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Silver Screen

‘Novitiate’ depicts women grappling with their faith in a time of transition

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 11/03/17 4:46am

The Vatican II era of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s was a watershed moment for the faith. It marked the transition from the archaic -- but time-honored -- traditions of the church to more accepting, liberal policies under Pope John XIII. In “Novitiate,” writer and director Margaret Betts explores how these changes impact a group of young women who decide to devote their lives to God, as well as a veteran of the faith who feels as though the church is leaving her behind. The film ...

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‘Blade of the Immortal’ balances fantasy and gruesome reality

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 11/03/17 3:48am

Takashi Miike has directed a long list of films ranging from action dramas to comedy musicals. One of his newest films, “Blade of the Immortal,” adds to Miike’s list of violent action dramas as it depicts the gruesome and emotional tale of Manji (Takuya Kimura), an immortal swordsman, and Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki), a girl who was forced to watch her father’s murder and mother’s rape. She seeks out Manji to help her take revenge on a group of murderous swordsmen. Takashi Miike has succeeded ...

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'Wonderstruck' is just not wondrous enough

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 11/02/17 4:45pm

Directed by Todd Haynes and based on the book by Brian Selznick, “Wonderstruck” tells the stories of two deaf children as they go on separate adventures in different time periods to search for something missing in their familial lives. Unfortunately, both tales aren’t all that compelling to begin with and the film has a tendency to meander, unable to balance the full complexities of both characters.   Rose, one of the main characters in the film, has her heading out to New York sometime ...

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Rory Kennedy and the zone of discomfort

By Kathryn Sanders Last updated: 10/27/17 7:38pm

After filmmaker Rory Kennedy screened her new documentary, “Take Every Wave” about the life of big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, in New York recently, a man approached her and said he’d finally go into the ocean, even though he was terrified of the water and had never been in it before. “So, for him, that’s his wave,” Kennedy said. The documentary shows Hamilton challenging himself to ride bigger waves and take intense risks, constantly pushing himself to overcome fear. His ardor for ...

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‘The Paris Opera’ hits all the right notes

By Daniella Ignacio Last updated: 10/27/17 7:34pm

Imagine a major terrorist attack happening on the day of your final dress rehearsal, for the first production of the season at one of your theaters, the Bastille Opera. Do you go on with the show? How do you address the situation? How can you push aside your grief and tell a story? Stéphane Lissner, the director of L’Opera National de Paris, decided that the final dress for the ballet “La Báyadere” would go on despite the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks that occurred that morning, and ...

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The scars that can’t be seen, shown on the big screen

By Cordilia James Last updated: 10/27/17 12:56pm

Explosions. Blood. Pain. For many of those serving in the military, war leaves scars that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Director Jason Hall’s “Thank You for Your Service” documents these scars through the emotional story of three soldiers after their service in Iraq. Miles Teller portrays Adam Schumann, one of the soldiers who struggles to reconnect with his family alongside his fight with post-traumatic stress disorder. The film gives audiences a glimpse into the daily lives of military ...

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‘Thank You for Your Service’ gives audiences an idea what it’s like to have PTSD

By Cordilia James Last updated: 10/27/17 12:52pm

Jason Hall’s directorial debut, “Thank You for Your Service,” allows audience members to experience trauma alongside a strong cast that successfully portrays the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder. Nonetheless, a rushed resolution makes the story feel incomplete.The plot follows Schumann (Miles Teller), Solo (Beulah Koale) and Waller (Joe Cole), as they struggle with PTSD following their involvement in the Iraq war. The men look forward to reuniting with their families, hoping that it ...

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A disturbing picture of guilt: ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ startles and unsettles

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 10/27/17 12:02am

Yorgos Lanthimos is one of the most adventurous directors working today, consistently making films that are willing to unsettle an audience -- most recently “The Lobster,” an expectedly twisted but unexpectedly romantic take on modern love. Lanthimos’ latest film, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” takes a much darker turn. Colin Farrell teams up with Lanthimos once again, this time as Steven, one of the best cardiac surgeons in the greater Cincinnati area. His pleasant life is upturned ...

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‘Suburbicon’ is as much a mess as it is a good time

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 10/27/17 12:02am

American cinema has a long tradition of taking the quiet suburban utopia and portraying it as a living hell for its inhabitants. It can be seen across all genres, from the drama “American Beauty,” where a father is tormented by his failing marriage and his lust for his teenage daughter's best friend, to the horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” where the seemingly mundane lives of a group of friends are turned into a literal -- you guessed it -- nightmare. “Suburbicon” continues ...

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'Dina' tests the audience with a sweet, unconventional love story

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 10/22/17 9:43pm

Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles have created a sweet and interesting look into the relationship of Dina and Scott, a couple who are both afflicted with Asperger’s syndrome. The camera disappears behind the couple’s daily interactions with each other and the world around them as the documentary follows their relationship from the day that they move in together to their marriage and ends with them returning from their honeymoon. The camera is almost too good, constantly being one step ahead ...

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