Recent Posts

Choke

by Rick GrantA-Rated R89 min Based on Chuck Palhniuk’s novel, and written and directed by Clark Gregg, this offbeat indie did well on the festival circuit. Sam Rockwell stars as Victor Mancini, a historical reenactor and self proclaimed sex addict. Confined to a nursing home, his crazy stepmother Ida (Angelica Huston) is dying of the last stages of Alzheimer’s. Despite being kidnapped and raised by her on the run, he still loves her. Victor’s sex problem involves his insatiable appetite for casual sex, but his addiction to pornography has cut off his ability to become emotionally involved with any of …

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Miracle at St. Anna

by Rick GrantB Rated R 160 min Recently Spike Lee criticized Clint Eastwood for not hiring black actors for his WWII epic Flags of Our Fathers. Lee’s criticism was unwarranted because Eastwood’s film was about the struggles of the six soldiers who fought their way up a volcano under heavy fire to raise the flag on Iwo Jima and there were no black soldiers in that group. After Lee’s released his war epic, Miracle At St. Anna, he was humbled by how difficult it was to shoot. In Lee’s WWII epic, he was way outside his field of expertise and …

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The Jock

by Tom Weppel Random thoughts from a cluttered mind… JAGUARS After four weeks, the Jags are 2-2. The mediocrity of the record reflects the feelings and attitudes of a lot of their fans in the area. Watching the team perform, there’s plenty of wonderment as to what will happen. There are times when the Jaguars can be effective on Offense, running the ball as they did against the Colts, with effectiveness. Then there are times when they don’t seem to be able to do squat. On the other hand, you’ve seen QB David Garrard move the team down the field …

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom & Epcot

by Dick Kerekes I have visited many places in the world, and Africa and Asia were on my list to visit some day. Flying is not longer fun and the cost of trips to either area would really strain my pocketbook. Ah, but Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando to the rescue!! With over 1,000 animals on 500 acres and very authentic recreations of Asia’s and Africa’s architecture and landscaping, at the end of the day I truly felt I had traveled to those countries. My companion and I entered the park exactly at the 9 AM opening and proceeded to …

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The Jock

by Tom Weppel JAGUARS This weekend the Jags will host the 0-2 Houston Texans downtown at No-Name Stadium, the day after Florida St. and Colorado play on the same field. The Jags come into this one at 1-2, thanks to last weeks’ entertaining win over the Colts on the road. We saw the Jags able to finally get a little offense going, primarily on the ground, and my best guess is that is primarily what we’re gonna be in for the rest of the season, unless one day expensive free agent Jerry Porter is able to actually get on the …

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Eagle Eye

by Rick GrantB+Rated PG-13in IMax This wild fast moving action film is the perfect genre to show off IMax to its highest potential.. Wow, the action on the gigantic screen was spectacular when I viewed the movie on AMC Regency’s new digital IMax theater. The crystal clear images combined with the gut wrenching soundtrack was an adrenalin high. Director D.J. Caruso and writer John Glenn created a cautionary tale of a massive cyber attack on America. The attacker, a computer voice, was into everything run by computers-traffic lights, military communications, television, streaming video, car computers, the electrical grid, and construction …

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Ghost Town

by Rick GrantBRated PG-13102 min Ricky Gervais is a funny man who produced the British and American version of The Office. Now he’s trying to break into American films with this comedy. Gervais portrays a obsessive and uptight dentist, Bertram Pincus D.D.S., who comes off as a jerk. He hates his patients especially the ones that talk a lot. So, he stuffs their mouth with cotton. When a routine operation goes bad, Bartram dies for seven minutes and when he wakes up, he has access to the other side where he can see ghosts who are trapped on earth with …

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West Side Story

by Dick Kerekes The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Alhambra Dinner Theatre completed a four performance run of the 2nd joint venture of the season, with the Bernstein/Sondheim classic musical West Side Story. This excellent production was well received by enthusiastic audiences at all performances and I hope this means more of the same next season. The plot is well known to musical theatre fans since this show has been around since the l950s. This was a modern retelling of the Romeo and Juliet then, but unfortunately the story of hostile teen-age gangs still exists and in many more cities …

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Nuns having fun

by Erin Thursby Nunsense is understandably popular. You’ve got to love a show that features a kick-line of nuns in the opening number. That’s just inherently funny. I’d seen it on the season lists before but I’d never seen the show. When I got the chance to review it at the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre, I jumped at the opportunity to fill in this gap in my musical theatre education. If you love musical theatre you’ll certainly love Nunsense, which is rife with references to musical theatre from Fiddler on the Roof to Grease. There are also lots of references …

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Cafe Eleven kick starts fall with Sera Cahoone       After cooling it for the summer, Cafe Eleven is getting things going this fall with a great line-up of artists that will bring their own unique styles, stories and talents to Saint Augustine. Modern rock troop Mae with Automatic Loveletter appeared Sept. 13th, the brilliant and unique Tracy Grammer along with Mark Williams performs Sept. 18th, the unabashed, homegrown rock ‘n roll of Spraky’s Flaw and Lighthouse Music will play Sept. 26th and not to be missed Sera Cahoone on Sept. 17th.       Seattle-based songstress Sera Cahoone started out not in …

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The Jock

by Tom Weppel JAGUARS It’s not good to start off the season 0-2. Yet the Jaguars are one of ten teams who sit in that unenviable position. For a team that has somewhat lofty expectations following their playoff appearance last season, things are not going very smoothly downtown at No-Name Stadium. And now here we are, already into Week 3, and fans are gurgling with “What’s wrong with the Jags?’ queries! You can go all around on offense, from the O-line, to the running game and the receivers. Even the play-calling is being questioned. Look. Just like accidents happen in …

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Burn After Reading

by Rick GrantB+Rated R96 min The Coen Brothers’ prime directive to the cast of Burn After Reading was, “Act like knuckleheads!” The cast was more than happy to oblige in this offbeat satire of everything doltish, which leads to hilarious misunderstandings and a spy caper so twisted, the CIA didn’t understand it. Of course, the Coen Brothers’ fans know these mischievous brothers can turn actors into morons for laughs as in Oh Brother Where Art Thou. In this scenario, a CIA analyst, Osborne Cox has been demoted for being an alcoholic. But he’s outraged and quits. His wife, Katie (Tilda …

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Foundation Academy´s Grand Opening at New Facility

by Rick Grant Nestled off San Pablo Road South between Beach Blvd. and the San Pablo Apartments, the 23 acre campus of the new Foundation Academy was officially dedicated last Saturday. Since I knew nothing about this school, I buzzed out there last Saturday to find out more about it and cover the Grand Opening celebration. The school was founded in 1988. It became a reality through the creative vision of owner, founder, and principal Nadia Hionides, who said that with the grace of God, she has built this private school to educate all students giving them warmth and mutual …

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Righteous Kill

by Rick GrantBRated R101 min Someone is killing bad guys and leaving poems at the scene. Two veteran detectives, Turk (Robert De Niro) and Rooster (Al Pacino) of the NYPD are on the case. Yes, in this umpteenth cop scenario written by Russell Gewirtz and directed by Jon Avnet. What a cast! Starring two of the greatest film actors of our time that are finally in the same movie and appear in all the scenes together. It could be construed as anticlimactic because of Gewirtz’s convoluted script which sets-up the viewer with a clever subterfuge that is revealed near the …

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The 1940’s Radio Hour

by Dick Kerekes Orange Park Community Theatre opened its 38th season with the musical The 1940’s Radio Hour. The show will continue through September 27th, with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings. There is a matinee on Sept 21, and an additional Thursday performance on Sept 25. The theatre is located at 2900 Moody Road in Orange Park. Call 276-2599 for information and reservations. This musical by Walton Jones is a revue of l940s music and actually has a story surrounding the songs. It is set in a crowded WOV radio studio in the famous Hotel Astor in New York. …

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The Beaux´ Stratagem

by Dick Kerekes Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover it is true you can’t judge a play by its title. The Beaux’ Stratagem? You never heard of it? Well, its been around since playwright George Farquhar debuted it in 1707 and was popular for a few years. In fact three US Presidents have seen it. John Quincy Adams in London, George Washington in the city named after him in the mid l700s and Harry Truman saw it 58 years ago in Alexandria Virginia. In l938 Thornton Wilder began an adaptation but died before he finished. In …

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7-7

by Dick Kerekes Jacksonville playwright Ian Mairs’ new play, 7-7 completed a two weekend run at the Studio Theatre in FCCJ’s Wilson Center. Most plays in my opinion are written to entertain, some to further a cause and some to educate. 7-7 falls in the latter category and written with the intent to examine the struggles of patients and caregivers in a hospital setting. Ian Mairs certainly knows the subject. Twenty years ago, as he embarked on a career in theatre, he realized that he needed an income to get him through graduate school. He choose to enter the nursing …

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The Jock 9/9/08

by Tom Weppel JAGUARS       After a fairly mediocre performance in Nashville last week, the 0-1 Jaguars open their home schedule this Sunday when they play the 1-0 Buffalo Bills at No-Name Stadium.       Clearly, the main story this week has been about the Offensive Line, with the rash of injuries having almost completely depleted the starting five. RT Tony Pashos is the lone solid starter. The rest of the guys up front either have been brought in recently, or are back ups, having not been lock-down starters. That includes OT Khalif Barnes, who was battling Richard Collier to start. …

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Sweeney Todd

by Dick Kerekes Players by the Sea opened Stephen Sondheim’s dark masterpiece Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street last weekend to sold out audiences. The show will run through September 27th, and is sure to be one of the hottest tickets in town so call 249-0289 for information and reservations. Are you wondering why this l979 winner of two Tony Awards has only been done once before in this area in the past 29 years? Even though regarded as one of the best musicals, it is the most horrifying and dark musical ever written and most certainly the most …

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Gutenberg! The Musical!

by Dick Kerekes Gainesville’s Hippodrome Theatre opened its 36th season with the Southern Premier of Gutenberg! The Musical!, written by Scott and Brown and Anthony King. This new musical was originally produced in 2006 in London. It was produced Off-Broadway in 2007 after an American Premiere at the 2006 New York Musical Brigade Theatre. This show will run through September 28th. If you have ever wanted to write a musical, well specifically a successful Broadway musical, then this new musical is for you. This show has two actors, Doug (Kirt Bateman) and Bud (Jay Perry) who portray partners who want …

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Bangkok Dangerous

by Rick GrantB Rated R 99 min This remake of the Pang Brothers’ Oxide and Danny a 1999 Thai film, which is also helmed by the Pang Brothers using the same script. And it works. It is the story of a prolific hitman, Joe (Nicolas Cage) who gets an incredible four jobs in Bangkok. He sees this as an opportunity to make his nest-egg and leave the business. Joe’s cold unemotional personality allows him to kill strangers without suffering pangs of conscience. This detachment keeps him alive. He’s a ghost. No one has seen him or knows who he is. …

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Moon Over Buffalo

by Dick Kerekes The Alhambra Dinner Theatre opened the funniest play this year last week with Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo. I had seen this show twice previously but still I laughed myself to tears especially in the wild second act of this great farce. This play opened on Broadway in l995 with Carol Burnett in the leading role garnering a Tony Nomination and has been popular every since all over the USA. The plot is the story of an over the hill acting couple, who in l953 are on tour in Buffalo with a repertory of two plays, Noel …

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Upcoming Shows

Kid Rock Oct. 3, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 471-1965 Lisa Lampanelli Oct. 3, Florida Theatre, 355-2787 O.A.R./Between the Trees Oct. 4, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 471-1965 Randy Owen Oct. 4, Florida Theatre, 355-2787 Staind, Seether/Papa Roach Oct. 10, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 471-1965 David Allen Coe Oct. 10, Crazy Horse Saloon, 641-8777 Montgomery Gentry Oct. 11, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 471-1965 Buju Banton Oct. 12, Plush Nightclub, 743-1845 Nashville Star on Tour Oct. 15, Florida Theatre, 355-2787 Tony Bennett Oct. 17, Florida Theatre, 355-2787 Claire Lynch & Michael Smith October 18, Flagler College Auditorium, 826-3297 Orlando Magic vs Miami Heat: NBA Preseason Basketball Oct. …

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fashion forward: fresh

by a.m. stewart The Up & Cummers, the Cummer Museums’ group of young professionals, will host their annual fashion show, “Fashion Forward: Fresh,” on Friday, September 26. The Up & Cummers has a board which consists of 12 volunteers from the corporate and civic community who meet once a month to plan social activities and events for the group. Fashion Forward is their biggest event of the year. Fashion Forward has been in development and planning by the board and a volunteer’s committee since early Spring. The event brings together approximately 500 of Jacksonville’s finest young professionals who share a love …

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movies now showing BABYLON A.D. A mercenary charged with delivering a young woman from Russia to Canada learns that she has been manipulated by a synthetic virus and what lies inside her could doom the human race. Vin Diesel muscles his way from Eastern Europe to New York City in this post-apocalyptic thriller. French director Mathieu Kassovitz (La Haine, Gothika) helms this film based on the novel Babylon Babies by Maurice G. Dantec. Starring: Vincent Cassel, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Melanie Thierry and Gerard Depardieu. Rated PG-13. babylonadmovie.com DEATH RACE Terminal Island, New York: 2020. Overcrowding in the U.S. penal …

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fall & holiday movie preview

september 5 BANGKOK DANGEROUS This adrenaline-charged action thriller stars Nicolas Cage as “Joe,” a remorseless hitman who is in Bangkok to assasinate four enemies of a ruthless crime boss named Surat.  He hires Kong (Shahkrit Yamnarm), a street punk and pickpocket, to run errands for him with the intention of covering his tracks by killing him at the end of the assignment. Strangely, Joe, the ultimate lone wolf, finds himself mentoring the young man instead and is drawn into a tentative romance with a local shop girl.  As he falls further under the sway of Bangkok’s intoxicating beauty, Joe begins …

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black kids

by jon bosworth When you hear Black Kids’ singer Reggie Youngblood croon out the gender-distoring lyric “You are the girl that I’ve been dreaming of ever since I was a little girl” in their hit song ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You,’ you probably don’t think about that seed of Jacksonville Jesus they have deep down inside. People all over Europe probably don’t realize that somewhere on Jacksonville’s Southside there is a youth pastor slowly shaking his head and wondering what happened to his flock. This youth pastor looks up at the YouTube screen and …

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perfecting the band

by jon bosworth Klob may be the only perfect band. I first caught up with Kip Kolb of the blues-rock outfit Klob to start this article back in the Spring. The band had just returned from Greenwich Village where they played a showcase at the Soul of the Blues festival at the Cornelia Street Café. Coming off a gig like that, you might think they’d be insistent on a certain caliber of venue, but before they had even been back in Jacksonville for a full day, here they were setup under a tent in the parking lot in front of …

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reclaiming "luxuries"

by kellie abrahamson As most are aware, recent budget cuts have crippled schools all over Florida, leaving kids without supplies for art, instruments for music or teachers for phys-ed. First Coast schools are no exception. Until the schools get more money for these “luxuries” it’s going to be up to us to supplement our children’s educations to ensure they become well-rounded adults. Thankfully there are still resources within the community to help us do just that. art Usually the first to get the axe come budget cut-time is art. This is particularly unfortunate since studies show that kids who are …

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dish update + events

by erin thursby Who says Irish pubs can’t be upscale? Certainly not the folks at the Sawgrass Resort in Ponte Vedra. In the former Champs location V. Kelly has opened as what Jeff Kmiec, director of sales and marketing for Sawgrass describes as “a warm and friendly Irish tavern that fits beautifully into the luxury golf theme that plays out so prominently at Sawgrass.” Expect traditional Irish food, flat screen televisions, specialty drinks and more. Visit sawgrassmarriott.com for more information. The long awaited Orsay had its soft open last month and opens officially this month, so if you’re looking to …

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