scarlett

The year of Scarlett Johansson

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Although she’s been a star for more than a decade, Scarlett Johansson didn’t do a lot for me as a movie actress until this year. I enjoyed her performances in “Lost in Translation” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” but can barely remember what she did in “The Other Boleyn Girl” or “The Black Dahlia.” Johansson clearly […] [Read More]
Categories: General
forestlawn

A late report on ‘Forest Lawn’: Hollywood Hell

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Few places have inspired more film and stage hate letters than Hollywood — writers and actors will do almost anything to make it there and then they can’t wait to tell the rest of us what a vile town it is. Over the years, everyone from Clifford Odets to David Mamet has bitten the hands […] [Read More]
Categories: General
amc

Another reason why theatrical movies are dying

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Last weekend when I caught the very entertaining Scarlett Johansson action film “Lucy” in a New York City multiplex I was appalled by the number of commercials that were shown before the movie. In addition to the endless bank of trailers for upcoming releases — all of which looked and sounded the same — the […] [Read More]
Categories: General
chancer

From ‘Chancer’ to ‘The Knick’: Clive Owen goes full circle

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The fine British actor Clive Owen is getting good press for a new Cinemax series “The Knick” that launches on Friday. It’s produced and directed by Steven Soderbergh and New York magazine critic Matt Zoller Seitz calls it “far and away the best thing Cinemax has ever produced.” For Clive Owen, the series marks a […] [Read More]
Categories: General
kinglear1

John Lithgow’s unusually vigorous ‘King Lear’

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I’ve heard people in the theater say that one of the biggest challenges of ‘King Lear’ is that by the time an actor is old enough to play the lost, demented king, he might not have the physical strength to pull it off. Lear is on stage for most of the three hours and has […] [Read More]
Categories: General
tomthumb

#FridayReads ‘The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb’

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A moving love story and a great show biz tale are combined in the new novel by Nicholas Rinaldi, “The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb” (Scribner). Rinaldi puts himself in the heads of two of P.T. Barnum’s greatest attractions — Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren — and places them in the context of America […] [Read More]
Categories: General
shades1

When movie ads get covered as ‘news’

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How bad a movie summer are we in? So bad that the press seems to be giving more attention to trailers than movies. The Hollywood Reporter sent out a news flash on Monday announcing that the trailer for the forthcoming movie version of the E.L. James novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” had “the best opening […] [Read More]
Categories: General
woodstock13

Baron Wolman’s ‘Woodstock’: captivated by the crowd

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It’s hard to imagine a music festival today having anything like the cultural impact of the 1969 Woodstock gathering. The three-day event that started on August 15 attracted a crowd of somewhere around 500,000 people to Bethel, N.Y., but it took months for the festival to sink into the consciousness of the millions of young […] [Read More]
Categories: General