Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Monday, March 16, 2015

America, the band which had the hits "Horse With No Name," "Ventura Highway" and "Tin Man," is returning to Penn's Peak.

The band still consists of founding members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell. This is their 45th anniversary of performing.

America will be in concert at 8 p.m. July 2.

Tickets are $37 and $42.

This is one of two concerts announced this week for Penn's Peak.

The other is Jam on the Mountain at 7 p.m. May 31. Tickets cost $14 in advance and $19 on the day of the show.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" is as convoluted as its title.

The movie has a good premise: a young London street punk recruited for a spy agency loosely modeled after The Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6) is groomed in the art of espionage and of being a gentleman.

It's to the "Kingsman" filmmakers' misfortune that they can't decide which storyline is more important: learning to be a spy or learning to become a gentleman.

Friday, March 6, 2015

OK. The serious season of Oscar nominees and recipients is over.

It's time for some guilty pleasure.

"Fifty Shades Of Grey"?


"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water."

"SpongeBob SquarePants" (which began on Nickelodeon in 1999) was part of the Saturday morning animation TV show ritual for my son, Elias, and me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Times News file photo Bret Michaels, lead singer of Poison, will be appearing at Penn's Peak on April 16.

Ten more concerts for 2015 have been announced at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, including Poison lead singer and TV star Bret Michaels, country stars Clint Black and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the return of Three Dog Night.

Tickets for seven of the shows go on sale this weekend to the general public.

The concerts are:

Ÿ April 16 Bret Michaels (Tickets on sale March 6 at 10 a.m.).

Ÿ April 17 Mary Chapin Carpenter, with special guest Lunasa. Tickets are available.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) Paula Deen has found a new publishing home.

Hachette Book Group announced Monday that it had reached a distribution deal with the celebrity chef's Paula Deen Ventures. Hachette's plans include selling and distributing a new title, "Paula Deen Cuts the Fat," and reissuing such older works as "The Lady & Sons" and "A Savannah Country Cookbook." Todd McGarity, Hachette's vice president of client distribution services, said in a statement that Deen's "trademark warmth and culinary flair are as appealing as ever."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Oscar spread the largesse at the 87th Academy Awards last Sunday.

Thematically, Oscar again typically voted for disease ("The Theory Of Everything," "Still Alice") and dysfunction ("Birdman," "Whiplash," "Boyhood").

The big categories went to "Birdman," which received four gold statues for Picture, Director (Alejandro Inarritu), Original Screenplay (Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo) and Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki, a two-year in a row recipient, following "Gravity" in 2014).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Still Allice" cuts to the core of human existence.

"Still Alice" examines the essence of communication.

"Still Alice" asks: When is Alice still Alice?

The film drama, "Still Alice," sensitively examines what happens when the brain no longer functions properly.

Alice (Julianne Moore) is a respected Columbia University professor of linguistics and an author. She is married to a successful medical researcher (Alec Baldwin). They live in a beautiful, charming and tastefully decorated Manhattan townhouse.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Drum roll, please!"

"Whiplash" has five Oscar nominations, for picture, supporting actor (J.K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher, the hard-driving music teacher), adapted screenplay, editing and sound mixing.

Even for those who don't know the difference between a single paradiddle and a double-stroke roll, "Whiplash" is a must-see for the performance of Simmons alone, the presumptive supporting Oscar recipient. It's the role of a lifetime for Simmons, a noted character actor.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

It's an embarrassment of riches at this year's Oscars.

While 2013 was regarded as one of the best years in a decade for great films, one could make the case, based on the Oscar picture nominees alone for the 87th Academy Awards, that 2014 was even better.

The year 2014 will be remembered as the year of the director.

There was writer-director Richard Linklater's "12 Years a Film," i.e., "Boyhood," filmed over the course of 12 years with the same actors as we see lead actor Ellar Coltrane grow from an elementary school student of age 5 to a college teen of 18.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO Matt Ryan performs as Bruce Springsteen in previous "Bruce in the USA" concert at Penn's Peak. He'll be returning to the Peak this Friday, Feb. 21.

Who hasn't heard of Bruce Springsteen?

"The Boss," as he is also known, had such great hits as "Born in the USA" and "Dancing in the Dark."

You can hear the hits of Springsteen at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe on Saturday night when Matt Ryan, from the World Famous "Legends In Concert" cast, brings his "Bruce in the USA" show to the venue.

Ryan began playing the Springsteen character in 2000, in the Legends "full scale" Las Vegas show. The great success with "Legends" evolved his character into the Bruce In The USA show.