candidate2

‘The Manchurian Candidate’ from page to screen (twice)

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Film books published by universities are often unreadably academic, but I had the best time with “What Have They Built You to Do?” (University of Minnesota Press), by Matthew Frye Jacobson and Gaspar Gonzalez, which covers the various versions of “The Manchurian Candidate” in a highly entertaining and illuminating manner. Jacobson and Gonzalez taught in the […] [Read More]
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swarm

Bad Movies We Love: ‘The Swarm’

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I was happy when the hilarious Manhattan gender illusionist Hedda Lettuce screened the 1978 disaster movie “The Swarm” as part of her regular Thursday night cult classics series at the Bow Tie Chelsea multiplex on 23rd Street. The movie is not quite in the same class as “Mommie Dearest” or “Valley of the Dolls” when […] [Read More]
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frenchsex2

Sexy film series, exhibit at Manhattan’s French Institute

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Even some hard core movie buffs seem unaware that the midtown headquarters of the French Institute/Alliance Francaise is one of New York City’s top alternative film venues. The cultural organization at 55 East 59th St. screens new French films and classics every week in its very comfortable theater; the projection and sound are excellent. FIAF […] [Read More]
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newsroomtwo

‘The Newsroom’: an HBO three season wonder

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It was probably a back-handed compliment to HBO’s consistently high quality series programming that “The Newsroom” was nit-picked to death by reviewers two seasons ago and will be coming to a premature end after the six-episode third season that begins Sunday night. Perhaps no TV show could live up to the pressure of being a […] [Read More]
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escapeblog1

#FridayReads ‘The Escape’: a paranoid thriller with heart

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40 years ago, there was a wave of wonderful paranoid political thrillers that included “The Parallax View,” “Three Days of the Condor” and “All the President’s Men.” These pictures showed our government in the worst possible light and only “All the President’s Men” offered a glimmer of hope for the future. The movies were perfectly […] [Read More]
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carolsforacure

‘Carols for a Cure’: mixing Broadway & Christmas

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At the risk of rushing the Christmas season, I have an early suggestion to add to your music collection — the just-released “Carols for a Cure” which is produced every year to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The brainchild of producer Lynn Pinto, the annual release counteracts some of the increasing commercialism of Christmas by […] [Read More]
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onlyangels

The return of ‘Only Angels Have Wings’

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Although it was a big hit in 1939, the Howard Hawks aviation adventure film “Only Angels Have Wings” has been overshadowed by some of the other classics released in that fabulous year for movies. Indeed, two of the film’s stars, Jean Arthur and Thomas Mitchell, teamed up in the same year for the Frank Capra […] [Read More]
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hboseries

HBO repackages ‘The Sopranos’ & ‘True Blood’

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Nothing better illustrates the TV programming changes wrought by cable giant HBO than the just-released complete series packages of “The Sopranos” and “True Blood.” “The Sopranos” represents the highest end of the creative freedom that became possible with the launch of cable series that did not have to follow the ludicrous standards-and-practices guidelines of the […] [Read More]
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