Star power drives ‘Escape Plan’
In recent years, there has sprung up a sort of subgenre to the tried-and-true action movie. Call it the “not quite too old for this s—t” movie. The first big box office offering within this subgenre was probably “The Expendables.” Essentially, these are movies starring aging action movie icons going through the motions to prove that they’ve still got “it,” whatever “it” is.
So we get the Sylvester Stallones and the Arnold Schwarzeneggers up there on the screen. It isn’t even that they’re trying to recapture the magic of their heyday; frankly, most of the time, it doesn’t even look like they’re trying. These guys have realized that they can make movies and get paid without doing anything other than being Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Horror remake fails to live up to original
Stephen King is generally recognized as the master of horror. His novels are the stuff that nightmares are made of. While the translation of those stories to the screen has been a mixed bag in terms of success, the very first of his works to make the transition is a beloved classic for many horror fans.
Brian De Palma directed “Carrie” in 1976. Now, almost 40 years later, it has been remade and updated for a new generation of horror fans. In this age of remakes and reboots, the only real question is: what took them so long?
Event to offer entrepreneurial opportunities
ORONO – Have you been looking for a way to share your idea for a business or product with the masses? Are you wondering where you might find like-minded innovators possessed of a creative entrepreneurial spirit?
Look no further – the Big Gig is here.
Exploitation sequel defies film conventions
There’s nothing quite like watching a movie whose creator strikes a bizarre balance between unquestionable talent and nutbar insanity. These are films that could never be considered great – you might struggle to even call them good – but still manage to contain moments of lunatic brilliance that elicit disbelieving laughter and slightly baffled headshakes.
“Machete Kills” is just such a film.
Kibbles and Picks – Week 7
Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially on a roll.
That’s right – for the second time in the past three weeks, I have outperformed my cute-faced furry rival in the realm of prognostication. Sure, it was only by one game, but still – I’m inching closer week by week, slowly but surely closing the gap between us.
Palahniuk sequel doesn’t quite deliver
Any lover of the written word has authors that he or she particularly enjoys. These are the writers that for whatever reason – be it story, style, subtext or some combination therein – truly resonate with the reader. They are the writers whose new works are eagerly anticipated and quickly devoured. However, just because we love a writer does not make that writer infallible. Even the most brilliant of wordsmiths is going to occasionally misstep. They can’t all be home runs.
A particular favorite writer of mine is Chuck Palahniuk. His latest is “Doomed” (Doubleday, $24.95), a sequel to 2011’s “Damned.” It continues the story of one Madison Spencer, a snarky teenaged girl whom we met when she wound up in the infernal underworld of Hell.
Film features gripping narrative, powerful performances
Movies based on real people and/or events are a tricky thing. Staying true to the subject matter is important, but it may not always be as important as advancing the narrative. Finding the proper blend of fact and fiction is difficult – that’s why “based on a true story” and “inspired by a true story” are two different things.
“Captain Phillips,” directed by Paul Greengrass (perhaps best known for “Flight 93” and his work on the “Bourne” franchise) from a screenplay by Billy Ray (“The Hunger Games”) based on Richard Phillips’s book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea,” spends most of its two hour-plus runtime walking that tightrope beautifully.
The agony and the ecstasy
There’s no disputing the simple truth that celebrities aren’t always subject to the same rules as the rest of us. Their fame buys them a fair amount of leeway when it comes to actions and behaviors that would land us mere mortals in hot water.
However, laws aren’t the same thing as rules. And like it or not, being in the spotlight doesn’t always exempt them from being subject to the same legalities that the rest of us have to deal with - although the consequences might be a little less severe if you’ve been on TV.
After the spectacular predictions in Week 4, we knew that we were bound for a less scintillating record in Week 5. Still, considering some of the unexpected twists and turns of the week, Stella and I performed reasonably well.
I was unable to chip away at her two-game season lead, due to the fact that we tied – each of us went a respectable 9-5. Stella’s confidence in Andrew Luck and the Colts served her well, as did her confidence that Baltimore had enough to strike Miami from the ranks of the unbeaten. Meanwhile, I had faith that the Cleveland Browns would keep it going and benefited from Stella’s perhaps too-high confidence in the Bears as they went up against New Orleans.
New book examines Jefferson, Hamilton
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton
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