• A merry little xmas gift

    “The Judy Garland Show Holiday Special” is a ghost of Christmas past — and you won’t mind the visitation. Set in Garland’s “house,” where she lives with Lorna, Joey and Liza, the viewer is just one of the guests dropping by for the holidays. The show opens with Judy looking out the window at the “snowfall” with Lorna and Joey. The house is all decorated for the holidays, looking .... Read More
  • Ho, ho, ho for a British holiday

    It is practically all any pop music lover can talk about these days, especially with the holidays approaching: The Beatles stereo box set (Capitol), also available in mono, contains the 13 original UK albums, remastered and repackaged with essential artwork, historical and recording notes, and mini-documentaries. The collection has undeniably revived Beatlemania, and would make a sensational gift..... Read More
  • A singular man | an interview with Tom Ford

    “A Single Man,” the film version of the Christopher Isherwood novel of the same name, marks Tom Ford’s directorial debut. The fashion designer-turned-filmmaker joins the ranks of directors such as Julian Schnabel and Sofia Coppola, who broke new ground — personally and professionally — with their feature-length motion picture presentations. Set in the early 1960s and stunningly recreate.... Read More
  • Muscular read

    “American Hunks” is an important contribution to the underdeveloped social history of the visual treatment of the well-built male body, as documented in drawings and photography since the middle of the 19th century. It is a beautifully produced volume of 350 pages that includes about 450 photographs and drawings of wrestlers, “strongmen,” bodybuilders and other muscular men from 1860 to 19.... Read More
  • Diva, diva, diva, diva

    Out of his five studio albums, it’s interesting that Rufus Wainwright chose to release a live album recorded during the tour for his fifth, “Release The Stars.” But eight of the songs on the CD portion of the live double-disc CD/DVD set “Milwaukee At Last!” (Decca) derive from that disc. Wainwright sounds genuinely taken aback at the enthusiastic reception he receives on show opener “R.... Read More
  • Film documents Mormon role in gay marriage debate

    Reed Cowan’s reasons for making a film about the Mormon Church’s activism against gay marriage in California are personal. Gay and Mormon, Cowan clashed with his family over his sexual orientation and the beliefs of their faith, but it was a conversation between him and a sibling about her support of Proposition 8 that cemented his commitment to make the film: “8: The Mormon Proposition.” .... Read More
  • ‘Precious’ moments | an interview with director Lee Daniels

    ‘Precious Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” has had people talking since the film premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Set in 1987 Harlem, where 16-year-old Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe making her unforgettable film debut) is still in junior high and pregnant with her second child. Her living situation, where she is regularly physically and verbally.... Read More
  • Reel advice: Now playing

    “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Remember the first time you saw Nick Park’s “The Wrong Trousers” or “Chicken Run”? Remember how it made you reevaluate everything you ever thought about claymation? Wes Anderson’s big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is sure to do the same for stop-motion animation. From the foxy, autumnal colors to the vintage rock and surf soundtrack.... Read More
  • The Snow White experience

    Prolific porn star Sasha Grey makes her mainstream movie debut as high-priced NYC escort Chelsea in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” (Magnolia Home Enter-tainment/2929). Considered a “sophisticated” call girl, Chelsea brings a personal touch to the conversation and interactions that she has with her clients. She listens patiently and attentively as a number of her tricks e.... Read More
  • On track | an interview with Linda Eder

    Diva supreme Linda Eder continues to broaden her horizons — and those of her fans — with her reinterpretations of songs from movies on her new album “Soundtrack.” To her credit, Eder does the unexpected. Her song selections and the interesting arrangements elevate the performer and the material. Her reading of “Falling Slowly” (from “Once”) is exquisite and one of her finest moment.... Read More