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If you’ve seen one ‘Ocean’, you’ve seen ‘Ocean’s 8’

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Near the start of “Ocean’s 8,” we’re led to believe that Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is dead and his sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock) has just gotten sprung from the clink—on parole after pleading for a chance to live an honest life—but it’s obvious that you can’t trust a single word or account told by or […]

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Aimless and “Adrift”

Shailene Woodley portrays Tami Oldham in this adaptation of a true story, with Sam Claflin as Richard Sharp.

Can Jennifer Lawrence’s mini-me buoy this true-life disaster tale? By T.T. Stern-Enzi Tom Hanks and Robert Redford anchored films (“Cast Away” and “All Is Lost” respectively) where they had to shoulder the narrative burden on their own. Hanks did so with his quintessential good humor, while Redford with his rugged stoicism. Quite often, I imagine […]

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Taking pride in making no judgment

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I’ve never much liked the idea of tolerance. Who wants to be tolerated? And as a critic, I often find myself taking offense at the idea of casting judgment on the works of others. I’m not shy or retiring about offering my informed opinion about a film or the collected works of a filmmaker, but […]

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Dayton divine TV diva Ms. Demure

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Since the dawn of cable television, public access stations have given local talk show wannabes a free forum to strut their stuff. With the internet explosion of services like YouTube and Vimeo, stardom has come easier, no matter the degree of talent. One Dayton resident, while finding fame online, has remained true to their hometown […]

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Learning humanity from the animals

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For most of his career, I have had a begrudging respect for the fastidious aesthetic of Wes Anderson. There is an undeniable craft on display in every single frame he composes that is meticulous and filled with obvious wit. His films live and breathe in the minute, carefully orchestrated details of the somewhat hermetically sealed […]

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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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Knowing your place

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Only recently have critics and audiences begun to focus on discrepancies in inclusion, both from the perspective of characters and themes, in filmmaking oeuvres, and largely the main target has sought to address gender inequality. We’ve spoken broadly about race, in particular the black-white dynamic, and made pointed efforts to signal a desire to avoid […]

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The finite limits of a cinematic comic book war

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Marvel’s big bad is here and the Avengers are everywhere else Avengers: Infinity War (L-R) Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey, Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Benedict Wong. By T.T. Stern-Enzi The universe is a mess. That’s not exactly how Disney/Marvel would like for critics to start off reviews of their latest franchise tentpole “Avengers: Infinity War,” but […]

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Confidence Game

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Female insecurity is more than skin deep in “I Feel Pretty” Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, and Amy Schumer (L-R) in “I Feel Pretty” By T.T. Stern-Enzi There’s a pretty simple reading of the new Amy Schumer movie from writer-directors Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (the writing duo behind “Never Been Kissed” and “He’s Just Not […]

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Flying high at the movies

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The top 10 weed flicks from the past two decades On screen, the Dude (Jeff Bridges) favors White Russians, but there seems to be a 420 attitude at work, too. By T.T. Stern-Enzi The move towards the legalization of weed owes a debt of sorts to its pop cultural presence at the movies. We’ve come […]

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Shhh… it’s “A Quiet Place”

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Horror-thriller transforms the dark into an emotionally gripping place Evelyn (Emily Blunt) quiets her daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) By T.T. Stern-Enzi Families in peril tap into our most primal protective natures. We are far more likely to be drawn into the survival dynamic on display between a tight-knit nuclear unit than all of the spatial […]

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She’s no Madea…

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The mini-mogul’s not laughing in “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony” Taraji P. Henson tells Lyriq Bent how it’s gonna be By T.T. Stern-Enzi Tyler Perry’s improbable career has been based on a step-by-step process, a seemingly carefully orchestrated implementation of a plan to master and command the narrative feature format. He began writing a series of stage […]

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A dictator’s demise

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The satirical bite of “The Death of Stalin” The inner circle discover Stalin’s body… and hilarity ensues. By T.T. Stern-Enzi A healthy dose of cynicism is necessary when looking at the world of politics, either from a wide-lens historic framework or in the microscopic moment of what might seem to be a crisis point. We […]

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Tomb Raider revealed

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In search of the humanity of a videogame avatar Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander takes a new approach to the character of Lara Croft By T.T. Stern-Enzi Back in 2001, when Angelina Jolie first assumed the title role in the Simon West adaptation of the videogame “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” she was a newly-minted Academy […]

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‘A Fantastic Woman’ is a natural wonder

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The Academy Award-winner is truly fantastic  Daniela Vega as Marina. By T.T. Stern-Enzi Every year, I find that somehow, no matter how carefully I plan my festival screening schedule, I wind up missing out on a gem or two in Toronto. And typically, the omissions tend to be foreign language titles. This year, I eagerly […]

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Screen 3/6: The Party to end all parties

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Sally Potter refashions “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” for a new darkly hip age The party animals (Top L-R) Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emily Mortimer, Cherry Jones (Bottom L-R) Patricia Clarkson, Timothy Spall, and Bruno Ganz By T.T. Stern-Enzi In the Mike Nichols classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” George (Richard Burton) and Martha […]

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Plugged In

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The next sound you hear will be…well, I don’t know what it will be but I know what it won’t […]

Debate 6/12: A tweet too far

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Was anyone really surprised? Roseanne Barr has stepped in it again. Always a loose cannon, she managed to offend just […]

If you’ve seen one ‘Ocean’, you’ve seen ‘Ocean’s 8’

Oceans8-6

Near the start of “Ocean’s 8,” we’re led to believe that Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is dead and his sister […]

Gin and Tonic on the Horizon

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On June 13, The Rose Music Center is the place to be to get your 90s nostalgia fix as Gin […]

Goodnight Goodnight’s new morning

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“We’ve known Larry for years,” says Gary Thornton of Goodnight Goodnight. He’s talking about the newest addition to their lineup, […]