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Keanu Reeves faces the ‘Man of Tai Chi’


Underground martial arts fight club hits a wall By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Movie memories can certainly bring out the film geek in the best of us. The very idea of “Man of Tai Chi,” the new martial arts fight fest from director and star Keanu Reeves takes me back to the 1970s, when I was […]

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A relatable case of ‘Inequality for All’


Robert Reich sells the real deal about the ongoing financial crisis By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: Robert Reich explains our current economic dilemmas in “Inequality for All”; Rating: PG Grade: A- As Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich was the lone voice raging against the madness of the economic machine. He knew the system was […]

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The virtue of ‘The Patience Stone’


The mythic and the modern collide in this Middle Eastern tale By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: [l to r] Golshifteh Farahani and Hamid Djavadan struggle with identity in “The Patience Stone”; Rating: R Grade: A- The mythology of America lacks a spiritual or metaphysical component, separate and distinct from religion. America is a country of immigrants, each […]

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Crawling along towards ‘The World’s End’


What celebrates beer more than a pub crawl? An apocalyptic pub crawl! By T. T. Stern-Enzi   Films about imbibing alcohol invariably take on the characteristics of the spirits in question. Wine maintains itself as the upscale choice, ensconced in the finery of vintage, the regionalism of the grapes, the aging process. Expense and exclusivity […]

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Looking for love in ‘Austenland’


Paper-thin premise frays despite the elegant presence of Keri Russell By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Jennifer Coolidge, Keri Russell and Georgia King star in “Austenland” ; Rating: PG-13 Grade: C There is something sweet and wholesome about Keri Russell – who made a name for herself on the television series “Felicity” – that’s unique and […]

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Investigating the secrets of the ‘Closed Circuit’


Steven Knight asks, ‘Who’s watching the watchers?’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Screenwriter Steven Knight has the narrative nose of an investigative journalist. His screenplays for films like “Dirty Pretty Things” and “Eastern Promises” took audiences down dark alleyways complete with noirish thrills and gritty kink that tapped into our desire for raw voyeuristic experiences beyond […]

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Do we need another teen fantasy franchise?


‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ and presentism in cinema By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: The cast of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” seeks to establish a strong franchise and storyline; Rating PG-13 I need to apologize up front for what will likely seem like a crazy rant from the geezer who refuses to keep up […]

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Ladies kickstarting a new sexual revolution


Female sexuality as seen from the perspective of women By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Photo:  Aubrey Plaza re-writes the rules of female sexuality in film with “The To Do List” A funny thing happened to me while sitting through the press screening of “The To Do List” a few weeks ago. I got caught up in […]

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Final stop: ‘Fruitvale Station’


Powerful debut feature captures the complex humanity of Oscar Grant By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Director Ryan Coogler seeks redemption in “Fruitvale Station”; Rating: R Grade: A When is a day in the life, not just “a day in the life” of a character? It isn’t when that day happens to be the final day, which is […]

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‘Conjuring’ old-fashioned scares


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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Wading into ‘Pacific Rim’


Guillermo del Toro plays with robots and monsters on a large scale By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo by: The battle for Earth rages on the high seas in “Pacific Rim”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B- There’s a lot more than meets the eye in Guillermo del Toro’s robot-monster mash-up “Pacific Rim.” We’re told from the start in voiceover […]

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Letting the stars shine even brighter


New documentary spotlights black female background singers of rock and soul By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Standing in the shadows: The female voices of rock and soul in “20 Feet from Stardom”  Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ Walking out of Morgan Neville’s documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” you may come to appreciate the almost existential crisis of […]

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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’


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’?


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


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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The St. Vincent de Paul relief mission continues


  Gateway Shelter for Women and Families on W. Apple St is ready to help 24-hours a day.  By Tim […]

Mulling the merits of Merit Grill


Wide variety compromised by some puzzling choices The Merit Grill’s Carne Asada substituted sirloin for skirt steak, but the salsa, […]

Bread Baking Demystified

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The secrets to a delicious loaf of bread are in the details The process of properly kneading bread dough includes […]

It’s happening in Troy


Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin Music at The Troy-Hayner Center The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is welcoming the arrival of spring with […]

A tradition of storytelling

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Shannon McNally at Newport’s Southgate House Revival Singer-songwriter Shannon McNally By Dave Gil de Rubio Songwriting has always had a […]