Frank Sinatra: 100 Very Good Years on Record

Frank Sinatra would have turned 100 on Dec. 12 of this year, but even if you played three of his recordings every day from now till then, you wouldn’t come close to exhausting his songbook: The best estimates suggest the Chairman of the Board recorded about 1,000 different songs in the studio. Those of us who still love to “put on Sinatra and start to cry” (in the words of Steven Bishop) are laughing through our tears at the prospect …

Exclusive Video: Jennifer Aniston’s Painful Triumph

    Inexplicably overlooked in the rush of Best Actress Oscar nominees this year was Jennifer Aniston, whose searing performance as a woman dealing with chronic pain in Cake earned her universal acclaim plus a Golden Globe nomination. In preparing to play a character whose pain — both physical and emotional — defines her daily life, Aniston spent time consulting with people suffering chronic pain. She also worked extensively with the stunt coordinator on Cake, Stacy Courtney, a chronic-pain survivor herself. …

This Weekend’s Best Movies are In Your Home

Aside from one lighter-than-air romantic comedy that costars two appealing veteran actors in small roles, this might be an ideal weekend to stay home and catch one of the fine films coming to DVD, Blu-ray and Video on Demand (VOD).   Unfriended This thriller about teens stalked by an otherworldly evil unfolds entirely on a desktop computer screen. Hit “delete.”   5 to 7 Embedded in this disarming comedy about a young New York novelist (Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin) having …

Dancing, Riding & Catting Around This Weekend

This week’s new theatrical films will take you dancing in the desert or riding at the rodeo. Or you could just stay home and have the wits scared out of you by a seldom-seen 1934 thriller. Desert Dancer The central characters (a band of dancers trying to defy the Iranian government’s ban on their art) are plenty young and pretty. But their true story — of ordinary people who consider artistic expression essential to their being — is timeless. The …

Ricky Gervais: Here Comes Mr. Nice Guy

Ask someone to describe nine-time Emmy nominee Ricky Gervais and they might mention his scathing stints as a Golden Globe host, his take-no-prisoners standup comedy routines or his role as the clueless, often thoughtless boss on the original British version of The Office. Since 2013, though, Gervais — writer, director, star — has been showing a surprisingly tender side on his British sitcom Derek, where he plays a naïve 50-year-old man-child who works as an aide in a home for …

This Weekend @ The Movies: A Golden Girl, a Tortured Toon

Helen Mirren reigns onscreen this weekend. That’s the predictable play. If you’re in a more adventurous mood, check out a quirky new cartoon from the legendary Bill Plympton. Otherwise, the post-Oscar parade of big-screen blockbusters hitting home video continues apace. Woman in Gold Helen Mirren is the real golden girl in this true story of Maria Altmann, the woman who sued the Austrian government to recover a painting the Nazis stole from her family. Wide-eyed with exasperation and naïveté, Mirren’s …