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Learn to Fence at the Greater Flint YMCA

FLINT — If you have ever thought of trying sport fencing, now is your chance. The YMCA downtown is offering beginner classes starting Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Learn the basics of foil fencing, footwork, attacks, parry and riposte. Equipment and instruction will be furnished by the Genesee Fencing Club. Class size is limited so pre-registration is advised.

So Engarde mes amies. For more information

and registration contact gfcfencing@sbcglobal.

net — G.G.

Acorn Cottage Art Open House

GOODRICH — Acorn Cottage Art, 4895 Hegel Rd., announces an Open House 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9-10.

The event features garden art, jewelry, painted furniture, fairy art, nature art, holiday art, pottery, note cards and more from local artists. Details: 810-797-5271. — N.B.

White Elephant Sale coming

BURTON — The Flint Genealogical Society (FGS) is having its annual. “White Elephant Sale of Genealogical Materials” on Sept. 7 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Burton Senior Activity Center, 3410 South Grand Traverse, Burton.

All researchers know that sometimes surprising finds happen out of the blue. Come to the FGS September meeting to be surprised by the program. Details: Trudy Krueger at 810-232-5835 or tgkrueger@att.net. The library can be reached at 810-744-0960.

Harvest Festival at Le Fleur Decor

HADLEY — Le Fleur Decor, 3442 Hadley Rd., announces its Harvest Festival 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 25.

The festival features artisans, farm fresh produce, car show, pumpkins, mums and fall

decor. Details: 810-797-4745 or www.lefleur

decor.com. — N.B.

Comedy Troupe performs at Churchill’s

FLINT — The Stephen James Comedy Troupe performs in the entertainment room at Churchill’s Food & Spirits, 340 S. Saginaw St., Wednesday nights from 7-9 p.m. The cost is $10 at the door.

Details: 810-618-7517 or e-mail stephenjamescomedy@

gmail.com. — G.G.

Flint Technical High School Class of 1950

BURTON — Sixty years of class reunion and celebration will take place Sept. 11.

The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. The place to be is Walli’s Restaurant, 1341 S. Center Rd. Burton. Please contact Jim Cokley at 810- 249-4213 for further information. — G.G.

Sweet display at the Sloan Museum

FLINT — “The Sweet Side” is a display at the Sloan Museum, 1221 E. Kearsley St., about the history of candy shops, bakeries and “sweet” shops in Flint. Even adults feel like kids in a candy shop, so the exhibit is for all ages.

The exhibit is now through Nov. 6 and the cost is $6 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (3-11). Details: 810-237-3450. — G.G.

Push for blood donors is on

GENESEE COUNTY — Summertime is when blood donors are needed most, so that’s why Michigan Blood is giving donors one more reason to give blood.

Michigan Blood’s Pure Michigan Summer sweepstakes invites donors to “Give and Get Away” to one of Michigan’s premier destinations. Anyone who tries to give blood through Sept. 12 can enter monthly and weekly prize drawings.

Grand Prizes include weekend trip to Detroit for a Detroit Tigers game, getaways to the Grand Hotel and to Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, and tickets for the Michigan/Michigan State football game on Oct. 9 in Ann Arbor. Weekly prizes include a variety of destinations, activities, and gift cards.

See a complete list of prizes at www.miblood.org. — G.G.

Local families needed to host exchange students

GENESEE COUNTY — American freedom and democracy are a part of our everyday lives and something that we often take for granted. Have you ever thought about sharing with the rest of the world what makes America so special?

You can by hosting a teen from one of more than 30 countries for the upcoming school year or semester. Grand Blanc area families are still needed to host students who will study at local high schools for a semester or school year. Families of all types are eligible to host: those with young children or teens or families with no children at home.

They are expected to treat their exchange students as family members. The students, who will arrive this month, are participating in the SHARE! High School Exchange Program to learn firsthand about Americans and our way of life. They speak English, have medical insurance, and bring spending money for personal expenses.

Details: Larry and Heather Kokx at 810-429- 7801, or e-mail kokx97@charter.net. — G.G.

Beat the heat by visting Sloan Museum

FLINT — Sloan Museum has a variety of fun things available for families looking to escape the summer heat. Attendees can ride on a hovercraft chair, watch balls zoom from one place to another and make a hot air balloon float.

Other attractions include hands-on exhibits about gravity, friction and the laws of motion. Details: www.sloanmuseum.com. — N.B.

Humane Society hosts ‘Simply Seniors’ event

BURTON — The Genesee County Humane Society, G-3325 S. Dort Hwy., announces its “Simply Seniors” event 2-4 p.m. Sept. 24.

Details or to attend: Call the humane society

at 810-744-0511 or visit www.geneseehumane.

org. — N.B. (M.P. — Michael Phillips; B.S. — Betsy Sharkey;

K.T. — Kenneth Turan; R.M. — Roger Moore; R.A.

— Robert Abele, G.W. — Glenn Whipp)

Dinner for Schmucks

This remake of a French farce has a lot of funny people going for it. In it, a wealthy businessman hosts a monthly soiree for which his employees must bring an idiot to dinner, and the best idiot wins. Tim (Paul Rudd) feels conflicted about this, but into his life (and off the front of his car) bounces a pluperfect dolt, played by Steve Carell. While cast members like Jemaine Clement and Zach Galifianakis play well, this schmuckedup American edition does the chortling for us and then scolds us for laughing. Or, in my case, not. PG-13 (crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language). 1:54. 1 1/2 stars. — M.P.

Eat Pray Love

It is easy to watch “Eat Pray Love,” the pretty, languid film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling journal of self-discovery. Director and coadapter Ryan Murphy’s film will likely do the trick for a good percentage of those who loved Gilbert’s memoir. The movie has the advantage of getting more fun as it goes. Manhattan travel writer Liz, played by Roberts, gets up the nerve to leave her flaky husband and travel through Italy, India and Bali in search of fulfillment, fun and food. PG-13 (brief strong language, sexual references and male rear nudity). 2:13. 2 stars. — M.P.

Machete

I’m talkin’ ’bout Machete! He’s the federale who’s a sex machine and no friend of the racist white folk out to mess with all the murderous, blade-flashing attitude for which he stands. This film pits undocumented workers against reactionary, bloodthirsty vigilantes. It’s outlandishly gory and bluntly political, but it wears out its welcome long before its 105 minutes are up. The beheadings and behandings and stiletto-heel-inthe craniums are diverting for a while, but Robert Rodriguez fails again to provide compelling escapism. R (strong bloody violence throughout, language, sexual content and nudity). 1:45. 2 stars. — M.P.

Nanny McPhee Returns

This sequel is pushier and more frantic than the charming original. A fine fat hit in the U.K., this film transports us back to WWII-era rural England where the farm belonging to the beleaguered Green family is on the brink. The three Green children are forced to play host to their snooty London cousins, all watched over by the supernatural presence of Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson). Shenanigans ensue. Too much of the contrasting comedy in the movie is shrill, laden with routine computer-generated effects and pounded into dust by the score. PG (rude humor, language and mild thematic elements). 1:49. 2 stars. — M.P.

Takers

This frantic, entertaining heist film is noisy and unsubtle, but it gets the job done. Top-billed Matt Dillon plays a detective who’s chasing a quintet of stylish hoodlums played by the likes of Idris Elba, Tip “T.I.” Harris and Chris Brown. They’ve been persuaded by a former colleague, just out of the clink, to blow up part of a downtown LA street and boost an armored truck’s worth of banknotes. It’s an unpretentious time-waster. And I rather liked it. PG-13 (intense sequences of violence and action, a sexual situation/partial nudity and language). 1:47. 2 1/2 stars. — M.P.

The American

The new George Clooney film “The American” is pretty. It’s also pretty dour, even with all the Italian mountain scenery, used here as a backdrop to the tale of an old school, one-at-a-time weapons manufacturer trying to get out of the business he’s in, by way of One Last Score. Dutch director Anton Corbijn exhibits an extreme sense of visual control, mirroring Clooney’s performance, while giving the film a sparse, almost gray feeling. The film’s visuals are undeniable. So is its destiny as an audience-divider. R (violence, sexual content and nudity). 1:35. 2 1/2 stars. —

M.P.

The Expendables

The cinematic equivalent of Ribfest, Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables” is all gristle and meat. The Expendables are mercenaries, and good ones. Most of the action takes place in the tiny, fictional South American island nation of Vilena, where the lads (Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and company) have been hired by a shadowy CIA sort (Bruce Willis in a cameo featuring a cameo-within-a-cameo from Arnold Schwarzenegger) to take out a dictator. Is it fun? Sort of. But it shoulda coulda been a ton of fun. PG-13 (brief strong language). 1:43. 2 stars. —

M.P.

The Last Exorcism

This faux documentary offers up a squirmy tale of demonic possession. Director Daniel Stamm’s film follows Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a charming huckster preacher who intends to show the film crew how the fake-exorcism business works by taking the case of a distraught, hyperreligious Louisiana farmer (Louis Herthum) who believes the devil has taken hold of his teenage daughter (Ashley Bell). While the wrapping-up feels obvious, for a good while “The Last Exorcism” makes for an atmospheric stab at movie fright night. PG-13 (violent content, terror, sexual references and thematic material). 1:28. 2 1/2 stars. — R.A.

The Switch

This film is all over the place. Single and ready for a kid, TV producer Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) decides on artificial insemination. Her longtime friend and long-ago lover, Wally (Bateman), does not get the nod. The title refers to a switcheroo that Wally pulls at the “insemination party,” substituting his own donation for the cause. Seven years later, Kassie’s son’s quirks appear to have more in common with Wally than the presumptive birth father. Wally has a secret. The movie is about how long he can keep it. PG-13 (mature thematic content, sexual material, some nudity, drug use and language). 1:40. 2 1/2 stars. — M.P.


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