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The passing of Paul Walker on Nov. 30 cast a grim shadow over his film work, especially the “Fast & Furious” movies for which he was most famous.Long before he died as a passenger in a fiery auto accident, the sixth movie in the series was set for release on DVD and Blu-ray this week. That release still happened, although the studio, Universal, has said an unspecified port…

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Even after more than 12 (!) hours spent in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth over the course of four films, Peter Jackson still finds ways to surprise us with breathtaking visuals. Meet Smaug, a greedy, paranoid dragon who enjoys lazily sleeping in a sea of gold – and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, no less. The dragon is the most wondrous creature in “The Hobbit: The Desolati…

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Five cast members from the holiday favorite “A Christmas Story” will be in North Tonawanda on Saturday for a 30th anniversary screening of the film. Here’s how you may remember them and what they look like today.Ian PetrellaYou know him as Ralphie’s little brother, Randy Parker. He hates meatloaf but chows it down when Ma Parker asks him to show her “how the piggies eat.”T…

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Ian Petrella, who played Ralphie’s kid brother Randy in the 1983 holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” has answered the same questions hundreds of times.No, he doesn’t really hate meatloaf. Yes, he owns a leg lamp. No, he doesn’t watch the movie that made him famous. And yes, he can put his arms down.But after all these years, the film’s obsessive fans cannot get enough.“Pe…

When a man loves a city, he’s got to make a movie about it. At least that’s the case for Michael Bolton, whose latest passion project is a documentary about Detroit and its potential for resurgence.The Grammy-winning singer has been spreading an excess of good cheer in his hip new holiday commercials for Honda. But that’s nothing compared to his feelings for the Motor City…

I used to think there was no contest, that Martin Luther King was the greatest history-making figure of my lifetime.But, as the life and recent death of Nelson Mandela have shown me, that may be as much American chauvinism as anything else – the unavoidable reality of the ’50s and ’60s civil rights struggle in America coinciding with my childhood and adolescence. They were…

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LOS ANGELES – A medical journal that recently concluded that violence in movies rated PG-13 is skyrocketing has a new report showing that almost 90 percent of the highest-grossing recent movies have violent characters, more than three-quarters of which also engage in drinking, smoking or sex.The study in Pediatrics, the monthly publication of the American Academy of Pediat…

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The year is 1992. Nelson Mandela, two years beyond his release from 27 years of political imprisonment and two years before he will be elected president of South Africa, stands before a classroom of Soweto children.A rare moment is being captured by camera and crew: Mandela as actor, rather than activist. Cast in the role of teacher, handed words to speak that are not his …

I haven’t gone to the Market Arcade Theater in years. I can’t seem to find a reason to.We used to go to morning critics’ screenings there frequently. I even knew where the secret truck delivery button was at the back entrance to tell the employees inside that someone needed to be let in. Because of its downtown proximity to The News, it was an enormously convenient place f…

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ORLANDO, Fla. – A movie inspired veteran director Jenni Gold to seek a life in Hollywood behind the camera.“Tom McBride played a guy, confined to a wheelchair, in ‘Friday the 13th Part 2,’ ” Gold said. “As a kid, what stood out to me was he was just like me, in a wheelchair. A guy who liked to hang out with his friends. I thought, ‘That’s AWESOME.’ He wasn’t some stereotyp…

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CULVER CITY, Calif. – Actor Emile Hirsch has never been a quitter. He’s been acting since he was 8 years old and it never occurred to him to do anything else. In fact, he never did.The star of projects like “Into the Wild,” “Lone Survivor” and “Killer Joe” says many of his roles have taught him something about himself.That includes his latest as the notorious Clyde Barrow …

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By Rene Rodriguez / Miami Herald

Wed, Dec 4, 2013

MIAMI – Halfway through “Out of the Furnace” comes a scene in which Rodney (Casey Affleck) goes to visit his older brother Russell (Christian Bale), who is serving a prison sentence for vehicular manslaughter. Rodney has just returned from his fourth tour of duty in Iraq; the two men haven’t seen each other in years. When Russell asks him how things went overseas, Rodney j…

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LOS ANGELES – The death of actor Paul Walker in an automobile accident Saturday has left fans and the film community reeling – and Hollywood facing a series of tricky business decisions.As filmmakers and fellow performers remembered him as a deeply likable everyman with a taste for adventure, principals on the late actor’s signature “Fast & Furious” franchise were left to …

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Ron Burgundy, his salon-quality hair gleaming on a drizzly late November evening, alighted from the stretch limousine in front of the Barnes & Noble in a shopping mall.Dapper in a glen plaid polyester suit, brown ribbed turtleneck and dark-green leather jacket, Burgundy strode into the store, stopping to hold aloft some merchandise. “Free Legos for everyone!” he cried to t…

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The final credits could soon be rolling on downtown Buffalo’s only movie theater.Movie studios are about to begin providing digital downloads only to theaters – instead of film in metal canisters.To continue in business, the publicly run Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre, which already struggles financially, would have to upgrade its digital projectors – an estimated expend…