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Film News & Reviews

Review: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ is Bloody Good Fun

With all this snow, I need to laugh. I’ve been reading John Waters’ Role Models, which is screamingly funny when it’s not seriously scary discussing Charles Manson, or to quote Mr. Waters: “the ultimate hippie bogeyman.” And, keeping to the theme of things ...

‘Fifty Shades’ of Tame – Film Review

I recently watched the feminist fantasy Outlander on STARZ. The explicit nature of the sex surprised me. In one particular scene, the 18th century Scottish kilt-wearing brute Jamie spanks his time-travelling 20th century wife Claire with a stout belt on her bare bottom. Jamie Fraser has ...

‘Mommy’ Dearest Emotional Horror Movie of the Season – Film Review

Like the bastard child of John Cassavetes and Ingmar Bergman, prolific French Canadian film director Xavier Dolan has made an exhilarating, intimate family drama that digs deep and plays dirty. Mommy is a character study of a warm-blooded widowed single mother, Diane (Anne Dorval) and her virile ...

Review: Baritone Andrei Bondarenko Brings His Communicative Power To Weill ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, December 12, 2017 The voice-police were out in force for Andrei Bondarenko’s performance Friday night at Weill Recital Hall, and from the look of things, they were not most pleased, although candor compels me to note that few of them disdained ...

Review: Violinist Janine Jansen's 'Perspectives' Proves Exciting and Enlightening at ...

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 Dutch violinist Janine Jansen’s reverential following is bound to proliferate in the wake of her five-concert Perspectives series this season at Carnegie Hall, the second installment of which took place December 9 at Zankel Hall.  Two days after a ...

Review: Alvin Ailey Is 'Electrifying' In Its Holiday Residency at ...

By Bethany Hopta, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 This past Saturday evening's performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was electrifying and diverse. [caption id="attachment_48201" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 'Memoria;' photo: Steve Wilson.[/caption] The evening began with Memoria, ...

Review: Philadelphia Orchestra Is In 'Superb Form' Under Nézet-Sé...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 The Philadelphia Orchestra's latest Carnegie Hall appearance under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin began exhilaratingly with the New York premiere of Thomas Adès's newly expanded Suite from Powder Her Face, an orchestral suite appropriating music from ...

Jazz Notes: Two Weeks of Maestro Kenny Barron at the ...

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, December 11, 2017 Two years ago Kenny Barron brought his piano magic to the Village Vanguard in the holiday season. This year he's aboard for two six-day stands at the club he calls home. The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz ...

Art Break: Combining Elements in 'Mary Frank Pilgrimage' at DC ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, December 11, 2017 A lot of powerful art can be created using the environment as an inspiration but it also can be easy to miss the mark. After all, when you get down to it, the natural world is more complicated ...

Review: 'Pirates' At Play At Skirball

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, December 8, 2017 The first snow of the season is predicted this weekend, and respite from the cold can be found at NYU Skirball Center for the few remaining performances of The Hypocrites' summery version of The Pirates of Penzance. The audience ...

The Magical Evening of Singalong: The Music of Stevie Wonder ...

By Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc Senior Editor, December 8, 2017 As we are fully entered into the holiday season, the art of song holds sway, ranging from omnipresent secular carols to time-honored Hanukkah folk tunes to the majestic Handel’s Messiah oratorio. But this year as we approach ...

Things Are Running AMOC In Boston (And If All Goes ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, December 8, 2017 Looking for the re-invention of opera’s traditional image? Look no further, as Boston is becoming a hot-bed of boundary-pushing, inventive, chance-taking artists. Witness the launch of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) introducing its first line-up of productions ...

There's A New 'Elf' In Town and You're Going To ...

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, December 6, 2017 The holiday season is upon us, and this year Madison Square Garden will be dazzling audiences with a new stage adaptation of Elf the Musical. Based on the wildly popular film Elf, starring Will Ferrell, this holiday favorite now ...

Review: Michael Mann Can’t Crack the Code in Chris Hemsworth Technothriller ‘Blackhat’

I love me some Michael Mann. You may, too: the manly men that enthrall him and the strong emotional bonds between partners and rivals; the intense close-ups; the balletic action and the driving anger; the saturated color and the exotic locales. Heat. TV’s Miami Vice and ...

Office Politics Gone Wild — Must-see Movie ‘Two Days, One Night’ with Marion Cotillard – Film Review

Naturalistic and probing, in Two Days, One Night, Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Kid with a Bike) tell an apparently simple, linear story with astonishing depth. Recovering from depression, wife and mother Sandra (Oscar winner Marion Cotillard) returns to ...

Stephen Sondheim’s Musical ‘Into the Woods’ is as Bewitching as Meryl Streep – Film Review

Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, as directed by Rob Marshall, from James Lapine’s screenplay, is movie musical bliss – better than Marshall’s Oscar-winning Chicago and so much better than his miscast, misbegotten ...

Chris Rock Pushes ‘Top Five’ onto my Top Ten – Film Review

Some things just don’t compute. The bullying racist exposed in Scott Rudin’s vile Sony-leaks emails to chucklehead CEO Amy Pascal (pick up the phone!) doesn’t align with Rudin’s name as Producer on the credits of Chris Rock’s movie Top Five, a project ...

Benedict Cumberbatch Bristles with Brilliance in Authentic ‘The Imitation Game’ – Film Review

Taking its place among those handsome biopics the British do so well, The Imitation Game tells the fascinating (and ultimately tragic) story of mathematician Alan Turing. A day after the UK enters the Second World War, the Cambridge-educated Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) arrives at ...

Mr. Turner: Timothy Spall’s Must-see Portrait of the Landscape Artist as a Wheezy Lout – Film Review

Timothy Spall grunts, gurgles and sputters playing J. M. W. Turner — the English painter whose stunning landscapes helped define the Romantic era — in Mike Leigh’s magnificent Mr. Turner. His is the eccentric performance that seems to resonate with Oscar voters. The round-faced British ...

Miles Teller Clashes with J.K. Simmons in the Manhattan-set Jazz Drama ‘Whiplash’ – Film Review

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When ambitious young musician Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) strives to be a Buddy Rich class drummer, he nearly dies trying in a charged battle of wills with his thorny professor Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons). The buzzy Sundance hit that won both the Audience and Grand Jury Prize vibrates with ...

Jennifer Lawrence Pouts and Protests Through ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’ – Film Review

“Now I’m condemned to a life of jumpsuits,” complains Tribute Escort Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) early on in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. She might have been referring to the entire third part of what is now, unlike the book trilogy, a four-part saga in ...

Michael Keaton Pecks at Fame in ‘Birdman’ – Film Review

Whether you remember Michael Keaton as the guy who threw away the Batman franchise before comic books were king, or the comic genius of Beetlejuice, the actor is the crazy spinning center of Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman, which closed the 52nd Annual New York Film ...

Interview: Hilary Swank stands tall, dives deep discussing ‘The Homesman’

   

I had a chance to have tea with two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank at the Hamptons International Film Festival in the lobby of the Maidstone Hotel. We discussed her scrubbed down, soulful role as Mary Bee Cuddy in Tommy Lee Jones’s The Homesman, one of my favorite movies of 2014. ...

Oscar Winners Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones Amaze in ‘The Homesman:’ Film Review

With The Homesman, Director/Co-writer/Star/Texan Tommy Lee Jones confounds again, making brilliant American cinema on the back of the blockbuster dime he earned for Men in Black and The Fugitive, among many others. His taste is no-nonsense, astringent in its view of ...

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