Film

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Comedy heavyweight and so-called genius Judd Apatow said it best: the people behind National Lampoon magazine became all of modern comedy.

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Children’s tales need dense moral substance or they drift apart at the seams. “Pan” floats on from start to finish, unwilling or unable to choose a convincing core value, and there’s no wind in its sails to pull it back to course.

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The plot is simple, but it holds its excitement in the details of Philipe’s goals, which must be configured to make the final, incredible wire-walk possible.

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“Wildlike” is a quiet film. There is sparce dialogue, the characters mostly using facial expressions and body language to communicate complex emotion.

Sometimes the object captures the essence of a movie’s message, rather than simply emphasizes the desired effect.

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“Mississippi Grind” follows two pathetic gambling addicts on an odyssey across the South in search of enough money to break even. Ben Mendelsohn expertly plays Jerry, a sad real estate agent with a knack for losing money. He is easily drawn in by the fast-talking charms of Curtis (Ryan Reynolds), a younger version of Jerry who appears, at least at first, to win wherever Jerry loses, in poker and in life.

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“The Martian” weaves together two contrasting human needs, to endure and to explore, into a tale where survival depends on doing the unprecedented.

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“Sleeping with Other People,” does fall back on some of the same conventions of the genre, but with some great jokes, a great cast and a few surprising touches, the movie succeeds at overcoming those pitfalls.

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The political message of the film is clear — the working class hero fights the good fight against the wealthy and powerful who will do anything to keep their power intact.

We don’t have our Breakfast Club yet; we don’t have our Ferris Bueller. Without such stories and characters, we remain faceless in the chronicles of history.