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The Tree of Life

The poetics of nature vs. grace dominate Malick’s latest opus By  T.T.Stern-Enzi The film starts off with a bit of Scripture (Job 38:4, 7), which asks, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Where were we, indeed, […]

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Bicycle Dreams

An inspiring human Race Across America By  T.T.Stern-Enzi This year, 2011, marks the 30th anniversary run of the Race Across America (RAAM), a grueling bicycle endurance race that finds only the toughest and craziest cyclists eager to risk their physical health and their psychological stamina on this 3,000-mile trek from California to a destination somewhere […]

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Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen loves Jazz-Age Paris By  T.T.Stern-Enzi Back in 2002 during the junket for I Spy, Owen Wilson appeared distracted. As he fielded questions he took long pauses and the twinkle in his eyes hinted at unspoken responses, tales he could have told but knew better than to share because it was likely we jaded […]

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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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News of the weird: 06/30

By Chuck Shepherd   What Cannibals Can Teach Us Researchers studying the human-brain-eating Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea reported […]

Advice Goddess: 6/30

By Amy Alkon   Owe, Baby, Baby My girlfriend always cries that she’s “broke.” I just ended up buying her […]

The Docket: 06/30

Dayton’s police blotter, reported verbatim Researched and reported by Amanda Dee   Man sorry for accidentally lurking nude At 6:30 […]

Chew on this: 06/30

Back-of-the-envelope nutrition By Jayne Powers   From picking quality carbohydrates to protein powders and dietary supplements, there are scores of […]

Advice Goddess: 6/23

By Amy Alkon Rise And Spine My fiancé is good friends with his ex-girlfriend from college. (We’re all in our […]

30 feet of Abe

Lincoln’s legacy lives on in Troy By John Hamilton Photo: A monumental “Modern Man” discusses the Gettysburg Address with a […]