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With movie houses closed down and social distancing in full force, what do movie lovers do? We turn to streaming videos on TV. My 65-inch 4K high-definition smart television is pumped up with dozens of apps offering Netflix, Amazon Prime, AT&T TV Now, Acorn, Britbox, Pluto, HBO Now, Come…

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One of the benefits when I consulted with DC Comics was free comic books. I started taking home an obscure little title called “Birds of Prey.” The drawings of sexy female super villains would be collectible, I knew. Fanboys fantasize about Spandex-wearing women in comic books as if they were real.

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Last week this column looked at actors who didn’t get along on the set. But what about actors and directors? That’s like asking lions and lambs to lie down together. Somebody’s going to get eaten.

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Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected folk tales, which they published in two volumes called “Children’s and Household Tales.” You heard many of these cautionary stories as a child — “The Frog Prince,” “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel,” among them.

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You know Guy Ritchie even if you think you don’t. He’s the British film director who used to be married to Madonna. You’ve bought tickets to some of his hit movies – “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr. and Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” with Will Smith. But he’s best known to his hardco…

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Maybe you read Henry James’s “Turn of the Screw” in a college literature course. You might vaguely recall that it was a ghost story written in 1898 by an American-British author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism.

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Just because two actors share a movie doesn’t mean they’re best friends. Movie stars get hired for a lot of reasons, but one of them is not compatibility with other cast members.

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With the release of “Bad Boys for Life,” we got to thinking about producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s long list of slam-bam, boom-boom blockbuster action movies. Internet Movie Database lists 110 films to his credit. But which are the best (meaning delivering the adrenaline rush that you expect fro…

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Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are bad boys. Well, at least they were in two previous movies of that name. And now, in a third installment, they declare themselves “Bad Boys For Life.”

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“Just Mercy” has an authentic voice when telling the story of Walter McMillan, an Alabama man on death row in the 1980s for a murder he didn’t commit. That’s because the movie is based on a book by Bryan Stevenson, the lawyer who defended McMillan. Being that both men are black, this true st…

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As Father Time turns the clock hands to 2020, I got to thinking about the movies I’ve seen over the past decade. Which were the best?

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Apparently, a film critic’s job description requires him or her to pick the best films of each year. A daunting challenge. Films work on many different levels for many different reasons. “Best” is at best a shifting term.

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I’ve visited Concord, Massachusetts, and stood outside Orchard House, the home where Louisa May Alcott grew up with her three sisters. Somewhere I still have a snapshot of me standing there in front of the two-story farmhouse.

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It’s that time of year again — Christmas! A colorful swirl of sugar plums and light-strung fir trees and flying reindeer and glowing nativity scenes and fat, jolly old elves. And holiday movies to put us in the mood.

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A movie like “Queen & Slim” conjures up memories of other outlaws-on-the-run flicks. Here are my Top 10 picks:

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In the futuristic movie “Escape From New York,” Manhattan had become a maximum-security prison that’s impossible from which to escape. Now, in a new crime drama called “21 Bridges,” a NYPD detective is still trying to keep bad guys bottled up on the island.

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After watching “Stuber,” I started thinking about buddy-cop movies … those action comedies where at least one of the twosome was a policeman.

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You know the plot: After the murder of his father, a young prince must learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery. No, we’re not talking about Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” We’re discussing Disney’s “The Lion King.”

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Didn’t I see Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx do this film before, an action-packed story about a taxi driver who is commandeered by a driven gunman? “Collateral” it was called.

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On Sunday, we have the 91st Academy Awards presentation. Whether you’ll be watching it from home on the TV, or as a live podcast on the big screen at your local theater, or you’re fortunate enough to walk the red carpet in Hollywood, you probably have favorites for whom you’re rooting.

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I’m not one for cheap laughs. If you agree, look no further than Wes Anderson’s clever 1998 comedy “Rushmore,” which follows 15-year-old overachiever Max Fischer in a quest to earn his teacher’s love.

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From the cobblestone roads of Rome to the scenic beaches of Bali, “Eat Pray Love” (2010) is sure to trigger a sense of wanderlust in even the most Boone-loving viewer.

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This week’s movie review focuses on a more recent movie than any other since I overtook these locally-focused reviews. “The Hundred-Foot Journey” (2014), was certainly a refreshing return to (very) modern cinema.

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Since it’s playing locally soon, and I surprisingly have never seen it, I decided to watch “Sixteen Candles” (1984) for the first time. I didn’t know what to think, and went into the film with relatively low expectations — somehow, I was still disappointed.

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Riddled with symbolic imagery, supernatural encounters and some rockin’ tunes, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000) is an adventurous Coen Brothers epic telling the tale of three runaway convicts in for a unique journey.

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The film “Paths of Glory” (1957) is set during World War I, at a time when trench warfare had the allies and the axis at a tactical stalemate. French General Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his subordinate, General Mireau (George Macready), to attack a German trench position, the Ant Hill, …

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Fried green tomatoes, anyone? I know I can’t be the only one who was hungry after seeing Kathy Bates munch into some good southern fried cookin’.

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BLOWING ROCK — The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, together with Appalachian State University, is bringing a worldwide movement to Blowing Rock on Saturday, March 19, with home movies.

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‘The Revenant:’ A classic tale of survival

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Man versus nature is one of the great enduring themes in filmmaking. From “The African Queen” to “127 Hours” to “Everest,” movie lovers have been treated to many a splendid battle where human survival is at the mercy of a merciless Mother Nature.

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Arthur RedCloud as Hikuc and Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in 'The Revenant.'

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A haunting farewell: