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Philip Martin

Columnist: Philip Martin

Jennifer Christman

Weekend Editor, Columnist: Jennifer Christman

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MOVIE REVIEW: At long last, a movie for adults, come Hell or High Water

Come the dog days of August, film critics can expect to see a lot of things up on the silver screen as studios, having finally exhausted their stockpile of tent-pole offerings, empty out the rest of their wares like someone opening a purse and dumping the remaining contents on the floor. One thing we would not expect to see, however, is a genuine, honest-to-god denouement.

Author tells story of Apple of arms

It's rare that I ever get assigned to cover a movie about a job I've actually done.

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Kubo and the Two Strings

Nearly every kids movie purports to be about magic. Either the kind that appears in incantations and cauldrons, or the implied kind in which every whimsical story is said to entrance the young and cast a spell of loving tranquility upon them (see Disney, Walt); but very few of them take the subject as seriously as the singularly peculiar East/West hybrid Kubo and the Two Strings.

Ben-Hur

Remaking William Wyler's breathtaking, if gargantuan, 1959 adaptation of Lew Wallace's novel Ben-Hur seems like an act of folly. But maybe there's no harm in making another film of the book. After all, Wyler himself was remaking two different silent films, from 1907 and 1925, on the latter of which he worked as an assistant.

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War Dogs

Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) is the kind of loud, disarmingly round dude who slicks his hair back, wears Lacoste shades, calls everyone "bro," and acts as if he's got everything well in hand. That is right up until he's indisposed in Fallujah during the Iraq War, and spots a couple of caravans of gun-toting Iraqi nomads barreling down at him and his parked truck full of expensive Italian guns along with his best friend, David Packouz (Miles Teller). Then, he freaks out, and you quickly come to realize he's actually not in control of a damn thing.

PREVIEWS

Ben-Hur 78 PG-13 In the chariot-wheel tracks of two previous film versions (a 1925 silent and the 1959 Charlton Heston epic), based on the novel, subtitled A Tale of the Christ, by Lew Wallace. Jack Huston plays a prince who endures years of slavery and hardship but survives to take vengeance on his adopted brother (Toby Kebbell), a Roman officer who had falsely accused him of treason. With Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Morgan Freeman, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Moises Arias; directed by Timur Bekmambetov. (124 minutes)

Suicide Squad leads pack again

LOS ANGELES -- Although Warner Bros.' hit super-villain mashup Suicide Squad dominated the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row, all eyes are on the performance of Columbia's animated Sausage Party. The for-grown-ups-only picture pulled in about $34.3 million in the United States and Canada, well above analyst projections of $20 million. For a film that cost only $19 million to make, such a performance is stellar.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

Don't Breathe, R A group of friends who break into the house of a wealthy blind man thinking they'll get away with the perfect heist discover they're badly mistaken. With Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang, Emma Bercovici; directed by Fede Alvarez. Aug. 26

Super Quiz: Comic-Strip Cartoonists

1. "Li'l Abner": A.C.

Helpful Hints

DEAR READERS: Now that school is underway in most parts of the country, consider practicing D.E.A.R. time (Drop Everything and Read) with children at home. Reading, especially at home, is a vital component of students progressing in their learning skills. Try to establish a family reading time, even if it's only 10-20 minutes.

On Christianity

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Our preacher keeps telling us to put our trust in God and to live every day according to His promises, but I have a hard time doing this. Does faith just come harder to some people (like me) than it does to others?

Horoscopes by Holiday

Happy birthday. Do not miss the opportunity to travel, especially to foreign lands. Long after the expense of this has been forgotten, the experience will continue to invigorate your life, including spiritually and socially. The end of the year brings miraculous connections for family and finance.

Home Movies

God's Not Dead 2, directed by Harold Cronk

NW COMING ATTRACTIONS

Don't Breathe, R A group of friends who break into the house of a wealthy blind man thinking they'll get away with the perfect heist discover they're badly mistaken. With Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang, Emma Bercovici; directed by Fede Alvarez. Aug. 26