Allen Adams

Allen Adams

edge staff writer

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Wednesday, 14 September 2011 05:38

The rapid spread of 'Contagion'

Film offers realistic possibilities of pandemic

Hollywood has been in love with the idea of the disaster movie for decades. The potential for huge, effects-laden blockbusters is obviously a temptation for studios looking for big box office receipts. However, these efforts tend to be hit or miss.

"Contagion," directed by Stephen Soderbergh ("The Informant!"), might just be the biggest hit in recent memory.

The film offers a glimpse at what might happen if a new disease emerged, a disease that is easily transmitted, incubates quickly and constantly mutates - and is fatal in as many as a third of the people it infects. Lynn Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow, "Country Strong") returns from a business trip to Hong Kong feeling a bit under the weather, only to see her health quickly fail. Her death, as well as the death of her son, greatly impacts her husband Mitch (Matt Damon, "The Adjustment Bureau") - one of the lucky people who prove naturally immune.

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 05:38

Bad moon rising

'Apollo 18' offers different kind of thriller

When you hear about a film's release date being pushed back multiple times despite being completed, it raises an eyebrow. It's the same thing when you hear about a film not being screened in advance for critics. And if both of these scenarios apply to the same film?

It's not looking good.

Such is the case with "Apollo 18," a science fiction thriller born of the "found footage" genre. The movie purports to have been edited together from 84 hours of mysterious confidential NASA recordings uploaded to a conspiracy website.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 05:38

Thoughts on a wedding weekend

Observations from two weddings in two days

One of the things about summertime in Maine is the preponderance of weddings. Everywhere you look, it seems like there's a marriage happening. I myself have attended three this season, including two just this past weekend. Friends, family and acquaintances - I've seen them all get hitched in the summer of 2011.

You don't hit that many affairs without picking up a few things. Thus armed with some newfound expertise, it felt like the moment was right to share some of my hard-won knowledge and wedding tips, a few dos and don'ts from someone who has made a social faux pas or two in his day.

Of course, your level of involvement varies with your relationship to the happy couple. Obviously, close friends and relatives are different than acquaintances and assorted escorts. However, just because you're a plus-one doesn't mean that you can behave like some sort of degenerate. It's easy to be a good wedding guest; with just a little bit of effort, you can come off as a charming social delight.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 05:38

MLB Awards Watch - Third Quarter

We have reached the home stretch of the major league baseball season. With just six weeks left in the season - a scant 40 games or so - the contenders have begun to separate themselves from the pretenders in MLB's assorted awards races.

And so I am once again revisiting my choices for MVP, Cy Young and Rookie in the Year in both leagues. My picks from the season's halfway mark will also be included so that we might see how much I've gotten right (a bit) and what I've gotten wrong (rather more).

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 05:38

A few fairs and festivals

Maine's summer offers a wide variety of celebrations

Summertime in Maine is truly a wonderful time. The sun is shining, the birds are singing - we're all going off to the beach or up to camp. We're hiking and biking all over the beautiful landscape.

But suppose you don't like to swim. Maybe you're not all that interested in hiking or biking. Does that mean the Maine summer has nothing for you? The answer, happily, is no. So what are your other options?

Fairs. Festivals. Celebrations of various people, places and things abound around the state at this time of year. You can just hop in the car and find something to enjoy. There's artistic excitement and culinary wonder, food and fun all over the map. Some take place over the course of a few days or a week, while others stretch across large chunks of the summer.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 05:38

3,000 hits and beyond

Jeter becomes just 28th player to reach milestone

One of the lasting appeals of baseball is its reverence for the numbers. So much of the game's history is wrapped up in numbers like 500 (home runs) and 300 (wins). Those milestones and others like them have always been one of the primary ways that we define the true greats of the game.

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter finally concluded his quest to reach one of those milestone numbers on Saturday when he launched a home run into the Yankee stadium bleachers off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price for the 3,000th hit of his career, becoming only the 28th player in major league history to reach that plateau.

It's a big deal. Guys like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson - they never made it to 3,000. It's a rarity for a reason; players have to put together a career that is productive, consistent and very, very long. Jeter is 37 and he's still one of the youngest to ever reach the milestone. It's a highlight in a career full of them.

Lineup blends competition, irreverence

BANGOR - Hope you're looking for some good movies, because the KahBang Film Festival is coming.

Beginning with the powerful documentary "Bob and the Monster" on August 5, KahBang will be bringing you a whole lot of films - over 20 in all. Films will be screening throughout the week of the festival, running from the 5th right up through the 13th.

Some of the films are competing. You've got the short films (because no film festival is complete without some competitive shorts. You've got a music documentary category - a no-brainer for a music-laden festival such as KahBang. There's a fairly self-explanatory category called LMFAO (yes, they're comedies) as well as a category called Gen-Next aimed at recognizing up-and-coming filmmakers.

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 05:38

Crazy, Stupid, Good.

Romantic comedy best of summer

Love is hard. That's what almost every romantic comedy would have you believe. Love is hard - for a while. There will be obstacles that are inevitably overcome and everything works out and love wins in the end.

Where "Crazy, Stupid, Love." differs from its rom-com brethren is in the way that it shows that difficulty both honestly and humorously.

It's the story of Cal Weaver (Steve Carell, "Dinner for Schmucks"), a man in his early 40s whose wife (Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are All Right") surprises him with a confession of infidelity and a request for a divorce. Cal moves out and finds himself falling in with the womanizing Jacob (Ryan Gosling, "Blue Valentine"), who takes Cal under his wing and helps him find his way in the new dating world.

Meanwhile, the Weavers' 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo, "Choke") is in love with the babysitter, Cal's wife may or may not be falling for a co-worker, Jacob may or may not have met the woman of his dreams (Emma Stone, "Easy A") and it's all very complicated.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 05:38

Bangor gets infused

Local restaurants offer their own unique drinks

BANGOR - Last week, Downtown Bangor got itself infused.

Houlton-based vodka distillery Twenty2 Vodka sponsored Bangor's first ever "infusathon," a charity event in which nine local restaurants offered their own special infused vodka.

For a vodka to be infused, all it needs is to be flavored by one or more different ingredients. These ingredients are added to the liquor and then left to steep. The steeping time varies depending on the ingredients used; it could be a matter of a few days or several months.

Wednesday, 06 April 2011 05:38

Celebrating Beer Day

One of the greatest things about this job is that I'm always learning new things. For instance, until just a few short weeks ago, I had never heard of National Beer Day or its companion holiday, New Beer's Eve.

National Beer Day takes place on April 7 every year. Why April 7? So glad you asked.

The Prohibition era in the United States began in 1920 when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was effected, outlawing the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol on a national level. The National Prohibition Act, passed in 1919 and popularly known as the Volstead Act, established the legal definition of intoxicating liquor and the assorted punishments for producing or selling it.

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