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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
'St. Vincent': Absolved of All its Sins
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:26PM / Friday, October 31, 2014
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
 

I'm thinking there must have been dust or some such irritant in the movie theater where I saw director Theodore Melfi's "St. Vincent," about a curmudgeonly Vietnam vet who takes the lonesome, diminutive young boy next door under wing. Otherwise, how could a manly man like your humble film critic explain the intermittent, involuntary production of a liquid in his eyes that might otherwise be confused for tears of joy and/or empathy?

Yeah, it's that kind of film, and a good one, too. While you know the drill, Bill Murray as the title-referenced Vincent McKenna

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'Fury': Proves Term ‘Great War Movie' is an Oxymoron
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:29PM / Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
 

In the late 1960s, when it looked like I could wind up fighting in Vietnam, I imagined utter horrors of the sort director-writer David Ayers devastatingly delivers in his WWII opus, "Fury." This is terrible stuff, an adrenalin-exploding, mind-boggling journey through the evil dreads mankind is capable of perpetrating. So unless you're a military enthusiast or feel you need a reminder of why General William Tecumseh Sherman said "War is hell," then it might be a good idea to skip this superbly crafted revulsion.

Ironically enough, the five-man crew that battles

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'The Judge': In Defense of Sentiment
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:09PM / Thursday, October 16, 2014
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
 

I like a little schmaltz in my movies every so often. So regardless of whether director David Dobkin's "The Judge" is a courtroom drama posing as a family melodrama or vice versa, I forgive its sentimentality in the name of emotionally satisfying entertainment. Even those hard-noses in disagreement with my dispensation must concur that the fine synergy between lead actors Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. nearly compensates for the liberal doses of treacle.

I'm also a sucker for this kind of plot, an American standby celebrating our mobility and the possibility of

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'Gone Girl': Gives You a Run for Your Money
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:18PM / Thursday, October 09, 2014
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  
 

Even the twists have turns in David Fincher's "Gone Girl," an extremely well-written sleuther about a woman who goes missing. Starring Rosamund Pike as the lady who mysteriously vanishes and Ben Affleck as her flummoxed husband, this film will have you guessing right up until the closing credits and beyond. It's the thinking person's whodunit.

Not simply content to have you figure out the puzzle, the highly sophisticated thriller also sprinkles the scenario with all sorts of emotionally compelling life issues that demand pondering. Yep, this is a good

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Mount Greylock Grad Returns to Read Best-Selling Poems
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:48PM / Wednesday, October 08, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Diana Sabot Whitney is a Williamstown native, an alumna of Mount Greylock Regional School, a Junior Olympics medalist, a Rhodes Scholar, a syndicated columnist and, as of this month, a best-selling poet.   Whitney's debut volume of poetry, "Wanting It," this month hit the No. 1 spot on Small Press Distribution's Poetry Bestsellers List, moving up No. 15 in July.   Whitney will present a reading from the book on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m., at Water Street Books.   The Brattleboro, Vt., resident said she is excited to be coming back to the Village Beautiful.   "I graduated from Mount Greylock in 1991," said

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'The Skeleton Twins': Cuts to the Bone
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:01PM / Thursday, October 02, 2014
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by Michael S. Goldberger  
 

Director Craig Johnson's "The Skeleton Twins," although deceivingly simple of plot on first blush, stealthily weaves a hypnotically engaging, bittersweet tale about estranged male-female twins who try to reconnect following a rather eerie coincidence. The small-town scenario ostensibly serves as a psychologist's couch, with a silent and unseen Dr. Freud interpolating the cause of the title characters' profound unhappiness. They are troubled individuals to be sure, tormented by their past, all of which will become dramatically unraveled in whodunit fashion.

We

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Gift Sculpture Installed in Williams' Restored Reading Room
By Phyllis McGuire, Special to iBerkshires
04:37PM / Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The sculpture gracing the renovated reading room in the new Stetson-Sawyer Library was created by one of China's leading contemporary artists today: Zhan Wang.

"Artificial Rock No. 77," a modern-day take on the traditional Chinese "scholar's rock," was installed in its permanent home on Sept. 17, approximately two years after Susan Adler donated it in honor of the Williams College Faculty of Art and in memory of her late husband, Herbert S. Adler.

Herbert Adler was a chairman of the Williams College Museum of Art's visiting committee and the Williams Parents Committee, and a director of the Williamstown Art Conservation

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Town Players of Pittsfield Staging Williamstown Native's Play
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:21AM / Saturday, September 27, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — New York City playwright Robin Rice Lichtig's family had a lot of firsts during her childhood years in Williamstown in the 1950s.

Lichtig herself was the first girl to attend Williams College, taking classes there while still in high school, well before the college went co-ed in the 1970s. One of her sisters was in the first class to graduate from the high school after it became the regional school it is today in the early 1960s. And Lichtig was one of the first interns at the newly formed Williamstown Theatre Festival.

This weekend, Lichtig will celebrate another first: the first time one of her plays is presented in the Berkshires.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, the

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'This is Where I Leave You': Sibling Reveries
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:46PM / Friday, September 26, 2014
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Popcorn Column
by Michael S. Goldberger  

Tolstoy begins his "Anna Karenina" with, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Thus, consciously or not, director Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You" finds occasion to seriocomically affirm the maxim via a soap-opera-ish examination of the Altman family following the death of its patriarch.

You know the routine: The kids, now grownups and suffering one personal dissatisfaction or another, gather at the old manse to mourn, and there celebrate the sanctity of the nuclear unit by mercilessly tearing into each

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On-demand Publisher Shares Secret at WCMA
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:39AM / Thursday, September 25, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Among the hundreds of titles available on the Publication Studio website is a tounge-in-cheek non-fiction offering titled "How to shoplift books."   Among the tips offered by author David Horvitz: "Put the book in your friend's bag when they are not looking."   You can find this out by reading the book — in its entirety — through the publicationstudios.biz website. But even though most of the Portland, Ore.-based, business' titles are available online, free of charge, Publication Studio's founder does not think that availability is cutting into its ability to sell books.   "Book sales have increased

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