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A&E Blog

Now-a-Dollar Dec. 9

by Scott Renshaw
Posted // 2011-12-08 -

Two newcomers to local discount theaters could very well represent cinematic matter and anti-matter: supernatural horror, and Woody Allen.

The biggest box-office success in Allen's 40-year-plus filmmaking career, Midnight in Paris casts Owen Wilson as a struggling writer whose romanticized notions of Jazz Era Paris come to life when he's able to travel back in time nightly to schmooze with Hemingway, Fitzgerald and the like. Smartly acted and less forced than most of Allen's recent films, it's a satisfying observation about the dangers of nostalgia, even when some of the characters come off one-note and Allen appears a bit too enamored of nudging viewers about his cast of historical characters.

Then there's Paranormal Activity 3, which flashes back to the creepy phenomena that afflicted the sisters from the first two films in their childhood. CW's Eric D. Snider noted that the returns on the franchise are diminishing, but "if coming up with new magic tricks isn't an option, performing the old ones with flair will suffice -- for now, anyway."

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