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]
Categories: General
go1030cavett-001

Dick Cavett & the golden age of talk shows

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When I was getting ready to interview Dick Cavett a few weeks ago, I spent many happy hours watching the Shout Factory DVD collections of some of his best talk shows. The sets are divided into pop culture categories and I found the Hollywood DVDs to be especailly intertesting because they showcase what was great […] [Read More]
Categories: General
beau3

Rent it now: when a fashion icon runs out of cash

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Fans of “Downton Abbey” and other British TV period dramas will probably enjoy the 2006 BBC dramatization of Ian Kelly’s biography of Regency era dandy and style setter Beau Brummell, available on DVD from Acorn Media. Brummell was repulsed by the wigs and the powdered faces of the prominent men of his age — as […] [Read More]
Categories: General
scorsese1

Lavish ‘Retrospective’ looks at Scorsese’s turbulent career

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The text is as strong as the images in the lavish new Abrams coffee table book, “Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective.” Former Sunday Times of London film critic Tom Shone, who now teaches at New York University, takes an admiring but clear-eyed view of the great American filmmaker’s career, acknowledging the early masterpieces such as “Taxi […] [Read More]
Categories: General
kerr2

Perfect for Halloween: the still-frightening ‘The Innocents’

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A bunch of new horror pictures have opened over the past few weekends to satisfy that Halloween urge for something ghoulish. There’s “Ouija,” which opened in the number one slot last weekend, and “Annabelle,” a sort-of prequel to “The Conjuring.” For real scares, however, it’s hard to beat “The Innocents” starring Deborah Kerr as a governess who […] [Read More]
Categories: General
howtogetawaywithmurder4

Are people really upset by the sex in ‘Shondaland’?

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Not to sound overly prurient, but I don’t understand how people can continue to express “shock” over the sex content of a 2014 network TV series like “How to Get Away with the Murder” four decades after the “porno chic” era of the 1970s. Don’t they know you can’t unring a bell? These days, racy […] [Read More]
Categories: General