High spy – ‘American Ultra’
Stoner action comedy never quite clicks
We’re gradually coming to the end of the 2015 summer blockbuster season. One of the most interesting cinematic aspects of August is the fact that there are inevitably films that don’t quite measure up to the bar set by our seasonal expectations; these are just movies that fail to fit the mold for whatever reason. That isn’t to say that they’re bad, necessarily – though they often are. It’s just that they are different.
Gangsta gangsta – ‘Straight Outta Compton’
Solid biopic chronicles the story of rap giants N.W.A.
It is said that history is written by the victors. There are few spheres in which that is more accurate than in the realm of the biopic. These movies – particularly the ones receiving the subject’s stamp of approval – have a tendency to emphasize the positive while relegating the negative to the back burner, using it more as a tool for generating drama than as any sort of significant narrative device.
Guy Richie cries ‘U.N.C.L.E.’
Adaptation of ‘60s spy show more style than substance
There are relatively few directors out there today whose aesthetic is so obviously theirs. They make the kinds of movies that make you say “Oh, So-and-so did this” within moments – often before the opening credits have even finished rolling. And in a cinematic world that becomes increasingly cookie-cutter with each passing year, that’s a good thing.
Old time rock and roll – ‘Ricki and the Flash’
Film transcends its flaws thanks largely to Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep is generally understood to be the greatest actress of her generation. With scads of Oscar nominations (19 at last count) and three wins, she’s achieved an unprecedented amount of critical acclaim. She has brilliantly inhabited iconic characters from all across humanity’s spectrum.
‘Fantastic Four’ reboot falls flat
The boom in superhero movies has given fans of the comic book realm – myself very much included – a lot to celebrate over the past few years. We’ve seen dozens of beloved characters brought to vivid life on the big screen; audiences and critics alike have largely delighted to the brightly-colored spandex spectacles that have been laid out before us.
- Photos of the 2015 Bangor Folk Festival
Witches, curses and ghosts abound in Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Ruddigore” at TAM
MONMOUTH –Theater at Monmouth's 46th season continues with the opening of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera “Ruddigore,” or “The Witch’s Curse,” on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Filled with what The Daily Gazette called Gilbert’s “humorous satire” and Sullivan’s “melodic genius which never fails,” “Ruddigore” combines wit and whimsy for a magical, mystical, murderous good time.
Many years ago, the Baronets of Ruddigore were cursed by a witch to commit a crime a day or be tortured to death. To escape this dreadful fate, the latest Baronet, Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, disguises himself as a simple farmer, Robin Oakapple. Oakapple is in love with the Rose Maybud and wants to wed but their “rosy” future is doomed when his true identity is revealed.
The Sultans of String rule The Grand!
ELLSWORTH- The audience will be thrilled by the truly indescribable fun of the Sultans of String when the eclectic band performs at The Grand on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale at the Grand box office, by phone at (207) 667-9500 and online at www.grandonline.org. The general admission seats are $15 to enjoy all the rhythms of world music in one sensational group.
CineGrand screens ‘Stardust’
ELLSWORTH – The Grand announces “Stardust” asthe next film in its new weekly Autumn CineGrand series, screening on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are for general admission seating for each movie and are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for Grand members.
An atypical older film (released in 2007) for the Grand's weekly film series, the film celebrates the Acadia Night Sky Festival and the magic that can be found in the stars. “Stardust” comes from the director of “X-Men: First Class” and “Kingsmen: The Secret Service” and the writer Neil Gaiman. It is a “Princess Bride” for a new generation! Follow Tristan Thorne (Charlie Cox) in his quest to bring back a fallen star to the prettiest girl (Sienna Miller) in the village by crossing a forbidden wall, and enter a mysterious kingdom lit by unending magic and unfolding legends. In this fantastical realm known as “Stormhold,” Tristan discovers that the fallen star is not at all what he expected but a spirited young woman (Claire Danes) injured by her cosmic tumble and sought after by colossal powers including the King's scheming sons for whom only she can secure the throne; and a chillingly powerful witch (Michelle Pfeiffer). Robert DeNiro, Ricky Gervais, Peter O'Toole, Mark Strong, Henry Cavill, Jason Flemyng and Rupert Everett co-star, with Ian McKellen narrating.
‘Five Nights in Maine’ to premiere at Toronto International Film Festival
AUGUSTA - A Maine-made film, "Five Nights in Maine," will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The film, which stars David Oyelowo ("Selma" and "The Butler"), tells the story of a young African-American man, reeling from the tragic loss of his wife, who travels to rural Maine at the invitation of his estranged mother-in-law who is herself confronting guilt and grief over her daughter's death.
The film also stars two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest ("Bullets Over Broadway"), Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez ("Fearless") and co-stars Teyonah Parris ("Mad Men") and Hani Furstenberg ("The Loneliest Planet").
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