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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
'The Disaster Artist': No Soap, Radio
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
04:25PM / Friday, December 15, 2017
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Director James Franco's "The Disaster Artist" reminded me of a non-joke that popularly circulated when I was a kid. It goes like this: Two elephants are in a bathtub and, when one says to the other, "Pass the soap," the other elephant informs, "No soap, radio."   You tell it and then you laugh, intentionally flummoxing your little friend who, afraid he'll look stupid if he doesn't laugh, chortles despite wondering why it's funny. Several decades since, I question, just a little, if the joke was actually on the jester ... that somewhere there was humor in the put-on.   Such, more or less, is the territory into which "The Disaster

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'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri': Signs of the Times
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:12PM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
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Director Martin McDonagh's compelling "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" features, among other things, misogyny, police brutality, racism, rape, child molestation, white supremacy, unrestricted gun possession, and anti-gay sentiments.    But no, it's not about Roy Moore's quest to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Rather, equally provocative and similarly chilling, the superbly acted film details a mother's rage over her daughter's unsolved murder to the backdrop of a small town rendered dysfunctional by the above-listed disgraces.   Frances McDormand, playing Mildred Hayes, the infuriated mom, is the beleaguered face of survival in

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'Justice League': Oh Superman, Where Art Thou?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
04:59PM / Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Prior to becoming one special effects-crammed battle scene after the next, director Zack Snyder's "Justice League" spends an inordinate amount of time detailing the difficulties of putting together the folks necessary to saving the world. Mind you, I'm not talking about the 20 or 30 influential U.S. senators and congresspeople it would take to flip their brethren in the noble pursuit of preserving America's currently endangered democracy, though that'd be a real good idea. Only the autocrats have fun in an autocracy. But no, this is just about superheroes.   All the same, this movie rendition about that gang of DC Comics crusaders who attempt to solve their

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'Murder on the Orient Express': Has You Humming the Scenery
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:38PM / Saturday, November 18, 2017
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The beautiful romanticization of an era that in truth was only elegant for the well-to-do makes director Kenneth Branagh's version of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" a veritable feast for the eyes and imagination if not for the movie house detective in you.    Oh, there are wonderfully opulent appurtenances aboard the luxury train where famed Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot plies his craft with genius, whimsy and a gallantry too often eclipsed by humankind's less noble instincts.   Starring an all-star cast to match the assemblage of beautiful people in Sidney Lumet's 1974 adaptation of Christie's 1935 mystery, this group is also

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Mount Everett Fall Festival Features Bard's 'Romeo & Juliet'
08:14PM / Thursday, November 09, 2017
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  SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Mount Everett Regional School's Fall Festival production of "Romeo and Juliet" begins this weekend.   Performances are Thursday, Nov. 9, and Friday, Nov. 10, both at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. in the Consolati Performing Arts Center (TAC PAC). Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.   This year's show will also perform at the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox on Friday, Nov. 17, at 6:15 p.m. More information can be found at shakespeare.org.

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'LBJ': Offers Hope From the Past
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:41PM / Thursday, November 09, 2017
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Viewers uninterested in politics and American history probably won't enjoy the insight and philosophical ruminations ventured by director Rob Reiner in his savvy biopic, "LBJ." Detailing the momentous ebb and flow of the times just before and after the ascension of Lyndon Baines Johnson to the presidency of the United States in 1963, Reiner, working from a script by Joey Hartstone, studiously puts forth a thesis worthy of an honorary master's degree.    If it had new information about the man behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I'd of considered a Ph.D.   Now, I won't attempt to pull away those who would much prefer the couch, the football game, a

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'Suburbicon': Where Seldom Is Heard a Tolerant Word
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:27PM / Friday, November 03, 2017
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My rich sister Ann has regularly informed that "It's always about the money, especially if they say it's not about the money." Whether she influenced the deservedly famous Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, or they figured out the maxim themselves, they have made a successful film career of exploring and dramatizing it.    "Suburbicon," their latest bit of cynicism about how the American dream is perennially misrepresented as a free-for-all grab of wealth and not the pursuit of human rights and freedom the Founders envisioned, robustly continues the muckrake.   Here, in a rare departure of form, though co-writing and producing, they've chosen

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Berkshire Theatre Critics Association Announces Nominations for Berkie Awards
12:51PM / Wednesday, November 01, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association has announced the nominees for the second annual Berkshire Theatre Awards, known colloquially as The Berkies.

The purpose of the BTCA and the Berkshire Theatre Awards is to promote and celebrate the quality and diversity of theater in the greater Berkshire region. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Nov. 6 on the St. Germain Stage in the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield. Limited reservations are available by calling 413-822-7384.

This year, 80 nominees in 20 categories were culled from the 381 votes of critics who covered productions at theaters in four

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'Victoria and Abdul': The Queen and I
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:18PM / Thursday, October 26, 2017
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Remember the first time you heard someone opine that "The rich get richer and the poor get more children?" You looked up from your playpen and thought, "Gee, that's not a very good starting point. Guess I'll have to grow up to be either rich or a social reformer, whatever that is?"   Thus, faced with that cynical, socioeconomic fact practically since birth, and having fought the good fight for one side or the other throughout a good portion of your life, a little ameliorative drama to ease the class warfare battle scars is always welcome. "Victoria and Abdul" provides it.   In this sweet, nicely filmed tale based on the actual relationship

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'Professor Marston and the Wonder Women': La Différence to the Rescue
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
01:19PM / Friday, October 20, 2017
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I was a terrible grammar school student. Bored out of my mind, I survived the droning lessons by drawing cars and baseball stadiums. It also didn't help that I was rather sleepy in class, the result of loving, liberal parents who allowed me to watch old movies on TV way past a growing boy's acceptable bedtime. The one exception to this unsatisfactory scholasticism was reading. I got straight A's.    But when the teacher asked me to tell the class why I was such a good reader and I answered "comic books," I was immediately shushed out of my First Amendment rights.   That's pretty much changed. Good teachers encourage kids to read, read, read, whatever

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