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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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Discovery when it seems ‘All Is Lost’

Robert Redford adrift on an Everyman’s journey By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: Robert Redford in ‘All Is Lost’  Rating: PG-13 Grade: A    Every so often, a film comes along that gives me serious critical pause, sending me back to a favorite philosophical mentor to reboot my sensibilities. “The Cornel West Reader,” as regular readers know, serves as […]

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Keanu Reeves faces the ‘Man of Tai Chi’

Underground martial arts fight club hits a wall By T.T. Stern-Enzi   Movie memories can certainly bring out the film geek in the best of us. The very idea of “Man of Tai Chi,” the new martial arts fight fest from director and star Keanu Reeves takes me back to the 1970s, when I was […]

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A relatable case of ‘Inequality for All’

Robert Reich sells the real deal about the ongoing financial crisis By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: Robert Reich explains our current economic dilemmas in “Inequality for All”; Rating: PG Grade: A- As Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich was the lone voice raging against the madness of the economic machine. He knew the system was […]

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The virtue of ‘The Patience Stone’

The mythic and the modern collide in this Middle Eastern tale By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: [l to r] Golshifteh Farahani and Hamid Djavadan struggle with identity in “The Patience Stone”; Rating: R Grade: A- The mythology of America lacks a spiritual or metaphysical component, separate and distinct from religion. America is a country of immigrants, each […]

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news of the weird: 10/28

by Chuck Shephard Lead Story – Eye of the beholder The Osiligi Maasai Warrior choir, from Kenya, in ornate, mystifying […]

The hands-on headless horseman

Zoot Reboots for “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” By Jacqui Theobald Photo: C.J. Suchyta and Natalie Houliston display Ichabod at a Zoot […]

The Docket

Strange, but true: Dayton’s police blotter, reported verbatim Researched and reported by Charles Grove Editor’s Choice: Saucy and stalk-y After […]

Advice Goddess

By Amy Alkon Knight Terrors I’m a woman in my early 30s. I was one of the employees who got […]

Putting the ‘boo’ in book

Inside Troy’s haunted bookstore By Matt Bayman Photo: Around About Books is located at 8 W. Main St. in Troy […]

News of the weird 10/21

By Chuck Shepherd Lead Story – Signs of the times “Selfie fever” has begun to sully the sacred Islamic pilgrimages to […]