Bethlehem Press

Friday, October 19, 2018

Lake Bell in 'World' of her own

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"In A World ... "

You may have heard that phrase, intoned by Don LaFontaine at the beginning of movie previews, or trailers, as they are known.

LaFontaine, who died in 2008, was dubbed "the voice of God" for his recordings of more than 5,000 film trailers, and thousands of television commercials, network promotions and video game trailers.

LaFontaine parodied his own career in TV commercials for Geico Insurance and the "Mega Millions" lottery game.

'The World's End' does not suffice

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"It's the end of the world as we know it," to quote the 1987 R.E.M. rock song, and I was feeling fine until near the end of the movie "The World's End."

Then, as in so many movies nowadays, it seems all apocalypse breaks lose, and "World's End" ends in fire.

"Ice would suffice," to quote the 1920 Robert Frost "Fire and Ice" poem.

Instead, director Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," 2004; "Hot Fuzz," 2007; "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," 2010), loses his cool.

Oscar may like Blanchett in Allen film

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Blue Jasmine" is the 49th film directed and 71st film written by Woody Allen, including some shorts, in the 47 years since his first movie in 1966. He's already filming his next movie, an untitled feature scheduled for release in 2014.

Allen, noted for his hilarious social satires, has also made dramas, often including funny moments. "Blue Jasmine" is one such film.

'The Butler' did it

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"The Butler" is an eyewitness to history through the eyes of a White House employee during the presidential administrations of Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

In "The Butler" screenplay by Danny Strong (actor, "Mad Men"), the cauldron of the Civil Rights Movement is backdrop for the presidential procession as well as the story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a fictional White House butler inspired by the real-life Eugene Allen, who was on the White House staff for 34 years.

Movie Review: Fielding 'Elysium'

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Elysium" is a science fiction metaphor for the haves and have-nots of today.

In the year 2154, the super-rich live on a huge bicycle wheel-shaped space station orbiting Earth. It is a Garden of Eden. The wealthy are coddled in Boca-Raton meets Disney World surroundings. Health-care "med-pods" heal patients completely and quickly.

Down below, the whole Earth has become the Third World. Los Angeles is reduced to shanty towns such as those, for example, surrounding Mexico City.

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP: Eastern, Western firefighters advocate fire code and building inspection program

Thursday, August 15, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Salisbury Township firefighters responding to a fire in a building they are unfamiliar with may become a thing of the past.

That's because a fire code and inspection program for commercial buildings by certified firefighter inspectors may be in the offing for Salisbury.

Township officials and firefighters are advocating for the program, saying it would ensure the safety of residents, building owners and firefighters.

It may require the hiring of a certified fire inspector, most likely on a part-time or freelance basis.

Animation, actors enliven 'The Smurfs 2'

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"The Smurfs 2" is an amusing animated and live action feature film with excellent character voices, jokey dialogue and terrific animation that should be enjoyed by the pre-10 year-old set and hold the attention of most parents or guardians.

The characters were created by Peyo, aka Pierre Culliford, a Belgium comic-strip artist-writer. The name Smurf is a Dutch language translation of an invented French word, Schtroumpf, a made-up word for salt.

Varieties on stage

Thursday, August 15, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

It was a soggy end to the 30th annual Musikfest Aug. 11 with the Blues Brotherhood at Americaplatz (Levitt Pavilion), SteelStacks, Bethlehem.

"It wouldn't be Musikfest without rain for the Blues Brotherhood," said Jake Blues (Paul Miller, owner of Loopers restaurant, Bethlehem), one-half of the lead duo that includes Elwood Blues (Tom "Bones" Malone) and is backed by a rock band and brass section.

THEATER REVIEW

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

A star is born in Pa. Playhouse 'Aida'

As the late theater critic Jack O'Brian (1914 - 2000) wrote in his syndicated column, "Voice of Broadway" and said on his afternoon interview show WOR-AM: "Always the young strangers."

It's uncertain whether the phrase was borrowed from the title of Carl Sandburg's 1953 book, but O'Brian used it to refer to new talent in break-through roles in Broadway shows.