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Purple links

And just when we had gotten over the death of Bowie, this happens. I remember back in junior high we'd occasionally debate who was better, Prince or Michael Jackson. It was probably an unfair comparison. As awesome as Michael was, he didn't play an instrument, whereas Prince - well, perhaps it'd be easier to list what he couldn'tplay.The film career of the Purple One was perhaps a little less distinguished overall, but hey, criticizing him for not being a great actor is kinda like criticizing Mozart beca... read more »

The link who fell to Earth

Unfortunately, I don't have any interesting stories related to the music of David Bowie. I never saw him in concert, nor did he inspire me to explore my sexuality or anything along those lines. Like many people, I simply dug his music, and I'm really sad to see him departed from this life. As an actor - and he had been one almost as long as he had been a singer - he had an eclectic range of roles, as you would expect from one who took on roles in his musical performances: Pontius Pilate in The Last Tempt... read more »

New release roundup for December '15

- Brooklyn. Delightful little movie. I knew Saoirse Ronan was destined for greatness from the first time I saw her, in Atonement, and it looks like she's finally achieved stardom with this film.I saw it with Vija and Lynn (not my sister; different Lynn) at the City Cinemas on the east side of Manhattan, a nice theater that I hadn't been to in years. Turns out it's gotten an upgrade: reclining seats that you can pick out yourself at the box office, just like AMC. Unlike AMC, however, they have the nerve t... read more »

Top 5 movie-going moments of 2015

I almost wasn't going to do a Top 5 this year, because I honestly didn't think I had enough to round one out - but then I realized that not every positive movie-going experience has to include something odd or unusual, though this list includes those too. Once again, I was fortunate to have seen some world-class films on the big screen, on celluloid, and those should be acknowledged too. So here you go: 5. Pather Panchali @ Film Forum. I wish I could've seen the rest of the Apu Trilogy at the Forum as w... read more »

What if more movie theaters were non-profit?

The caretakers of the Loew's Jersey Theater think it hasa future as a multimedia, non-profit venue.Weeks ago, the Center Cinema theater in Sunnyside closed down. It wasn't the greatest of movie theaters, and I have no fond memories of it from my childhood (or my adulthood, for that matter), but it was local, a neighborhood theater still trying to compete against the AMCs and Regals of the world, and it was part of a number of theaters in Queens and Nassau County over the past five years that I've seen bi... read more »

Groundhog's links

So far, the new format seems to be going over well. The pageview numbers are roughly comparable with what they were before the Switch, and the announcement of the CinemaScope Blogathon generated a whole lot of interest. Thanks once again on behalf of Becky and myself to everyone who's joining us for that next month.Among the stuff to look forward to this month will include another venture into the hullaballoo that is the #TCMparty on Twitter, only this time I'll devote a post exclusively to my experience... read more »

Dear White People

Dear White Peopleseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY10.28.14First of all, I wanna say upfront how grateful I am that the Kew Gardens is showing Dear White People. I was prepared to see this in the city if I had to - the Kew gets a lot of indie films, but they don't get everything - but seeing it in Queens, at a reasonable price (read: single digits) means a lot to me. They even put it in Theater 3, the main auditorium, which is the biggest one they have.Now, when the movie started, I was ... read more »

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxyseen @ Movieworld, Douglaston, NY8.19.14"Beware the movie that's Fun! with a capital F, the one populated with seemingly unpretentious characters that say adorable, clever things, the one that presents each off-kilter joke as if it were a porcelain curio, the one that boasts a comfort-food soundtrack of songs you've always liked but perhaps haven't heard in a while. On the plus side,James Gunn'sGuardians of the Galaxy, adapted from the Marvel comic book series of the same name, has... read more »

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apesseen @ Movieworld, Douglaston, NY7.15.14So you wanna be a leader, do you?Understandable. When you're a leader, you're the star of the show. You're the one who gets to sit in the captain's chair. Everything that happens revolves around you. What you say goes and everyone has to listen to you because they all know you're the smartest, the bravest, the strongest. And they'll follow you into hell if you say so because they believe in you.You better make sure you read the fine pr... read more »

Planet of the links

The ongoing struggle over control of the Loew's Jersey Theater has taken a turn for the worst: last week, Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop decided on a promoter to run the theater, and taxpayers are gonna foot most of the bill for renovations, surprise surprise. In a statement, Friends of the Loews continues to maintain that if only Jersey City had lived up to its end of the bargain it made with FoL to fund renovations (for a smaller amount than what the taxpayers are getting shafted with), none of this wou... read more »

All-american links

Last month, I was quite saddened to see that one of the last neighborhood movie theaters from my youth, the Jackson Cinemas in Jackson Heights, was closed for business. The movies on the marquee were Thor: The Dark World, Catching Fire and Frozen, so based on that, I'd say it's probably been at least three months since they closed their doors.I've written about this place many times in this blog,mostly positive but sometimes negative. As much of a beloved hot spot as it was for me growing up, those days ... read more »

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davisseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY12.22.13When I was in high school, I had this mild aspiration to be a musician. Part of it was my sister's influence. She's a singer, who performs in a band with her husband. They're good, too - they play semi-frequently around the New York area, playing RB and pop cover songs. When I was in high school, she went with me to Sam Ash to help pick out a keyboard for me. I had taken lessons on the organ when I was younger and whaddya know,... read more »


Philomenaseen @ City Cinemas Paris Theater, New York NY12.15.13As biopics go - and this year has had absolutely no shortage of them - Philomena wasn't bad. I wasn't gonna see it at first, but the unabashed charm of Judi Dench in the trailer, which I saw repeatedly this fall, eventually won me over. I'm glad to say that the trailer didn't reveal as much of the story as I thought it did, however, it did spoil most of the funny lines.I wanna talk about one aspect of the story which caught me by surprise, an... read more »

Links, a book review, and blog news

Last things first: I have decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) this year. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's a literary event in which a bunch of writers around the world get together and attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Well, 50,000 is the minimum, anyway; I'm told that this number is a relatively small one for the average novelist, but the challenge, obviously, comes in putting together a draft of a novel in such a constrained time period.I'm gonna... read more »

Gravitational links

October is sure to be an exciting month. Lot of potential Oscar-caliber movies will unfurl for the people, and while some may think the race is already over thanks to Twelve Years a Slave, well, all I can say to that is a lot of people thought the race was over with The Social Network a couple of years ago, and look what happened. I may not be any kind of Oscar prognosticator, but I know this much: the Academy will pick what it likes regardless of what the media or the public or anybody else says they sh... read more »

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3seen @ Williamsburg Cinemas, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY5.7.13Iron Man 3 is what it is. Did it entertain me? Yeah. There were funny bits (though not as many as in the first one), there were unexpected bits (I didn't really think [SPOILER] was gonna die, but for a moment I wasn't sure) and the visuals were astonishing as always (sitting through the credits, waiting for the obligatory after-credits scene - which is not worth waiting for - I was amazed at the gargantuan list of people involved in m... read more »

QWFF 2013 Day 2: The Jackson Five

The Queens World Film Festival is a six-day event which showcases films from around the world at venues within the New York City borough of Queens. Throughout this week, I'll write about select films from the show. For more information about the festival,visit the website.The worse part about getting this sore throat now of all times is that it's the first time I've gotten sick all winter. I thought I could get away scot free for the first time in I don't know how long, especially since this winter hasn'... read more »

One Two Three

One Two Threeseen @ Landmark Loews Jersey theater, Jersey City, NJ2.23.13When I still drunk soda on a regular basis, I was a Pepsi drinker. As a kid, drinking soda went hand in hand with redeeming the empty bottles for cash. There was a tiny bodega a couple of blocks from our house that accepted empty bottles, and my parents places the responsibility burden of redeeming them on me. While it was always great to get free money, especially when you're young, I hated having to be the one to gather all the bo... read more »

Guild-ed links

The Directors Guild award is one of the most important awards on the road to the Oscars, but this year, because of the large disparity between those nominees and the Oscar nominees for Best Director, it had become even more difficult to predict. Then Ben Affleck and Argo started winning everything, and now it looks like that streak could continue this weekend when the DGA winner is announced. Whoever wins here could have the inside track on Best Director at the Oscars, and even Best Picture, but even if ... read more »

Django Unchained

Django Unchainedseen @ AMC Loews Fresh Meadows 7, Fresh Meadows, Queens, NY1.24.13Had a big problem with a cell phone user at my Django Unchained screening. Big as in had-to-get-a-manager big. Here's the deal:I think the Fresh Meadows must have done some kind of remodeling or something from the last time I was there, because this was the first theater I've been to (that I recall) where I could pick which seat I could buy.I was stunned; the clerk at the box office showed me a layout of the room and each s... read more »

Life of Pi

Life of Piseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY1.19.13SPOILERSYou know how on awards shows sometimes (especially the Grammys), or after anybody's won something major, you might see somebody thank God for giving them a talent that got them out of their double-wide trailer or their low-income housing project or their duplex and into the major leagues or a Hollywood movie, or a reality-TV show, which led to not only fame and fortune, but a chemical dependency and/or hours of community service ... read more »

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Risesseen @ Jackson Heights Cinemas, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY7.31.12Many of us will never know what it feels like to kill another human being, even if only in self-defense. If we were to be honest with ourselves, though, the truth is that we crave that feeling from time to time. That guy on the freeway who cut you off. The supervisor who you just know has it in for you. The teenager on the subway playing his iPod too damn loud.Most of us, however, find alternatives to acting on these i... read more »

Chico & Rita

Chico Ritaseen @ reRun Gastropub Theater @ reBar5.30.12American animation has never been better than it is now. Whether or not you believe that computer-generated animation has pushed hand-drawn animation out the door for good, the visual splendors they've provided have been phenomenal. Still, for all the advances in the medium we've seen over the past twenty years, one thing has remained the same: in Hollywood, animation still tends to be made for a primarily kiddie audience.Toys, cars, dairy tale char... read more »

Think Like a Man

Think Like a Man seen @ Jackson Heights Cinemas, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY 4.25.12 Ride around on the subways in New York and you'll see plenty of people reading books. It's always been a habit of mine to look over the shoulders of someone and follow along, whether it's a hard copy or an e-book - if I don't have a book of my own, that is (or even if I do). Ride in the subways long enough and you'll easily deduce which books are the popular ones. In the last few years, I've seen people read the Hung... read more »

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Sameseen @ reRun Gastropub Theater @ reBar, DUMBO, Brooklyn NY1.12.12There's a great old Star Trek episode where Mr. Spock, under the influence of alien plant life, loses his emotional control and is able to express his love for this human woman who has a crush on him. For an alien who practices stoicism as a survival method, Spock always managed to be attractive to the ladies - and that was as much true in real life as on the show. Of course, this can't last, and wh... read more »

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Martha Marcy May Marleneseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY11.15.11I still like the Kew Gardens. Not only is it a nice, cozy place to see art-house movies, it's close to me and I can pay less for a movie there than if I were to go into Manhattan. That hasn't changed. But yesterday they screwed up.I went to a late afternoon showing of Martha Marcy May Marlene. There were maybe about six or seven other people in the small theater, including three little old ladies who seemed very interested... read more »

The Ghost of Yotsuya

The Ghost of Yotsuya AKA Ghost Story of Yotsuyaseen @ Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn NY10.23.11I think my first interest in the paranormal began when I was maybe around nine or ten perhaps. I don't remember what it was that sparked it, but I do remember being fascinated with the idea of ghosts and telekinesis and stuff like that, and in particular I remember wishing that I could see a ghost one day. Of course, being a kid, I had no idea what I would do if I were to see a ghost, besides wet my pants, which m... read more »

The Ides of March

The Ides of Marchseen @ Cobble Hill Cinemas, Brooklyn NY10.11.11I'll never forget the time I saw Barack Obama give a speech. This was when I lived in Columbus, which was during the height of his presidential campaign. This was one of several visits he made to Ohio during my time there. In addition to the state being a pivotal election battleground, it had a Democrat governor, and Columbus had a black Democrat mayor (he's still there; the governor isn't). The speech was held in a plaza on the western side... read more »

My dream movie theater

My initial impulse would be to take the Jackson and renovate it. (This is all, of course, assuming money is not an issue.) That place has many of the elements I would want in a movie theater: it's small (three screens), it's easily accessible to public transportation, it has an old-fashioned marquee where one can see everything that's playing at a glance. I wonder, however, whether or not it's too small. I might prefer something more like the Drexel - a stylish Art Deco look, with a few more screens, plu... read more »

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Lifeseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY6.28.11 First of all, I should say that I didn't get a lot of sleep the previous night. Andrea and I were up late playing Scrabble on Facebook and I guess I just lost track of time - not that I regret it. She's taking a long European vacation this summer, so I feel the need to get as much of her as I can before she goes. I can't help but be worried as to whether she'll be alright, but it's a trip she's been wanting to take for years. It's... read more »

Beginners (advance screening)

Beginners is the new Ewan McGregor movie that I was fortunate to have seen in an advance screening last night. One of the many different hats Reid wears is that of an actor; he's a SAG member who has had small appearances in a few films, the last one being Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna. Anyway, as a SAG member, he and a guest were invited to this showing at the Chelsea Clearview in Manhattan (the same place I saw Black Swan). He had spent the entire day at the Book Expo and was burdened with two bags f... read more »

Scream 1-4

Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3 last seen online via YouTubeScream 4seen @ Jackson Heights Cinemas, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY4.27.11SPOILERS FOR SCREAM 4 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE From the first time I saw the trailer I knew Scream was different from most horror movies. I’m not a big horror movie fan, thoug... read more »

Thank you, Alamo Drafthouse, for giving a damn

...If there is a loud group of patrons in the theater disrupting the show, a customer can raise an order card to alert staff to the problem. The complaint is delivered right away to management who then comes into the theater to listen and identify the talkers. If they hear talking, they issue a warning, something to the effect of “we have had complaints from the other customers, if we receive one more complaint, we will have to ask you to leave.” If there is a second complaint, the manager again enters t... read more »

Muriel's Wedding

Muriel's Weddingfirst seen @ Village East Theatres, New York NY1994I haven't been to the Village East in awhile. It's a decent theater. Their selection is a mix of independent films and some Hollywood fare, with a lean towards the former. I remember liking their popcorn a lot. They used to host Rocky Horror nights, I think, before that moved crosstown to Chelsea. For awhile I used to always confuse the Village East, which is on Second Avenue, with the AMC on Third, until I devised a way to distinguish th... read more »

The Illusionist

The Illusionistseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY2.8.11I knew I wanted to see The Illusionist with Andrea because she adores all things French. She can speak the language fluently (as well as 24 others), she's been to Paris and other places in France, she once dated a Frenchman - it's an inherent part of her personality. Plus, with all the snow we've gotten here in New York over the past six weeks or so, I hadn't seen her in awhile.I met her in Times Square for the train ride out to Quee... read more »

The Way Back

The Way Backseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY1.25.11Sometimes I just get stuck for inspiration. I saw The Way Back the other day and liked it, but for whatever reason I had a problem trying to write about it in any way other than a simple review - which, as you know by now, is something I try to avoid with this blog.The film itself is something far beyond my experience. I can't really say that I've been in any life-or-death situations. I've never seen a desert first-hand, or been to Sib... read more »

Is pop culture reaching a critical mass?

Geek comedian Patton Oswalt thinks so:...Waiting for the next issue, movie, or album gave you time to reread, rewatch, reabsorb whatever you loved, so you brought your own idiosyncratic love of that thing to your thought-palace... None of that’s necessary anymore. When everyone has easy access to their favorite diversions and every diversion comes with a rabbit hole’s worth of extra features and deleted scenes and hidden hacks to tumble down and never emerge from, then we’re all just adding to an ever-sw... read more »

Fair Game

Fair Gameseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY11.16.10I've written about former President George W. Bush and the undeclared war he dragged America into before. I remember a cold February day in 2003 when I was one of millions worldwide who protested against the impending war. Here in New York we were gathered in the vicinity of the United Nations, although the crowd was so huge I ended up closer to 59th Street, next to the Queensborough Bridge. I wrote about the experience afterwards (I had... read more »

Sita Sings the Blues

Sita Sings the Bluesseen @ Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH2.28.09The Wexner Center for the Arts has got to be one of the best kept secrets around in terms of public art institutions. This was one of the many things that made me proud to live in Columbus, if only for a brief time. Located on the Ohio State campus, the Wex showcases a wide variety of exhibits year-round, from music to film to art and more. When I was in Columbus, they had a massive Andy Warhol show that was unique in all the count... read more »

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Goseen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY10.12.10The book versus the movie. It's the struggle that has endured for as long as there have been movies: when the latter adapts the former, which is better? My philosophy traditionally has been to see the movie before reading the book, and most of the time I stick to that, because it's been my experience that when you do it the other way, it sets you up for disappointment. The example I like to give is the film Angela's Ashes. I read t... read more »


Charadeseen @ Landmark Loews Jersey Theater, Jersey City, NJ9.25.10I was out all day Saturday, with some of my plans for the day coming through and some not. I spent the morning and early afternoon at a huge art festival in Brooklyn. From there, I had planned on going to a smaller art exhibit also in Brooklyn, but the trains made it difficult. It was partly my fault; I probably could've left DUMBO a half-hour earlier (that's Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass to you non-New Yorkers), but I was enjo... read more »

Logan's Run

Logan's Runlast seen @ The Ohio 24 Hour Science Fiction Marathon, Drexel East Theater, Bexley, OH3.28.09I recently spent some time living in the Midwest - Columbus, Ohio, to be precise. It's way more than Ohio State football; it's got a thriving art scene, fine food, lively music, and lots of other cool stuff. It's a wonderful little town that I still miss. When it comes to movies, Columbus has a good selection of theaters to choose from - obviously, nothing can compare to New York, but if you don't mind... read more »

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