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‘Lone Survivor’ succumbs to Hollywood hype

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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’

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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

Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan on the set of their new movie "Kill Your Darlings" in Brooklyn, New York City

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

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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

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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’

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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’

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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’

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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 day in ‘The Waiting Room’

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Documentary finds teeming humanity in community hospital emergency room By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: Medical professionals and patients struggle with the health care system in the documentary “The Waiting Room”; Rating: Not Rated Grade: A Talk about timing being everything. Director Peter Nicks’ new documentary “The Waiting Room” premiered theatrically in September of 2012. The film won the […]

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Debate Forum: 8/23

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For rent Can Ohio’s national park be “leased” for drilling? By Sarah Sidlow Quick quiz: name the only national forest […]

On The Beat: 8/23

Roadside fruit stands, where art thou? By Jim Bucher Think the older you get, the more nostalgic. Guess it’s all […]

On Your Marc: 8/23

No character like McVie By Marc Katz I know, there were iconic entertainment groups that played early in their careers […]

Debate Forum: 8/16/16

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For the love of the game Olympic athletes have big dreams, but empty wallets—Should the government step in? By Sarah […]

Debate Forum: 7/19/16

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Sit down, G.I. Jane Should women be blocked from registering for the draft? By Sarah Sidlow U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson […]