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Celebrating the legacy of ‘The Sandlot’

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20th anniversary of  classic film By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Patrick Renna calls his shot in “The Sandlot”; a 20th Anniversary screening takes place Aug. 10 at Fifth Third Field  I recently learned, once again, to never under-estimate the power and appeal of a scrappy underdog. In preparation for our coverage of the 20th anniversary tour of […]

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Final stop: ‘Fruitvale Station’

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Powerful debut feature captures the complex humanity of Oscar Grant By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Director Ryan Coogler seeks redemption in “Fruitvale Station”; Rating: R Grade: A When is a day in the life, not just “a day in the life” of a character? It isn’t when that day happens to be the final day, which is […]

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‘Conjuring’ old-fashioned scares

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Director James Wan uses 1970s suspense to creep us out  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Vera Farmiga as a paranormal investigator in “The Conjuring”; Rating: R Grade: A-   As a critic, there’s nothing better than to watch the evolution of someone in the filmmaking realm – be it a writer, director or star. But the real […]

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Wading into ‘Pacific Rim’

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Guillermo del Toro plays with robots and monsters on a large scale By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo by: The battle for Earth rages on the high seas in “Pacific Rim”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B- There’s a lot more than meets the eye in Guillermo del Toro’s robot-monster mash-up “Pacific Rim.” We’re told from the start in voiceover […]

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Letting the stars shine even brighter

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New documentary spotlights black female background singers of rock and soul By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Standing in the shadows: The female voices of rock and soul in “20 Feet from Stardom”  Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ Walking out of Morgan Neville’s documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” you may come to appreciate the almost existential crisis of […]

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‘Supporting Characters’ wander into center frame

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New indie DVD release By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Tarik Lowe and Alex Karpovsky struggle with their roles as “Supporting Characters”; Rating: Not Rated Grade: B New York teems with life. Not just with the stars that walk the red carpet and the heroes battling mythic villains in the streets, but also clustered constellations […]

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Sofia Coppola exposes ‘The Bling Ring’

A true crime story about wannabe celebrity criminals By T. T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Emma Watson and friends blur the line betwen celebrity and criminal in “The Bling Ring”;  Rating: R Grade: B+ So, this is what has become of the Bonnie & Clyde mythos, the ballsy outlaw bandits with bullets to spare and a knack for […]

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Setting the moral compass of ‘The East’

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Corporate counter-espionage gets personal By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård as anarchists in ‘The East’ Rating: PG-13 Grade: A Sometimes you gain so much more when you have the chance to allow a film to marinate in the critical stew, but generally critics aren’t afforded that possibility too often. We […]

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Will it all end ‘Before Midnight’?

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Richard Linklater and crew wander not-so-happily into ever after By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy take the long road of relationships in “Before Midnight”; Rating: R Grade: A- American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) was 23 years old back in 1994, when he crossed paths with the Parisian Celine (Julie Delpy) on […]

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A crazy little thing

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New film opens at Neon next weekend By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Pierce Brosnan [far left] and Trine Dyrholm [second from right] look for new beginnings in “Love is All You Need”; Rated: R Grade: B+ Danish director Susanne Bier seems to be incrementally easing off the dramatic gas with each new release. She began attracting attention […]

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Coming out Adventist

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A powerful new documentary explores the spiritual journeys of gay Adventists By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Ohio residents Sherri and Jill with their daughters in “Seventh-Gay Adventists”   Our primary conception of documentaries comes rooted in the notion that they are issue-based films told from one perspective with all of the supporting facts and figures to make […]

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‘At Any Price’

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A father and son do what they must to play to their ‘all-American’ roles By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Zac Efron [left] and Dennis Quaid [right] struggle with changing roles in ‘At Any Price’; Rating: R Grade: C- What do we mean today when we refer to “all-American” ideals? What does it mean to be “all-American” […]

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Gazing upstream at wondrous color

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Shane Carruth’s latest film tests expectations By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Director Shane Carruth and Amy Seimetz in “Upstream Color”; Rating: Not Rated Grade: A At this year’s San Francisco Film Festival, Steven Soderbergh delivered an intriguing address on the state of the film industry. What made it so fascinating may, in part, have been the timing. […]

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‘The Sapphires’ do it for themselves

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The somewhat-true story of an aboriginal girl group in the 1960s By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: An Aboriginal girl group seeks stardom during the late ’60s in “The Sapphires” Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ There’s a crazy – yet delicious – alchemy to concocting a winning film premise. It’s like “X” meets “Y,” maybe with a touch of […]

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Michael Bay brings ‘Pain & Gain’ with each outing

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Is the director’s new release a career reboot? By T.T. Stern-Enzi photo: [l to r] Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie and Mark Wahlberg star in Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain” “Pain & Gain” won the weekend box office race, earning the pole position with a smidge less than $20 million dollars. Not exactly a blistering opening weekend […]

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‘Mud’ in our eyes

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Jeff Nichols slings Matthew McConaughey at us and we can’t get enough of him By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland and Matthew McConaughey on the run in “Mud”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ Every critic out there has been talking about the recent transformation of Matthew McConaughey; we simply can’t stop going on about the […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

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Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

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Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

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Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

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Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]