Parkland Press

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Curtain Rises:

Friday, March 15, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Civic ‘Buyer & Cellar’;

The Lehigh Valley theater scene springs back to life in time for the vernal equinox.

At Civic Theatre of Allentown is the Lehigh Valley debut of the one-man comedy about Barbra Streisand’s basement-dweller, “Buyer & Cellar,” 7:30 p.m. March 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 and 2 p.m. March 24, Theatre514, Allentown.

At Munopco Music Theatre of Allentown is the iconic musical that has legs, “A Chorus Line,” 8 p.m. March 16, 22, 23 and 2 p.m. March 17, 24, Scottish Rite Cathedral, Allentown.

The two stage shows, opposite in concept, are similar as behind-the-scenes takes.

Movie Review: ‘Dragon’ the line

Friday, March 8, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Disney Pixar is the gold standard for feature animation films.

Disney Pixar feature animation films include “Toy Story,” “Up,” “Cars,” “Frozen,” “Finding Nemo,” “Wall-E” and “Coco.”

Disney Pixar’s feature animation film supremacy is challeged with DreamWorks Animation’s “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

“How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is stunningly-beautiful, with a positive storyline that emphasizes values that shouldn’t offend any family that chooses to see it.

Movie Review: Chapter and ‘Verse’

Friday, March 1, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.”

- Stan Lee (1922-2018)

“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” takes a new approach to the comic-book superhero feature movie genre.

It’s more like an old-school approach.

“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” is the first animation feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Movie Review: ‘Roma’

Friday, February 22, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Roma” is a fascinating film not so much for what it reveals, as for what it doesn’t reveal.

“Roma” is a revealer of the obvious.

In this, “Roma” director Alfonso Cuarón shows us “A Day In The Life,” or in the instance of “Roma,” a year in the life of a Mexican family, 1970-1971.

The film’s title references Mexico City’s Colonia Roma area. The film is semi-autobiographical, based on the life of Cuarón, who wrote, directed, filmed, co-edited and produced “Roma.” It’s a celluloid memory.

January house sales down 5.7 percent in LV

Friday, February 22, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

The Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) reported that January data showed a flat, but stable, start to 2019 for house sales.

But the big story for the Lehigh Valley house market is that the average sales price and median sales price decreased in January, compared to January 2018.

Also, an increase in new listings may reverse a trend.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley decreased 5.7 percent in January, with 448 houses sold, down from 475 houses sold in January 2018. according to the GLVR.

Movie Review: Not a ‘Favourite’

Saturday, February 16, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Favourite” has extensive use of the fisheye camera lens.

A fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that achieves visual distortion. The resulting image is that of a panoramic or hemispherical view.

In “The Favourite,” rooms, columns, and even people often appear curved. The fisheye lens is not used in every scene. Extreme closeups are also used to great effect, such as for Emma Stone’s captivating eyes.

Review: ‘The Upside’

Friday, February 8, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The upside about the movie, “The Upside,” is that it’s entertaining, thought-provoking and uplifting.

Kevin Hart plays Dell Scott, whose parole officer mandates that he find a job. Bryan Cranston plays Phillip Lacasse, a wealthy self-help author who is a person with a disability, quadriplegia, after being injured in a para-glider accident.

Dell Scott is hired to be Phillip Lacasse’s in-home health-care worker, much to the dismay of Nicole Kidman, who plays Yvonne Pendleton, Lacasse’s home office manager.

Snub hub: When in ‘Roma,’ Oscar plays ‘Favourite’

Saturday, February 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Academy Awards nominations always leave something to be desired.

There are films, actors, directors and others you think deserved nominations, but did not receive them.

So it goes with the 91st Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the 2019 Academy Awards ceremonies honoring 2018 movie releases, 8 p.m. (EST) Feb. 24, Dolby Theatre, Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, televised live on the ABC-TV.

Oscar snubs shouldn’t be surprising, and yet, somehow, they always are.

Movie Review: Breaking ‘Glass’

Saturday, February 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Is the “Glass” movie half-full or half-empty? The answer partly depends on whether or not you’re a fan of “Glass” writer-director M. Night Shyamalan.

“Glass” is third in Shyamalan’s “Eastrail 177 Trilogy” that began with “Unbreakable” (2000), which starred Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, and continued with “Split” (2016), which starred Willis and introduced James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy in the series.

Eastrail No. 177 refers to the derailment in “Unbreakable” of Train No. 177.