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WEST SIDE STORY…AGAIN

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Was anyone hankering for a new film adaptation of West Side Story? Did this venerable musical need refreshing? I honestly don’t think so. The multi-Oscar-winning 1961 movie is unquestionably dated, but it is a product of its time and the prevailing…

THE FRENCH DISPATCH: QUEL FROMAGE

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Writer-director Wes Anderson enjoys inventing worlds all his own, then inviting his ever-growing community of actors to occupy them so fully that we, too, become engaged. It’s a risky proposition that sometimes works beautifully (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and…

PLENTY OF TIME TO DIE: THE NEW JAMES BOND MOVIE

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The caretakers of the Intellectual Property known as James Bond, knowing that their newest effort would be the last one to star Daniel Craig, decided to spare no expense—or footage—to make this an “epic” entry in the long-running series.…

SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF

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Don Rugoff changed the face of moviegoing in New York in the 1960s and had a lasting impact on the way foreign and independent films were distributed and advertised. I was part of that audience but frankly, I had…

‘SUMMER OF SOUL’ OFFERS MORE THAN JUST GREAT MUSIC

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There are concert films, and then there is Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), a knockout of a movie featuring precious performance footage that hasn’t been seen since it was shot in 1969. Ahmir Thompson,…

F9: THE FAST SAGA LEAVES LOGIC IN THE DUST

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Does a so-called summer movie have to be brain-dead? I don’t believe it. But then, I don’t believe the preposterous goings-on in F9, part of what’s now being called The Fast Saga. The series, which began in 2001 with an action yarn…

THE SPARKS BROTHERS: I’M A BELIEVER

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I am a newcomer to the Sparks phenomenon. Perhaps that’s because I’m not as cool as Flea, Beck, Jason Schwartzman, Neil Gaiman, or Amy Sherman-Palladino, who are longtime followers…or perhaps I didn’t have someone like Edgar Wright to take…

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