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Friday, October 09, 2015, 11:03 a.m.
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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

On Film: Making the pitch

posted: 10/09/2015 2:08 a.m. Comments 2

Billy Bob Thornton never got his chance to play pro baseball.

Columnists: Lessons of the tardigrade

posted: 10/06/2015 3:37 a.m. Comments 2

Apparently you can't kill a tardigrade.

Columnists: A falcon in the air above Manhattan

posted: 10/04/2015 3 a.m. Discuss

NEW YORK -- By rough estimate, I've lived nearly a year in this city, three or four days at a time. But I haven't been in this neighborhood, Morningside Heights, home to Columbia University and Barnard College, in almost 30 years.

OnBooks: Buddhist detective gives crime thriller exotic twist

posted: 10/04/2015 2:07 a.m. Discuss

I'll admit I'm careful with my light reading. We are allotted only so many hours and there are lots of things I want to do, so sometimes it just isn't practical to get sucked into a sideways world of another's imagination.

Review: Sleeping With Other People

posted: 10/02/2015 1:43 a.m. Discuss

Given how far the genre has slipped in recent years, it seems like faint praise to say that Sleeping With Other People, writer-director Leslye Headland's follow-up to her criminally underrated Bachelorette, is probably the best romantic comedy you'll see all year. One of the highlights of this year's Tribeca Film Festival, Sleeping is simply one of the most entertaining movies for consenting grown-ups to come along, a remarkably well-balanced combination of sweetness and raunch that, despite its embrace of a played-out form's conventions, manages to feel true to the way actual people behave and relate.

COLUMNISTS: The hearts of ordinary folk

posted: 09/29/2015 3:57 a.m. Discuss

Yogi Berra was about five foot seven. He might have weighed 190 pounds in his catcher's gear. He was a man of ordinary proportions. We might assume his heart was no larger than average, though it certainly must have been an especially effective muscle.

CRITICAL MASS: The 'good stuff'

posted: 09/27/2015 2:03 a.m. Discuss

Time to get serious.

Columnists: I could have had a V8

posted: 09/27/2015 1:56 a.m. Discuss

I have tried to be the practical guy who doesn't care about cars.

Music review: HBO's sad bar singer is vibrant on LR stage

posted: 09/26/2015 3:10 a.m. Discuss

A few songs into Lera Lynn's show at South on Main Thursday night, my wife, Karen, leaned over to me and said, "She might have done herself a disservice by being on that show."

REVIEW: Lera Lynn plays dynamic, post-Americana showcase at South on Main

posted: 09/25/2015 7:20 a.m. Discuss

A few songs into Lera Lynn’s show at South on Main Thursday night, my wife Karen leaned over to me and said, “She might have done herself a disservice by being on that show.”

Review: Confession of a Child of the Century

posted: 09/25/2015 2:21 a.m. Discuss

Given the role personal charisma plays in their day jobs, you might suppose rock stars possess qualities that easily translate to the screen. David Bowie, for instance, has always been an arresting actor, although he never seems to be trying very hard. Mick Jagger has been effective in some roles, risible in others, but he's always watchable. Bob Dylan's range is limited, but he made a good "Alias" in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle and Tom Waits are legitimately good character actors despite their established public personas.

Columnists: Angry minds at work

posted: 09/22/2015 2:24 a.m. Comments 15

A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.

CRITICAL MASS: The myth of the myth of talent (which is rarely enough)

posted: 09/20/2015 2:26 a.m. Discuss

"There are people working in the Peavey factory who can play guitar just as well as Jimi Hendrix," Billy Bob Thornton once told me, and I believe that he's right. Maybe not in the specific case of Hendrix and the people assembling amps on the floor in Meridian, Miss., but in a more general sense.

The next season of dog days

posted: 09/20/2015 2:06 a.m. Discuss

Summer is, by the calendar anyway, almost over. The autumnal equinox arrives at 3:21 a.m. Sept. 23. After that, there will be more dark than light, windows will be more opened than closed, the movies will get steadily better, and, theoretically, I'll be able to wear jeans on our evening walks.

Review: Grandma

posted: 09/18/2015 1:48 a.m. Discuss

I've been trying to pin down exactly what it is that bothers me about Paul Weitz's Grandma, a human-scale movie that brushes up a lot of poignant stuff and features a winning performance from Lily Tomlin, a performer who probably hasn't had a role worthy of her talent since Robert Altman made her the emotional anchor of Nashville 40 years ago. (Let's take a moment to lament that her work in Linda Bloodworth-Thomason's stillborn HBO series 12 Miles of Bad Road will probably never receive public airing.)



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