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'Pitch Perfect 2' is a letdown

'Pitch Perfect 2' is a letdown

'Pitch Perfect 2' (PG-13) — 2 stars
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MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS


Goodbye, 'American Idol'

Goodbye, 'American Idol'

It’s the end of an era. “American Idol” announced recently that next year, season 15, will be its last.
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A black and white, and sometimes Technicolor, Memorial Day: Classic movies to remember the sacrifice

A black and white, and sometimes Technicolor, Memorial Day: Classic movies to remember the sacrifice

Five stories, focusing on each of the four major branches of the armed forces as well as the folks who persevered along the home front, are told in these classic films from the 1940s and 1950s. Made during and after World War II, these movies are entertaining and give viewers a glimpse into life during this historic time.
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Is Hollywood pushing too many superhero stories?

Is Hollywood pushing too many superhero stories?

Superhero fans are currently suffering an embarrassment of riches on the big and small screens.
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Five for Families: ‘Cinderella’ adds depth to classic tale

Five for Families: ‘Cinderella’ adds depth to classic tale

Here are five movies from various platforms families may want to consider. Note: Since not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.
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Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ now on Blu-ray and DVD

Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ now on Blu-ray and DVD

The Oscar-nominated biographical film “American Sniper” is on Blu-ray and DVD this week.
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Familiar movies are getting the TV treatment this fall

REMAKINGTON — Remakes and reboots are not anything new these days. Seems every week we see a movie release that’s an old movie or TV show. For example, this week we are getting a part four of a series in “Mad Max: Fury Road” and a sequel in “Pitch Perfect 2.” This week also saw the release of the premier trailer for the big-screen remake of the '80s cartoon TV series “Jem and the Holograms.”
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The one Netflix hack that is bringing families together

The one Netflix hack that is bringing families together

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Americans love streaming their entertainment.
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'Pitch Perfect 2': 3 points for parents

'Pitch Perfect 2': 3 points for parents

Information for parents about the film "Pitch Perfect 2":
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'Far from the Madding Crowd': 3 points for parents

'Far from the Madding Crowd': 3 points for parents

Information for parents about the film "Far from the Madding Crowd":
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Does 'Pitch Perfect 2' hit all the right notes?

Does 'Pitch Perfect 2' hit all the right notes?

The a cappella Barden Bellas from “Pitch Perfect” are returning to theaters this weekend.
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One reason you might want to see 'Hot Pursuit'

One reason you might want to see 'Hot Pursuit'

The buddy comedy is a genre that has been so predictable for so long, Hollywood has been giving self-aware winks to the tired model for over 30 years. In the 1980's classic “The Three Amigos,” Mr. Flugelman sums up every buddy comedy ever made in a three-line pitch to Lucky Day, Ned Needlander and Dusty Bottoms:
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Have You Seen This? This kid is the epitome of a little brother

Have You Seen This? This kid is the epitome of a little brother



REALM OF THE YOUNGER SIBLING — Younger siblings are simultaneously the best and the worst when it comes to just about everything. How do I know this you ask? Simple, I’m the youngest of five children.
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'Avengers: Age of Ultron' features a winning formula

'Avengers: Age of Ultron' features a winning formula

Speaking as one whose comic and superhero “geek credentials” could easily be called into question, I have to tell you that "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is amazing.
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'Hot Pursuit' is a waste of talented cast

'Hot Pursuit' is a waste of talented cast

As I watched the new film “Hot Pursuit,” I had to remind myself that Reese Witherspoon was nominated for an Academy Award just last year for her performance in “Wild.” Then I recalled the 2005 Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line.”
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Castle Panic: Dark Titan is a tough but fun game

Castle Panic: Dark Titan is a tough but fun game

Back in 2009, a popular board game called Castle Panic came out in which players must protect a castle being attacked by monsters. In 2011, an expansion that added a wizard’s tower to the game made the game more complex and interesting by adding new monsters and magic cards. Now the Castle Panic series adds the Dark Titan expansion introducing the Dark Titan Agranok, the toughest enemy to date.
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Why 'Age of Ultron' doesn't live up to original 'Avengers'

Why 'Age of Ultron' doesn't live up to original 'Avengers'

Like most of America's movie-going public, I like superhero movies. I love the action, the world-shattering stakes, the cool costumes, the groaning puns and the sheer excitement of seeing comic book worlds — worlds with endless possibilities — appear on the big screen.
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Wide array of vintage TV series on DVD this week

Wide array of vintage TV series on DVD this week

It’s a week for vintage TV on DVD with the debut of both Don Rickles’ sitcom “CPO Sharkey” and the prime-time soap “The Colbys, ” along with complete-series reissues of “Battlestar Galactica” and “The Wild Wild West.”
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Are you addicted to your smartphone? Answer these 20 questions to find out

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Answer these 20 questions to find out

Can you remember the last time you were without your cellphone for more than an hour?
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'Dior and I' showcases the ordinary people behind fashion's flashy facade

'Dior and I' showcases the ordinary people behind fashion's flashy facade

The world of high fashion comes with easy associations: rail-thin models, flashing lights, celebrities and clothing that feels more indebted to art than function.
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Great Part 4's in movie franchises

Great Part 4's in movie franchises

THE LAND OF FOURS — The fourth installment of the Mad Max franchise releases this weekend, and the positive reviews are pouring in for “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
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Bloopers shown under the end credits should not be a film’s highlight

Bloopers shown under the end credits should not be a film’s highlight

It's only May, and already we have a strong candidate for worst movie of the year: “Hot Pursuit,” with Reese Witherspoon as a maladroit cop and Sofia Vergara as a flamboyant Latin mob wife on the run from killers and crooked cops.
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Five for Families: ‘Sandlot’ is a nostalgic look at youth

Five for Families: ‘Sandlot’ is a nostalgic look at youth

Here are five movies from various platforms families may want to consider. Note: Since not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.
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'Far From the Madding Crowd' buries a soap opera story under gorgeous cinematography and excellent a

'Far From the Madding Crowd' buries a soap opera story under gorgeous cinematography and excellent a

Based on Thomas Hardy’s novel, director Thomas Vinterberg’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” is a gorgeous, well-produced and well-acted film. But its story will likely produce eye rolls from all but the most idealistic of 21st century audiences.
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Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winner ‘Still Alice’ on Blu-ray, DVD

Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winner ‘Still Alice’ on Blu-ray, DVD

The fourth time was the charm for perpetual Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as the title character in “Still Alice,” now on Blu-ray and DVD.
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Lazy 'Pitch Perfect 2' is a snarky sour note for a conflicted franchise

Lazy 'Pitch Perfect 2' is a snarky sour note for a conflicted franchise

The plot of 2012’s “Pitch Perfect” was pretty simple.
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Have You Seen This? Bearpocalypse is near

Have You Seen This? Bearpocalypse is near



THE BEARPOCALYPSE — My friends, this is the end. It has been a pleasure knowing you vicariously through this digital world, but there is a strong possibility this will be my last time speaking with you.
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Great buddy comedies streaming on Netflix

Great buddy comedies streaming on Netflix

BFF TOWN — The buddy comedy “Hot Pursuit” hit theaters last week, and the film starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara got us thinking about great buddy comedies.
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New Muppets TV show geared toward adults

New Muppets TV show geared toward adults



MUPPETVILLE — The Muppets are headed back to the small screen in an all-new TV show headed to ABC this fall.
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Four award-winning games from Out of the Box Publishing

Four award-winning games from Out of the Box Publishing

Out of the Box Publishing's vision is to "inspire and connect families and friends around the world with exceptional and engaging games," according to materials from the company. Its mission is to produce and sell exceptional family friendly games that are accessible and affordable.
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Your summer movie preview

Your summer movie preview

Some people have predicted this summer to be the best season for tentpole cinema in decades, while others have written it off as just another example of Hollywood peddling sequels, remakes and adaptations. Who’s correct? I don’t care. I don’t plan on turning my brain back on in a movie theater until at least September.
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Batman ’66 stars to reprise roles for 50th anniversary movie

Batman ’66 stars to reprise roles for 50th anniversary movie

Who is the definitive onscreen Batman? Michael Keaton? Christian Bale? Kevin Conroy?
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Game review: Armada, Imperial Assault packs deliver Star Wars excitement

Game review: Armada, Imperial Assault packs deliver Star Wars excitement

Star Wars: Armada
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Game review roundup: Fun abounds in Fief, Rattlebones and Homeland

Game review roundup: Fun abounds in Fief, Rattlebones and Homeland

In Fief: France 1429 from Academy Games, three to six players control family dynasties during the turbulent 15th century. The board is a map of central France, with villages divided up into fiefs and bishoprics, which overlap each other.
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Frank Sinatra movies get Blu-ray upgrades this week

Frank Sinatra movies get Blu-ray upgrades this week

A new Blu-ray set of Frank Sinatra films has been released this week, along with the DVD debuts of two Rosalind Russell pictures and several vintage Westerns.
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Pathfinder Roleplaying game: Here be monsters

Pathfinder Roleplaying game: Here be monsters

What would a fantasy roleplaying game be without monsters? From the classic Beowulf monster Grendel to evil dragon Smaug from the Hobbit, monsters are an important component for any fantasy story. That’s why there are four bestiary books for the Pathfinder roleplaying game, detailing hundreds of monsters.
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The TV series ‘Parenthood’ comes to DVD this week

The TV series ‘Parenthood’ comes to DVD this week

The all-star ensemble comedy-drama TV series “Parenthood” is on DVD this week, along with several British shows.
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The Vergara-Witherspoon tag team feels lukewarm in 'Hot Pursuit'

The Vergara-Witherspoon tag team feels lukewarm in 'Hot Pursuit'

“Hot Pursuit” is just good enough to make you wish it were better. In spite of a few fun moments and a promising cast, director Anne Fletcher’s comic effort just can’t deliver on its potential.
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'Salt of the Earth' shares a photographer's fascinating and horrifying images of humanity

'Salt of the Earth' shares a photographer's fascinating and horrifying images of humanity

Most of us carry around a compact camera that would outperform all but the best of the industry’s digital options from only a few years ago. Social media and advancing technology have turned photography into an exciting and frightening field full of uncertainty.
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'Cinderella,' 'Maleficent' were just the beginning: A guide to Disney's live-action adaptations of a

'Cinderella,' 'Maleficent' were just the beginning: A guide to Disney's live-action adaptations of a

As if animated blockbusters such as “Frozen” and “Big Hero 6,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars weren’t enough, Disney has found yet another cash cow: turning its animated classics from yesteryear into live-action films for a new generation.
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Five for Families: ‘Sorcerer's Stone’ brings popular novel to life

Five for Families: ‘Sorcerer's Stone’ brings popular novel to life

Here are five movies from various platforms families may want to consider. Note: Since not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.
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Harrison Ford makes his peace with Han Solo

Harrison Ford makes his peace with Han Solo

I met Christopher Reeve in 1995, about three weeks before the tragic riding accident that rendered him a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. I was in Washington, D.C., working as an intern for Sen. Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, and Reeve was scheduled to testify before Congress about funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
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'Hot Pursuit': 3 points for parents

'Hot Pursuit': 3 points for parents

Information for parents about the film "Hot Pursuit":
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‘Selma,’ ‘Spare Parts’ are on home video this week

‘Selma,’ ‘Spare Parts’ are on home video this week

Martin Luther King Jr. squares off against President Lyndon Johnson in “Selma,” which is on Blu-ray and DVD this week. Also newly released is “Spare Parts,” the inspiring true story of an underdog team in a robotics competition.
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'Maggie' puts a timely twist on the classic zombie narrative

'Maggie' puts a timely twist on the classic zombie narrative

In 2002, “28 Days Later” helped jumpstart the modern zombie craze by making a single change to the genre’s traditional narrative. Slow, lumbering zombies were out and super fast zombies were in.
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Cursing in ‘Avengers 2’ and other shows kids watch is no joke

Cursing in ‘Avengers 2’ and other shows kids watch is no joke

The first scenes of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” drop the audience into the middle of a chaotic battle, and that is where most of the film’s witty quips are frontloaded — a highlight being a gag about goody two-shoes Captain America being offended when Iron Man curses.
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Will Ender Wiggin be the next Spider-Man?

Will Ender Wiggin be the next Spider-Man?

The cinematic Spider-Man has gone through some major upheavals in the last 10 years, including the bombshell announcement in just the last few months that he would be rebooted again — this time as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing alongside Iron Man, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers.
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Indiana Jones 5 is confirmed, but no word on release date yet

Indiana Jones 5 is confirmed, but no word on release date yet

ADVENTURE LAND — Disney is slowly taking over the world. First it bought Pixar, then Marvel, and most recently LucasFilms and the rights to "Star Wars."
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'The First Martyr' episode of 'A.D.' culminates with powerful scene

'The First Martyr' episode of 'A.D.' culminates with powerful scene

The approach that the Bible-inspired series "A.D. The Bible Continues" has settled upon is now clear. The first half of the average episode — and sometimes more than the first half — consists of historical drama based only loosely on the period. The episode then climaxes with stirring scenes taken more or less from the biblical text.
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Have You Seen This? Awesome man punches bear

Have You Seen This? Awesome man punches bear



BEAR COUNTRY — I have no shame in admitting that I am afraid of bears. Scratch that, I am mortified of bears. They run fast, climb trees, swim like Michael Phelps and they a pretty darn clever. Give me a moment as I shudder.
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