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Sunday, April 19, 2015, 3:01 a.m.
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Philip Martin

Photo of Philip Martin

MovieStyle Editor/Columnist

MovieStyle Editor, columnist

Recent Stories by Philip Martin

On Books: Great Gatsby, 'truest lie ever told,' turns 90

posted: 04/19/2015 2:07 a.m. Discuss

"Scott Fitzgerald's new novel, The Great Gatsby, is in form no more than a glorified anecdote, and not too probable at that."

Columnists: The Monkey Dance: why men fight

posted: 04/19/2015 1:49 a.m. Discuss

"If we were truly brave we should not accept a challenge, but we are all cowards."

Review: An Honest Liar

posted: 04/17/2015 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Magic is a science that involves misdirection and misinformation, the subverting of an audience's expectation by sleight of hand or the manipulation of light through reflection and refraction. It is by definition a presentation of illusion as reality, of the impossible as the truth. Because human beings often act irrationally and believe wishfully, any expert practitioner might convince a portion of the population that he owns supernatural or at least extrasensory powers. Because people are gullible and desperate to believe, the potential for abuse of magic is tremendous.

SPIRITS: Here's to the father of mixology

posted: 04/12/2015 2:08 a.m. Discuss

"For a time, the lawyer, the editor, the banker, the chief desperado, the chief gambler and the saloon-keeper occupied the same level in society, and it was the highest. The cheapest and easiest way to become an influential man and be looked up to by the community at large was to stand behind a bar, wear a cluster-diamond pin, and sell whisky. I am not sure but that the saloon-keeper held a shade higher rank than any other member of society. His opinion had weight. It was his privilege to say how the elections should go. No great movement could succeed without the countenance and direction of the saloon-keepers. It was a high favor when the chief saloon-keeper consented to serve in the legislature or the board of aldermen. Youthful ambition hardly aspired so much to the honors of the law, or the army and navy as to the dignity of proprietorship in a saloon. To be a saloon-keeper and kill a man was to be illustrious."

On love and death in Boston

posted: 04/12/2015 1:55 a.m. Discuss

I understand the urge to avenge.

Review: Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

posted: 04/10/2015 2:12 a.m. Discuss

Reviews like this are always the hardest to write. I love this strange and mysterious movie and I want you to love it too.

Review: Woman in Gold

updated: 04/09/2015 1:15 p.m. Discuss

Movies collapse more often than they rally. Woman in Gold is the rare film that limps programmatically along for most of its running length before closing in a surprisingly satisfying fashion. It's a shame, because most moviegoers are likely to give up on Simon Curtis' legal melodrama long before its strong finish. But we can at least credit the movie for finally connecting after 90 minutes of predictably earnest brow knitting.

Critical Mass: Can't Forget Leonard Cohen's charm as live performer

posted: 04/05/2015 1:48 a.m. Discuss

I am listening to an 80-year-old groan.

Granting legal standing to boorishness

posted: 04/05/2015 1:35 a.m. Comments 19

Faith is a gift, or perhaps a talent. Some people are much better at believing in things unseen than others. For them, the supernatural intelligence is as obvious as cosmic accounting is precise. They can feel the emanations of the shadows and find, in the warmth of the sun on their upturned faces, ample evidence of the love of God.

Review: Red Army

posted: 04/03/2015 2:03 a.m. Discuss

In the mid-1980s there was a Sting song that rhetorically asked if "the Russians love their children too." Had it been asked in any context other than a pop song, the question might be dismissed as naive and lacking in sophistication. What was different about Russians was not so much their capacity for and susceptibility to human emotions but a political philosophy that favored collective cooperation over individual enterprise. No wonder they were so good at sports.


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