September 4, 2016 |
Amazon Studios has a "head of half hours," which is not as funny as it sounds. It's maybe too on the nose for a company that bundles a streaming video subscription with two-day shipping to describe its programming by the size of the container. Yet "half hour" is the best packaging possible for some shows, including not only Amazon series like Transparent , but also FX's Louie , HBO's Girls , and Starz's Survivor's Remorse that occasionally may leave viewers wondering whether it's OK to laugh.
February 12, 2016 |
When we first meet Richie Finestra, the hero of Vinyl , the new HBO drama about the 1970s glory days of the music business premiering with a two-hour Martin Scorsese-directed pilot at 9 p.m. Sunday, the exec played by Bobby Cannavale is scoring an eight-ball of cocaine. It's 1973, and Finestra, the stressed-out head of American Century records, is in rundown Soho in Manhattan. Before breaking off his rearview mirror for a snorting surface, he has a brief conversation with his dealer.
January 5, 2016 |
A new year is nearly upon us, and TV is nearly ready to submerge us: 2016 will have more series - and more new series - than ever before, a historic watershed that should beggar the imagination and attention spans. Streaming services will mostly contribute to this population boom, as channels such as Crackle and Pivot struggle to get out from under the growing shadows of Netflix and Amazon Prime. In this movable and viewable feast, there will be gems worth savoring and watching. There always are. Just don't be too surprised if they're harder to find in the crowd.
November 2, 2015 |
Steven Soderbergh's period medical drama, The Knick , which kicked off its second season on Oct. 16, has been praised for its vivid characterization, realism, historical accuracy, and visual style. It's all true enough, but I also love the Cinemax drama for its inclusive approach to history. Unlike traditional histories that portray only the rich and famous, The Knick also gives us faithful, realistic accounts of people who remain invisible in traditional histories - the working poor and the indigent, ethnic minorities, and women.
June 29, 2015 |
ABC did it in the 1950s with The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin , a children's program based on the silent films of the 1920s. Bogie and Bergman's 1942 classic, Casablanca , was done over not once but twice, first in 1955 with Charles McGraw in Humphrey Bogart's role, and NBC's ill-fated 1983 version featured singer and TV cop David Soul as Rick and Scatman Crothers as Sam. Though it may seem the small screen today is virtually clogged with...
May 16, 2015 |
Pinky Kravitz has spent Fourth of July in Atlantic City since Nucky Thompson ruled the Boardwalk Empire, or at least nearly so. "There is nothing like the summer holiday at the beach. Everyone comes and everyone has a good time," said Kravitz, whose Pinky's Corner radio show on WOND-AM (1400) is in the midst of its sixth decade, and whose similarly named column runs in the Press of Atlantic City every Thursday. Kravitz, who will turn 88 a week after the Fourth, has, as they say, seen it all. He worked on the Steel Pier near the diving horses as a youth and has been part of the scene in earnest in the casino era. "The Fourth was the time when the ice cream vendors and the hotdog guys always did their best sales," Kravitz said.
April 17, 2015 |
P EARCE BUNTING , who played the bootlegger Bill McCoy in the hit HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," with Steve Buscemi , has returned to his hometown of Philadelphia to step into a new role. Edward Albee 's 1962 play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" premieres Wednesday night at the Plays & Players Theatre (1714 Delancey Place), in Rittenhouse Square. Bunting portrays the passive-aggressive George, who gradually loses his patience with his taunting, drunk wife, Martha, after she brings home a younger, married couple who - over the course of several hours of drinking - become enmeshed in George and Martha's domestic disputes.
January 10, 2015 |
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), one of the central heroes of Marvel's wildly successful comic-book film Guardians of the Galaxy , is a space rogue who was kidnapped as a kid from his Missouri home by a band of marauding interstellar pirates called the Ravagers. There's some planet called Morag, where Quill steals a superspecial orb, and an assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who goes after him. Huh? Don't worry if descriptions of director James Gunn's Disney film make it sound more complicated than the entire Lord of the Rings saga.
September 12, 2014 |
TORONTO - It's a good example of how international the movie business has become that a Belgian director (Michael Roskam), his stars from Great Britain (Tom Hardy), Sweden (Noomi Rapace), New Jersey (James Gandolfini) and Belgium (Matthias Schoenaerts) met the media in a hotel room in Toronto to discuss a movie set in Brooklyn written by a guy from Boston. The guy from Boston (Dorchester, actually) is author Dennis Lehane ("Mystic River," "Gone Baby Gone," "Shutter Island"), who set "Animal Rescue," the short story "The Drop" is based on, in his usual Boston-area, working-class neighborhood, but was told by producers that they thought he had become a victim of his own success and that blue-collar Boston was played out. So they gave him some options, one of which was to shoot the movie in Philadelphia.
August 2, 2014 |
Werner Herzog has created some of the most indelible images in modern cinema: A riverboat being pulled over the side of a steep hill in the Amazon in Fitzcarraldo ; Klaus Kinski as the vampire Nosferatu, leaning over the sleeping body of Isabelle Adjani in Nosferatu the Vampyre ; the hapless conquistadors making their way down the Orinoco River in South America in Aguirre, the Wrath of God . The German filmmaker, who has directed more than...