Late to the table on Burns’ Vietnam epic, but surprised by the politics

I’m late to the table when it comes to Ken Burns’ epic film series The Vietnam War. I hesitated to watch it for several reasons. First among them: politics. I lived through that era, and although I was young, my uncle, who was like a brother, served three tours. Another boy I’d gone to school with for years lost his life in that war. I wasn’t in the mood for negativity towards those who were required to serve. 

Kennedy curse: Chappaquiddick film leaves needling questions unresolved

Young Americans probably have no idea about the significance of events at Chappaquiddick, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, on July 18, 1969. Those of us old enough to remember the Camelot era dominated by both John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy know that on that date, US politics changed forever. Now a film has been made about events involving the late Ted Kennedy and a campaign worker, Mary Jo Kopechne. I came away from the film with echoes of the “Kennedy Curse” bouncing around in my head and yet another confirmation needling questions will never be resolved. 

New thriller to debut in Jax: “Nobody will see the ending coming”

Indie film I Am Going To Kill Someone This Friday will screen for a limited audience in Jacksonville, Florida on August 9th, 2018. The screening is presented by The Jacksonville Film Festival. Based on pre-pubilicity statements, it looks like there will be a big ‘reveal’ in the film, and you won’t see it coming. 

A new deal for movie-goers, but indie opportunity missed

AMC Theatres has come up with a new subscription offer for movie-goers. The deal offers perks for monthly subscribers, but what’s missing in all the coverage is the opportunity when it comes to indie films and other indie offerings. Subscriptions aren’t new—others have created similar offerings. Something else is missing from coverage of AMC’s announcement, though. And that missing info suggests the industry needs more than a budget-friendly deal for subscribers. 

Kevin Costner lights up new TV series as Paramount takes on competition

Paramount Network will take on competitors such as FX with new programming like the series Yellowstone starring film legend Kevin Costner. Costner stars in and served as a producer for the series. Paramount has had a long winding journey since its founding in the early 1980s as The Nashville Network, morphing from country music and Southern culture to WWE, Spike TV, and most recently to the series Waco. The latter was a recounting of the federal government’s disastrous raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993. 

‘I Can Only Imagine’ a must-see film for music lovers and musicians

I haven’t listened to a lot of contemporary Christian music, and until the song “I can Only Imagine” made its way into the mainstream, I wasn’t aware of the strength of that market. This weekend, I did something I rarely do—bought a digital copy of the film the song inspired. Even if you’re not Christian, you should see this film. Both music lovers and performers will learn a lot.

After six indie records and triple platinum, Mercy Me proved smart by ignoring expert

Watch the latest video at If you’ve ever been part of a band, or helped with a band, you get an idea just how high the mountain you’re climbing really is. The band Mercy Me released six indie records before signing with a label. Now there’s a film out inspired by one of the songs and the album has been certified triple platinum. None of this would have happened if the band had followed experts’ advice. 

After nearly a decade, Queen biopic set for release and a dustup

I have long been an admirer of Freddie Mercury and Queen. I put Mercury right up there with Elvis in terms of his impact on music. Who’d have ever thought a popular band could successfully stick opera smack in the middle of a pop song running about six minutes long? Now the long-awaited biopic of Mercury and his band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, is set for release. There’s a dustup of course. And in the US, we’ll have to wait on the Brits and Aussies’ release before we see the film. 

Bradley Cooper co-stars with Gaga who insisted he sing live for film

If you’re younger than 40, you may not even know the film A Star is Born. First released in the late 1930s when color on screens was on its way to the norm rather than the exception, the original film starred actors and actresses most won’t recognize. Now the film is being remade with none other than Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Cooper, likely to his initial dismay, learned Gaga wanted him to sing live. 

Surprises: Song touched a national nerve and inspired a film

There’s no doubt that suffering is painful, but it can also lead to positive outcomes. Now a song inspired by suffering has inspired a film with the same title. “I Can Only Imagine” crossed into the mainstream music market after becoming a hit in the Christian market. The story behind the song also touched a nerve. There’s a lesson here of sorts for aspiring musicians. 

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