Movie Reviews
5:06 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

'Why Stop Now': Loose Ends, Tied Up Too Neatly

Eli (Jesse Eisenberg) and his mother, Penny (Melissa Leo), fall in with Penny's inept drug dealer, Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan), in the trite new indie drama Why Stop Now.
Jacob Hutchings IFC Entertainment

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 12:31 pm

What's an American family these days? Many different things, but while television — a domestic medium to its marrow — has an affectionate finger on the pulse of the changing modern family, movies often seem stuck in a sorry dysfunction held over from the late 1960s, when we awoke to find that jolly Beaver Cleaver had morphed into miserable Benjamin Braddock, and while Mrs. Robinson tippled discreetly in the bedroom, Father, far from knowing best, went clueless or missing.

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Movies
5:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

A Song-And-Dance Show About Dark Realities

Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni — mother and daughter in real life — portray two generations of romantics in Christophe Honore's second musical.
IFC Entertainment

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:53 pm

With Love Songs, his 2007 musical, French writer-director Christophe Honore updated such 1960s bonbons as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for our age of expanded erotic frankness and possibility. Beloved, Honore's second musical, goes even farther, layering death, AIDS and Sept. 11 among the merry melodies.

This stylish film is enormous fun, whirling and warbling across four decades of amour. But it stumbles a few times in its last half-hour and ultimately seems a little too frisky for the graver issues it addresses.

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Movies
5:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Out-Of-The-Ordinary Animation In 'ParaNorman'

Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) can hear the voices of the dead — which puts the pint-sized outcast in a position to save his town when zombies arrive.
LAIKA Focus Features

Even if most fans of hand-drawn animation have made peace, to a degree, with digital technology, the pleasures of old-school stop-motion animation are still rare and precious. There's something elemental about watching a movie that's been made by moving small figures around and filming them, frame by frame; even though there's always some digital technology involved in the making of a contemporary stop-motion film, the human touch always sings through the finished product.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Aging Ungracefully, But Still Kicking (And Shooting)

Yu Nan (front left), Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews (back left) and Randy Couture are most of the hard-charging team in The Expendables 2.
Frank Masi Lionsgate Films

The monosyllables fly fast and furious in The Expendables 2. It's the joints that are a little creaky, but what would you expect from this sequel to the 2010 blockbuster in which a cadre of aged action stars, led by Sylvester Stallone, gathered to fire guns, blow things up and beat the living daylights out of assorted baddies?

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Movies
5:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

'Cosmopolis' Captures Decadent Spirit Of The Age

Robert Pattinson's weird, inhuman beauty is used to full effect as billionaire Eric Packer in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.
Entertainment One

A matinee idol for the age of HDTVs and "retina displays," Robert Pattinson has a face that seems to require a higher resolution — glossy and ghostly pale, all sleek lines and alabaster skin. As Edward Cullen, the emo vampire in the Twilight saga, Pattinson plays a creature so immaculately inhuman that he literally sparkles in the sunlight. Edward may be over a century old, but Pattinson has become a thoroughly modern, even futuristic teen heartthrob, looking at all times as airbrushed as his many Entertainment Weekly covers.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

In Tehran, A Vivid Parable About The Ends Of Things

Irane (Golshifteh Farahani) is the one who got away from violinist Nasser Ali (Mathieu Amalric) — and her loss consumes the musician in Chicken with Plums, a new film from Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud.
Patricia Khan Sony Pictures Classics

A parable of art and love, and a political allegory to boot, Chicken with Plums centers on an Iranian musician who wills himself to die. Yet the story that then unfolds, mostly in flashback, could hardly be more vital and engaging.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Chilling Realities, Beggaring Belief In 'Compliance'

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Fast-food employee Becky (Dreama Walker) finds herself the victim of a cruel "prank call" scam in Compliance.
Magnolia Pictures

The words "inspired by true events" are the first things to appear on screen in Compliance, Craig Zobel's queasy thriller of discomfort. I knew that this was the case going in, and had heard the basic facts of the "strip-search prank-call scam" that serves as the movie's inspiration. But I didn't know the full details — and as an ever-increasing load of humiliation and indignity was piled on the teenage fast-food worker at its center, I found myself getting angry with the film, assuming that Zobel was amping up the severity of real events for dramatic effect.

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It's All Politics
4:59 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Romney Says He Paid A Tax Rate Of At Least 13 Percent

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney writes on a whiteboard during a news conference Thursday in Greer, S.C.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 5:15 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday revealed a bit more about his tax history, telling reporters: "I never paid less than 13 percent" in the past 10 years.

The Obama campaign's response: "Prove it."

Romney's statement came during an appearance in South Carolina and followed weeks of demands — mostly from Democrats, but also from some Republicans — that Romney release several years of his tax returns.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

EBay Says Users Will No Longer Be Able To Sell Magic, Potions, Curses

A "powerful" love potion for sale on eBay. The "buy it now" price is $21.
eBay

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 5:04 pm

It's a tough day for the Harry Potters among us: Ebay said today that beginning in September it will no longer allow the sale of some, um, metaphysical products.

Among them: advice, spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions and healing sessions.

The Los Angeles reports:

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Early voting
4:19 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Democrats not satisfied with Ohio elections directive

A crowd gathers at the Hamilton County Board of Elections demanding Saturday voting hours

Hundreds of Hamilton County Democrats want a federal court to intervene forcing the Board of Elections to have Saturday hours for the month leading up to the presidential election.


The overflow crowd at a Hamilton County Board of Elections meeting extended out into the hallway as Democrats clamored for something to be done. They say Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted's directive didn't go far enough without Saturday hours for early voting.


Board Democrat Caleb Faux got right to the point.

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