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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Thursday, 17 May 2012 08:29

Celebrity Slam - May 16, 2012

Mommy dearest

We've had a lot of fun with the Kardashian clan in this space over the past few years. They have somehow managed to combine a complete lack of discernible talents with utter shamelessness to create a perfect storm of reality watchability. You might not watch their shows I certainly don't but E! wouldn't be coughing up tens of millions of dollars to keep them on the air if no one was tuning in.

However, sometimes the ridiculousness gets to be too much. Lines that shouldn't be crossed are rare in the world of reality television. However, Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner has found a way to do just that. She told one of her daughters (Khloe) that her father might not be her father and that she should get a DNA test to find out if she's a 'real' Kardashian.

Yep. That happened.

On the season finale of 'Khloe and Lamar,' which aired just a few days ago, Kris Jenner comes right out and tells Khloe she should get a genetic test to determine if Robert Kardashian is her real father. 'There has to be a part of you that wants resolution in your heart,' Kris said. When Khloe was uninterested, Kris kept pushing almost bullying, really.

Khloe's response? 'I don't care either way because my dad is my dad and my stepdad is my stepdad.' It's a shockingly healthy take on the situation from Khloe although subsequent reports say that she might go through with the test anyway.

I hope she doesn't.

Kris Jenner is a terrible person and a worse mom. Her personal obsession with fame has swept up every one of her kids to one degree or another; this is just the most recent (and egregious) example. Leaving aside how awful it must be for a mother to tell her daughter that a father might not be a father, let us not forget that the only reason any of these doubts exist the only reason why Khloe might want 'resolution in her heart' is the fact that Kris wrote a trashy tell-all memoir in which she copped to all kinds of fooling around on husband Robert Kardashian. Her attention to creepy detail ensured that the world would know she was particularly unfaithful in the period leading up to Khloe's conception and birth.

Do these in any way resemble the actions of a woman who loves her children? Or has anything even resembling normal human emotions? She's like some sort of fame-powered android, willing to sacrifice anything and everything including the well-being of her children. It would be bad enough if she was just some psychopath irrationally laying waste to the emotional well-being of her kids. It would still be terrible, but she could maybe seek some sort of help.

Alas, Kris Jenner is fully aware of what she's doing to ALL of her kids. She is pure cold calculation you can almost see the dollar signs in her eyes when she looks at the members of her family. While most parents would look at milestone life events watching her kids get married, holding her grandchildren with a parent's loving, prideful eye. Kris Jenner simply sees a row of numbers adding up to yet another truckload of money to stash in the Kris Jenner Money Bin. It's all horrifically mercenary.

It wasn't our original intent to use this entire space on Kris Jenner. However, in the course of writing this piece, the complete distaste for this woman and what she represents became overwhelming. Of course, the Kardashian kids do bear some degree of responsibility for the circus that their lives have become. It's reality television and they signed the contracts. But there's still a line (blurry and jagged though it might be) and Kris Jenner crossed it gleefully and without remorse. At the end of the day, she basically tried to take Khloe's father away from her all for a bump in the Nielsen rating and a few more books sold. Regardless of the outcome of any test, this familial fracture will take a very long time to heal.

And just think she's got two more young ones left to exploit. God only knows what she'll do to them.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 13:40

Dark Shadows' an uninspiring effort

Latest Burton/Depp team-up falls short

It's always sad when a long-standing cinematic collaboration begins to run out of steam. It happens to the best of them, whether it springs from creative differences, personal issues or just overstaying their welcomes.

I hate to say it, but I think the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp pairing may have reached its sell-by date. The duo's latest collaboration is 'Dark Shadows,' based on the gothic soap opera that originally aired in the late 1960s.

Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 13:13

Running Wilde in Ellsworth

The Grand, Ten Bucks Theatre present 'The Importance of Being Earnest'

ELLSWORTH What's in a name?

It's a question asked by Shakespeare, but English poet, playwright and wit Oscar Wilde took a stab at answering it with 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' considered by many to be the author's masterpiece.

The Grand, in collaboration with Ten Bucks Theatre, is presenting a production of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' at the Grand in Ellsworth. The show is running through May 20.

'Earnest' is the story of one Jack Worthing (Greg Mihalik). Jack goes to London to pay a visit to his good friend Algernon Moncrief (Nathan Roach) with the intent of proposing to Algernon's cousin Gwendolyn (Amelia Forman-Stiles). There's just one small problem everyone in London thinks Jack's name is Ernest.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 13:09

Seven authors, one trilogy The Mongoliad'

Serial story converted to novel

What do you get when you try to carve a cohesive trilogy of novels from a freewheeling, centuries-spanning serial narrative created as a subscription service and originally consumed as a work-in-progress? Especially when your subject matter happens to involve the descendants of Genghis Khan, crusading knight-priests and of course, the Romans?

Oh and there are seven authors. Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, E.D. deBirmingham, Cooper Moo and Mark Teppo that's seven. They are novelists and editors and video game writers.

So with all that, what are the odds of getting something that actually works?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:27

Four four-baggers

Hamilton becomes 16th with four homers in one game

Since Babe Ruth exploded onto the scene almost a century ago, major league baseball and its fans have been enamored of the home run. 'Chicks dig the long ball,' as the old advertising catchphrase has it. Even the sports performance-enhancing drug issues were born largely from that desire to hit the ball ever farther.

However, even with that hundred-year obsession with power, one of the rarest individual feats in baseball is the four-homer game. Only 15 men had ever reached that pinnacle that is, until this season.

Welcome to the club, Josh Hamilton.

Monday, 14 May 2012 14:46

Celebrity Slam - May 9, 2012

Batting practice

In the course of conducting the exhaustive research required to fill this space with the hard-hitting Celebrity Slamming that you've come to expect, we sometimes learn unexpected facts about the world of the spotlight-seekers.

This week, we learned that the Los Angeles County jail has a celebrity wing. While that makes a lot of sense, it was something that we'd never really thought about. It's also a place that by its nature makes for some interesting fellow travelers.

Which brings us to the story of disgraced doctor Conrad Murray, singer James DeBarge and former pro baseball player Lenny Dykstra; this might be the only time those three names ever appear in a story together, so enjoy it.

Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:12

Believe the hype The Avengers'

Comic book culmination even better than advertised 

'The Avengers' is the culmination of a years-long buildup spread across multiple films. It is an incredibly ambitious attempt at world-building the likes of which the summer blockbuster genre has never seen before. It is an effort at creating not just a comic book movie, but a comic book universe. The hype has been enormous and the anticipation even greater. So it's here.

And it's outstanding.

A mad Asgardian demigod named Loki (Tom Hiddleston, 'War Horse') the brother of Thor has stolen an alien artifact known as the Tesseract in order to build an army to conquer the Earth. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, 'Meeting Evil') is the head of a superspy organization known as SHIELD and is the point man on dealing with this (or any other) alien attack against the Earth.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 17:53

The Five Year Engagement' almost great

Romantic comedy suffers from excess length

Ongoing Hollywood relationships are relatively rare, so it's interesting when a creative team reunites for another project. It's of particular interest when the previous undertaking was a strong one.

Judd Apatow, Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel came together in a big way with 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' a huge success both critically and commercially. So when 'The Five Year Engagement' came along getting the band back together, so to speak the level of anticipation was high. But sometimes these collaborations aren't meant to be recreated, and when they're forced, they usually wind up falling flat.

This one works. Well mostly works.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 17:49

Quoth The Raven' total bore

Film is uninspired, unoriginal and uninteresting

Sometimes, you just know. Maybe you're watching a trailer or reading a preview; you're learning about an upcoming movie for the first time. Just like that, an epiphany about this movie strikes.

It is going to be terrible.

More often than not, that visceral first instinct is usually right when it comes to cinematic stinkers. And if you're like me, you got that feeling instantly upon your first view of the trailer for 'The Raven,' starring John Cusack ('Hot Tub Time Machine') as Edgar Allan Poe in some sort of action-adventure/mystery genre mishmash that at first glance doesn't seem to know what it wants to be.

Upon viewing the film, I can safely say this - that impression is wholly accurate.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 16:17

Jones, Hightower highlight Patriots draft

Team trades up for Syracuse end, Alabama linebacker

The New England Patriots draft strategy in recent years has involved a lot of wheeling and dealing. Coach Bill Belichick seems to take particular delight in trading down and accumulating more and more future assets. While it certainly makes sense as a long-term strategy, in the short term it can feel a bit frustrating. We want to see the team take shots at top-level players, rather than being content with quantity over quality.

This year, we got a little of both.

New England had two first round picks this year, so most of us expected some sort of trade to happen. What we didn't anticipate was Belichick trading up with both picks in order to snap up players they coveted. Most of the mid-round picks were sacrificed in the trading process, but the Patriots wound up with some solid blue-chip talent and a few intriguing prospects. The draft had an overwhelmingly defensive flavor, with the team selecting only one offensive player.

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