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Thursday, January 13,2011

Float like a butterfly, sting like a B-movie

'Green Hornet' tries so hard, it becomes a trying experience

by James Sanford
Much more of a Seth Rogen showcase than it is a costumed crime fighter flick or a Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") film, "The Green Hornet" transports the masked avenger from 1930s radio -- and 1960s TV -- into a new century. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say it drags him in: Although the movie aims for a playful, devil-may-care attitude, you can always hear the gears grinding, the belts squeaking and the engine rumbling.
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Wednesday, January 12,2011

The Screening Room

Silence says it all in 'Mademoiselle Chambon'

by James Sanford
Although “Mademoiselle Chambon” begins with a family discussing the mysteries of grammar, language is almost beside the point in director Stéphane Brizé’s tale of temptation in a small French town.
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Friday, December 31,2010

The bad and the beautiful

2010's 10 best and 10 worst movies

by James Sanford
Strange to think that at the beginning of 2010, I'm not sure I'd ever even heard the name Lisbeth Salander. Now, it's like she's practically a member of my own family. OK, well, maybe just a Facebook Friend.
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Wednesday, December 29,2010

Chad Badgero

Peppermint Creek Theatre founder sees opportunities for cooperation — not competition — among Lansing’s various theater companies.

by James Sanford
Many artists leave their hometowns for bigger cities. What has kept you in Lansing? I think what has kept me in Lansing is the ability to work on the kind of material I believe in, in a community that has proven to have a desire for that material. I’m thrilled Peppermint Creek has f...
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Wednesday, December 29,2010

Timothy Muffitt

Despite the economy, the beat goes on for the Lansing Symphony maestro.

by James Sanford
How would you characterize the state of symphony orchestras in 2010? Well, all the arts are generally very sensitive to the health of the economy because we rely largely on philanthropy for our survival. Only 30 percent of our operating expenses come from tickets sales, which means 70 per...
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Wednesday, December 29,2010

Kristine Thatcher

The actress/director/playwright now has a theater company of her own.

by James Sanford
When did you launch Stormfield Theatre? It’s been in existence since August 2009. It started with staged readings. The first was “Kimberly Akimbo,” with Carmen Decker (which Stormfield will produce as a full-scale production in 2011). In your years of performing and wri...
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Wednesday, December 29,2010

Leslie Donaldson

The executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing sees a brighter picture for 2011.

by James Sanford
What have been some of the major challenges the Arts Council has faced this year? Since 2001, arts funding in general has been cut. We work with 140 arts and cultural organizations and a good 100 individual artists, so we try to keep our finger on the pulse. Because of this, our agency ha...
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Tuesday, December 28,2010

The Screening Room

When studios play hide-and-seek

by James Sanford
Here’s what’s on the horizon at your local cineplex this Friday: the science-fiction thriller "Splice"; a live-action version of "Marmaduke"; a raunchy comedy called "Get Him to the Greek," starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand; and the crime comedy "Killers," starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher.
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

Dolly Parton: Still on the clock

The country legend has a new title: Broadway composer

by James Sanford
Obviously, it’s a plan that’s worked for her. Since the mid- 1960s Parton has been a force to reckon with in the entertainment world, crossing over from country music to the pop charts, touring tirelessly throughout the decades, launching an...
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

A peach of a 'Speech'

Inspirational message comes through clearly in first-rate drama

by James Sanford
The term "the king’s speech" implies perfect pronunciation and exemplary deportment, the hallmarks of a masterful speaker who couldn’t be more comfortable with the intricacies of English. The man at the center of director Tom Hooper’s "The King’s Speech," however, is terrified of the sound of his own voice.
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