Category Archives: Reviews

Film, television, live theatre, and anything else you can consume.

DEADLY DEADPAN PETER PANNED! A Review of NBC’s Peter Pan Live!

Sweet nostalgia engulfed me as I settled in on Thursday evening hoping to recapture the pleasures of a special TV event from broadcast television’s early years. The opening theme brought a tear… and suddenly … There it was! The familiar … Continue reading

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Book Review: REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM IN THE 1950s & ’60s (Vols. 1 & 2) by Ernest Tate

Ernest Tate’s new two-volume memoir, Revolutionary Activism In The 1950s and ‘60s, is a significant accomplishment. In recounting the savor and substance of daily life devoted to the socialist cause, it not only offers a fascinating account of revolutionary militancy … Continue reading

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HOORAY! A NEW CANADIAN COP SHOW! A Response to John Doyle

“… it’s yet another generic Canadian cop show, and peculiar because, even as a generic cop show, it’s awful, falling below a minimal level of competence in keeping viewers engaged.”  — John Doyle, TV Critic, The Globe and Mail, October … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: LES MISERABLES, THE KING’S SPEECH and The Zombie Apocalypse

Kicking and screaming, I was dragged into my living room, last evening, to view the premiere of the finally-available-for-free film of Les Miserables. But the “free” aspect didn’t compensate for the lost hours spent watching it. I had enjoyed the … Continue reading

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Movie Review THE MERCHANT OF VENICE directed by Michael Radford

Michael Radford’s disturbing film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (2004), starring Al Pacino as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio, Joseph Fiennes as Bassanio and Lynn Collins as Portia, is a barometer of contemporary social attitudes: it ambiguously … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: A Different Kind of Movie: Jean-Luc Godard’s LES CARABINIERS

Although Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film, Les Carabiniers (a.k.a. The Carabineers) was among my favorites when I was a film student in the late 1960s, I approached TCM’s recent screening with trepidation. Not only had Godard’s work after Tout va bien … Continue reading

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Book Review: GONE GIRL, a novel by Gillian Flynn

“Had we ever been in love, or was marriage a pre-packaged dance in the service of patriarchy?” Sartre said “Hell is other people” and if you want contemporary rendering of that thesis, try Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel, Gone Girl. It … Continue reading

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Movie Review: CHICAGO directed by Rob Marshall

It’s a challenge to keep one’s critical faculties alive in the face of the powerful dose of sound, image and celebrity that the Rob Marshall film, Chicago(2002), delivers – especially given a media campaign (and a box-office gross) that keep … Continue reading

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Movie Review: SIDEWAYS directed by Alexander Payne

Writers lives are, if not a “hot” topic in Hollywood, at least a warm one. Since film projects often begin with writers, it’s no surprise that the cinematic gaze sometimes turns navel-ward. The writing life has been mined for entertainment … Continue reading

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Movie Review: REDS directed by Warren Beatty

After devoting considerable thought and research to the subject, I’ve concluded that Warren Beatty is an ambivalent socialist. This may come as a shock. Socialists of any stripe are rare in America, perhaps, nowhere more so than in Hollywood. Beatty’s an unusual … Continue reading

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