‘Rainwater’: sad, but beautiful

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The new Sandra Brown novel, “Rainwater” (Simon and Schuster), is surprising on multiple levels. Brown is one of our finest thriller writers, and like many of her peers, she has been on a one-book-a-year schedule for some time. In August, the author delivered one of her best crime novels yet, the movie-themed, unputdownable “Smash Cut.” […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘An Education’: a star is born

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To do a good coming-of-age movie you need a very talented young performer who can convincingly mature right in front of our eyes. Carey Mulligan does that — and more — in “An Education,” the new Nick Hornby-scripted comedy-drama set in London and Paris in the early 1960s. Jenny is a smart and funny 16-year-old […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The classic that debuted in New Haven 50 years ago

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Did you know that the world premiere of “The Sound of Music” took place at the Shubert Theater in New Haven 50 years ago this fall? I didn’t know that either, until the new Sony Masterworks 50th anniversary CD of the original cast recording landed on my desk recently. In addition to three excellent bonus tracks, […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Familiarity breeds delight

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Two of my favorite practitioners of the traditional mystery — Carolyn Hart and Katherine Hall Page — share a publisher (William Morrow) and this year they’ve shared a publication date and theme as well. Last Tuesday marked the release of Christmas whodunits by each author, Hart’s “Merry, Merry Ghost” and Page’s “The Body in the […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Ashton Kutcher plays a sort-of prostitute in Los Angeles

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With the rise of Internet porn and escort services over the past decade or so, we are overdue for a remake of “American Gigolo” (1980). So, when “Spread” opened last summer with ads suggesting that Ashton Kutcher was playing a 21st Century Los Angeles gigolo — “It’s a business doing pleasure” was the poster tagline — […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Inside the Michael Jackson bunker

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The movie and music press appears divided on the new Michael Jackson documentary, “This Is It,” with at least one major writer blasting it as a desecration of a great artist’s memory and others viewing it as a spectacular behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a Jackson arena show. The harshest review I saw was […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Will ‘Fela!’ fly on Broadway?

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Although the show has more than three weeks of previews before opening on Nov. 23, the off-Broadway hit “Fela!” has Broadway folks buzzing about whether or not the Bill T. Jones dance show will succeed in its move to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. I saw the Monday night preview and thought the show’s high points […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Boo!

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I find it enormously pleasing that the gore-free, low-tech, $12,000 horror movie, “Paranormal Activity,” trounced the latest picture in the “Saw” franchise (“Saw VI”!) at the U.S. box-office over the weekend. Say what you will about “Paranormal Activity” — for me it wasn’t very scary or anywhere near as clever as “The Blair Witch Project” […] [Read More]
Categories: General