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Melinda Miller


"A FAMILY Thing" depends on the audience's ability to accept James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall as long-lost brothers.Make that leap, and the movie is yours. Watching the emotional ballet performed by the two men brings the large social issues of race truly up close and personal. And it is marvelously entertaining.Earl Pilcher (Duvall) is a white man with a red neck, born …

Just like the rascally sergeant himself, "Sgt. Bilko" takes your money and makes you feel good about it. He gets the cash, you get the laughs, everybody's happy. Except perhaps the Army."Sgt. Bilko" continues the latest Hollywood gambit of making movies about TV shows that baby boomers first tickled their funny bones on, and it is more successful than usual. Credit the mar…

1. Take a trip on the Peter Cottontail Express along the rails of the New York & Lake Erie Railroad in Gowanda this weekend. The train leaves the Gowanda Depot, 50 Commercial St., at noon Saturday, Sunday and April 6. Children on the three-hour trip will meet the Easter Bunny, and Art the banjo player, Gandy Dancer and a clown will perform. All passengers can enter the jel…

"Race the Sun," another misfit-underdogs-make-good movie, can be summarized as "Cool Runnings" with a 100-degree temperature difference. Instead of plummeting down a frozen bobsled course in a rickety sled, these misfits roll across the burning Australian desert in a rickety solar car.And, like the Jamaican bobsledders, "Sun's" underdog team members come to realize that it…

"LITTLE INDIAN, Big City," a massive hit in France, loses a lot in its translation to the American screen. Dubbing the voices into English breaks the language barrier, but the humor barrier stands unbreached.The little Indian is a white boy raised by his runaway mother in the Amazon rain forest. The big city is Paris. City and Indian get together when commodities broker St…

If the presidential primary season feels like it goes on forever, consider that the campaign for women's suffrage lasted more than 75 years. The 19th Amendment became law in 1920. Women fought for the vote for as long as they have had it.With the League of Women Voters now a fixture in everything from straw polls to presidential debates, few alive today remember when march…

Where: Port Dalhousie, Ont., a lakeside suburb of St. Catharines.When: Any time you need a nearby getaway. Most businesses are open Sundays; some close Mondays.How to get there: From Buffalo, take the Peace Bridge (one-way toll of $1.25) to the QEW. You're almost there when you cross the Garden City Skyway. Take Lake Street (Exit 46) or Ontario Street (Exit 47) north to La…

"ED" IS the story of a baseball team whose fortunes ride on the talents of "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc and an ape from Mickey Mantle's estate.So it's no surprise that the team is strictly minor-league, and the humor is, too.LeBlanc's entrance as farm boy pitcher Jack Cooper is promising. Cooper likes animals, has a friendly demeanor and is kind to his parents. This is a lo…

THERE'S nothing like a bloody battle to start the day, even when the men have only rocks and sticks to fight with. Hand them swords and arrows, and they have a real war on their hands.In two modern romantic rewrites of Scottish heroes, viewers get the long view of history, that of the rebel warrior William Wallace, and the personal perspective, through Robert Roy MacGregor…

1. St. Patrick's Day will be celebrated this weekend at Kideology, 5495 Main St., Williamsville. On Saturday, the Rince na Tiarna Dancers will perform traditional Irish folk dances from 2 to 2:30 p.m. in the store. On Sunday, people of all ages are invited to try their luck during a St. Patrick's Day carnival from 2 to 4 p.m. Both events are free.2. The Buffalo Museum of S…

A mysterious cigar-shaped craft looms about 18 feet above the ground on the east side of Route 62 in the farming community of Eden. The bottom of the object is a rich red; the top is a burnished metallic gold, even around the hatch. And it looks as though, at any moment, something strange could emerge from it.Something like the squawky, buzzing music of a kazoo, the only m…

Dear Parents: Read to your children. Read to your children. P.S. Read to your children. Study after study -- thousands of studies -- all show without exception that parents reading to children is quality time to the nth degree. It is personal, it is comfortable, it is educational. It sounds like a fairy tale, too good to be true. But it is true."When we read aloud, we …

Monsignor Robert C. Wurtz is pastor of Our Lady of Victory Basilica and executive director and treasurer of Our Lady of Victory Charities.And today is his birthday.How old will you be, Monsignor?"16. Sweet 16. There's a lot of joking back and forth, but I get a big kick out of it. I think my birthday is better-known because it only comes every four years. It just so happen…

1. The mistreatment of Native Americans by white settlers and soldiers is the unusual topic for Arthur Kopit's drama "Indians." The play, featuring students from Fredonia State College's theater arts department, tells the story of Indian "relocation" and Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. The view, however, is through the eyes of the native peoples affected. The show will…

TWO NEW video releases from two respected foreign directors cover conventional emotional territory in entertaining and thought-provoking ways. Alfonso Arau's "A Walk in the Clouds" takes the more familiar route, along the road to love. Giuseppe Tornatore's psychological mystery "A Pure Formality" heads down the road less traveled, and what a long strange trip it is.As he d…