January 24, 2016
45 Years Charlotte Rampling, Oscar-nominated for her performance, and Tom Courtenay, pretty darn brilliant himself, star as a long-married couple whose comfortable, seemingly close relationship is challenged when news arrives from afar - and from far off in the past. A study in economy, in the beautiful symmetry of word, image and music, and of a marriage shaken to its core. R Anomalisa From the mind of Charlie Kaufman, co-directing with Duke Johnson, a stop-motion animation tale of a sad, unsatisfied man who meets a woman on a business trip, takes her to his hotel room, and - well, yes, there is puppet sex. Midlife morass, regret, and mundanity, cut with the comically surreal.
January 17, 2016
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth. Game Change writers Mark Halperin and John Heilemann cover the 2016 presidential race in this weekly show. 8 p.m. Sunday on Showtime. War and Peace. Leo Tolstoy's great novel done by Lifetime, you say? It's not as bad as it sounds. Paul Dano ( Love and Mercy ) leads a cast that boils down the Russian saga to its most exciting bits (think romance, death) without the bothersome moralizing. 9 p.m. Monday on Lifetime. Baskets . Zach Galifianakis could have kept doing middling movie comedies ( The Campaign , anyone?
January 3, 2016
COMING THIS WEEK By Steven Rea Anomalisa Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's stop-motion animation piece follows a customer service guru on a lonely sojourn to Cincinnati, where he meets a young and passionate devotee. David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan provide the voices for this daring, darkly funny enterprise. R The Revenant Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a 19th-century frontiersman left for dead in the wilds, hellbent on revenge, in director Alejandro G. Iñárritu's followup to Birdman . Tom Hardy co-stars.
June 5, 2015 |
AS BIOPIC subjects go, Brian Wilson is a doozy. After all, the story arc of his almost 73 years seems far more the stuff of fiction than fact. Physically and emotionally abused as a child (he claims he lost 96 percent of the hearing in his right ear to the corporal punishment administered by his father, Murray), he nonetheless went on to found the Beach Boys and serve as the iconic band's original bassist and chief composer, conjuring such pop-rock totems as "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "God Only Knows," "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations.
June 1, 2015
When Brian Wilson played the Non-Comm radio convention at the World Cafe Live in West Philadelphia this month, the 72-year-old songwriter sat center stage at the piano and introduced one of his most beloved compositions. "Here's probably the best song I ever wrote, in 1966, off the Pet Sounds album," he said, before playing the song Paul McCartney has said is his favorite of all time. "It's called 'God Only Knows.' " The rapturous reception the celebrated tune received, and with which it will undoubtedly be greeted when Wilson plays the Mann Center in Fairmount Park on June 29, contrasts mightily with the way it goes over on first hearing in Love & Mercy , the unconventional biopic directed by Bill Pohlad that stars both Paul Dano and John Cusack as the troubled songwriter.
January 16, 2015 |
WHEN YOU HEAR that a rapper needs to do community service, what do you do? If you're Natalie Didonato , you call him up and ask to help out. South Philly's Didonato, the newest cast member on VH1's "Mob Wives," recruited rapper Meek Mill to help out in her own charitable offerings. "We delivered 10 bikes to kids around the city and we did a weekly feed-the-homeless event," she said about working Mill. Didonato gets her "Mob" title from her cousin Frankie D'Alfonso , a/k/a Frankie Flowers, who was gunned down on a South Philly street corner in 1985.