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Film Review: Place Beyond the Pines survives a few missteps

The Place Beyond the Pines tells a story in three “acts,” that may or may not be inspired by the Old Testament theme of children suffering “for the iniquity of [their] parents” (Exodus 20:5). Either way, it makes for a compelling if oddly structured drama.

Q&A: Bringing a sports legend to life on the big screen

The new movie 42 focuses on the years when baseball great Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African American player in the modern era of Major League Baseball. The cast includes newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the Dodgers general manager who signed him onto […]

Film Review: Robinson biopic offers winning entertainment

42 is named after Robinson’s uniform number—which in 1997 was retired permanently in his honor. And of course, the movie is a tribute in itself, a crowd pleaser that overcomes a few moments of dramatic excess with sincere performances from all concerned.

Oscar’s Spirit – Conflicts, large and small, in this year’s race

Special contributors Kenny Dickson and Gary Keene, and associate editor Bill Fentum offer a rundown of the Best Picture (and Foreign Language Film) nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards, to be presented Feb. 24. Two or three of the movies have overt spiritual content, and all of them can spark moral and ethical discussions. […]

Film Review: Much-touted docudrama gives us room for debate

Audience reactions to Zero Dark Thirty, the Academy Award-nominated drama about the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, have ranged across the spectrum. Some viewers find it extremely suspenseful—especially in the last half hour—while others compare its slower moments to watching paint dry.

‘The Hobbit’ barely survives overblown production

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images The first question on many fans’ minds when director Peter Jackson announced he’d be filming The Hobbit as a follow-up to his nine-hour Lord of the Rings adaptation, was: Will this one be produced on a smaller […]

Film review: Argo works as thrill ride, but retains human drama

Six embassy staffers manage to evade capture, leave the building and find shelter in the home of the Canadian ambassador. For the next two months, the U.S. State Department scrambles for a way to rescue them in secret, and thus avoid jeopardizing the safety of the 52 hostages.

DVD Review: Bernie’s story on film feels odd but engaging

Bernie Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief strong language The lines between comedic drama and documentary seem a little blurred in Bernie. At least, that’s true until we adjust to writer-director Richard Linklater’s unusual approach. Local “interviews” (mostly scripted with co-writer Skip Hollandsworth) are used throughout to narrate this tale of money, murder […]

Epic drama is overdone — but helpful as history

For Greater Glory Rated R for war violence and some disturbing images Few movies these days cover historical events that are unknown even to some history buffs. But such is the case with For Greater Glory, a newly released, 143-minute epic starring Andy Garcia. The Cristero War (1926-29) was an armed uprising against the Mexican […]

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