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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

edge staff writer

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Like so many people, I have a deep and abiding affection for “Jeopardy!” The venerable game show has been a part of our lives for decades, a warming syndicated presence that crossed all manner of boundaries. It is a generational show, one that grandparents and grandchildren can and do enjoy together.

The passing of longtime host Alex Trebek in November of last year left a void at the program’s venerable podium. Filling the shoes of an icon is a difficult task under any circumstances; studio executives were faced with a nigh-impossible conundrum – find a new face for a show that had the same face for 37 years. There were a lot of options, and yet we somehow wound up – at least initially – with one of the worst of the bunch.

Mike Richards was always the wrong man for the job.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 11:50

Miguel Cabrera joins 500 homer club

One of Major League Baseball’s most exclusive clubs just gained a member.

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera became the 28th player in MLB history to achieve this historic milestone, hitting a 1-1 pitch from Blue Jays lefthander Steven Matz over the scoreboard in right-center field at Toronto’s Rogers Centre for a home run, his 13th of 2021.

It marks a moment that has seemed inevitable for a long time, yet the journey to get here proved a bit more interminable than anyone anticipated.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 11:47

Celebrity Slam - Kanye/Drake beef is back!

Well folks – looks like beef is back on the menu!

We won’t belabor the enduring affection we have for famous feuds here at Celebrity Slam – if you’ve read this feature with any regularity, you’re already well aware of our feelings. But it had been a while since we were able to dig into that sizzling steak – the only beef-related story we’ve carried in the last couple of months revolved around Kanye and Jay-Z squashing their longtime conflict.

Happily, it turns out that while Yeezy was in a forgiving mood with regard to Jay, he’s still ready to get beefy if the situation calls for it. And thanks to a just-released track featuring Drake, our man Kanye is amped to throw down.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 11:46

Weird National Briefs (08/25/2021)

You’re the one

BELFAST (AP) — The sudden appearance of a giant rubber duck in a Maine harbor is a whimsical whodunit that’s defied sleuths so far.

The yellow waterfowl emblazoned with the word “joy” appeared in Belfast Harbor over the weekend, and it’s a mystery who put it there.

Harbor Master Katherine Given told the Bangor Daily News that the 25-foot-tall (7 1/2 meter) duck doesn’t pose a navigational hazard, so there’s no rush to shoo it away.

“Everybody loves it,” Given said. “I have no idea who owns it, but it kind of fits Belfast. A lot of people want to keep it here.”

Judy Herman, of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, stopped to snap photos on Tuesday.

“It’s wonderful,” she told New England Cable News. “Who would expect to see a duck in the middle of the water here?”

TME – It’s all fun and games until Kaiju Ernie shows up.

I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been writing about movies for well over a decade at this point, with a fairly well-rounded history of cinematic consumption before that. I have experienced a LOT of films – good, bad and mediocre.

One of the greatest joys that spring from watching movies is the simple fact that, until they start, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Oh, you might have some idea, whether it is from trailers or reviews or word of mouth, but YOUR experience, well – you don’t know until it happens. So I’m no stranger to being surprised by what I see on the screen.

But there’s a very real chance that I have NEVER been as surprised as I was by “Annette.”

The film, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video after a brief limited theatrical run, is one of the most enjoyably jarring movie experiences I’ve had in recent memory. “Annette” is directed by Leos Carax, making his first feature since 2012’s acclaimed “Holy Motors,” with a story by Ron and Russell Mael, the brothers behind indie pop darlings Sparks (the brothers also handle the film’s weird and exceptional music).

As a rule, I make an effort to keep my head clear going into a movie – the less I know, the better. Again – the joy of that leap into the unknown … and boy oh boy, was this the unknown.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 11:40

Tanks for the memories – ‘Reminiscence’

Among the many joys that come with genre filmmaking is the possibility of overlap. All the available commonalities allow intrepid (and even not-so-intrepid) filmmakers to design their own stylistic and thematic Venn diagrams, putting together projects that combine tropes and other elements from a variety of narrative and aesthetic sources. In general, the flexibility of genre usually translates.

This is the process that gives us “space horror” and “urban fantasy” and any number of other weird and wonderful combo platters.

The new film “Reminiscence,” currently in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, is an example of a particularly effective genre blend – sci-fi noir, or tech noir. The film – written and directed by Lisa Joy and starring Hugh Jackman – follows in the footsteps of filmmakers like Ridley Scott and James Cameron and Terry Gilliam, bringing the shadowy grit of film noir into a future world of bleeding edge technology.

Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as successful as those films. It has a talented cast and the premise and setting are intriguing enough, but “Reminiscence” can’t quite stay out of its own way, getting bogged down in the details of a not-quite-coherent romantic mystery even as it tosses out and then promptly abandons a number of interesting ideas. The end result is a film that leaves you remembering other, better films and wondering about what might have been – oddly ironic for a story where the toxicity of nostalgia is a central tenet.

Another week, another Netflix original.

While the streamer’s commitment to providing a steady supply of original content is admirable, the combination of constant churn and a vague sense of algorithmic generation, there’s no disputing that the level of quality is … uneven, to say the least, even if the quantity is largely delivered as promised.

Their latest entry is “Sweet Girl,” a revenge thriller starring Jason Momoa. This story of a man pursuing vengeance against the pharmaceutical company that he holds responsible for the death of his wife is your run-of-the-mill passable, largely forgettable action offering … right up until a late twist that turns the whole thing into something altogether more bonkers, altering not just the remainder of the film, but everything we’ve seen before.

Now, that’s not to say that this makes any of this what you’d call “good” – the film is too across-the-board workmanlike for that – but it certainly turns what initially seems like a time-filling watch into something you’ll at least remember beyond the end credits.

Haven’t you ever thought that the self-help and wellness realm is just a little … sinister?

We live in a world where the notion of improving one’s health – physical, emotional or otherwise – has become a billion-dollar industry. Yet we ALSO live in a world where, if there’s a way to make money through duplicitous and/or unsavory means, someone will do so.

Unsurprisingly, we’re seeing a lot of creative work that addresses that particular slice of the self-actualization pie.

The latest offering along those lines is “Nine Perfect Strangers,” the new limited series from Hulu. Created by John Henry Butterworth and television icon David E. Kelley and based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, the show offers a look at a secretive high-end wellness retreat that – surprise! – might be considerably more than it appears to be.

With an absolutely stacked cast – Nicole Kidman leads the way, but there are exceptional talents scattered all over the call sheet – and a setting that looks both bucolic and expensive, the show has a lot going for it. And when you toss some weird and mysterious narrative developments into the mix, well … you’ve got something.

I’ll put it this way: for the most part, “Nine Perfect Strangers” gets the dosage just right.

By the time you read this, MLB teams will likely be beyond the 120-game mark for the season, three-quarters of the way through the 2021 slate. We’re coming into the home stretch, where teams will be making their postseason pushes and individual awards will be won and lost.

There’s a fair amount of turnover this time around – there have been some significant shifts in a number of seasons. Some very good, others not so much.

Standard stuff, really – the MLB Awards leaderboard always sees a fair amount of movement. But in this uncertain season, one of unusual circumstances across the board, one never knows what’s coming next. And honestly, it’s nice to have some of that intrigue. Let’s see where we’re at, shall we?

This is Clubhouse Leaders.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021 11:37

Latest no-hitter makes MLB history … twice

It’s been a minute, but MLB notched another no-hitter over the weekend. And this one made history – twice.

Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Tyler Gilbert threw the no-no against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. It was the rookie’s first-ever major league start, making him just the second pitcher in modern baseball history – and the fourth ever – to accomplish the feat; he joins the legendary Bobo Holloman, who accomplished the feat while pitching for the St. Louis Browns back in 1953.

In addition, Gilbert’s game marks the eighth official no-hitter of the year, making this the most prevalent year for no-hit games in modern MLB history; the previous record of seven was achieved in three previous seasons – 1990, 1991 and 2015. The only other year with as many as eight is 1884, a year in which the game bore only a passing resemblance to what we see today.

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