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‘Stalingrad’s’ vision of war a stark one

We’ve seen so many war movies in America that part of us thinks that war makes sense, particularly World War II. But the Russians know things that we don’t know. They know that even winning a war can be disastrous. World War II cost 400,000 American lives, a big number, but the Soviet Union lost more than 24 million. Or to put it another way, more than 1 out of every 8 people in the Soviet Union died in World War II.

Action takes wing in ‘Non-Stop’

The label “durable” – as in “durable leading man” – has never fit Liam Neeson more than it does in these late-career action pictures that have become his bread and butter since “Taken.”

Screen Scene: Movie best bets this week (Feb. 28)

“The Wind Rises” – This Oscar nominee for best animated feature is about the life of Jiro Horikoshi, who would go on to design the Zero, Japan’s World War II fighter plane.

Movie Maniac: ‘Wichita’ the movie in three parts, in three parts of Wichita the city

Tallgrass Film Association, the group that annually produces the Tallgrass Film Festival, presents its first event of the year on Friday night.

Screen scene: Oscar shorts at the library

The Wichita Public Library again will present screenings of Academy Award-nominated animated, live-action and documentary short films through March 1. Admission to all screenings is free. Most films are unrated and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Screenings of Oscar-nominated short films begin Saturday in Wichita, Derby

For the 28th year, the Wichita Public Library will host screenings of Academy Award-nominated animated, live-action and documentary short films. Screenings start Saturday and continue through March 1.

'Dallas Buyers Club' puts Matthew McConaughey on Oscar track

There’s a little private thing that Matthew McConaughey likes to do to relax, a sort of call and response with his own body, a chest-thumping, masculine-humming rhythmic trance that he finds centering.

‘Labor Day’ forgettable holiday

The funniest unintentional laugh in “Labor Day” is the way adaptor/director Jason Reitman treats this eye-rolling, melodramatic romance novel as if he’s got his hands on the works of Dostoevsky or Tolstoy.

Apparently, hell hath no fury like a Tarantino scorned

If you’re lucky enough to be among Quentin Tarantino’s trusted crowd, you’d think you’d be a little more careful when he trusts you with something top secret.

Fiennes’ acting only good thing about ‘Invisible Woman’

Ralph Fiennes brings the many colors and contradictions of writer Charles Dickens to glorious life in “The Invisible Woman,” a melancholy biography about Dickens’ affair with a much younger woman while at the height of his fame.

Predict the Oscar winners and win a trip to Hollywood

Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren says he loves the mystique of old Hollywood.

Oscar-nominated films can be seen in theaters, at home

Many of the Oscar-nominated movies that aren’t playing in theaters anymore can still be seen by movie fans who don’t mind buying DVDs and Blu-ray films – or who are in the practice of renting and buying digital movies from online services such as Amazon Video on Demand, iTunes and Google Play.

How to play: the basics

Welcome to The Wichita Eagle’s Oscar Ballot Contest for the 86th Academy Awards. We have a new format this year with two contests, separated by age groups, and a new promotional partner, Warren Theatres. Here’s what you need to do to play:

Movie about late Christian singer Rich Mullins debuts in Wichita

Nearly 20 years after leaving Wichita, Rich Mullins still evokes strong memories here.

The best movies you missed this year

All the various film awards and nominations are piling up at the same doorsteps this year, a monotonous drumbeat of “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” acclaim. Those films, from “Dallas Buyer’s Club” to “All is Lost,” earn a new lease on life, thanks to the fickle finger of “awards season.”

‘American Hustle’ dances close to brilliance

It was a time of wide ties and velvet suits, jangly jewelry, open shirts, big hair and boat-sized cars. After Watergate, cynicism was everybody’s default mode. The economy was in the toilet, disco was on the radio, and everybody was corrupt.

SAG, Golden Globe nominations signal Oscar chances

Two more high-profile groups announced their awards nominations this week, kicking movie awards season into high(er) gear.

‘Smaug’ lords it over first ‘Hobbit’ film

Bilbo turns tougher and more cunning and “The Hobbit” turns altogether more entertaining in “The Desolation of Smaug,” Peter Jackson’s livelier, funnier and action-packed middle film in his trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s slight delight of a novel.

Overblown acting mars ‘Furnace’

Memories of “The Deer Hunter” creep in long before the deer hunt in “Out of the Furnace,” co-writer/director Scott Cooper’s ambitious, impressionistic and confused ode to steel belt machismo, family and revenge.

‘Catching Fire’ on target as second ‘Hunger Games’ installment

The Districts are in revolt. People are being shot simply for raising their hands and whistling – not because they’re trying to hail a cab (they’re too poor), but as a symbol of solidarity and protest.

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