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.
"Despicable Me 2" has nearly all the things you would want to see and hear in an animated feature family comedy.
It has distinctive and charmingly-rendered characters, voice talent that is very expressive, an interesting and entertaining storyline, an overall attention to detail and, most importantly, a sense of fun.
"Despicable Me 2" ("DM2") is co-directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud.
Renaud is a Parkland High School, Class of '85, graduate who attended the Baum School of Art where he received a $1,000 scholarship.
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of "Measure for Measure," through Aug. 4, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley, is a marvelous feast of double-crossing stratagems, low comedy and high drama.
With Shakespeare, you usually get a drama or comedy. With the Bard's "Measure for Measure," you get both. The play could be regarded as the first of what is now known in TV and movie parlance as a "dramedy," or, more traditionally, a tragicomedy.
Kimberly Kochansk has been hired as Northampton Area High School assistant principal, effective July 13, or upon release from her previous employer. Her salary is $75,000, prorated, with benefits.
The Northampton Area School Board also approved the following employment agenda items at its July 8 meeting, at the administration's recommendation, by a vote of 5-0, with four school board members absent:
In the western genre of motion pictures, "The Lone Ranger" ranks right up there with the more unusual.
While not as odd as "Cowboys & Aliens" (2011), it's not in the classic style of director Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" (1992), "3:10 to Yuma" (the 2007 version and 1957 original) or director John Ford's "The Searchers" (1956), starring John Wayne.
However, "The Lone Ranger," despite the reviling reactions of many movie critics, has a lot to recommend it.
It is one of the wildest of movies about the Wild West as you're likely to see.
Without being too "punny" about it, you are in for a "Wilde" time of laughter with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," through Aug. 4, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.
While the laughs are decidedly high-brow and not low-brow puns, you don't have to be knowledgeable about the vagaries of Victorian society to be in on the jokes.
You don't need to travel to Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, to experience a passion play. There's one right here in the Lehigh Valley.
The Muhlenberg College Music Theatre (MSMT) "Jesus Christ Superstar," through July 28, Empie Theater, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown, is a thoughtful, often startling, entertaining passion play.
The first hit musical by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Tim Rice, which debuted in 1971, is a revisionist retelling of the Bible's New Testament accounts of Jesus.
New traffic patterns at the Northampton Area School District will start this fall and continue for approximately two years.
The new traffic flow is the result of the $80.7-million Northampton Area Middle School and Secondary Campus Renovation Project.
NASD Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik announced at Monday night's school board meeting that maps and information about the traffic patterns are expected to be available the first week of August on the district website.
The best things about "Monsters University" occur before and after the animated feature film.
"The Blue Umbrella," a film short preceding "MU," is many of the things that "MU" is not. "Blue Umbrella" is imaginatively to the point, original and thoroughly entertaining.
After the credits conclude for "MU," there is a scene about a snail character, introduced early in the film as he makes his way slowly to class. The outcome of his progress is in the post-credits scene, which is also many of the things that "MU" is not. The scene is very funny, clever and efficient.