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Movies

Philip Martin

Columnist: Philip Martin

Jennifer Christman

Weekend Editor, Columnist: Jennifer Christman

Photo by Kirk Montgomery

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette summer movie photo illustration.

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Blockbuster bonanza

It’s a hot summer at the cinema for fans, for critics not so much

"Feature films are suffering a kind of bad time right now, in my opinion, because the feature films that play in theaters are blockbusters. That seems to fill the theaters, but the art-house cinema is gone," David Lynch told Variety recently, by way of explaining his enthusiasm for cable television, which he called "a new art house."

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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Alien: Covenant' another endless installment in what started out as truly terrifying classic

At this point, we can classify the various installments of the venerable Xenomorph franchise thusly: At the top of its own pyramid, there's the terrifying 1979 original, one of the best films ever made, for my money. Beneath that, at the top of a separate pyramid, there's James Cameron's seminal action-thriller Aliens, a tour-de-force of exquisite plotting and nail-biting sensory overload. At the bottom of the heap, we can certainly place the execrable Alien vs. Predator nonsense, designed exclusively for pre-pubescent teens with a desire to see their video game fantasies flashing before their pearly eyes.

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Norman

You know Norman Oppenheimer.

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Home Movies

XXX: Return of Xander Cage,

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Arthur's Sword stuck in stone

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword failed to pull off an Excalibur-like miracle to top Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, becoming the summer season's first big flop.

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Cannes rule redo bars Netflix films

France is a paradise for moviegoers, with thriving cinemas and state subsidies for new productions. Netflix is a global streaming giant founded on the concept that movie theaters are a thing of the past. So it was perhaps inevitable that the two worlds would collide over the Cannes Film Festival, which began here on Wednesday.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, it's easy to imagine Amy Schumer walking up to series creator Jeff Kinney and director David Bowers and telling them, "you might be overdoing it."

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Moore wants to take down a president

Michael Moore was one of few liberals who predicted Donald Trump's victory in November, and since then he has returned to his crystal ball to add a few other prophecies. Shortly after the election, he told the hosts of Morning Joe that Trump wouldn't last a term -- he'd be impeached or resign first. Then, last month, during the Tribeca Film Festival, Moore slightly amended that forecast, saying that, in fact, Trump would get booted during his second term.

Coming movies

Baywatch, R A veteran lifeguard (Dwayne Johnson) and a brash new recruit (Zac Efron) uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay. With Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Hannibal Buress; directed by Seth Gordon. May 26

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Previews

Alien: Covenant

Helpful Hints

DEAR READERS: As a world traveler, I've learned a few tricks and tips to help you stay safe and sound on a trip to any part of the world. Believe me, I've accumulated a lot of frequent-flier miles, so perhaps I can save you from some awkward moments.

Horoscopes by Holiday

Happy birthday. You are very much your own person, and you'll be shedding old myths. The next 10 weeks will do wonders for your satisfaction at work and also for your social ties. July presents a fun challenge and the ideal teammate. November brings romantic proclamations. Save up through the colder months.

On Christianity

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Many years ago I stole a fairly large sum of money from the company I was working for. I feel very guilty and wish I could pay them back, but the company isn't even in existence anymore. Will God ever forgive me? I worry about this all the time.

Super Quiz: Rhymes with moon

1. A hill of sand on a beach or in a desert

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MOVIE REVIEW: Effects overload dulls Arthur’s edge

Lead actor Hunnam on his way to being a movie star

Recently, vox.com film critic Alissa Wilkinson posted an interesting premise on Twitter: "Guys ... I think Charlie Hunnam might be a movie star." Watching the buff 37-year-old Brit in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Guy Ritchie's (wildly) loose interpretation of the enduring English legend, I think it's a question worth asking, beginning with what it is, exactly, that makes one a movie star in the first place.