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Saturday, January 31, 2015, 11:45 a.m.
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Philip Martin

Columnist: Philip Martin

Jennifer Christman

Weekend Editor, Columnist: Jennifer Christman

Names and faces

updated: 01/30/2015 2:27 a.m. Discuss

The Ghostbusters reboot has set its all-female leads with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and a pair of Saturday Night Live performers. Director Paul Feig announced his stars by posting their pictures Tuesday on Twitter.

Review: A Most Violent Year

posted: 01/30/2015 1:56 a.m. Discuss

In a corrupt world of rascals and thugs, cheats and chiselers, how is the honest man to make it? J.C. Chandor's stunning third film, the period drama A Most Violent Year, asks that very grown-up question and answers it with dispassionate pragmatism: A man does what he has to do.

Review: Cake

posted: 01/30/2015 1:55 a.m. Discuss

The most cynical reading of Cake is as a grab of Oscar glory by its star and executive producer, Jennifer Aniston, who rightly is being hailed for her portrayal of a woman debilitated by chronic pain.

COMMENTARY: Sniper exemplifies new kind of war film

posted: 01/30/2015 1:54 a.m. Comment 1

American Sniper, Clint Eastwood's military drama starring Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL and Iraq war sharpshooter Chris Kyle, solidified its standing as this season's biggest surprise hit -- and perhaps the biggest war movie of all time -- over the past two weekends, with its box-office earnings surging past $200 million. The film, which is nominated for six Oscars, including best actor and best picture, has also become a bona fide cultural phenomenon, inspiring a slew of commentaries and social media sub-arguments that occasionally confound expectations.

HOME MOVIES

posted: 01/30/2015 1:53 a.m. Discuss

The Judge, directed by David Dobkin (R, 141 minutes) This hotly anticipated but rather disappointing courtroom drama, which pokes along at a glacial pace through a predictable plot, is boosted by fine performances.

Sniper on target for fifth week

posted: 01/30/2015 1:52 a.m. Discuss

American Sniper held down its No. 1 spot and crossed the $200 million mark at the domestic box office last weekend, surpassing three new releases including the Johnny Depp film Mortdecai, which proved to be a dud.

COMMENTARY: Selma director DuVernay’s next film project financed

posted: 01/30/2015 1:51 a.m. Discuss

As someone who writes about culture, I'm subject to an often overwhelming barrage of news releases. So it's rare that a notice actually gets me to read past the subject line, much less to jump up with enthusiasm. Such was the news Monday from Participant Media that the company will be working with Ava DuVernay to make her follow-up to her Oscar-nominated movie Selma. The movie will be "a sweeping love story and complex murder mystery during the time of Hurricane Katrina" that may star Selma lead David Oyelowo.

Review: Black or White

posted: 01/30/2015 1:50 a.m. Discuss

Black or White may be the title, but there are plenty of gray areas tackled in this good ol' fashioned family dramedy from standup comic turned filmmaker Mike Binder (Reign Over Me, The Upside of Anger). Pitting a binge drinking Kevin Costner against an outspoken Octavia Spencer in a battle for custody over their beloved granddaughter, this well-performed and occasionally amusing affair has a distinctively '90s feel to it, laying on the sauce rather thick at times, although it still creates a believable story that raises questions about parenthood and racial prejudice in modern-day Los Angeles.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

posted: 01/30/2015 1:49 a.m. Discuss

(opening dates are tentative) Jupiter Ascending, PG-13 Mila Kunis plays a janitor whose life has been nothing but bad breaks, but whose destiny for great things comes to fruition when a genetically engineered extraterrestrial ex-military hunter (Channing Tatum) tracks her down as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

PREVIEWS

posted: 01/30/2015 1:48 a.m. Discuss

New this week Black or White 83 PG-13 Kevin Costner plays a widowed lawyer who faces losing custody of his biracial granddaughter. He finds himself embroiled in a custody battle with the child's grandmother (Octavia Spencer), who demands that the child be brought up under the care her ex-con son.

Helpful Hints

posted: 01/30/2015 1:47 a.m. Discuss

DEAR READERS: Our beloved pets are like family. Like family, they age, but unfortunately dogs age more rapidly. Older dogs and cats face many of the same medical problems as humans. Having had the privilege of many, many dogs in our lives (plus birds, ferrets, cats and others, too), we have learned some hints along the way.

Horoscopes by Holiday

posted: 01/30/2015 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Happy birthday. The events of the next seven weeks help you realize what a wonderful life you have. You'll conspire with loved ones in March to improve your domestic environment. April boosts your reputation. A major deal is finalized in June.

On Christianity

posted: 01/30/2015 1:47 a.m. Discuss

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Our two children are too young to go to church with us, but at what age should we begin taking them? They stay in our church's nursery right now, but we want them to learn about God once they're older.

Super Quiz: Who said it?

posted: 01/30/2015 1:46 a.m. Discuss

1. "I don't get no respect."

COMING ATTRACTIONS Northwest Arkansas

posted: 01/30/2015 1 a.m. Discuss

(opening dates are tentative) Jupiter Ascending, PG-13 Mila Kunis plays a janitor whose life has been nothing but bad breaks, but whose destiny for great things comes to fruition when a genetically engineered extraterrestrial ex-military hunter (Channing Tatum) tracks her down as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

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