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Wednesday, August 3,2011

It takes two?

‘Strings’ vs. ‘Friends’: The same, yet different — sort of

by James Sanford
Although it may not look like it, “Friends With Benefits,” which opened in January and is now on DVD, and “No Strings Attached,” which is now in theaters, really are two different movies; they just share a lot of strange similarities. Remember “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon”? Kind of like that ' with a little more sex.
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Wednesday, August 3,2011

The Screening Room

’Snow Flower’: Chinese soap opera gets the gong

by James Sanford
A sort of Asian variation on “Fried Green Tomatoes,” director Wayne Wang’s “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” contrasts the lives of two pairs of lifelong friends. Snow Flower and Lily grew up together in 17thcentury China, while Nina and Sophia are very much 21st-century women.
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Wednesday, July 27,2011

The Screening Room

When very bad movies happen to very good actors

by James Sanford
I was thinking about this two weeks ago when I was watching an alleged comedy called “The Best and the Brightest” (the title, as it turned out, was a double lie).
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Wednesday, July 20,2011

The Screening Room

Bob Baldori found the keys to a rocking documentary

by James Sanford
No one can accuse Baldori of playing it safe on his first directorial project. “Boogie Stomp” ambitiously weaves together three plotlines: Baldori’s working relation' ship and friendship with his partner, Bob Seeley; Seeley’s background in the Detroit music scene; and the rise of the boogiewoogie form in American music.
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Wednesday, July 13,2011

The Screening Room

Closing the curtain on a decade of Pottermania

by James Sanford
“Go ahead. Read it. You know you want to.”  The boldly lettered posters were all over London, but I never bothered to notice exactly what they were promoting. Some sleazy celebrity tell-all, I guessed. I couldn’t have been more laughably offbase. The campaign was...
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Thursday, July 7,2011

The Screening Room

A message movie that's also a monster movie

by James Sanford
To connoisseurs of world cinema, the Criterion Collection has long been a treasure trove. The high-quality line of DVDs includes titles from Ingmar Bergman, Louis Malle, Roman Polanski, Charlie Chaplin, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch and other legendary directors ' and, of course, "Goke:.
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Wednesday, June 29,2011

The Screening Room

Selena Gomez is growing up, along with her fans

by James Sanford
That’s because "Monte Carlo" (opening Friday) was initially based on a novel called "Headhunters," a story of four middle-aged Midwestern women on a jaunt through France. It’s now a tale of three Texas gals ' one is 18 and the other two (played by Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester) are 21 ' falling in love and getting in trouble on the Riviera.
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Wednesday, June 22,2011

The Screening Room

He said, she said, he said, the 'Transformers' way

by James Sanford
Most of America is now well aware that "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is opening nationwide next Wednesday (or Tuesday, if you’re willing to spend the extra bucks to see it in IMAX).
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Wednesday, June 15,2011

The Screening Room

Waterfront: Saugatuck's cinematic success story

by James Sanford
But that was exactly what Holland/ Saugatuck natives Tod Hopwood DePree, Dori DePree, Dana DePree, Kori Eldean and Judy Smith wanted to do in the summer of 1999 in the city of Saugatuck, a place where, if you wanted to watch a movie, you had to either drive 20 miles to Holland, rent a DVD or subscribe to cable.
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Wednesday, June 8,2011

A purr-fect job

’Cats’ tour keeps actress Ashley Travis on the go

by James Sanford
Ask Ashley Travis, a 2010 Western Michigan University graduate who is one of the “swing” performers on the current national tour. Typically, Travis hits the stage when one of the regular cast members has to take time off. Sometimes, that can mean going to work midway through a performance.
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