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Film News & Reviews

Hardy Boy Dives ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to Fast and Furious Action

The original Mad Max, the 1979 nihilistic low-budget death derby starring a beautiful yet crazy Aussie unknown, Mel Gibson, was the movie that first turned me on to action. This was testosterone, baby, and I was an estrogen-pumping college student in Berkeley catching Manhattan and Meatballs and ...

Kristen Wiig Embraces Black Comedy ‘Welcome to Me’

In the burnt-toast black Sundance comedy, Welcome to Me, SNL alumna and Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig goes dark and bipolar without losing her shield of likeability. It’s really a superpower to be marveled at, like the ability to carry on a long conversation without looking at one’s ...

Review: ‘Woman in Gold’ Glitters

Helen Mirren has become like Meryl Streep: nearly every time she has a leading role a little alarm goes off that signals “Oscar.” In this deeply emotional drama with a surprisingly light touch from Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn), Dame Helen plays Maria Altmann. Who? The Jewish ...

Violinist James Ehnes Prepares to Play a "Turkish" Treat with ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 25, 2018 The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra continues their series of appearances at Carnegie Hall in a exciting upcoming concert on Wednesday, May 30 at 8:00 p.m featuring Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5, the "Turkish," with soloist James Ehnes, as a prelude to Mahler's ...

Review: A Roughly Hewn 'Jagged Little Pill’ at the A....

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, May 25, 2018 As we face the ineluctable barrage of jukebox musicals, a number of things become clear. They don’t automatically need to be awful, as we’ve seen with Jersey Boys and Beautiful. But they generally are awful, in particular ...

A Day @: The Brooklyn Academy of Music — It's Time To ...

By Anne Marie Kelly, Contributing Writer, May 24, 2018 Music may be front and center in its name, but the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is so much more than “merely” music. This cultural hub in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood offers cutting-edge theatre, dance, cinema and, ...

An Italian Travelogue: Florence In Five Days From An Art ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, May 23, 2018 A full-frontal assault of sightseeing in Italy’s capital of the Renaissance — Florence. Not for the faint-hearted and leisurely paced, but my wife and I took on the daunting task of showing her Taiwanese family the greatest hits of ...

Review: The Coastal Cohorts Bring a Carolina Breeze to the ...

By Megan Wrappe, Contributing Writer, May 22, 2018 Many say that New York City is the greatest city in the world, and for some maybe it is. But if you haven’t traveled below the Mason-Dixon line, you may not know what you’re missing. As someone ...

Review: Yuja Wang Is a Force of Nature, Whirling Into ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, May 21, 2018 Yuja Wang, whose career began in 2007 as a last-minute replacement for Martha Argerich with the Boston Symphony, and in 2017 was named Musical America's Artist of the Year, has been announced as Carnegie Hall's "Perspectives" artist for the 2018-19 season. ...

Art Break: Imaginative Models at MoMA, Exhibits at the Frick ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, May 21, 2018 There’s a lot happening in NYC’s art scene — but what should you see first? Art Break has your answers right here! If you’re a history buff, there’s The Frick Collection’s show on Canova ...

In Film Camp, There's Always Popcorn

By Joanne Sydney Lessner, Contributing Writer, May 17, 2018 The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC), a nonprofit cultural arts center in Pleasantville, New York, has a dual mission. Their five-screen art house theater shows independent documentaries and world films, while across the street, a 27,000-square foot media ...

Review: ‘Me and My Girl’ Underwhelms at Encores!

By Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer, May 16, 2018 In the 1980s, the landscape for Broadway musicals was bleak. As the decade wore on, American musicals were fewer and fewer in number, to the point where, in a number of seasons, there weren’t enough new musicals to ...

Wall to Wall Bernstein at Symphony Space on Saturday - ...

ZEALnyc, May 15, 2018 One of New York City's most enduring performance hosting venues just happens to have started out as a food hall (the Astor Market) in 1915, was a short-lived ice skating rink (the Crystal Palace), and eventually evolved into the iconic performing space and film ...

Check into ‘The Second Best Marigold Hotel’ – Film Review

If there is such a thing as a warm-bath movie, The Second Best Marigold Hotel defines it. Even the title is intended to keep expectations low. Directed by John Madden, SBMH is entertainment that pairs perfectly with a meal of Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Korma, following in the safe footsteps of ...

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 that are ...

‘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 the nerve ...

‘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: 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 the ahead-of-its-time ...

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 work at a solar panel ...

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 Nine. From the prologue ...

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 written, directed ...

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 Bletchley Park, ...

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 the ...

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 Festival and exited Venice ...

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. The Nebraska ...

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 human nature, and unsentimental ...

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