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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


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’


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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Race complicates family matters in ‘Black or White’


Mike Binder and Kevin Costner engage in tough talk By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Jillian Estell as Eloise and Kevin Costner as Elliot Anderson in “Black or White”; Rating: R, Grade: C- What we’re talking about when we talk about race depends on our individual perspectives, but it is not the talking that matters. What truly […]

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I dream of Sundance


What might be hot and buzz worthy at Indie kickoff of 2015? By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Still from “How to Dance in Ohio,” directed by Alexandra Shiva I’ve caught a serious case of the film festival bug and I’m not sure how to get over it. Last year, being able to add the Munich Film […]

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Inside the demented mind of ‘Foxcatcher’


Bennett Miller drags audiences into the dark recesses of excessive delusion By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Steve Carrel and Channing Tatum in “Foxcatcher”; Rating: R, Grade: BPage History is littered with peculiar characters, those on the far margins of what might even be considered the abnormal element of society. “Littered” might be too strong a term, […]

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Who wants to be the next Matthew McConaughey?


On the lookout for the next great Hollywood career-revival story By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club” A degree of finality set in when Matthew McConaughey took the stage to claim the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Lead Performance for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” The […]

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What’s the plural of Channing Tatum?


Imagine a world of Channing Tatum clones unleashed By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: If Hollywood created a legion of Channing Tatums, would the “Magic Mike” Channing always be shirtless? I love the idea of the BBC series, Orphan Black, with its speculative science fiction premise of a situation where human cloning exists, somehow operating on a […]

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A year’s worth of independence


Embracing the freedom to look beyond 2014 and the regional big screens By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Juliette Binoche as Anne in “Elles” Forget the conventional play of compiling a top ten list – you can find that elsewhere. This year’s rewinding is reserved for a different class and brand of loves I have found. It’s […]

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‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’


Apparently you can go there and back again By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Orlando Bloom as Legolas in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: A- All throughout Peter Jackson’s retelling of JRR Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” I have mildly complained about the notion that it took three filmed installments to present what […]

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‘The Homesman’: Women heading back East


No home on the mythic Western range for these women By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Hilary Swank as Mary Bee Cuddy in “The Homesman”; Rating: R, Grade: B+ An extra film festival, especially a European film gala with the prestige of Munich (one of the international Sister Cities of Cincinnati), affords a Midwestern critic like myself […]

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Nate Parker shines light on race in America


The “Beyond the Lights” star commits to ongoing debate on race By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Nate Parker as Kaz in “Beyond the Lights” Triple-threat Nate Parker truly earns the distinction for effort that goes above and beyond the typical multi-hyphenate filmmaking brand. Currently, Parker headlines Gina Prince-Bythewood’s new romantic drama, “Beyond the Lights,” opposite rising […]

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All is lost when security becomes political


The intersection of “Rosewater” and “Citizenfour” By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Edward Snowden in “Citizenfour” Election Day 2014 has come and gone, but the issues, the ones that are never truly addressed through the electoral process or during the all-too-brief legislative interludes that punctuate the big money/big game campaigns that have replaced actual governance, stubbornly remain. […]

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Oh my cod!


Something Rotten’s Bottom Brothers unseat Shakespeare Raising a toast! (Foreground L-R) Maggie Lakis, Josh Grisetti, Rob McClure, and Autumn Hurlbert. […]

A homestyle home run


The Bullpen Diner in Dot’s Market The Bullpen’s country fried steak, silver dollar potato pancakes, and eggs over easy. By […]

Don’t drink the green Kool-aid

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Forget the hype—true Irish beers are pure gold Skip the green beer, and go for the gold … or the […]

What to do in the Springs


Santa Fe Red by Sara Gray “Have You Red/Read It?” on display at The Village Artisans The Village Artisans gallery […]

Kansas resurrected


Classic Kansas Leftoverture LP live and more at Victoria Kansas (L-R) Rich Williams, Billy Greer, Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, Ronnie […]