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Richard III Opening Day-Arrivals

Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin - Opening Day of Broadway's Richard III held at the Belasco Theatre-Arrivals. - New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 10th November 2013

Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin
Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin
Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin

Premiere Of American Masters 'Mel Brooks: Make A Noise'

Richard Benjamin - Premiere of American Masters 'Mel Brooks: Make A Noise' at the Paley Center for Media - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 9th May 2013

Richard Benjamin
Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss

The Academy Pays Tribute To Academy Award-winning Comic Legend Mel Brooks Held At The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences In Beverly Hills

Richard Benjamin and Mel Brooks - Richard Benjamin, Lesley Ann Warren, Mel Brooks, Leonard Maltin, Teri Garr, Sid Ganis, Tracey Ullman California, USA - The Academy pays tribute to Academy Award-winning comic legend Mel Brooks held at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills Friday 24th July 2009

Richard Benjamin and Mel Brooks
Richard Benjamin and Mel Brooks
Richard Benjamin and Mel Brooks

Henry Poole Is Here Review

Faith is a funny thing. What other aspect of one's life demands so much and yet typically yields such fleeting pragmatic rewards? Conviction is usually couched in terms of a higher power, but we also demand belief in ourselves and in our fellow man. In fact, what's clear about faith is that it penetrates far too many facets of our lives -- or, at least, that's what Mark Pellington wants us to see with his quirky character dramedy Henry Poole Is Here. While our hero is having a hard time facing the realities of his fleeting existence, his neighbors are more than willing to throw aside common sense for a glimpse of God's hand.

You see, Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) is dying. He has an unnamed disease which his doctor (Richard Benjamin) swears will "steamroll" through him. Hoping to reconnect with his past, Henry moves back to his home town. When he can't purchase his old house, he settles for a dilapidated number down the street. After he moves in, his nosy neighbor Esperanza (Adrianna Barraza) notices a watermark on his wall. To Henry, it's the sign of a bad stucco job. For her, it's the face of Christ. It's not long before the genial Father Salazar (George Lopez) arrives to conduct a Church-sponsored investigation. Even without confirmation, the smudge cures a little mute girl, much to her mother's (Radha Mitchell) amazement and helps a nearly blind girl named Patience (Rachel Seiferth) see. But the big questions remains: Will it help Henry? Or can anything?

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The Last Of Shiela Review

The odd pair of Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim wrote this underseen thriller, a whodunit that puts widower James Coburn on a boat with his old friends, one of whom may have accidentally run over his wife a year ago in an unsolved hit-and-run. Is Coburn's live-action mystery game a clever way to ferret out the killer? Or is something more mysterious at work here? The body count will nearly fill a hand before a few days on the yacht are up, but it's the impressive cast and twisty script that will keep you watching to see who gets it next... and who gets away with it all.

Keeping Up With The Steins Review

Garry Marshall as a free-spirited, Jewish hippie grandpa is funny. Garry Marshall's son, first-time director Scott Marshall, is not. Nor is his handling of a film just dying to be My Big Fat Jewish Bar Mitzvah (it even says so on the back of the DVD box), which just doesn't have the easy charm or lovable story to make that happen.

The planning and celebration of a bar mitzvah has wonderful comic potential. Family dysfunctions. Awkward pre-teen kids. All the meshuga ethnic eccentricities. What a shame to miss the mark on nearly all of it. The younger Marshall goes keeps it saccharine-light, and ends up with a stiff would-be comedy filled with talented stars and very few laughs.

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Marci X Review

Better than having your wisdom teeth removed, sans anesthesia, and worse than just about anything that doesn't involve actual physical violence being done to your person, Marci X is a supposed comedy that starts out merely unfunny and progresses into a truly shocking level of unctuous incompetence.

Spawned by the evil pen of Paul Rudnick, Marci X is about Marci (Lisa Kudrow), the rich daughter of a billionaire media tycoon who has to rescue the family empire from a boycott against rapper Dr. S (Damon Wayans, frighteningly unfunny), who's on a Death Row-esque record label owned by Marci's daddy. It all starts with Marci's dad getting a heart attack after receiving word of the boycott - led by Christine Baranski in yet another of her humorless harridan roles - and having to convalesce for a couple weeks. Marci then goes, with her three debutante friends, of course, to a Dr. S concert in order to plead with him to apologize for his profane lyrics, end the controversy, and end daddy's stress.

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Goodbye, Columbus Review

There have been more than a few movies made about young adults at an impasse: The Graduate, Walking and Talking, and The Brothers McMullen quickly come to mind. Nobody ever talks about the underrated Goodbye, Columbus, but they should.

Based on Philip Roth's acclaimed novella, Columbus stars Richard Benjamin as Neal Klugman, a young Jewish slacker from the Bronx who is no particular hurry to become an adult. He appears headed toward a summer of idling his hours at his library job, until he meets pretty, patrician Brenda Potemkin (Ali MacGraw) at a posh upstate New York swim club. Almost on a whim, he asks her out. She accepts. What begins out of sociological curiosity quickly becomes a relationship, much to her parents' (Jack Klugman and Nan Martin) silver spoon chagrin.

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Deconstructing Harry Review

The Wood-man cometh, and he goes for broke this time.

Pretty much taking pot-shots at everyone he's ever known, every establishment he can think of, every vice there is, and--mostly--himself... that's your basic summary of Deconstructing Harry. Allen is vulgar and crass, wholly unlikeable... but hysterical. Maybe the funniest part of the film is the cast of stars he's lined up, all of whom do nothing but get spit upon the whole time! Suckers! (The movie is told half in reality, half as visualizations of writer Harry Block's (Allen) stories, thus, the large cast.)

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The Sunshine Boys Review

A highly regarded yet infinitely rambling Neil Simon comedy, The Sunshine Boys is notable mainly because of the Oscar-winning appearance of an 80-year-old George Burns, who returned to the screen after more than 30 years in retirement. The movie itself is a bit lackluster (clever dialogue, but it really goes on and on and on...), with two aging ex-Vaudevillians (Burns and Walter Matthau) in a duel of tongues after Matthau's nephew/agent has hauled them out of retirement to make a quick buck. Life imitates art, no? Burns would become a bigger star than ever in later years, as the Oh God series made him, well, a diety.

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Catch-22 Review

A wry and sarcastic (and thick as hell) book about the ridiculous duplicity of war? Sounds like a movie to me.

And so it did to Mike Nichols and Buck Henry, collaborators on The Graduate who conspired once again to make one of the greats of cinema. While Catch-22 has none of the cachet of other war movies (and we'll get to that...), it's by far one of the best out there, ranking with Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and Apocalypse Now as one of the greats.

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