Lots More to See Than ‘The Avengers’ This Weekend

Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t just this weekend’s splashiest movie; it’s expected to be one of the biggest spring/summer blockbusters of all time. But don’t let the studio’s high hopes overshadow these worthy alternatives, both in theaters and in your living room.   Iris This final film from legendary documentary maker Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens) is a love letter to style icon Iris Apfel, who at 93 still wows the fashion world with her distinctive looks. “Life is …

When Judy Sang to JFK

Fred Astaire didn’t want to make movies with Ginger Rogers. Though Jackie denied it, Judy Garland often sang “Over the Rainbow” to JFK by phone. Paul Newman would taste-test movie-theater popcorn before buying a box to share with Joanne Woodward. Katharine Hepburn gave Spencer Tracy’s favorite hat to Henry Fonda on the set of On Golden Pond. You don’t spend more than 30 years creating documentaries about Hollywood royalty without unearthing some sparkling anecdotes. Joan Kramer and David Heeley — …

Parents, Kids…and Jennifer Aniston in Pain

In theaters, three films take very different views of family bonds, while at home Jennifer Aniston’s breakthrough performance takes the Cake.   The Age of Adaline Never aging a day past 29 sounds like a pretty sweet deal — at first. But as Blake Lively’s titular character discovers, it also means watching everyone you love grow old — including your 80-something daughter (a radiant Ellen Burstyn) and that handsome hunk with whom you once had a thing (the ever-dashing Harrison …

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 …