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Too Good To Object

Movies: ‘The Intouchables’

This familiar story, “The Intouchables,” is rendered so well, with a few unexpected twists and, yes, a light touch, that it feels fresh and avoids (almost) all the pitfalls of sentimentality and racial stereotypes.
Driss (Omar Sy), a charismatic, streetwise, African immigrant in Paris, is dragooned into becoming the caretaker for Philippe (Francois Cluzet) a very wealthy white quadriplegic. He didn’t actually want the job. He had to apply in order to qualify for government benefits, and Philippe likes his lighthearted insolence.

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Gorgeous, Clever and Long

Movies: 'The Bourne Legacy'
leong@lakevillejournal.com

Set in gorgeously photographed, stunning international locations, “The Bourne Legacy” delivers thrilling action, a new hero and a story that — eventually, more or less — answers questions that the first three films left hanging. And it does so without Matt Damon’s amnesiac, little-boy-lost Jason Bourne or virtuosic action director Paul Greengrass, who filled the last two Bourne outings with jittery camera work, a sense of nonstop propulsion and some of the finest action sequences ever filmed.

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Whatever You Thought, This Movie Is Different

Movies: ‘Hope Springs’

It is the name of a fictional town in coastal Maine where everyone knows the legendary couples counselor, Dr. Feld, played by Steve Carell (“The 40-year-old Virgin,” “Evan Almighty,” etc.) We must be in for big laughs, right? Wrong!
Into the picture come Kay and Arnold (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones), whose 31-year marriage has ossified into a single fried egg and a strip of bacon that never touch, or at least that is the metaphorical version which constitutes the breakfast Kay makes for Arnold every morning.

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Strange and Misanthropic, Yes. Also ‘Ted’ Is Hilarious

Movies: ‘Ted’

This movie, “Ted,” the first feature film from “Family Guy”creator Seth MacFarlane, is dour, crass, cynical, offensive, immature, misanthropic, politically incorrect. It is also whimsically charming and, until its final minutes, very, very funny.

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Can Hathaway Save the Latest Batman?

Movies: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

I come to “The Dark Knight Rises” with handicaps.
For starters, I don’t like comic book movies. I don’t like comic books, never did. Why are they called “comic” books anyway? They’re not funny. At all.
And it seems to me that Hollywood keeps resurrecting these super heroes, adding lots of special effects, and yet they still wind up as more or less standard shoot’em ups.

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When the World Comes Apart

Movies: ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

The film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is about that moment when a child realizes that the world is not the eternally stable, safe place it once seemed, and that the infallible parent who takes care of everything might not always be there.
Filmed in a richly detailed visual style, with touches of magical realism and fantasy, and starring an extraordinary cast of first-time actors, “Beasts” creates an entrancing and terrifying world.

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Boy Gets Bitten, Fights Evil ,. . . . . Makes Entertaining Movie

Movies: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

At long last, just what we’ve always needed, a movie made for those of us who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder or can barely remember what we ate for lunch yesterday!
Ten years after the Spider-Man franchise launched, and a mere five after “Spider-Man 3,” comes this “reboot,” with a new cast and much the same story as the Jurassic “Spider-Man”: Boy gets bitten, develops cool superpowers, dons suit, fights the other superpowers of evil.
And you know what? 
We are entertained.

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A New Life With Drums, Ice Cream and Conviction

Movies: ‘Sweet Dreams’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

This documentary, “Sweet Dreams,” is about Ingoma Nshya, a women’s drumming troupe formed in Rwanda as a response to the 1994 genocide that killed as many as a million people. The film centers around Kiki Katese, founder of the drumming group, who explains matter-of-factly that, while traditionally only men were drummers, a trip to the National Museum revealed no particular reason for this. Katese says one person at the museum suggested it was because the drums are heavy.
“Well, let’s see how heavy they are,” she laughs.

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A Messy Dish, Good Laughs on the Side

Movies: ‘To Rome With Love’

If Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” was an Italian restaurant dish, it would be a mélange of every leftover in the chef’s refrigerator. But it’s a movie, and Allen has dumped story ideas, time, characters, cinematic styles, most of his own neurotic tics and tropes and a gaggle of actors into a film that wanders around the city looking for cohesion and meaning, which it never finds.

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Inventive and Delightful, “Brave” Is Fun

Movies: ‘Brave’

Reinventing fairy tales and princess stories to have a strong heroine is nothing new. Merida, the spunky, independent princess in “Brave,” insists she doesn’t want to marry one of the dopey princes she’s being presented with, but that’s not where the film breaks new ground. The innovation is in its depiction of Merida’s mother, and the relationship between the two of them.

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