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Bob Franken: All in the families

...Until then, those of us who are constantly desperate for a narrative are also waiting and dreaming about the 2020 election - the race between George P. Bush and Chelsea Clinton.Bob Franken is a longtime broadcast journalist, including 20 years at CNN.

http://peninsulaclarion.com/opinion/2014-04-15/bob-franken-all-in-the-families
Opinion
Reasons to be outraged

...sources of information but also the levers of government - totalitarianism and grinding poverty for all but the insiders. My race is almost done - I can see the finish line from here. Nelma and I are financially secure and these things that terrify us probably...

http://peninsulaclarion.com/opinion/letters/2014-04-14/reasons-to-be-outraged
Letters
Last Passenger

Opens Friday, Apr 25, 2014 Synopsis: A single father races to avert a disaster after becoming stranded on a speeding train with no brakes in this adrenaline-charged thriller from first-time director Omid Nooshin. It's late, and exhausted doctor Lewis Shaler (Dougray Scott) has just caught the last train from London with his young son Max. Although the sudden appearance of a pretty stranger (Kara Tointon) finds tired Lewis perking up, his night takes a turn for the worse when he realizes that the conductor has disappeared, and the brakes have been cut. Before long, Lewis has learned that a dangerous sociopath with a death wish has decided to go out in a fury of speed and fire, and he's determined to take as many innocent passengers with him as possible. Meanwhile, as police fail repeatedly in their efforts to halt the diesel-powered locomotive, the terrified passengers turn desperate, and Lewis prepares to take extreme measures to ensure that he and his son will live to see another day. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon, David Schofield, Iddo Goldberg, Lindsay Duncan Movie Details Play Trailer Buy Tickets Movie Review

Need For Speed

Now Playing Synopsis: A mechanic who moonlights as an underground race-car driver strives to take the top prize in America's most prominent street race in order to have his revenge against the ambitious ex-NASCAR champ who had him framed and sent to prison. Inspired by the popular video-game franchise of the same name, Need for Speed tells the story of garage owner Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul). Desperate to keep his family-owned business afloat, Marshall forms an uncomfortable partnership with wealthy ex-NASCAR star Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). That partnership falls apart when a lucrative sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) fails to pan out, and unscrupulous Brewster uses a tragic street-racing mishap to have the innocent Marshall incarcerated. Released from prison two years later, the vengeful Marshall plots to prove his mettle by winning the De Leon -- an illicit race showcasing the country's top underground talents. But getting to the De Leon will be no simple task, because not only has the ruthless Brewster put a bounty on Marshall's prized car, but the police are hot on his trail during the white-knuckle, coast-to-coast dash. Fortunately for Marshall, his loyal crew and Bonet are willing to help him get to the starting line in time for the big race. Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi, Ramon Rodriguez, and Michael Keaton co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi Movie Details Play Trailer Buy Tickets Movie Review

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Opens Friday, Jul 11, 2014 Synopsis: This follow-up to the wildly successful Rise of the Planet of the Apes concerns the next step in the genetically-advanced primates' takeover of the world as a virus begins to wipe out the human race. Let Me In's Matt Reeves handles directing duties, with Gary Oldman, Jason Clark, and Kodi Smith McPhee headlining the human cast. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell Movie Details Play Trailer Buy Tickets Movie Review

Locke

Opens Friday, Apr 18, 2014 Synopsis: Written and directed by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things), Locke tells the adrenaline-fueled story of one man's frantic race against time. Tom Hardy and Tom Holland star in a film produced by Paul Webster and Guy Heeley. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Tom Hardy, Tom Holland Movie Details Play Trailer Buy Tickets Movie Review

Earth to Echo

Opens Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 Synopsis: Three young friends come to the aid of a mysterious visitor from a distant planet in this sci-fi adventure. Shortly after a massive construction project shatters the silence of their serene suburban neighborhood, best friends Tuck, Munch, and Alan notice that their mobile phones are being flooded with a series of enigmatic, encoded messages. Try as the trio might to convince their parents and the local authorities that something is amiss, however, their concerns are dismissed as mere figments of their youthful imaginations. Meanwhile, as they race to find the source of the complex code, the three young friends encounter a desperate extraterrestrial being that requires their help in order to survive on this strange and hostile planet. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Movie Details Play Trailer Buy Tickets Movie Review

Belle

Opens Friday, May 2, 2014 Synopsis: Director Amma Asante (A Way of Life) teams with screenwriter Misan Sagay to tell the remarkable story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in this richly detailed period drama. The illegitimate, mixed-race offspring of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode), Dido was raised under the care of her great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson), a noted aristocrat. As a result of her lineage Dido grew up torn between two worlds, longing to find true love as her cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) was courted for marriage. Dido's fate took an unexpected turn, however, when she fell in love with the idealistic son of a vicar. Along with Dido, the vicar's son would not only help to advance the career of Lord Mansfield, but to also eventually halt the practice of slavery in England as well. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Matthew Goode, Sarah Gadon Movie Details Play Trailer Buy Tickets Movie Review

Rebel Without a Cause

Opens Friday, Apr 18, 2014 Synopsis: This landmark juvenile-delinquent drama scrupulously follows the classic theatrical disciplines, telling all within a 24-hour period. Teenager Jimmy Stark (James Dean) can't help but get into trouble, a problem that has forced his appearance-conscious parents (Jim Backus and Ann Doran) to move from one town to another. The film's tormented central characters are all introduced during a single night-court session, presided over by well-meaning social worker Ray (Edward Platt). Jimmy, arrested on a drunk-and-disorderly charge, screams "You're tearing me apart!" as his blind-sided parents bicker with one another over how best to handle the situation. Judy (Natalie Wood) is basically a good kid but behaves wildly out of frustration over her inability to communicate with her deliberately distant father (William Hopper). (The incestuous subtext of this relationship is discreetly handled, but the audience knows what's going on in the minds of Judy and her dad at all times.) And Plato (Sal Mineo), who is so sensitive that he threatens to break apart like porcelain, has taken to killing puppies as a desperate bid for attention from his wealthy, always absent parents.

The next morning, Jimmy tries to start clean at a new high school, only to run afoul of local gang leader Buzz (Corey Allen), who happens to be Judy's boyfriend. Anxious to fit in, Jimmy agrees to settle his differences with a nocturnal "Chickie Run": he and Buzz are to hop into separate stolen cars, then race toward the edge of a cliff; whoever jumps out of the car first is the "chickie." When asked if he's done this sort of thing before, Jimmy lies, "That's all I ever do." This wins him the undying devotion of fellow misfit Plato. At the appointed hour, the Chickie Run takes place, inaugurated by a wave of the arms from Judy. The cars roar toward the cliff; Jimmy is able to jump clear, but Buzz, trapped in the driver's set when his coat gets caught on the door handle, plummets to his death. In the convoluted logic of Buzz' gang, Jimmy is held responsible for the boy's death. For the rest of the evening, he is mercilessly tormented by Buzz' pals, even at his own doorstep. After unsuccessfully trying to sort things out with his weak-willed father, Jimmy runs off into the night. He links up with fellow "lost souls" Judy and Plato, hiding out in an abandoned palatial home and enacting the roles of father, mother, and son. For the first time, these three have found kindred spirits -- but the adults and kids who have made their lives miserable haven't given up yet, leading to tragedy. Out of the bleakness of the finale comes a ray of hope that, at last, Jimmy will be truly understood.

Rebel Without a Cause began as a case history, written in 1944 by Dr. Robert Lindner. Originally intended as a vehicle for Marlon Brando, the property was shelved until Brando's The Wild One (1953) opened floodgates for films about crazy mixed-up teens. Director Nicholas Ray, then working on a similar project, was brought in to helm the film version. His star was James Dean, fresh from Warners' East of Eden. Ray's low budget dictated that the new film be lensed in black-and-white, but when East of Eden really took off at the box office, the existing footage was scrapped and reshot in color. This was great, so far as Ray was concerned, inasmuch as he had a predilection for symbolic color schemes. James Dean's hot red jacket, for example, indicated rebellion, while his very blue blue jeans created a near luminescent effect (Ray had previously used the same vivid color combination on Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar). As part of an overall bid for authenticity, real-life gang member Frank Mazzola was hired as technical advisor for the fight scenes. To extract as natural a performance as possible from Dean, Ray redesigned the Stark family's living room set to resemble Ray's own home, where Dean did most of his rehearsing. Speaking of interior sets, the mansion where the three troubled teens hide out had previously been seen as the home of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Of the reams of on-set trivia concerning Rebel, one of the more amusing tidbits involves Dean's quickie in-joke impression of cartoon character Mr. Magoo -- whose voice was, of course, supplied by Jim Backus, who played Jimmy's father. Viewing the rushes of this improvisation, a clueless Warner Bros. executive took Dean to task, saying in effect that if he must imitate an animated character, why not Warners' own Bugs Bunny? Released right after James Dean's untimely death, Rebel Without a Cause netted an enormous profit. The film almost seems like a eulogy when seen today, since so many of its cast members -- James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Nick Adams -- died young. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Cast: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Corey Allen, Sal Mineo, Dennis Hopper Movie Details Buy Tickets Movie Review

Noah

Now Playing Synopsis: Darren Aronofsky brings the story of Noah's Ark to the big screen with this Paramount/New Regency production. "In the beginning, there was nothing." So starts this version of the story centered on Noah (Russell Crowe), the man entrusted by God to save the innocent animals of Earth as the rising floodwaters cleansed the planet of mankind's evil. As the telling continues, we learn how Adam and Eve's sins have passed down through generations through their sons Cain and Abel, and how the descendants of their righteous sibling Seth were entrusted with defending creation. One day, while foraging in the country, a descendant of Seth, Noah, sees his father slain by a descendant of Cain. In the process, Noah's birthright is stolen from him.

Decades later, as a father of three, Noah experiences a vision foretelling the great flood that will wash over the Earth, destroying every living thing that stands on the soil. That vision leads Noah to seek out his grandfather, Methuselah, in order to understand his mission. When a second vision reveals that Noah is to construct a massive ark designed to shelter every living animal during the great flood, Noah, his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), their three sons Shem (Douglas Booth), Ham (Logan Lerman), and Japheth (Leo McHugh Carroll), and their adoptive sister Ila (Emma Watson) immediately begin construction on the vessel with the help of the Watchers, a race of angels created as beings of light, but encrusted in stone and mud and forsaken by God for their attempts to help man. Meanwhile, word of Noah's work soon reaches Tubal Cain (Ray Winstone), who gathers an army on a mission to overtake the ark, and survive the coming storm by any cost.
~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Leo McHugh Carroll, Nick Nolte Movie Details Play Trailer Buy Tickets Movie Review

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