forget

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Although it takes lots of time for history to sort itself out — who knows what the verdict on the Clinton Era will be 100 years from now? — William L. O’Neill’s new book “A Bubble in Time: America During the Interwar Years, 1989-2001” (Ivan R. Dee) gives a reader the chance to time travel […] [Read More]
Categories: General

In praise of Nathan Fillion (and ‘Castle’)

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I’ve been having fun watching an advance copy of the season one DVD of “Castle” that will be released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment tomorrow. A mid-season replacement show on ABC last season, the series is returning  for its second year tonight at 10 p.m. The New York-set mystery is very light in spirit, often […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Spin’: The latest boss-from-hell novel

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In this age of celebrity confidentiality agreements, it has become almost impossible for ex-staffers to write real memoirs about the horrors they faced working for a famous boss. You will almost never read a negative on-the-record quote from anyone employed by a movie star or a media mogul because that would be a violation of […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Smartasses for a good cause

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The most publicized documentaries these days seem to be as much about the filmmakers as the material they are covering. Last night I watched a press DVD of “The Yes Men Fix the World” — a movie opening in New York and Los Angeles next month — which follows two activist pranksters named Andy Bichlbaum […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Patrick Swayze, R.I.P.

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The obituaries for Patrick Swayze Monday focused on the two biggest box-office hits of his career — “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost” — but neither of those very solid movies have given me as much pleasure over the years as the actor’s down-and-dirty 1989 drama “Road House.” Originally sold as a straightforward action flick, the movie […] [Read More]
Categories: General

A ‘Jump’ into mystery and empathy

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Tim Maleeny came up with an expert plot for his San Francisco mystery “Jump” ( Poisoned Pen Press), but it’s the warmth and humanity of his characters that made this book such a pleasure for me to read on vacation last week. Published in hardcover last year, the book was reprinted in paperback a few […] [Read More]
Categories: General