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Wednesday, 17 February 2016 08:22

Celeb Slam - (02-17-2016)

No one will believe you

You might have heard about a whole bunch of business involving Kanye West and his new album, about his apparently massive debts and a stinging lyric about Taylor Swift. Honestly, it's kind of in the Celebrity Slam wheelhouse - we've made a lot of hay with Yeezus and his shenanigans over the years and this is more of the same. Truthfully, if we wanted to change the name of this space to 'Kanye Slam,' we could probably still manage our weekly output just fine.

But rather than contribute even further to the steady creep of Kanye Fatigue, we thought we'd make mention of another celebrity, one whose behavior is the sort of odd that rarely gets him mentioned in this space.

Published in Celebrity Slam
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 18:48

A trek through The High Mountains of Portugal'

Yann Martel's latest novel a generation-spanning narrative

Magical realism has become something of a go-to in the realm of literary fiction in recent years. While there have always been practitioners of said magical thinking, it seems that more and more authors have been dipping their toes into that pool or even diving in headfirst.

As with any burgeoning crest of stylistic popularity, the degree of success varies wildly from work to work. Some use magical realism to plumb new depths and explore new ideas, while others seemingly just haphazardly tacked on some weirdness so that they might exploit a trend.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 13:45

Austen undead Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

Adaptation of literary mash-up marries gentility and gore

In 2009, writer Seth Graeme-Smith created a sensation with his literary mash-up 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,' a work in which he took Jane Austen's 1813 novel and introduced a rash of zombie-related incidents into the narrative while still maintaining the basic structure of the original story.

After years struggling through the development process, the film adaptation has finally made it to the big screen. Directed by Burr Steers, who also wrote the adapted screenplay, 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' takes two wildly incongruous parts the complex romance of Jane Austen's masterpiece and the lurid pulpiness of the zombie undead and attempts (mostly successfully) to make them one.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 13:20

Celeb Slam - (02-10-2016)

The real McCoy

When it comes to Celebrity Slam, we tend to focus more on the world of entertainment. Musicians, actors, reality stars those are the famous folks who usually wind up in our particular spotlight.

However, there's no disputing the fact that athletes are entertainers in their own right. And while their names might not be quite as widely familiar as those of the stars of stage, screen and song, that doesn't mean that they aren't pretty darned famous.

So when they do idiotic things, well it's only right that we're there to give them the business.

Published in Celebrity Slam
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:08

Kicking it with Kung Fu Panda 3'

Animated sequel familiar, but still plenty of fun

As much as we might bemoan the lack of originality in Hollywood, there's no denying the reality that there's a lot of money to be made by giving people what they've already shown that they like.

Animated movies are among the guiltiest of offenders. Any animated film that achieves even a modicum of success swiftly becomes a franchise, a family-friendly cash cow that can be counted on to generate serious box office and merchandising revenue over and over and over again. Granted, all of these animated franchises fall prey to the inevitability of diminishing returns, but some manage their drop-offs better than others.

'Kung Fu Panda 3' is a good example of that sort of quality management. The folks at DreamWorks have never been shy about hitting the same notes repeatedly ('Shrek,' 'How to Train Your Dragon' and most egregiously 'Madagascar'), but they've handled this particular series with a lighter touch. The end result is a film that, while undeniably familiar, still manages to retain a bit of freshness.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:57

The Finest Hours' not so fine

Historical rescue drama mostly mediocre

The moviegoing public has always had an affinity for films that are based on a true story. Of course, there's always a degree of interpretation and dramatic license that goes into bringing those narratives to the big screen too often, reality simply isn't deemed interesting enough.

'The Finest Hours' is an example of a movie that seemingly sticks fairly closely to its original source material. The story of a 1952 Coast Guard rescue operation off the Massachusetts coast has plenty to recommend it, with heroic actions in the face of overwhelming odds and the uncaring rage of Mother Nature and all of that.

Alas, while the pieces are there for something really good, the end result is ultimately less than memorable.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:24

Celeb Slab - (02-03-2016)

Chief Keef beef?

One of the marvelous things about social media is that it provides a much quicker and easier way for celebrities to reach out and connect with their fans. Unfortunately for the famous folks and fortunately for us here at Celebrity Slam it also provides a much quicker and easier way for those same celebrities to say and do the kinds of ridiculous things that land them in this space.

Our latest contestant is rapper Chief Keef.

The hip-hop star recently took to Twitter to exact some sort of revenge on someone who has apparently wronged him. He posted a street address in Minneapolis and invited his followers of which there are more than a million to 'throw eggs and st in a bag and rocks and all that and Ima repost it.'

Published in Celebrity Slam
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 12:07

The Big Game's golden anniversary

Breaking down Super Bowl 50

Back in the fall, 32 NFL teams started their seasons with a singular goal win the Super Bowl. Over the course of the past few months, team after team saw their dreams of hoisting aloft the Lombardi Trophy fall by the wayside. Now, the lengthy battle of attrition has finally come to its end.

It's time for the Super Bowl.

This is the 50th edition of what has become the biggest event in American sports. Hundreds of millions of people both here and all around the world will be watching as the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers for the right to call themselves champions.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 10:43

Hair Frenzy' a cut above

World premiere comedy captures Maine spirit

BANGOR The Bangor Opera House is playing host to a truly hair-raising experiencean experience taking place for the very first time.

Penobscot Theatre Company is presenting the world premiere of 'Hair Frenzy,' a new work by local playwright Travis Baker. Directed by PTC veteran Dominick Varney, this spiritual sequel to 2014's Clauder Prize-winning 'One Blue Tarp' is running through Feb. 14.

The play revisits the fictional town of Clara, Maine; it's a small town with a big heart, filled with the sorts of regular folks and eccentric characters that will likely ring familiar to anyone who has spent time in our state.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 13:17

Hydroviv lends Flint a helping hand

DC-based water filtration startup aims to assist city in crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. By now, you've likely heard about the ongoing struggles in Flint, Michigan regarding their drinking water situation. Thousands upon thousands of people are struggling to find water that is safe.

However, as in most crises in this country, there are people who want to help.

Published in Tekk
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