August 2015

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      Grandma

      By Entertainer
      “Grandma” is a modestly scaled character comedy-drama that winds up exerting an almost shockingly strong emotional force by the end. I walked into a screening of the film a mild skeptic, and I left nearly in tears, and grateful for where...
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        The Curse of Downers Grove

        By Entertainer
        Downers Grove is a suburb of Chicago that over the years has served as the home of an absolutely lovely old movie palace known as the Tivoli, actress Denise Richards and several members of my immediate family. These are all endeavors that the town...
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          Being Evel

          By Entertainer
          Does the world really need another movie about Evel Knievel? Well it depends. The pioneering (in a sense) motorcycle daredevil has already been the subject of two fiction films (one in which he played himself, or “himself”), one...
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            The Mend

            By Entertainer
            Josh Magary’s “The Mend” opens with a mesmerizing prologue that really serves as a miniature version of the film that will follow. In snippets of scenes, we meet the unkempt Mat (Josh Lucas), who screws his girlfriend Andrea (Lucy...
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              She's Funny That Way

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              “Like most people today, Judy was a cynic and was offended by the slightest hint of fantasy.” So reads a portion of the opening text of the new movie directed and co-written (with his now former wife, Louise Stratten) by Peter...
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                Learning to Drive

                By Entertainer
                “Learning to Drive” is advertised as a two-hander about life lessons, which is problematic if you’ve cast a cynical, superior gaze toward this type of movie. People finding themselves through some kind of metaphor for perseverance...
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                  Home Entertainment Consumer Guide: August 20, 2015

                  By Entertainer
                  We're in that weird end-of-summer period for Blu-ray and DVD in which most of the new releases are the garbage that hit theaters in April and early May while most of the big catalog releases are waiting to get a bit closer to the holiday shopping...
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                    Mickey Mouse Club Reunion at D23

                    By Entertainer
                    The original Mickey Mouse club pre-dates me, but I remember it in re-runs. Who doesn't know the theme song written by a little known actor? On the last day of D23 Expo in the Anaheim Convention Center, nine of the original Mouseketeers were...
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                      Learning Through Failure: Paul Weitz on "Grandma"

                      By Entertainer
                      No one can accuse filmmaker Paul Weitz of ever being stuck in a rut. His resume is nothing if not eclectic.The 49-year-old son of actress Susan Kohner of the 1959 version of “Imitation of Life” fame and fashion designer John Weitz of...
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                        Sinister 2

                        By Entertainer
                        Supernatural domestic abuse drama "Sinister 2" is an ungainly combination of two different narratives. Neither story is, independent of the other, particularly imaginative. But when seen as extensions of each other, both the film's demonic...