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March 21, 2017

The Artist Dilemma – Perfections vs Excellence

by Fran Montano
March 17, 2017

Affordable Countertops; Who knew.

by Christopher Porikos
March 15, 2017

818 Arts

by Raleigh Barrett
March 09, 2017

Firehouse Subs on Lankershim

by Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
March 08, 2017

Giving to Charities - Choosing a Cause With Care

by Lillian Appleby
March 05, 2017

Four Things You Can Do to Have an Edge in Dating Now

by Cristina Morara
March 03, 2017

Get Out; Post-Oscar Reflections

by Mike Peros
February 28, 2017

Horoscopes - March 2017

by Maya White
February 26, 2017

Saving Animals - One Bite at a Time

by Nancy Bianconi
February 23, 2017

Low Budget Film - High Expectations

by Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
February 22, 2017

Acting Advice - Assess yourself

by Fran Montano
February 17, 2017

Kids & Money: Important Lessons Start Early in Life

by Lillian Appleby
February 15, 2017

Jane the Baptist

by Raleigh Barrett
February 14, 2017

Peace Frog - Tribute to the Doors

by Caroline McElroy
February 10, 2017

Just in Time for Oscar

by Mike Peros
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 09:14

City Island

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Before telling you how much I enjoyed City Island, I should tell you that I have never been a big Andy Garcia fan.  He’s always seemed to be a little uncomfortable, especially in scenes where he emoted, or should I say over-emoted.  However I started liking him, believe it or not, in the Ocean’s 11-13 movies—Garcia’s appearances as the powerful casino owner exhibited menace as a well as a welcome sense of humor.  Now with his role as a prison guard who dreams of being an actor, Garcia has finally turned me into a full fan.  

Thursday, 01 April 2010 09:13

The Ghost Writer

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The new ghost writer (Euan McGreggor) for the former British Prime Minister Adam Lang’s memoirs in Roman Polanski’s compelling thriller The Ghost Writer has good reason to be worried. His predecessor has died in a suspicious accident; his employer Lang (Pierce Brosnan) is facing charges that he sanctioned torture toward suspected terrorists; 

 

Wednesday, 14 April 2010 09:11

Greenberg

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Ben Stiller (Roger Greenberg) in Greenberg

Roger Greenberg, the titular character of Noah Baumbach’s new comedy Greenberg, is the type of person you would probably want to avoid if you had occasion to know him. As written by Baumbach and portrayed (in a sincerely insufferable way) by Ben Stiller, Greenberg is self-deluding, self-righteous, self-absorbed, and with no capacity for self-deprecation. At the beginning, Greenberg is recovering from a nervous breakdown while housesitting at his successful brother’s spacious Los Angeles home (complete with dog and visiting pool-users). 

 

Thursday, 18 March 2010 09:09

The Wolfman

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Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman also took its time getting to the theaters (2008, 2009?) but the results are fairly enjoyable. You know the story: Larry Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) goes back to England (in this case after his brother’s brutal death), gets bitten by a werewolf, turns into one himself (that darned full moon) and all hell breaks loose. He also falls in love with his brother’s fiancée (Emily Blunt) while trying to avoid the long arm of the law (Hugo Weaving) and the savage arms of the villagers—torches anyone?

Monday, 29 March 2010 09:07

Shutter Island

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Martin Scorsese’s new thriller Shutter Island seems to have been waiting for the same ferry that Leonardo De Caprio’s U.S. Marshal character hopes will take him off this forbidden, forgotten and foreboding island. Originally an October release, it has been pushed back to the wintry wastelands of February. Many speculated that it might have been because of a matter of quality, or lack thereof (well, maybe not many—perhaps just me). Others felt it was more economically viable to wait—and they may have been right, given the killer box office results. How you feel about the film may well be determined by how you feel about a certain revelation occurring two/thirds of the way through. (More about that—but not exactly that—later)

Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:05

The Last Station

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I enjoyed Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station when I was watching it, but as Lieutenant Columbo would say, I’ve got a problem. The basic plot concerns an aging Leo Tolstoy, his wife Countess Sofya, and the tense situation that arises when it becomes apparent that Tolstoy plans to leave his writings (and future royalties) to all of Russia–albeit in the care of Chertkov, an unctuous Tolstoy worshipper—rather than to his own privileged wife and family. 

Friday, 22 January 2010 09:02

Crazy Heart

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Scott Cooper’s Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges is one of those late-December releases that you’ll hopefully catch up with, especially to see Bridges in an Oscar-worthy performance surrounded by a terrific supporting cast. Not that you haven’t seen variations on this plot before: the washed-up, broken-down (fill in the blank with either athlete or performer) meets a lovely young lady (as in young enough to be his daughter), while facing a potentially life-threatening condition (usually drugs or alcohol infused) on the road to possible redemption (Wait a minute–am I reviewing The Wrestler?). However, it’s rarely been done so well. 

Wednesday, 30 December 2009 08:11

Everybody's Fine

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Another film being sold as a warm-hearted family Christmas film is Kirk Jones’ Everybody’s Fine, and though it is a good movie, it’s more of a quiet drama of a widower who finds that not all is not fine as he travels by bus (health issues prevent him from flying) to pay his family surprise visits after they renege on visiting him for the holidays. Robert DeNiro is excellent as the patriarch who makes some unsettling discoveries with each grown child he visits. 
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 08:10

Invictus

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For genuine uplift, I direct you to Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, another in a remarkable run of Eastwood films (including Changeling),with an intelligent script from Anthony Peckham (from John Carlin’s book) and an excellent performance from Morgan Freeman as the newly-elected South African president—and former inmate–Nelson Mandela. Facing challenges from a torn nation beset by lingering racial tensions, unemployment and crime, Mandela resolves to unify the nation through—rugby. 

Monday, 14 December 2009 08:08

Up In The Air

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If you’re looking for a feel-good film for the holidays, Up in the Air is not it, despite the jaunty nature of the nonstop television ads. Jason Reitman, working from his and Sheldon Turner’s script, from Walter Kirn’s novel, creates an arresting yet ambivalent portrait of a smooth frequent-flyer who has spent his life avoiding personal connections, while racking up the miles by working for a company that has prospered- namely by firing employees for firms without the wherewithal to do it themselves. The film is graced by a winning George Clooney performance as a downsizer/motivational speaker (how’s that for a winning combination) who –when he isn’t preparing terminated employees for a life of “unlimited possibilities”, is motivating others to get rid of the excess baggage in their lives (I do believe there are some not-so-subtle metaphors here).

Monday, 29 November 2010 12:49

Tinchy Stryder - Third Strike

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Tinchy Styrder’s highly anticipated third studio album, Third Strike, hit shelves Monday and has been open to great reception, rapidly climbing into the Top 10 album downloads. Having the chart single ‘In My System’ already, there are sure to be many to follow from this album, with anthems such as ‘Game Over’ and ‘Stereo Love’. 

Monday, 29 November 2010 12:41

The Script - Science & Faith

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Irish Boys, The Script, released their sophomore album Science & Faith recently, with one smash hit and a number 1 album already, the follow up CD hasn’t done too bad so far. In the second album we see The Script take a deeper and personal direction; however, they have still kept the same unique sound we heard on the first album. 

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