Tag Archives: film reviews

Secrets in plain sight

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As a society, we tend to subscribe to the notion that we live most of our lives in a virtual landscape. We date online, swiping left and right, in search of the perfect mate. We like the pictures and seemingly spontaneously blurted-out ideas of others and ascribe the “friend” label to folks we’ve never met […]

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“Whitney” unearths singer’s dark soul

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There really isn’t anything remotely “pop” centered in the filmmaking of Kevin Macdonald, the director behind the feature films “The Last King of Scotland,” “The Eagle,” and “How I Live Now” as well as the documentaries “One Day in September” (which earned an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2000), “Touching the Void,” and “Marley,” […]

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No country for an old “Sicario”

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A few years ago, we learned what a “sicario” was, thanks to screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (who with “Wind River” has proven to be a fantastic crime-fiction writer-director) and director Denis Villeneuve. In simple terms, the appellation is Spanish for a hitman, but in their broodingly brutal film, the “Sicario” in question was a man named […]

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Moms gone wild!

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A few years ago, we got an actual movie from Garry Marshall called “Mother’s Day”—a sentimental celebration of the great women who birthed and raised us—that failed to live up to the challenge every mother ever laid down for their progeny. The movie was little more than a homemade card scribbled on a cocktail napkin, […]

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‘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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No Jet Engines Here

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The very first thing is to learn how to pronounce it. No rhyming with the home of Baylor University in […]

Debate 9/11: Let’s Make Tammany Hall Great Again

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Third Parties have long complained that having the two major parties in charge of the election process gives Republicans and […]

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No music and arts festival would truly be complete without… wrestling, right? Well, this year at Ladyfest Dayton, buckle down […]

Lives-in-progress, demo-style

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Right from the start of this Jesse Peretz adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel Juliet, Naked, there’s something warm and unfinished […]

Are ‘Friends” Electric?

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Gary Numan’s Savage return to form at CVG’s Bogart’s Gary Numan with daughter Persia, who sings on the new single […]