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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:12

Believe the hype The Avengers'

Comic book culmination even better than advertised 

'The Avengers' is the culmination of a years-long buildup spread across multiple films. It is an incredibly ambitious attempt at world-building the likes of which the summer blockbuster genre has never seen before. It is an effort at creating not just a comic book movie, but a comic book universe. The hype has been enormous and the anticipation even greater. So it's here.

And it's outstanding.

A mad Asgardian demigod named Loki (Tom Hiddleston, 'War Horse') the brother of Thor has stolen an alien artifact known as the Tesseract in order to build an army to conquer the Earth. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, 'Meeting Evil') is the head of a superspy organization known as SHIELD and is the point man on dealing with this (or any other) alien attack against the Earth.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 17:53

The Five Year Engagement' almost great

Romantic comedy suffers from excess length

Ongoing Hollywood relationships are relatively rare, so it's interesting when a creative team reunites for another project. It's of particular interest when the previous undertaking was a strong one.

Judd Apatow, Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel came together in a big way with 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' a huge success both critically and commercially. So when 'The Five Year Engagement' came along getting the band back together, so to speak the level of anticipation was high. But sometimes these collaborations aren't meant to be recreated, and when they're forced, they usually wind up falling flat.

This one works. Well mostly works.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 17:49

Quoth The Raven' total bore

Film is uninspired, unoriginal and uninteresting

Sometimes, you just know. Maybe you're watching a trailer or reading a preview; you're learning about an upcoming movie for the first time. Just like that, an epiphany about this movie strikes.

It is going to be terrible.

More often than not, that visceral first instinct is usually right when it comes to cinematic stinkers. And if you're like me, you got that feeling instantly upon your first view of the trailer for 'The Raven,' starring John Cusack ('Hot Tub Time Machine') as Edgar Allan Poe in some sort of action-adventure/mystery genre mishmash that at first glance doesn't seem to know what it wants to be.

Upon viewing the film, I can safely say this - that impression is wholly accurate.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 16:17

Jones, Hightower highlight Patriots draft

Team trades up for Syracuse end, Alabama linebacker

The New England Patriots draft strategy in recent years has involved a lot of wheeling and dealing. Coach Bill Belichick seems to take particular delight in trading down and accumulating more and more future assets. While it certainly makes sense as a long-term strategy, in the short term it can feel a bit frustrating. We want to see the team take shots at top-level players, rather than being content with quantity over quality.

This year, we got a little of both.

New England had two first round picks this year, so most of us expected some sort of trade to happen. What we didn't anticipate was Belichick trading up with both picks in order to snap up players they coveted. Most of the mid-round picks were sacrificed in the trading process, but the Patriots wound up with some solid blue-chip talent and a few intriguing prospects. The draft had an overwhelmingly defensive flavor, with the team selecting only one offensive player.

Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:39

Celebrity Slam - April 25, 2012

LiLo doubles down

Here at Celebrity Slam, we have occasionally been accused of piling on. It's a valid point, but the truth is that certain famous people seemingly go out of their way to place targets on their own backs. We don't make these celebrities say what they say or do what they do we just mock them mercilessly when it happens.

Which brings us to Lindsay Lohan. Again.

A couple of weeks ago, LiLo was accused of getting into a shoving match with a woman at the nightclub Smoke and Mirrors. According to the claim, the woman was talking to a male friend of the actress and Lohan took umbrage, even going so far as to start pushing and shoving her.

Thursday, 26 April 2012 09:44

Getting together with American Reunion'

The movies we see and love as young adults often go on defining our cinematic tastes long after we have supposedly 'grown up.' However, the opportunity to see the cast of one of those movies after they too have grown up is pretty rare.
'American Reunion' is that opportunity.
3 out of 5 - Read full review
Thursday, 26 April 2012 09:22

The Unlucky One

Sparks adaptation overwrought, underdeveloped

There are few writers out there who have mastered the art of emotional manipulation quite like Nicholas Sparks. And Hollywood has taken notice, adapting seven of his books to the big screen. He's responsible for such tearjerkers as 'A Walk To Remember,' 'Dear John,' 'Message in a Bottle' and of course, the Sparksiest of them all, 'The Notebook.' Number seven just hit the big screen with the opening of 'The Lucky One.'

Logan Thibeault (Zac Efron, 'The Lorax') is a Marine sergeant serving in Iraq. One day while standing guard, he catches a glimpse of something half buried in the sand. He goes to retrieve it; it turns out to be a laminated picture of a woman. As he looks at it, a rocket attack hits precisely where he had just been standing. From then on, Logan views it as a sort of lucky charm.

When he gets out of the service, Logan is determined to track down the woman from the photo. His journey takes him from Colorado to Louisiana, where he finally finds Beth Green (Taylor Schilling, 'Atlas Shrugged: Part I'). She runs a pet boarding kennel along with her grandmother Ellie (Blythe Danner, 'What's Your Number?'). When Logan arrives, he intends to tell Beth about the picture but instead gets swept into the idyllic small-town life of the Greens.

Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:30

A killer show

Winterport Open Stage presents murderous comedy

WINTERPORT Marriage can be murder. And as presented by one local theater company, said murder can be very, very funny.

Winterport Open Stage is presenting 'The Smell of the Kill,' a play by Michele Lowe and directed by Dominick Varney, through April 29 at the Wagner Middle School in Winterport.

Nicky (Brianne Beck), Debra (Jenny Hart) and Molly (Christie Robinson) are three women whose relationships with one another are built almost entirely around the fact that their respective husbands have been friends since college. The men meet up monthly for cards, cigars and dining room golf (no really) while their wives retire quietly to the kitchen for chat, cards and Chardonnay.

Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:24

POD' a solid sci-fi effort

Wallenfels impresses with powerful debut novel

It's always exciting to pick up an author's debut book. The sense of potential informs the experience with a high level of excitement. This first book could be the start of a wonderful writer/reader relationship. Of course, it could also be a complete dud. It's a Schrdinger's cat dilemma; an experiment in quantum literature. It's a situation where you simply can't know whether the book is good or bad until you open it and see for yourself.

In the case of 'POD' (Ace, $7.99), the debut offering from author Stephen Wallenfels, you'll be glad you turned to page one.

The aliens descended from the sky at 5 a.m. (PST), taking the entire world by surprise. They announced their presence with an ear-shattering shriek, and their round black ships dominate the skies. Any human being caught outside immediately vanishes in a flash of blue light. What survivors remained were trapped in their homes trapped without any way of communicating with the outside world. Everyone remaining in this new world is forced to come to terms with what's happening on an individual basis.

Thursday, 26 April 2012 06:46

A baker's dozen for summer 2012

Previewing some of this season's cinematic offerings

The summer movie season used to be easy to pinpoint. For years, Memorial Day marked the season's official unofficial beginning. That was just how it worked. However, over the past few years, that starting date has been slowly creeping earlier and earlier into May. It's clear that the first big summer film of 2012 is 'The Avengers' despite the fact that it comes out on May 4. That's right. May 4. We're only a year or two away from a summer movie season that starts in April.

Let's have a look at some of the more eagerly-anticipated films of this summer. Granted, it's a whole lot of what we've come to expect out of Hollywood: there are sequels and reboots galore. That's not necessarily a bad thing; some of these movies look absolutely spectacular. But there are also some star-studded comedies, adaptations of books and musicals and some animated fare as well.

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