December 7, 2012 From swill of the wine world to hipster fame, boxed wine is growing in popularity. But research suggests that its major impediment is temperature. When stored in the heat, the box ages faster than the bottle, scientists say.
December 7, 2012 Two new biographical studies that read like novels explore the familial relationships that shaped two of the 19th century's most beloved authors. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Great Expectations: The Sons And Daughters Of Charles Dickens "a Gothic nightmare" and Marmee & Louisa "a romance."
December 6, 2012 Actor Stephen Fry explores the life of his favorite composer, Richard Wagner, in Wagner & Me. While Fry doesn't shy away from Wagner's anti-Semitism or the Nazis' appropriation of his music, critic Stephanie Zacharek says a wider perspective on the man's life is the heart of the film. (Recommended)
December 6, 2012 In The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, actor-director Edward Burns revisits the well-worn holiday trope that has someone unexpected showing up for the feast. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says that with its mounting complications, the film tries to cram too much into its 99 minutes.
December 6, 2012 Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite explores the world of Las Vegas gambling operations through the eyes of a wide-eyed newcomer. Critic Scott Tobias says leading lady Rebecca Hall is a live wire unable to spark her dull surroundings and a wan supporting cast.
December 6, 2012 Written by an American and directed by a Brit, Hyde Park on Hudson reflects the relationship between the two countries in both plot and production. Critic Ella Taylor says Bill Murray makes a fine FDR, and the film does justice to history's little details. (Recommended)
December 6, 2012 Academy Award-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky's Deadfall follows criminal siblings as they flee to the Canadian border. Critic Mark Jenkins says it's a survival parable about a gaggle of eccentrics with serious daddy issues.
December 6, 2012 Donald Rice's Cheerful Weather for the Wedding calls upon the style and period — and even an actress — from the popular TV drama Downton Abbey. Critic Ian Buckwalter says an unbalanced script makes the central romance seem as inconsequential as the weather.
December 6, 2012 In Playing for Keeps, Gerard Butler plays a soccer star who begins coaching his young son's team, only to reconnect with his ex-wife and other soccer moms. Critic Mark Jenkins says the supporting cast is relegated to the realm of caricature while the film's tone is dated at best.
December 6, 2012 Listener Laurie Pavlos tried re-creating her great-grandmother's "jumble" cookie recipe — transcribed by her great-grandfather in 1914 — with little success. So she turned to the Lost Recipe project, and got some help re-creating the molasses-rich cookie from cookbook author Nancy Baggett.
December 6, 2012 Judd Apatow draws on his own experiences as a husband and father in a new comedy that explores the ups and downs of family life. The film stays close to home, literally and figuratively. It stars his wife, Leslie Mann, as well as their two daughters, and was filmed a few doors down from his house.
December 6, 2012 To bring the past to life and make it matter, historical fiction must do more than conjure up an exotic backdrop for a conventional story. These six books challenge our preconceptions and help show how the past shaped the world we live in today.
December 5, 2012 The Pritzker Prize-winning architect was known for some of the world's most famous modernist buildings, including Brasilia's crown-shaped cathedral. He was 104.
December 5, 2012 Television has made enormous strides toward respectability and seriousness in the last 15 years or so, but it's gotten addicted to bloody violence.