Monthly Archive for January, 2017

: January, 2017

‘The Prisoner’: a mole inside the CIA

The new Alex Berenson novel, “The Prisoner” (G.P. Putnam’s), maintains the high standards of the author’s series of books about John Wells, a freelance agent for the CIA. What separates this tenth

Ava Gardner off the record

A book that went unfinished four decades ago has become one of the most interesting biographical releases of recent years. “Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations” (Simon and Schuster) is an account of

‘Casting By’ — finding the right actors

Tom Donahue’s excellent 2012 HBO documentary “Casting By” is available from HBO Go and some of the streaming services and is not to be missed by movie buffs. The 90-minute film examines the work of

Captivated by the Woodstock crowd

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

‘Toni Erdmann’: when a daddy’s girl strays

The line between comedy and drama disappears in the wonderful German film “Toni Erdmann,” which is one of the five contenders for the foreign language film Oscar on Feb. 26. The movie by

MTM & the great 1970s CBS Saturday night

Like nearly everyone else with a TV set during the 1970s, Alfred Hitchcock was a fan of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” calling it “one of the oases in what has been called the wasteland of

‘It Can’t Happen Here’ lives

First published in 1935, Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here” has undergone a major revival thanks to our new president. A piece in The New York Times Book Review last Sunday pointed out that the

In praise of Australian Z-grade movies

When we think about the Australian movies of the 1970s and 1980s most of us recall art house hits such as “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and “Breaker Morant,” but as the documentary “Not Quite Hollywood”

‘The Staircase’: forerunner of ‘The Jinx’

If you loved the HBO true-crime series “The Jinx” and got hooked on NPR’s “Serial,” you should check out a riveting forerunner — the 2004 multi-part non-fiction murder investigation “The

Bad movies we love: ‘The Fan’

Novelist and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Lisa Scottoline wrote a funny piece for the paper on deciding to forget about New Year’s resolutions in favor of making a list of personal quirks she