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‘Back to Life’: what’s a pet’s soul II soul?

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What happens when animals return from the dead? By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: A dog becomes a test subject for a neurotransmitter stimulant in “The Lazarus Effect” I need to start off by admitting that I am not much of a pet guy. I had fish for a hot minute as a kid, took care of […]

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Taking a ride on ‘The D Train’

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Reunion allows a forgotten figure a chance at redemption By T.T. Stern-Enzi What does it say about our culture and society when watching the story of someone like Dan Landsman (Jack Black), a quintessential high school loser, a member of the invisible forgotten class, that we all seemingly automatically identify with him, especially as he […]

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Exploring cultural identity

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2015 Dayton Jewish International Film Festival By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: The 2015 Dayton Jewish Film Festival will screen “Dancing in Jaffa” on Wednesday, May 6 To answer the age-old question – what does it mean to be (blank) – requires deep and extensive investigation, on the level and scale of historic and cultural survey. And […]

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The age of the Marvel?

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Cross-platform releases could signal a shift in the Marvel narrative experience By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Chris Evans as Captain America and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” Expectations couldn’t be higher for the upcoming Marvel/Disney release “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” especially in light of this year’s front-loading of each month of […]

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Moving on up the evolutionary ladder

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“Ex Machina” dares to question the definitions of “gods” and “robots” By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Alicia Vikander as Ava in “Ex Machina”; Rating: R, Grade: A As the summer movie season approaches, I am heartened by the notion that 2015 will stand out as the year that the independent filmmaking model lives up to its […]

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Daring to tell a ‘True Story’

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Lying is all about performance By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Jonah Hill as Michael Finkel and James Franco as Christian Longo in “True Story”; Rating: R, Grade: B+ There’s a sneaky logic to the old adage – “All stories are true” (which John Edgar Wideman wisely sampled as the title for a collection of short stories) […]

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‘While We’re Young’ from a different worldview

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Generation X and hipsters clash from the sideline By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Adam Driver as Jamie and Ben Stiller as Josh in “While We’re Young”; Rating: R, Grade: B Writer-director Noah Baumbach (“Frances Ha”) sets out, in his latest film “While We’re Young,” to skewer the pretensions and First World problems of the artistically privileged […]

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Get ready for a long hot summer at the movies

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Film emerges from the cold post-Oscar doldrums with a fiery vengeance By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Iron Man reveals new armor in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” Ten years ago, the summer movie season began, in earnest, on Memorial Day Weekend. Back then, by late May, the mercury was finally starting to rise and audiences, especially […]

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‘It Follows’ roams in the backstreets of fear

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Horror genre gets an ingenious moral kink in new release By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Maika Monroe as Jay in “It Follows”; Rating: R, Grade: A- Following (pun intended) on the heels of writer-director Jennifer Kent’s mesmerizing horror re-invention “The Babadook,” comes another relative multi-hyphenate newbie David Robert Mitchell with his sly take on the unrelenting […]

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Audiences should take one last look at ‘Leviathan’

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Seize the opportunity to see the best film of 2014 By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Still from “Leviathan”; Rating: R, Grade: A I consider myself fortunate enough to have seen Andrey Zvyagintsev’s stunning drama “Leviathan” during its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it came as close as any film I’ve ever seen to […]

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Stepping out of ‘The Shadows,’ still in the dark

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Faux vampire documentary explores contemporary plight of late-night lifers By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Taika Waititi as Viago in “What We Do In The Shadows”; Rating: NR, Grade: B+ Do the undead truly love contemporary life? This certainly seems to be a cultural moment for creatures of the night. Zombies (“The Walking Dead” and its upcoming […]

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‘Say Yes’: Recent ‘Lessons in Love’ from the movies

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A three-week survey of love and sex at the start of 2015 By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Judi Dench as Evelyn Greenslade and Bill Nighy as Douglas Ainslie in “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” With all apologies to both Floetry and Level 42 (the musical acts whose song titles inspired the title of this feature), […]

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‘Mr. Turner’ bears his artistic soul

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Filmmaker offers an appreciation of an artist much like himself By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Marion Bailey as Sophia Booth and Timothy Spall as J.M.W. Turner in “Mr. Turner” In the current world of British cinema, there is likely no greater practitioner of the art form than Mike Leigh. Over the years, he has fine-tuned a […]

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Capturing beauty under the gun in ‘Timbuktu’

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A lyric narrative examines the impact of Jihadists in Mali By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Toulou Kiki as Satima, Ibrahim Ahmed dit Pino as Kidane and Layla Walet Mohamed as Toya in “Timbuktu”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: A In the West, we cannot fathom what it is like to live life under the constant presence of oppression, […]

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Films trigger critical family discussions

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Movie talk on the home front is bigger than awards chatter By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: J. K. Simmons as Fletcher in “Whiplash” One of the many great blessings of my job, that I never take for granted, revolves around the power of film to inspire insightful and rigorous debate, which begins and ends close to […]

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‘Two days, one night’ to fight for your livelihood

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The Dardennes capture a desperate, and startlingly human dilemma By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Marion Cotillard as Sandra in “Two Days, One Night”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: A- The promise of drama is tension and conflict, but we tend to inflate drama with premises that lose any sense of relatable human connection. We long for the impossible […]

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The kids are alright…and the nannies and billies, too

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In this fast-paced world of immediate answers and non-stop connectivity, there is a real need for us to unplug and […]

Debate 5/22: Blurred lines create travel tensions

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Have you ever heard of an emotional support mouse? What about an emotional support hedgehog, or mini pig? (Can we […]

Pups on the run

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Did you know that the Humane Society of Greater Dayton (HSGD) has been “Finding Great Homes For Great Pets” since […]

Catfé society in St. Anne’s Hill

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Last spring I wrote a piece introducing readers to a Dayton first: The Gem City Catfé, which officially opened its […]

The new Splash Moraine?

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What happens when you have dogs leaping through the air, splashing into a pool and swimming frantically after a toy? […]