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  • The fun in ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is in its look

    “Kubo and the Two Strings” is a new animated movie. Its Asian-fusion visual style mixes fake puppet stop-action look material with toy theater depth devices and a whole mess of references to origami. And that all works fairly well. The .

  • Just be sure to get to ‘Ben-Hur’ in time for the chariot race

    Sometimes those of us who are clued in about certain subjects may be surprised to discover that, for example, not everyone knows who the Kardashians are or how many inches of displacement the standard V6 for the 1962 Buick Special turned .

  • New ‘Pete’s Dragon’ has little to recommend it

    Hollywood does a much better job of merging animation and live action than it did in 1977. That’s the year Mickey Rooney, Helen Reddy, Red Buttons, Jim Dale, Shelley Winters, Jane Kean, Jim Backus (!), Jeff Conaway, and Charlie Callas starred .

  • New film ‘Suicide Squad’ doesn’t have much of a story

    There is some controversy surrounding the new, fairly big-budget comic book movie “Suicide Squad.” This was going to happen. We seem to have reached the stall point in the arc of enthusiasm for each new super-hero picture. Now it isn’.

  • Boat tours suit retired Navy officer’s gift of gab

    Dan Peters had a vision that some people just didn’t understand. Peters, 55, is the owner and operator of Tuttle Puddle Tours. He conducts tours on a duck boat, an amphibious vehicle that can drive on land and “swim” in .

  • If you can believe it, new movie ‘Nine Lives’ is fun

    One of the summer’s happier cinematic surprises is Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Nine Lives.” It depends on a weak and tired movie premise that one associates with “The Shaggy Dog”—a human’s consciousness is housed temporarily in the body .

  • Groceries cavort in new film ‘Sausage Party’

    Sometimes comedy gains by surprise. The frequency with which recent movie comedies depend on coarse language means the audience can’t be much surprised by it. Which partly explains why regular moviegoers don’t laugh much during any Seth Rogan .

  • Christian comedian jokes about family life

    It seems as if everyone is drawn to Tim Hawkins. Just go online to YouTube or Facebook and you’ll spot hundreds, even thousands, of hits from viewers who swear he’s the most world-renowned comedian. Oh, I apologize. That’.

  • Mystery in Paris makes for compelling prequel

    Fans of Aimee Leduc — they’re abundant enough to have made at least some of the 16 novels she stars in bestsellers — already know what becomes apparent fairly quickly for the reader just after being introduced to her. Among other traits, .

  • Local sheriff unearths secrets in Amish town

    Set in Amish country near Columbus, Ohio, this series features Kate Burkholder, a small town sheriff, who was brought up in an Amish family but has taken another path. This background gives her a unique understanding of the culture, but, .

  • Growing up in a cruel world

    Fifteen-year-old Easton is disciplined at his job — he runs his own crew guarding the perimeters of an illegal drug house in South Central Los Angeles. When things go deadly awry, East finds himself headed out of LA and his comfort .

  • Modern folklore opens doors to other cultures

    Watching the Olympics always makes me curious about other cultures. What are their values? What bedtime stories do they tell? For answers, I turn to literature because I find storytelling more interesting than nonfiction, and because I think it’s .


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