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Articles by DIana Beechener

Aside from a not-so-new twist, this movie is an entertaining illusion

Four magicians, drawn together by a mysterious puppet master, team up to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Think Robin Hood with flash paper and sequins. As if pillaging the bank accounts of the one-percent isn’t hard enough, the illusionists must evade the pernicious attention of an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo: Iron Man 3) tasked with lowering the curtain on this charitable crime spree.
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Are stunning visuals enough to conceal the plot holes in this animated tale of good vs. evil?

Teenager M.K. (Amanda Seyfried: The Big Wedding) is forced to move back in with her father (Jason Sudeikis: Movie 43) after the death of her mother. A veritable stranger to her, Dad is far more interested in tiny people who he believes live in the forest than in his mourning child.
    Dear old dad might not be as crazy as M.K. believes.
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The beloved franchise trades Sci-Fi for action in this bombastic sequel

After a routine mission goes awry, the Enterprise is called back to Earth and cavalier captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine: Rise of the Guardians) is demoted for his disregard of the Prime Directive. Kirk’s disciplining is put on hold, however, when terrorist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch: The Hobbit) brings Star Fleet to its knees.
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The Wounded ­Warrior Amputee Softball Team proves it ain’t over yet

When soldier Saul Bosquez lost his left leg below the knee during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007, he discovered his game was not finished, just delayed.
    “My great grandpa lost fingers in a tractor accident, but I didn’t know anyone that had been injured like I had,” Bosquez told Bay Weekly.
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Put your cell phone down now!

In a world where you can talk to someone on the other side of the planet with a few strokes on a computer, why is it so difficult to take time to speak to the person in front of you?
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We examine the man behind the iron suit in this fun, nonsensical action flick

After saving the world from alien invaders with his Avenger pals, billionaire playboy/part-time super-suit inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.: The Avengers) is having trouble sleeping. It seems that a wormhole full of vicious invaders, a brush with death and the enormity of being Iron Man have caught up with the usually unflappable superhero.
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I saw this movie, so you don’t have to

The Big Wedding is a special romantic comedy. It is a movie so vapid, so devoid of genuine emotion and so mind-numbingly dull that it is, in actuality, an achievement in bad filmmaking. After a few minutes of this dreck, you begin to wonder whether or not this movie is in fact some elaborate prank....

Two boys learn the ugly truth about life and love in this coming-of-age drama

What would you do if you found a boat in a tree? Fourteen-year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan: The Tree of Life) and his best bud Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) claim it.
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Canine Companions train years to give people independence

When Bay Weekly last checked in on Canine Companions for Independence trainee Eaton, the golden retriever/Lab mix had just stepped on the path to becoming a service dog. Paired with first-time puppy trainers Emerson and Donna Davis, Eaton spent 18 months getting socialized and learning obedience [www.bayweekly. com/articles/features/article/good-dogs].
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Aboriginal singers fight racial profiling with soul

In 1967, the Australian government classified the land’s native Aboriginal tribes as “Flora and Fauna.” To help the indigenous people, the government took to inspecting Aboriginal settlements, looking for fair-skinned children. Such children were taken from their tribe and families and sent to a special school, where they were taught to pass as white and to abandon their culture.
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