Entertainment

'Unbroken' is compelling and dramatic, with edge-of-your-seat intensity

January 02, 2015

Unbroken (Rated T)
Cast: Jack O' Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Miyavi
Genre: War Drama
Dwight's Rating: 3

If the only thing you know about the new film "Unbroken" is the name of its director, don't feel too bad!
Angelina Jolie, the superstar Oscar-winner, incredi-mom, tabloid-queen, has been getting many of the headlines, more so than the movie's plot, and definitely more than any of the cast members. That's not entirely surprising, as this does mark Mrs. Brad Pitt's directorial debut. And it is a pretty good first effort.
Based on the 2010 best-selling biography "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand, "Unbroken" tells the true story of Louis "Louie" Zamperini. As a boy, he's always in trouble, but with help from his older brother, he manages to turn his life around, channeling his energy into running. He even qualifies for the 1936 Olympics.
After World War II breaks out, Louie enlists in the military. When his plane crashes in the Pacific, he survives 47 days adrift in a raft.
If that weren't bad enough, he's then captured by the enemy Japanese navy and sent to a Prisoner-of-War (POW) camp.
The movie benefits from decent performances from its relatively young cast, most notably British actor Jack O'Connell, whose face is especially expressive in displaying the toll of Louie's many hardships. Japanese singer Miyavi is creepy and a tad over-the-top as "Bird", the cruel Japanese head at the POW camp, determined to "break" Louie's spirit. He takes delight in torturing Louie in exceptionally brutal ways.
Among those receiving screenplay credits are the well-regarded Coen Brothers -- Joel and Ethan ("No Country for Old Men", "True Grit" [2010]).
Back to Ms. Jolie, she has clearly studied some of cinema's great directors. "Unbroken" is beautifully filmed, with outstanding cinematography, replete with all the requisite shots in an epic drama -- vast and wide expanses, complex angles, extreme close-ups on anguish.
However, there are a few bizarre and questionable choices. During times of crisis in Louie's life, there are numerous flashbacks to his early years. We get to see how the young Louie handled a similarly harrowing situation. Even though this device is just shy of becoming overused, I had no particular issue with it, as it is applied with good effect in the first portion of the film.
However, rather abruptly the flashbacks are abandoned by the second half of the film. Instead, we are asked to focus all attention on Louie's miserable experience at the POW camp. Of course, nothing Louie faces at any point during this period compared to anything hitherto, so perhaps the flashbacks are moot. But it does slightly change the tone of the movie.
Upon deeper reflection, though, you may realize you've sat through nearly two-and-a-half hours of incessant torture. The audience experiences nearly all 47 days of the time Louie is adrift at sea, and it feels as endless as the Pacific is wide.
But it's still not as long a feeling as the period in the camp. Nearing the end of it all, I was physically exhausted and drained. I remember feeling that way while watching "The Passion of The Christ". Yes, you will respect poor Louie Zamperini all the more for surviving this ordeal. But you also can't wait for that darned war to wrap up.
Yet, after the long build up, when the war finally does end, and Louie's long torture is over, it feels strangely anti-climactic. Go figure!
Nevertheless, from beginning to end, especially in those very long scenes at sea and in the camp, "Unbroken" is compelling and dramatic, with edge-of-your-seat intensity. It should be able to inspire almost anyone facing seemingly insurmountable odds.
And thus, it's reasonable to expect that soon Angeline Jolie -- who has previously dropped hints that she might retire from acting -- might be as well known and regarded for directing as she is for her many other talents.

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Don't get lost in the valley

January 02, 2015

For anyone who has gone hiking in the hills, they will fully appreciate, that when they're in the valley, the task at hand is to ultimately find their way out of the valley and then scale the mountain until they reach the top, the summit of success. However, many do so often get lost in the valley as they search for a path that will lead them ultimately to the top, the highest peak, which is of course the ultimate goal. Now as the title of today's article states it, you must be sure that you don't get lost in the valley as of course getting to the summit is the objective. However, to get to the top one has indeed so very often to go through the valley, or as Joel Osteen put it in another very inspiring talk he gave on television recently, "So often you have to go through it to get to it."
So D. Paul, all of that talk about mountain climbing, going through the valley and hopefully finally reaching the peak, what does this have to do with me and my life? Well my friend, to put it quite simply, we so often in life have to experience down times when everything appears to be going wrong and we thus feel completely lost, in order for us to finally be able to look upwards, to ascend the peak, and thus find a path, a way in which to achieve our goals, which once realized will allow us to finally stand triumphantly at the top as we achieve the success we seek.
In essence, sometimes you have to experience the tough times in order to be able to finally arrive at a much better place, a higher elevation where the air is clear so that we can clearly see our target. So, even when you're walking through the valley, figuratively speaking, you never lose sight of the top of the mountain, what is your ultimate objective. Thousands, no millions, give up whilst still in the valley of failure, thus completely losing sight of the mountain top as it becomes obscured by negative clouds of doubt.
So when in the valley don't get lost, keep your faith intact and persevere as you continue to press forever forward and upward. When you do this, when you don't lose faith, believe me, you will eventually stand tall at the summit of success. Yes you will!

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Spreading holiday cheer

January 02, 2015

It was happy kids and holiday celebrations at Mario's Bowling Alley recently as local gaming company, A Sure Win, hosted over 100 youngsters and representatives from various charitable organizations to a party complete with a jolly Father Christmas and presents. However, the children weren't the only recipients of Christmas cheer -- principals of A Sure Win donated gifts to The HIV Foundation and Families of All Murder Victims, (F.O.A.M.) and made a cash donation of $3,000 to the Bahamas Urban Youth Development Center.
"This is what it is all about -- giving back and making a positive impact in this country; this is paramount in our company's approach to business," said Leander Brice, referring to the company's newly adopted motto, the responsible way to play.
"Running our business is not just about making a profit, it's also about being a responsible corporate citizen, leading the way and building on our success as a company in a way that builds the community. That is our way, the A Sure Win way."
The event was a part of the gaming company's recently launched Youth, Education, Environment and Sports initiative (YES), which is dedicated towards the empowerment of the Bahamian people.
The four areas outlined in the initiative's name represent four key areas where the company believes it can successfully engage and influence in a positive way, the society-at-large, with a particular emphasis on at-risk youth. The company announced a key partnership to form and improve after-school learning programs in the Englerston area. Future announcements Brice referred to as, "first steps," are expected in the New Year and will form a part of A Sure Win's plan for community engagement.

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One Family wins Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade
One Family wins Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade

December 29, 2014

Late Saturday evening head of the Parade Management Team announced that the ONE FAMILY Junkanoo Group...

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Junior Junkanoo 2014 highlights

December 22, 2014

Junior Junkanoo 2014 highlights...

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Start The New Year with HBO's Exclusive January movie lineup in the Caribbean
Start The New Year with HBO's Exclusive January movie lineup in the Caribbean

December 20, 2014

HBO announces its exclusive movie premieres for the month of January, each premiering on Saturdays at 21:00hrs. AST* in the Caribbean...

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The Cinemas with Travolta Cooper

December 20, 2014

Networks, the leading media and entertainment Company in the Caribbean is proud to announce its new series The Cinemas to debut January 22nd 2015 in America and throughout the Caribbean on TEMPO TV...

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End of Year on a Great Note at Grand Bahamas' Jingle Ball

December 19, 2014

What happens when one of the biggest acts from the US and one of the biggest groups from The Bahamas join forces to perform their biggest hits? You get the Jingle Ball the hottest event for the grown and sexy in Grand Bahama...

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Terez Nixon hanging up Miss Daisy's wig

December 19, 2014

Say it ain't so -- but yes, it's true -- after 15 years Terez "Miss Dynamite Daisy" Nixon is hanging up Miss Daisy's wig, and will do so with a bang-up finale entitled "Who Move My Dynamite?: The Grand Finale".
The curtains to "Who Move My Dynamite?" will open to audiences learning that Daisy is missing, and everyone wondering where she is. Her family in a panic after they realize Dynamite Daisy hadn't been home or seen in three days. The stage play takes you through the journey of the family discovering what happened to Dynamite Daisy and why.
The final Dynamite Daisy productions will take place on Thursday, December 26 and Friday, December 27 with four shows -- two daily at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The performances are an hour-and-a-half in length.
Nixon, the creator of Dynamite Daisy says she is doing away with the Miss Dynamite Daisy character with a mixture of emotions, which she has come to terms with, as many of her fans are still grappling with losing the character.
"I've already been through the emotions, so for me I feel like my purpose with Daisy ... my job, or my assignment with Dynamite Daisy is finished," said Nixon. "And it feels good to be coming to the end of my assignment.
For 15 years, Nixon, the writer for the Dynamite Daisy productions gave people a mix of emotions through her alter ego character that swung from happy to sad, but she hoped that she made people happy most of the time.
"Over the years we hoped to deliver excellent dramatic expressions with a comedy twist," Nixon said. She said Dynamite Daisy fans should expect to get those dramatic expressions in the finale as well as they deal with current issues with a Daisy spin, of course. She said it would be very interesting to fans to see how Dynamite Daisy is written off.
Looking back over the decade-plus that Dynamite Daisy has been entertaining the public, Nixon said it wasn't easy bringing Daisy to the stage, as she said for comedic actors the road could be tough.
"Being able to make people laugh without cursing or vulgarity can be hard to do sometimes," she said.
But with the coming of the end of the colorful character, Nixon said she feels like a "pressure" has been lifted off her.
"No matter how many times I did it, I always felt nervous going on stage, but now I feel like a pressure has been lifted. I feel like I've accomplished something. 'Dynamite Daisy' was never birthed to just make people laugh. My job was to bring healing through laughter and a message of hope and peace and love."
As she prepares for her future, Nixon said her God will serve her and will be with her in the tasks ahead.
Previous Dynamite Daisy performances include "Judge Daisy," "Daisy's Kerpunkle Up Vacation," "Daisy the Valley and the Shadow of Death," "Daisy's Conch Salad Family Christmas," "Daisy's Whirlwind Weekend," and "Truth from Daisy's Wisdom Tooth".
Tickets for "Who Move My Dynamite: The Grand Finale" are priced at $25 for the matinee showing and $30 for the evening showing and can be purchased at the Dundas Center or at Golden Gates Assembly Church on Carmichael Road.

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'I'm Not Fat...I'm Fluffy' comedian to take to the Joker's Wild stage

December 19, 2014

He's the guy who has said he drinks diet Coke so he can eat regular cake, and he's bringing his unique brand of comedy to the Joker's Wild stage at the Atlantis.
Gabriel Iglesias, the popular actor, writer and comic, better known as "Fluffy" is a witty, electrifying and talented performer who has the ability to consistently deliver a uniquely hilarious comedic experience. His high-octane show is a sure-fire hit -- a mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring all his personal experiences to life.
He employs storytelling, affected voices and sound effects in his act. His other trademarks include references to his weight and his use of Hawaiian shirts. He has been called a "comedy genius". His unique and animated comedy style has made him popular among fans of all ages.
He comes to the Joker's Wild stage on Friday, December 19 and Saturday, December 20 with an act that is suggested for audiences 18 years and older, after hosting "The Funniest Commercials of the Year" on Spike on Thursday night.
Iglesias' first two DVD specials "Hot & Fluffy" and "I'm Not Fat...I'm Fluffy" have sold well over 1 million copies.
His comedy film "The Fluffy Movie" (Open Road Films) hit theaters over the summer. He also appeared in 20th Century Fox's animated film "The Book of Life," alongside Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum.
Iglesias will also appear in the sequel to the box office hit, "Magic Mike," reprising his role as Tobias with Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum. "Magic Mike XXL" will be released in July 2015.
Gold seating at $50 can be purchased at the Atlantis Box Office.
Atlantis Live brings in top performers, constantly providing guests with unforgettable performances.
Over the years they've few years Atlantis Live has featured top performers from every genre including Kelly Clarkson, Jenifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Sheryl Crow, Lady Antebellum, the Jonas Brothers, Reba McEntire, Jerry Seinfeld, Jordan Sparks, Maroon 5 and Justin Bieber.

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Ringing in Christmas

December 19, 2014

The Hand Bell Ensemble of the Golden Gates Worldwide Ministries will join The Highgrove Singers to ring in Christmas in the city for the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music. The format was based on an order drawn up by Edward Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, but at that time Bishop of Truro in Cornwall, for use on Christmas Eve 1880. Tradition says that he organized a 10 p.m. service on Christmas Eve in a temporary wooden structure serving as his cathedral. The purpose of the service was to keep men out of the pubs.
The Highgrove Singers will be under the direction of Adrian A.W. Archer. They will present three pieces at the start of the Carol Service -- Waldrop's "The Little Drummer Boy," Dobrinski's "Silver Bells" and Sherman's arrangement of the "Ukranian Carol of the Bells."
"Our group is thrilled to have been asked to come to the Cathedral once again to play at the carol service," said Gibson. Christmas in the city will be rung in on Sunday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral.
As to the rest of choral music, the singers will wander through Christmas music across the centuries. The service begins and ends with motets by the 16th century composer G. F. Palestrina. Between the motets they will present the music of P.I Tchaikovsky, Malcom Archer, Susan Boersma, John Tavener, Faye Lopez, Mack Wilberg, Howard Helvey, Dan Forrest and a jazz-inspired version of the Ravenscroft "Remember, O Thou Man" by the English composer Bob Chilcott. Accompanying the choir will be Yvonne Foulkes and Raymond Antonio on piano and organ and Cathy Jirjhakle on Violin."
Archer said they were pleased to have the Hand Bell Ensemble, which will be under the direction of Navarro Gibson once again.
"The group is so competent and musical and they help explore the rich repertoire of music for voices and bells. In fact one of the more modern pieces for the carol service is entitled "Winter Solstice Carol" by William Beckstrand, which is a challenging piece for bells and double choir," he said.
Readers of the Lessons for the Carol Service include Governor-General Dame Marguerite Pindling; Archdeacon of the East Central Archdeaconry in the Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, G. Kingsley Knowles; Ellison Thompson, deputy director general of tourism; Tonya Bastian Galanis, principal of the Eugene Dupuch Law School; Darville Walkine, director of The Bahamas Christian Chorale; Valerie Gaitor, director of communications, Ministry of Education; Andrew Knowles; Britany Burrows and Aaron Humes as well as members of the Cathedral's children's choir. Dr. Sparkman Ferguson will play the organ.
Admission to the service is free, an offering will be taken.

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Chris Rock does his best impersonation of Woody Allen in 'Top Five'

December 19, 2014

Top Five (rated C)
Cast: Chris Rock, Rosario
Dawson, Gabrielle Union
Genre: Comedy Drama
Dwight's Rating: 2
Woody Allen films, especially those in which the prolific director/actor/comedian plays the lead character, almost always share certain common themes and elements.
Allen often plays an awkward, insecure, intellectual. The character is frequently a struggling comedian or actor or writer, and almost always inexplicably involved with some of the most beautiful women. As such, the mousy Allen has paired himself with some very talented and attractive actresses, from Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway and Meryl Streep, to Anjelica Huston and Mia Farrow.
But after more than 40 films, we now have what could probably be the first ever "urban" Woody Allen movie in the new flick, "Top Five" -- even though Allen has absolutely nothing to do with it. Instead, we have Chris Rock in the role of Woody Allen, doing all the things Woody Allen would do -- writing, directing and acting.
In fact, it's downright shocking how much "Top Five" is like an Allen movie. From the pacing, to the casting choices, the size of the cast, the delivery of their lines, and the ways the actors don't really seem to be acting. Rather, audiences get the sense they are merely observing people in certain situations.
It's so much like Woody Allen movies, that Rock's character's name is Allen -- Andre Allen, to be exact. He's a stand-up comedian who's hit the big-time as the star of a trilogy of action-comedies about a talking bear. In an attempt to branch out and expand his career, he takes on a passion project about the Haitian Revolution. However, when the New York Times' film critic gives the movie a bad review, Andre is reluctant to speak with the paper's profile writer Chelsea (Rosario Dawson), who wants to follow him around for a day. But Andre unexpectedly opens up to her, and is inspired to get back to his comedic roots.
Billed as a comedy, "Top Five" is certainly busting at the seams with comedians -- both stand-up and comic actors. Rock, a former cast member of "Saturday Night Live", is joined by another former cast alum, Tracy Morgan, and almost all of the show's current burgeoning black cast.
Then there are giant box-office draws like Adam Sandler and stand-up legends Jerry Seinfeld and Whoopi Goldberg in very small roles. And, in a desperate move, promotions for the film have heavily featured clips with one of 2014's top box-office comedy stars, Kevin Hart. But fans will be sorely disappointed, as Hart's is one of the movie's briefest cameos.
Being chockfull of comedians does not necessarily a funny film make. "Top Five" is much more of a mildly amusing drama than a comedy. It might be best categorized as a "dramedy". To be very blunt, it's actually not very funny at all. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments. But even today's darkest, most grotesque movies have laugh-out-loud moments. (I laughed as much as this year's exceptionally dark "Nightcrawler" as I did with "Top Five".)
There are also a number of cringe-worthy moments; this is definitely an adult film. At the showing I attended, one scene in a hotel room resulted a collective gasps and groans in disgust.
Rock's channeling of Allen continues straight through to his performance. He's reasonably acceptable as a man battling his demons -- alcoholism and witch of a fiancee, played by Gabrielle Union. But it's Dawson who lights up the screen, with a captivating combination of warmth and enthusiasm.
Many of the other performances are way over-the-top, particularly that of the usually funnier Cedric The Entertainer, and will inspire more cringing than laughing.
So it's important to keep that in mind; "Top Five " is not exactly a funny movie. It is at its core a romantic dramedy, with troubled and challenged characters trying to find their place in the world.
Those willing to accept this proposition may find it to be a relatively smart and entertaining piece, with some of Dawson's best work.
The big questions are whether fans of these many comedians will appreciate seeing them in a Woody Allen-type movie; whether traditional fans of Woody Allen movies will allow themselves to experience an urban version of his work; and whether Woody Allen would actually be flattered.

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Everything has to be sold

December 19, 2014

I always remember someone saying to me some years ago the following -- no matter how good a product or service you have, it has to be sold, oh how true that is. A business can have the very best, high quality product or service which it wants to market, however, contrary to what some people say, like it's so good it will sell itself. It won't! Every product and every service that any business has for sale still has to be effectively marketed, sold. Those organizations that do an excellent job with their marketing are those who in the end succeed and prosper. Yes indeed they do.
But my friend, here's a thought for you, you too need to be able to market yourself successfully if you wish to get ahead in life. That's right, let's say when you are applying for a job with an organization. Firstly, when you initially send the company your resume, this needs to be well formulated in such a way that it whets the appetite of the person who is going to interview you. So, the accompanying letter that needs to go with the resume should be constructed in such a manner as to spark the interest, so to speak, of the person who is reading it so that they will actually be most eager to meet with you.
Then of course when you go for your initial interview, always remember that you have to sell yourself and your capabilities and qualifications to your potential employer. Now I'll guarantee you, that apart from looking your best from an appearance point of view; one of the most important factors that will assist you in selling yourself to your potential employer is your overall attitude.
That's right, before your interview, you need to psyche yourself up and thus present a very positive, I can do it, upbeat attitude. This will assist you greatly believe me, as attitude is one of the most vital keys in the whole process of selling anything, or in this case, anyone.
Let's face it, many people who are indeed very well qualified for a job that they are applying for, do not do well at interviews simply because of their negative, rather unfriendly overall attitude. Yes indeed, that well-known saying which goes like this "it is your attitude which will determine your altitude" is obviously oh so true. When endeavoring to sell anything to anyone, including our ability to do a certain job, one's overall attitude will always play a very major role. Yes it will! So once again I highlight the vital importance of one's attitude as it influences every aspect of a person's life and affairs.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Cable Bahamas Statement Release
Cable Bahamas Statement Release

December 19, 2014

As a 100% Bahaman-owned company, Cable Bahamas has a vested interest in the community and supporting local talent. Cable Bahamas has become aware of a matter involving one of our local advertising contractors...

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Bringing in the New at Old Fort Bay Town Centre Christmas Party

December 18, 2014

A traditional wood-fired Pizza oven at the new Wildfire pizzeria and bar has added another food option to the already successful mix of retail offerings and commercial enterprise at the Old Fort Bay Town Centre in Western New Providence...

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Official results of Junior Junkanoo for Junior and Senior High School Divisions

December 15, 2014

Official results of Junior Junkanoo for Junior and Senior High School Divisions...

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Official results of Junior Junkanoo for Pre-School and Primary School Divisions.

December 15, 2014

Official results of Junior Junkanoo for Pre-School and Primary School Divisions...

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'Exuma Unplugged to hit Emerald Bay'

December 13, 2014

The luxurious Grand Isle Resort & Spa is offering a special promo code for this event...

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HBO receives 15 Golden Globe Nominations, the most any television network this year
HBO receives 15 Golden Globe Nominations, the most any television network this year

December 12, 2014

Cinemax received one Golden Globe nomination...

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Debra Messing Wins BIFF Shining Star Tribute
Debra Messing Wins BIFF Shining Star Tribute

December 09, 2014

In keeping with 2014 being observed as the Year of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism has continued its support of the 2014 Bahamas International Film Festival...

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