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Shawn Stone

Email: sstone@metroland.net

Shawn Stone

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 ...

Art Beat

by Shawn Stone November 6, 2014

  FUN WITH SCIENCE  The annual Science Festival, which kicks off this evening (Thursday, Nov. 6) and continues through Sunday (Nov. 9) at Schenectady’s miSci (aka The Museum of Innovation and Science) continues to grow in ...

Lighter Than Air

by Shawn Stone November 6, 2014

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  It’s an irresistible concept: Cast the star (Michael Keaton) of a 1990s blockbuster film franchise (Batman) in a movie about the midlife crisis of a star (the fictional Riggan Thomson) of a 1990s blockbuster film ...

The Killer Elite

by Shawn Stone October 23, 2014

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  Sam Peckinpah’s 1974 spy thriller The Killer Elite, new on Blu-ray from the boutique, Internet-only specialty label Twilight Time, is a movie that’s gloriously of its time. Practically every scene is infused with post-Watergate, post-Vietnam ...

Art Beat

by Shawn Stone October 9, 2014

  ART PARTY  Artist-author Ira Marcks is hosting a Collage Night with his pal Caroline Corrigan at the Collar Works Gallery (137 4th St., Troy) on Friday night (Oct. 10). It’s from 7-10 PM, with supplies ...

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Kill for Peace

by Shawn Stone October 2, 2014

Denzel Washington Stars in The Equalizer

  When Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) tells Teri (Chlőe Grace Moretz) that his name is “Bob,” she doesn’t believe him. The Russian hooker with a heart of gold says, “You don’t look like a Bob. You ...

The First (and Probably Last) Annual Capital Region Feline Film & Video Festival for Humans

by Shawn Stone October 2, 2014

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  As is now widely acknowledged, the Internet was invented for the purpose of uploading and viewing cat videos. In fact, it is also widely believed that the Internet itself is a series of tubes filled ...

Spectrum 8 Theatres

A Really Big Show

by Shawn Stone September 25, 2014

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  After Stanley Kramer’s 1963 smash It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, “big” comedies became the fashion. Traditionally, comedies were usually 90 minutes or less; after Mad squared, Hollywood considered comedy a genre worthy of ...

Going His Way

by Shawn Stone August 28, 2014

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  A guy walks into Father James’ confessional and tells him he’s going to kill him in a week’s time. The guy explains that, as a kid, he was a victim of brutal sexual abuse at ...

Me Me Me

by Shawn Stone August 28, 2014

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  Having never read the novel on which If I Stay is based, I can’t judge the merits of Gayle Forman’s book. But the film version, which tells the story of a talented teen named Mia ...

A Place for Jews

by Shawn Stone August 7, 2014

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  Longtime journalist Marc Gronich’s “ah-ha” moment, when he decided it was time to create a website dedicated to Jewish life and interests, arrived courtesy of Times Union editor Rex Smith. Smith had just given a talk ...

Dude, Where’s My Brain?

by Shawn Stone July 31, 2014

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  It’s hard not to be impressed by Luc Besson’s audacity in his latest actioner, Lucy. The director and/or producer of such decade-spanning, high-octane entertainments as La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Transporter and Taken isn’t ...