Weekend Preview: Helen Mirren, Twisters and Ninja Turtles

Thank goodness for Helen Mirren; without her there’d be almost nothing new for grown-up movie lovers to see this weekend. Besides Dame Helen’s latest offering (The Hundred-Foot Journey), this looks like a good time to catch up on summer’s best offerings, including Get on Up, Calvary and Boyhood.   The Hundred-Foot Journey Helen Mirren is a snooty French chef; veteran Indian star Om Puri (East Is East) is the immigrant who opens an authentic Mumbai-style restaurant, replete with secret spices …

Retirees Recreate Iconic Scenes for Calendar Shoot

Inspired by a German retirement community’s viral success earlier this year with what one website lauded as “probably the best calendar ever,” residents of nine senior living communities across the United States have tweaked the concept to produce a homegrown calendar in which they recreate some iconic pop-culture scenes. Proceeds from sales of the 18-month calendar (August 2014 – January 2016) will go to local charities chosen by each of the nine retirement communities. The residents designed costumes and searched …

11 Things We Didn’t Know. 2014 Predictions

News, discoveries and fun … 1 … That science fiction author and futurist Isaac Asimov got it right 50 years ago when he wrote: “Communication will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone.” (Learn more at Buzzfeed) 2 … That about half of us think 2014 will be a better year overall than 2013. (Learn more at USA Today) 3 … That some things will be more expensive in 2014, including beef, bread, …

Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview Sept. 20

Let’s see; we’ve got a kidnapping drama, high-speed race cars, and Munchkins in 3-D. Yep, something for everyone in theaters this weekend. The New Stuff . . . Prisoners Boasting more Oscar nominees than a Coppola family reunion, this gritty crime drama stars Hugh Jackman as a distraught Georgia dad who kidnaps the guy he believes kidnapped his 6-year-old daughter. It’s the old vigilante dad story, all right, but get a load of the rest of the cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, …

Novel Adaptations Emerge as Works of Originality

Adaptations of best-loved books from childhood are among my favorite graphic novels. The team of Eric Shanower and Skottie Young have produced five adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. The award-winning adaptations are first issued as comic books and then collected in hardcover under the Marvel Comics imprint. Shanower is faithful to Baum’s singular vision. Generations are familiar with Dorothy, Toto, the Tinman and Cowardly Lion – largely due to that movie. Lesser known characters such as Johnny Dooit, …

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Famous Imaginary Places?

  Have you ever imagined yourself skipping down the yellow brick road? Felt the Lion’s furry arm and the Tin Man’s metal one linked with yours? Heard Toto yipping? Smelled the poppies of The Emerald City? And then realized, suddenly, that Oz isn’t actually a place you can visit? Some places –products of rich, creative minds-are as real to us as our own back yards. Grab a pencil and match these classic imaginary American places with their creators. Answers at …