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Articles by Diana beechener

Because it’s not that scary

When a small, somber girl arrives at a creepy Rhode Island house, all hell breaks loose. Well, annoying basement monsters break loose, but you get the idea.
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Once your school days are behind you, it’s time to learn for fun

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was barking up the wrong tree. Or visiting the wrong classroom.
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Vampires finally get to be the bad guys in this clever remake

Vampires have been in a sorry state for over a decade. With the advent of Twilight, True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, these creatures of the night have been defanged by popular culture. Turned into tortured and misunderstood souls, the once great monsters became the mopey teens of the horror genre.
    That’s why it’s a delightful surprise that Fright Night allows its vamps to have some bite.
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Dogs Finding Dogs sniffs out missing pets

Heidi doesn’t run. She surges. The original tracker for Maryland’s Dogs Finding Dogs, Heidi is expert at following the scents of animals who leave home without their owners. When the black German shepherd gets the scent, she follows her nose wherever it takes her: through brush, across mud, over concrete and anywhere else your pet may have gone.
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An Iraqi soldier finds himself in a Middle Eastern version of Scarface in this well acted thriller

On the eve of the first Gulf War, Iraqi soldier Latif (Dominic Cooper: Captain America) is doing his duty in the skirmishes and dreaming of the day he can leave the military and join his father in the family bookstore.
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Talent Machine’s 13- to 18-year-old thespians bring to life Cole Porter’s Can-Can

Talent Machine’s 13- to 18-year-old thespians bring to life Cole Porter’s Can-Can, a musical about the music, dance, love and artistry of 1890s’ Paris. Featuring the songs Never Give Anything Away, I Am in Love and Come Along with Me.

Fri. Aug. 12 & Sat. Aug. 13 at 7:30pm. Key Auditorium, St. John’s College, Annapolis. $12 w/age discounts: 410-956-0512; www.talentmachine.com.

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This smart re-imagining of a Sci-Fi classic will make you want to join the Simian Revolution

It’s hard to win over a crowd when the premise of your movie is the demise of humanity. Still, at my screening of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, humans were actively cheering for chimpanzee Caesar (Andy Serkis: Burke and Hare) to kick some bi-ped butt.
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A fun but mindless action movie puts the plot out to pasture in order to focus on effects and fun

A man with no name rides into a dustbowl of a western town. No, he’s not Clint Eastwood, but it’s a reasonable facsimile.
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Breakfast Club takes childhood hunger battle to the streets

Nathaniel Quimby spent the summer of second grade worried about his friends. The elementary schooler fretted that a friend who depended on cafeteria meals would go hungry during the break.
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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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