‘Poirot’: the pleasures of old-fashioned craftsmanship

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I can’t think of a much better match of actor and character than David Suchet in the role of Agatha Christie’s master sleuth Hercule Poirot. Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov played the role well on the big screen, but Suchet has had the chance to go much deeper into the character in the course of […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Cheri’: the surface of things

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The most recent film by British director Stephen (“The Queen”) Frears — “Cheri” — died quickly on the limited release circuit in early summer, and it seems doubtful the DVD set for release Tuesday will do much better. It’s a beautiful film with interesting performances by Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend, but I don’t think […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The secret of the first weekend success of ‘Couples Retreat’

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Did you wonder how the dreary Vince Vaughn comedy “Couples Retreat” managed to land in the number one slot last weekend with a $35.3 million gross? Granted there wasn’t much new competition at the multiplexes, but the movie did considerably better than the top film of the previous weekend (the well-reviewed “Zombieland” which grossed less […] [Read More]
Categories: General

What happened to Patricia Cornwell?

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Back in the early 1990s, I was among the many readers who enjoyed Patricia Cornwell’s prize-winning and best-selling novels about Richmond. Va., medical examiner Kay Scarpetta. The series was launched with “Postmortem” which won virtually every honor that is given to crime fiction in this country. The prizes were fully earned because Cornwell broke new […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Is Megan Fox a star?

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People in the movie industry can go from forecasting that a movie will be a huge hit — before it opens — to explaining why it bombed with incredible speed and dexterity. In the days prior to an opening, they will present you with studio-financed “tracking” studies that indicate intense chatter about a new release. […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Bring me the head of Adolf Hitler

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If “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein” — which just opened at the 13th Street Rep in Manhattan — had as much wit and energy as its best cast members, this new off-Broadway spoof would be terrific rather than just sporadically amusing. The show is reminiscent of some of the kitschy Hollywood stage send-ups that Charles […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Screening Newman’s finest: from ‘Slapshot’ to ‘Nobody’s Fool’

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The non-profit Community Theatre in Fairfield is marking the first anniversary of Paul Newman’s death with a week-long film festival that starts today at 4:30 with a screening of the 1973 best picture Oscar winner, “The Sting.”  I’ve been thinking a lot about Newman and his movies over the past few weeks. The paper had […] [Read More]
Categories: General

New York City seen through ‘foreign’ eyes

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In “Home Boy” (Shaye Areheart Books), first-time novelist H.M. Naqvi allows us to see New York City in a fresh light. The book starts as a witty, sharply observed story of a Pakistani immigrant who has fallen in love with the energy of the metropolis and what appears to be its boundless acceptance of newcomers from […] [Read More]
Categories: General