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Gift Guide: Local Authors

by Ali Hibbs December 11, 2014

  For many New Yorkers, Christmas is not only the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also the most beautiful, poignant and evocative. And Upstate New York has it all: the fir trees, the mountains, ...

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Gift Guide: Music Books

by David Greenberger December 11, 2014

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  If, like me, you think that people should both be reading more and listening more closely to music, well, here’s a feast of books about music! Starting with acts that that sprung from the ’60s and ...

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Pure Magic

by James Yeara December 11, 2014

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  Spirits haunt Capital Rep’s current production of the Tony Award-winning The Secret Garden, and that’s a good thing. They are not the Ghosts of Xmas Past, Present, and Future, nor is it the malevolent spirit ...

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South End Stories

by Ann Morrow December 11, 2014

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  “All these little people, the farmers, the businessmen, they were completely obliterated.” That’s how one former resident of Albany’s South End remembers the devastation of the building of the Empire State Plaza, which bulldozed 98 ...

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The Melodrama Lingers On

by Ann Morrow December 4, 2014

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  There isn’t a Hunger Game in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which is actually part 3 of the franchise. It’s slower paced than it needs to be (undoubtedly a tactic to prolong the profitable ...

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Funny Enough

by Laura Leon December 4, 2014

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  As somebody who has experienced multiple viewings of Madagascar and its sequel, I can verify that the penguins of Madagascar are, really, the reason to see either film. The flightless little creatures are known as ...

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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 ...

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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

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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 ...

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Scanners

by David King November 13, 2014

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  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

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  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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