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Arts & Culture News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British actor Rupert Grint, best known as wizard Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" film franchise, makes his Broadway debut as a young, wunderkind director alongside a stellar ensemble cast in the show business comedy, "It's Only a Play."

DUBAI (Reuters) - Poet Simin Behbahani, a champion of women's rights and free speech whose lyrical verse captured the hopes and disappointments of Iranians since the 1979 revolution, died on Tuesday at the age of 87, official media reported.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Robin Williams was suffering from the early stages of Parkinson's disease along with severe depression at the time of his apparent suicide, his widow said on Thursday, drawing public attention to the correlation between the diseases.

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Sarajevo's film festival, founded as an act of defiance while the city was besieged during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, marks its 20th anniversary on Friday with its biggest line-up of movies.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sometimes the best way to get to the heart of a story is through the elbow, said Ivar Pall Jonsson, the Icelandic creator of the new rock musical "Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter."

Sports News

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Belgium (Reuters) - American Alexander Rossi will make his Formula One debut for Marussia at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix after Britain's Max Chilton was sidelined for contractual reasons.

BARCELONA August 21 (Reuters) - Chris Froome aims to put his Tour de France misery behind him with victory in the Vuelta a Espana but he faces stiff competition from a strong field led by Nairo Quintana.

(Reuters) - Katie Ledecky enhanced her status as swimming's new teen queen with two victories in less than an hour on the opening day of the Pan Pacific championships on Thursday.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben is doubtful for the Bundesliga season opener against VfL Wolfsburg due to a lack of match practice, coach Pep Guardiola said on Thursday.

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German bank BayernLB [BAYLB.UL] on Thursday signaled it was open to a compromise to end a legal fight with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone relating to his involvement in the 2006 sale of its stake in the motor racing business.

Science News

MUENSTER Germany (Reuters) - Dutch biologist Ingrid van der Meer often meets with disbelief when she talks about her work on dandelions and how it could secure the future of road transport.

LONDON (Reuters) - Far from wiping out Neanderthals overnight, modern humans rubbed along with their shorter and stockier cousins for thousands of years, giving plenty of time for the two groups to share ideas - and have sex.

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. - A pair of Russian cosmonauts began their work week on Monday floating outside the International Space Station to toss out a small satellite for a university in Peru, install science experiments and tackle some housekeeping chores.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - From the Galapagos Islands to Australia's Coral Sea and a marine park off the coast of Mexico, the documentary "Mission Blue" navigates the journey of renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle as she travels the globe to save the planet's threatened seas.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An experimental vaccine being developed by U.S. government scientists to prevent the painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya has shown promise in its first human trials but remains years away from approval for widespread use.

Movie Reviews

Given the throwaway nature of Rodriguez’s Machete and Spy Kids sequels, it’s almost a relief that he and Miller took their sweet time here. Blending two adapted tales with two freshly minted Miller originals, we start with fan-fave Just Another Saturday Night, re-acquainting us with Mickey Rourke’s Marv as he terrorises some frat boys and flies through a cop car windshield. And that’s just the five-minute pre-credits pre-amble. The titular centrepiece story, based on Miller’s 1993 work, sees luckless private eye Dwight (Josh Brolin, replacing Clive Owen) lured by former lover Ava Lord (Eva Green) into killing her husband. Bad move, as it turns out, with this “pathological” femme fatale out for all she can get. “She owns me – body and soul,” sighs Brolin, who – like Green – slips effortlessly into this noir-ish nightmare, like a latter-day Fred MacMurray sizing up Barbara Stanwyck. Certainly, the curvaceous and frequently naked Green is in her most exposing role since The Dreamers – one that makes the MPAA fuss over her semi-clad appearance on the film’s poster something of a joke. With Juno Temple in handcuffs, Rosario Dawson’s heaving bosom and Jessica Alba’s arse-slapping, Rodriguez and Miller have steamed up this Sin City like a kettle in a Turkish bath. Wrapping around the Dame To Kill For vignette are Miller’s two new pieces: The Long Bad Night and Nancy’s Last Dance. The former sees gifted gambler Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dangerously take on Senator Roark (Powers Boothe, excellent) at the card-table; the latter sees Alba’s now booze-addled stripper Nancy also out to get the corrupt politician, four years on from the death of selfless cop John Hartigan (Bruce Willis, back briefly). True, the new 3D adds little and the stories are still about as deep as a shallow grave. But between its coal-black humour and the immersive b/w visuals, bringing Miller’s lurid world vividly to life (with some wonderful splashes of colour – notably Green’s eyes), there’s enough here for fans of the first to get their rocks off. Add in fine support from newcomers like Dennis Haysbert, Jeremy Piven and Ray Liotta, and this is one summer sequel to kill for.

With no bells, whistles or fanfare, the Dardenne brothers – Jean-Pierre and Luc – have been writing, producing and directing their own brand of Belgian naturalism since the ’90s. Before that they made documentaries. Ignored by the multiplexes, but loved by the critics, their modest, moving films sound eminently missable. Then you watch one... Sandra (Marion Cotillard) has a loving husband, Manu (Dardenne regular Fabrizio Rongione), two happy kids, a house, a job, and crippling depression. There’s been a secret ballot at her work (a solar panel factory, where they manufacture a facsimile of the sunshine she lacks), forcing her colleagues to choose between keeping their bonuses, or her job. Sandra wants to give up, but Manu makes her visit each of her co-workers over the titular time period to make a case for clemency. “You’re letting yourself go,” he tells her, kindly, “react instead.” Reluctantly, she sets out to speak to them, encountering false starts (some simply aren’t in), dignified indignation (“I didn’t vote against you,” one tells her, “I voted for my bonus.”) and the full spectrum of human emotions, all of them earned. To some it’s a practical issue – they need the money – to others it’s a moral one; either way, with Sandra in front of them it’s one that can’t be ignored. As an ordinary woman on the edge, Cotillard is excellent, the camera rarely leaving her face as she cycles from deep despair to tiny triumphs. Although she takes almost an hour to crack a smile, we’re always invested in Sandra’s plight, and through glimpses of her colleagues’ differing home situations – many of which make hers look charmed – the film becomes more and more engrossing. There’s no music but what plays on the radio, and minimal camera movement. Just real-seeming people talking reasonably and a life, quietly, changed.

Twenty-five years on from When Harry Met Sally, that old chestnut – can men and women be pals without sex getting in the way? – gets another roasting in a Toronto-set romcom that practically screams “Like me!” at the top of its lungs. That we do owes less to whatever freshness Michael Dowse (Goon) brings to this well-worn scenario than to the likeability of its leads: Ruby Sparks’ Zoe Kazan as adorability personified and some young whippersnapper called Daniel Radcliffe, a promising talent Screen expects to hear more from. DanRad’s been making all kinds of films of late (The Woman In Black, Kill Your Darlings, the upcoming Frankenstein) that appear expressly calibrated to distance him from Harry Potter. What If represents perhaps the most audacious step away to date, in that Daniel effectively plays himself: a diffident, twentysomething chatterbox with an abundance of charm that serves to offset a nagging sense of insecurity. Small wonder the role of Wallace – a medical school drop-out who you will always find in the kitchen at parties – fits him so snugly. (He even gets thumped in the face in one scene, something that should placate any Potter-phobes hitherto immune to his persona.) That is scarcely the least of the indignities heaped on his character, who at another point finds himself buck naked after some nocturnal skinny-dipping with only some foliage to protect his modesty. Mercifully, What If spreads its humiliations around – having Kazan’s Chantry get trapped inside a changing cubicle, and having Wallace accidentally push her boyfriend (Rafe Spall, using his physical heft to good effect) through a first-floor window. These and other amusing episodes stop us from feeling we have seen it all before, even when there’s a dash to an airport to intercept someone who’s getting on a plane headed in the opposite direction (what are the chances?). Rising star Adam Driver, meanwhile, effortlessly scene-steals as Daniel’s flatmate cum confidant, a man who firmly believes that “99 per cent honesty is the foundation of any relationship” and whose idea of heaven is a fresh plate of nachos post-intercourse. Yes, there are some cloying moments: the cutesy animations used to bridge scenes, for example, or the fridge word magnets that bring Dan and Zoe together. Then again, What If isn’t all that dissimilar from that corny conversation starter. It’s clichéd, sure. But it also springs a few surprises.

A film by Stuart Murdoch, leader of the proudly twee band Belle And Sebastian, was always going to have a big sentimental streak. A musical that’s equally a love letter to indie rock and French cinema (one dance routine comes straight from Bande À Part), it follows beautiful depressive Eve (Emily Browning) as she breaks out of hospital and finds a sense of belonging with two fellow misfits and future bandmates (Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray). The cutesiness will entice/repel viewers in equal measure, but it has a lot of heart, and displays it on its sleeve.

Directed by Scott Derickson (Sinister, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) and inspired by the “actual accounts of an NYPD sergeant” (ahem), Deliver Us From Evil is toplined by Eric Bana as Sarchy, a Bronx cop whose ‘radar’ for trouble is actually a psychic link to the dark underworld of demons. A trio of hard-bitten marines return from Iraq possessed by an ancient evil, causing them to murder their own children or hurl themselves off roofs. It’s up to Bana and his trusty sidekick, blade expert Butler (Joel McHale, who is very clearly Joel McHale in every scene) to send them back to Hell. Sean Harris stands out as a monstrous marine, imbuing every scene he skulks through with black dread. Unfortunately, there’s not enough of him. Most of the film’s running time is taken up by a misguided bromance between Bana and dashing Jesuit priest Mendoza (Édgar Ramírez) that hinges on hardcore Catholicism and gives the whole film a queasy wash of fundamentalist propaganda. Another wild misfire is the casting of Olivia Munn in the role of Bana’s put-upon wife, Jen. Her honking Brooklyn accent is pure sketch comedy, easily the best/worst thing about the entire production. Still, after endless scenes of flashlights bobbing in disgusting hovels, gravel-throated detectives sauntering through midnight rainstorms, gratuitous butterfly knife-fu and more zoo animal attacks than you’d ever expect, Deliver Us From Evil eventually pays off with a full-tilt gonzo exorcism scene that neatly ties up most of the film’s head-scratching idiosyncrasies, including its frequent references to Doors lyrics, hieroglyphics and owls. It’s loud, weird and explosive, to say the least, aided by a score that sounds like Nine Inch Nails stuck in an industrial clothes dryer. But is it scary? Well, there’s certainly nothing that suggests Hell is coming to your house. Sarchy’s water-logged world of dumpster babies and mental patients is as far away from any recognisable reality as the Land of Oz. There was a time when exorcist movies chilled the blood. That time was 1973. Let’s move on.

CD Reviews

It's always been there under the New Jersey grit, but this band fully unleashes its inner Who on its fifth studio album. "So what you wanna say is/My head is a hurricane?" singer-guitarist Brian Fallon howls in "Rollin' and Tumblin'," sounding like the '73 Roger Daltrey, with the cutting, lyric...

On this duets album, the R&B legend rerecords some of his classic hits with indebted singers, from Steven Tyler to Sheryl Crow to John Legend. The balance of respectful tributes and reimaginings recalls John Fogerty's similarly structured 2013 collection, Wrote a Song for Everyone. "My Girl," done with Miguel, Aloe...

"Fucking up on a five-year bender," Benjamin Booker growls on "Violent Shiver," a song that sounds something like the Strokes if they'd been suckled on moonshine in a juke joint. A New Orleans-based, Jack White-endorsed 25-yearold with an open sore of a voice and a love of distorted boogie-blues shredding,...

Does the thought of Rascal Flatts covering "Kickstart My Heart" have you buzzing like a visit to Dr. Feelgood's office? Then this down-the-middle Mötley cöuntry compilation was made for you. Unfortunately, few of the 15 featured artists do anything more than rehash their assigned song – often omitting even the...

Gene Simmons has claimed that Ace Frehley doesn't deserve to wear Kiss Kabuki clown paint, but the former Spaceman's first solo LP in five years says otherwise. Sure, the guitars don't always give off Frehley's trademark flames, and there isn't anything as catchy as his '78 solo smash, "New York...

Book Reviews

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE CONFESSION, by John Grisham2. WORTH DYING FOR, by Lee Child3. AMERICAN ASSASSIN, by Vince Flynn4. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, by Stieg Larsson5. SIDE JOBS, by Jim Butcher

Top 5 at a Glance1. LIFE, by Keith Richards with James Fox2. BROKE, by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe3. EARTH (THE BOOK), by Jon Stewart and others4. THE LAST BOY, by Jane Leavy5. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, VOL. 1, by Mark Twain

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson2. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson3. THE FINKLER QUESTION, by Howard Jacobson4. LITTLE BEE, by Chris Cleave5. CUTTING FOR STONE, by Abraham Verghese

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson3. THE RECKLESS BRIDE, by Stephanie Laurens4. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson5. 61 HOURS, by Lee Child

Top 5 at a Glance1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert2. INSIDE OF A DOG, by Alexandra Horowitz3. STONES INTO SCHOOLS, by Greg Mortenson4. THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls5. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Funny Pictures

The Melting Pot


Internationally Acclaimed Book of the True Story of Two Holocaust Survivors is Now Available in French

Author and Holocaust survivor Leon Malmed kept a secret for more than 60 years – a secret he has unveiled in his moving book,...


‘Send This Instead’ App Gives Kids an Alternative to Sexting

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Child Sexual Exploitation Unit in Ontario, Canada launch a sexting alternative app for teens...


Turn Back Time with Oldies Music Radio Which Brings Good Old Hits Back to Life

Nimaxy presents a new radio app for the most enjoyable music experience. Nimaxy studio has the pleasure of announcing the release of the...


Military Fiction Book Explores the Consequences of Sending Reservist and National Guard Troops into Battle with the Soviet Union

Author James W. Burke will be signing copies of “The Weekend Warrior” from 9am until 6pm on July 18, 19 and 20th at the Fort...

Local Scene


Arts for Everyone Weekly Event Update

FRIENDS….  Attached are the most recent listings of events by A4E. LOCAL… COMING SOON: The  2104 ELECTRONIC CATALOG of the works of...

Backstage Pass


Find Out Where Your Favorite Band Is Playing

Want To Know Where The Best Bands Are Playing And Where The Hottest Shows Are In Town? Plan your weekend entertainment with our Weekend...