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September marks the 30th anniversary of the filming of the movie “The Natural,” which starred Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close and Kim Basinger, and South Dayton is marking the event with train rides and festivities. South Dayton was buzzing with activity in September 1983, as movie stars, directors, extras, makeup artists, costume designers, set crews and…

“The Grandmaster,” opening in Buffalo on Friday, is like a meal of all desserts, with maybe the tiniest bit of protein thrown in. You’ll feel decadent enjoying it, but everything is so tasty, it would be foolish to object.An exercise in pure cinematic style filled with the most ravishing images, “The Grandmaster” has director Wong Kar-wai applying his impeccable …

I laughed harder at the “Taken”-meets-“The Transporter”-meets-oh-my-god-this-is-awful thriller “Getaway” than at any other film this summer. But “Getaway,” opening Friday, is not a comedy. It is the worst movie I’ve seen so far this year, a stunningly inept end-of-season action flick that makes “A Good Day to Die Hard” look like “Apocalypse Now.” …

Time to christen a new breed of movie: popaganda.That’s the genre that has risen up in the past five years to lionize young pop stars at the height of their fame. (And, yes, cynically: These films also are designed to cash in on fans’ thirst for anything and everything related to the latest group to capture hearts.) From Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers to Justin Bie…

A terrorist attack, a murderous cover-up, a highly publicized trial and two lawyers – former lovers – forced to stay apart during the proceedings: “Closed Circuit” has all the makings for an incendiary thriller.But this paranoid, cynical tale of terror, privacy and the ways the intelligence apparatus deals with one by stealing the other never quite catches fire. Bl…

Peter Gallagher has had a long and steady acting career on stage and screen. You may know him as Sandy Cohen on “The O.C.,” Arthur Campbell on “Covert Affairs,” Larry Levy in “The Player” or Buddy Kane in “American Beauty.” Talk to him for a bit and suddenly he’s reminiscing about his friendship with Paul Newman, or recalling meeting Cary Grant.And “The…

Lifestyles

It’s been two decades since Groundlings alum Jennifer Coolidge got her first big break in “The Masseuse” episode of the NBC series “Seinfeld,” as Jerry’s new masseuse girlfriend who refuses to give him a massage. In the subsequent 20 years, the statuesque, 51-year-old actress has created a memorable gallery of no-holds-barred, outrageously funny ladies.Frat boy…

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Why, is that a dagger we see before us?Indeed, and one most passionately forged by the actor Richard Dreyfuss. And looking closer, the engraving on it says: “You read for a part, you feel good about it, you feel confident, then they cast Ben Affleck.” Zing. By the ghost of “Gigli,” that stings.Warner Bros. announced Thursday night that Affleck will be our new big-s…

Movies

For the first 40 minutes or so, “The World’s End,” the third collaboration between U.K. director Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is a bold, funny, downright insightful film about that horror of horrors: getting old.We open on a grim support group meeting, and the sad face of Gary King, played by Pegg (“Star Trek’s” current Scotty). The chipper…

Gusto

Plenty of movies about teens are released every summer, but very few successfully capture what it is really like to be on the brink of adulthood. “The Spectacular Now,” opening Friday, is one of the few that does, and it does it, well, spectacularly.Based on the 2008 novel by Tim Tharp, “The Spectacular Now” takes a gentle, sensitive but unflinching look at today…

Movies

“Jobs” is the sort of movie that puts us all on elephant patrol.So let’s deal with the elephant in the room first. Yes, Ashton Kutcher is very good playing Steve Jobs. What dread you may be harboring is quite unnecessary in that regard, I assure you. He’s good enough, in fact, to make “Jobs” probably the acting graduation film that he no doubt intended it to be…

“I Hate Reboots,” reads a T-shirt that comic book/movie superhero nerd Dave Lizewski wears in “Kick-Ass 2” – an obvious shot at “Spider-Man,” “Superman” and other franchises that wind down, then return to life entirely too soon on the big screen.But how do you feel about superhero sequels that pretty much nobody asks for, Dave? And we’re not talking abo…

Art

For a certain sort of Buffalo art lover, the highlight of the year is in late July, when dozens of people bring their blankets and picnic spreads to Days Park and settle in for Squeaky Wheel’s popular Outdoor Animation Festival. This year, the event was moved inside Squeaky’s Main Street headquarters because of rain, so the organizers decided to have another go. Its en…

Gusto

If you can watch 132 minutes of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler ” with completely dry eyes, you may need to have your empathy and emotional receptivity checked. You’re a quart low – at least.You may not be quite as close to outright blubbering as I was watching the movie, opening Friday, but then all I can do is plead contemporaneousness with the historical events of…

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In “Blue Jasmine,” Cate Blanchett gives the finest single performance I have ever seen in a Woody Allen film.By far.One could well argue that in a way, she’s cheating – merely lifting the most important elements of her previous performance as Blanche DuBois in the 2009 Sydney Theater Company stage production of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” …