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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 9, 2007
As he shows in Dreamgirls, Eddie Murphy may have a sensational future as an actor. But when playing multiple characters in farcical vehicles like Norbit, Murphy has begun to wear out his welcome. His only recent comedy hits have taken him from the crazy Eddie of the Nutty Professor films to the fresh-as-a-daisy Eddie of the Dr. Dolittle films. Now we get a lazy Eddie in Norbit, a lackluster attempt to make a gross-out romantic comedy. When I say lazy Eddie, I mean imaginatively lazy. Murphy plays three roles: the lovably shy orphan Norbit, his enormous wife Rasputia and Mr. Wong, the owner of the Golden Won Ton restaurant and orphanage.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | June 24, 2009
The little-boy fantasy of cars coming to life and turning into giant talking robots from outer space plummets straight into the high-tech junkyard in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It's so loud and relentless you feel you're in the center of a trash compactor. Although the movie goes all over the world to tell a rudimentary tale of good humans and good robots, or Autobots, uniting against the bad robots, or Decepticons, its frenetic and often pointless action induces a weird claustrophobia.
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By James Endrst and James Endrst,The Hartford Courant | July 25, 1994
If real life could only be more like it is on MTV -- a complete and total fantasy -- it wouldn't be raining the day we arrive at the "MTV Beach House" in East Quogue, N.Y. Instead of a tan, we're forced to come back with a story.Instead of playing volleyball out back by the waves, two dozen staff members are jam-packing themselves and their equipment into a four-bedroom house, where a soggy but still attractive group of teens and twentysomethings is gathered in the living room, waiting to be used as a backdrop.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | January 23, 2008
Bowie Community Theatre's production of Dearly Beloved continues the company's season of comedy that began in September with The Nerd and ends in April with Social Security. First produced in 2005, Dearly Beloved is the second play in a series by writers Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Woolen, following Dearly Departed, produced by the team in 1992. Set in a small Texas town, Dearly Beloved continues the saga of the Futrelle family as the three adult Futrelle sisters -- Honey Raye, Twink and Frankie -- gather at the Tabernacle of the Lamb for the wedding of Frankie's twin daughter to the son of wealthy Patsy Price, who is not pleased about her son's impending link to the Futrelles.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 17, 1997
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director David Zinman rarely does anything without adequate preparation.But the classical half of Sunday evening's concert for the musicians' pension fund -- the after-intermission pops portion was conducted by Marvin Hamlisch -- was one of those occasions when he had to. For several weeks, the orchestra has been performing one difficult program after another, and the musicians could not have had as much as a single full...
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | August 26, 1993
Usually, when people describe a concert as "a good show," they're using the phrase in its most generic sense. Because even though most pop concerts involve elaborate lighting, stage sets and choreography, you rarely see any real show biz in the performance.Unless, of course, the pop artist in question is Bette Midler.Midler may owe her current commercial standing to oversized, sentimental ballads like "From a Distance" and "Wind Beneath My Wings," but she built her career on brash, bawdy shtick -- and she brought plenty of both to the Merriweather Post Pavilion last night.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 24, 2003
Good musicians - like good audiences - never tire of new experiences. Clarinetist Edward Palanker is a case in point. This 40-year veteran of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and 12-year veteran of the Peabody Institute faculty spiced his concert Wednesday night at Peabody with a good deal of fresh music. A trio by Mozart and a rhapsody by Debussy were the only "standards" on the program; the rest, including a sonatina by Martinu and a refashioning of some Bartok dances, was decidedly novel, and rewarding.
FEATURES
By J.L. Conklin and J.L. Conklin,Special to The Sun | June 5, 1995
Local choreographers Marsha Tallerico and Nancy Havlik pooled their resources to present a program of dances at the Baltimore Museum of Art during the weekend that exemplifies the diversity of talent available in Baltimore.Both choreographers pick their way through the wild and woolly aesthetics of "performance art" and lace their works with compelling and challenging images. But the imagery was not always coherent, and the audience was too often left with a work that simply ended without a sense of resolution, somewhat like being in an art gallery and someone suddenly turning off the lights.
NEWS
By Jon Margolis | October 16, 1992
THERE was the president of the United States, perhaps the single most important person in the world, in the White House, being interviewed.By an entertainer.An articulate and enlightened entertainer, to be sure, not exactly song-and-dance man. But not a scholar, either.Who did not wear his suit-coat. Larry King never wears his suit-coat. It's his trademark, his shtick, and compared with shticks, the president in the White House is bobkes.But there they were, discussing matters of state, when Mr. King announced that they would stop for a commercial.
FEATURES
January 5, 2000
Puff Daddy declares innocence in court Rap mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs left a Manhattan grand jury yesterday declaring that he is innocent of felony gun charges filed against him after a Times Square nightclub shooting. "I came here to tell the truth," Combs said after testifying before the panel. "I am 100 percent innocent, and the charges against me are 100 percent false. I hope they will be able to see that." Combs, 30, was arrested on weapons charges on Dec. 27 shortly after three people were wounded by gunfire around 2: 30 a.m. at Club NY. Police said they stopped the vehicle Combs and Jennifer Lopez fled in after it ran a red light about 10 blocks from the club.
SPORTS
By CANDUS THOMSON | December 23, 2007
Bill Heavey's humor columns make dandy bookmarks. That's a compliment. For a number of years, I have been carefully tearing the back page out of Field and Stream, underlining his best lines and archiving them in travel books, cookbooks and the latest best-seller that resides in my personal library on the toilet tank. This is my way of acknowledging both his writing skill and the fact that my alma mater, Emerson College (sadly named for Charles Wesley, the carnival barker, not Ralph Waldo, the essayist)
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 30, 2007
If it weren't for our willingness to laugh at egocentric doofuses, Will Ferrell might not have a career at all. The man whose George W. Bush imitation turned our 43rd president into a smirking frat boy, who skewered preening TV news readers in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and pompous NASCAR blowhards in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby ... that Will Ferrell is back onscreen, this time as a cocksure men's figure skater in Blades of...
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By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun reporter | March 22, 2007
A black stage. A thick, white rope, sinuous and shining. A tall pole. A bright orange rubber ball. Black, white, orange. The stage lights are so bright that when the ball bounces, it casts a shadow sharp enough to cut paper. Up, down. Light, dark. Three men try to leave the stage and seemingly can't. On, off. Lost & Clown'd will be performed through Saturday at Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. Tickets are $10-$16. Call 410-752-8558 or go to theatreproject.org.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 9, 2007
As he shows in Dreamgirls, Eddie Murphy may have a sensational future as an actor. But when playing multiple characters in farcical vehicles like Norbit, Murphy has begun to wear out his welcome. His only recent comedy hits have taken him from the crazy Eddie of the Nutty Professor films to the fresh-as-a-daisy Eddie of the Dr. Dolittle films. Now we get a lazy Eddie in Norbit, a lackluster attempt to make a gross-out romantic comedy. When I say lazy Eddie, I mean imaginatively lazy. Murphy plays three roles: the lovably shy orphan Norbit, his enormous wife Rasputia and Mr. Wong, the owner of the Golden Won Ton restaurant and orphanage.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 21, 2003
If Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat were a Broadway show, it would close out of town. Too bad it's a movie supported by obscene amounts of merchandising and a baby-boomer audience yearning to see a childhood favorite brought to the screen and updated for their kids. The title is painfully misleading. This picture isn't Dr. Seuss' slaphappy-elegant creation; it's another overstuffed monstrosity from the producer (Brian Grazer) and the uncredited rewriters (Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer)
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Rivera and John Rivera,Sun Staff | April 6, 2003
You hear the one about the rabbi who calls up a Muslim comic after Sept. 11 and asks him to do his shtick -- in a synagogue? The Muslim listens and says, "What is this, a joke?" It's no joke. The rabbi and the Muslim are in town this weekend with their show, "One Arab. One Jew. One Stage. Two Very Funny Guys," appearing at 7 p.m. today at Har Sinai Congregation. Rabbi Bob Alper, who bills himself as "the only practicing clergyman doing stand-up com-edy ... intentionally," teamed up a year ago with Ahmed Ahmed, an Egyptian-born, Southern California-raised Muslim who quit acting for comedy nearly a decade ago after all he could land were stereotyped roles: "Ter- rorist, cab driver, sleazy Arab prince," he said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | August 26, 1994
In synopsis, "Corrina, Corrina" sounds so much like so many other maid-of-color pictures that one faces it with a heavy heart. You know what I'm talking about: There's a crisis in a white family, usually involving a disaffected child. The maid of color, a sexless being of almost surreal sagacity and serenity, boasts unique resources because she's somehow closer to nature than the parents, plus she's invested with all the virtue a thousand years of oppression engenders. She takes the damaged child under her wing and miraculously cures him or her and restores the family to wholeness.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | November 5, 1993
The physical site of "Flesh and Bone" is the featureless plains of West Texas but the psychological site is halfway between Randy's House o' Ribs and Aeschylus' House o' Atreus.Like a fate-haunted Greek drama from three millennia ago, this dour, mesmerizing tale of cross-generational mayhem somehow manages to strike a deeper resonance than a mere crime melodrama, which is fortunate, because it's not a very good crime melodrama.It begins 30 years in the past, when a Texas farm family takes in a strange young wanderer, a boy with a star tattooed near the hairline.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 24, 2003
Good musicians - like good audiences - never tire of new experiences. Clarinetist Edward Palanker is a case in point. This 40-year veteran of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and 12-year veteran of the Peabody Institute faculty spiced his concert Wednesday night at Peabody with a good deal of fresh music. A trio by Mozart and a rhapsody by Debussy were the only "standards" on the program; the rest, including a sonatina by Martinu and a refashioning of some Bartok dances, was decidedly novel, and rewarding.
NEWS
By Ellen Gamerman and Ellen Gamerman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 14, 2001
WASHINGTON - In the TV commercial, actor Leslie Nielsen lies on a doctor's examination table, blowing up a surgical glove that gets away from him. He stands, but the paper from the table sticks to his back. He backs out of the exam room and holds a phony pose, simulating a freeze frame, while nurses and patients walk by, giving him strange looks. But here's the joke: This is an ad for something really unfunny. What looks like a scene from one of the Naked Gun comedies that helped make Nielsen famous is instead an ad for Medicare.
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