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Arts and Entertainment

  • 'The Host': Are these ETs friendly or not?

    What if everything you love was taken from you in the blink of an eye? Answering that question is the plot of “The Host,” a sci-fi drama exploring an extra-terrestrial invasion by a life form which takes over our human bodies as hosts and eliminates all of earth’s problem. 

  • ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’

    I liked everything about this film except the characters. How is that possible? Long before Dorothy and Toto drop into the Land of Oz, there is the back story for the wizard, and how he got there. Remember from the “Wizard of Oz” we learned that of all the inhabitants, he is the only one who is a typical human. In this prequel to Dorothy’s adventures, which occur much later, we meet the Munchkins, good and bad witches, horses of a different color, the Oz soldiers (Ho, Ho, Heave Ho) and others.

  • An unforgettable tribute to a family’s determination

    “The Impossible” is one of last year’s Oscar-nominated films to remain in theaters. It tells the harrowing adventures of one family’s trials to find each other during the record-breaking tidal wave in southern Asia, in Thailand to be exact. It is one account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time.

  • ‘Side Effects’: A twisty tale of conspiracy and revenge

    You’ve seen those TV ads for drugs which are required to tell you all the dangerous side effects which make you reluctant to take the drug at all? This movie has at its basis a psychiatric drug. With side effects! But that’s not all. There are other things going on. My task is to tell you those parts of this twisted mystery without giving away its shocks. I’m not sure you’ll know what has transpired until the film is over; then you ask “How did this conspiracy end? And who won?”

  • ‘Warm Bodies’: Not your average zombie story

    I beg you not to dismiss this film because of its subject matter. It’s a lesson in social relations and love set simply in a future which is revoltingly grim. There is some minor blood-letting, but it won’t gross you out. See, this young couple carry it off nicely.

  • ‘Silver Lining’s Playbook:’ Film offers a life plan for the emotionally challenged

    Patrick (Bradley Cooper) is a mess. He can’t control his temper, nearly beating to death more than one person in unmanaged anger. When we meet him, he has just been released from a Baltimore mental institution. His mother, Dolores (Jacki Weaver) has picked him up against his psychiatrist’s advice because the court has dismissed him. His first problem is with a close friend inmate (Chris Tucker) which happens just outside the hospital. More involvement later, but that’s good.

  • ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

    For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret around the globe, devoted themselves to history’s greatest manhunt to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. “Zero Dark Thirty” is military slang for a very early time of day, any unspecified time between midnight and dawn. That would be the time when this leader of al Qaeda would be sought out and assassinated. But first the man had to be located.

  • ‘Django Unchained’: Slavery in the West and Django (the ‘D’ is silent)

    “Django” is a very entertaining movie in spite of the serious subject it presents. Slavery is never funny, but sometimes humor makes us take a subject more seriously by allowing our minds to relax for a few moments before the awfulness hits us again between the eyes. More than one of the actors complained that they found it difficult to use the n-word over and over. But in the years just preceding the Civil War, the n-word was used more than ever because the divided nation knew that the fate of that word was at the heart of the War Between the States.

  • 'The Hobbit': Beautiful, but gets off to slow start

    Do you remember The Ring?

    For J.R.R. Tokien fans “The Hobbit” started it all. But filmmakers decided to pass on this first adventure of the Ring and film the stories of “The Lord of the Rings” first.

  • ‘The Guilt Trip’: The curse of the overprotective mother

    Is it possible to have a movie in which there is no one to cheer for? That is the quandary in “The Guilt Trip.” Joyce Brewster is the worst kind of mother, the one who smothered her son from birth to adulthood. Now when he needs independence to get on with his life, she won’t turn him loose.