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The vanishing DVD commentary track

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With so many people I know switching to downloading movies via the Internet, rather than watching them on DVD, the days of the director/actor commentary track seem to be numbered. And who will miss those often incoherent, error-filled guided tours through new and old movies? What started as a value-added gimmick on DVDs — with […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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Is Chris Hemsworth a movie star?

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Movie industry executives are still dazed by two big surprises over the weekend — the blockbuster grosses scored by Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and the complete wipe-out of Michael Mann’s “Blackhat.” The Eastwood picture had the biggest January opening ever with over $100 million in tickets sold. “Blackhat” did less than a tenth that figure […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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The double life of Mike Greenberg

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By day, Mike Greenberg is one of America’s most popular sports broadcasters, as half of ESPN’s “Mike and Mike.” During other hours that he carves out, however, Greenberg has been building a second career as a smart and funny novelist who refuses to conform to any stereotypes or preconceived notions readers might have of him. […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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‘Death Logs In’: a new kind of immortality

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Part thriller, part black comedy and part science-fiction, E.J. Simon’s second novel “Death Logs In” (Simon/Zef Publishing) is built around a premise that seems less fanciful with each new day — immortality via computer. The book’s hero, Michael Nicholas, is stunned to learn that his brother Alex has “survived” a mob hit that did away […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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When Hollywood studio films were built around women

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Meryl Streep’s 19th Oscar nomination last week was another triumph for an actress who has managed to find good parts on a very regular basis since she started working in movies in 1977. Now 65, Streep has become a sui generis figure in Hollywood — the only American woman of her generation who has not […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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The good old/bad old days of Cold War paranoia films

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The 1970s are often cited as the heyday of the paranoid thriller — thanks to “The Parallax View” (1974) and “Three Days of the Condor” (1975) and a few other key titles — but the genre really started a decade earlier. The ’70s films were the result of Watergate and all of the revelations about […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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‘Down Dog’: Amazon opens pilot process to subscribers

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Amazon is giving Netflix a run for its money in terms of original programming, but it is also allowing subscribers into the production process by sharing pilots for possible new series. Yesterday, Amazon Prime subscribers were able to start accessing a new batch of pilots that could be added to a mix that already includes […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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Here we go again: or, taking the Oscars seriously

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I woke up to tremendous turbulence on Twitter today concerning the announcement of the award nominations by that West Coast movie trade organization. The internet is full of “snub” talk today. Outrage over “Selma” only getting two nominations (although one of them was for best picture). Anger that all 20 acting nominations went to white […] [Read More]
Categories: General