Arts & Culture

Movies: "Side Effects"

Movies: "Side Effects"

 

Here’s a somewhat delayed take on one of the few grown-up movies playing during this bleak post-Oscar season, a medical thriller directed, shot and edited by Steven Soderbergh (under several assumed names, including Peter Andrews and -- my favorite -- Mary Ann Bernard).

 

Soderbergh, whose earlier movies have been as varied and interesting as “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “Out of Sight” and “Ocean’s Eleven,” says this will be his last one.  We’ll see, but in the meantime, let’s take a closer look at it.

 

Norway Maine Opera House ribbon cutting

Norway Maine Opera House ribbon cutting

Growing and Changing!!!

Growing and Changing!!!

Click HERE for some exciting news about this blog!!!

Movies: "Stand Up Guys"

Movies: "Stand Up Guys"

 

Like the undead rising from the grave, some of Hollywood’s superannuated stars are lumbering back to the big screen.  

 

There’s Sylvester Stallone, still violent after all these years in “Bullet to the Head.”  Arnold Schwarzenegger playing an unlikely southwestern sheriff in “The Last Stand.”  And Bruce Willis is on deck with yet another “Die Hard” venture, set in Moscow.

 

The Magic Kingdom - in Chicago

The Magic Kingdom - in Chicago

My blog is practically a two-for-one discount.

I'm thinking about about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair through two books.... Erik Larson's Devil in the White City, as well as my adventure rescuing Shepp's World's Fair Photographed.

Devil in the White City itself is "two-for-one;" it's about how the Fair was imagined, constructed, enjoyed, and destroyed.... AND about the psychopathic serial killer Henry Holmes.

Where and when did the world first enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon?  1893 World's Fair.  How about Cracker Jack?  World's Fair.  That gadget we take for granted keeping our jeans closed...

Movies: "Parker"

Movies: "Parker"

 

January tends toward movie doldrums, as the big studios focus on the upcoming awards for their December releases.  But a couple of B-movie thrillers have livened things up this month:  first “Broken City” and now “Parker.”

 

“Parker” is based on a novel by the late Donald E. Westlake, who wrote under the name Richard Stark to create a series of books about a stone-cold heist artist with a simple code of conduct:  “I don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and I don’t hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.”

 

Can this book be rescued?

Can this book be rescued?

I don't know how I went to school 90 miles from Chicago and yet never knew anything about the 1893 Columbian Exposition.  I first learned about it a few years ago watching the PBS specials Make No Little Plans and Chicago: City of the Century