Friday, July 25, 2014


Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Country singer Josh Turner is making a return appearance to Penn's Peak on Sept. 26.

You might remember the 60s hits "Times of the Season," "She's Not There," and "Tell Her No."

They were hits by the British band, The Zombies.

The Zombies, featuring Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, will be making an appearance at Penn's Peak tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.

"Last year," says Blunstone, "we played in the UK, US, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Japan and the Philippines. It was incredible."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

There's not a lot of magic in "Now You See Me," even though the film's milieu is prestidigitation.

There are digital special effects aplenty the kind of cinematic magic we expect in sci-fi, fantasy and action films.

The special effects cannot distract from a weak screenplay with half-baked plot and lack of character development.

"Now You See Me" inadvertently proves a motto said in the film by one of the magicians: "The closer you look, the less you see."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The animated family feature movie, "Epic," is beautiful, especially in the 3D format in which it was seen for this review.

Unfortunately, "Epic" lacks a cohesive storyline, the clever dialogue we've grown accustomed to in animated features and memorable animated characters.

That's not good. The art form is, after all, about character animation.

Moreover, the concept for "Epic" is ill-conceived.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Nicole Donatone and The Hawks perform at the Palmerton Park in a free concert. They will be playing a summer schedule as The Hawks came out of retirement to provide the band Donatone needed.

A concert Sunday at the Gazebo in Palmerton Park featured country singer Nicole Donatone with local duo The Hawks.

The Hawks, longtime performers, had retired from the concert scene several years ago. They agreed to perform as backups this year to Donatone.

Someone casually said to the Hawks, "I'm glad you're making music again," as they walked by the gazebo.

Duane Hawk replied, "We wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't for Nicole."

Four years ago Lisa and Duane hung up the guitar and keyboard and said they were finished playing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Star Trek Into Darkness" is that all-too-often rare sci-fi movie that has spectacular special effects, a screenplay with an actual storyline, character development and surprise plot turns.

J. J. Abrams ("Star Trek," 2009; TV's "Aliens," "Lost"), directs a screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman ("Transformers," 2007, 2009; "Star Trek," 2009) and Damon Lindelof ("World War Z," "Prometheus," "Cowboys & Aliens," TV's "Lost") that mixes action set pieces and character-driven scenes.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Most of us have read "The Great Gatsby," or are familiar with F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 book, esteemed by many literary experts as "The Great American Novel."

Several versions of "Gatsby" have made it to the big and small screen, including a 1926 silent film disparaged by none other than Zelda and F. Scott, and a 1974 movie starring Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

One of my favorite things about the horror genre is that it gives women a chance to explore our darker sides. The less than flattering clichés of the Virgin and the Whore still thrive in your standard slasher movie - but those same tropes are played with and torn apart by other, smarter horror films, like "Scream" or "The Cabin in the Woods" (where the "dumb blonde" in that case is actually an intelligent brunette wearing doctored, stupefying hair dye).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Iron Man 3" will please fans of the franchise, which is said to be coming to an end with word that Robert Downey Jr. doesn't want to reprise his role as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, although he is rumored to be on board for "The Avengers 2" (2015).

As Stark says at the conclusion – well the near-conclusion (for more on that, see this column's Credit Readers Anonymous) – of "Iron Man 3": "I am Iron Man."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Oblivion" is a stunning sci-fi thriller that transports you to another world: Earth in the not two-distant future.

The year is 2077, intones Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) in the prologue. An alien invasion has made the planet uninhabitable, he tells us. Surviving humans have fled to Triton, a moon of Saturn.

Jack Harper is a kind of space-age mechanic. Only, instead of repairing cars, he repairs drones, which have been developed into all-purpose super-fast, super-lethal security forces. The drones are like a three-dimensional Pac-Man and they destroy any targets in their path.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"The Place Beyond The Pines" is a complex drama with three parallel plots telling three interlocking stories. Each is about an individual's choice, and the truth or consequences that result, depending on the choices made.

"Pines" is an indie film crime caper that is of chief interest for its clever if somewhat convoluted screenplay and a bevy of stellar performances by some of the United States' best hot young movie stars.