"The Butler" is an eyewitness to history through the eyes of a White House employee during the presidential administrations of Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
In "The Butler" screenplay by Danny Strong (actor, "Mad Men"), the cauldron of the Civil Rights Movement is backdrop for the presidential procession as well as the story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a fictional White House butler inspired by the real-life Eugene Allen, who was on the White House staff for 34 years.
"Elysium" is a science fiction metaphor for the haves and have-nots of today.
In the year 2154, the super-rich live on a huge bicycle wheel-shaped space station orbiting Earth. It is a Garden of Eden. The wealthy are coddled in Boca-Raton meets Disney World surroundings. Health-care "med-pods" heal patients completely and quickly.
Down below, the whole Earth has become the Third World. Los Angeles is reduced to shanty towns such as those, for example, surrounding Mexico City.
The Northampton Area School District website has been revamped just in time for the start of classes in two weeks.
"This website becomes our digital hub," NASD Director of Technology Kurt Paccio said during a website presentation at Monday night's school board meeting.
The website home page has larger graphics, a news section in the center, events listing on the right side, a list of quick links along the left side and drop-down tabs along the top.
"It all happens from the webpage," Paccio said.
"The Smurfs 2" is an amusing animated and live action feature film with excellent character voices, jokey dialogue and terrific animation that should be enjoyed by the pre-10 year-old set and hold the attention of most parents or guardians.
The characters were created by Peyo, aka Pierre Culliford, a Belgium comic-strip artist-writer. The name Smurf is a Dutch language translation of an invented French word, Schtroumpf, a made-up word for salt.
"The Wolverine" gets deeper into the psyche of Logan, aka Wolverine, the Marvel Comics superhero, thanks to an intense performance by Hugh Jackman, reprising his role as the title character, and thoughtful and compelling direction by James Mangold.
As the late theater critic Jack O'Brian (1914 - 2000) wrote in his syndicated column, "Voice of Broadway" and said on his afternoon interview show WOR-AM: "Always the young strangers."
It's uncertain whether the phrase was borrowed from the title of Carl Sandburg's 1953 book, but O'Brian used it to refer to new talent in break-through roles in Broadway shows.
Work continues on the $80.7-million Northampton Area Middle School and Secondary Campus Renovation Project with the installation of primary electrical service by PPL.
The electrical service is being upgraded to the campus. The hookup for the service was expected to take place Aug. 1.
A report on the construction project was presented at the July 22 Northampton Area School District board of education meeting.
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) production of "Henry VIII," through Aug. 4, Schubert Theatre, Labuda Center for the Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley, is a curiosity.
The so-called history play, in its PSF debut (as is "Measure for Measure," also through Aug. 4), is said by some scholars to have been a collaboration between William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. "Henry VIII" was first performed some 400 years before no-fault divorce, June 29, 1613, at the Globe Theatre, which burned to the ground when a cannon in the play misfired and ignited the thatched roof.
Summer and blockbusters go hand in popcorn at the movies.
The watershed year for the summer blockbuster marketing mentality of the major Hollywood movie studios was 1975 with the release of director Steven Spielberg's "Jaws," which ushered in the summer blockbuster genre of big-budget, fast-paced, thrilling entertainment.
During the summer and Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year's holiday season, there's "counterprogramming," whereby "indie" (independently-released) films are released, sometimes to critical and box office success.
Community education classes will be back in session this fall in Northampton Area School District.
By a 7-1 vote Monday night, the Northampton Area School Board approved the Community Education Program for the 2013-14 school year and a $3,746 stipend for program coordinator Margaret Schell.
"There's a good foundation here," Schell said of the program, which included approximately seven classes attended by about 50 district residents this past spring.