Tipping Point: Our picks and pans
Long Bright River
In Philadelphia, the once family-happy, working class neighborhood of Kensington has become so overrun by opioid addicts and dealers that it's thought of as a sort of Disneyland for junkies. Michaela "Mickey" Fitzpatrick is a 30-something single mom and a patrol officer in the district — an often melancholy job made more harrowing by the fact that her estranged but much-loved sister Kacey is a heroin addict/prostitute working the same streets. Now, someone is killing the prostitutes and Kacey is missing. Mickey must carefully nuance her efforts within a police department she increasingly can't trust, not to mention the family members and friends so torn apart by drugs that they regard Mickey as a traitor. Then there's Mickey's fragile young son Thomas, whom she struggles to protect from his loneliness as well as the environment and, lurking nearer the surface, a few bleak secrets. A crime novel? Yes, but also a remarkable and beautifully written literary effort told with sad and gallant grace.
— Rick Koster
Wonder Woman 1984
Sometimes, you just need a good popcorn movie. So, thank you, “Wonder Woman 1984.” This flick zips along with gadzooks! action scenes and playful humor. It's 1984, and Diana Prince (the perfect-for-the-role Gal Gadot) is working at the Smithsonian, alongside mousy geologist/cryptozoologist (Kristen Wiig), who eventually finds her inner villainess. But the real baddie here is a slick informercial star (a very effective Pedro Pascal) who develops superhuman powers and begins destroying the world. While this is a great roller-coaster ride, the last third of the film drags (sounds like all superhero movies, no?); this 151-minute release could easily have been trimmed to something closer to two hours.
— Kristina Dorsey
A Softer Landing
Forrest of Henry Chester
We’ll clear it up immediately: yes, "Forrest" has two "r's." Also, the members of this trio — Ernie Myers, Corky Ray and Steve Powell — are all good friends of mine with whom I played in the band Safety in Numbers. It’s gratifying that they continue to write and record what I think is excellent music with no real hopes or expectations other than the satisfaction of doing something they love. “A Softer Landing” is the first single of a soon-to-be-released album, and if you enjoy Paul McCartney, Ron Sexsmith, Squeeze, the Finn Brothers or Elvis Costello, please do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Beneath the lulling melodies and clever arrangement, take note of a bit of societal disquiet. And let me know if you think I’m being a “homer.”
— Rick Koster
Stories that may interest you
The music we listen to in high school or college unwittingly becomes an imprinted soundtrack by which an individual can always revisit the glory days of Youth. Through subsequent decades, when memories start to take on the yellowing tones of dusty scrapbook pages, all it takes is to hear one of...
After two years without public staged readings due to the pandemic, the National Playwrights Conference will be back in full force this summer at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford. The O'Neill has announced the plays that will undergo the center's signature development process...