Submitted: The Pullo Center staged 'The Grinch' musical Nov. 12 and 13
All Penn State York Pullo Family Performing Arts Center tickets will be discounted $10 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25, to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28. To take advantage of this offer, click here, and enter promo code BFRIDAY. There is a six-ticket limit per order. The offer is not valid on gift certificates or memberships.
Entertainment reporter Erin McCracken and FlipSide editor Pat Abdalla love movies. In the ongoing blog feature “Mac and Cheese” they dish out fresh commentary about all things film.
Mac: Where to start? I think those were the exact words that director Clint Eastwood uttered when he set out to direct a biopic about J. Edgar Hoover. The man started the FBI and ran it for decades, weathering huge cases and controversies. He was a very public man with a very complex private life. But all of those storylines don’t fit together in a neat, clean narrative. This is exactly why “J. Edgar” felt both scattered and bloated. The movie felt long, but only seemed to scratch Hoover’s steely surface. I give Eastwood credit for taking on such a task. And he did a good job taking the viewer through sepia toned time. I never felt lost.
The acting made up for most of the film’s shortfalls. Leonardo DiCaprio was brilliant as usual (even in heavy makeup). He disappeared into Hoover, much as he did with his previous role of Howard Hughes (“The Aviator”). DiCaprio nailed Hoover’s strength and vulnerability. (I can’t stress how excited I am to see him as Jay in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.”) Judi Dench was also superb in her turn as Hoover’s too-close-for-comfort mommy. Armie Hammer had a few moving moments on screen as Hoover’s lover(?) Clyde. I just wish that the movie had focused on a decade or two, instead of spanning Hoover’s whole career. The characters and script would have been able to show their full potential instead of giving the audience a few glimpses of greatness.
Since the movie referenced John Dillinger, a crook Hoover captured(?), I can’t help but compare “J. Edgar” to Michael Mann’s 2009 Dillinger biopic “Public Enemies.” Both tackled fascinating subjects. Both boasted stellar casts. But each seemed to sag under its own weight. So sad.
Cheese: Mac, I’m with you on the lack of focus for this film. While I did enjoy it, I expected more. Part of me says this would make a great nine-part miniseries with a collaboration between Ken Burns and Clint Eastwood. An hour of documentary followed by an hour of movie.
So many interesting aspects of Hoover’s life were just barely touched upon. Yet, and I think this speaks to how great a director Eastwood is and how fantastic DiCaprio’s performance is, you still get a sense of how much Hoover accomplished and how complex his character was.
I know there are people out there who don’t like biopics. Part of the problem is they are so hard to do well. Overall, I’d say “J. Edgar” is above average, but falls short of expectations.
Kick off the holidays:
— Hanover will ring in the holiday season starting with its annual Holiday Parade 8:30 a.m. Friday, followed by photo ops with Santa at the Cabin and the annual tree-lighting ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. [Free]
— Christmas Magic opens Friday at Rocky Ridge County Park, 3699 Deininger Road in Springettsbury Township. It’s open daily through Dec. 31. (It’s closed Dec. 24 to 25.) [$8; discoutns for kids]
— Head to the New Freedom Lions’ annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony 6 p.m. Saturday at Freedom Green, Main Street and Railroad Avenue, New Freedom. Santa will arrive at 6:30 p.m. [Free]
— See the Christmas Tree Lighting 6 p.m. Sunday in the pavilion adjacent to the Community Building in Red Lion’s Fairmount Park. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck. Visitors can enjoy coffee and hot chocolate. [Free]
— Check our more seasonal attractions.
The Dover Area High School band left today for a five-day trip to Hawaii, where they’ll perform at events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, including the 2011 Waikiki Holiday Parade.
Their itinerary includes several performances Friday. They’ll start by playing at the USS Arizona, then at the USS Missouri, before marching in the parade that evening. Drum major Alaina Eshbach and another senior will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony in the shrine room at the USS Arizona, where the names of those who died are displayed. Read the rest of Angie Mason’s story.
More on Pearl Harbor:
— Read about Dec. 1 in FlipSide: Attend a Pearl Harbor Day lecture, 7 p.m. Dec. 7, at Brunner Island Environmental Preserve in York Haven.
— Read memories of the attack from the Remember series Dec. 4.
More music news:
The Dover Area School District accepted its award as a “Best Community for Music Education” Monday. The district received the designation in May from the NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to advancing participation in music.
AP Photo: Lady Gaga performs at the MTV European Music Awards 2011 Nov. 6 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta made a return visit to Lancaster Saturday, stopping for lunch at the 915 Cafe on North Plum Street, according to restaurant owner John Georgallis. Germanotta is better known as Lady Gaga. She is dating actor Taylor Kinney, a 2000 graduate of Lancaster Mennonite High School. Read more about her visit.
Submitted; Ernie's cab from 'It's A Wonderful Life'
It can’t be the holidays without the classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life.” See Ernie’s taxi from the movie at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum’s Main Gallery, 161 Museum Drive, Hershey. The film also plays daily inside the museum’s indoor drive-in theater. Other holiday-themed attractions include period-decorated trees, pedal cars, vintage dolls and model train displays, including a Polar Express village. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. (It’s closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.) Admission is $10. Discounts are available for seniors, kids and AACA members.
The Boulevard Sports Garden presents the first Comedy Stop 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the bar, 2650 Eastern Boulevard, Springettsbury Township. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Comedians include Gino Latino, Danny Taormina and James Glass. A limited number of tickets are available. They cost $10. For details and tickets, call 668-8608 or click here.
Gospel star Bryan Wilson will perform at the The Everyday is Thanksgiving Gospel/Praise Showcase 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Valencia Ballroom, 142 N. George St., York. In 1994, when he was 10, Wilson performed with the Mississippi Children’s Choir. He has been nominated for Dove and Stellar awards nominated CDs. He has been featured on Time Life Music’s “Shoutin’ Down The Aisles” and “Love’s Holiday” with Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera.
Salt of the Earth Productions launched the Everyday is Thanksgiving event last year to inspire York youth with motivational speakers and artists. Wilson will be backed by Mark Walker and his team of musicians. Dr. Darlene Garlington, who has appeared on “Good Morning America” and “The Montel Williams Show,” will speak. The event will also include Diane Hooker, Arlo K. Allen Jr., gospel rapper Vision and local artist Naveah. The event is free.
FLIPSIDE file; Santa and his little helper are shown here in 2005 at the York Galleria.
Santa Comes to West Manchester Mall 6 p.m. today, Nov. 18. Rudolph will be there, too. Guests can compete in a snowball toss and make a craft. The event is free, but photos are available for a fee. Click here to check out Santa’s seasonal hours. The mall is at 1800 Loucks Road, West Manchester Township.
Santa is already at the York Galleria in Springettsbury Township. He arrived Nov. 12 and will stay through Christmas Eve. Photo packages are available for purchase. Pet photos are 7 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4. For details and Santa’s hours, click here.
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