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October 31st, 2014

Max’s View

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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The Skeleton Twins ***1/2

Now Playing at the Savoy   On the list of things I’m truly thankful for in this life, my sister is near the top. When I got divorced this year, I could have retreated into solitude and sorrow. But with the acceptance, support, and guidance of my little sister, I turned a potentially depressing situation into the happiest summer of my life. We’...

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In a World… ***1/2

DVD Pick   Every time I walk into an establishment with a name like Watkins & Son Watch Repair, I wonder to myself: “Why did Mr. Watkins’s kid choose to work for his father?” I know that it’s tough to find a good job these days, but joining the family business seems like an unwise decision. There’s too much opportunity for strife and ill w...

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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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