Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Movie Review: ‘Fences’

Friday, February 17, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Good fences make good neighbors.”

- Robert Frost,

“Mending Wall”

“Fences,” the film version of August Wilson’s 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play is set in Pittsburgh circa 1956 where Troy (Denzel Washington, who also directs), is a municipal garbageman and former Negro League baseball player standout.

Troy and his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), have a son, Cory (Jovan Adepo, TV’s “The Leftovers,” 2015-17, in his theatrical feature debut), who excels at academics and football in high school and is being scouted for a college scholarship.

Laubach-Franko Master Plan approved; officials laud proposal, eager to implement

Monday, February 13, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

The Master Site Development Plan for the William H. Laubach Memorial Park and Franko Farm Recreation Area that calls for an estimated $5 million in improvements is being lauded to upgrade recreation on the east side of Salisbury Township.

“What we tried to do was take a little bit of the overcrowding from Laubach and shift it to Franko,” said Leonard J. Policelli, landscape architect, project manager, Urban Research & Development Corp., Bethlehem, consultant for the Laubach-Franko Master Plan.

Movie Review: ‘The Founder’

Saturday, February 11, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

After seeing “The Founder,” you may never look at a Big Mac the same way.

For that matter, you may never think about a fast-food restaurant the same way, either.

“The Founder” is about Ray Kroc (a splendid Michael Keaton), a milkshake device salesman who bought out the McDonald brothers, Richard “Dick” McDonald (a great Nick Offerman) and Maurice “Mac” MacDonald (a fine John Carroll Lynch), whose San Bernardino restaurant was the model for fast-food efficiency.

Movie Review: ‘Jackie’

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

That a United States president’s administration should be remembered in light of a hit Broadway musical either says a lot about the sway of Broadway musicals over the American public, or the power of American politics myth-making.

While it’s uncertain if “Hamilton,” which had its “tryout” way out of town (as in the White House Rose Garden), will attach itself to a particular administration, “Camelot” attached itself to the President John F. Kennedy administration.

Or rather, Jackie Kennedy, as then grieving First Lady, attached the Kennedy administration to “Camelot.”

Salisbury Township--Realistic fake guns a challenge for police in traffic stops

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles stepped to the table and opened a green satchel, put two semi-automatic handguns on the table and held the third pistol aloft.

The eyes of the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners widened and some officials shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.

Not to worry. As real as the guns appeared to be, they were fake.

Yet for Salisbury and other police officers, it is a worry.

And that was Chief Stiles’ point during his report to commissioners at the Jan. 12 township meeting.

11th annual ABEs salute Lehigh Valley Stage Records set, anniversaries observed, quality astounds

Saturday, January 21, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

To power-phrase, it was the best of times and it was the best of times in Lehigh Valley regional theater in 2016.

There didn’t seem to be a down side to the up side of theater in the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton area, which continued with a robust mix of the innovative and familiar in-locally-produced shows, plus national touring productions that stopped in the Valley.

It seems that Valley residents who are theater-goers and those who travel to the Valley to see theater couldn’t get enough.

Review: ‘La La Land’

Friday, January 13, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“La La Land” is one of the most exhilarating experiences you’re likely to have at the movies.

The screenplay and directing by Damien Chazelle (director, “Whiplash,” 2014), the naive yet wonderful singing and dancing by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling; choreography by Mandy Moore; amazing cinematography by Linus Sandgren (“Joy,” 2015; “American Hustle,” 2013), superb editing by Tom Cross (“Joy”; Oscar, editing, “Whiplash”) and memorable original songs by Justin Hurwitz make the film more than a paean to the Golden Age of Hollywood movie musicals.

Review: ‘Rogue One’

Friday, December 30, 2016 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It is, after all, named “Star Wars.”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” if not all “Wars,” has enough martial-arts, battles and aerial dogfights to please the ardent “Mortal Kombat” or “Call of Duty” gamer.

“Rogue One,” billed as the first stand-alone in the “Star Wars Anthology,” won’t disappoint “Star Wars” aficionados, should entertain the casual “Star Wars” fan and impress movie-goers.