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December 22nd, 2014

Max’s View

Point and Shoot

**1/2 When I read a headline about a westerner being captured by ISIS, my first thought is to feel horror and sadness for the poor man. My second – less empathetic – thought is, what the heck was he doing in the most dangerous part of the world to begin with?! “He was there to help the needy or report the news,” you say. Sure, but that...

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The Theory of Everything

*1/2 For most of human history, people imagined that the earth is at the center of the universe; or at least that the earth is a significant part of the universe. The great astronomers and cosmologists of the 20th Century completely shattered humanity’s earth-centric view. We already knew that our planet is dwarfed by the sun. The sun is about 1.3...

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1

*** “All the believers…shared their belongings with one another. They would sell their property and possessions, and distribute the money among all, according to what each one needed.” Guess where that came from. Karl Marx’s Communist Manisfesto? Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book? President Obama’s personal journal? Nope. That quote is from the bible. A...

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Birdman

***1/2 Danny Bonaduce, Todd Bridges, Corey Haim, Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan…There is a tendency for former child stars to freak out and become disturbed, dysfunctional adults. I have a theory as to why this happens. In addition to the normal pressures of fame, former child stars are tormented by their past. They have to deal with the horrible trut...

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Interstellar

*1/2 Some people say that humans are destroying the planet. I don’t think that’s true. Generations ago, doomsayers said that the earth was becoming overpopulated. Today, we are easily feeding a much larger human population with fewer farmers. When I was in elementary school, news anchors warned us that hairspray and discarded McDLT containers were...

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Nightcrawler

**** While Vermont TV news still maintains a little decency, big city local news has lost all restraint. Every night at 11 p.m. and every morning at 6 a.m. it’s the same horrible routine: accidents, violence, fear-mongering and death. And for every lurid story about twisted car crashes and street corner stabbings, there was someone there to film it...

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St Vincent ***1/2

I do not understand why some people prefer to live alone. I spent nine joyless months living by myself in a studio apartment right after college and decided that I will never live that way again. When you live with other people, you come home from work to a surprise every night. It could be guests, fun, tv watching together, or just a smiling face...

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Obama’s Middle East Policy (zero stars)

At this point, most Americans agree that Barack Obama isn’t a great president. But there is a vocal minority who takes their opposition too far. The Obama-haters think that he is the worst president in history and that he is destroying America. They blame the president for everything that goes wrong. Weak economy? Obama. Bad race relations? Obama!...

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Gone Girl **1/2

[Warning. Spoiler alerts ahead] Picture it: you are living your regular routine life. When suddenly you discover that your wife is a twisted, calculating, manipulative, vindictive, murderous psycho. That’s what Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) has to contend with in “Gone Girl.” “Gone Girl” is a horror movie for adults. And it’s the surprise blockbuster hi...

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Belle ***

New on DVD The United States is darn good at integrating European immigrants into our society. I’ll bet 9 out of 10 school kids don’t know that there was a time Đ not more than a century ago Đ when Greeks, Italians, Jews, and Irish immigrants weren’t considered Americans. They weren’t even considered white. To the eternal credit of 20th century Ame...

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