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Discover the secret life of bees at HoneyFest By Lisa Bennett Photo: Beekeeper and retired Kettering police officer Mike Pittman tends his hives It used to be that the acronym CCD meant “catechism,” or, more precisely, a dreaded Sunday afternoon in a church classroom learning about the Bible. Not that the classes weren’t interesting and sometimes […]

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2016 summertime flings

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Who should audiences crush-on at the multiplex and in the art houses? By T.T. Stern-Enzi Back in the day, the hip-hop poet laureate The Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith) summed up the mellow of the season with “summer summer summertime / time to sit back and unwind.” Truer words were never spoken, especially for those […]

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Finding a ‘Beautiful Something’ beyond the mainstream

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Why it is sometimes best to have to look harder for true representations By T.T. Stern-Enzi As an African American critic (one who is starting to wonder if I am more of critic who happens to be African American or an African American who happens to be a critic), I find it fascinating how I […]

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Ralph Fiennes makes a surprisingly big ‘Splash’

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Quietly intense performer outshines the bright spotlight By T.T. Stern-Enzi There is a delicious thrill in watching a completely dialed-in performer tackle a truly larger than life character, one of those outsized personalities that can dominate a story, crowding out others, even the presumed protagonists. Two of the most recent instances of such glorious, attention […]

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Is there real anger in ‘The Angry Birds Movie’?

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Subversive casting is the real star of new animated flick By TT Stern-Enzi Every once in a while, I start off a review with a disclosure, usually highlighting a critical blind spot of sorts that I assume might taint my perspective. And so I feel I must inform readers that, in the case of “The […]

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Critical value finds its place in ‘City of Gold’

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The life of a critic explores his impact on the culture of a city By T.T. Stern-Enzi A recent spate of books on leading critical voices—AO Scott’s “Better Living Through Criticism” and Owen Gleiberman’s “Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies”—has sent me down a rabbit hole of sorts, questioning and challenging the idea of what […]

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‘Minimalism’ reminds us of our place in the world

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A pair of Dayton natives shows us the pathway to enlightenment By T.T. Stern-Enzi I should go on the record, stating that I found it quite difficult to provide a grade for “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” from director Matt D’Avella. As I watched the screener, I found myself all-too susceptible to the […]

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A legendary performance from beyond the screen

Prince is pictured here as Christopher Tracy in the movie "Under the Cherry Moon."

Saying goodbye to a musical icon in the context of moving frames By T.T. Stern-Enzi It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. As a film and cultural critic—and today I lean much more heavily on the cultural side of the ledger—I have to say something about the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson. I am […]

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The evolution of the black musical icon onscreen

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How filmmakers and audiences approach legends By T.T. Stern-Enzi “Take if you will a picture,” isn’t that the intro to “When Doves Cry,” the song that, to my mind, kicked off the 1980s phenomenon that was Prince? The picture that he took, and that he convinced audiences to check out as well, was “Purple Rain,” […]

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‘Midnight Special’ races in to save the sci-fi genre

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Speculative indie sci-fi traffics in real intimacy By T.T. Stern-Enzi What would Amy Seimetz (associate producer of “Medicine for Melancholy,” writer-director of “Sun Don’t Shine”) and Shane Carruth (writer, director and star of “Upstream Color”) and Mike Cahill (and cohorts Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij) do with real studio budgets behind their psychologically idiosyncratic ideas? […]

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The mad genius of Jean-Marc Vallee

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A true international indie filmmaker cracks the Hollywood code By T.T. Stern-Enzi It seems I have something in common with the producers of “Demolition,” the new film from Jean-Marc Vallee, which opens April 8 (finally). I say finally because I caught “Demolition” in September when it kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival’s 40th anniversary. […]

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Identity, on film

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2016 Dayton Jewish Film Fest By T.T. Stern-EnziAs both a film critic and, more fundamentally, as a passionate lover of film, I stand behind the belief that movies serve the purpose of gathering and sustaining a sometimes-disparate community of viewers. We enter that darkened space as individuals, locked inside our perspectives, but those flickering frames […]

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‘I Saw the Light’ plays the same old tune

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What’s with the continued focus on the “devil” rather than the music? By T.T. Stern-Enzi The opening weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival afforded me a rare opportunity. Due to the complexities of scheduling, I earned an interview with Casey Bond, one of the co-stars of the Marc Abraham’s Hank Williams biopic “I Saw […]

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Follow the thread from screen to screen

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“Daredevil” lays a surprising foundation for “Captain America: Civil War” By T.T. Stern-Enzi Right off the bat, I need to address the pink elephant on the page of the film section. Why, for goodness sakes, is a film critic wasting time talking about a 13-episode narrative (season two of “Daredevil”) that’s only available via a […]

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Films and filmmakers in dialogue

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Two new art house releases capture complex exchanges By T.T. Stern-Enzi Back in 2000, Sofia Coppola emerged from the shadow of an onscreen debut that threatened to sink her legendary father’s epic film saga with “The Virgin Suicides.” Her adaptation of the Jeffrey Eugenides novel about a group of boys (led by Josh Hartnett in […]

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Making a critical example of ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’

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Look beyond the beard, people By T.T. Stern-Enzi I wish I could have simply settled into my seat Friday afternoon, downshifted from the critical hyper-drive setting in my head and enjoyed the Tina Fey transition into more dramatic fare that nearly all of my critical brethren signed off on, but I couldn’t reject the elephant […]

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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 […]