Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Friday, December 26, 2014

Miracle of miracles, "Exodus: Gods And Kings," is actually quite good.

There are plenty of miracles in Director Ridley Scott's reimagining of the Torah story, beginning in 1300 B.C., about the Jews' travails and travels to Canaan, the "Promised Land."

You want miracles? "Exodus: Gods And Kings" got miracles.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

There was no way that the teenaged Butchy Sochorow would miss the final concert of his first tour with the Grateful Dead, his favorite musical tribe. It was one of many examples of "Deadication" for Sochorow, who attended more than 200 shows by the Grateful Dead from 1984 to 1995, the year the band disbanded after Garcia died.

Sochorow and his Splintered Sunlight mates will perform Friday at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, where 15 months ago they re-created a Dead Halloween gig from 1980, which is preserved in a free download on the opera house website.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"It looks like a penguin," goes the Monty Python line.

It looks like a whole lot of penguins in "Penguins of Madagascar."

In one of the opening scenes of the animated feature film, there's a line of penguins as far as the eye can see.

The four most important penguins are Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Private (Christopher Knights) and Rico (Conrad Vernon).

The four penguins, who are secret agents modeled along the lines of James Bond and Austin Powers but with the tuxedoes on all the time, have super powers but are not super smart.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) – Joan Rivers left her daughter in charge of her fortune in a revocable trust.

Rivers' 2014 will was filed in New York state Surrogate's Court. In it she made her only child, Melissa Rivers, the executor with "the broadest and most absolute permissible direction" over a fortune estimated as high as $150 million.

The late comedienne asked that her business manager Michael D. Karlin and interior designer Robert Higdon be named co-executors of the living trust.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The producers and filmmakers of "The Hunger Games" were smart to cast Jennifer Lawrence as the protagonist Katniss Everdeen.

Prior to the first installment, "Hunger Games" (2012), Lawrence distinguished herself with a break-out actress Oscar-nominated performance in "Winter's Bone" (2010).

Lawrence received an actress Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012), was a supporting actress Oscar-nominee for "American Hustle" (2013) and has dazzled as Raven-Mystique in "X-Men" (2011, 2014).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"The Theory Of Everything" has everything going for it: amazing story, fine acting and superb filmmaking.

If that's not enough for Oscar consideration, the film also tugs at the heartstrings. "The Theory Of Everything" represents a triumph of the spirit, of mind over matter and, yes, of faith versus fate.

Monday, December 1, 2014

"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" is brutal.

"Birdman" transcends realism.

"Birdman" inaugurates a new genre of cinema: Brutalism.

In "Birdman," Riggan (Michael Keaton) is a former superhero blockbuster movie star, the Birdman of the movie's title, trying to revive his career with a dose of acting reality.

What better way than to direct and star in a stage adaptation of the Raymond Carver short story collection, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" (first published in 1981).

Monday, November 24, 2014
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Niall Horan, from left, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, of One Direction, pose in the press room with the awards for artist of the year, favorite pop/rock album for "Midnight Memories" and pop/rock band, duo or group at the 42nd annual American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday in Los Angeles.

American girls love British boys: One Direction won artist of the year at the American Music Awards, taking home three honors and was the night's big winner next to Katy Perry, who didn't attend the show.

One Direction also won favorite band, duo or group pop/rock and favorite album pop/rock for "Midnight Memories" at the fan-voted show on Sunday night.

"This has been a real perfect day ... America feels like a second home to us," Liam Payne said onstage with his band mates when they won the night's first award. The group released its new album, "Four," last week.

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Dark Star Orchestra

Dark Star Orchestra, the band which recreates the sounds of the Grateful Dead by playing historic set lists, is returning to Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.

The concert will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26. Tickets are $24 in advance and $29 at the door.

For over 17 years as of this tour, Dark Star Orchestra has embodied the Grateful Dead's live experience for fans both old and too young to have ever seen their own Grateful Dead show.

Friday, November 21, 2014
Special to the Times News Free Range Folk will perform at the Mauch Chunk Opera Houseon Wednesday.

The Mauch Chunk Opera House at 14 W. Broadway in Jim Thorpe presents the Third Annual Harvest Jam with Free Range Folk on Thanksgiving Eve.

Enjoy the bounty of the season with Free Range Folks and friends during this evening of good music and local organic food prepared by the 14 Acre Farm. Dance with friends to the music and get yourself in the mood to give thanks the following day.