Latest installment of YA adaptation a dull, derivative mess

As we all know by now, young adult fiction can serve as the source material for some big money film franchises. One of the now-standard quirks of these series is the division of the final book into two separate films all the better to create an additional opportunity to cash in.

The 'Hunger Games' might have finally come to a merciful conclusion, but hey if you're looking for a less interesting knock-off version featuring a thinner plot and weaker performances, perhaps I can interest you in the 'Divergent' series.

The latest in the series is 'Allegiant,' based on part of the third book in Veronica Roth's trilogyand it definitely feels like it. Even in a genre that consists almost entirely of increasingly diminishing returns, the drop-off in these films has proved shockingly steep.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 12:44

Time Waster (03-16-2016)


Matching games are still quite the rage - who doesn't love 'Bejeweled' or 'Candy Crush' saga? - but you wouldn't think that you could make a real strategy game out of them. Well, you can, apparently. 'Colonization' takes the basic premise of a match three and makes you really work for some payoff.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 11:37

Sweet signs of spring

Maine Maple Sunday on the way

MAINE The groundhog not only got this one right, he got it right in the best possible way. After a relatively mild winter, Maine is shifting gears from snow to spring, and one of the sweetest signs of the season is Maple Syrup Sunday. This year it falls on March 27, which is also Easter another holiday that invites us to enjoy the sweeter things in life.

'Maine Maple Sunday is a great family event that allows producers to connect with customers and people interested in maple syrup and learning about it,' said Samantha Howard, the agriculture promotions coordinator for the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry. 'A lot of producers, each year, do something different and special. Some are holding Easter egg hunts or a pancake breakfast. There are samples and goodies that people can buy.'

Published in Cover Story

Sacha Baron Cohen's latest a scatalogically-obsessed misfire

No one makes movies quite like Sacha Baron Cohen.

Characters drive Cohen's work bizarre, fringe-y, over-the-top characters that Cohen creates and then structures narratives around. Borat, Bruno, Ali G these weirdos were the centerpieces around which Cohen filled in the gaps to create his films.

And if there's one thing that can't be disputed, it is Cohen's pathological willingness to commit to the bit, no matter how weird and/or unpleasant it might be. He pushes boundaries it's the basic concept behind everything that he does.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 10:34

Bunker mentality '10 Cloverfield Lane'

Small cast thriller packed with frightening intensity

The current era in Hollywood is one of franchises and sequels. Much of the wide-release fare that we see is either a beginning or a continuation of some long-extant property. Multi-movie world-building has become accepted practice and good business.

'10 Cloverfield Lane' is both of and outside of that realm. Deemed a sort of spiritual sequel to 2008's found-footage monster movie 'Cloverfield' by producer J.J. Abrams, the film isn't a direct continuation of that previous film's narrative. It exists in that same type of universe, but it tells a much different story a story all its own.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 11:20

The play's the thing with Pop-Up Hamlet

PortFringe offers unique look at Shakespeare's masterpiece

PORTLAND There's something not-so-rotten in the state of Denmarkand in the state of Maine.

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the first publication of Shakespeare's collected works; to mark the occasion, Washington D.C.'s Folger Shakespeare Library is sending copies of the First Folio to spend time in every state in the United States over the course of the year.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 09:40

The origin of species Zootopia'

Animated film offers plenty of laughs, surprising depth

It used to be that animated family films were almost solely aimed at younger audiences. For decades, the most beloved films (pretty much exclusively from Disney) were simple stories whose clear targets resulted in movies that were at best tolerable to older moviegoers.

However, recent years have seen animated films become far more layered and sophisticated still plenty enjoyable for the kiddie set, but also offering more complex references and storytelling for the adults in the crowd. Disney's early '90s renaissance started the ball rolling, while the geniuses at Pixar have taken things to the next level over the past decade-plus.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 09:19

Criminal Mischief - (03-09-2016)

Police make arrest in cold case murder of Joyce McLain

EAST MILLINOCKET Maine State Police have arrested a 55-year-old East Millinocket man and charged him in connection with the beating death of 16-year-old Joyce McLain of East Millinocket in the summer of 1980. Charged with murder is Philip Scott Fournier, who was 19 at the time of Joyce's death. He was taken into custody in East Millinocket, driven to the State Police barracks in Bangor, and has been taken to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.

Published in Criminal Mischief
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 09:09

Weird National Briefs (03-09-2016)

Something's fishy

HELSINKI - Norwegian police have bigger fish to fry so they've allowed a fellow officer to take home a goldfish that had been waiting for its rightful owner in a jam jar at the local police station.

Bodo Police spokesman Tommy Bech says investigators 'were very close to solving' the case of the lost goldfish, found abandoned Saturday in a shopping bag at a soccer stadium in the northwestern town.

Published in Weird National Briefs
Wednesday, 02 March 2016 07:47

Eddie the Eagle' takes flight

Inspirational sports movie a true underdog story

Everyone loves an underdog.

That's why some of the most entertaining sports movies out there films like 'Rocky' and 'Hoosiers' and 'Rudy' and 'The Bad News Bears' focus on the efforts of a scrappy, downtrodden athlete or team to rise above circumstances and achieve greatness.

Published in Movies
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