A great sports movie needs to have three things: an unsung hero, a heart-stopping victory and an inspirational message. I am happy to report that this movie has those thee components. And fortunately, great acting and compelling subplots are not a requirement for a great sports film.
The 801 Restaurant Group, based out of Iowa, recently opened its latest steakhouse concept location, 801 Chophouse, at The Crescent in Clayton in the former Araka space. Those who bemoan the opening of yet another out-of-town chain—or another Clayton steakhouse for that matter—should take pause, because 801 definitely is a cut or two above the rest.
I have to admit I've been curious about this film. As an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, I thought to myself that it must drive these animators nuts to create something so precious, only to be trampled by the Goliath that is Disney. Nothing against Frozen, it’s a delightful film, but this is art.
Story: Brother Jeroboam, like many preachers near Lagos, Nigeria, prefers to minister to his faithful in a local fishing village down at the beach. In reality a con artist, he has a makeshift ministry there, where ostensibly he lives outdoors. Actually, he sleeps nightly in a nearby shack, trying mightily to ward off his major temptation, attractive women.
Story: Tami Martin’s plate of responsibilities is full. She’s a whirlwind of activity as she cooks, cleans and caters to the whims of her family, including teenage daughter Lisa, son Josh and husband Bill. She may well have a full-time job outside the home, too, as could Bill. We don’t know that, though, because we’re focused on the maelstrom of movement in their home.
As we near the end of Hollywood’s self-proclaimed dead time (why on earth one exists is a question for another day) movie goers approach the Cineplex with the caution of a squirrel. And much like that squirrel, you may discover that the treat is not where you left it. So if you aren’t interested in seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to convince everyone that he’s 45, or witnessing a lot of teen drama—both on screen and in the audience—you may want to wait a few more weeks before venturing back to the big screen. Here’s what’s new and interesting:
Gamlin Whiskey House is the latest from the folks behind SubZero Vodka Bar. Like that popular eatery, Gamlin Whiskey House pairs a huge selection of a particular spirit with a complementary food menu for an all-around taste experience.
Story: A dark, brooding Irish musician is at an unpleasant crossroads in his life. His girlfriend left Dublin six months ago for New York City, and he’s been carrying the torch for her ever since.
Story: Meena is feeling unfulfilled in her job as managing editor for piggeries at American Cattle & Swine magazine, oddly enough. After all, she once wrote a book of “prose poetry” that was even published and reviewed. The lone critique was unflattering, and the book didn’t sell many copies, but still she did it.
Story: To paraphrase protagonist Clifford Bradshaw, “there was a place called The Kit Kat Klub in a city called Berlin in a country called Germany…and we were all fast asleep.” Bradshaw, an American novelist wannabe, has traveled to Europe in 1929 in search of his muse, first in London, then in Paris and now in Berlin.
I don’t want to give anything away. No matter your religious beliefs, you really can’t argue the fact that Bible stories make wonderful theatrical productions: The Ten Commandments, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Passion of the Christ. Frankly, it’s surprising no one has brought the story of Noah’s ark to the big screen before now. Well, actually, they have. There was a respectable feature film in the '20s—you can almost picture the stagehands throwing buckets of water from off-stage—and a somewhat embarrassing mini-series in 1999 starring Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen that just about everyone seems to want to forget. This new movie version fares the flood waters with greater success.
I think it’s fair to say that Jason Bateman is one of the most likable actors working today. In movies like The Change-Up and Horrible Bosses, he puts an edge to the classic straight-man role. On top of that, he seems like a smart guy, which is why I was eager to see his directorial debut, this black comedy. I have no doubt Bateman himself would like the film referred to as a 'twisted' black comedy, sadly there is no plot to twist.
In many ways, the kitchen is the center of the home—it’s where families come together to spend quality time during meals, where guests mingle and nosh on snacks during a party—and often, it’s even the work space where kids do their homework, while Mom or Dad prepares dinner.
Let’s face it: Tragic career spirals are as common in Hollywood as Botox and traffic jams. Nobody seriously asks the question, Whatever happened to (fill in the blank)? because the answer is obvious and unsurprising: He chose a couple of bad projects (Zac Efron); his ego got the better of him (Vin Diesel); drugs (Lindsay Lohan); bad reviews (Ryan Reynolds); people forgot about him (whatshisname). It’s the nature of the business. Did you know, for example, that the actor who portrayed the magnetic bad boy Kelly Leak form the original Bad News Bears movie, Jackie Earle Haley, is a renowned and busy character actor these days; or that Karate Kid nemesis William Zabka has been popping up in television shows of late?
Sometimes, the best things come in the most humble of packages. Quincy Street Bistro is one such case. It may look like a nondescript South City bar and grill to the casual observer, but there's some extraordinary deliciousness going on inside.
Story: The Prince of Verona has had it up to here with the long-standing feud between the Capulets and Montagues, two distinguished local families. He demands a cessation of the hatred under penalty of death. Emotions still hold sway, though, and when young Romeo Montague falls in love with the young teen Juliet Capulet at a masked ball, her kinsman Tybalt is enraged and vows to seek revenge.
Let me state for the record that I have never met Wes Anderson. Let me also state that I would very much like to. If I am ever stuck on an elevator with a stranger or stranded on a desert island with an unknown companion, or pinned next to someone on an international flight, I would like that person to be Wes Anderson. That being said, I don’t know where to begin with this movie. Like most of his films, it has the beaming charm of a French children’s book, but it also has a similar tendency to meander.
And coming up next in the seemingly endless line of young adult fiction that tackles the insurmountable and painfully obvious problem of 'fitting in' (wrapped in one blanket metaphor or another), we have Divergent. The Mortal Instruments, The Hunger Games, Twilight, X-Men, The Host...the $2-dollar word here is dystopian. In a dark future or parallel world, an unlikely hero takes on the system…
With the tasty array of Asian restaurants on South Grand Boulevard, it's sometimes easy to forget that this bustling thoroughfare also is home to some other equally delicious ethnic eateries. One of our favorites is Meskerem, which specializes in authentic Ethiopian cuisine. We figured it was high time to stop back by and get a dose of some authentic East African delicacies.
Story: Banker Sam Wheat and his girlfriend Molly Jenson, a potter, have moved into an old brownstone in Brooklyn to renovate it and make it their home. Meanwhile, at work Sam notices some major and troubling discrepancies in some accounts he’s managing, and confides the problem to his friend and colleague Carl.
Story: Nothing has changed for 16 years in the relationship between brothers Victor and Walter Franz. Since their father’s death in 1952, they’ve left the Manhattan brownstone apartment where he lived untouched, as they have their own estranged communications.
Story: In conjunction with Vital VOICE Magazine and Pearl Vodka, That Uppity Theatre Company recently presented eight vignettes by as many playwrights, 10-minute pieces that explore comic and dramatic issues with a focus on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people.
Description: If two recent performances by Ken Page and Tim Schall serve as appropriate litmus tests, it would seem that Jim Dolan’s Gaslight Cabaret Festival is a big hit with local audiences.
Story: Director Lloyd Dallas is frantically putting his ensemble of six performers through their much-needed dress rehearsal for the Otstar Productions Ltd. presentation of Nothing On, a comedy by noted playwright Robin Housemonger. “Doors and sardines,” Dallas advises his troupe. “It’s all about doors and sardines.”