In the Dark

Everyone has a story. That’s why the memoir business thrives. In recent times, it really can be traced back to Mary Karr’s “The Liar’s Club” (1995), a raw account of her childhood under the care of two very dysfunctional parents who happened to live right here in Southeast Texas. It sparked a memoir renaissance as knowns and unknowns decided they also had stories to tell. Karr milked two follow-ups, one of which, “Lit,” has been purchased by HBO with the hopes that it will be adapted for television.

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It’s not easy revisiting the past, but sometimes it’s necessary. At least that’s how director Kathryn Bigelow felt about the epic Detroit riot of 1967. Ignited by an afterhours raid on a black nightclub by the Detroit police force, it lasted for days.

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Where were you when the wall came tumbling down? In the fall of 1989, Reagan was in the Oval Office and Eastern Europe was in a free fall. Frankly, I don’t remember where I was when the Berlin Wall finally fell, but as the premise for this movie, it intrigued me from the beginning.

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With the summer movie season halfway over, it’s time to look ahead. The temperature won’t move much through September and October, but the tone of movies will as the season moves away from the blockbusters and raunchy comedies to more dramas and serious fare with Oscar contenders competing for audience attention. A quick look reveals one trend toward horror films — not the usual stuff, but more psychological horror stories, with some major players.

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Talk about a hard sell: A comedy about a young woman in a medically induced coma near death is risky business. But what is it comedians always say? Comedy is nothing but mining your personal tragedies for laughs, and that’s what comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon have done in their touching, hilarious story.

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton

Directed by: Jon Watts

Rated: PG-13

 

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Marvel Studios has revamped “Spider-Man” for the third time. Tobey Maguire didn’t quite get it done and Andrew Garfield was just too morose to capture the character. But now, finally, I think Marvel has finally found what makes this character tick and it turns out just to let Peter Parker be himself — a nerdy teenager.

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‘Baby Driver’

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Rated: R

 

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Once in awhile, a veteran actor will connect with a role that showcases them to the degree there is talk of an Oscar nomination — maybe a win. And it can revive a career, if needed. “The Hero” will not be such a role for Sam Elliott, although it seems tailor-made for him.

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What I hoped would be a yummy art house feature to relieve a long, hot summer fell far short of my expectations. Allow me to save you a needless trip to a Houston cinema to see “My Cousin Rachel” when you can just wait for cable pay-per-view. I’ll wager it will be available by August.

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Wonder Woman

‘Wonder Woman’

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Rated: PG-13

 

As superheroes go, I was never very fond of Wonder Woman. As imagined in the old TV show starring Lynda Carter, the costume was a skimpy, satin, patriotic, sexist invention. And her superpowers were a couple of cuffs, a shield and a lasso? What’s so special about that?

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