No Concessions: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Mad Max: Fury Road is, among other positives, a time machine for film critics of a certain age. A few minutes in and I was back in front of HBO circa 1980 watching the original Max Max (1979), probably for the ...

No Concessions: “Maggie”

In Maggie, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a teenage daughter who’s a zombie. Not the usual, comatose-on-the-couch, waiting-for-a-boy-to-call zombie, but a zombie zombie–a victim of the “necro-ambulatory virus,” which, having ravaged our cities, is burning through the heartland, killing all plant and animal ...

No Concessions: “Furious Seven”

“Cars don’t fly,” Brian (Paul Walker) tells his son early on in Furious 7, which caps, if not concludes, the boxoffice phenomenon revved up by The Fast and the Furious (2001). That is, of course, a joke–shiny, expensive cars spend more ...

Exit Lines: “Hamilton”

Broadway’s top ticket is Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, which has set a record for advance sales. (Pretty, pretty good!) Off Broadway, it’s…Alexander Hamilton? Founding father, Federalist Papers, Treasury Secretary, Aaron Burr...that Alexander Hamilton? Yes–but not your great-great-great-etc. grandmother’s Alexander ...

No Concessions: My Oscar Ballot, 2014 Edition

Two-bit analysis follows.

This year’s ballot:

Best Picture: Birdman

Best Director: Alexander Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best ...

Spinning Discs: An Animated Discussion

Cabin fever set in? Home video can help. Here’s an alphabetical guide to get you through a few more weeks of winter.

But first: the kids. Them. My friends in Boston are practically home-schooling these days, due to weather-related disturbances. Fortunately there ...

Exit Lines: “Come Look at the Freaks”

Where does one of the world’s sexiest men go to transform himself into one of the more celebrated grotesques in history? Why, Broadway, of course–where Bradley Cooper, following in the footprints of David Bowie and Billy Crudup, is covering himself in ...

Exit Lines: Leading Lights

In an era dominated by superheroes and other non-human factors, stars don’t mean much at the movies these days–if they did, would the likes of Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, and Robert De Niro be turning up in slenderly budgeted VOD obscurities. ...

No Concessions: “Big Eyes”

Last week’s national nightmare is over, sort of, as Sony puts The Interview into release–in a few, mostly out of the way theaters, and on a handful or so of balky streaming platforms. That’ll show ya, Kim! Likely to be playing nearer your ...

Exit Lines: Ships Coming In

“You know what the biggest problem with that show is?” said my friend after we had exited The Last Ship, Sting’s first foray into musical theatre. “Its biggest problem is that its main character is an asshole.”

The “asshole problem” ...

No Concessions: Cancelling “The Interview”

On paper, The Interview looked–well, maybe not great, but half-decent, a rare attempt by a Hollywood studio at a comedy with satiric bite. Think co-director Seth Rogen and James (“I’m creating as fast as I can”) Franco as a contemporary Bob ...

Exit Lines: Going Off

Before diving into the 2014 part of the 2014-2015 Broadway theatre season, let’s look at some of the shows running Off Broadway. In the land beyond the Great White Way, it’s war.

Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts ...

Spinning Discs: All the Trimmings

I don’t do holiday gift guides. Not my bag. But–’tis the season and everyone’s having big sales from now until the end of the year, so rather than be Scrooge about it, feel free to stuff your stockings with new releases from ...

Spinning Discs: Witches Brew

Halloween festivities started early for us, as Maleficent arrived a few days ahead of street date–and when Angelina Jolie knocks on your door, you open it. The closest thing we have to a queen of the world, Jolie enjoyed a huge ...

No Concessions: Blood on the Festival Floor

The 52nd New York Film Festival saw more of me than in the past few years, as fortunate scheduling allowed me to see eight films during the event, which ended on Sunday, and one more entrant outside Lincoln Center. Of course, ...

Exit Lines: “King Lear”

Here in New York we’re in the middle of what’s called the “Off” season–that is, the Off Broadway season, full of festivals and other theatrical diversions now that Tony season is well over. Broadway still offers a show or two, but ...

No Concessions: Go “Apes”

A conversation designed to get you out of the house and into seeing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this weekend.

You’re kind of down on the movies this summer. Yet I hear you think it doesn’t suck. That not only ...

Exit Lines: “The Killer”

All things must come to an end, and today my neighbor, Michael Shannon, departs Theatre for a New Audience, where’s he spent the last six weeks in a mesmerizing return of Eugene Ionesco’s The Killer to the New York stage. I ...

Blu-ray Review: “Non-Stop”

Like Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, Liam Neeson is never more an A-lister than when starring in a movie released at a B time of the year. January, April, October–he does brisk business in the thrillers that have been his bread and ...

Film Review: “Jersey Boys”

Inevitably, Jersey Boys, the king of Broadway’s biography-based “jukebox musicals,” has become a movie. Less expected is that producer-director Clint Eastwood, who is old enough to have first-hand knowledge of jukeboxes, has brought it to the screen. This is only startling on ...

Exit Lines: Talking Tonys

Neil Patrick Harris won’t be hosting the Tony Awards on CBS this Sunday night, leaving that task to its other perma-emcee, Hugh Jackman. In all likelihood he’ll instead be onstage winning a Tony Award, for the sensational revival of Hedwig and ...

No Concessions: Sequels, Remakes, Retreads

Which X-Men do you prefer: the younger First Class generation, introduced in 2011, or their older selves, last seen in 2006? In a cunning move straight from Marvel comics, X-Men: Days of Future Past unites both casts in a deft time-spanning ...

Exit Lines: “…The Musical”

As the 2013-2014 Broadway season wound down I was spending a lot of time at the theatre, which means I spent a fair amount of time at the movies, too. We’ve seen musicals of Big Fish, The Bridges of Madison County, ...

Film Review: “In the Blood”

RIP Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film career, which by the three strikes rule went toes up last Monday, when the boxoffice results of Sabotage were published. After the disappointments of last year’s The Last Stand and Escape Plan it’s clear this stalwart of 80s ...

Spinning Discs: Mad Worlds

Let’s get crazy with a roundup of new, recent, and upcoming releases on Blu-ray and DVD…

Bad Dreams/Visiting Hours: A hospital-set “Killer Double Feature” on DVD has received a slight upgrade on Blu-ray, and Visiting Hours (1982), the  lesser of ...