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Ron Howard was right. “Rush,” opening Friday, is one of his more entertaining and accomplished films.I might even go so far as to say it’s the best Grand Prix auto racing film I’ve ever seen. But then all that means is that its only real competition would be John Frankenheimer’s apparent 1966 template for “Rush” called “Grand Prix” that starred James Garner, Yves Montand, …

Gusto

In Another Film by a Lot of People, as it says in the opening credits, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” picks up the wonderful inventiveness and the wonderful inventions of the first film and takes them a step farther.That’s easy to do, because this time the food has legs.Even though the movie has two directors and seven (!) credited screenwriters – including the dire…

It wasn’t hard to see it coming. No matter how long the project gestated inside Shane Salerno’s obsessed head, his documentary film “Salinger” couldn’t help but be Exhibit A of everything J.D. Salinger loathed and renounced in 1965 when he stopped publishing altogether and removed himself completely from public life.From then on, the author of “The Catcher in the Rye” woul…

“Short Term 12” is a small miracle of a film. Writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton takes one of society’s most serious subjects – its abused and neglected children – and puts them in a movie with so much heart and humanity you almost forget to feel sorry for them.That is no easy thing when the setting is an “at-risk teens” group foster home – the kind of underfunded insti…

Something strange happened at the local screening of the much-praised thriller “Prisoners.”Denis Villeneuve’s film has been widely praised for its power and its brilliant ability to transcend a television genre plot i.e., two distraught fathers take the law into their own hands to find their kidnapped young daughters when the police investigation seems to stall.The film ha…

LOS ANGELES – When Shane Salerno turned 40 last year, he decided it was finally time to let his obsession go.The screenwriter, best known for his collaborations with Michael Bay (“Armageddon”) and Oliver Stone (“Savages”), had toiled for close to a decade trying to document the mysterious life of J.D. Salinger. The author of the bestselling “Catcher in the Rye” had stopped…

1922: “Nosferatu”F.W. Murnau’s silent film is one of the earliest examples of cinematic horror. Max Schreck played the vampire title character the way a blood-sucker should be portrayed – hideous and spooky, not shimmering and hunky.1960: “Psycho”Alfred Hitchcock’s black-and-white thriller set at the Bates Motel transformed the everyday event of showering into a terrifying…

Lifestyles

Horror movies repel me. They make me more nervous than I can stand, and the anxiety over what monster might jump out of the closet or which protagonist might get hacked to pieces doesn’t wear off until long after the credits have rolled. I worried this disinclination might hinder my dreams of becoming a film critic, but so far so good. After all, does a French chef need to…

“Mama”(Opened Jan. 18)Production budget: $15 millionDomestic total gross revenue: $71,628,180“Evil Dead”(Opened April 5)Production budget: $17 millionDomestic total gross revenue: $54,239,856“The Purge”(Opened June 7)Production budget: $3 millionDomestic total gross revenue: $64,473,115“The Conjuring”(Opened July 19)Production budget: $20 millionDomestic total gross revenu…

“Bury My Heart With Tonawanda,” winner of the Best Western New York Film and the Audience Choice awards at this year’s Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, is not finished on the festival circuit yet.The movie has been selected for the 2013 New York International Film Festival, to be held in Los Angeles from Sept. 18 to 22, and the 10th Annual Red Nation Film Festival, also in L…

When the news hit that Dipson Theatres would no longer operate the North Park Theatre, it wasn’t just a business story. For those passionate or nostalgic about these single-screen cinemas, it was heartbreaking. Though it was immediately announced there were plans to reopen the North Park, it’s still disconcerting when you understand the fragile recent history of these gran…

Jane Austen inspires imitation. Her early-19th century romantic novels have defied time, with adaptations ranging from “Clueless” (based on “Emma”) and “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (“Pride and Prejudice”) to a series of novels that depict her as a vampire. Add to the list “Austenland,” a novel by Shannon Hale adapted for the big screen courtesy of “Napoleon Dynamite” writer and…

Movies

“In a World …” Sitting on a page staring at you, the words feel flat.Now imagine, if you will, one of those deep baritone voices pouring drama and jeopardy into each syllable, rich tones that resonate to the very marrow.Now pull back and see headphones, the mic and the man, because it usually is a man, with a scarf warming that million-dollar instrument. The one that keeps…

Gusto

In 2010, the SeaWorld star Tilikum, a 12,000-pound orca, attacked, scalped, smashed and partially devoured one of the park’s best-loved animal trainers.SeaWorld initially reported it was because “her ponytail got caught.”The documentary “Blackfish,” opening Friday, tells the deeper story behind Dawn Brancheu’s gruesome death. At under 90 minutes long, it is straightforward…