« Return to Blog Listings

Burt Shapiro

Burt Shapiro

About Burt

Burt Shapiro was WBJC's Program Guide Editor, Music Host and Movie critic for nearly 3 decades. He passed away in July of 2014, and is greatly missed. Burt had seen 11,000 different films ranging from Calamity Jane and Rear Window (when originally released, at the Crest and the Uptown in Baltimore) through Orphens of the Storm to Sound of My Voice and back again. He continued to pursue his interests while achieving lousy grades in high school and as an undergraduate at Maryland. While living and working in New York, he was accepted by the NYU School of Cinema Studies. It was when the screening room was over the Fillmore East on Second Avenue and in William Everson’s living room, a locale for the very hard core. He watched hardly-ever-seen films before VHS, Beta, laser disc, DVD and bluray. His time in New York also gave him a life shattering shock when a Saturday Museum of Modern Art screening of A Condemned Man Escapes offered his most electric moment. Applause shattered the silence before “Fin” even filled the screen. The same can be said about his toddler granddaughter, Sophie, when she picks up the microphone to sing.

Jan. 12 2013


By Burt Shapiro | Posted in Movie Reviews | No Comments

ZERO DARK THIRTY gathers the facts from 9/11 to the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011.  Kathryn Bigelow has worked with primary material to create a time-line ellipsis from the point of the terrorism, to U.S. troop anger, to a standstill and eventual information from a luckily found source leading to bin Laden.  The […]

Dec. 22 2012

A Royal Affair, The Guilt Trip, This Is 40, The Impossible, and more…

By Burt Shapiro | Posted in Movie Reviews | No Comments

Caroline, royalty from England, is compelled to go to Denmark where she first meets her husband, the mad King Christian VII in A Royal Affair.  It is hate at first sight and all the butlers, maids and officials know it.  To aid the King, his court finds a Dr. Johann Struensee to serve him and […]

Dec. 06 2012

Anna Karenina, The Silver Linings Playbook

By Burt Shapiro | Posted in Movie Reviews | No Comments

Anna Karenina Anna Karenina is the 26th filmed version of Tolstoy’s novel, originally written in serial form from 1873 to 1877.  From 1911, audiences always like the married woman who loves a single man, becomes pregnant, leaves her marriage, has the child… and you know the rest.  In one way or another, there have been […]

Jul. 14 2012

To Rome with Love, Prometheus, Savages

By Burt Shapiro | Posted in Movie Reviews | No Comments

Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love measures up to most of his output since “Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  It is romantically sweet with a few real laughs and quickly forgotten.  As usual, a great cast including Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page read lines that sound like Allen playing all the parts, another […]

Jun. 23 2012

Seeking a Friend, Moonrise Kingdom, Abraham Lincoln

By Burt Shapiro | Posted in Movie Reviews | No Comments

Currently in Theaters When a movie shows us the end of the world, it ought to be a blast.  Unfortunately, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was made to emote loneliness before nothingness.  Neither Steve Carrel nor Keira Knightly can convert this overwritten script and snore-maker direction give us enough to care […]

May. 16 2012


By Burt Shapiro | Posted in Movie Reviews | No Comments

DARK SHADOWS From a 1960’s afternoon soap opera, comes Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp as the cursed vampire Barnabus Collins.  His 18th century love, Josette (Bella Heathcote), died under the spell of Angelique (Eva Green).  Segue to 1972 and Barnabus is freed when construction workers discover his buried coffin and his thirst is quenched on […]