Jeff Simon - The Buffalo News

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Charlize Theron was 15 years old and living on the family farm near Johannesburg when her mother killed her alcoholic father. He was drunk at the time and threatening to kill them both, according to statements from both mother and daughter at the time. The killing was officially ruled self-defense, and Theron’s mother was never charged.Not long after, Theron and her mother…

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Going out or staying in? Doesn't matter. News Arts Editor Jeff Simon has tips for how to enjoy the weekend. 1. Live Jazz. The Masten Jazz Festival – Free music from 3 to 8 pm. Saturday featuring the group of Bobby Watson and Curtis Lundy as well as local jazz groups on the South Side Lawn of the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway. 2. Movie. “Southpaw.” Well…

Movies

“Ant-Man” is the wittiest and most inventive Marvel comic movie I’ve seen in a long time. Thereby hangs a tale.Frankly I suspected that it was going to be. Which is why I’m guessing that it will be one of the lightest Marvel box-office bell-ringers in a while. And that relates to the very history of the comic and the movie, too.Marvel mastermind Stan Lee has admitted that …

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Mr. Holmes doesn’t smoke a meerschaum pipe. He prefers cigars. He never wore a deerstalker cap either. That, he says, was a fantasy of the illustrator of the books put out by his friend John Watson. Holmes usually opts for a black silk top hat when he goes out walking with a cane.Nor, it seems, did he ever live at 221B Baker St. That was a deliberate falsehood planted by W…

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You can get off your high horse now. Believe me, I understand why you’re there. But for us skeptics who spend much of our lives on hype patrol in the precincts of American celebrity, one thing is obvious relatively early on about “Trainwreck:” Amy Schumer is as good as advertised (i.e. hyped everywhere for the past month).People have known how edgy and raunchy and funny sh…

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1. Book: “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee (Harper) The rejected first book by the much-beloved author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” finally sees the light of day when it is officially, and controversially, published on Tuesday. 2. TV Show: “Masters of Sex.” Returns for a new season on Showtime at 10 p.m. Sunday. 3. Movie: “Amy.” The much-praised documentary about the life …

I’ve been thinking a lot about sex.Specifically, mainstream sex. Sex in the marketplace.What got me thinking about it seriously were two cultural products whose advent was in the past two weeks: the movie “Magic Mike XXL” and E. L. James’ novel “Grey,” in which she tells the story of her blockbuster “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy from the standpoint of her male S&M protago…

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“Gemma Bovery” is an unusual film, not to be confused with the current Sophie Barthes adaptation of Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” starring Mia Wasikowska and Paul Giammati. (Note the different spellings “Bovery” and “Bovary.”) That film hasn’t played here yet nor to my knowledge has it been booked yet either.“Gemma Bovery” is from a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds that began a…

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“I’m old,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator: Genisys.” “Not obsolete.”True enough.Color me shocked.As Shakespeare might have put it, I came to bury Schwarzenegger in this review, not to praise him. Hugely premature, that. He is, by far, the best thing about this boring and tedious new addition to a series that began with a truly great original sci-fi B-movie by Ja…

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Max the Belgian Malinois is by far the best thing about “Max” the movie.As everyone knows, though, animals in movies (babies, too) are usually played by small litters of them, each individual chosen for specific skills or abilities. Interestingly, though, in “Max,” Max is reputedly played more than half the time in the movie by a very special dog named Carlos.That dog, I’m…

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“The Wolfpack” is a horror film with a supposedly happy ending.But if you see this documentary, please consider just how “happy” that happy ending is. Pay close attention to the fate of the youngest child of the Angulo family which, believe me, is far more than documentary filmmaker Crystal Moselle is willing to do.That’s my problem with “The Wolfpack.” It’s an aesthetic o…

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This is the moment in David Gordon Green’s “Manglehorn” that convinced me to forgive anything else that might rankle from then on: A. J. Manglehorn is a locksmith whom people would call “eccentric” if they cared about him at all, and even then it would only be because they’re too polite to call him peculiar or weird.You can find Manglehorn every Friday at his small neighbo…

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Can an animated feature be too good for its audience? We’re about to find out.“Inside Out” is exquisite, one of the greatest animated films ever. Certainly, it’s the smartest mass market animated film ever made, a groundbreaking triumph for Pixar right up there with “Toy Story.”It’s not as emotionally powerful a film as the sublime “Up” or “Wall-E” but it is, to be sure, e…

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His alto saxophone was made of cheap white plastic. His trumpet player, Don Cherry, played a Pakistani pocket trumpet, an instrument few, if any, had seen before that looked as if it were the clumsy little toddler of the trumpet family – either that or a minor instrument in a folk tradition none of us would ever really know.Toy instruments, some called them.That first 1959…

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Ornette Coleman wasn’t only on top of the my list; he was alone there. The jazz giant who died today at the age of 85 was the last unquestioned titan of the past 50 years that I still hoped to experience in live concert for the first time. And sadly, I’ll never get that chance, nor will anyone else. I have caught live performances by every other jazz giant that I might p…