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Shawn Stone

Email: sstone@metroland.net

Shawn Stone

Berkshire Memories

by Shawn Stone July 16, 2015

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  If you’ve ever hung out on the lawn to enjoy a concert at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass., the new book by Gina Hyams, The Tanglewood Picnic, will stir your memory. It’s a ...

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Life Lessons

by Shawn Stone July 2, 2015

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  Spoiler alert: The “girl” dies. The “me” in the title Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), an awkward high school senior wracked by self-loathing who has worked really hard to ...

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Live and Let Laugh

by Shawn Stone June 25, 2015

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) ist eine ganz besondere Agentin. Foto: 2015 Twentieth Century Fox

  The latest Melissa McCarthy comedy is a shrewd, funny send-up of spy films, complete with a Bond-style theme song, a smashing opening set piece and enough world travel to give Daniel Craig jet lag. McCarthy ...

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Candy-Colored Despair

by Shawn Stone June 25, 2015

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  The hitmakers at Pixar—led by Pete Docter, director of Up and one of the key writers on the Toy Story series—take us literally into the mind of a girl on the cusp of childhood’s end ...

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Meaner, Faster, Smarter

by Shawn Stone June 17, 2015

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  Nothing brings out my inner misanthrope quite like the Spielbergian approach to children and families. The children in his films are uniformly unbearable. (OK, maybe not Drew Barrymore in E.T.) That’s why the crushing disappointment ...

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Art Beat

by Shawn Stone June 17, 2015

POP-UP ART SHOW The Lake George Arts Project’s annual event Art @ The Lake will open July 1 in Bolton Landing. The difference this year is that instead of holding various one-day events around Lake ...

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Fractured Fairy Tale

by Shawn Stone June 11, 2015

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There are few more fascinating stories in 1960s rock & roll than the Beach Boys. They became superstars when they were little more than kids; three of the members were brothers (and another a cousin); ...

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It’s No Game

by Shawn Stone June 6, 2015

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  This French thriller begins with the return of a prodigal. Twenty-something Agnes (Adele Haenel) is returning home after the failure of her marriage. When she’s met at the terminal by her mother’s lawyer, Maurice Agnelet ...

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Shout, Sister, Shout

by Shawn Stone May 21, 2015

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  Looser, less serious and considerably crasser than Pitch Perfect, this sequel is a lot more of the same dazzling and unutterably goofy a capella singing madness that made the original a cult hit—and so oddly ...

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Project: Rock and Roll

by Shawn Stone May 21, 2015

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  Who knew? The Who’s rise to fame and fortune began as a film project. This fascinating documentary fills in the gaps in the history of the legendary rock band by telling the story from the point ...

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Thespians

by Shawn Stone May 14, 2015

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  This beguiling, textured comedy-drama about actors, fame and the inevitability of, well, death, is the story of Maria (Juliette Binoche), a 40-something movie star and her relationships—with her managers, her accountant, her (estranged) husband, her ...

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Glitter and Grit

by Shawn Stone May 14, 2015

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  “Jones and Barry are doing a show!” 42nd Street begins with a montage of show-biz folks excited that a couple of Broadway producers are back in business. No one in 1933 would be surprised at the ...

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Killer

by Shawn Stone May 9, 2015

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  Roger Corman’s 1967 gangster drama The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre remains as bluntly effective as a punch in the face. Newly released on a fine-looking Blu-ray, the film combines a faux documentary approach (complete with ...

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Lumbering Toward Destiny

by Shawn Stone May 7, 2015

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  Age of Ultron is generally more enjoyable than the first Avengers movie. Ultron (voiced by James Spader), as a colleague pointed out, is not as interesting a villain as Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) brother Loki (Tom ...

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Ex Machina

by Shawn Stone May 1, 2015

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  This is turning out to be a great year for artificial intelligence at the movies. Neill Blomkamp’s terrific Chappie may have may have primarily an action flick with a surfeit of human grotesques, but it ...

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Spring Arts Preview

by Shawn Stone February 26, 2015

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  Pop Music The Armory 195 Washington Ave., Albany, 694-7160. May 5: Halestorm. Bearsville Theatre 291 Tinker St., Woodstock, (845) 679-446. March 14: Kristin Diable. March 19: Ed Romanoff and Clive Barnes. March 22: David Bromberg Quintet. April 4: Preservation Hall Jazz ...

All 86 (plus one) Best Picture Oscar Winners, Ranked

by Shawn Stone February 22, 2015

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  From worst to first. I would probably rank Patton higher on a different day. I also included Sunrise, which was awarded Best Artistic Production at the first Academy Awards.   86. Slumdog Millionaire The absolute worst. 85. The English ...

Going, Going . . .

by Shawn Stone February 20, 2015

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  Julianne Moore’s performance in the title role is the only reason to see Still Alice, an often-wrenching drama about someone struck down in the prime of life by early onset Alzheimer’s. Her portrait of a ...

Intolerance

by Shawn Stone January 22, 2015

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  D.W. Griffith’s silent film epic Intolerance is a stupendous spectacle and strikingly modern cinematic achievement. Griffith had the idea of telling four stories simultaneously, cutting back-and-forth thematically from one to the other. So, together, we ...

Proctors

Hippie Noir

by Shawn Stone January 15, 2015

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  The likelihood of any novel by Thomas Pynchon being adapted for the big screen has always seemed remote, owing to the difficulties in adapting the material and the elusiveness of the author. Yet here is ...

Righteous Might

by Shawn Stone January 15, 2015

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  In this drama about the 1965 showdown in Selma, Ala., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement he led attempted to force President Lyndon Johnson to move voting rights to the top of ...

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Period Picture

by Shawn Stone January 8, 2015

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  Is “kitsch” art if the artist is sincere? Asked about Margaret Keane’s phenomenally successful art, which consisted of hauntingly strange paintings of sad-faced, poverty-stricken, bizarrely big-eyed waifs, Andy Warhol said, “It has to be good. ...

Year in Cinema 2014: Shawn Stone

by Shawn Stone January 2, 2015

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - 2014 FILM STILL - Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight

  Best of 2014 1. The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson did something special with this bittersweet, visually opulent memory film: He made a 1930s-style comedy that astutely incorporated the tragedies of 1930s Europe into its fabric—and was ...

Best of Video 2014

by Shawn Stone December 31, 2014

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  1. Out of the Past Damn, this Blu-ray of Jacques Tourneur’s noir classic looks perfect. It has Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas and enough deceit for three dramas. 2. Why Be Good? This 1929 silent Colleen Moore ...

Gift Guide: Christmas Music

by Shawn Stone December 11, 2014

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  The jewel of this year’s holiday music releases is Renée Fleming’s Christmas in New York (Decca). The renowned soprano performs a mix of traditional carols, beloved holiday pop songs and a few ringers that fit ...