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Dan Wiedenhaupt has loved writing since he was a child growing up in East Aurora. As a kid, he would dictate his stories to his mother who would type them up and then give them to him to illustrate. It’s a sweet memory he had forgotten until his mother dug those stories out of the basement. He had just sold his first script and she wanted to remind him that he had been …

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The Noir Essentials series at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema has featured the greats of film noir, from Charles Laughton’s stunning “Night of the Hunter” to Stanley Kubrick’s heist classic, “The Killing.” In its newest season, Noir Essentials jumps ahead several decades to present five films from writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen. Titled “The Coen Brothers Bible of …

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The North Park Theatre was almost full--on a Saturday morning no less. Empty seats were few and far between. We were there to see Greg Sterlace's "Catcher in the Rye With Diamonds." Very few in that crowd knew that they were watching the odds-on favorite to be The Outlaw Movie Screening of the Year in Buffalo. They might have guessed it when discovering in the movie's c…

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The family films of summer 2019 have been wacky (“Hotel Transylvania 3”), wild (“Incredibles 2”), winking (“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”) and wicked (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”). Now comes warmth, as a gentle breeze blows Disney’s “Christopher Robin” into cinemas. While not overly memorable, this tale of a grown-up Christopher and his childhood friends Winnie-th…

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With more than 100 films screening over three days, the 2018 Great Lakes Christian Film Festival more than qualifies as a noteworthy local fest. The fourth annual event runs from Aug. 3-5 at the Millennium Buffalo (2040 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga), and features a unique focus on the work of Christian filmmakers and Christian-themed films. GLCF founder and organizer Sh…

Business

By Mihir Zaveri MoviePass, the subscription-based movie ticket service, was forced last week to borrow $5 million after it reported it could not pay its bills, raising new questions about the embattled company’s viability. Helios and Matheson Analytics, its parent company, said in a regulatory filing Friday that MoviePass had experienced a “service interruption” the …

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There’s something special about seeing a genuine cinema classic on the big screen, especially at a venue like North Tonawanda’s glorious, historic Riviera Theatre. Film fans will have that opportunity for eight weeks starting in August, during the M&T Bank Throwback Thursday Film Series. All of the films are digitally restored. Note that three of the selections - “T…

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It all begins with cinnamon cookies, coffee and a very toothsome slice of traditional black forest cake. Romances – gay or straight – have, no doubt, begun from far less. The Israeli man who travels to Berlin monthly on business wastes no time getting involved with the German cakemaker whose bakery has made him a very happy visitor even though he has a wife back home in…

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In the days leading up to seeing “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” my 8-year-old and I watched several episodes of the animated superhero comedy series,to have a better sense of what was to come. We discovered a pretty darn hilarious show, full of smart meta-humor, but also chock full of jokes any superhero-crazy kid can appreciate. The animated big-screen spin-off is mo…

Columns

Tom Cruise celebrated his 56th birthday earlier this month. Let's put that into full context. At Cruise's age, Erroll Flynn had already been dead for six years. Same with Steve McQueen. Humphrey Bogart was dying of cancer at that age and only made it to 57. The ambitious film actors among America's great movie actors of the classic era, fared a whole lot better th…

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"Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation." With the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. While on a vacation with his family, Count Dracula makes a romantic connection. 97 minutes. (Rated PG for some action and rude humor). Showing at Flix, AMC Maple Ridge, Regal Elmwood, Walden Galleria, Niagara Falls, Quaker Cross…

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Area filmmaker Hope Muehlbauer started making her first feature film when she was 16. For its premiere on July 14 in the North Park Theatre, she gave her horror film an "R" rating. That means she wouldn't have been able to see her own movie without her parents - and she sees the humor in that. “I did find it funny that I wouldn’t have been able to see it at 16 withou…

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A popular megastar opens a new film this weekend that is sure to draw families, and likely to leave everyone smiling. That movie is Adam Sandler’s “Hotel Transylvania 3.” Also opening is the newest film from ever-likable Dwayne Johnson, a PG-13, “Die Hard”-meets-“Towering Inferno” action flick called “Skyscraper.” As one might expect, it’s a blast of summer insanity -- but…

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Alvin Wright redrew the cultural map of the City of Buffalo. As much as anyone, he democratized Buffalo culture and commerce. No one has ever wanted to give him credit for it. What Wright did was prove that Buffalo's most sophisticated movie audience would be just as happy seeing great movies in Cheektowaga as they were seeing them in North Buffalo or northern suburb…