After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last June, I was forced to cut back on reviewing movies every week. In between chemo treatments and sleeping for days on end, I’ve made an effort to see as many new releases as possible. Now at the start of a promising new year, I am happy to announce that I am virtually cancer free. Even better, I have a lot of truly great films from yesteryear to talk about.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Every year about this time, millions of turkeys are fattened up so American households can chow them down. But in "Free Birds," two brave turkeys make it their mission to travel back in time and get their breed off the Thanksgiving menu.
We all know that the Star Trek mission is “to explore strange new worlds” and “seek out new life and new civilizations,” so it’s only logical that the Starship Enterprise would eventually end up at the Arizona State Fair. Nestled amongst the “Bacon A-Fair” food stands and “Tilt-A-Whirl” thrill rides, “Star Trek: The Exhibition” has landed.
A Grand Canyon State tradition for 129 years, the Arizona State Fair opens Friday, Oct. 11. This year’s star attraction is “Star Trek: The Exhibition,” one of the largest collections of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. Other new attractions include live Mallard duck races, an animatronic exhibit of mammals from the Ice Age, a comedy hypnosis show, and six new Midway rides.
The first time I went to the ballet, I couldn’t help but be enchanted. I was a child, and my exotic, much older second cousin was a “real” ballerina, breezing through town in vibrant stage makeup and a beautiful costume as part of a national tour. To top it off, the production was housed in an ornate downtown theater I’d only ever been to on elementary school field trips.
After the first trailer premiered several months ago, “Pacific Rim” quickly became one of the most anticipated movies of the summer season. The advertisements haven’t divulged much about the film’s plot or characters. For the most part, they’ve only shown big monsters fighting big robots and Idris Elba giving a heated speech to his troops. That’s still more than enough to make any fan boy swoon like a teenage girl watching “Twilight.”
Humanity's home planet hardly merits the name-check in "After Earth," M. Night Shyamalan's sci-fi survival tale whose shipwreck action could (with the exception of a scene where our hero scrawls a crude map over Lascaux-like cave paintings) take place on any old life-supporting globe in the cosmos. The disappointingly generic film, which strands a father and son (Will and Jaden Smith) on Earth a thousand years after a planet-wide evacuation, will leave genre audiences pining for the more Terra-centric conceits of "Oblivion," not to mention countless other future-set films that find novelty in making familiar surroundings threatening. Will Smith's presence, not just as co-star but as originator of the story, seems likely to carry box office receipts beyond the benchmark of Shyamalan's previous picture, the wretched "The Last Airbender," but those hoping for a franchise should navigate elsewhere.
On paper, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” is one of those movies that should have crashed and burned. A reboot of a beloved franchise with younger, lesser-known actors stepping into the shoes of an iconic cast of characters. The fact that Abrams went on record stating that he was never a huge “Star Trek” fan didn’t bode well either. Against all odds, though, Abrams not only produced a great “Star Trek” picture, but quite possibly the best “Star Trek” ever made. That’s right, even better than “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
There’s something magical about a Christmas tree. Blinking lights, cherished ornaments, and handmade decorations from baby hands that are now grown big, all promising the anticipation of Christmas future.
Friends: Since there’s next-to-no chance I’ll send out Christmas cards this year, this will have to do. If you don’t see this before the 25th all the better, because I usually can’t muster the energy to find a box of Christmas cards, print address labels, write a letter that doesn’t sound bragging, smarmy, or maudlin, and then find stamps before New Year’s anyway.
When a trusting young mother asks me for parenting advice I’m simultaneously flattered and terrified because while it is a compliment, it’s a lot of pressure. I didn’t Ferberize, or do “attachment,” or read Dr. Spock. I let the kids watch as much “Star Trek” as they liked, but I’m not sure that counts, so I don’t feel particularly qualified to be handing out advice.
If you haven’t read it already, do pick up a copy of “The Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier. My daughter’s godparents gave us the book when she was born, and it is sweet and awesome and makes me cry every time I read it.