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“A Rainy Day in New York.” Timotheé Chalamet , all wet and not so believable, plays Gatsby.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

I am one of a shrinking number of huge Woody Allen fans.  Last year I became aware of a new Woody film, and that possibility was exciting.  But “A Rainy Day in New York”  was not released in America due to a disagreement with Amazon films.  Woody was being punished by corporate because of unproven allegations regarding  child sexual abuse involving one of Mia Farrow’s children.

Then the film was released all over Europe. The New York Times reviewer saw it in a theater in Italy.  I was convinced that we would get it here sooner or later.

Finally it made its way here with a limited run at some theaters.  Overall it has earned $22 million worldwide, despite luke warm reviews.  I stumbled on it a few days ago on  Netflix and I rented it for $4.99 for two days.

Overall I was disappointed, and I suspect that most Woody fans are as well, but we have been spoiled thanks to Allen’s run of 48 films, most of them memorable.

“Rainy Day..” has several world class actors and is set in beautiful Manhattan on a rainy day; a town where bad weather can look like Shangri-La in Woody’s hands.

The plot seems like rehashed Woody with a handsome young man from a wealthy family who attends a fancy college in NY state.  He plays piano like Bobby Short and gets to enjoy all the most beautiful places in the city.  He has a gorgeous blond girlfriend and he  has every reason to be ecstatically happy, but he isn’t.   His angst hangs over the entire film. And despite trying to emulate the real Woody,  it doesn’t quite work.

For me, the cinematography is exquisite as is the scenic design including the usual fabulous Woody interiors, apartments and neighborhoods, including Central Park.

It has a similarity to many of his prior films, but without the usual infectious screenplay.  The characters are not very interesting, although the cast does sparkle.  Even the music comes up short.  I was unable to find an album of the soundtrack.  The movie tries to be funny, but it often misses the mark.

Yet it has so many of the usual wonderful Woody style ingredients that if you are a fan, you should see it, and you will find much to enjoy;  and groaning on and off is deserved.

And one thing I learned from a couple of published reviews is that there is a more recent Woody film, currently showing at film festivals, which premiered last month.  It is called “Rifkin’s Festival.”

I can’t wait.

In the film,  Gatsby sits down at a piano and sings this song “Everything Happens to Me”:   Here is a version by Chet Baker–another sad young man, but this guy plays the trumpet.

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Blogfinger  photo.

Blogfinger photo.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @ Blogfinger

The Coaster has once again uncritically reported on North End “news.”   This time the “news” is emanating from the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association at the OG Home Groaners meeting on May 24, 2015.

In the May 28 edition, the Coaster states that JP Gradone, CMA spokesman, said, “Neptune Township and Wesley Lake Village Enterprises (WAVE) are the developers.” This confusing statement requires clarification, but the Coaster just repeats what it hears and asks no questions. That is how it is.

In addition, the OGHGA allows its podium for the repetition of nonsense with no indication that it asked any questions about the current revelation and how it would impact the citizens of Ocean Grove.

The confusing announcement noted above requires clarification:

A.  There are only two agreements which are currently in force regarding the North End Redevelopment and they are both from 2008.

1.   On March 24, 2008, the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) which contains zoning changes to permit condos, underground parking, etc. was officially approved by the Township Committee.

2. On June 9, 2008, a Resolution was passed by the Township Committee that named the OGCMA and WAVE as co-redevelopers.

Nothing has happened to change either of these two agreements which currently remain in effect.

B.   The announcement by Gradone on May 24 regarding a change in “developers” is just talk until we see official Neptune Township paper work . Only the Township  Committee may  approve a new Resolution or a new Redevelopment plan.

It is unclear as to why Gradone, a CMA spokesman, is announcing an action by the Township Committee.  Nowhere do we find a resolution by the Township to become a “developer” at the North End nor do we know why such an idea would be considered.

C.   On April 27, 2015, Committeeman Randy Bishop (repeating a plan by WAVE) announced that a new redevelopment plan had been created which would reduce the density by 50%. But all he had was a conceptual drawing from WAVE.

To change the NERP would require the Township Committee’s rescinding the 2008 version and then signing off on a new version, but that has not happened.

This is what the NJ Local Redevelopment and Housing Law says about changing a plan:   “All agreements, leases, deeds and other instruments from or between a municipality and to or with a redeveloper shall contain a covenant running with the land requiring that the owner shall construct only the uses established in the current redevelopment plan…..”

It’s time for the Neptune Township Committee to speak to the people of Ocean Grove and tell the clear truth about where we stand now regarding the North End Redevelopment project and to explain why corners appear to have been cut during this process and why transparency has been lacking.

And it is time for the Ocean Grove Home Owners Assoc.  to get tough and work to defeat the North End Redevelopment Plan and stop being patsies for the Neptune Township Committee. The North End Redevelopment plan is not good for the town and will lead it down the road to becoming Asbury Park South.

COLE PORTER   “Anything Goes.”

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