Written by Phil Cerroni
Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 20:28
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Matt Mugle
Title: The Impossible
It has been a while since a film caused me to hold my breath in the opening moments and not exhale until the credits rolled. The Impossible is an emotional rollercoaster that will toss you about and leave you gasping for air. Though that doesn’t sound enjoyable it is a proper quality for a film like this. Natural disaster films are common, but the personal journey conveyed in this one is rare. It is made even more draining because it happens to be a true account of one family’s nightmare.
Henry and Maria are spending the Christmas holidays at a coastal resort in Thailand with their three young boys. Without warning they are bludgeoned by one of the worst Tsunamis of our time. Separated from each other and wading through the destruction and devastation around them the family must try and survive while finding the ones they love.
The emotions conveyed by Watts and McGregor in this film are unparalleled. Your soul and heart wrench as you watch them try and hang on to any strand of hope. What is even more impressive is that never do they cross the line into over acting our audience manipulation. You feel as if you are watching these events unfold before your eyes and the raw emotion is exactly as you would expect. Many times I would have to remind myself to breath.
The opening sequences are the most exhausting. Unlike the characters, you know what is coming yet you know not when or how. When it does come, it is some of the most terrifying disaster moments created. Hats off to the creative team for making a film that is top notch in all facets. They could have tried and make it an end of the world, CGI engorged, fake fest. They also could have dumbed it down and lost the visual and emotional impact. But they succeeded in finding just the right balance.
Kudos too to the three young actors who play the kids in this film. They too had to convey fear, anxiety, depression and loss. I can’t imagine as a young child witnessing the horrors that followed the Tsunami while at the same time never knowing if you would see your parents again. The real life kids had to have grown up in a moment’s time and the young actors do that for us on screen. It is the power of the human will that they expertly grasp.
The Impossible is rated PG-13 for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity. There is nothing salacious or gratuitous in this film. What is there is what was seen and witnessed. It is important that the audience get that same feel.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 deep breaths. The acting is award worthy and the directing and storytelling are unbeatable.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 20:24
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Matt Mungle
The new PG-13 drama Quartet is about a group of retired opera singers staging a gala concert at the Beecham House retirement village. Good luck keeping your 12 year old from sneaking into this one. Yes this is definitely a film geared toward a small demographic of movie goers who appreciate abundant dialogue and aged actors who still know how to deliver emotion. Vocal music appreciation is a plus as well.
As they are planning for their annual fund raising concert, Beecham House is excited about their new resident. The mood changes when the find it is Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) an egocentric diva whose solo career over shadowed the groups accomplishments in the hay day of their professions. No one is more upset than Reginald Paget (Tom Courtenay), the ex-husband of Jean and the one most affected by her success. The rest of the group try and keep the peace while working around her still large ego.
Though this is a slow paced film and at times feels more like the stage play it was adapted for it still has great acting moments. The strong British cast led by Smith, Courtenay, and Billy Connolly help you to attach yourself to the characters. There is enough comedy (though mainly old people jokes) to break up the drama of the situation. It is also has a premise that isn’t used much. That of, “where do retired musicians go?” Those performers of classical music seldom make it into a movie storyline and even more rare once they are past their performance prime. So that was an interesting angle in which to deliver this story.
The film is directed by Dustin Hoffman. It is safe to call this his debut in that chair and you have to wonder what grabbed him about this particular story. He does a decent job of allowing each scene to relay the appropriate feeling and the slow script could have bogged down in many places. As an actor he was well suited to allow these long time performers the opportunity to use their abilities to make each character solid.
Quartet is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and suggestive humor. Like many films of this nature there is always the one old guy who has to turn every sentence and moment into a naughty sexual innuendo. If, like the other characters in the film, you can ignore him then you should be alright with everything else.
I give it 3 out of 5 arias; certainly one that has the right place and time in your viewing schedule. Fans of film festivals and art-house dramas will probably enjoy it and think it a solid film. Anyone looking for cutting edge language, characters, or twists will need to look elsewhere.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 20:23
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
The Irving City Council capped a lengthy and divisive public discussion on Jan. 10 about changing the alcohol laws in restaurants with a proposal that would set different rules for different neighborhoods.
After hearing more than two hours of public comment, the Council finally agreed after midnight to postpone the vote and consider relaxing the ratio on alcoholic beverage sales in restaurants in north Irving, but keep the ratio restricted in south Irving.
“I don’t think there’s a one size fits all plan,” Mayor Beth Van Duyne said.
The current City ordinance sets a ratio of 60/40 for food/alcohol beverage sales at restaurants, but the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce and area businesses have asked that the ratio be changed to 30/70.
“From an economic development standpoint, we need more destination type development,” Chris Wallace, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said at the meeting.
Under the proposal, the City would still have the 60/40 law except for in five areas: Las Colinas, Valley Ranch, the Highway 183 overlay district, the Highway 161 overlay district and the Urban Business district. Those areas would be able to petition the Council for higher alcohol limits.
“It’s obvious if we’re going to come up with a solution, it needs to be thought out,” Van Duyne said. “We have a tremendous amount of people on both sides who are telling us opposite things. I think this is a good solution.”
Opponents of changing the ratio said at the meeting that a relaxed ratio could negatively impact the City’s image and also create an environment for bars “on every corner.”
Supporters, however, said changing the ratio would pump more money into the City by bringing in high-end restaurants that would favor the changed ratio. Without the change, the City is poised to lose business.
“We are bleeding tax dollars,” Council member Rose Cannaday said. “I have worked endlessly trying to bring shopping to this city, trying to get some good movie theaters or a Whole Foods or CentralMarket. We are at a crossroads, and we are going to have to make a decision about this.”
In March, the Chamber recommended changing the ratio to 30 percent food sales and 70 percent alcohol sales. Then late last year, the Irving planning and zoning commission voted to recommend the 30/70 ratio.
The Council will consider the proposal at a Jan. 24 meeting.
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 23:16
Written by Phil Cerroni
Flowers Foods, Inc. recently announced it has signed two asset purchase agreements with Hostess Brands, Inc. as the "stalking horse bidder" for certain Hostess assets. One of the agreements provides for the purchase by Flowers of the Wonder, Nature's Pride, Merita, Home Pride and Butternut bread brands; 20 bakeries; and approximately 38 depots for a purchase price of $360 million. The other agreement provides for the purchase by Flowers of the Beefsteak brand for $30 million.
The Hostess Brands's remaining bread brands, as well as its snack cake business, will be sold separately. The transaction does not include facilities or additional assets.
"We are pleased with the Flowers offers and look forward to a robust auction process that will allow these iconic brands to continue and to maximize value for all of the Company's stakeholders," said Hostess Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory F. Rayburn. "We also continue to negotiate with parties interested in purchasing our snack cake business and remaining bread brands and expect to select additional stalking horse bidders as soon as reasonably practicable."
The transactions are subject to a court-approved bankruptcy process being initiated by Hostess. If Flowers' "stalking horse" bids are approved by the bankruptcy court, the bids would then be subject to a competitive auction process to be held several weeks from now. The company would expect to close the transactions shortly following court approval if it is selected as the winning bidder. The transactions also are subject to regulatory clearance.
Flowers Foods has previously stated its interest in acquiring certain Hostess assets should they become available.
"This agreement is consistent with Flowers Foods' long-term growth objectives to reach significantly more of the U.S. population with its fresh breads, buns, and rolls," said George E. Deese, chairman and chief executive officer of Flowers Foods. "We believe these assets would enhance our ability, over time, to provide more U.S. consumers with quality baked foods at a good value through existing and new retail and foodservice customers."
Based on the current bid price, Flowers Foods would expect the transactions to be accretive to earnings in 2013. Flowers Foods plans to finance the transactions through a mix of available cash on hand and debt.
Headquartered in Thomasville, GA, Flowers Foods, Inc. is the second-largest producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers in the United States with annual sales of more than $3 billion. Flowers operates 44 bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery products. These products currently are sold through a direct-store-delivery network with access to more than 70 percent of the U.S. population in the East, South, and Southwest as well as in certain markets in California. Select Flowers products are sold nationwide through customers' delivery systems. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own and Tastykake.
Source: Flowers Foods, Inc., Hostess Brands Inc.
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 23:11
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- Home Internet access provided to Irving ISD families
- North Lake's video technology department develops new approach film
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- Councilman Santoscoy will not seek re-election in May