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Movie Review: Selma

Selma is a lost opportunity. A great movie about achieving 20th century progress for blacks in America has yet to be made. Selma is an example of how not to do it.

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Movie Review: Cinderella

With a willingness to judge what is evil, marvel at what’s good and innocent, and indulge in great moviemaking, Cinderella powerfully depicts the classic tale as young lovers’ courtship which begins with taking stock of oneself.

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Silver Screens

A valued friend and crack newspaper reporter has been murdered at his desk. Skeen is investigating the crime with the police.

Victoria’s Aim

Sunk deep into the cushions of the chair, the woman listened as the ticking and the tapping composed a certain staccato rhythm, like the sound of several hammers driving nails into wood…

Abelard and the Gate of Apollo

My name is Abelard. I was born—a birth some later called miraculous—of a dead mother. She was one of several who had died the day before, trying to flee over the Wall. I was left to die in my dead mother’s stomach; on the wet pavement; beneath coiled wire; paces from polished boots marching by. […]

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The PIckwick Affair: Chapter Two

Chapter 2: Nightmare on the “Morpheus”  As Cody Hosk warmed up the bus’s engine and let it run for a few minutes, Rufus Lister welcomed the passengers and introduced himself and his partner, Harry Williams. Canty Lanier, the cook, also took a bow. Lister added, “We’ll be makin’ only one more stop on the way […]

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The Pickwick Affair: Chapter One

Chapter 1: Stopover in Medford  “Good mornin’, folks! We’ll be arriving on time in Medford in about fifteen minutes, where you can stretch your legs and refresh yourselves. We’ll pull into the Pickwick terminal where you can buy newspapers and snacks. There are telephones inside the terminal. And next door is the Grog and Grub […]

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RIP, James Garner

James Garner, who died on July 19 at the age of 86, was quintessentially modern (in the best sense of the term), masculine and American.

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Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Like its rebooted predecessor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes offers more of the same exciting, escapist fare. These pictures are, like the original 1968-1975 films for 20th Century Fox, designed for mass entertainment. At their best, they provoke thought with thrills. Dawn of the Planet of the […]

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Movie Review: America

Emphasizing emotions over facts, the propellant and powerful America: Imagine the World Without Her, co-written and co-directed by conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, teems with a proper American sense of life. It is limited in its power, which strongly builds yet quickly dissipates, by what amounts to a faith in individualism. Evoking Ronald Reagan, D’Souza understands […]

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Movie Review: Atlas Shrugged Part 3

As I previewed last month, the new and final part of libertarian businessman John Aglialoro’s independent movie trilogy adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, features Christian libertarian ex-congressman Ron Paul of Texas. It’s a plot point that, however small, makes no dramatic sense. Like much of this movie, easily the worst of the three […]

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Interview: Brett Goldsmith on ‘Hotel Sessions’ by Olivia Newton-John

Musician, producer and photographer Brett Goldsmith recently talked with me from Melbourne, Australia, about his new work with Olivia Newton-John, Hotel Sessions. The record is an extended play (EP) collection of previously unreleased demo tracks that he made with his famous aunt between 2002 and 2011 at various Melbourne hotels (read my review here.) Goldsmith, […]

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Music Review: Hotel Sessions by Olivia Newton-John

An extended play recording of seven unreleased demo tracks by legendary artist Olivia Newton-John is on sale (for a steep price, too, at $20) exclusively at Olivia’s new residency venue in Las Vegas, The Flamingo. The set goes on sale soon on her Web site and iTunes. The new songs – titled Hotel Sessions because […]

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Summer Nights by Olivia Newton-John at The Flamingo Las Vegas

Olivia Newton-John’s first Las Vegas residency, inside the Donny & Marie Showroom at Caesar Entertainment’s Flamingo Hotel and Casino, is an intimate, poignant show she calls “Summer Nights”. The 20-plus song production premiered this week. I’ve met and written about Olivia over the years at various stages of her extraordinary career and, in Vegas for […]