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Non-bummer Summer picks

A discriminating preview of the summer of 2011 By T.T. Stern-Enzi Hollywood has been trying to convince audiences the summer movie season starts in late April/early May for years now, and the 2011 line-up definitely supports this not-so-clever box office stratagem. And that’s all it is – a power play to lure ticket buyers into […]

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The Beaver

Mel Gibson lets a puppet do all the talking in Jodie Foster’s latest outing By T.T. Stern-Enzi Mel Gibson is not a half-assed kind of guy. He’s all in. To paraphrase Mae West, “When he’s good, he’s very good,” but when he’s bad, he’s good and crazy. It seems this applies to both his life […]

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In a Better World

Susanne Bier’s Best Foreign Language winner examines life and how we live it By T.T. Stern-Enzi The very first essay in contemporary (and highly controversial) philosopher Peter Singer’s collection, Writings on an Ethical Life, questions the authority of “moral experts,” and as a layperson, I was struck by what seems to be the fundamental idea […]

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I Am

Ace Ventura director Tom Shadyac searches for the meaning of life By T.T. Stern-Enzi How do you go from directing Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty (and its sequel Evan Almighty) to a documentary like I Am, which captures a spiritual and intellectual journey to find meaning in the world? If you […]

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‘Of Gods and Men’

Co-writer and director Xavier Beauvois explores the question of human brotherhood in crisis Rating: R Grade: A By T.T. Stern-Enzi In an impoverished Algerian community, a small group of Trappist monks, led by Brother Christian (Lambert Wilson), stare into the face of fundamentalist terror and begin to question both their mission and their faith. In […]

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Win Win

Comedy and drama generate a winning formula in Tom McCarthy’s latest project By T.T. Stern-Enzi Hollywood would like to convince us that stories fit into nice neat little genre boxes. There are comedies. There are dramas. They want to lead us like sheep into theaters, sell us overpriced concessions, and entertain us without challenging us […]

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Soul Surfer

The next wave of inspiring survivors rolls in By T.T. Stern-Enzi There are times as a critic when the criteria shifts, when the subjective nature of the job requires explanation because the grade given is based on more than whether or not the movie or the performances are “good” or “bad.” And sometimes it doesn’t […]

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North Dixie Drive

Eric Mahoney directs this scenic view of a local by-way By T. T. Stern-Enzi Back in 2005 when Sufjan Stevens released Illinois following up Michigan, the 2003 disc dedicated to his home state, an eager indie music media anticipated a 50-state song cycle exploring the American landscape. It would have been a bold and imaginative […]

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I Love You, Phillip Morris

All Jim Carrey wants is to be loved By T. T. Stern-Enzi I Love You, Phillip Morris might have been the best love story of 2010. So what if it was based on the true story of Steven Russell (Jim Carrey), a happily married local police officer who forsakes his conventional life after a car […]

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The Outsider behind ‘Cedar Rapids’

Director Miguel Arteta has the last laugh By T. T. Stern-Enzi In what might be the funniest scene thus far in film, Ron Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr. of later Spike Lee and “The Wire” fame), playing a nerdy Midwestern insurance salesman, bumrushes his way into a raucous house party to rescue wayward cohort Tim Lippe […]

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Debate Forum: 04/15

Forum Center: Should Ohio go green with marijuana legislation? By Alex Culpepper The push for marijuana legalization is active and healthy. […]

Debate Forum: 04/08

Forum Center: Residents claiming violation of First Amendment seek an answer to their prayers By Alex Culpepper Illustration: Joseph Rank The […]

Debate Forum: 04/01

Forum Center: SCOTUS to decide whether corporations are eligible for Heaven and Hell By Alex Culpepper Illustration: ©2013 Rob Rogers. Reprinted with permission […]

Debate Forum: 03/25

Forum Center: Tesla and the retail automobile industry By Alex Culpepper Illustration: Dennis Porter Tesla Motors is a California company that […]

Debate Commentary 03/18

Your computer files might be protected by more than just a password By Alex Culpepper One of the freedoms under […]

Debate Commentary 03/11

Forum Center: If a person objects to a police search but is not home to state it, do the police still […]