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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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The phenomenal hucksters behind ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto sell a placebo of a film  By T. T. Stern-Enzi   Photo: [l to r] Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey at the top of their games in “Dallas Buyers Club”; Rating: R Grade: B+ Press screenings at film festivals can be tough crowds. We’re generally a jaded bunch, casually capable of […]

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News of the weird 11/25

By Chuck Shepherd Weird patriotism November is tax-publicizing season in Finland, where, starkly unlike America, the government releases all individuals’ […]

The Docket 11/25

Strange, but true: Dayton’s police blotter, reported verbatim Researched and reported by Charles Grove This week, Docket editor Charles Grove […]

Advice Goddess: 11/25

By Amy Alkon Scoot force My husband’s been saving for a motorcycle, and I was excited about riding on the […]

HO, HO, HOmetown holiday celebration

Santa Claus is coming to Troy By Janell R. Ward Photo: Don’t miss the finale of the Troy Hometown Holiday parade, […]

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 […]