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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ invades the Marvel universe


Comic book adaptation features a welcome addition to the ever-expanding family By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Groot, Zoe Saldana as Gamora and Chris Pratt as Peter Quill in “Guardians of the Galaxy”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: A When this seemingly crazy experiment began for Marvel Studios, the feature film […]

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‘Life Itself’

Steve James documentary celebrates Roger Ebert, a star on his way to the heavens By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Roger Ebert in “Life Itself”; photo: Kevin Horan; Rating: R; Grade: A Near the start of the Steve James documentary, “Life Itself,” which tackles, as its subject, the legendary film critic Roger Ebert, and is based on his […]

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Class warfare in the heat of the summer

The Purge:  Anarchy

Messages in ‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: “The Purge: Anarchy” hit theaters June 20, 2014 Back in the day, when Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five gave us the following opening in their classic, “The Message”: “It’s like a jungle sometimes/it makes me wonder how I keep from going under,” they were […]

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Enjoying an international film festival


Portrait of a film critic as a mere spectator in the crowd By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Mathieu Amalric and Lea Drucker in “The Blue Room” After four years of attending the festival screening orgy that is the Toronto International Film Festival – which I’m eagerly anticipating returning to once again in September (for you … remember, […]

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A lesson in animal liberation


‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ puts humanity to the test By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Jason Clarke as Malcolm in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Peter Singer, a modern philosopher who engages moral tenets head-on in practical living, penned a classic tome, “Animal Liberation” that has become a challenging examination of the ways […]

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Dayton’s travel(ing) photographer


Bill Franz debuts in Dayton and beyond By Melissa Markham Photo: “Made in America,” by Bill Franz Behind every image lies a story. A simple facial expression captured by a camera’s lens holds endless tales of victory and loss, and there are so many stories yet to be told. What began as a pursuit of a […]

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Is Jo Nebsø Scandinavian fiction’s Elmore Leonard?


Adaptation of ‘Jackpot’ hangs out among the riff raff By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Henrik Mestad as Solør and Arthur Berning as Billy Utomjordet in “Jackpot”; Rating: R, Grade: B- I’ve spent the last few years investigating a specific niche subset of the criminal underworld: the seedy realm of Scandinavian crime fiction. It is much more distinct […]

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Re-staging ‘Jersey Boys’ for the screen


Clint Eastwood favors words and motion without sacrificing the music By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen and Michael Lomenda in “Jersey Boys”: Rating: PG-13; Grade: B Clint Eastwood, as both an actor and a director, has a no-nonsense approach that has served him well over the course of his career. He […]

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No ‘fault’ for a pair of doomed star-crossed lovers


New ‘love story’ update gambles by doubling down on the terminal illness angle By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Ansel Elgort as Gus and Shailene Woodley as Hazel in “The Fault in Our Stars”; Rating: PG-13, Grade: B- “The Fault in Our Stars” by young adult fiction author and Indianapolis, Ind. native John Green gets adapted here […]

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To be black, gay and proud in mainstream cinema

Film Title: Kinky Boots.

How long before we see characters who happen to be black and gay on the regular? By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola in “Kinky Boots” The world needs more ensemble dramas or dramatic comedies like “The Family Stone” or bold cinematic kaleidoscopes like Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of “Romeo + Juliet” to showcase the […]

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A re-invigorated ‘Chef’ concocts an inspired treat


Multi-hyphenate Jon Favreau flees the Hollywood test kitchen By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Emjay Anthony, Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara in “Chef”; Rating: R, Grade: A It doesn’t take long for a talented upstart to settle into a comfortable groove, right? Not many of us know about this from experience, but the stories abound across disciplines. […]

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The never-ending scandal of race in society


Comparing “Belle” to the black athletes of today By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dido Elizabeth Belle in “Belle” When is a story about slavery not a slave story? And how is it current media still finds itself mired in coverage of stories about slavery, the same old black and white dynamic, that everyone […]

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Living in ‘God’s Pocket’ isn’t easy


The story of a neighborhood where everybody knows more than your name By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: John Turturro as “Bird” and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Mickey in “God’s Pocket”; Rating: R, Grade: B+ The first “read” of “God’s Pocket,” the feature-film directing debut of actor John Slattery (best known for his Emmy-nominated work on the television […]

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‘Under the Skin’ of Jonathan Glazer

under the skin

 How his short-film efforts offer insight into his new feature film By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Scarlett Johansson as Laura in “Under the Skin”; Rating: R, Grade: B There are a number of feature film directors who got their starts working on commercials and music videos. Jonathan Glazer, one such practitioner of the craft, exhibits a far […]

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‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’: In search of genius


The story behind the greatest film never made By T.T. Stern-Enzi photo: Alejandro Jodorowsky’s, unscussessful attempt at adapting the science fiction novel, “Dune” is the focus of Director Frank Pavich’s The old adage goes that the greatest journeys begin with that single first step, but what about the epic odyssey you and a band of merry […]

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Building kehillah

Episode 201

Reflections on the 14th Dayton Jewish Film Festival By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Comedians David Steinberg and Louis C.K. in “Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story” The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton provides a brief historic overview of the organization on their website (, which defines a political and cultural framework for the Jewish presence in society. […]

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The St. Vincent de Paul relief mission continues


  Gateway Shelter for Women and Families on W. Apple St is ready to help 24-hours a day.  By Tim […]

Mulling the merits of Merit Grill


Wide variety compromised by some puzzling choices The Merit Grill’s Carne Asada substituted sirloin for skirt steak, but the salsa, […]

Bread Baking Demystified

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The secrets to a delicious loaf of bread are in the details The process of properly kneading bread dough includes […]

It’s happening in Troy


Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin Music at The Troy-Hayner Center The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is welcoming the arrival of spring with […]

A tradition of storytelling

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Shannon McNally at Newport’s Southgate House Revival Singer-songwriter Shannon McNally By Dave Gil de Rubio Songwriting has always had a […]