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Ben Affleck’s fake movie rescue generates real thrills Rating: R Grade: A By T.T. Stern-Enzi Back in 1997, the release of “Good Will Hunting” heralded the arrival of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, two smart upstarts who seized control of their careers. Sharing a tiny apartment with Affleck’s younger brother Casey, the elder Affleck and […]

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The moments of “Conception”

Jennifer Finnigan and Jonathan Silverman in 'Conception'; Photo Credit- Noah Rosenthal

Serialized vignettes explore couples on the verge of making babies Grade: B The pitch for “Conception,” a slightly skewed romantic comedy from writer-director Josh Stolberg (screenwriter on “Good Luck Chuck” & “Sorority Row”), probably reminded some of the gatekeepers that heard it of would-be mainstream crowd-pleasers like “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve,” the broad […]

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LGBT Film Festival turns seven

Cloudburst_CAPTION_Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker in Cloudburst

The festival continues to promote and celebrate film and community By T.T. Stern-Enzi As the Downtown Dayton LGBT community prepares to present its seventh annual film festival – Sept. 28-30 – with screenings at The Neon, I had one overarching question – with an obvious follow-up – for festival director, Jonathan McNeal. I wondered what […]

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Trouble with the Curve


Baseball drama ambles along like slow pitch softball By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13 Grade: D Gus (Clint Eastwood) is a typically grizzled old coot. He’s resistant to the social and cultural evolution that has taken place around him, preferring instead to keep his head down and continue to push against the stream flow of progress. […]

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Where the frames take me: TIFF offscreen


A festival detour between screenings By T.T. Stern-Enzi Welcome to this special dispatch from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. I’m on a mission to capture experiences – frames of reference, if you will – from my extended journey in Toronto. TIFF is about the movies, the premieres and the galas, the red carpet photo […]

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Where the frames take me

Ben Affleck and Rachel Weisz

Your friendly neighborhood critic previews the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival By T.T. Stern-Enzi Filmmakers take viewers on journeys, rendering the fantastic with startling specificity and introducing audiences to characters beyond the scope of their collective experiences and to faraway places they might never consider for the routine (and typically affordable) family excursion. Eager armchair […]

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Seeking the answers in our hearts


“Where Do We Go Now?” seeks to resolve an eternal conflict By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13 Grade: A- In a remote Lebanese village (hard to believe that such out of the way places actually exist), Christians and Muslims live together, side by side, working and entertaining themselves, as a community that is as close as […]

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2012 FilmDayton Festival


A Q&A with Executive Director Megan Cooper By T.T. Stern-Enzi Last year, like most regional film lovers who attended FilmDayton’s festival, I eagerly awaited the opportunity to bask in the Dayton filmmaking vibe. Part of the organization’s call to arms is to support film “by Dayton and for Dayton.” Seemingly more than many other festivals […]

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Little Miss Ruby Sparks


First-time screenwriter Zoe Kazan writes and leaps off the page and the screen By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rated: R Grade: A- Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (“Little Miss Sunshine”) tag-team with writer and co-star Zoe Kazan to tell the incredible story of Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano), a young author who finds himself struggling to complete the […]

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Believe in the oddity of this wonderful life

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green

Writer-director of “Dan in Real Life” makes a wish come true By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG Grade: B+ Film is all about making us believe in the magic, the fantasies we have to leave behind once we come of age and settle into adulthood. To step into a darkened theater though, if only for a […]

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The ties that bind


Sentimental buddy comedy reveals our common humanity By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rated: R Grade: B+ Inspired by the true story of Abdel Sellou’s memoir “You Changed My Life,” “The Intouchables” dramatizes the unlikely relationship that develops between Driss (Omar Sy), an African immigrant living in the ghettos of Paris, and Philippe (François Cluzet), an aristocratic quadriplegic […]

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TWC On Demand: A sad and intimate dance


With “Take This Waltz”, Sarah Polley focuses again on a woman on the verge Rating: R Grade: B By T.T. Stern-Enzi A slow week at area theaters will send you scurrying to all corners for any fleeting sign of life and when you wish for more than just the promise of an escape from the […]

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Wild Life in the Bathtub


Co-writer & director Benh Zeitlin’s feature debut refuses to tame the beasts By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13 Grade: A “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” the savage visual poem from debut director Benh Zeitlin (which he co-wrote with playwright Lucy Alibar), takes us on an adventure from its opening frame, yet what makes it so special […]

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Man’s New Best Friend?


Pet love affair goes from the dogs to…teddy bears By T.T. Stern-Enzi I’m not much of a pet person. I’ve never had a great and abiding love for either dogs or cats and truth be told, the recent spate of pets on film hasn’t exactly given me reason to reconsider my opinion. I realize I […]

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The Eternal Absurdity of Woody Allen


“To Rome With Love” is a sugar-free neurotic comedy Rating: R Grade: A- What an amazing run Woody Allen has enjoyed over the last decade or so? Actually, during the last twenty years, Allen’s highlight reel includes “Husbands and Wives,” “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Mighty Aphrodite,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “Melinda and Melinda,” “Match […]

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Making More Webs


Marc Webb makes an amazing transition from rom-com to wham-bam action By T.T. Stern-Enzi Audiences may not understand why we need another “Spider-Man” movie. Sam Raimi’s trilogy came to a close in 2007, but it should be noted that “Spider-Man 3” felt like its web shooters were empty. I know, I know, Raimi’s films embraced […]

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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

Pickup from 122617 Dayton City Paper canstockphoto19090062

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 […]