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Socio-political messages from an unlikely place: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

I’ve just spent two hours I’ll never get back watching “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” We had intended to go to a showing of another movie set in the 1980s—“American Hustle”—but I misread the schedule—a dimwitted move worthy of the Ron Burgundy character– and settled for something we had no intention of ever paying for.…

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Waiting for the next revolution: What “The Chicago 10” taught me about modern America

I was 17 and skeptical when I saw the movie poster for Chicago 10 at the Missouri History Museum where I work. The exaggerated cartoon figures seemed almost comical and when my boss tried to tell me that was I was about to see was like none of the other documentaries we had screened I…

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Captain Phillips: The pawn hypothesis

Directed by Paul Greengrass, and starring Tom Hanks, with outstanding performances by a group of Somali actors, Captain Phillips can be viewed and enjoyed purely as a well-made, based-on-a-true-incident action/adventure flick. But beneath the surface, there’s more to think about. Fortunately, Greengrass has avoided the temptation to club us over the head with the subtext, allows the story…

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“42:” Jackie Robinson and America’s unfinished social agenda

The new movie, “42,” tells the should-be-well-known story of Jackie Robinson, the first black player in major league baseball. For American sports fans of a certain vintage, the breaking of the color line in major league baseball in April 1947 is a familiar story of courage and grace under fire. But for baseball agnostics and…