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Monday, September 01, 2014, 2:36 p.m.
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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

Critical Mass: Cash's Tears: A voice crying in the wilderness

posted: 08/31/2014 3:09 a.m. Discuss

"Cash, in narrative and song, documents the tragic history of the American Indian."

On Books: Author uses real name on No. 5 in Red series

posted: 08/31/2014 3:08 a.m. Discuss

There are any number of reasons a writer might decide to write under a pseudonym, and some of them are innocent. Just over a year ago I wrote about Holy Orders, a faux genre mystery written by distinguished English author John Banville under the pen name Benjamin Black.

Handle the truth with depressed expectations

posted: 08/31/2014 2:04 a.m. Comments 4

I've always presumed that if you're reading this column, things aren't so bad for you.

Review: Life After Beth

posted: 08/29/2014 2:09 a.m. Discuss

Watching Jeff Baena's Life After Beth, my mind kept turning to the HBO series The Leftovers.

Review: The One I Love

posted: 08/29/2014 2:07 a.m. Discuss

The One I Love is a tricky movie to review because there's a major plot twist that comes barely 15 minutes into the movie that we cannot talk about. So about the only thing we can say about the plot is that it involves a married couple, Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss), who are going through a rough patch in their relationship. (Adultery is apparently involved, but the specifics of the wound are never discussed.)

Review: Begin Again

updated: 08/29/2014 2 a.m. Discuss

An old-fashioned movie musical disguised as a featherweight urban rom-com, John Carney's Begin Again is a movie you'll have to meet at least halfway. No, characters don't break into song on the streets of New York or tap-dance through the rain, but it's a movie that very much relies on its musical component to engage its audience.

Critical Mass: John Hiatt attempts the high art of blues

posted: 08/24/2014 2:25 a.m. Discuss

I got into a conversation the other day with one of those guys who just doesn't get it. He insisted that pop music was all well and good -- he even liked the Beatles and the Stones a bit -- but it wasn't "real music." Those voices weren't bel canto; they couldn't sing to the back wall of an auditorium; most of those guys were microphone eaters who couldn't even read music. It was just simple stuff: As the rockabilly artist Unknown Hinson says, "A damn 15-year-old punk could do it."

Good cop, bad cop: Remembering Mr. Bannister

posted: 08/24/2014 2:04 a.m. Discuss

It's been a long time since I thought about Mr. Bannister.

Review: Third Person

posted: 08/22/2014 2:41 a.m. Discuss

Liam Neeson's Michael has a particular set of skills in Paul Haggis' Third Person; he's a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist with the power to fly his neurotic mistress, Anna (Olivia Wilde), to Paris from New York using only his frequent-flier miles. (Anyone who has ever tried to navigate an airline's gnostic rewards redemption system ought to appreciate how special this makes him.)

Review: When the Game Stands Tall

posted: 08/22/2014 2:38 a.m. Discuss

There was a very nice moment Monday night when the team that represented Rhode Island -- and all of the Northeast -- lost in the Little League World Series to a team from Chicago. It was an elimination game, so understandably some of the young players on the losing side were dejected and in tears.

SPIRITS: Throwback beer can design has memories bubbling up

posted: 08/17/2014 2:26 a.m. Discuss

I am not a beer drinker; my father was.

On Books: Pilgrimage flows with Murakami's unique literary power

posted: 08/17/2014 2:20 a.m. Discuss

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage By Haruki Murakami (Knopf), $25.95 In this post-literate age, it is hard to imagine a writer of literary fiction mattering so much as Japanese author Haruki Murakami seems to.

Columnists: What's next for Major League Baseball?

posted: 08/17/2014 2:06 a.m. Discuss

In January, Bud Selig will step down from his position as commissioner of Major League Baseball, a post he's held for the past 22 years. On Thursday, team owners voted--after much intrigue--to hire his hand-picked successor, baseball's chief operating officer Rob Manfred, for the job.

Review: Not the ideal Boyhood

updated: 08/15/2014 2:04 a.m. Discuss

Richard Linklater's Boyhood is probably the year's best-reviewed film, and it will very likely make it onto many critics' end-of-the-year Top 10 lists. It might even make it onto mine.

On Film: Film couldn't curb quicksilver Williams

posted: 08/15/2014 2:02 a.m. Comment 1

Not long ago someone told me that if I ever wanted to ruin a person's day all I had to do was remind them that sometime, in the not very distant future, the world will be without Bill Murray. It worked on me. Not a day goes by that I don't contemplate the inevitable subtraction of joy from the planet that Murray's passing will bring.

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