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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:48

Kibbles and Picks 2018 – Week 2

Obviously, this isn’t going to last.

Yes, I have a two-game lead over Stella after Week 1’s games, sitting at 11-4-1 to Stella’s 9-6-1 (thanks to the still-kind-of-inexplicable Browns/Steelers tie). But does anyone out there REALLY think that this is any kind of harbinger of what is to come?

Basically, the Jets blowing out the Lions on Monday night was the difference between the 5-3 head-to-head record I put up and a 4-4 wash. Doesn’t seem likely that I’ll get that lucky every week.

As for Week 2, Stella and I are at odds regarding seven games on the slate. A lot of them have me picking the road team, while Stella prefers home cooking; we’ll see if that comes back to bite me.

There’s no denying that Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick are among the greatest coaches in the history of football. One can argue about their relative placements in the pantheon, but it’s difficult to dispute either’s placement among the greatest of the greats. Meanwhile, Raiders owner Al Davis spent decades as the free-wheeling outlaw of the NFL’s leadership class, bringing his own unique ideas and passions to the game.

And Michael Lombardi worked under all of them.

Those relationships form the basis for Lombardi’s new book “Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL” (Crown Archetype, $27). It’s a chance for Lombardi to impart the myriad lessons he has gleaned over his decades of working with some of the finest football minds in history.

We’re still not used to female action stars.

Even as the gates are gradually opening and allowing women to take the lead in action movies, there’s still a degree of novelty to it. It’s unfortunate that that’s the case, although it is slowly getting better. Still, woman-driven action is still a relative rarity.

So when you see something like “Peppermint” come along, a revenge thriller featuring Jennifer Garner as a mother who lost everything and is willing to do anything and everything necessary to make those responsible pay dearly. It isn’t a shining example of the genre – it’s formulaic and lacks much in the way of perspective and/or visceral thrills. It head fakes toward a few message-type issues – feminism, class, the legal system – but never really strays from its fundamental potboiler-ness. And yet, it is extremely watchable, thanks mostly to a strong and believable performance from Garner and a frankly-impressive body count.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:25

‘Searching’ tells its story through screens

Trying new things can be dangerous.

Experimenting with methods of cinematic storytelling is often risky. You want to stay true to the story and avoid technical distractions. You don’t want those choices to come off as superfluous and/or gimmicky. It’s a fine line between telling a story a new way and simply being different for the sake of being different.

The new film “Searching,” directed by feature first-timer Aneesh Chaganty from a script he co-wrote with Sev Ohanian, is a thriller revolving around a father whose daughter has disappeared. You’ve seen it a million times. However, this film unfolds entirely through communication technology – through FaceTime and laptops and group chats, through social media and text messaging and online video. Sure, that’s not a brand-new concept, but it’s certainly still new enough to catch your attention. And while other movies and TV shows have experimented with the idea, none have done so as successfully as this one.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:15

Bernstein, Bowie and more: A BSO season preview

BANGOR – The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, led by musical director and conductor Lucas Richman, is set to kick off its 123rd season next month.

The BSO is one of the cultural cornerstones of our region. It has the lengthiest history of any of our area’s arts organizations. Indeed, it has one of the lengthiest histories of any community orchestra in the entire country, bringing music to the Bangor masses since the waning days of the 19th century.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:57

Celebrity Slam - Cardi B-eef

That’s right, friends – beef is on the menu.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:55

Weird National Briefs (09/12/2018)

Cold cut crime

BOLIVAR, Ohio - Authorities in eastern Ohio say a grocery store employee has been charged with felony theft for helping herself to deli ham for years.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:54

Criminal Mischief (09/12/2018)

Bucksport meth bust

BUCKSPORT – A meth lab was busted in Bucksport last week, resulting in two arrests.

Thursday, 06 September 2018 10:51

Kibbles and Picks 2018 - Week 1

With the NFL season set to kick off mere hours from now, it’s time for the continuation of what has become a football season tradition.

That’s right – Kibbles and Picks is here again. For the sixth year, I will be picking the winners of every NFL game this season. And for the sixth year, my dog Stella will also be making her picks. We’ll go head to head in a classic battle of man versus beast … although to be honest, it hasn’t been much of a battle – Stella has beaten me the last three years and four years out of five overall.

Every year, it becomes increasingly obvious that my dog is a far superior football pundit (pun-dog? pup-dit?) than I am. But I’ll be damned if I’ll let that stop me. Besides – I feel good about what I’m bringing to the table this year.

What if you looked around one day and saw all the success in the world … only it wasn’t what you wanted?

That’s the central question being asked by Barry Cohen, the protagonist of Gary Shteyngart’s new novel “Lake Success” (Random House, $28). It’s a story of discontent among the one percent, a look-in on the lives of people whose problems are both wildly different and oddly similar to our own. It’s also a sharp and whip-smart deconstruction of the American Dream – one in which the dreamer discovers that maybe they didn’t want it to come true after all.

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