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Articles by Diana Beechener

A silly old bear and his buddies prove you don’t need 3D to make great animation

Since Walt Disney last visited the Hundred Acre Woods, animation has seen the advent of 3D, computer rendering and gross-out humor. This no-frills revisit to the classic story of Winnie the Pooh is a return to hand-drawn animation.
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This patriotic hero had more dimension in comicsCaptain America: The First Avenger

Writing a negative review of Captain America: The First Avenger makes me feel a traitor. But here goes. On paper the Cap (Chris Evans: Puncture) is a pretty good idea: He wears a costume that pays tribute to the stars and stripes. He fights Nazis with gusto. And unlike other action heroes, his virtue is beyond reproach.
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A decade of magical movies ends with a spellbinding film

Dirty, exhausted and ready to embrace his fate, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) enters the forest for a showdown with the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes: Clash of the Titans). Most moviegoers know how the story ends, yet the movie audience gasped as the battle began. That’s the power of Potter.
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Three friends prove the best revenge makes for great comedy

Everyone has had a moment of wanting to kill the boss. Maybe it’s a fleeting thought after a bad meeting or a constant daydream in a hostile work environment. Either way, typically, calmer heads prevail and no lives are lost.
    In Horrible Bosses, calmer heads don’t prevail, and it’s pretty damn funny.
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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....