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Articles by Diana Beechener

A southern-fried catastrophe ruins Pixar’s stellar run at the top of animation.

After 16 years of producing the most lauded animation in the film industry, Pixar has earned the blind trust of critics and audiences alike. This is why the horrible, thoughtless cash grab of Cars 2 seems like such a betrayal. It’s like finding out your favorite uncle secretly enjoys kicking puppies.
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JJ Abrams writes a love note to Stephen Spielberg with aliens, explosions and boyish wonder

Did you ever wonder what would have happened if ET had been found by the government instead of that adorable moppet Elliott?
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Each year, thousands of citizens report their bird sightings to the Christmas Bird Count, the longest-running citizen science project in the world. This year researchers are hoping that citizens will take this bird sighting zeal from land to sea.
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An excellent origins story is bogged down by too many mutants with no motivation

In the swinging 1960s, two mutant men set very different goals for themselves. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy: Gnomeo and Juliet) is hoping to use his telepathic abilities to score college co-eds — oh, and to unite other mutants, in hopes of celebrating the beauty of genetics....

The South County Senior ShowStoppers prove that ambition isn’t a young person’s game

The South County Senior ShowStoppers want you to know they’re more than just belly dancers. Shimmying seniors on Social Security may be what gets the variety troupe noticed, but this diverse bunch has more than swiveling hips to recommend them....

Po and his band of martial arts friends make feathers fly in this fun sequel

After becoming the famed Dragon Warrior in his last film, tubby panda warrior Po (Jack Black: Gulliver’s Travels) is living large....

A fresh start offers the same old problems

A lonely Spanish fishing boat pulls up a man in its net. Clasping a map and suddenly reanimated, he mumbles something about the Fountain of Youth.
    To the king!
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The Postal Service sinks its teeth into a worthy cause

The Postal Service is sick and tired of dogs monitoring the mail. Last year 5,669 postal workers were attacked by dogs in 1,400 cities throughout the U.S.
    The problem is bigger than puppies going postal.
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Kristen Wiig proves that women can be funny too, when they write the script.

Annie (Kristen Wiig: Paul) isn’t having the best year. Her cake-baking business went under in the recession. She’s in a sex-only relationship with a vapid but handsome user (Jon Hamm: Mad Men). Now childhood friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph: Saturday Night Live) asks Annie to be her maid of honor.
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The God of Thunder rumbles through two worlds in this fun comic book adaptation

Life ain’t easy when you’re the son of the Asgardian king. Well, actually, it’s pretty easy, but arrogant young Thor (Chris Hemsworth: Ca$h) makes life hard for himself.
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