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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:10

Movies on the Midcoast with CIFF

Camden International Film Festival marks eighth year

CAMDEN Documentary filmmakers are descending on midcoast Maine to take part in the latest incarnation of the Camden International Film Festival, taking place in and around Camden from Sept. 27 through Sept. 30.

CIFF is entering its eighth year and in that relatively short time has become one of the preeminent documentary film festivals both in the United States and in the world. The festival aims to provide a fully immersive theatergoing experience. Not only is the festival offering screenings of 70-plus films spread across four primary venues (the Opera House and Bayview Street Cinema in Camden, the Strand Theatre and Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland), but they also offer a variety of Q&A sessions with filmmakers, as well as related events such as the Points North Forum and Panoptic.

Thursday, 20 September 2012 12:42

Words, words, words

As a lover of the written word, I was intrigued when I first heard about 'The Words.' The idea of a movie built around the nature of authorship and the siren's song of literary fame and fortune sounded pretty good to me. But then a simple, fundamental question occurred to me - can they actually make this interesting?
For me at least, the answer was 'yes.'
3 out of 5 - Read full review
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:05

Rich man's burden

Arbitrage' packed with unsympathetic characters

Hollywood loves movies about rich guys, and with the current economic climate emphasizing the disconnect between the ultra-rich and the rest of us, it's no surprise that we're currently seeing a spate of these types of films. The latest offering in this vein is 'Arbitrage,' starring Richard Gere.

With the possible exception of Michael Douglas, nobody plays a rich guy quite like Gere. So it should come as no surprise that this high-finance thriller features the blandly handsome and generally inoffensive Gere in the driver's seat. My favorite recent line about Gere called him 'one of those actors who seems underrated yet never is in anything good.'

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:59

Fifth time is not the charm

Resident Evil: Retribution' a waste of time and money

Even when you're a regular moviegoer, there are always films that are going to fall through the cracks for whatever reason. Maybe you're not a fan of the genre, maybe the trailers turned you off, maybe there was just something better to see regardless, you can't see them all.

When those movies are parts of an ongoing series, it becomes easier to ignore the franchise with each subsequent film, since you're getting farther and farther away from the 'origin story,' as it were. But if you're like me, you eventually give in just to see what the fuss is all about.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:43

The Gracie goes for the gusto

A wide variety of offerings populate theater's debut season

BANGOR The Gracie Theatre has announced the lineup for its inaugural 2012-2013 season.

The theatre, located on the campus of Husson University in Bangor, will be bringing four different touring performances to the Gracie stage this season. In addition, the Gracie will be offering a classical music series as well as a number of other events both live and filmed.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:38

Enraptured by Nerds'

Novel offers satiric look at post-Singularity society

When speculative fiction is at its best, it transcends genre. It becomes a literature of ideas, and if it those ideas are presented in the context of good storytelling, so much the better. Bringing together thoughtful, polished prose and well-developed and fully-realized characters makes for an outstanding foundation upon which to build a vision of the future, be it a millennium away or merely years.

'The Rapture of the Nerds' (Tor; $24.99), co-authored by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, serves as a first-rate example of just how great and how much fun the literature of speculation can be.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:47

Celebrity Slam - Sept. 19, 2012

A sauced Tomato

Olympic snowboarder/professional skateboarder/noted ginger Shaun White found himself in police custody recently after getting hammered and going absolutely berserk in a Nashville hotel. The Flying Tomato got super drunk and proceeded to absolutely trash his room before wandering out into the halls at 2 am. When he was confronted by hotel staffers, White then proceeded to start pulling fire alarms and generally act like an utter a-hole.

Then he made a break for it. He didn't get far.

A bystander outside the hotel attempted to keep White from leaving the scene in a taxi. White then allegedly kicked the guy and ran for it. The concerned citizen chased after White; the two wound up colliding and White crashed into a fence. White was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was booked for vandalism and public intoxication while there.

It goes without saying that this is the exact sort of item for which Celebrity Slam was created.

There's nothing quite like a professional athlete letting loose. The combination of vast amounts of disposable income and an inherent sense of physical invulnerability can lead to some absolutely epic moments of complete lunacy.

And for it to be Shaun White? Cute little red-haired Shaun White? Magnificent.

Granted, trashing hotel rooms is kind of clich; it's the kind of old-school misbehavior that you wouldn't expect from a 21st century cool kid like White. That's actually why it's so awesome; it's like the kid was channeling Keith Moon. The fact that his flight attempt was thwarted by some rando is just the drunken maraschino cherry on this delicious mlange of minor criminality. The only thing that could have made this better is if he actually tried to get away on a skateboard preferably by clinging to the bumper of a passing car a la Marty McFly.

If there's an Olympic event in committing misdemeanors, Shaun White just won the gold.

A hardcore fan

For a lot of famous folks, sporting events are little more than an opportunity to see and be seen. They show up late, leave early and generally do the bare minimum to look like a real fan. Then you've got people like Jack Nicholson, Spike Lee and Dyan Cannon legitimately hardcore sports fans that root for their teams for no reason other than a love of sport.

Eric Stonestreet apparently falls into the latter category.

Stonestreet, one of the stars of 'Modern Family,' found himself in a heated confrontation at a recent baseball game between the Dodgers and Cardinals. It all started when a St. Louis fan started heckling Dodger slugger Matt Kemp. Kemp just rolled his eyes and laughed it off.

However, Stonestreet, who was sitting near the heckler in question, wasn't about to let it go, shouting 'Matt Kemp should have come over and punched you in the face!' The fan claims that Stonestreet then approached a security guard and said something like 'Somebody needs to kick this guy's ass.' The shouting match continued with insults flying; at one point, a friend of the fan snapped at Stonestreet, 'Well you're a fatass!' At that point, Stonestreet decided to get up close and personal with his new friends and the exchange grew heated.

Security quickly broke up the fracas and escorted all of the involved parties up to the main concourse at which point the fan claims Stonestreet went full-on 'Don't you know who I am?' At the end of the day, Stonestreet returned to his seat while the heckling fan and his buddy were asked to leave.

I love everything about this.

Full disclosure: I admire the fact that Mr. Stonestreet stood up for his team. Passionate fandom is awesome. However, it was perhaps handled indelicately. Telling the heckler that Kemp should kick his ass is a perfect response, but that's when it should have stopped. Asking security to kick the guy's ass? Not a great move. Neither was getting back into it with the guy. I mean, come on the fat joke is the one that crosses the line? At least make the asshat work for it.

And don't even get me started on the 'Don't you know who I am?' crap. Weak sauce, dude; you're cleverer than that.

Go Dodgers!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:26

Words, words, words

The Words' offers story-within-a-story-within-a-story

As a lover of the written word, I was intrigued when I first heard about 'The Words.' The idea of a movie built around the nature of authorship and the siren's song of literary fame and fortune sounded pretty good to me. But then a simple, fundamental question occurred to me - can they actually make this interesting?

For me at least, the answer was 'yes.'

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:22

Patsy Cline reborn at Penobscot Theatre

AlwaysPatsy Cline' a portrait of music, love and friendship

BANGOR Penobscot Theatre Company has kicked off its 39th season with its production of 'AlwaysPatsy Cline,' written by Ted Swindley.

'AlwaysPatsy Cline' tells the story of the legendary singer's relationship and ongoing correspondence with an ardently admiring fan. Louise Seger is a lonely Houston housewife, a divorced mother of two who absolutely falls in love with Patsy's voice the moment she first hears it on a television variety show. Before long, Louise is calling her local radio station every day, making multiple requests for Patsy Cline songs.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:12

An alternate Armageddon Slow Apocalypse'

Novel offers a gradual end of the world

When we think about the end of the world, we tend to think of it happening in a single moment. One minute here, next minute gone. But what if it wasn't like that? What if society held together long enough for us to actually bear witness to each phase of its ultimate deterioration?

We might see the world of Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author John Varley's 'Slow Apocalypse' (ACE, $25.95). It's a story about what might happen if the world as we know it ended not in one giant flash of Armageddon, but piece by piece.

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