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“Free Birds” is more proof, as if 2013 needed it, that Hollywood has almost killed the animated goose that laid the golden egg.No matter that in this case, the goose is a turkey. You didn’t need to be told that. But a year that has produced the clever and heartfelt “The Croods” and the passably amusing “Despicable Me 2” has also had a healthy dose of sausage factory about …

Movies

In a future where families are encouraged not to overbreed, Ender Wiggin is “a third,” the third child born to his family. “An extra.”Skinny and pale, he is bullied at school. But he’s been observed, singled out by the state. How he problem-solves during video games, how he copes with bullies – his cunning, ruthlessness and measured compassion – are assets.“The world’s sma…

A healthy film movement has sprung up in the Buffalo area over the last few years. To help guide the many area professionals, aspiring filmmakers, students and film lovers, the first Buffalo Film Expo is offering a day of panels, Q&A sessions with regional professionals and networking opportunities.Among the topics at the expo, sponsored by the upcoming Buffalo Dreams Fant…

Art

Buffalo’s always-bustling visual arts scene is getting a whole lot of love lately from local documentarians, and some of that affection will go on display at 6 p.m. Friday in the Allendale Theatre (203 Allen St.) in a screening of three promotional films about the community.Two of those films are by John Paget, who has collaborated with the region’s tourist agency, Visit B…

Featured

Slowly, they’ve turned step by step, as the burlesque comics might say. Don’t look now, but while people have been paying attention to other things, a truly great movie year seems to have crept up on us. It has already included “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “Blue Jasmine,” and the arrival of two of the very best and most important films of 20…

Movies

LOS ANGELES — This movie season, Michael Fassbender seems to keep getting lectured on the ways of the world. By an unlikely teacher.The German-born, Ireland-raised actor plays cruel plantation owner Epps in the period drama “12 Years a Slave,” in which Brad Pitt, as a morally scrupulous carpenter, admonishes him that a more enlightened way of thinking is about to leave him…

It remains one of the exemplary spewings of executive stupidity in Hollywood history. According to screenwriter William Goldman, a Hollywood producer once said of Robert Redford “he’s just another Hollywood blond – throw a stick at Malibu and you’ll hit six of them.”Because Goldman was the screenwriter of both “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting,” the best …

During the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, wealthy defenders of the status quo were quick to assert that protesters were practicing “class warfare.”But as the documentary “Inequality for All” makes clear, a class war has been waged for decades, and its victims have been the middle and working classes.The result? A rigged system that has produced growing economic…

Lifestyles

When it comes to adaptations of “Carrie,” the blood literally comes in buckets.For the newest version, director Kimberly Peirce was determined to get the climactic drop of pig’s blood just right. As she described it in a recent New York Times Magazine profile, she tried 3-gallon, 4-gallon and 5-gallon buckets, and she tried a 3-foot drop, a 4-foot drop and a 5-foot drop. T…

Gusto

Nothing would be easier than teeing off on Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor.” Oh, the jokes we could all make at the film’s expense – at, for instance, the tortuously literary tough-guy dialogue by Cormac McCarthy, and the high-gloss decadence of sadistic rich folks watching cheetahs running down rabbits over afternoon martinis. And, a while later, engaging in sexual congress…

Movies

You are unlikely to come across a more involving, wry, strong-willed character this year than the eponymous heroine of “Wadjda.”This is notable for several reasons. First, Wadjda is an 11-year-old Saudi girl played, in her film debut, by young Waad Mohammed. This is a breathtakingly assured, uniquely lived-in performance.Second, “Wadjda” made history as the first full-leng…

The Dipson Eastern Hills Mall Cinema will begin showing Christian faith-based movies three times a week in a Church Family Movie Night program. Mountain Top Entertainment, the theatrical affiliate for Bridgestone Multimedia group, and Christie Digital Systems created the unusual program, which provides a continuing series of inspirational, faith-based, family-friendly movi…

The theater makeover that has come to Maple Ridge 8 in Amherst has changed the way patrons will see movies there, and some new factors might surprise a first-time viewer. Here are some tips to smooth the experience.• Buy your tickets online if possible. The number of seats in the theaters has been drastically reduced, and the shows sell out. If you are able to get tickets …

Amherst

Moviegoers who were excited by cupholders, tiered stadium seating and rocking seats might want to brace themselves.The latest innovation in movie theater construction, unveiled at the AMC Maple Ridge 8 in Amherst in mid-August, offers patrons almost all the comforts of home in paired seats that recline fully.But it isn’t just the chairs’ position that’s different. Because …

In a way, the new “Carrie” is almost too easy to enjoy. Everything discordant, all the nagging weirdness and strange feelings surrounding the original have been smoothed down, and what we’re left with is a well-made, highly satisfying and not particularly deep high school revenge movie.Perhaps the difference between this “Carrie” and the 1976 version can best be summarized…