Northampton Press

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Movie Review: 'Maleficent' is no sleeper

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Walt Disney Studios officials may have thought: Who better to re-imagine "Sleeping Beauty" than the "imagineers" (as Disney has called its creative team)?

Thus, "Maleficent," which purports to tell us, in prodigious voiceover narration, the story that we weren't told.

The original fairytale, as told in Disney's classic 1959 animation feature, "Sleeping Beauty," appears charming and quaint in comparison to "Maleficent."

11th Southside Film Festival is for 'reel'

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The 11th annual Southside Film Festival (SSFF), through June 14 in Bethlehem, brings 75-plus films from around the world to the Lehigh Valley.

About one dozen film-makers are expected for question and answer sessions about their films being shown at SSFF 2014, which kicked off with a June 9 fundraiser and June 10 opening night party.

Look for the crew from director James Arrabito's dramady feature, "Brooklyn Umemployed"; Craig Colton, director, "Cat Power" comedy short; and Amy C. Elliott, director, "Wicker Kittens," a documentary feature about competitive jigsaw puzzling.

Movie Review: 'Maleficient' is no sleeper

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Walt Disney Studios officials may have thought: Who better to re-imagine "Sleeping Beauty" than the "imagineers" (as Disney has called its creative team)?

Thus, "Maleficient," which purports to tell us, in prodigious voiceover narration, the story that we weren't told.

The original fairytale, as told in Disney's classic 1959 animation feature, "Sleeping Beauty," appears charming and quaint in comparison to "Maleficient."

Movie Review: X out this 'X-Men'

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Summer blockbuster movies are orbiting in the Marvel Comics universe.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" uses the plot device of time travel to bring "X-Men" superheroes old and new into the blockbuster fold.

The results are entertaining at best, confusing at worst.

I wasn't a fan of Marvel Comics and DC Comics as a child. Walt Disney, Archie Comics and Classics Illustrated were more my style. I'm not particularly enamored of so-called graphic novels. R. Crumb and Zap Comix were more my speed.

NASD custodian, maintenance pacts approved

Thursday, May 29, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Two separate four-year contacts with approximately 50 Northampton Area School District custodians and maintenance persons have been approved.

The collective bargaining agreement between NASD and the Northampton Area Maintenance Association and the Northampton Area Custodial Association calls for 2.3 percent wage hikes in each year of the contract, July 1 through June 30, 2018.

The previous contracts, which ran 2007-11, were also for four years.

Movie Review: Don't go, go, go to 'Godzilla'

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound,

He pulls the spitting high tension wires down."

- "Godzilla,"

Blue Oyster Cult

"Godzilla" is one big dumb beast of a movie.

"Godzilla" has impressive computer-generated special effects, excellent production values and a cast of fine actors.

That can't rescue a poorly-conceived story, predictable screenplay and choppy directing.

"Godzilla" is front-loaded with a back-story about nuclear power plant official Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his scientist wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche).

NASD 2.47-percent tax hike seems likely

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

A compromise has been reached in the proposed Northampton Area School District tax hike, with a majority of the board apparently favoring a 2.47 percent tax increase.

The NASD tax rate is 47.71 mills. Based on the district average assessment of $57,503.79, a property owner pays on average $2,743.50 annually.

Based on the district average assessment, with a 2.47 percent tax hike, the millage rate would increase 1.18 mills to 48.89 mills, or $2,811.36 annually, which is an increase of $67.85 annually, $5.65 monthly or $1.30 weekly.

New teachers in classrooms this fall

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Several new faces will be at the head of the class this fall in the Northampton Area School District.

None of the teachers hired will fill a new position in the district.

The school board voted unanimously 9-0 at the May 5 meeting to approve the hiring of Bernadette Rabel as a biology teacher at Northampton Area High School, effective Aug. 18. Her salary will be $55,563, with benefits, based on a master's degree and Step 8, per the collective bargaining agreement between the district and Northampton Area Education Association.

Movie Review: 'Spider-Man' amazes yet again

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

How amazing is "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"? Pretty amazing.

Thanks to terrific casting, "TASM2" pulls you in and makes the characters and storyline stick.

Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network," 2010) is a slender, tentative, conflicted Peter Parker-Spider-Man. He is tremulous of voice, with a perplexed look, complete with furrowed brow, and body language that's more puppy dog than pit bull. Even in the Spider-Man suit, Garfield projects world-weariness and a snarky attitude.