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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dana Raphael, 90

Dana Raphael of Fairfield, who together with Margaret Mead established the Human Lactation Center in her home on the Westport-Fairfield border in the 1970s, died Feb 2 at home of complications from congestive heart failure. She ws 90.

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Dana Raphael: medical anthropologist. Contributed photo

A well-known medical anthropologist, writer and lecturer, she was best known for her work in supportive behavior and breastfeeding,

She is credited with launching the Doula movement. The term doula was first used by Raphael in a 1969 anthropological study to describe a female caregiver during labor and childbirth whose function was often associated with successful breastfeeding (in Raphael’s words, ‘mothering the mother).

A longtime resident of Fairfield, she was also a generous supporter of Connecticut Ballet and the Connecticut Audubon Society over several decades.

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02/20/16 11:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

David Christison, 95

David Christison of Charlotte, N.C., a former Westport resident, died at home on Feb. 15. He was 95.

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David Christison: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Methuen, Mass., on July 29, 1920, he was the son of Hugh and Grace. He grew up in Methuen, attended Methuen High School and went to Hebron Academy, graduating in 1937 and MIT graduating with a BS (1942) and MS (1943).

Before graduating from MIT, he was offered a couple of positions which he turned down to continue research in the chemical warfare department at MIT. After graduating he was employed with and retired from Socony (Mobil Oil) in the International Division and lived a short time in Woodbury, N.J.

He was a graduate of MIT’s Sloan program (1958). In 1960 he and his young family were relocated to England for two years. Upon their return, they settled in Westport for 23 years before retiring to Skidaway Island in Savannah, Ga., where he pursued his avid love of golf.

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02/20/16 02:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Competing in Robotics Competition

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UPDATE Four Westport robotics teams, three from Staples High School and one from Greens Farms Academy (GFA), were among 24 Connecticut teams competing today in the annual FIRST Robotics Challenge (FTC).  Held at GFA’s Coyle Gymnasium, three teams will advance to the super-regional competition at the University of Scranton in March where the finalist will advance to the World Championship in St. Louis on April 26-30. In 2015, Staples i2r Robotics team reached the World Championship semi-finals in St. Louis. (See WestportNow, March 21, 2015) Competition results announced at the end of the day saw i2r and the GFA Dragonoids teams from Westport and RoboEpic, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, each advance to the eastern super-regionals. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/20/16 01:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Aether’ and Friends

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Staples Hight School’s i2r Robotics team poses today with their robot, “Aether” at the annual FIRST Robotics Challenge held at Greens Farms Academy’s Coyle Gymnasium Standing (l-r) Annie Gao, Sr, Phoebe Spear, Jr, Julia Schorr, Sr. Joe Mantuoro, Jr, Ben Davis, Jr, Theo Davis, Freshman and Greg Preiser, Jr.  Front (l-r) Peter Sauer, Sr, and Luke Sauer, Soph. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/20/16 01:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Robotics Fans

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe is pictured today with Ridgefield residents Pamela and Evan Barnet, mentors of Greens Farms Academy’s Dragonoids Robotics team, whose robot is called Vandal IV, at the annual FIRST Robotics Challenge held at Greens Farms Academy’s Coyle Gymnasium. The GFA Dragonoids team robotic, “Vandal IV,” is named after the Barnets’ son, Van, GFA class of 2013, who founded the GFA Robotics team seven years ago when he was a sophomore.  Currently Van is a junior at Georgia Tech majoring in aerospace engineering. Van’s brother Scott, 17, a GFA junior is a member of the current Dragonoids Robotics team. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/20/16 01:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Chef Offers ‘Soupscriptions’

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A popular attraction today at the Westport Farmers Market was the All Souped Up stand. Fairfield-based Marissa Latshaw, who founded All Souped Up in July 2015, offered tastings of her variety of organic, plant-based soups. She said she prepares the soups at 2126 Post Road, Fairfield and offers them fresh or frozen as well as through “soupscriptions,” which allows soup lovers to subscribe to four soups each month. Customers can either pick them up at one of five locations or opt to have them delivered. “I started All Souped Up because I love soup and I wanted to make it easy for everyone to eat well every day…especially those busy, stressful days,” she said. For more information visit www.allsoupedupct.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/20/16 12:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lilly Wasn’t Chilly

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Lilly wasn’t chilly. Completely undaunted by the blustery cold, Lilly, this exuberant black lab, kept its owner moving as the two engaged in a game of throw and fetch Friday at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


02/20/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, February 20, 2016

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Psychology of Retirement: Screening & Discussion of “About Schmidt”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Open Meeting: Fairfield County Writers Group
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Light Up the Sky”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/20/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Friday, February 19, 2016

Icy Saugatuck

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A view of the icy Saugatuck River in Westport against the backdrop of a house on Imperial Avenue a day before forecasted temperatures rise into the 50s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/19/16 04:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Only a Couple More Weeks of Skating

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Westport resident Dianna Walsh and daughter Reagan, 3, were among a sparse crowd of skaters today at the P.A.L. Ice Rink at Westport’s Longshore Club Park in temperatures in the upper 30s. Tony Lantier, whose company manages the rink, reminds residents it remains open through Sunday, March 6 and then will close until Thanksgiving weekend. During this final weekend of the school vacation, the rink remains open today until 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. except for a private party from 5-7:30 p.m,. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/19/16 03:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Joseph R. Sexton, 90

Joseph R Sexton (Joe) of Stamford, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 17. He was 90.

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Joseph Sexton: former Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born on March 1, 1925 in Litchfield, Minn.,  a small hometown of 3,000 that was a great place to grow up. He was baptized and made his first communion at St. Phillip Catholic Church in Litchfield.

While there his family had a lot of room, so they always had a pony, pigeons, baby chicks, and rabbits. His dogs were Duke and Mike, both Chesapeake Retrievers. There were also other dogs of questionable ancestry.

His family moved to Minneapolis when he was 10. He attended Margaret Fuller grade school where he taught the “city boys” how to tackle. In seventh and eighth grades he attended Annunciation School. He went to St. Thomas Academy, a military high school, in St Paul, and graduated from there in 1943.

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02/19/16 01:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Nancy L. Quinn, 86

Nancy Golden Quinn, a former resident of Fairfield and of Westport, died Feb. 13 at the Village at Waveny in New Canaan. She was 86.

She was the widow of David Thomas Quinn, Sr.

Born in Pottsville, Pa., she received a diploma in fashion design at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. She then enjoyed a brief career at Strawbridge & Clothier’s department store before retiring to raise her family.

A devout Catholic, she had been an active parishioner at St. Ann’s Church in Black Rock, Assumption Church in Westport, and St. Aloysius in New Canaan.

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02/19/16 01:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Family Affair at Arts Center

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Westport artist Enid Munroe today shared her insights on her life as an artist, her process and technique, and her works of art with guests at the ArtSpeaks event at the Westport Arts Center. Daughter Alexandra Munroe, curator and scholar, led the question and answer session with her mother.  Daughter Olivia Munroe, an established local artist and teacher in Fairfield County, also joined the special event.  The exhibition, “Artist & Alchemist, “ is on view through Feb. 27.  Pictured (l-r) Olivia Munroe, Enid Munroe, Alexandra Munroe, with longtime family friends Maggie Moffitt and her mother, Butzi Moffitt. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com


02/19/16 01:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Feb. 1 - 5, 2016

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 1 - 5, 2016:

Kowalsky Properties Inc. to 1141 Post Road East LLC, 1141 Post Road East, $4,000,000WNproperty.jpg

2 Hidden Hill Road LLC to Olive Eaitb LLC, 2 Hidden Hill Road, $5,295,000

Pamela Kling Takiff to Evelyn Isaia Trust, 8 River Lane, $1,575,000

Frederick Golden Estate to Harris Weinstein and Tracy Pitkof, 14 Punch Bowl Drive, $999,000

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02/19/16 11:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

Healthy Alternative to Crumb Rubber Artificial Turf

To the Editor:

As one of the last schools in Fairfield County to make the move to artificial turf, Greens Farms Academy (GFA) felt some pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” and install a turf field, mostly to ensure our athletes would have comparable playing conditions and a safe, consistent surface.

Several of our parents, however, voiced concerns about the potential health risks of the typical crumb rubber used in artificial turf.  Listening to our parents, and not feeling completely confident about the current “industry standard” of crumb rubber, we began to research other options for artificial turf. Our trustees, always keeping both the health of our students and our surrounding ecosystem a top priority, looked into other options

In the end, GFA elected to use a greener alternative known as thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a relatively new product in the United States. There was an initial hiccup, however. The TPE began to clump, so we needed to look for alternatives. In conversations with the manufacturer, FieldTurf, we decided that a cork composite would be the best option for replacement. However, although covered under warranty, the cork composite has to be manufactured overseas and took several weeks to arrive. We had a few weeks that fall of rescheduling games, and playing mostly away matches. But it was worth the wait and inconvenience. Once installed, the cork infill was tested for safety, and the results showed our field exceeded requirements within all parameters.

Our turf field has been up and running for four years now, and is used on a daily basis with positive feedback. It was and still is the most environmentally responsible and healthy option available, in addition to being cutting-edge in its design and in the use of cork as an infill.

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02/19/16 09:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Heroin Scourge Affects Westport, Too

By James Lomuscio

Westport has not escaped the surge in heroin and other opiate overdoses in Connecticut.

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Heroin overdose deaths have soared in Connecticut and nationally. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

While no deaths have been reported in Westport, the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said this week the number of people in Connecticut dying from drug overdoses continued to skyrocket in 2015.

More than 720 people overdosed, with heroin-related deaths climbing at alarming rates, the office said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, of the nationwide 47,055 drug-overdose deaths in 2014 — an all-time high, and more people than died of liver disease or renal failure, of suicide, or in car accidents — heroin was responsible for over one-fifth.

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02/19/16 04:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, February 19, 2016

9:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Commission for Senior Services
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Anyone Can Use ... Instagram
11 a.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtSpeaks: Enid & Alexandra Monroe
2 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A -  Shellfish Commission & Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Roald Dahl Film Festival: “The BFG”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - ChessClub: Grades K-12
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Light Up the Sky”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/19/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Playhouse David Bowie Tribute Set for March 8

Fans of David Bowie will come together on Tuesday, March 8 at the Westport Country Playhouse for an evening to celebrate his life and music, according to Westport best-selling author Jane Green, who is producing the event.

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David Bowie: event will benefit AIDs chariity. Contributed photo

Set to begin at 7 p.m., the event will benefit Keep a Child Alive, Bowie’s charity of choice, she said. All tickets are $25.

“There are many of us lurking behind closed doors, silently grieving a man whose music we loved, a man who gave so many of us permission to stand outside the mainstream during those awkward teenage years,” Green said.

“This is a chance for us to come together and celebrate someone who had tremendous impact on so many of our lives.”

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02/18/16 07:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Neil G. Farans, 77

Neil G. Farans of Westport died Feb. 17 at home. He was 77.

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Neil Farans: Air Force veteran. Contributed photo

Born Feb. 21, 1938 in Norwalk, he was the son of the late William and Mildred Gans Farans. He attended Norwalk High School, and graduated from the University of Florida, before joining the Air Force Reserves where he was called in to active duty for the Bay of Pigs.

He then returned home to join the family business, Pennsylvania Petroleum Company (Pepco), for almost 30 years, before founding Eastern Environmental Technologies, a waste management disposal company. He was a past president of the Norwalk Exchange Club, and an active member in the community.

He was an avid boater, loved gardening, his family, and his dogs.

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02/18/16 01:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Going Down: 223 Hillspoint Road

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The house and cottage at Westport’s 223 Hillspoint Road, opposite Elvira’s in the Old Mill section, were demolished today. The house, built in 1910, is a 2-1/4 story colonial and has 2,606-square feet. Built in 1920, the one-story cottage has 504 square feet. The structures are situated on a .24-acre waterfront property that changed ownership in September 2014 for $2.9 million. View is the side of the house which faces the water. (See Westportnow July 4, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/18/16 12:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Now the Cleanup

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Workers today cleaned up at Westport’s 1655 Post Road East, site of a kitchen fire Wednesday night that was extinguished by a sprinkler. According to Carol Martin, Westport Housing Authority manager of the multi-residence complex known as Sasco Creek Village, a resident of second floor unit No. 32 was cooking on an electric range when the pot caught fire. She said the resident tried to move the pot to the sink when detectors activated the sprinkler system, causing flooding in the lower level unit No. 34.  “The good news is that no one was injured,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/18/16 11:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

In the Pink

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It was a cold and dreary day outside, but customers entering Trader Joe’s in Westport Wednesday were greeted by cheery bouquets of tulips. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


02/18/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, February 18, 2016

9 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Center for Senior Activities Enhancement Committee
9:15 a.m. - Westport Library - Grades K-2: TinkerShop Explorations
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Grades 3-5: TinkerShop Explorations
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Introductory Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Overcoat Film Series: “Space Cowboys”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Roald Dahl Film Festival: “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/18/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sprinkler Douses Kitchen Fire

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A sprinkler tonight extinguished a kitchen fire at a multi-family residence at 1655 Post Road East before arrival of firefighters, said Assistant Chief Brian Meadows. All residents safely evacuated the residence, operated by the Westport Housing Authority. Cause of the fire was under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office. Temporary accommodations for residents displaced by the fire were arranged by the Westport Housing Authority and American Red Cross. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/17/16 11:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Aftermath of Sasco Creek Village Fire

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Westport firefighters tonight work at 1655 Post Road East where a kitchen fire was extinguished by a sprinkler before their arrival. All residents in the mult-family home evacuated safely and were assisted in finding temporary lodgings by the Westport Housing Authority, which operates the Sasco Creek Village complex, and the American Red Cross, said Assistant Chief Brian Meadows. The complex underwent a $22 million makeover, which was competed last year and involved demolition of 33 mobile homes and construction of 54 new units. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/17/16 11:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Westminster Winners

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Westport resident Anita M. Lopker and her five Japanese Chins, including two, Valentino and Orion, each 2 1/2, who competed and earned awards this week at the 140th annual Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York City. Lopker, who bred and trained the dogs, is a psychiatrist who has had a practice in Westport since 1987. Valentino earned the Award of Merit and Orion earned the Winners Dog prize. In addition to the mother Xena, 5-1/2, Lopker bred and trained l’Etoile Noire and Perseus, the call names of the Fleur de Passy Dauphin family. Lopker said Valentino now ranks as the No. 2 Japanese Chin in the country and ranks No.1 in the Breeder-Owner-Handler category. The dogs (l-r) are Bronze GCH Fleur de Passy Dauphin, known as Valentino; Fleur de Passy L’Etoile Noire, known as L’Etoile; Fleur de Passy Orion, known as Orion; FCI Int Ch -Multi Int CH -AKC & FCPR GCH Tsunami Inagiku of Fleur de Passy, known as Xena, and Fleur de Passy Perseus, known as Percy (the Hero). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/17/16 08:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Visits Women’s Prison

By Mark Pazniokas


East Lyme—Until three weeks ago, 90 percent of Amy Gully’s daily routine in York Correctional, the state’s only prison for women, was staying in a cell, marking days off a 30-month sentence for embezzlement and waiting her turn to make a phone call home.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy listens to Damaris Vega Torres (c). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

“Today, I am up every morning. I am downstairs teaching. I know how to do computers and typing and things like that, and the girls just don’t know how to do that,” Gully said today after a chat with a visiting VIP. “I have responsibilities, and I’m starting to feel useful.”

The visitor was Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, making his sixth prison visit in the past nine months. This time, he was marking the dedication of York’s new community reintegration center, a program to prepare women to return home from prison.

“What we want to do is make sure you don’t come back,” Malloy told Gully and five other inmates, who sat in a circle with their warden, counselor and Correction Commissioner Scott Semple. “And we like you, but we don’t want you to come back here.”

Click here for more of story


02/17/16 08:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: The Secrets of Riding Metro-North

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Each week, dozens of people ride Metro-North for the first time. This week’s column is to let both new and veteran commuters in on the secrets of a successful rail commute. 

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Parking: You can’t take the train if you can’t get to the station, so invest in your commuting future by getting your name on your town’s (and neighboring towns’) waiting lists for annual parking permits. 

In four or five years, when your name rises to the top of the list, you’ll thank yourself. Meantime, opt for legal day-parking, find a friend to ride to the station with, or try biking. There are free bike racks at most stations.

Platform Positioning: There’s a science to deciding where on the platform to wait for your train. Many commuters position themselves at the front or rear of the train for a quick get-away when they arrive in Grand Central.

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02/17/16 06:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Schedules All-Night Maker Madness

Creative types have a history of toiling into the wee hours of the morning for their art and inventions. 

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So, it comes as no surprise that the second Westport Library Maker Madness set for Saturday, March 12, will offer the same hours for creators.

The event starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 7 a.m. Sunday, March 13, library officials say.

Held throughout the library, the program features maker workshops and lots of hands-on building for children ages 11 and up, as well as adults.

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02/17/16 06:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Deadpool,’ Zoolander2,’ ‘The Finest Hours’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

After previous attempts to embody a comic-book character – like DC’s ill-fated “Green Lantern” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” – Ryan Reynolds scores with “Deadpool,” playing brash, brazen mercenary Wade Wilson, who falls wildly in love with a bitter, wise-cracking hooker (Morena Baccarin).

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Their short-lived romantic tryst is interrupted when Wade is diagnosed with late stage, incurable cancer and then tricked by a sadistic scientist (Ed Skrien) into a painful transformation (via injected mutant genes) to become the facially disfigured yet indestructible anti-hero Deadpool.

With the help of his bartender buddy (T.J. Miller) at a dive called Sister Margaret’s Home for Wayward Girls and encouragement by his blind landlady (Leslie Uggams), Deadpool is determined to wreak revenge.

Working from a long-gestating, slyly sardonic screenplay by Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick, it’s irreverently directed by Tim Miller, whose creative background is in commercials and visual effects. He opens the film with cheeky, self-conscious credits and breaks the fourth wall when Deadpool talks directly to the audience.

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02/17/16 01:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

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