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Reviews

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Displaying items 67-77
  • Review: Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival

    Review: Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival
    Some jazz musicians don't wish to invent new musical languages, redefine prevailing idioms or invent novel concepts. Instead, they choose to revel in established forms, conveying as much joyousness of spirit to as wide an audience as possible. Which...
  • HBO's 'Bessie' offers a lesson in show biz and the blues

     HBO's 'Bessie' offers a lesson in show biz and the blues
    Early on in "Bessie," a new HBO biopic premiering Saturday and starring Queen Latifah as the singer Bessie Smith, Smith's about-to-be mentor, Ma Rainey (played by Mo'Nique), offers a musicological lesson in show business. "You got 'The St. Louis Blues,'...
  • 'Truth About Lies' tells it like it is. Really

    'Truth About Lies' tells it like it is. Really
    The enjoyable, relatable documentary "(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies" takes a pointed look at the ways, big and small, that deceit infuses and often determines our life course. Directed by Yael Melamede (who co-wrote with Chad Beck), the film...
  • 'I Am Big Bird' a gentle peek at the guy behind the yellow feathers

     'I Am Big Bird' a gentle peek at the guy behind the yellow feathers
    The idea of getting to know the puppeteer responsible for the yellow-feathered sweetness of "Sesame Street's" Big Bird is a bit scary. After all, as we learned in "The Wizard of Oz," looking behind the curtain can be very disappointing. Have no fear....
  • 'Don't Think I've Forgotten' a deft look back at Cambodia's pop scene

     'Don't Think I've Forgotten' a deft look back at Cambodia's pop scene
    The documentary "Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll" recounts the Phnom Penh pop scene, from Cambodia's independence from France in 1953 until the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror in the 1970s. Director John Pirozzi deftly...
  • 'Dreams' lulls young and old through life with grace and truth

     'Dreams' lulls young and old through life with grace and truth
    There is something about Blythe Danner's on-screen essence that is perfect for the gently aged widow she plays in "I'll See You in My Dreams," her first leading role in years. The 72-year-old actress uses her mix of flinty, flighty and fragile to draw...
  • Film Review: French mob story chases emotional truth

    Film Review: French mob story chases emotional truth
    French director Andre Techine has been making films for 40 years, rarely getting as much attention in the U.S. as many lesser contemporaries. He had something of a commercial breakthrough here — by foreign film standards, at least — with...
  • Review: The Who sell out, fall short

    Review: The Who sell out, fall short
    The Who came out swinging Wednesday at a near-capacity Allstate Arena, stuffing a career's worth of classic moves into its opening song, "I Can't Explain." Frontman Roger Daltrey viewed the microphone cord as a lariat, whipping it around with lethal...
  • 'I Am Big Bird' review: Peek under Big Bird's feathers unfortunately lays an egg

    'I Am Big Bird' review: Peek under Big Bird's feathers unfortunately lays an egg
    No negative thoughts, words or deeds intrude upon "I Am Big Bird," Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker's documentary about Caroll Spinney, the man behind the voice, walk, heart and soul of the beloved Sesame Street character for the last 45 years. But as...
  • Israeli Jazz Fest kicks off with smart new music from Scheffer

    Israeli Jazz Fest kicks off with smart new music from Scheffer
    If the rest of the Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival proves as innovative, provocative and alluring as Thursday night's opener, there will be fine listening ahead. At first glance, Tammy Scheffer's Morning Bound looked to be a trio, the vocalist-...
  • TV review: 'Bessie' is a missed opportunity

    'Bessie' When: 8 p.m. May 16, HBO Starring: Queen Latifah HBO's "Bessie," a biopic about 1920s-'30s blues singer Bessie Smith, follows all the expected biopic tropes: The rise, the fall, the rise again, the flashbacks that illuminate the lead...