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We are currently experiencing our share of public political grudge matches, mostly involving GOP candidate-who-must-not-be-named. But none has the feel of the intellectual heavyweight bouts between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal.The 10 televised 1968 debates between the two men (now both deceased) are the subject of the wonderfully entertaining documentary “Best of Enem…

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There are a number of opportunities to see outdoor films this summer, and two unique locations are at Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park and Island Park in Williamsville. Ironically, this week both locales offer an opportunity to enjoy Disney’s super-fun superhero film “Big Hero 6.” Baymax hits the screen at dusk July 17 at Island Park and 8:50 p.m. July 19 at Chestnut R…

The music that came out of the Washington, D.C. punk scene of the 1980s is as forceful and bold today as ever before. Bands like Bad Brains, Fugazi and Minor Threat still influence, and they still sound fresh. So the documentary “Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C. (1980-90)” sounds like essential viewing. Directed by Scott Crawford and Jim Saah, “Salad Days”…

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Ruben Östlund’s “Force Majeure” was 2014’s finest dark comedy of utter discomfort. You will cringe, and squirm, and perhaps break out in a cold sweat, but you’ll be happy you stuck with it. Running for one week in the Screening Room Cinema Café in Amherst, the film chronicles a Swedish family’s ski vacation, and one life-altering event that threatens to detonate everythin…

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December is a great month for movies, provided you enjoy one of the following three types of film: gargantuan blockbusters (your Hobbits, your Moses), Oscar bait (hello, “The Imitation Game”) and holiday insanity. Holiday fever has spread beyond the multiplex to the world of repertory screenings, and this week is loaded with classics. Amherst’s Screening Room Cinema Cafe…

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Squeaky Wheel offers up two wildly different but similarly intriguing screening options this week, including the finale to the media arts organization’s Tuesday Night Flicks series at Canalside. “The Endless Summer” is the latter selection, but this is a very special presentation of the classic 1966 surf documentary. Squeaky is calling it “The Endless Summer Remixed,” and…

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Say what you will about Ridley Scott’s recent output — I’m a bit of an apologist, having found much to chew on in both “Prometheus” and “The Counselor,” although his upcoming “Exodus: Gods and Kings” looks like an overly calculated return to “Gladiator” territory — he has undeniably directed two of the greatest sci-fi films in history: “Alien” and “Blade Runner.” “Prometh…

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For Southtowns kids like yours truly, Chestnut Ridge Park meant harrowing trips down the mighty hill during winter sledding jaunts and more relaxing summer hikes. But on July 27, the Ridge will offer a different type of kid-friendly entertainment: outdoor movie spot. The funny, endearing 2010 hit “Despicable Me” will screen for free as part of Orchard Park’s annual Quaker…

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The latest entry in the North Park’s Family Summer Matinee series is “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (July 5 and 6, 11 a.m.), the most important film in the Potter series. The Harry Potter films are noteworthy for many reasons, not the least of which is the startlingly wonderful decision to go from a serviceable hack behind the camera — Chris “Home Alone” Colum…

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Is there any rock-themed film that seems as fresh, daring and funny as the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night”? Sure, Ken Russell’s “Tommy” has Jack Nicholson singing and Ann-Margret rolling around in baked beans, and “This Is Spinal Tap” has as many laughs-per-second as any film in history. Still, “A Hard Day…