With Blair Murphy on a ‘secret mission’ (of a literary nature, possibly leading to something big–and yes, that is all that Our Glorious Leader would tell any of us), I was in charge of the weekly coffeehouse at the Grand Midway Hotel. I was ably assisted by Synthia (in a black promotional t-shirt dating back […]Read more "COFFEEHOUSE NIGHTS: 14 September 2019"
Regardless of genre, this is one of the finest films of recent years. It’s certainly among the most mature SF pieces of the decade, wonderfully detailed and realistic, with masterful direction by Ridley Scott and with maybe Matt Damon’s best acting work ever. Based on Andy Weir’s debut novel, the film centers on Mark Watney […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: The Martian (2015)"
This week’s coffeehouse coincided with the official opening of Windber’s annual Miner’s Memorial Days, which honors local history and always climaxes on Father’s Day (which is this Sunday). I approached the evening in a very good mood. Having one of my short stories being published (in a hardcover anthology of SF/F for kids) and a […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 13 June 2019"
The second weekly coffeehouse of the season at Windber’s Grand Midway Hotel was in many ways a disappointment. Attendance was well off from the previous week’s promising beginning, despite the presence of a handful of stalwart regulars. Yet there were some positive aspects worthy of mention. In honor of this week’s 50th anniversary of the […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: June 6, 2019"
First an apology: I fully intended to post this recap of last Thursday’s coffeehouse within 24 hours of the event. Other factors intervened, some writer related (like the June 1st deadline on my bimonthly column for the PennWriter newsletter) or other more general life issues. Anyway……. The first coffeehouse of 2019 was, on the whole, […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 30 May 2019"
This film was “inspired by a true story,” which should clue you in that while dealing with some actual historical events many details have been fictionalized. There was indeed a black man who served seven different US Presidents as a White House butler. But his name wasn’t Cecil Gaines, he didn’t grow up on a […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Lee Daniel’s The Butler (2013)"
Director George Miller makes a stunning return to his classic post-apocalyptic future series with Tom Hardy very ably filling the role Mel Gibson originated years ago. Miller also co-wrote this all-out, non-stop spectacle with Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouvis. This time, a game and indomitable Charlize Theron provides the heroic loner with a fierce if sometimes reluctant […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Mad Max, Fury Road (2015)"