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Articles by DIana Beechener

Zombies and ghosts and mermen. Oh my!

When five attractive college co-eds spend the weekend at a creepy isolated cabin in the woods, it’s no surprise they’re marked for death. We’ve seen this movie, and it always ends the same way: Someone gets high, someone flashes her breasts and almost everyone dies.
    Such is the world of slasher filmmaking. Fans love it just the way it is.
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The hardest part of raising a puppy to be a Companion dog is saying goodbye

Since birth, Eaton’s destiny has been to serve. The golden retriever-Labrador mix was bred to be a calm, focused and obedient companion to a human in need. Aspiring to join the 1,721 active Canine Companions for Independence teams, Eaton hopes to help a disabled owner live a fuller life.
    For duty’s sake, Eaton gave up a typical puppy-hood.
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Children can be little monsters. But if you give birth to a real monster? We Need to Talk About Kevin is a nightmare about the nature of evil.
    When a pregnancy interrupts Eva Khatchadourian’s (Tilda Swinton: Chronicles of Narnia) exciting life of travel and extravagance, she reluctantly settles down to play the roles of wife and mommy.
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Rude Ranch Animal Rescue steps into the spotlight

With a nickname like The Best Little Cat House in Maryland, you might imagine that Rude Ranch earned its screen time on HBO. But Harwood’s unique no-kill shelter has won a prime spot on Animal Planet’s show Must Love Cats. The popular show features profiles of fascinating cats and the people who love them.
    How did Rude Ranch get a feature? Through happenstance and the power of the Internet.
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Sword fighting, dwarves, lush visuals and not a script in sight

Once upon a time, a movie mogul imagined it was time for another adaptation of Snow White. In a fairytale world, this would mean a beautiful production with excellent performances.
    In reality, what we got was a poison apple: Beautiful on the outside and deadly dull beneath the surface.
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And you thought your teens were tough

Adolescence is a difficult period. Wondering whether your crush likes you back. Picking out a cool Facebook profile picture. Trying to figure out txt spk.
    For Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence: X-Men: First Class) those troublesome teen years are a bit harder. She has to fight other teens to the death in the annual Hunger Games.
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Patuxent Wildlife Art Show screens movies with a message

For 23 years, the Friends of the Patuxent have raised funds for their beloved natural refuge by holding a weekend-long art show and sale. For 20 years, The Environmental Film Festival has raised awareness for the decline of the planet by screening green-themed films in the D.C. area. Three years ago the groups joined forces.
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Sometimes crass is all you need

21 Jump Street is an immature comedy, full of penis references, bodily function humor, comedic violence and drug jokes that appeal to the lowest common denominator.
    I laughed through the whole movie.
    Sometimes the best humor comes from rude places. But if you dislike strong language and sexual humor, you’ll have the vapors before the 20-minute mark.
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Beautiful effects and interplanetary drama isn’t enough to make up for a terrible lead

When confederate soldier John Carter (Taylor Kitsch: Friday Night Lights) realizes he’s on Mars, he is filled with wonder and amazement. I tell you this now, because it’s hard to decipher what Carter thinks or feels since Kitsch plays him with a slack-jawed blankness that makes you wonder if there’s enough air on the red planet to support brainwaves.
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Actress Mary Ann Jung breathes life into women’s history

It’s business as usual at the Pasadena Senior Center, until Mary Ann Jung walks in waving a knife.
    “Julia Child presents the chicken sisters,” Jung trills in Child’s unmistakable accent. Whipping the coverlet off a table, she reveals raw chickens of several sizes.
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