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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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Measure of Success

by Laura Leon November 20, 2014

thumb_47cinemapicBEYOND

  This weekend there was a lot of brouhaha about the Lifetime biopic of the late singer Aaliyah, as well as reference made to the fact that Solange Knowles and her fiancé played the movie Mahogany ...

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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 ...

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Lone Wolf

by Ann Morrow November 13, 2014

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  A nightcrawler is the photography equivalent of an ambulance chaser: They are the videographers who film car crashes, shootings, fires, violent arrests, or any disaster with a negative outcome. “If it bleeds, it leads,” says ...

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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 ...

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Spaced

by Laura Leon November 13, 2014

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  Anybody knows that with a Christopher Nolan movie, however much we might leave the theater thinking “Wow, that was amazing,” the inevitable feelings of “WTF was that?” begin encroaching on one’s feelings of amazement. Interstellar ...

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Why Be Good?

by Shawn Stone November 13, 2014

thumb_46videopicWHY

  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 ...

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Scanners

by David King November 13, 2014

thumb_46videopicSCANNERS

  Even if you haven’t seen David Cronenberg’s 1981 sci-fi horror masterpiece Scanners, you have still probably seen Scanners. While Hollywood vultures picked over the stillborn corpse of Alejandro Jodowrosky’s Dune, they also borrowed liberally from ...

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Grand Night in a Grand Hotel

by Ann Morrow November 6, 2014

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  On Saturday, Historic Albany Foundation held its biggest-ever BUILT fundraiser in one of its greatest successes: the newly stabilized DeWitt Clinton Hotel at Eagle and State streets, Albany. The storied 1927 hotel is being rehabilitated ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Action Man

by Laura Leon November 6, 2014

thumb_45cinpicWICK

  One might think that a movie starring Keanu Reeves and co-directed by his former stunt double, Chad Stahelski, might not be worth its weight in popcorn, but damn, if John Wick isn’t wildly entertaining. It’s ...

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Dirty Laundry

by Alexander M. Stern October 30, 2014

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  Nicky Silver’s uneven The Lyons gets an enthusiastic staging at Curtain Call with a strong cast that comes off better than the play itself. Ben Lyons (Jack Fallon) is an unloved and unlovable man dying of ...

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My Hero

by Laura Leon October 30, 2014

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  Like so many films before it, St. Vincent takes the plot of curmudgeonly coot regaining his humanity through contact with an innocent, and gallops away with it. The, er, title character (Bill Murray) is an ...

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The Battle Rages

by Laura Leon October 23, 2014

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  Shot in dim gradations of brown, gray and what can only be called “griege,” Fury depicts a World War II that is all but over, except for the furious, determined last-ditch efforts made by those ...

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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 ...

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FUSION

by Ali Hibbs October 23, 2014

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  Duck liver mousse and country pate canapés, gravlax of salmon, port wine cheese balls, BLT deviled eggs, local smoked trout and apple salad, Thai and jerk spiced popcorn bags, an artisan cheese display. And, of course, ...

1 comment Albany Barn

Lacks Bite

by Ann Morrow October 16, 2014

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  Dracula Untold is about Vlad III, the Wallachian warlord who was immortalized by Bram Stoker in Dracula, though Stoker used only a few details about the bloodthirsty ruler in his vampire horror story. Now we ...

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Albany History Sailing Away?

by Ann Morrow October 16, 2014

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  At the Corning Preserve last month, the trail along the Hudson River was turned into a reenactment of early Albany history, with displays and demonstrations ranging from blacksmithing to Native American practices. The capstone of ...

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Missing Pieces

by Laura Leon October 9, 2014

thumb_41cinemapicGONE

  Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel Gone Girl was a big hit among many of my friends (and millions of others). I read it over the course of a soccer game and wasn’t overly impressed with the ...

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Fab Mab

by Ann Morrow October 9, 2014

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    It was game-on for family fun at Queen Mab’s Enchanted City, a Troy “steampunk-inspired street faire” held on Saturday (Oct. 4), despite a steady rain that forced the headlining band, This Way to the Egress, ...

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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 ...

1 comment 3 County Fairgrounds

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 ...

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