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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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Biutiful

Inarritu sets off on a new filmmaking journey By T. T. Stern-Enzi With “Amores Perros,” “21 Grams” and “Babel,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga forged a collaborative filmmaking partnership that generated stories grounded in a triptych structure that deconstructed time and narrative form into piercing slivers of emotional diamonds. And for their efforts, […]

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Has a decade of diversity come to an end?

‘For Colored girls’ (and other Folks) Who continue to Feel Invisible When Searching For Onscreen Reflections By T. T. Stern-Enzi There have always been urban films, from the black exploitation films of the 1970s to the comic movies that capitalized on stand-up performers transitioning to the mainstream to the hood action dramas infused with hip […]

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‘Rabbit Hole’

‘Rabbit Hole’ treats the addictive power of grief By T.T. Stern-Enzi From the start, “Rabbit Hole” seems to be looking up at the world from a position of frustration and regret. Suburbia is a place of artificial security, away from the harsh urban reality, an unsettling dreamscape we pretend does not share a border with […]

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Another Year

Leslie Manville makes “Another Year” more than just another Mike Leigh production By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13 Grade: A There is a particular genius to the filmmaking process of Mike Leigh. The celebrated British director of “Life is Sweet,” “Secrets & Lies,” “Vera Drake” and “Happy-Go-Lucky” is famous for drafting story and character outlines and […]

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Blue Valentine

A dark bluesy ode to love By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R Grade: B+ “No Strings Attached” captured hearts and the opening weekend box office by giving audiences the same old, same old vision of love, which, in the end, isn’t really about love at all. Love doesn’t live at the multiplex; the reflection of it that […]

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News of the weird: 11/18

With Chuck Shepherd The other world series In October, another premier world sports event reached its climax, with one team […]

Advice Goddess 11/18/14

Along came polygraph by Amy Alkon   I’m an aspiring comedian – seriously aspiring – so I’m out most nights […]

The Docket: 11/18

Strange, but true: Dayton’s police blotter, reported verbatim Researched and reported by Charles Grove A new trend? A 36-year-old woman […]

Advice Goddess: 11/11

By Amy Alkon Scold rush  I try to be direct, but my girlfriend often sees this as meanness. For example, […]

The Docket 11/11/14

Strange, but true: Dayton’s police blotter, reported verbatim Researched and reported by Charles Grove Hail seizure! Officers responded to a […]

news of the weird 11/11

by Chuck Shepherd Lead Story – Baby beauty Amanda Collins, 28, took “beauty pageant mom” to the next level (down) […]