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The lesson learned from ‘The English Teacher’


The artistic life as an episode of a cable dramedy with little consequence By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Photo: Julianne Moore and Greg Kinnear struggle with small town artistry in “The English Teacher”; Rating: R Grade: D Director Craig Zisk has the equivalent of a Ph.D. in TV, with a post-graduate feature film project capping off his […]

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Investigating the secrets of the ‘Closed Circuit’


Steven Knight asks, ‘Who’s watching the watchers?’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Screenwriter Steven Knight has the narrative nose of an investigative journalist. His screenplays for films like “Dirty Pretty Things” and “Eastern Promises” took audiences down dark alleyways complete with noirish thrills and gritty kink that tapped into our desire for raw voyeuristic experiences beyond […]

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Reel genius


The Fifth Annual 2013 Eichelberger FilmDayton Festival By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: The 2012 Eichelberger FilmDayton Festival will feature “In A World …” with writer/director/star Lake Bell during the weekend of Aug. 23-25 In terms of anniversaries, the traditional symbol for the fifth year is wood. But in cinematic framework, especially when celebrating the fifth anniversary of […]

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Do we need another teen fantasy franchise?


‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ and presentism in cinema By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: The cast of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” seeks to establish a strong franchise and storyline; Rating PG-13 I need to apologize up front for what will likely seem like a crazy rant from the geezer who refuses to keep up […]

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Ladies kickstarting a new sexual revolution


Female sexuality as seen from the perspective of women By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Photo:  Aubrey Plaza re-writes the rules of female sexuality in film with “The To Do List” A funny thing happened to me while sitting through the press screening of “The To Do List” a few weeks ago. I got caught up in […]

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Celebrating the legacy of ‘The Sandlot’


20th anniversary of  classic film By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Patrick Renna calls his shot in “The Sandlot”; a 20th Anniversary screening takes place Aug. 10 at Fifth Third Field  I recently learned, once again, to never under-estimate the power and appeal of a scrappy underdog. In preparation for our coverage of the 20th anniversary tour of […]

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Final stop: ‘Fruitvale Station’


Powerful debut feature captures the complex humanity of Oscar Grant By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Director Ryan Coogler seeks redemption in “Fruitvale Station”; Rating: R Grade: A When is a day in the life, not just “a day in the life” of a character? It isn’t when that day happens to be the final day, which is […]

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‘Conjuring’ old-fashioned scares


Director James Wan uses 1970s suspense to creep us out  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Vera Farmiga as a paranormal investigator in “The Conjuring”; Rating: R Grade: A-   As a critic, there’s nothing better than to watch the evolution of someone in the filmmaking realm – be it a writer, director or star. But the real […]

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Letting the stars shine even brighter


New documentary spotlights black female background singers of rock and soul By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Standing in the shadows: The female voices of rock and soul in “20 Feet from Stardom”  Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ Walking out of Morgan Neville’s documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” you may come to appreciate the almost existential crisis of […]

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‘Supporting Characters’ wander into center frame


New indie DVD release By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Tarik Lowe and Alex Karpovsky struggle with their roles as “Supporting Characters”; Rating: Not Rated Grade: B New York teems with life. Not just with the stars that walk the red carpet and the heroes battling mythic villains in the streets, but also clustered constellations […]

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Sofia Coppola exposes ‘The Bling Ring’

A true crime story about wannabe celebrity criminals By T. T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Emma Watson and friends blur the line betwen celebrity and criminal in “The Bling Ring”;  Rating: R Grade: B+ So, this is what has become of the Bonnie & Clyde mythos, the ballsy outlaw bandits with bullets to spare and a knack for […]

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Setting the moral compass of ‘The East’


Corporate counter-espionage gets personal By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård as anarchists in ‘The East’ Rating: PG-13 Grade: A Sometimes you gain so much more when you have the chance to allow a film to marinate in the critical stew, but generally critics aren’t afforded that possibility too often. We […]

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Will it all end ‘Before Midnight’?


Richard Linklater and crew wander not-so-happily into ever after By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy take the long road of relationships in “Before Midnight”; Rating: R Grade: A- American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) was 23 years old back in 1994, when he crossed paths with the Parisian Celine (Julie Delpy) on […]

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A crazy little thing


New film opens at Neon next weekend By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Pierce Brosnan [far left] and Trine Dyrholm [second from right] look for new beginnings in “Love is All You Need”; Rated: R Grade: B+ Danish director Susanne Bier seems to be incrementally easing off the dramatic gas with each new release. She began attracting attention […]

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Coming out Adventist


A powerful new documentary explores the spiritual journeys of gay Adventists By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Ohio residents Sherri and Jill with their daughters in “Seventh-Gay Adventists”   Our primary conception of documentaries comes rooted in the notion that they are issue-based films told from one perspective with all of the supporting facts and figures to make […]

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‘At Any Price’


A father and son do what they must to play to their ‘all-American’ roles By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Zac Efron [left] and Dennis Quaid [right] struggle with changing roles in ‘At Any Price’; Rating: R Grade: C- What do we mean today when we refer to “all-American” ideals? What does it mean to be “all-American” […]

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The St. Vincent de Paul relief mission continues


  Gateway Shelter for Women and Families on W. Apple St is ready to help 24-hours a day.  By Tim […]

Mulling the merits of Merit Grill


Wide variety compromised by some puzzling choices The Merit Grill’s Carne Asada substituted sirloin for skirt steak, but the salsa, […]

Bread Baking Demystified

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The secrets to a delicious loaf of bread are in the details The process of properly kneading bread dough includes […]

It’s happening in Troy


Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin Music at The Troy-Hayner Center The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is welcoming the arrival of spring with […]

A tradition of storytelling

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Shannon McNally at Newport’s Southgate House Revival Singer-songwriter Shannon McNally By Dave Gil de Rubio Songwriting has always had a […]