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Shawn Stone

Email: sstone@metroland.net

Shawn Stone

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

Gift Guide: Blu-ray & DVD

by Shawn Stone December 11, 2014

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  The mad run-up to Christmas has begun, with a cornucopia of new Blu-ray and DVD releases this week. Just in time for Christmas, Disney has the year’s biggest film, the sci-fi smash Guardians of the ...

Holiday Inn

by Shawn Stone December 4, 2014

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  Michael Curtiz’ color and widescreen White Christmas may get more attention these days, but Mark Sandrich’s Holiday Inn, released a dozen years earlier in 1942, is the film in which Bing Crosby introduced Irving Berlin’s ...

Family Time

by Shawn Stone November 26, 2014

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  Force Majeure is a comedy. It is a very dark comedy, and it’s likely that some people will be afraid to laugh. Don’t be. This upper-class Swedish family’s misery is very funny. The accidental force referred ...

Whistleblower

by Shawn Stone November 26, 2014

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  If you’ve been following the Edward Snowden story closely, you’ll be surprised by how little new information there is in Laura Poitras’ compelling documentary Citizenfour. The problem, of course, is that not enough people have ...

Art Beat

by Shawn Stone November 26, 2014

  HOLIDAY IN ALBANY  If you’ve lived in Albany long enough, you probably remember fondly the annual Festival of Trees at the Albany Institute of History & Art (125 Washington Ave., Albany). That fest isn’t back, ...

Art Beat

by Shawn Stone November 20, 2014

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  THE SWINGING SIXITES MEET AN ITALIAN MARXIST If it’s true, as screenwriter and wit William Goldman writes, that nobody in Hollywood knows anything, then they really didn’t know anything in the mid-1960s. Case in point: the ...

University at Albany Page Hall

Giving the People What They Want

by Shawn Stone November 13, 2014

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  There’s a lot to like about Walt Disney Animation’s Big Hero 6. It’s unusually inventive. The setting, a mash-up of Tokyo and San Francisco called “San Fransokyo,” is a pleasing cultural collage that provides the ...

Why Be Good?

by Shawn Stone November 13, 2014

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  As the last few years have reminded us, media revolutions are not pretty. When the comedy Why Be Good? was released into the marketplace of May 1929, the film biz was in the thick of ...