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Creating genius: ‘Tim’s Vermeer’

Oscar-nominated documentary explores the debate between genius and technique By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Penn Jillette and Tim Jenison in “Tim’s Vermeer”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: A Genius, we want to believe, is somehow conferred from on high. It is the product of unfathomable inspiration, unparalleled talent, a savant-like ability that confounds far less beautiful minds. What genius […]

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More than awkward: ‘That Awkward Moment’

Two rising stars get played by the studio system game By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Effron stumble through “That Awkward Moment” ; Rating: R Grade: D Romantic comedy screenwriters want us to believe love is full of cute challenges, inconsequential moments blown out of proportion, awaiting simple, […]

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‘The Invisible Woman’ creeps among the shadows

Ralph Fiennes captures the scandalous love affair of Charles Dickens By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Felicity Jones and Ralph Fiennes star in “The Invisible Woman”; Rating: R Grade: B Remember the first time we saw Ralph Fiennes? For most of us, it was in “Schindler’s List” as Amon Goeth, the concentration camp commandant who […]

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Mama Meryl devours her own in ‘August: Osage County’

Midwestern family drama takes dysfunction to surreal heights  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Meryl Streep and Juliette Lewis in “August: Osage County”; Rating: R Grade: B+ Once again, playwright Tracy Letts (“Killer Joe” in conjunction with director William Friedkin and the resurgent Matthew McConaughey as the titular killer subject) adapts his own award-winning […]

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‘Lone Survivor’ succumbs to Hollywood hype

Peter Berg ratchets up the action to sell true story By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Writer-director Peter Berg (“The Rundown” and “The Kingdom”) knows a thing or two about framing high-testosterone action sequences. The camera is always right in the middle of the live-action set pieces and he’s astute when it comes to presentation. For lightweight […]

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The not-so-secret vision of Ben Stiller

Multi-hyphenate unlocks a thoroughly modern take on inner life  By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Photo: [l to r] Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig star in “The Secret LIfe of Walter Mitty”; Rating: PG Grade: A The ever-unassuming Walter Mitty (director Ben Stiller, seemingly unable to choose just one side of the camera to focus on) frequently zones […]

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The wonderful Tom Hanks saves ‘Mr. Banks’

Everyone’s favorite star has become the corporate face of Disney By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: [l to r] Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson seek common ground in “Saving Mr. Banks”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B Poor PL Travers (Emma Thompson), she was such a cold woman. Full of that stiff upper lip game-facing that we’ve come to […]

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‘Kill Your Darlings’ unearths a buried secret

The Beat Poets as a drugged-out group of Hardy Boys  By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Photo: [l to r] Dane DeHaan and Daniel Radcliffe as Beats-to-be in “Kill Your Darlings”Rating: R Grade: C+ As literary advice, the notion that beleaguered writers must be willing to “kill your darlings” in order to find the truth in a passage […]

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‘The Book Thief’ steals an alternative historic view

The Holocaust seen from the perspective of the daughter of a Communist By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: [l to r] Sophie Nélisse, Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush in “The Book Thief”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B Sometimes, as a critic, you don’t have to go too far to find a way into a film. The seeds of comparison, […]

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‘Philomena’ teaches a profound lesson

One woman’s quest exposes systemic wrongs and a personal truth  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan search for understanding in “Philomena”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ Stephen Frears seems to be tiptoeing a fine line with “Philomena,” which is based on BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith’s 2009 book, “The Lost Child […]

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Law & Disorder

The last word, Not the last laugh by A.J. Wagner In 1994, Justice Harry Blackmun, in the case of Callins […]

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd Lead Story – They didn’t see this coming? (1) German Rolf Buchholz, who owns the Guinness Book […]

Miamisburg goes to the dogs

Canine Carnival returns By Joyell Nevins Photo: The Canine Carnival takes place Sept. 21 at Riverfront park; photo: Casey Harshman The […]

Advice goddess

 Beard-death experience This adorable, smart, funny guy I’m dating was clean-shaven when we first met, but for the past three […]

Home. Grown. History.

Troy celebrates 200 years by Janell Ward Photo: A group of friends spends time in Troy in 1888; photo: Troy […]

Biplanes and barnstormers

WACO Museum Fly-In lands in Troy by Andy Hertel Photo: A row of vintage biplanes on display in Troy; photo: […]