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

Obviously, 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. Still, the lion’s share of Oscar bait rolls out close to the cutoff date.

On the flip side, this late part of the year has also become a sort of second summer in terms of blockbuster fare. Films expected to do massive box office are no longer just the purview of June and July – December has now become a perfectly acceptable spot to place your nine-figure franchise powerhouse.

What follows is a look at some of the upcoming films that are closing out 2018, divided into two categories – “Awards Bait” and “Blockbusters.” This should give you an idea of not only what films are coming our way, but what KINDS of films they might be. Take a look.

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 13:15

Iconic songwriter Jimmy Webb talks Maine, music and more

Written by Mike Dow

BREWER - “For that dream to come true for me – something so unlikely and so wonderful – like winning the lottery or being the first man on the moon – it truly was a magical thing to hear these household names singing my music on the radio.” – Jimmy Webb

You know the songs: “MacArthur Park,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Up, Up And Away,” “By The Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Worst That Could Happen,” “Didn’t We,” “All I Know” and dozens more by some of the biggest names in music. The man who wrote them – Jimmy Webb – has scheduled two evenings of songs and stories in Maine, and he says he is looking forward to meeting the fans who made it all possible.

“Maine is my go-to place,” Webb told me during an interview from his home in Long Island, New York. He says he has had a love affair with the state for more than 20 years and spends several weeks here each year.

Jimmy Webb’s first-ever concert in the Bangor area is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 14, at 7:30 pm, at Brewer Performing Arts Center, located at 92 Pendleton St. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Brewer High School’s music and theatre programs. Two days later, Webb will perform at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit.

Here’s the thing: interviewing Jimmy Webb is very similar to what it might be like to sit with him by the water near his summer home in Lovell. At least, that’s what it feels like.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 23:01

I lost on ‘Jeopardy!’

Written by Allen Adams

BANGOR – I lost on “Jeopardy!”

On Oct. 30, a Tuesday, the episode – my episode - finally hit the airwaves. After over two months of vague answers to the questions asked by friends, acquaintances and strangers alike, I can finally say it: I lost. Despite playing what I considered to be a pretty strong game, in the end, it didn’t work out for me.

And it’s OK. Obviously, I would have loved to be a champion, but the truth is that the experience itself is what really wound up mattering.

ORONO – A comedy legend is coming to the Collins Center for the Arts.

Comedian Howie Mandel will be performing at the CCA on the University of Maine campus in Orono on Nov. 1.

BANGOR - Brian Wilson is about to bring his 11-piece band to Cross Insurance Center in Bangor for one of the final performances of The Beach Boys’ classic album “Pet Sounds” – among the most beloved recorded works in pop music history.

In an interview with The Maine Edge, Wilson says that concertgoers will hear classic hits and fan favorites from his Beach Boys years and songs from his solo career. “Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds: The Final Performances” is set for Saturday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to getting back out there,” Wilson said about launching the next leg of his tour in Bangor following a two-month break. He last appeared in Bangor with The Beach Boys during their 50th anniversary tour at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion on June 22, 2012.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:58

Celebrate Octo-beer!

Written by Allen Adams

BANGOR – Here in 2018, the Bangor-area beer scene continues to blossom.

The craft beer scene in the greater Bangor region is as robust as ever these days. Over a dozen breweries are plying their trades in the vicinity, bringing delicious beer to the masses. Plenty of thirsts are being quenched as these businesses – some just a few years old, others with decades-long histories behind them – offer up a wide variety of tasty brews.

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:13

Another autumn, another ARTober

Written by Allen Adams

BANGOR – It’s that time again. ARTober is here. Bangor’s annual month-long celebration of the arts is making its triumphant return.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 12:15

Paws on Parade marks a quarter century with ‘Unleashed’

Written by Mike Dow

BANGOR - 1994 was an unforgettable year. We became smitten with Forrest Gump and were captivated by Disney’s “The Lion King.” “Friends” signaled a seismic shift in situation comedies and we said farewell to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon and Kurt Cobain.

And that fall, a humble gathering of dog lovers, accompanied by their canine companions, took part in the first-ever “Paws on Parade” fundraising dog walk to benefit Bangor Humane Society.

The 2018 edition of “Paws on Parade” is subtitled “25 Years Unleashed” and is set for Saturday, September 29, beginning at the public parking lot on the Bangor Waterfront.

This year’s event will feature a few tweaks and improvements, including a central staging area, a slightly altered route and a restructuring of participating teams. The alterations will provide better visual and aural access and an opportunity for participants to decide how they would like to see their funds utilized.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018 11:13

What’s new to view: A fall 2018 TV preview

Written by Allen Adams

Fall TV premiere season is upon us!

Granted, the whole “new fall lineup” has increasingly become less of a thing with the proliferation of streaming services willing to drop entire seasons in one go and networks becoming more and more flexible with regards to when a series can and should debut, but whether it is by design or simply through inertia, we still see a whole lot of new material hit the airwaves in the autumn.

As per usual, this preview addresses only those shows entering their debut seasons. This isn’t about all the exceptional television that is returning for a second or third or fifth or tenth season – this is about stuff we haven’t seen before. It’s a chance to look ahead at what’s coming and think about what content – if any – we might be willing to invest our limited leisure time into.

(Note: This story hits the streets on Sept. 19. We’re focusing on shows that have yet to make the scene, so for the handful of entries that bowed earlier this month … sorry. Better luck next time.)

It’s a mixed bag. We’ve got broadcast and we’ve got streaming. We’ve got comedy and drama. We’ve got prestige fare and we’ve got mass appeal. We’ve got highbrow, lowbrow, middlebrow – all the brows you could ever desire.

Will all of these shows be good? Absolutely not. Should you watch them all? Also – no. But if there’s even one or two gems among the flotsam, that’s a big win. And honestly, it looks like there might be a couple of winners here.

Or maybe it’s all just poorly-conceived adequately-executed entertainment detritus. Who can say?

Let’s have a look at some of 2018’s fall TV premieres.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:15

Bernstein, Bowie and more: A BSO season preview

Written by Allen Adams

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.

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