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All the Sadness Preserved

Movies: ‘Amy’

Asif Kapadia’s “Amy,” about British pop singer Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning, illustrates one thing about the digital age — primary source material, in the form of home and camera videos, will be everywhere, should someone decide to make a documentary.

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A Teen and Her Mom Go to the Movies

Movies: ‘Trainwreck’

I went to see the new Amy Schumer film, “Trainwreck,” with my 16- year-old daughter Abbey, and then we discussed the film via Facebook instant message. This is a lightly edited transcript of our chat.
Jenny: In “Trainwreck,” comedian Amy Schumer plays “Amy,” a writer for a lad magazine who has taken to heart the lesson her dad taught her as a child: “monogamy is unrealistic.” 

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A Great Ian McKellen as a Real Sherlock Holmes

Movies: ‘Mr. Holmes’

This is a small film with a huge star presence: Ian McKellen. Throwing off Gandalf’s wizard robes from “Lord of the Rings” and not controlling magnetism in “X-Men,” McKellen, in “Mr. Holmes” simply acts magnificently in an oddly muddled and fuzzy film.

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Parrott Pub moves from Winsted to New Hartford

NEW HARTFORD —  After several years in business at the Ledgebrook Plaza in Winsted, the Swingin’ Parrott Pub has relocated to the Hurley Business Park in New Hartford under a new name: The Parrott Delaney Tavern.
Hurley Business Park, just removed from the center of New Hartford, is an old mill revamped to house artist studios and other businesses. The wooden floors, brick walls and high wooden-beamed ceilings maintain the airy, rustic feel of the mill building.

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Who Is This Movie For, Anyway?

Movies: ‘Minions’

This is a movie that breaks new ground, in the sense that I have never seen anything quite like a little yellow critter, wearing overalls and goggles, sing “Auld Lang Syne,” in pidgin Esperanto, to a rat.
   Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin directed “Minions,” a thoroughly bizarre animated feature, and 20 years ago I would have wanted some of whatever they are smoking.

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War and Women And the Pain of It And the Pain of It And Suffering

Movies: ‘Testament of Youth’

With its classical beauty, its emotion and its star who can seduce you with her eyes and then surprise you with her toughness, wit and spunk, “Testament of Youth” will sweep you away. 
This is a movie about World War I told, amazingly, from a woman’s point of view.

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Just Fair Warning

Movies: ‘Ted 2’

Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted 2” is 108 minutes long. I laughed five times. That works out to one laugh per 21 minutes (and change).
Of those five amusing things, two were quick parodies of contemporary media, two were variations on the doodie joke, and one was about F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Ted the animate teddy bear (MacFarlane does the voice) marries Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth).    

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Deft, and Charming, Even the End

Movies: ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

This film, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” affirms life by avoiding the clichés of teen-with-cancer stories. It is gawky, idiosyncratic, deeply felt and affecting: a fresh look at the awkward journey from teenage detachment to acceptance of real emotion.

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It’s Back, Only Cheesier

Movies: ‘Jurassic World’

If you choose to see “Jurassic World,” the long-awaited sequel to Steven Spielberg’s iconic “Jurassic Park” of 22 years ago — forget the two dreadful Jurassic movies made in between — leave your mind at the gate to the park on Isla Nublar. This lumbering, grossly uneven, silly film defies all logic. Yet it has set an all-time, worldwide ticket sales record over its opening weekend, $512 million. Dinosaurs still rock, apparently.

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Unconventional and affecting

Movies: ‘Love & Mercy’

Bill Pohldad’s “Love & Mercy” is a biographical film about Brian Wilson, the presiding genius of the Beach Boys pop group.
Rock biopics are a mixed bag. Oliver Stone’s “The Doors” wholeheartedly embraced Jim Morrison as prancing Dionysian poet legend, when a more sober assessment might have pointed out the man was also a drunken T.S. Eliot wannabe who, it might be argued, got very very lucky.

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