Fall Arts Preview: Fall Movies

Fall Arts Preview: Fall Movies


Everyone knows that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, Macbeth, and all those other great plays. But, to paraphrase the Royal Tenenbaums, what this movie presupposes is—maybe he didn’t? Director Roland Emmerich, best known for his disaster movies like 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, offers a melodrama that asserts that Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford, is the true scribe whose work  launched a million high-school essays.


The Artist

In the era of 3D, IMAX, and surround sound, it seems almost woefully backwards to recommend a movie that’s silent. Yes, silent. And black-and-white. And not in widescreen. The Artist is a new French film that takes place in Hollywood during the silent-film era, and it attempts to recreate that experience for current audiences. It’s a perfect antidote for those suffering from loud, color-saturated, quick-cut comics-movies fatigue."

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Fall Arts Preview: Fall Books


Fall Arts Preview: Fall Books

"Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick

It’s an American classic and all, but, ugh, 700 pages about a whale? Really? Nathaniel Philbrick, author of the equally seafaring In the Heart of the Sea, makes a case for why you should sit down and finally read something that’s a thousand times longer than a Facebook status.


Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

This young-adult novel comes to us from Jack Gantos—author of the Joey Pigza and Rotten Ralph books—and happens to be about a nose-bleeding, grounded-for-life character…named Jack Gantos. Things get even stranger when he’s conscripted to type out obituaries for his town’s elders, an entryway into the strangest summer he’s ever had. It’s an unusual coming-of-age tale without a wizard wand in sight—imagine that."


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Fall Arts Preview: Fall TV


Fall Arts Preview: Fall TV

"Terra Nova

This series is executive produced by Steven Spielberg and bears more than a passing resemblance to one of his biggest hits: Jurassic Park. In it, a futuristic society, having depleted the Earth of all resources, decides to go back to a prehistoric era to try the whole civilization thing again. Except this time, there are dinosaurs.


2 Broke Girls

It’s like The Odd Couple, if the genders were flipped and the whole thing took place in a Hollywoodized version of the hipster-infested Williamsburg. Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs play the titular broke girls, one a streetwise chick and the other a deposed trust-funder, and they form an unlikely alliance with a goal of saving up enough tips to open up—what else?—a cupcake bakery."


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Fall Arts Preview: Fall Events

Fall Arts Preview: Fall Events

I wrote the massive guide to fall arts and culture, which was broken into Fall Events, Fall Books, Fall Movies, and Fall TV. For fall events, I covered upcoming art, film, music, theater, family happenings, readings, lectures, comedy, art and craft fairs, and special events taking place in Westchester September, October, and November.

"Talk Cinema

Film writer Harlan Jacobson screened The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—the original Swedish version, of course—before almost anyone else here had a glimpse of Noomi Rapace’s nose-ringed face, thank you very much. And he doesn’t plan on getting scooped this season, either. For his Talk Cinema series, Jacobson shows an indie or foreign film before its release, then hosts a discussion afterward with a filmmaker or critic. You don’t get to know what film you see beforehand, but speculating is half the fun.


The Zombies

This will be their year: to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, the Zombies have planned a worldwide tour, with stops from Edinburgh to Tel Aviv. And, when they finally come stateside, they’re playing the Tarrytown Music Hall. In addition to ’60s hits like 'Time of the Season' and 'She’s Not There,' the band will perform songs from last year’s new album, Breathe Out, Breathe In."

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September Issue: In Every Issue

Cultural highlights including Joe Lovano, Gordon Lightfoot, Kelli O'Hara, and more.

"Pole Vault

When we think of the North Pole, we think of polar bears and Santa Claus. But to Anthony Fiala, the North Pole represented the limit of human achievement. The Stamford Museum & Nature Center explores Fiala’s ultimately unsuccessful attempts to be the first to reach the top of the world, including the expedition’s natural hurdles (his ship was crushed by ice) and the man-made ones (his crew rejected his leadership and quit). The expedition lasted from 1903 to 1905, but the museum’s exhibition will only last from September 10 to October 30."

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Time Out New York: 101 Things to Do for $10 or Less


101 Things to Do for $10 or Less


My contributions to Time Out New York's list of cheap things to do in New York City are sprinkled throughout their package, which is broken up into weekday, weeknight, and weekend activities. I covered items for all three lists, including: cruising the East River Ferry (No. 3), touring Grand Central Terminal (No. 6), bowling at the Gutter (No. 10) or Brooklyn Bowl (No. 30), catching a comedy show at the PIT (No. 61) or UCB (No. 70), seeing a rock show at the Mercury Lounge (No. 88), hitting up the matinees at the AMC theaters (No. 91), and walking the gardens at Wave Hill (No. 92).


"People’s Improv Theater

In January, the PIT moved away from New York’s informal improv-comedy district near the Magnet Theater and UCBT and into a new space with a full bar and approximately 100 seats—nearly double its previous capacity. It’s a great place to catch a comedian on the rise: Kristen Schaal and The Office and Bridesmaids’s Ellie Kemper were both on PIT house teams. Most weekday shows are rarely more than $10, but for the best value, stop by on Wednesdays from 6 to 11pm, when troupes flex their comedic muscles in six free shows. 123 E 24th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-563-7488 thepit-nyc.com)."


Click through to read the rest of the article at Time Out New York.

DVD Review: Take Me Home Tonight

'Take Me Home Tonight' Is Not Just Out to Get Drunk and Find an Easy Hookup

"Five years after the cessation of That ‘70s Show, its cast is still making their careers chronicling the stupid things we do when we’re young. This year, that’s often taken the form of entering into ill-advised, pure-sex relationships with formerly platonic friends of the opposite gender. (I’m looking at you, No Strings Attached‘s Ashton Kutcher and Friends with Benefits’ Mila Kunis.) Leave it to Topher Grace, the one who always seemed like the deepest of the bunch, to make the movie where the main character laments the follies of his youth without getting to have any fun at all.

His 2011 movie, Take Me Home Tonight, also comes with a richer tradition of young-adult cinema behind it. The events of the film take place within one 24-hour period, putting it in the same vein as all-in-one-crazy-night movies such as American Graffiti, Dazed and Confused, and Superbad. Its ‘80s time period and focus on its characters’ feelings makes John Hughes an obvious touchstone. And focusing in particular on a protagonist who can’t figure out what to do with the rest of his life puts it right alongside The Graduate. It’s as if director Michael Dowse set out to remake Sixteen Candles starring Lloyd Dobler"

"Even though all of the pieces are there, Take Me Home Tonight remains as a good example of another film in the ‘80s-nostalgic, all-in-one-night, John Hughes-esque genre without ever becoming something greater. It’s happy to follow along in the footsteps of its inspirations without ever really transcending them. (Even the soundtrack choices, which kick off with “Video Killed the Radio Star,” are pretty typical.) The character of Matt’s best friend, Barry (Dan Fogler), for example, seems more obligatory than compelling. Recently fired, Barry is off in his own subplot where he tries coke for the first time and finds himself enduring a series of increasingly ridiculous sexual adventures. His exaggerated portion of the film, not as thoughtful as the rest, seems like a calculated grab for Harold and Kumar fans."

Click through to read the rest of the review at PopMatters.

August Issue: Things to Do

It's All Free
A round-up of free, outdoor concerts for every night of the week.

"Big-band, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and even gospel music find their way to the bandshell in the grassy Hudson Park. After all, there’s no other place in the county where you can groove to a band with a name as funky as the Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra (August 24)."

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Only in August
How to enjoy the Dog Days

"People think of August as the doldrums of summer,  marked by the twin plagues of heat and boredom. But it’s still summer, darn it, and there are many warm-weather pleasures to be had. In fact, there are some things you can only do in August. Here, a few:

1. Request tickets to Saturday Night Live.
You see those smiling, laughing audience members week-in, week-out, but few realize that you can only request free SNL tickets during the month of August. Email your contact info to snltickets@nbcuni.com, and spend the rest of the summer running to the mailbox to see if you got lucky in the ticket lottery." 

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August Issue: In Every Issue

Culture, Etc.
Guster, Steve Earle, Trollhunter, and more.

"It’s August, and, to paraphrase Gershwin, the livin’ should be easy—and the music should be, too. Guster understands, and the band’s most recent album, the aptly named Easy Wonderful, provides just the kind of poppy, no-fuss music that’s best for those days when it’s too hot to think. It inspired Entertainment Weekly to write, 'There’s something happily uncomplicated—and at times proudly uncool—about this band’s sixth album.' Hear for yourself when Guster plays an outdoor concert at the Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut, on August 3."

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Home Theater & Broadway Box Office
Paul, Jane Eyre, Your Highness, and Cul-De-Sac, plus an interview with Altar Boyz director Carlos Encinias.

"Who is your favorite boy band?

I’d have to say it’s a tie between *NSYNC and the New Kids on the Block. The New Kids on the Block was my first concert, but I say that I was just taking my sister and it wasn’t really for me. That’s my line."

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Guster photo by Floto+Warner Studio

Time Out New York: NY Movie Shoots

For the "Insider's Guide," a round-up of films and TV shows filming in New York City.

Movie and TV productions filming in NYC

"Boardwalk Empire
Films through:
August 31
Starring: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Pitt, Michael Shannon
Spotted in: Greenpoint
Look for: New Jersey. The production team built a 300-foot-long replica of the Prohibition-era Atlantic City boardwalk for the HBO series. The set is roughly 80 percent to scale, is made of approximately 150 tons of steel and is probably the largest freestanding outdoor set in New York.

Click through to read the rest of the article at Time Out New York.