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Thursday, July 22,2010

A Jolie good time

Angelina gets a high-impact workout as a spy on the run in ‘Salt’

by James Sanford
If you’ve never understood the appeal of Angelina Jolie, “Salt” may be required viewing. It’s a vehicle designed to show off its star in all her glory, and director Philip Noyce and director of photography Robert Elswit are obviously die-hard fans of their leading lady, who puts in overtime here to earn her paycheck (which was reportedly $20 million).Jolie has never been one to try to get by on a pretty face and some sex appeal. Like Susan Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer and other beauties of the previous generation, she knows you need more than just good looks to carry a movie. Jolie’s spellbinding, swimming pool-deep eyes let us know she always has something cooking in her kitchen, and it’s usually worth waiting for.
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Thursday, July 15,2010

Brain sprain

Christopher Nolan's

by James Sanford
There are movies that wash over you, like a shower. There are movies that hit you in the face, like a blast of freezing rain. And then there’s writer-director Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” which hurls you into the center of a whirlpool and never gives you an opportunity to find your bearings for the next two and a half hours.
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Wednesday, July 14,2010

Hungry for ’Love’

Williamston Theatre has an appetite for musical comedy

by James Sanford
While that song isn’t included in the Williamston Theatre’s “Five Course Love,” Gregg Coffin’s script expresses similar sentiments as it showcases a quintet of miniature musical comedies, each set in a different restaurant/bistro/café/cantina/trattoria.
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Wednesday, July 14,2010

The Screening Room

Nicolas Cage takes up Mickey’s mantle

by James Sanford
It took producer Jerry Bruckheimer almost 20 years to cash in on the “Indiana Jones” series with his “National Treasure” franchise. He must be picking up the pace: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” arrives a mere nine years after the first “Harry Potter” film hit theaters.
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Thursday, July 8,2010

Art Alley opens its doors Friday

Photographer Lewis Smith will be showcased at REO Town gallery

by James Sanford
Tom Stewart is about to launch an incubator. But instead of hatching eggs, he hopes to launch a new era of opportunity for artists. Stewart is the president of the Center for New Enterprise Opportunity, the group behind Art Alley, which is holding an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. Art Alley is located at 1133 S. Washington Avenue in the REO Town neighborhood.
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Thursday, July 1,2010

When 3D means dingy, dull and downright ugly

Hideous effects make

by James Sanford
It’s not just the presence of titles like “The Karate Kid” and “The A-Team”: If you’re heading to the movies this summer, it really is 1983 all over again. That was the last time we had this kind of an onslaught of 3D extravaganzas — with the accompanying headaches and eye-aches from sloppy filmmaking and sub-par projection.
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Thursday, July 1,2010

More than meets the eye

'Please Give' wraps complex characters in a deceptively simple story

by James Sanford
For Kate (Catherine Keener), charity does not begin at home but guilt begins in the workplace. She and her husband, Alex (Oliver Platt), own an upscale used-furniture store in Manhattan, one of those shops that will sell you a couch just like Grandma used to have for a mere $5,000 or so. To maintain their inventory of retro-chic furnishings, Kate and Alex travel around the city, cutting deals with the relatives of the recently deceased; these kids or grandkids are often eager to dispose of the belongings, and Kate and Alex are more than happy to write them a check.
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Wednesday, June 30,2010

Blood, sweat and tears

by James Sanford
It’s a scene we’ve all witnessed a thousand times before: “Marry me,” the hero asks his beloved. And she responds… “Change me.”Excuse me? Anyhow, that’s how it goes in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” the third installment — and, for those who don’t necessarily cherish every syllable Stephenie Meyer writes, easiest to watch — of the series detailing the difficulties of choosing between a well-mannered vampire and a lovesick teenage werewolf. Really, what’s a girl to do?
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Wednesday, June 30,2010

The Screening Room

’Airbender’ stars keep it in the family

by James Sanford
Sometimes, it takes a tag team to promote a movie properly. So Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peltz have been hitting the road together to promote “The Last Airbender,” director M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action adaptation of the popular animated Nickelodeon network series.
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Thursday, June 24,2010

The Screening Room

Can 'Knight' rescue Cruise and Diaz?

by James Sanford
In 2001, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz played friends with benefits in director Cameron Crowe’s surrealistic psychodrama “Vanilla Sky.” At the time, both stars were riding high: Cruise had just starred in “Mission: Impossible II,” while Diaz was fresh from “Charlie’s Angels” and the first “Shrek."
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