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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019 12:02

Who’s heading to the Hall in 2020?

Hall of Fame season is in full swing once again.

The 2020 ballot has landed, with the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) preparing to cast their votes for the players who will join the immortals of the game with plaques hanging in Cooperstown.

We’ve seen an explosion of inclusivity on recent ballots, with the writers voting in 20 players over the past six years. This has eased the glut of qualified candidates somewhat, though there remain a number of problematic names that clog the list.

This year, however, sees just one no-doubt candidate – Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. It’s a departure from recent groups that have almost all featured multiple first-ballot talents. Will this allow for some deserving candidates, heretofore stuck on the fringe, to make their way into these hallowed halls?

We shall see.

The weather outside may be frightful, but the upcoming Grey Cup looks to be oh-so-delightful.

The 107th Grey Cup is upon us. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will face off on Nov. 24 to decide this year’s CFL champion. The game kicks off a little after 6 p.m. at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

The Ti-Cats – who sported the CFL’s best regular season record – took down the crossover-winning Edmonton Eskimos 36-16 to take the East Division crown. The Bombers eked out a 20-13 win over the top-seeded Saskatchewan Roughriders to win the West. Now, the two teams face off to determine a champion.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:57

Race to the top – ‘Ford v. Ferrari’

One of the complaints surrounding awards shows like the Oscars in recent years is the fact that often, the movies up for these honors aren’t necessarily movies that a lot of people have seen. They are critical darlings, but that acclaim only sometimes translates to significant commercial success.

“Ford v Ferrari” is that relative rarity, a film intended to win both at the ballot box and the box office. It’s pure Oscar bait, but with a big-budget sensibility – no surprise considering we’re talking about Disney here. It’s a sports movie and a biopic – the story of Ford Motor Company’s efforts to usurp Ferrari’s place atop the racing world back in the 1960s – with two no-doubt movie stars heading up the cast.

This kind of movie was once a mainstay of mainstream Hollywood. Now, it’s an unexpected treat. And it is a treat – you’ve got a talented and flexible studio director in James Mangold, with A-listers Matt Damon and Christian Bale taking turns driving. Just like the race cars produced by its namesakes, “Ford v. Ferrari” is sleek and fast; a powerful and expensive machine.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:55

‘Charlie’s Angels’ get their wings

Did we really need another “Charlie’s Angels” movie?

It’s not surprising, really; the basic concept is certainly ripe for revisiting in this current era of IP-driven franchise-building. And in case you’re wondering, yes – this new film is intended as a sequel of sorts to the two “Charlie’s Angels” films from 15 years ago, rather than a reboot.

But the question remains: why?

That said, the actual result is better than it has any right to be. Not great, but OK. It’s probably safe to assume that much of the credit for that has to go to Elizabeth Banks, who not only directed the film but also makes her feature debut as a screenwriter. Oh, and she’s in it as well. So yeah – this is very much an Elizabeth Banks joint.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:53

Pros and cons – ‘The Good Liar’

In a world full of franchises and IP-driven cinematic entertainment, certain types of films have fallen out of favor with the biggest studios. That’s not a judgment so much as a simple statement of fact.

And it’s too bad, because if Hollywood allowed itself to keep an open mind, we might get more efforts like the new dramatic thriller “The Good Liar.” It’s a movie whose tight, taut tone is brought forth by the talented likes of director Bill Condon behind the camera and the delightful central pairing of Ian McKellan and Helen Mirren. Films like this – films interested in neither billion-dollar box office or scads of awards attention – are thinner on the ground than ever.

It’s not a perfect movie – things get more than a little convoluted at times and the pacing has moments where it lags a bit – but its relatively minor issues are more than overcome by McKellan and Mirren, who are cinematic treasures and are clearly enjoying themselves immensely. When you’ve got that kind of charm and charisma on display, the rest more or less takes care of itself.

BANGOR – There’s no business like show business. And when you have a show about show business? Well – the show must go on. And on. And on…

Bangor Community Theatre is presenting “Moon Over Buffalo,” a comedy by Ken Ludwig, on their home stage at the Bangor Grange Hall. The show – directed by Irene Dennis – runs through Nov. 24.

It’s the story of two aging actors, touring the hinterlands with a pair of classic stage plays in the 1950s. However, when an unexpected opportunity presents the possibility of a return to glory, the pair will do whatever it takes to make it happen – no matter what.

As we come to the end of another cinematic year, certain elements of the Hollywood machine are ramping up.

We’re entering into prestige season, where studios have traditionally trotted out their awards contenders in order to ensure that they are fresh in the minds of voters when balloting takes place.

Granted, that has changed somewhat in recent years – the combination of an expanded Best Picture field and a willingness to recognize more mainstream and commercial fare has led to less specificity with regards to where a film lands on the calendar. As such, there are a number of prominent prestige films either already in theaters or already come and gone.

Plus, there’s the recent entry into the fray of the streaming behemoths. We’ve also included a few movies from Netflix and Amazon, films that received limited theatrical releases in order to qualify for these awards but whose REAL release date is when their availability for streaming arrives.)

On the flip side, this late part of the year has also become a sort of summer redux as far as blockbuster fare. Films expected to do massive box office are no longer just the purview of June and July – November and December have now become perfectly acceptable spots to drop your nine-figure franchise powerhouse, turning the always-popular holiday movie season into something truly huge.

What follows is a look at some of the upcoming films that are closing out 2019. We’ve got some movies looking to win awards, others just looking to have a good time. As for what YOU are looking for? Well – whatever it is, you might well find it somewhere on this list.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:35

Celebrity Slam - Much ado about nothing

If you’re a regular reader of this space, you know that there are certain areas in which we particularly excel. We’re awesome at creating clever and memorable portmanteaux for celebrity couples. We’re awesome at coming up with snarky and derisive commentary about the missteps of famous people. And we’re awesome at exploring the specifics of celebrity beefs.

However, the world of celebrity beef is a surprisingly complex one. It’s all very delicate – an elaborate web of shade being thrown and offense being taken. The rules of discourse have always been complicated, but the introduction of social media has rendered it even more so.

That’s what makes stories like this week’s item so interesting. See, it’s a beef, only it isn’t a beef, because while it started as a beef, it wound up not being a beef at all. Unless it is a beef. But for right now, it does not appear to be a beef, though it’s subsequent beefiness may prove to be beefier than previously beefed.

Get all that? Because we’re not sure that we did.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:34

Weird National Briefs (11/20/2019)

D’oh! A deer!

WOOSTER, Ohio - A whitetail went retail for a bit this week when it entered a Walmart store in Ohio.

Patrons in Wooster in northeastern Ohio say the deer was kicking shelves as it walked through the store Wednesday afternoon.

Bert and Dawn Moore encountered the deer after stopping in for a few things for dinner. Bert Moore told the Wooster Daily Record he feared the doe was in danger of hurting itself or others.

Moore says he grabbed the deer when it grew tired after slipping on the floor and then lay on it to keep it still.

He, another shopper and store employees helped the animal get out. It disappeared into a field.

TME – Probably left to go to Target.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:32

Criminal Mischief (11/20/2019)

Fire station vandal arrested in Bangor

BANGOR – A Bangor man has been arrested after breaking a number of windows at a Bangor fire station.

At approximately 1 a.m. on Nov. 15, Bangor Police responded to 289 Main Street (Central Fire Station) because a man – later identified as 55-year-old David Bileau of Bangor – was breaking windows. Upon arrival, the responding officer witnessed Bileau punching out one of the fire station’s garage door windows. Further investigation revealed that six garage door windows had been damaged.

According to reports, Bileau was allegedly belligerent and cursed out the responding officer and a fire fighter who’d stepped outside to help. Bileau was subsequently arrested and charged with criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and violation of conditions of release. He was taken to the Penobscot County Jail.

Alcohol was a factor in this crime.

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