Saturday, 15 June 2024

Arts & Life




‘THE MARVELS’ RATED PG-13

The world, here and abroad, is on fire, and maybe the only glimmer of good news is that a pair of strikes is now over. We’re talking, of course, about the scribes who produce the lines for thespians to deliver.

The writers have gone back to work polishing scripts and the actors are now bringing up the rear, as the film and television industry will undergo fitful starts to its fabrication of mass entertainment.

Here’s hoping the long absence from work has both parties refreshed and ready to come up with entertainment better than what we have had to endure in large measure during recent times. For obvious reasons, the pandemic didn’t help matters.

As an aside, it’s worth noting that Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” may well be a masterful cinematic achievement, but the three-and-a-hours running time poses the dilemma of an endurance test. Probably will be best for streaming to allow for an intermission, at least.

Scorsese had nothing to do with the latest Marvel Studios entry, “The Marvels,” a film running fifteen minutes short of two hours, which is a welcome relief for anyone with a weak bladder, but more so for the view that these superhero films have too often become overly long, tedious, and uninspired.

As the 33rd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Marvels,” the sequel to the 2019 “Captain Marvel,” serves up Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel as the MCU’s first stand-alone, female-franchise title character.

With nearly three dozen movies in the canon of superhero films, one could be forgiven for failing to keep track of the loose strings of character development. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, appearing once again, has materialized in a third of the MCU films.

While Thor, Iron Man and Captain America are missing, Carol’s Captain Marvel will settle for a trio of girl-power to take on Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), the leader of the Kree Empire who holds a grudge against Captain Marvel.

The triad of female superheroes teaming up with Nick Fury include New Jersey fangirl Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) who transforms into Ms. Marvel with a magic bangle and Carol’s estranged niece, now astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris).

Aside from some lingering resentments, learning to work together is a challenge for the three heroines who discover by a strange phenomenon that their powers are linked such that they are often trading places.

Captain Marvel may have earned the moniker “The Annihilator” from the vengeful Dar-Benn who’s upset about the destruction of the Kree Empire’s home planet. At least, plenty of ferocious fights for the Marvels engaging with a mortal enemy provides some thrills.

Forgettable and at times lackluster, “The Marvels” is just not worth the time spent in a theater. The next movie would be better off featuring the fan-favorite, scene-stealing orange tabby “Goose,” the man-eating alien whose tentacles have a long reach.

THANKSGIVING PROGRAMS ON FILM, TV AND STREAMING

Thanksgiving does not generate a similar slew of holiday programs like Christmas; and it’s not even close. Even then we concede a huge chunk of the Yuletide celebration to the Hallmark Channel.

As far as the movies go, this year brings the horror film “Thanksgiving.” After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the holiday.

Picking off residents, one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Will the town uncover the killer and survive the holidays, or become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table?

NBC kicks off the holiday season on Wednesday, November 22nd with “Countdown to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” providing a sneak peek at the incredible stories behind the floats, bands, and balloons to hit the streets of New York.

On Thanksgiving Eve, “A Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving” special highlights memorable holiday-themed sketches from its 47 seasons. There’s probably a good chance that Adam Sandler’s “Turkey Song” will make the list.

Of course, on November 23rd the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade continues to bring the magic of the procession to New York City spectators and a national television audience with its exciting array of floats, marching bands, celebrities and more.

Cable channel AXS TV is trading turkey for Partridge this November, inviting viewers to spend Thanksgiving with “The Partridge Family” as part of a special 12-hour marathon airing on Thursday, November 23 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time.

The day-long event puts the spotlight on a cornucopia of classic episodes from the hit ‘70s sitcom, capturing the beloved family as they tour across the country in their iconic multi-colored school bus, performing their signature tunes and getting caught up in their sidesplitting shenanigans.

“The Partridge Family” stars Shirley Jones as matriarch Shirley Partridge, with Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough, Jeremy Gelbwaks, and teen sensation David Cassidy as the talented offspring who convince the young widow to leave her bank-telling job and join their fledgling family band.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

The Mendo-Lake Singers Chorus. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — The Mendo-Lake Singers Chorus invites women who like to sing to join them for their holiday show.

No experience is necessary.

Rehearsals are held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday at 1125 Martin St., Lakeport.

The holiday show will be on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Martin Street location.

Mendo-Lake Singers is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, the world’s largest women’s barbershop and a cappella singing organization.

For more information or to hire the Mendo-Lake Singers to sing at a holiday event, contact Director Pam Klier, 707-400-8380, or President Donna Bowen, 707-350-0644.

“Pomo Dancer” by Eric Wilder.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — The Middletown Art Center will host a design workshop with Pomo Culture bearer and artist, Eric Wilder, on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 1 to 5 p.m.

This free workshop is part of the Water Basket project’s education series and is designed to support native people in bringing expressions of their innate cultural heritage into public space and non-native people in learning more about Pomo cultural heritage.

Water Basket honors the first people, their culture, and the rich legacy of Pomo basketry that is unique to this region and renowned worldwide.

“We use basket designs to weave a foundation to teach our history to our children so that they know who they are and where they come from,” said Wilder. “At the basket design class I will help participants clarify what kind of story they are wanting to share to teach people about this area. Perhaps it will be a story of protection or one of nurturing?”

Wilder will lead participants in creating designs for 360-degree murals for the two water tanks on Rabbit Hill. The tanks can be seen from a distance of over a mile and from above.

Like the designs woven into Pomo baskets, design proposals should reflect the area’s history, people, and ecology utilizing geometric and organic shapes that are symbolic of the land, plants, and animals native to this region.

By sharing a process he uses in his own work, Wilder will guide participants in articulating the concepts or stories they wish to communicate and selecting the pattern design elements they want to incorporate.

He will address aesthetic considerations including legibility and scale particular to this project. Individual, collaborative, and intercultural or multi-generational proposals for the water baskets are encouraged.

Wilder is from the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians. He is a freelance artist with a rich background in graphic design, and animation and illustration from the gaming industry.

He has served in his tribe’s government and carries traditions and wisdom of his tribe and family that have been passed down for generations.

Wilder is passionate about storytelling and designing cultural resources that are accessible to his people, especially younger generations, to preserve cultural knowledge and traditions.

Sign up for this enriching, informative and supportive workshop this Saturday, and learn more about the call for work and Water Basket project at www.middletownartcenter.org/waterbasket.

Water Basket is a collaboration between Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians, Pomo artists, Callayomi County Water District and the Middletown Art Center. It’s funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding from the Middletown Rancheria, the water district and public support.

Middletown Art Center is a Lake County nonprofit dedicated to engaging the public in art making, art education and art appreciation. Through exhibitions, performances, workshops and community events, the center provides a platform for diverse voices and perspectives, striving to create an inclusive and accessible space for all.

To learn more and donate to support Water Basket and other MAC programs visit www.middletownartcenter.org or call 707-809-8118. The MAC is located at 21456 State Highway 175 in Middletown.

John Parkinson conducts the Lake County Symphony. Photos by Mike Stempe.

LAKEPORT, Calif. — The Lake County Symphony will present its annual Fall Concert at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, at Lakeport’s Soper Reese Theatre.

Musical Director/Conductor John Parkinson leads the orchestra in colorful selections by some of the greatest composers in Western history.

The orchestra begins its performance with Johannes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80, followed by the “Rosamunde Overture” by Franz Peter Schubert, and “Danse Bacchanale” by French composer Camille Saint-Saens.

After a brief intermission, the audience will hear The Magic Flute Overture, K 620 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The concert ends with Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 99 in E flat major.

The concert starts, as is customary, with a performance by the Lake County Community and Youth Orchestra conducted by career musician Camm Linden.

Linden plays with the Lake County Symphony and is the president of the Lake County Symphony Association.

The Lake County Community and Youth Orchestra will play several familiar pieces, including Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5, and Ravel’s “Bolero.”

They will also debut “Honor and Tribute,” a spirited march by Kevin Kaisershot. Formerly the LCSA Youth Orchestra, this group now welcomes all players from school age to adults with current or previous intermediate to advanced musical experience.

Tickets for Sunday’s regular concert are $25 for general seating or $30 for premium seating and may be purchased on the Soper Reese website.

There is a $5 discount for LCSA members. The 11 a.m. dress rehearsal concert is free for those under the age of 18 and just $5 for everyone else.

Tickets are also available at the Soper Reese box office at 275 S. Main Street on the day of the concert.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the show when buying tickets at the door.

For more information about this concert, upcoming events or to learn more about the Lake County Community and Youth Orchestra, go to www.lakecountysymphonyassociation.org.

Debra Fredrickson writes for the Lake County Symphony Association.

John Parkinson conducts the Lake County Symphony. Photos by Mike Stempe.



‘OLD DADS’ RATED R ON NETFLIX

If you have ever watched stand-up comedian Bill Burr on any of his comedy specials found on streaming services, you have a good idea of how his angry-man persona delivering the zingers that upset the easily offended remains his schtick in “Old Dads” now running on Netflix.

Middle-aged and married to a much younger wife Leah (Katie Aselton), Burr’s Jack Kelly is a father to a preschool son at an elite school run by the unbearable Dr. Lois Schmieckel-Turner (Rachael Harris). Confrontation with the principal’s political correctness is inevitable.

Jack ends up in hot water when he takes crass umbrage to the principal berating him for being two minutes late to pick up his son. A torment of verbal abuse puts him in the uncomfortable spot of having to make amends, lest his child fails to get a coveted recommendation to a private grade school.

Meanwhile, Jack and his two partners, Connor (Bobby Cannavale) and Mike (Bokeem Woodbine), sell their sportswear company and stay on as employees answering to insufferable millennial CEO Aspen Bell (Miles Robbins) who views the trio as unhip dinosaurs.

Divorced with sons in college, Mike thinks his life is unraveling when his much-younger girlfriend Britney (Reign Edwards) gets pregnant. Desperately trying to be young and hip, Connor deals with a nightmarishly bratty preschool son and overbearing wife Cara (Jackie Thon).

As family and business woes pile up, the trio decides to go on a road trip to Vegas but only make it so far as Palm Desert, where hijinks ensue while partying with strippers and engaging in general misbehavior.

Much of what happens involves the three buddies acting out their amusing man-child aggressions, ranting about parking spaces, scooters hogging the road, and PC culture. It’s mostly Jack, though, with comical anger management issues.

Granted, the three old guys yell and loudly curse to such an extent that some may find the comedy to be exceedingly vulgar and ill-mannered. The gauge of willingness to enjoy “Old Dads” will be familiarity as well as delight in Bill Burr’s outrageous, overblown biting humor.



‘GOOD COP, BAD COP’ ON ID TV

A staple of police shows is often the “good cop, bad cop” routine to interrogate suspects. For the six-episode series on ID TV, “Good Cop, Bad Cop” takes on a completely different connotation.

Retired detective Garry McFadden, a highly decorated veteran of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina, worked over 800 homicide cases and never lost a homicide case during a trial.

With his stellar career in police work, McFadden is a perfect choice to host a series that recounts the pursuits of detectives to solve a complicated murder investigation with a startling twist: the perpetrator is a fellow member of law enforcement.

The synopses for episodes that start on Sunday, Nov. 12, are intriguing. In “Hunting Ground,” San Diego is in a state of panic after discovering the body of Cara Knott tossed over a highway bridge.

With dead-end leads and the city demanding answers, police must work quickly while leaving no stone unturned to bring this monster to justice.

A city’s worst fear comes to fruition when the body of University of Toledo sorority sister turns up riddled with bullets on campus in the “Handcuffs” episode. The investigation’s findings shock the community and test the public’s faith in law enforcement.

“Did You Kill Your Wife” episode finds state troopers arriving at the scene of a woman shot to death in her bed. They rule it suicide, but a tenacious detective reopens the case decades later. Modern forensics, a double life and new witnesses turn the facts of the case on its head.

When police in Jacksonville, Florida discover Sami Safar’s corpse, they have no idea of the scale of criminality they stumbled upon in the “Blind Spot” episode. The murder of a hardworking Syrian immigrant unravels a web of theft and violence spanning years.

In “Ticking time Bomb,” a woman’s corpse is found in flames outside of Atlanta. Police use surveillance footage to witness the victim’s last moment, including getting into the car that would take her to her death and ultimately lead police to her killer.

The last episode lands on Sunday, December 17th, with “Hunting the Hunter.” Calls flood into the Silverton PD dispatch about a man shooting Rashawn Berry in broad daylight and fleeing the scene.

A key piece of surveillance footage on the killer’s escape route shows that a broken heart could be at the center of this violent act.

Featuring interviews with those closely connected to the case and expert insight from the host, who solved hundreds of cases in his career, “Good Cop, Bad Cop” stories reveal just how difficult and dangerous it is when the killer is on the inside.

Staged and covered-up crime scenes make the investigations all the more complex. But these dedicated detectives are committed to capturing the criminals and bringing them to justice, no matter the cost or badge they wear.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.



LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — While volunteers are busy installing a new studio transmitter link for improved broadcasting capability, long-time programmer and local musician Herb Gura has been busy behind the scenes producing another standout show with singer, songwriter and political satirist, Roy Zimmerman.

“SING. LAUGH. HOPE” is the title of the concert.

“It’s an annual event and fundraiser for the station,” said Gura. “Roy is a longtime friend of community radio. We appreciate his support and the messaging inherent in his brand of humor. We sing, laugh and hope right along with him. It’s always a fun time and the venue is a favorite. We’re glad to be returning to the School House Museum.”

Roy Zimmerman is an American satirical singer-songwriter and guitarist who tours the country delighting audiences with his witty, humorous and intelligent style of songs that shine a light on subjects some may consider tableside taboo — like politics and religion.

But the moment he takes the stage his audiences welcome him with applause, followed by rousing laughter throughout the show.

“I love doing these concerts for my friends at KPFZ because I love community radio,” Zimmerman said.

Folk and Beyond radio programmer Dwain Goforth added, “Roy Zimmerman is this generation’s Tom Lehrer. Whatever your political persuasion — if you appreciate the comedic aspects of politics — you’ll love Roy’s unique ability to jab at the ironic nature of it all. He never disappoints.”

“We’ve seen Roy perform many times,” added Linda Lake, a former radio programmer and wife of the late Ron Green. “For a good laugh and a really good time, I highly recommend his concert.”

Tickets for the concert are on sale at Catfish Coffee in Clearlake and Watershed Books in Lakeport or by calling 707-263-3640. Some tickets will be available at the door.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the School House Museum 16435 Main St. in Lower Lake.

The concert is a benefit for Lake County Community Radio, Inc., the only commercial free nonprofit community radio station serving Lake County — in good times and in crisis — throughout the year.

Upcoming Calendar

16Jun
06.16.2024
Father's Day
16Jun
06.16.2024 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Middletown Days
16Jun
06.16.2024 9:00 am - 11:30 am
Moose Lodge Father’s Day breakfast
18Jun
06.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
19Jun
06.19.2024
Juneteenth
19Jun
06.19.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
22Jun
06.22.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
22Jun
06.22.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love of the Land Dinner
25Jun
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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