Tag Archives: film reviews

‘Brad’s Status’ places white male anxiety on the wait list

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Writer-director Mike White toys with generational reflection and guilt Photo: Ben Stiller plays Brad in new ‘dramedy’ with Jenna Fischer and Austin Abrams  By T.T. Stern-Enzi In all honesty, during my Toronto International Film Festival screening of “Brad’s Status,” the new dramedy from actor (“School of Rock”), writer (“Chuck & Buck”), and director (“Year of […]

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‘STEP’ GIVES VOICE TO NEW DREAMS

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A Baltimore dance team shows us how movement matters Photo: Blessin Giraldo, Paula Dofat, Tayla Solomon, and Cori Grainger in “Step” by T.T. Stern-Enzi Tough, inspirational, inner-city documentaries tend to find themselves lined up alongside the 1994 Steve James film “Hoop Dreams,” which presented the lives of two Chicago teens (William Gates and Arthur Agee) […]

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The virtual arthouse?

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Cable TV, streaming compete with the big screen, art film Photo: Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper (left) and Al Strobel as Mike return in David Lynch’s reboot of Twin Peaks By T.T. Stern-Enzi In our modern era, the true notion of prophecy has seemingly gone the way of the dinosaur (never to be resurrected as […]

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‘Philomena’ teaches a profound lesson

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One woman’s quest exposes systemic wrongs and a personal truth  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan search for understanding in “Philomena”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ Stephen Frears seems to be tiptoeing a fine line with “Philomena,” which is based on BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith’s 2009 book, “The Lost Child […]

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‘Conjuring’ old-fashioned scares

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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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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’

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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’?

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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

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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

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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’

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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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Gazing upstream at wondrous color

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Shane Carruth’s latest film tests expectations By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Director Shane Carruth and Amy Seimetz in “Upstream Color”; Rating: Not Rated Grade: A At this year’s San Francisco Film Festival, Steven Soderbergh delivered an intriguing address on the state of the film industry. What made it so fascinating may, in part, have been the timing. […]

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‘The Sapphires’ do it for themselves

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The somewhat-true story of an aboriginal girl group in the 1960s By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: An Aboriginal girl group seeks stardom during the late ’60s in “The Sapphires” Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ There’s a crazy – yet delicious – alchemy to concocting a winning film premise. It’s like “X” meets “Y,” maybe with a touch of […]

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Slashing through, one frame at a time

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Local filmmaker Henrique Couto is ready to shoot his own close-up By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: “Babysitter Massacre” filmaker Henrique Couto [second from left] with his cast; photo credit: Alicia Lozier During a recent multiple screening day, I had the chance to catch the new Sam Raimi-produced “Evil Dead” followed by a first look at the latest […]

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The temptation of the Tyler Perry brand

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Assessing the state of Tyler Perry’s filmmaking By T. T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to] Kim Kardashian, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Vanessa Williams and Robbie Jones in “Tyler Perry’s Temptation” Rating: PG-13 Grade: D Tyler Perry has become a brand, with his name affixed to the titles of his releases and a loyal following, but he has been constantly […]

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‘The Gatekeepers’ of Israeli security speak

Israeli director Dror Moreh sits for a portrait in Tel Aviv

Oscar-nominated documentary interviews former heads of Israel’s Shin Bet By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Director Dror Moreh looks at Israeli security in “The Gatekeepers” Rating: PG-13 Grade: A The commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War has re-introduced heated debate over the Bush Administration’s presentation of clearly false information regarding Iraq’s weapons […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

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Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

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Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

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Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

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Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]