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Articles by DIana Beechener

Someone please save Shamu

Millions of tourists flock to SeaWorld each year to enjoy marine exhibits, lay hands on happily squealing dolphins and cheer as massive Orcas perform aquatic acrobatics at their famed Shamu shows. Orcas and their trainers seem a perfect team, showing the beautiful relationships that humans can cultivate with animals.
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Being young and black in America is still dangerous

On New Year’s Eve, 2009, Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan: Chronicle) decided to take the BART to San Francisco to see fireworks and party with friends. By 9:15am the next morning, the 22-year-old was dead.
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Get rid of all your dolls, now!

Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) don’t scare easily. Ed is the only ordained demonologist who’s not a Catholic priest. Lorraine is a powerful clairvoyant who helps her husband investigate reported hauntings around the world.
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Silly plotting and ridiculous dialog don’t dampen the fun of this bombastic action flick

In the near future, a rift opens up in the Pacific Ocean. Instead of a tsunami, the rift creates an inter-dimensional portal that allows building-sized monsters to enter our world. The Kaiju —the Japanese word for strange creature — aren’t visiting our planet to check out the tourist attractions. They’re here to destroy.
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Gru lets his minions do the comedy work in this silly sequel

Retired super villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell: The Office) is a great dad to his three adopted daughters. But he isn’t very good at life on the side of right.
    Plus he has to figure out what to do with his evil scientist partner and scores of odd yellow minions.
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A gender-bending twist gives raunchy life to a buddy-cop comedy

Special agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) is good at her job. She’s a wealth of information, always on top of her investigations and can find stashed drugs faster than the K-9 unit. Unfortunately, what Ashburn boasts in brains she lacks in people skills. Half of the FBI wants her to fail; the other half avoids her.
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Pixar’s newest movie will make your kids clamor for college

Since he was just a tiny green eyeball, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal: Parental Guidance) has dreamed of being a scarer. In Monstropolis, scarers are rock stars. They sneak into human children’s bedrooms at night — via an enchanted closet door — to frighten them. The screams of kids make the electricity that runs the monster world.
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Despite Christ-like parallells and overwrought action scenes, this Superman is a fun action romp

Krypton’s advanced society is about to go extinct, doomed by bad environmental choices. As the planet falls apart, Jor-El (Russell Crowe: Broken City) and his wife Lara (Ayelet Zurer: Touch) conclude the only hope for the people of Krypton is sending their son Kal to a new world with the genetic information of every one of the planet’s citizens....

What could have been an interesting political satire or a subversive black comedy is instead a dreadfully dull horror movie laden with stereotypes

In 2022, the American government has come up with a solution for crime: The Purge. Once every year, for 12 hours, all crime is legal. You can murder, rape, assault and rob to your heart’s content and get a free pass. Government officials are protected, emergency services are shut down and the rest of the country lets it rip.
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NFL players no match in charity softball game

A friendly charity match turned into a beating around the bottom of the fourth inning. The June 1 NFL vs. Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team game drew crowds from nearby military bases and football fans from far and wide.
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