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“West of Memphis” travels down a long, dark road

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A masterful shortcut through a horrible travesty By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Henry Rollins and co-writer/director Amy Berg seek justice in “West of Memphis”; Rating: R Grade: A A monumental miscarriage of justice in the early 1990s leads to three young men – Damien Wayne Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. – being […]

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“The Last Exorcism Part 2” as the last stand against evil

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Can a second “Exorcism” tame this demonic breakout?  By T.T. Stern-Enzi  Photo: David Jensen [left] and Ashley Bell [right] star in “The Last Exorcism Part 2” There’s a great, not-so-obvious hook in “The Last Exorcism 2,” which is the sequel to the successful 2010 found footage creeper feature about an evangelical exorcist named Cotton Marcus (Patrick […]

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A magical glimpse inside the mind of Roman Coppola

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A recent phone interview offers a brief guided tour  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Mere mention of the Coppola name brings to mind some of the greatest films of the 1970s – the first two installments of “The Godfather” saga, “The Conversation” and “Apocalypse Now” – and then a new generational phase with “The Virgin Suicides” and […]

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Mad about shorts

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Two directors with vastly different approaches to the short form By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Gabrielle Union and Alfre Woodard in the Miu Miu short by director Ava DuVernay, “The Door” Less than two years ago, I was a critic at odds with the declining state of our communal film experiences. Everything pointed to audience fragmentation, which […]

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A lovely and fitting curtain call

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As a director, Dustin Hoffman celebrates his fellow actors By T. T. Stern-Enzi Photo: [l to r] Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins star in “Quartet” Rating: PG-13 Grade: B+ I have been astonished at how little fanfare has accompanied the release of “Quartet” from Dustin Hoffman. As an actor, Hoffman has over […]

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“A Royal Affair” leads to enlightenment

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Denmark’s Best Foreign Language nominee offers contemporary reflection By T.T. Stern-Enzi photo: Alicia Vikander and Mads Mikkelsen in “A Royal Affair” Rating: R Grade: B Niels Arcel, best known in the U.S. as one of the screenwriters on the original “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” re-teams with Rasmus Heisterberg, his partner on the aforementioned film, to […]

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The twin core of “Rust and Bone”

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Jacques Audiard uncovers wounded souls in harsh conditions  By T.T. Stern-Enzi photo: [l to r] Armand Verdure and Matthias Schoenaerts in“Rust and Bone” Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) epitomizes what we – Westernized, sheltered, middle-class citizens – imagine when someone references brutes, bruisers or brutish behavior. Hip-hop has glamourized “thugs” and “the thug life,” but Ali comes from […]

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The struggle begins “Any Day Now”

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An unconventional gay couple fights the good fight  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Garret Dillahunt and Alan Cumming star in “Any Day Now”: R Grade B- What happens when a sassy drag queen and a buttoned-up lawyer seek to gain custody of a young man with Down’s syndrome who has been abandoned by his drug addicted mother? […]

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The daring “Girls” return game

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Lena Dunham steps further outside her already uncomfortable zone  By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rarely do I feel the need to follow-up a review or feature as directly as I will this week. The dialogue on race, which began with “Django Unchained” last week, demands further exploration, although with the gaze turned now to the small screen, […]

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Django explained

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A look at race relations in Quentin Tarantino’s curious revenge fantasy By T.T. Stern-Enzi Art – the best and the worst of the various forms – challenges audiences. It offers reflections that ping-pong from the surreal to the mundane, the radiantly abstract to the common, which at times can seem quite vulgar in their uncovering […]

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Top Ten Films of 2012

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A cinematic mix-tape for the year gone by  By T.T. Stern-Enzi 1  “Zero Dark Thirty”  (Kathryn Bigelow) A tough no-nonsense shooter with an eye for clarity hooks up with a top-notch journalist intent on capturing the true essence of the story (which isn’t necessarily the “truth” in an idealized sense) and first we get “The […]

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Seeking a film for the end of the world

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When it all ends, what will you be watching?  By T.T. Stern-Enzi The end is … We’ve heard it all before. If not from Nostradamus or the Mayans or some other Psychic Friends Network associate who lost their connection to the mainframe, then it was likely that we’ve seen the end unspooling before us onscreen. […]

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Reviewing a new format or a new movie?  By T.T. Stern-Enzi What a year! As we near the end of 2012, I find myself in full reflective mode, looking back at a year in film that, while not likely to be one for the ages, still found ways to inspire me to spend a few […]

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The missing hitch in “Hitchcock”

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Sacha Gervasi and Anthony Hopkins shrink the great man down to size By T.T. Stern-Enzi As I waited for the advance screening of “Hitchcock,” from director Sacha Gervasi (known as the writer of “The Terminal” and the director of “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”), I ended up chatting with a fellow writer who also happens […]

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“Killing” style at the box office

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Marrying 1970s grit with druggy matrix effects By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R Grade: B+ I’m a huge fan of Prince, The Roots and Level 42; a fanatic, in fact, which means that any new release from them guarantees an instant buy, and not just a digital download from iTunes. No, I’m talking about heading out […]

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The surreal theatrics of “Anna Karenina”

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Joe Wright’s stagey adaptation of Tolstoy By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R  Grade: A- To fully appreciate what director Joe Wright and screenwriter/playwright Tom Stoppard have wrought with their adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic tale of adultery among the 19th century Russian aristocracy, audiences should prime themselves with Wright’s surreal battlefield interlude from “Atonement.” Working from […]

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Connecting for fun, connecting to help

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Debate 5/15: Say yes to the dress?

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Ohio is for rockers

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For twelve years, the ultimate destination for hard rock and heavy metal fans has been the Rock On The Range […]

Women rockers sing out

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The Victoria Theatre Association (VTA) is helping the musical dreams of a select group of women come true.  Earlier this […]

Bistro done right

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Lily’s Bistro came on the scene a few years ago and right away became an Oregon District fixture. Owner Emily […]