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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Ever since “Iron Man” hit screens back in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building to something. Something big. For the past decade, we’ve watched as nearly a score of movies have been made in the service of telling a massive interconnected metanarrative. It is storytelling where the big picture is made up of other big pictures.

And we’re coming to a crossroads.

That’s what “Avengers: Infinity War” is – a crossroads. It’s the beginning of, well … not THE end, but AN end. What we’re seeing now is the start of a transition, where various batons are being handed off – both in terms of the heroes we’ve grown to love and the actors who play them. It is a tremendous balancing act of a film, an effort to somehow bring together literally dozens of characters and deploy them in the service of a single story, all while maintaining narrative coherence and remembering that every character is someone’s favorite.

BANGOR – Penobscot Theatre Company has cooked up another crowd pleaser.

PTC’s “The Spitfire Grill” – with music and book by James Valcq and lyrics and book by Fred Alley – is currently running at the Bangor Opera House. Based on the 1996 Lee David Zlotoff film of the same name, the production – directed by Dominick Varney with musical direction by William Shuler – runs through May 13.

It’s the story of a young woman adrift in life who seeks a place to call home. Having almost randomly selected a small town in Wisconsin as her destination, she arrives to discover a slowly dying place populated largely by closed minds. But as time passes, she finds friendships unlike any she’s ever had before – friendships that may ultimately be threatened by looming shadows of the past.

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 16:02

Summer movies: 18 for 2018

We begin this annual tradition as we always do, which is with the caveat that it seems a bit silly to be writing a summer movie preview so far in advance of summer.

Still, Hollywood has extended the season, turning the beginning of May into our summer starting point, so if we’re going to catalog the blockbusters, then it has to be from here.

Although if we’re going to be real about it, the biggest movie of the year has already happened – “Avengers: Infinity War” just had the biggest box office opening since, well … ever. And hey – you can check out my review right in this very edition.

But while the biggest may have already landed, there’s still plenty to be excited about.

2018 has plenty of what we’ve come to expect from blockbuster season -  a bunch of sequels and a handful of remake/reboot-type offerings and some superheroes, along with some animated fare and a smattering of comedies. It’s not like we don’t know how it works.

Honestly, there’s a LOT of what we’ve seen before. But hey – familiarity isn’t always a bad thing. Let’s have a look at what the summer of 2018 has to offer.

(Please note: this not a list of the 18 best films, but rather an attempt at a representative sample of what’s coming. There are movies that I expect to love that aren’t here and movies I expect to loathe that are. Still, it looks like there’s something for everyone.)

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 15:51

Celebrity Slam - Balls dropped

As regular readers of this space know, our primary focus in the celebrity realm tends to be the entertainment world – actors and musicians and whatnot. But never forget that athletes are entertainers too. And they have just as much money and unbridled ego as any movie and/or rock star. They’re just as capable of saying and doing the kinds of idiotic things that land them in the Slam.

On a related note, we haven’t talked about the Ball family for a little while.

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 15:50

Weird National Briefs (05/02/2018)

Kitty capture

NEW YORK - A frisky cat that got loose at New York’s Kennedy Airport has been captured after more than a week on the lam.

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 15:47

Criminal Mischief (05/02/2018)

Memorial fundraising scam warning

SKOWHEGAN - Law enforcement officials are advising citizens to be aware of potential fraud being executed in the aftermath of the death of an officer of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

What is it that truly defines athletic genius?

While there’s no doubt that physique and physicality play massive roles in what makes a successful athlete, there’s more to it than that. True sporting greatness springs from not just one’s body, but also that body’s connection with the brain.

In his new book “The Performance Cortex: How Neuroscience is Redefining Athletic Genius” (Dutton, $28), Zach Schonbrun attempts to explore that connection; it’s a deep dive into the neuroscience behind movement that attempts to develop an understanding of the body-brain relationship and determining how the relationship impacts those performing at an elite athletic level.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 16:13

‘Super Troopers 2’ far from super

Today’s Hollywood is built on sequels. It’s no longer enough to make one movie that achieves box office success – you need to make a movie that will beget another movie that will beget still another movie and so on down the line. Some are designed to be ongoing – think the Marvel Cinematic Universe; others evolve into continuing concerns – the “Fast and Furious” franchise springs to mind.

But what about those sequels that simply shouldn’t be? The ones that are too late and/or too lame to effectively capitalize on what made the original special?

What about “Super Troopers 2”?

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 15:45

Celebrity Slam - Red carpet official

It’s a great day here at Celebrity Slam. Why is that, you ask? Is there a new hip-hop beef? Was some social media moron particularly idiotic? Or is there a new celebrity relationship for us to embrace?

Yeah – it’s the latter.

Actress Scarlett Johansson and “SNL” writer/performer Colin Jost have been low-key dating for over a year at this point, but they only recently made things official. Well, Hollywood official – they appeared on their first red carpet together.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 15:42

Weird National Briefs (04/25/2018)

Nude poo to-do

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon State Police are investigating after a man told law enforcement officials he was held down and punched several times by a nude man upset that the alleged victim’s dog was not on a leash at a clothing-optional beach.

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