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‘‘I’m labeled a sex comic,” Amy Schumer says ruefully toward the end of Saturday’s hilarious “Live at the Apollo” on HBO.Just let a male comic, though, practically expose himself at the microphone and, to those in the “labeling” racket, “he’s a thinker.”So says Amy who, just for that tiny little second, has no interest in being funny.I wouldn’t dr…

It seems to me that if you are not just a little bit flabbergasted by Malala Yousafzai, your capacity for awe is about a quart low. You’re missing an awful lot that’s great about our very species.Davis Guggenheim, the director of “He Named Me Malala” obviously is flabbergasted. So, to be honest, am I. I was before I saw his documentary portrait of the now-18 year-o…

When Malala Yousafzai was 11, she was writing an anonymous blog for the BBC about life under the Taliban in the Swat Valley of Northwest Pakistan, as well as about the need for girls’ education.Her crusade for equal education was soon carried out under her own name in TV and print appearances. Archbishop Desmond Tutu nominated her for an International Children’s Peace …

“Sicario” is the third in a troika of first-rate films opening in our movie theaters ths first weekend of October. (The others are “The Walk” and “The Martian.”) Movie opening weekends seldom get much better.The film immediately tells us that the word “Sicario” means “hitman” in Mexico. By the time Denis Villeneuve’s film ends, you’ll know what the …

Leave it to the man who directed the scariest movie ever made about outer space – “Alien” – to now make the coolest movie you’ve ever seen about outer space, “The Martian.”The man is Ridley Scott. The movie is “The Martian,” now playing in area theaters in all of its 141-minute glory. The big difference is this: When Scott made “Alien,” he was 40 year…

The hard truth about Robert Zemeckis’ justly acclaimed “The Walk” is that until the movie actually gets down to the business of setting the French wire walker Philippe Petit in spectacular motion across a wire linking the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the movie isn’t so hot.It’s hardly bad, mind you, but for all the conspicuous charm of Joseph Gordon-Lev…

Nancy Meyers loves male A-list movie stars. But she puts them through their paces. The roles she gives them are tests as often as not – greatly taxing their comic resources (Mel Gibson in “What Women Want”) or the charisma of their dignity (Steve Martin as the slightly boring and responsible suitor of Meryl Streep in “It’s Complicated”).When she’s got Jack Ni…

John Coltrane’s “classic” quartet played only one gig in Buffalo in the 1960’s. It was at the legendary club called The Royal Arms in September of 1963.I wish I could report that it was a transcendental experience. It was certainly extraordinary in every way but it was also extraordinarily frustrating. The art of sound mixing live performances hadn’t routinely co…

There is a heartbreaking scene between Lily Tomlin and Sam Elliott toward the end of “Grandma” that is one of the finest things either has ever done on film – or, for that matter, ever will do. In Elliott’s case, it’s his finest film moment. In Tomlin’s, it will always have to contend with her masterpiece – John Bailey’s 1991 film of her one-woman show “T…

No one’s ever going to dethrone Al Capone. There will never be a time when he won’t be the king of psychotic gangsters in American movies. But if our new century has proven anything, it’s that Boston’s favorite psychopath, Whitey Bulger, has pushed himself into contention for favorite millennial era mobster.Wait until you see what Johnny Depp does with him in “Bl…

Ain’t love grand? Seriously, now. Falling in love – or merely advanced “like” – can’t help but be good for body, mind and soul. If you’re a filmmaker, though, you’re a near-certainty to be very soon mired in speculation about the influences of a new life partner once that partner shows up in one’s work. (See the transition from Diane Keaton to Mia Farrow…

You’ve got to love the word “inappropriate” sometimes. Its everyday use these days was a steal from psychiatry but when you see Nick Nolte in Robert Redford’s adaptation of Bill Bryson’s best-seller “A Walk in the Woods,” you’ll delight in how majestically “inappropriate” he is for the full length of the movie.In a wildly unpressed, fully bearded state,…

See “The End of the Tour” – if, that is, you ever wanted to see a truly good film about a writer. It is, in that way, a minor miracle.So few and far between are even tolerable films about writers, much less good ones, that the truly worthy ones are ALL minor miracles. We’re not talking about free-form Shakespeare fantasies, mind you, we’re talking about movies ab…

My best guess is this: commercial prospects be damned, you’d have had to handcuff Meryl Streep to a water pipe in the basement to keep her from starring in “Ricki and the Flash.”She gets to sing all the way through the movie, for one thing, and please remember that in the larval, pre-film stages of her career, Streep did a fair amount of musical theater. For another,…

Jazz Jeff Hackworth "The Heart of the Matter" [Big Bridge] 2.5 stars (out of four) The heart of the matter indeed. If the past four weeks have been anything in this city, they’ve been the period of great Buffalo tenor players and the most basic and highest protein jazz. With the great tenor saxophonist Houston Person in the Jazz at the Albright-Knox outdoor series,…