"Frances Ha" is not your typical funny-ha-ha film.
That's not unusual because the films of "Frances Ha" director Noah Baumbach are noted for his skewed takes and skewering of this American life, including "Kicking and Screaming" (1995), "Mr Jealousy" (1997), "The Squid and the Whale" (2005), "Margo at The Wedding" (2007) and "Greenberg" (2010).
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival opens its 22nd season with an exuberant, stupendous and memorable production of the landmark Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Oklahoma!"
PSF Associate Artistic Director Dennis Razze pulls out all the stops in his thoughtful yet zealous direction of the huge cast of 25, a dynamic 14-piece orchestra conducted by music director Nathan Diehl and rambunctious boot-scootin' boogie choreography by Stephen Casey.
The Northampton Area School District 2013-14 budget has been approved with a reduced tax hike.
By a 5-3 vote, with one board member absent, the 2013-14 final general fund budget was approved with a tax increase of 1.06 mills, or 2.27 percent, from 46.65 mills to 47.71 mills.
According to NASD Business Administrator Terry Leh, that works out to $60.82 annually, $5.07 weekly, and $1.17 daily.
The 2.27-percent increase is above the 2 percent state index, which NASD received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to exceed.
X marks the spot
The Southside Film Festival (SSFF) is underway.
You may have seen those posters with the big red "X" on them.
The X isn't for the MPAA ratings of the films being shown at the SSFF.
Rather, X is the roman numeral 10, as in the SSFF 10th anniversary.
The X also marks the spot, or screening locations, for more than 57 films, through June 15, Broughal Middle School auditorium, Victory Fire House, Lehigh University Sinclair Lab Auditorium and Godfrey Daniels, all south side Bethlehem.
There's not a lot of magic in "Now You See Me," even though the film's milieu is prestidigitation.
There are digital special effects aplenty the kind of cinematic magic we expect in sci-fi, fantasy and action films.
The special effects cannot distract from a weak screenplay with half-baked plot and lack of character development.
"Now You See Me" inadvertently proves a motto said in the film by one of the magicians: "The closer you look, the less you see."
It's called "The Library of the Future."
A recent contest for students emphasized just that, said Melissa E. Hawk, director of the Northampton Area Public Library, 1615 Laubach Avenue, Northampton.
It's "what they imagined for us," Hawk said in a presentation attended by contest winners at the May 20 Northampton Area School Board meeting.
The animated family feature movie,"Epic," is beautiful, especially in the 3D format in which it was seen for this review.
Unfortunately, "Epic" lacks a cohesive storyline, the clever dialogue we've grown accustomed to in animated features and memorable animated characters.
That's not good. The art form is, after all, about character animation.
Moreover, the concept for "Epic" is ill-conceived.
Based on unofficial results in the Northampton County May 21 primary, and if the Nov. 5 election follows course, there may be three new faces on the Northampton Area School Board next year.
NASD school board Vice President Jane Erdo lost in her re-election bid for a third term, with newcomer Charles J. Longacre the primary victor.
Erdo was appointed to the NASD school board in 2005. She was elected and re-elected. She was also on the school board 1995-99.
Longacre is a consulting engineer for Forensic Engineering Sciences, Easton.
"Star Trek Into Darkness" is that all-too-often rare sci-fi movie that has spectacular special effects, a screenplay with an actual storyline, character development and surprise plot turns.
J. J. Abrams ("Star Trek," 2009; TV's "Aliens," "Lost"), directs a screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman ("Transformers," 2007, 2009; "Star Trek," 2009) and Damon Lindelof ("World War Z," "Prometheus," "Cowboys & Aliens," TV's "Lost") that mixes action set pieces and character-driven scenes.
The campus landscape is changing as excavation and demolition continues for the Northampton Area Middle School and Secondary Campus Renovation Project.
"The progress they are making there is quite impressive," said Northampton Area School District Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik at the May 20 school board meeting.
"The vocational school came down today – maybe about one-quarter of it is down," Kovalchik said.
"Tomorrow, they're anticipating installing the storm water system," said Christopher W. Haller, project engineer, D'Huy Engineering Inc.