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Story matters as much as kink

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“Fifty Shades Freed” learned nothing from “Damage” Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) steels herself for yet another punishment in “Fifty Shades Freed.” By T.T. Stern-Enzi In the beginning, it was easy to drop comparisons between the emerging “Fifty Shades” franchise and movies like Adrian Lyne’s steamy romantic drama “9-1/2 Weeks.” I was a huge fan of the […]

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Academy Awards spotlight: animated shorts

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The world of animation is not simply for children, thank goodness Animated short “Revolting Rhymes” offers a fresh take on “Little Red Riding Hood.” By T.T. Stern-Enzi Did you know that, within the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, the same branch determines the nominees for Best Animated Short and Best Animated Feature (as […]

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Hostility lives in hearts on both sides

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Scott Cooper shoots a Western with its eye on the modern world Actors Wes Studi and Christian Bale in a scene from the film “Hostiles” By T.T. Stern-Enzi Turn on the news and you immediately encounter the ongoing friction between social discourse and cultural activism. We have been told that the best way to handle […]

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Not the usual heat in this “Den of Thieves”

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Entertaining, if not always wholly original, crime drama Gerard Butler in “Den of Thieves” By T.T. Stern-Enzi Power plays rule hockey, but they also dominate the outcome in the heist genre, which, in terms of film narratives, is the very definition of blood sport. Standing at the top of my all-time list is Michael Mann’s […]

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Love takes shape in “Call Me By Your Name”

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Director Luca Guadagnino captures a life-defining moment in rich detail Timothée Chalamet (left) and Armie Hammer star in the slow-burn love story “Call Me By Your Name” By T.T. Stern-Enzi There is no way I could begin a review of Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” without owning up to my appreciation for “I […]

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Does the ‘Last Key’ close the door in the ‘Insidious’ franchise?

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The fight against the paranormal gets personal By T.T. Stern-Enzi Creators of hit franchises never know, at the very beginning, what elements will work, so decisions are made that sometimes can’t be altered without complex tinkering that defies the internal logic and mythology they are attempting to bake into their narrative worlds.  When working in […]

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The high stakes of “Molly’s Game”

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When gambling on talent isn’t that much of a gamble at all Jessica Chastain (left) plays Molly Bloom in her new drama with Idris Elba (right) By T.T. Sterns-Enzi We’ve never seen a protagonist quite like Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), because screenwriter-director, Aaron Sorkin has never written for a female character like this. Of course, […]

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The worst of Netflix in 2017

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Streaming movies and a glimpse at the future Idris Elba plays Commandant in Netflix’s ‘Beast of No Nation’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi Regular readers and movie fans throughout the region who catch my Friday morning reviews of the Cincinnati Fox affiliate (WXIX) will undoubtedly recognize that Netflix is my streaming service of choice. I count myself […]

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The 2017 rules of accountability in Hollywood

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Has the industry’s handling of inappropriate behavior changed (for the better)? Kevin Spacey (left) in his most recent film ‘Baby Driver’ with Jamie Foxx (right) By T.T. Sterns-Enzi For whom does the bell of accountability toll in the film industry? For the agents, managers, producers, directors, and actors, it would seem, and possibly beyond the […]

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“Downsizing” white male privilege

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I’m not sure this was the intention Matt Damon (left) and Jason Sudeikis (right) in new comedy ‘Downsizing’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi   This year’s Toronto International Film Festival was likely a bit of a slog for Matt Damon. At the very least, I can say it was difficult for me to watch his pair of […]

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Finding brilliance in ‘The Disaster Artist’

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Brothers James and Dave Franco form a creative partnership onscreen Photo: Dave Franco (left) and brother James Franco (right) in their new movie ‘The Disaster Artist’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi How do you tell the story of the “best worst film of all time” without getting lost in the meta aspects of the production? Things can go […]

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Relating the story behind ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’

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How do you play the writer who rebranded the holiday spirit? Photo: Dan Stevens (left) as Charles Dickens and Christopher Plummer (right) as Ebenezer Scrooge in new holiday movie ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas” By T.T. Stern-Enzi A search on the Internet Movie Database, not surprisingly, reveals a plethora of adaptations of the Charles Dickens […]

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The early buzz of awards season

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2018 Spirit Awards Photo: Armie Hammer (left) and Timothee Chalamet (right) star in ‘Call Me By Your Name’, which has six Spirit nominations By T.T. Stern-Enzi For the last nine years, I have attended the Toronto International Film Festival, intent on using it as an opportunity to get ahead of the award season buzz. I […]

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‘Mudbound’ spotlights an ongoing American crisis

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Indie director Dee Rees pens a lyric and complex indictment of race relations Photo: Left: Jason Mitchell and Right: Garrett Hedlund perform roles in “Mudbound” By T.T. Stern-Enzi For years now, the film industry has struggled with developing a release schedule that recognizes and accommodates the paradigm shift that has taken place in audience viewing […]

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‘Loving Vincent’ is an ode to creative expression

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A true merger of art and multiple forms used to transform biographical facts Photo: Vincent van Gogh and his paintings come to life in new movie ‘Loving Vincent’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi Regular readers are  probably familiar with my bias against animated features. I am firmly and decidedly against the prevailing notion that we need more […]

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A charming third time

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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ makes the end of the world fun Photo: Chris Hemsworth as Thor in his newest movie By T.T. Stern-Enzi From the start, I’ve had problems with how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has handled the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth). The brain trust at the new comic book studio somehow dared to raise questions […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

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Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

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Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

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Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

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Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]