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Sometimes, even Ecclesiastes got it wrong. It's not true that there's nothing new under the sun -- not in current movies, anyway. We are seeing an extraordinary new kind of virtuosity from young film actors and the audacious directors who know how to use them. These are movies of severely limited location that are brilliant one-man shows from some of the least likely st…

We’re only five months into 2017, but it’s already been a memorable year for Billy Dee Williams. He recently turned 80, provided a voice in the hit “Lego Batman Movie,” and joined the likes of Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford at the "Star Wars" Celebration fan festival in Orlando. The actor best known for his role as ultra-suave “Star Wars” hero Lando Calrissia…

Talk to just about anyone involved in historic preservation, smart growth and neighborhood sustainability in Buffalo, and chances are they're a fan of Jane Jacobs. Jacobs' seminal book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," presented a counter-narrative to the prevailing views of urban planners of the 1950s and '60s. The urban renewal they propagated bulldozed …

"Snatched" is the most disappointing movie comedy since the all-female "Ghostbusters." And thereby hangs a tale. The two unfunny botches share a writer--Katie Dippold, who is also known for such successes as "The Heat" and TV's "Parks and Recreation." Forget, for a moment, the ugly and unseemly online sexual raillery at the very idea of an all-female "Ghostbusters." Som…

If you are interested in Guy Ritchie’s "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," now showing in area theaters, you may want to brush up on your knowledge of King Arthur myths. Since medieval times, King Arthur has starred in numerous poems, novels, paintings and films. To prepare yourself for Charlie Hunnam’s portrayal of Britain’s most legendary king, why not take this tr…

As head of the Committee on Slum Clearance, New York City's powerful city planner Robert Moses saw little use for the sidewalks, stoops, mix of building heights and block lengths, and the other components that give neighborhoods vitality. His answer to what he considered blighted areas was to build a utopian, Modernist city of the future. In reality, he built sterile hi…

That thunderous whirr you hear from everywhere books are actually read is the sound of all of the following whirling in their graves: Sir Thomas Malory, Geoffrey of Monmouth, T. H. White, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain, Chretien de Troyes and John Dryden, just to name a few. Guy Ritchie has just given us the trashiest and most impudent vulgarization of King Arthur an…

The trouble with the "Guardians of the Galaxy" is they're outflanked on all sides. The Avengers are way cooler. And tougher. The Suicide Squad is a lot hipper, crazier and funnier. If I were to need a squadron of Superheroes to save the universe--or even to repair a Sunday School TV monitor, I'm not sure I'd put the fate of either the cosmos or the kiddies in the hands …

If you didn't get your "Star Wars" doughnuts yet, don't worry. All three Paula's Donuts locations will be in full force baking the treats through the weekend. Originally a one-day special in celebration of "May the Fourth Be With You" day - celebrated worldwide by "Star Wars" fans - customer demand was so overwhelming that owner Paula Huber decided they would just keep …

There is a moment in Terence Davies' "A Quiet Passion" that absolutely stunned me and will stay with me. I don't think it was meant to--not that way, anyway. But then, this is a movie that ends four or five times before it does and is, by no means, artfully precise about the life story it's telling. But that's the reason that scene  hit me so hard that it's likely to rema…

Everyone has a John Coltrane story. Everyone who ever encountered him, that is. His life was so horribly short (he died of liver cancer at 40 in 1967) and so musically puzzling and disturbing at the end that those tales never get old. All of us who experienced him at all in the flesh (I spent an evening watching him perform at the late and long lamented Royal Arms) have…

It was a celebration 90 years in the making - they just needed to find the film. When the staff at the Historic Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda thought about what type of celebration to plan for the venue's 90th anniversary it seemed clear: They would re-stage the grand opening night festivities from Dec. 30, 1926. On that date nearly a century ago, the theater - …

An independent film "American Wrestler: The Wizard" did not win wide release when it came out in 2016. But you have a chance to see it on the big screen, anyway. The film, inspired by true events and starring former Cheektowaga resident William Fichtner, will be shown at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 3 in the Regal Elmwood Center 16. In an email he sent to friend - …

The locally made horror film "Johnny Gruesome" has found a theme song in the voice of Robby Takac. The Goo Goo Dolls bassist sings the film's original theme song, "Dyin' Tonight," which he co-wrote with Armand John Petri and Joe Rozler. It was recorded at Takac's GCR Audio. The film, written and directed by Gregory Lamberson, is based on his award-winning novel of th…