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September 19th, 2014

Max’s View

The Station Agent ****

Netflix Pick   I appreciate that our society has cracked down on public proclamations of prejudice. Of course I’m not saying that racism has been eradicated; but at least it is totally unacceptable to say the n-word in public. Gays and lesbians haven’t achieved equality yet; but at least they don’t have to hear the f-word or the d-word in mixe...

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Ghostbusters ****

I can barely remember it, but there was a time when summer movies were just regular films that happened to be released when it’s hot outside. In the early 80s, not every summer movie was a big budget, star-studded special effects extravaganza that promised big action, big heroes, big explosions, and big laughs. The success of “Ghostbusters” (1984)...

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Captivated: the Trials of Pamela Smart ***1/2

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye… she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. -Genesis 3:6   Blaming women for men’s sins is part of the human condition; at least as old as the Bible. Sometimes the criminal justice system works just like Ge...

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The Giver **1/2

Most Americans are in favor of freedom and equality. Those two values are contradictory, however. Those who value freedom above all believe in the greatness of individuals and want government to stay out of our lives as much as possible. Those who value equality, whether they realize it or not, support a powerful central government. We are born une...

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The Book of Mormon ****

  Compared to other countries in the civilized world, the United States is strikingly religious. There are far more evangelical Christians, more churchgoers, and more believers per capita here than in Western Europe. It wasn’t always this way. At the time of the American Revolution, the United States wasn’t an unusually faithful place. The Enl...

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Get on Up ***1/2

  I don’t know you well enough to guess what your favorite movie is. But I think I can guess what it isn’t. Your favorite movie isn’t a celebrity biopic. Biographical movies about celebrities are not destined to be great films. They are based on the flawed notion that celebrities are more interesting than us because they are in show business....

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Begin Again ***

  I’ve written a lot of articles praising the institution of marriage over the years. Today I’m going to switch it up and offer some genuine praise in defense of the institution of divorce. I never conceived of divorce as being an option for me. But I am incredibly grateful that my ex-wife did. With one little open-minded decision, she changed...

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The Lego Movie ***1/2

Video Pick   I don’t like children’s movies. But I have to tip my cap to the people who make them. Not only do they have to make entertaining movies, they have to make sure that their movies help their bosses sell merchandise, toys, and video games. I have watched my best friend’s son grow up. I have witnessed him evolve from a toddler who was...

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ***1/2

  “America: Love it or Leave it.” That’s a good idea for a bumper sticker. But it isn’t true. One of the many great things about the United States is that you don’t really have to choose. You can do neither. I’ll bet there are a solid 100 million people out there who don’t especially love America but certainly don’t have any intention of leavi...

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The Putin System **1/2

Available on DVD and iTunes   The founding fathers did a darn good job of preventing dictators from taking over the United States. Our system of federalism, separation of power, and regular elections makes it exceptionally difficult for one man to grab the reigns of power and single-handedly change the country. This is something to be thankful...

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