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Arts and Entertainment

  • Reviewing the films of 2010

    I found few films this past year which I reviewed which were exciting or intellectually stimulating. The closing holiday season was almost dull as I searched for films opening locally to review. For example “Little Fockers” opened about 30 percent lower than the preceding sequel. This year’s box office totals have been down for this last seven weeks compared to last year. This year’s period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s didn’t live up to the usual block-buster season. When asked to comment, an industry executive replied, “Painful.”

  • ‘How Do You Know?’ What? When you’re in love?

    Rating: 7

  • ‘The Tourist’: Who is Alexander Pierce, and where is the money?

    This film has a split personality. It doesn’t know whether it’s an action film or a character-driven mystery with a twist at the end. There are sections that simply lie there while other scenes are ripe with action and humor. There are obviously scenes that have been left out. For example, when Frank (Johnny Depp) is put in a jail cell with a giant of a man (Ralf Moeller), nothing happens. We see the man lying on his cot; then the scene is over.

  • ‘127 Hours’: One man’s awful ordeal

    Could you chop off your arm to keep from dying? “127 Hours” is the harrowing story of a canyon explorer who has to make that decision, when he finds himself alone with his arm wedged under a huge boulder. James Franco (“Spiderman”) puts on a riveting one-man show in the wilderness as Aron Ralston, real-life canyoneer. You might ask if his nightmare can be maintained over the course of a full-length movie. The answer is a resounding “Yes” but many times it is difficult to watch.

  • Christmas Music Concert to be at Nazareth Dec. 5

    The Silver and Strings Chamber Music Ensemble will present a free concert, “Christmas Celebration and Inspiration,” 6 p.m. Dec. 5  in the drawing rooms of O’Connell Hall at the Nazareth Campus.

    The program includes pieces from the Nutcracker Suite and traditional and non-traditional arrangements of favorite carols.

    The ensemble involves several local musicians singing and playing flute, violin, cello, clarinet and piano.

  • Movie Review: 'Burlesque'

    There’s lots of jiggling and wriggling but very little flesh as one might expect in an old-time stripper burlesque. “Burlesque” is a very safe story within the context of this distinct musical revue. Cher, in her first film in seven years, takes a mentoring role to create her new persona in Christina Aguilera. Most of the sensual innuendo is left to the imagination. There is one Sally Rand type of strip. Actually Cam Gigandet shows more skin. An “expose” is not this film’s intention.

  • ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One’: Close to the end — but not yet!

    All Harry Potter fans know the final book in the series has been divided into two movies. Don’t look for a finale until next July when the saga of our muggles comes to an end. However, Part One has a stopping point and we can only look forward, but with sadness for readers who know what happens.

  • ‘Plaid Tidings’ Holiday music on STP

    You know how STP is supposed to pep up your car. Think of the four men who are jazzing up your holiday at Derby Dinner Playhouse as addicted to STP. The songs roll by as fast as the sweat pops off their brows zipping off one holiday song after another. Yes, there are some of the oldies as sung by the boy quartets of the ’50’s and ’60’s included. You may never again laugh harder than at some of the antics and set-up gags as this foursome creates.

  • ‘Unstoppable’: Runaway train meets Denzel Washington

    There have been earlier runaway train films, including 1985’s “Runaway Train” with Jon Voight in an Oscar-nominated role. “Unstoppable” benefits from the CGI effects which make the visually impossible, possible. But director Tony Scott has not pushed the limits, letting us revel in being there, and seeing that. Anyone not entertained by “Unstoppable” doesn’t like action — or trains.

  • Library offering National American Indian Heritage Month lectures, demonstrations

    In observance of National American Indian Heritage Month, the Nelson County Public Library is offering the public a glimpse into Native American culture through two free lecture/demonstration events. Linn Lorenzen will demonstrate Native American beadwork 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 and explore Native American beadwork 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17.