Parkland Press

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Closings of house sales down slightly for 2018 in the Lehigh Valley

Saturday, February 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Business Showcase

Closed sales of houses in the Lehigh Valley during 2018 were down slightly from the previous year, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR).

Closings were down 0.6 percent, or 8,373 closed sales of houses in 2018, compared to 8,420 closed sales of houses in 2017.

In 2018, closed sales of houses decreased in nine of 12 month, with only January, August and October posting closed sales gains.

Pending sales were up slightly year-to-year, by 0.8 percent, or 8,544 in 2018, compared to 8,479 in 2017.

Review: ‘Disney On Ice’ enchants at PPL Center

Friday, February 1, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Disney On Ice Presents Worlds Of Enchantment” brings that Disney magic to PPL Center, Jan. 31 through Feb. 3.

The ice show has incredibly-skilled skaters, a huge cast, impressive choreography, props and scenic backdrops, spectacular lighting, pyrotechnic and fog effects and, of course, the beloved characters from Disney feature movies.

True to its title, “Disney On Ice” enchants with entertainment that can be enjoyed by the family.

Movie Review: ‘Green Book’ quite a trip

Friday, January 25, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Green Book” is a road movie about travels through the United States south when there was no light left on at motels along the highway for persons of color.

In the film, which is based on a true story, Dr. Don Shirley (played by the remarkable Mahershala Ali) is a jazz concert pianist booked for a concert tour in the midwest and the racially-segregated south of the U.S. in 1962. Dr. Shirley hires a driver, Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (played by the great Viggo Mortensen), who doubles as a bodyguard. They travel in a 1962 turquoise four-door Cadillac DeVille.

Movie Review: ‘The Mule’ profoundly Eastwood

Friday, January 18, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The only one who wants to live to be 100 is a 99-year-old.”

- Earl Stone,

“The Mule”

Director-actor Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” is profound and is profoundly Eastwood.

It’s a caustic, cute, crazy story about an elderly man, Earl Stone (Eastwood), down on his luck and money, who gets mixed up with a Mexican drug-running cartel.

Movie Review: Great ‘Scots,’ Elizabeth I

Thursday, January 10, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Mary Queen Of Scots” is bold, beautiful and brutal.

The history-based biography-drama has two extraordinary performances: Saoirse Ronan as Scotland’s beleagured queen, and Margot Robbie as England’s Queen Elizabeth I.

Director Josie Rourke, in her theatrical motion picture directorial debut, directs from a screenplay by Beau Willimon (Oscar nominee, adapted screenplay, “The Ides Of March,” 2011; creator, writer, TV’s “House Of Cards,” 2013-18) and John Guy (“Mary Queen Of Scots” is based on his book, “My Heart Is My Own,” 2004).

Movie Review: Nanny dearest, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Mary Poppins Returns” isn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

Nor is it as good as I wanted it to be.

“Pish posh,” as Mary Poppins might say.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is the near-perfect 2018 holiday season release.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is paced by a terrific performance by Emily Blunt as the nanny Mary Poppins.

It also features a great performance by Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the Lamplighter.

Movie Review: ‘Ralph’ rules ‘The Internet’

Monday, December 24, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Ralph Breaks The Internet” is not about the latest Ariana Grande music video going viral nor about a Russia troll farm hacking United States’ social media.

The animated sequel to “Wreck-It-Ralph” (2012) is more clever than that. Ralph doesn’t only “break” the internet, he wrecks it. They don’t call him “Wreck-It-Ralph” for nothing.

Movie Review: Who stole ‘The Grinch’?

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“The Grinch” almost stole the Christmas movie. The 2018 iteration of the Dr. Seuss’ classic takes a lot of the fun out of previous versions of “The Grinch.”

The real question is: Who stole “The Grinch”? That said, the film has its amusing moments and is gorgeous to look at.

The primary source material (other than The Grinch and his machinations being inspired by Charles Dicken’s Scrooge in the “A Christmas Carol” 1843 novella) is the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” 1957 children’s book written and illustrated by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.