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Is Jo Nebsø Scandinavian fiction’s Elmore Leonard?

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Adaptation of ‘Jackpot’ hangs out among the riff raff By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Henrik Mestad as Solør and Arthur Berning as Billy Utomjordet in “Jackpot”; Rating: R, Grade: B- I’ve spent the last few years investigating a specific niche subset of the criminal underworld: the seedy realm of Scandinavian crime fiction. It is much more distinct […]

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Re-staging ‘Jersey Boys’ for the screen

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Clint Eastwood favors words and motion without sacrificing the music By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen and Michael Lomenda in “Jersey Boys”: Rating: PG-13; Grade: B Clint Eastwood, as both an actor and a director, has a no-nonsense approach that has served him well over the course of his career. He […]

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No ‘fault’ for a pair of doomed star-crossed lovers

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New ‘love story’ update gambles by doubling down on the terminal illness angle By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Ansel Elgort as Gus and Shailene Woodley as Hazel in “The Fault in Our Stars”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: B- “The Fault in Our Stars” by young adult fiction author and Indianapolis, Ind. native John Green gets adapted here […]

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To be black, gay and proud in mainstream cinema

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How long before we see characters who happen to be black and gay on the regular? By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola in “Kinky Boots” The world needs more ensemble dramas or dramatic comedies like “The Family Stone” or bold cinematic kaleidoscopes like Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of “Romeo + Juliet” to showcase the […]

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A re-invigorated ‘Chef’ concocts an inspired treat

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Multi-hyphenate Jon Favreau flees the Hollywood test kitchen By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Emjay Anthony, Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara in “Chef”; Rating: R, Grade: A It doesn’t take long for a talented upstart to settle into a comfortable groove, right? Not many of us know about this from experience, but the stories abound across disciplines. […]

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The never-ending scandal of race in society

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Comparing “Belle” to the black athletes of today By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dido Elizabeth Belle in “Belle” When is a story about slavery not a slave story? And how is it current media still finds itself mired in coverage of stories about slavery, the same old black and white dynamic, that everyone […]

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Living in ‘God’s Pocket’ isn’t easy

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The story of a neighborhood where everybody knows more than your name By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: John Turturro as “Bird” and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Mickey in “God’s Pocket”; Rating: R, Grade: B+ The first “read” of “God’s Pocket,” the feature-film directing debut of actor John Slattery (best known for his Emmy-nominated work on the television […]

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‘Under the Skin’ of Jonathan Glazer

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 How his short-film efforts offer insight into his new feature film By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Scarlett Johansson as Laura in “Under the Skin”; Rating: R, Grade: B There are a number of feature film directors who got their starts working on commercials and music videos. Jonathan Glazer, one such practitioner of the craft, exhibits a far […]

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‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’: In search of genius

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The story behind the greatest film never made By T.T. Stern-Enzi photo: Alejandro Jodorowsky’s, unscussessful attempt at adapting the science fiction novel, “Dune” is the focus of Director Frank Pavich’s The old adage goes that the greatest journeys begin with that single first step, but what about the epic odyssey you and a band of merry […]

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Building kehillah

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Reflections on the 14th Dayton Jewish Film Festival By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Comedians David Steinberg and Louis C.K. in “Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story” The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton provides a brief historic overview of the organization on their website (jewishdayton.org), which defines a political and cultural framework for the Jewish presence in society. […]

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Unexpected treats in ‘The Lunchbox’

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A soulful performance by Irrfan Khan serves as the key ingredient in this marvelous dish By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Nimrat Kaur as Ila in “The Lunchbox”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: A Cases of mistaken identity can certainly advance a plot, but rarely do these artificially imposed manipulative elements create an organic or believable situation that approximates the […]

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The winners and losers of ‘Draft Day’

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Ivan Reitman’s sports drama almost becomes a big joke By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Kevin Costner as Sonny Weaver, Jr. in “Draft Day”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: D+ Talk about Fantasy Football. “Draft Day,” the new movie from director Ivan Reitman – from the comedic heights of “Ghostbusters” to the rom-com depths of “No Strings Attached” – seems […]

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‘Nymphomaniac’ Parts I and II

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The Lars von Trier opus on sex and love plays in and out of theaters By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Stacy Martin as Young Joe, Udo Kier as the waiter and Shia LaBeouf as Jerôme in “Nymphomaniac;” Rating: R, Grade: B+ I should acknowledge I’m a fan of the transgressive curiosity of Danish director Lars […]

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Multiple mirages: “Mirage Men” and “Home”

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Two new DVD/VOD releases confront audiences with intriguing questions By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Gbenga Akinnagbe as Jack and Judah Bellamy as John in “Home” Do you believe in UFOs? As a kid who grew up in the 1980s, that question ranks up there with whether or not you believe in spontaneous human combustion – […]

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Creating genius: ‘Tim’s Vermeer’

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Oscar-nominated documentary explores the debate between genius and technique By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Penn Jillette and Tim Jenison in “Tim’s Vermeer”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: A Genius, we want to believe, is somehow conferred from on high. It is the product of unfathomable inspiration, unparalleled talent, a savant-like ability that confounds far less beautiful minds. What genius […]

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This critic’s life

Your friendly neighborhood film critic dishes on covering the screen scene By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Isabella Rossellini as Dorothy Vallens in “Blue Velvet” Can the job of the modern film critic be considered a vocation? It is at once something more and, sadly, something much less than gainful employment. There are fewer and fewer full-time film […]

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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? […]