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The winners and losers of ‘Draft Day’

Ivan Reitman’s sports drama almost becomes a big joke By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Kevin Costner as Sonny Weaver, Jr. in “Draft Day”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: D+ Talk about Fantasy Football. “Draft Day,” the new movie from director Ivan Reitman – from the comedic heights of “Ghostbusters” to the rom-com depths of “No Strings Attached” – seems […]

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‘Nymphomaniac’ Parts I and II

The Lars von Trier opus on sex and love plays in and out of theaters By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Stacy Martin as Young Joe, Udo Kier as the waiter and Shia LaBeouf as Jerôme in “Nymphomaniac;” Rating: R, Grade: B+ I should acknowledge I’m a fan of the transgressive curiosity of Danish director Lars […]

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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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News of the weird: 05/26

By Chuck Shepherd Is This a Great Country or What? There’s hardly a more “generic” song in America than “Happy […]

A berry good time

Annual Strawberry Festival returns By Tara Pettit Photo: The Troy Strawberry Festival [June6-7] offers strawberry-themed vendors, activities and live entertainment; […]

Advice Goddess: 5/27

By Amy Alkon Smells Like Bean Spirit My girlfriend of a year is 51 and lovely in most areas – […]

Chew on this: 05/26

Grill smart By Jayne Powers Every day, we make decisions about our health regarding the food we eat. Sometimes, we […]

News of the weird: 05/19

By Chuck Shepherd Lead Story – Donating for dollars Already, healthy people can donate blood, sperm and eggs, but now […]

Advice Goddess: 5/19

By Amy Alkon All the single m’ladies I read your manners book and loved it. I just feel that for […]