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National Lampoon: A Sad Movie About a Funny Guy

Movies: ‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’

I remember when the edict came down.
I was working at the Crown Books store in McLean, Va. In 1978, I was 16, old enough to work but not old enough to unpack certain magazines and put them on the very top rear of the rack, with pieces of brown board to obscure all but the titles of fine periodicals such as Hustler, Penthouse and Swank.
And National Lampoon.
Because, as “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” keeps reminding us, the NatLamp had [insert common slang term for breasts].

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This Bunny Is Not Just For Kids

Movies: ‘Peter Rabbit’

As rabbits go, Peter must be considered the “Methuselah” of the species. Born in 1902 on the pages of “The Tales of Peter Rabbit” by prolific author/illustrator Beatrix Potter, Peter has survived generations of short attention span readers, tsunamis of technology and competition from stories that feature superheroes, interplanetary flight and nuclear explosions. He hops on, starring in ‘Peter Rabbit,’ a film now in wide release.

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Tonya Harding Skating on Thin Ice

Movies: ‘I, Tonya’

‘I, Tonya” is a muddled film about Tonya Harding, the first American woman to land a difficult triple axel jump and for a few years a consistent medal winner in national and international figure skating competitions, who was disgraced for lying about a poorly planned and ridiculously carried out attack on the leg of her main American rival, Nancy Kerrigan, in 1994.

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‘Elevator Pitch’ For The Moviehouse

No, they’re not grumpy unknowns appearing on the Millerton Moviehouse screens before every feature presentation. Macey Levin and Richard Boyle, both delightful residents of Salisbury and movie lovers of a “certain” age, are starring in an “Elevator Pitch,” scripted and designed by theater co-owner Robert Sadlon to help raise money for an elevator between the theater’s first and second floors.

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Watching Films Off The Grid

Film: Boondocks Film Society

In the three or so years I’ve lived in Salisbury, I’ve made some amazing friends, none of whom happen to be under the age of 40. Generally, I’m okay with that. When I need a dose of millennial drama, I can pack a duffel on a Friday night and trek down to New York or Philly, where most of my 20-something friends live, spend the weekend analyzing our uncertain futures and eating too much lox (my squad knows how to rage), then return to my hermitage in the woods on Sunday, hungover and mostly grateful for the quiet life I lead. 

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The Great Actor’s Last Film

Movies: 'Phantom Thread ’

Daniel Day-Lewis does not act roles, he inhabits them. Now, in his self-proclaimed last movie role, he is Reynolds Woodcock, a famous couturier to the rich and famous in London’s extravagant post-World War II in Paul Thomas Anderson’s gorgeous meditation on the tyranny of creativity, “Phantom Thread.”

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Kindness and Decency Win

Movies: ‘Paddington 2’

‘Paddington 2” recently became the best reviewed movie in Rotten Tomatoes’ history. Ousting “Toy Story 2” from the top spot — 167 “fresh” reviews to 163 — the return of the little bear from “Darkest Peru” is a delight for movie lovers and audiences seeking a film that focuses on kindness, decency and good manners in these incredibly unkind and indecent times. 

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A True Story?

Movies: 'The Post'

Let’s begin with the good stuff. 
The Post is a movie that is absolutely ideal for the time we are living in. It makes you feel good. There is nothing wrong with that. We desperately need a big story with a happy ending.
The good guys win, and the hero is a woman. What a terrific antidote to these terrible times of Trump. A movie that is made by Stephen Spielberg is one you know will not disappoint.
The cast is first rate.

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Sorkin’s Film Debut A Brash Biopic

Movie: ‘Molly’s Game’

Jessica Chastain is a full-throttle actress: She charges into every screen role full speed ahead. Her no-holds-barred acting is exciting, powerful; each of her characters is informed by her intelligence in bringing them to life, whether in “The Help,” “The Martian” or “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

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Liquid Love

Movie: ‘The Shape of Water’

Go with the flow in Guillermo del Toro’s magical fantasy, “The Shape of Water,” and you will be immersed in a world of greenish light, of settings that seem perpetually wet, of dark hallways and faces — many worried — caught in shadow. This is a world informed by del Toro’s nostalgic love of movies, beginning with “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” and including everything from the faded red-velvet glory of an old movie house to tap dancing inspired by a Betty Grable movie.

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