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The theater makeover that has come to Maple Ridge 8 in Amherst has changed the way patrons will see movies there, and some new factors might surprise a first-time viewer. Here are some tips to smooth the experience.• Buy your tickets online if possible. The number of seats in the theaters has been drastically reduced, and the shows sell out. If you are able to get ticket…

Moviegoers who were excited by cupholders, tiered stadium seating and rocking seats might want to brace themselves.The latest innovation in movie theater construction, unveiled at the AMC Maple Ridge 8 in Amherst in mid-August, offers patrons almost all the comforts of home in paired seats that recline fully.But it isn’t just the chairs’ position that’s different. Be…

In a way, the new “Carrie” is almost too easy to enjoy. Everything discordant, all the nagging weirdness and strange feelings surrounding the original have been smoothed down, and what we’re left with is a well-made, highly satisfying and not particularly deep high school revenge movie.Perhaps the difference between this “Carrie” and the 1976 version can best be …

“You don’t look that smart,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said to Sylvester Stallone, on hearing a lot of arcane mathematics spouting from his mouth that will help them both escape from the most secure prison in the world.“You don’t either,” Sly said to Ah-nuld.Actually, they’re both pretty smart in their mid-60s, and the enjoyable “Escape Plan” proves it.What y…

In Persian mythology there exists a magical black stone capable of absorbing all the secret sufferings of those who confide in it, until the stone shatters into a million pieces and the possessor of the stone is delivered of all her pain.That would appear to be the allegory behind “The Patience Stone,” a film by French-Afghani director Atiq Rahimi, based on his 2008 no…

The monster hiding under the bed is a popular tale in the horror genre, for the simple reason that there really are monsters under beds. Just ask any kid.That childhood fear lives on in the locally made horror film “Dry Bones.” Written by filmmaker and author Greg Lamberson, “Dry Bones” is about a man who returns to his childhood home only to find that the monster …

Much remains unclear about the events of Aug. 1 and 2, 2008, on the mountain known as K2, except that 11 climbers died there. As a possible result of disorientation from high altitude sickness, darkness and the physical separation that existed between multiple mountaineering teams from many different countries, even eyewitness accounts of the tragedy that is the focus of t…

That was not Jack Donaghy of “30 Rock” talking to the Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, on MSNBC, nor was it the slimy businessman in “Blue Jasmine.” It wasn’t even the daffy salesman from those Capital One credit card ads. (“What’s in your wallet?”) Alec Baldwin stripped off all his comic personalities Friday for a new weekly t…

Once upon a time in New York, Hollywood and Broadway got together over a few drinks. Overtures were made. More drinks were poured. One thing led to another. And a few years later, out popped “Ghost the Musical,” an ill-conceived piece of theater stuck in a public identity crisis over which of its profit-mongering parents to emulate. A touring version of the show, …

The wide range of the 20 mostly short documentaries made in and about Ireland that will be screened at this year’s Cinegael Buffalo event Friday and Saturday at the Burchfield Penney Art Center evokes the fable of the blind people examining the elephant. While one holds the tail and reports that an elephant is like a rope and another touches the leg and reports that an e…

The first thing that is very wrong about Bill Condon’s eminently watchable journalistic thriller “The Fifth Estate” is its rating: R for language and some violence.Hooey. I don’t agree. The language simply wasn’t egregious enough for an “R” rating and the “violence” is of the nightly news variety. That is a rating for marketing purposes, not informational…

It would be great if they had an app for that – the moment when your kids bear witness as the stars they’ve idolized from a very young age suddenly morph into sexually active young adults; that moment when the comparatively safe and innocent set of a Disney tween sitcom gives way to “selfies” shot in nightclubs, widely broadcast social media faux pas, and far too p…

Rock (or pop, or whatever you need to call it) is supposed to be a young person’s game, we’ve been told from time immemorial. In reality, however, rock is only a young person’s game for those who lack the vision and fortitude to see the form’s possibilities through to maturity. “Lightning Bolt,” Pearl Jam’s 10th studio album (out Tuesday), is an intensely p…

The best joke, by far, of “Machete Kills” is the all-star cast of Spanish-American stars, mainstream rejects, A-movie cast-offs and infotainment obsessions: Danny Trejo, Mel Gibson, Amber Heard, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Demian Bichir, Lady Gaga, Sofia Vergara, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Charlie Sheen, who is announced to us in the credits thusly “and introducing C…

Viewers who go into “Romeo & Juliet” cold may be forgiven for coming away thinking Shakespeare was a really lousy writer. After all, this latest screen version has lines that go thud every minute, such as “We shall take action when we may and strike while the iron is hot!” Or this novel gem: “The best intentions pave the way to hell.” But Shakespeare didn’t w…