entertainment

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Books V. E-Readers

Hello, readers! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I must apologize for my absence—I’ve been busy, but not so busy that I haven’t been paying attention. And there’s been quite a lot going on, hasn’t there? President Obama appears to have grown a pair, Borders has closed stores all across the country, and of course we have our little bridge situation. I know, I know:  little? Trust me, that was written with more than a little sarcasm. After all, our bridge problem got us featured on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, did it not? More on that later. Right…


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‘Bond’ and ‘Jones’ Take on Some Wild West Aliens

  Cowboys and aliens and Indians, oh my!   Starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Clancy Brown, Paul Dano, Sam Rockwell, and Keith Carradine. Directed by Jon Favreau. Based on the graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenburg.   Years ago I used to tape movies off of cable stations. One night a particular movie, “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula,” piqued my interest. Think about it: notorious Western outlaw Billy the Kid against a vampire? That had to be seen. The next day I sat and watched it and well… I wasn’t impressed. It was made well, no doubt, but…


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The Last ‘Avenger’ on the Screen

USA! USA!   Starring Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci, and Sebastian Stan. Directed by Joe Johnston. Based on the Marvel Comic Books by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby   NOTE: This review is based solely on the film based on the comic books. No opinion that lies therein has any connection with the Marvel Comics the film is based on.   A little bit “Batman,” a little bit “Indiana Jones,” and a little bit “Return of the Jedi,” among other movies.   “Captain America” is Marvel’s big superhero in a…


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‘Super 8’ Shows a Return to Spielbergian Form

Not a ‘super’ stay but… Starring Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Zach Mills, and Ron Eldard. Directed by J.J. Abrams Oh, childhood memories. Movies, our multimedia “escapism,” have that ability to make us remember things that we’ve long since forgot. Growing up. Being kids. Filmmakers in Hollywood have the ability to note-for-note recreate a time that we barely knew or can remember except in tiny fragments like getting our first cassette recorder or Walkman, or riding a bike, or just hanging out with friends. Filmmakers also have the ability to mimic or emulate…


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Branagh Tries Bringing the Thunder with ‘Thor’

                  Please! No more Dutch angles! Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tim Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba, Colm Feore, and Rene Russo. Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Based on the Marvel Comics character which was based on characters from Norse mythology First off: yeah, I liked it. Didn’t love it. There was something missing. ‘Thor’ (as noted above) is based on the Marvel Comics character that, in turn, was based on Norse mythology. Ergo what the Vikings believed in. Asgard. Valhalla. Odin. Thor and his hammer… it’s…


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The End of the World as We Know It!

Maybe I have a darker sense of humor than I realized going in, but this morbid little collection of vignettes was disarmingly funny! I’m talking about WTF, LOL funny. I mean, what kind of imagination personifies the four horsemen – Death, War, Pestilence, and Famine – as roommates who fight in the kitchen over the last of the Kashi cereal?


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Damon and Blunt vs. the ‘Adjustment Bureau’

It could’ve been tinkered with a little…   Starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, and Anthony Mackie. Directed by George Nolfi. Based on the story “Adjustment Team” by Philip K. Dick.   Who’da thunk that a Philip K. Dick could churn out a love story? Huh.   When we last left PKD-Land, Hollywood had a string of hits (and maybe some misses) based on the science fiction authors’ work just in the past decade alone. There was the mind-control drug of the future in “A Scanner Darkly,” with Woody Harrelson, Keanu Reeves, and Winona Ryder. “Next” had Nicolas Cage…


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An hour in and still boring…

It’s a Monday morning here and the rain is beating ceaselessly against my office window. The gray overcast sky that permeates the majority of winter doesn’t want to go away. I’m thinking to myself “maybe it’s just February.” Like any other drone I double-click over to the Internet and find this apropos quote from last night’s 83rd Annual Academy Awards: “It might be bad. It might be horrible.” This was said by actor James Franco before he and co-host Anne Hathaway MC’d last night’s Oscars. It couldn’t have been more spot-on. Hathaway kept up pretenses by being exuberant and begging…


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Helms Braves ‘Cedar Rapids’

“That was awesome. Super awesome.” Starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anna Heche, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., Stephen Root, Sigourney Weaver and Kurtwood Smith. Directed by Miguel Arteta Meet Tim Lippe (pronounced lip-ee). Lippe is as mild-mannered and squeaky-clean as they come – no alcohol, no drugs, no cursing, etc. He’s an insurance salesman for BrownStar Insurance in Brown Valley, Wisconsin. He lives alone in a small but nice house and his girlfriend is former teacher Macy Vanderhei (Weaver) who comes over once a week for sex. Tim exists in the small bubble of his comfort zone: has good relations with…


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Local & Regional Films Take Home Top Awards

(Photo above of former mayor Jerry Abramson and his wife) Louisville native Greg King and New Albany, Indiana filmmaker Ray Cart are among the winners of the top prizes at the 2011 Derby City Film Festival which was held February 18th through the 20th. Greg King and David Teague’s “Our House” took home Best Documentary and Cart’s “Queens of the Dead” won the Audience Choice award for favorite film. Cincinnati Filmmaker Michael Maney’s film “Meth” took home the award for Best Short Film and Actress Stephanie Brait picked up Best Actress for her role in the same film. Another Cincinnati…