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'Trumbo': Shining over Hollywood's blacklist

Jul 20, 2016

'Trumbo': Shining over Hollywood's blacklist

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American conservatives are forever whinging about “liberal Hollywood,” but really they have only themselves to blame. When they were in the cultural ascendancy back in the 1940s-50s, they used their power — through groups such as the MPA (Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation ...

'Ishibumi': Tragic history set in stone

Jul 13, 2016

'Ishibumi': Tragic history set in stone

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An annual ritual on Japanese television on or around Aug. 6 is a number of special programs about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Truth be told, after many years in this country I tune out more than I tune in. Just as ...

'Sing Street': 'I'm in a band' — it works every time

Jul 13, 2016

'Sing Street': 'I'm in a band' — it works every time

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Filmmaker and former frontman for the Irish band “The Frames” John Carney completes his ode-to-music trilogy with “Sing Street” — following the star-studded “Begin Again” in 2013 and the excellent but underrated “Once” in 2007. Carney’s stories have sold us the idea that the ...

'Amy': Remembering the star the right way

Jul 13, 2016

'Amy': Remembering the star the right way

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Back in 1969, John Lennon — then on his media-hounded honeymoon with Yoko Ono — penned “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” with the chorus, “The way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me.” It seems a bit over-the-top, until you recall how his ...

Goldblum on cinema's next big villain

Jul 7, 2016

Goldblum on cinema's next big villain

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Jeff Goldblum, an actor whose quirky comedic delivery has earned him a sizeable cult following, seems to have a thing for science fiction flicks. His latest, “Independence Day: Resurgence,” sees the 63-year-old reprise the role of alien-battling scientist David Levinson, who audiences first met ...

'Kampai!' raises a glass to sake education

Jul 6, 2016

'Kampai!' raises a glass to sake education

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For decades, sake (or nihonshu for the majority of Japanese) didn’t really do it for the citizens of this archipelago. Cheap, ubiquitous and made from rice, it seemed too familiar — tacky even. Older people drank it at weddings, or swilled the stuff when ...

'Brooklyn': Romance is not dead, it's just dull

Jul 6, 2016

'Brooklyn': Romance is not dead, it's just dull

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Given its title, you’d be forgiven for thinking that “Brooklyn” was a movie about lumbersexual hipsters, all named Zach, opening a single-origin, gluten-free artisanal mac-and-cheese shop in Fort Point, and the zany complications that arise when they realize two bathrooms are inadequate to serve ...