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  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|Feb 8, 2024

    The long-running soap opera "The Bold and the Young" is in its last days. The hunky hero has self-esteem issues, the actor playing the villainous old man on the series for 40 years is more interested in soup, and the heroines are slightly psychopathic. The executive producer gives the squabbling cast an ultimatum: complete one episode overnight or the show dies. But when the director ends up murdered, the other cast members start dying. Can the cast discover the murderer before the show is...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Feb 8, 2024

    In adapting Martin Amis' 2014 novel, "The Zone of Interest" to the big screen, writer-director Jonathan Glazer takes seriously the phrase, "the banality of evil," originally popularized by Hannah Arendt in 1963. Arendt and Glazer express the legacy of the Nazis during World War II by focusing on how they hid their evil in plain sight, behind a screen of domestic mundanity. Glazer's adaptation of "The Zone of Interest" lacks a plot, as it centers on German SS officer Rudolf Höss (played by...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 25, 2024

    Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, a former Los Angeles Raiders cheerleader, was a fledging standup comic when her YouTube clip "Nail Salon" attracted a reported 100 million views. Her character of a Vietnamese-American nail salon employee named My Linh/Tammy changed her life, Johnson-Reyes said in a telephone interview with the Journal from Los Angeles. "I had nothing to my name and then I'm on a hit TV show and touring the country," she said. Johnson-Reyes performs shows at 6 and 9 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Litt...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 25, 2024

    It's a measure of how far pop culture has progressed that "The Iron Claw" is neither Zac Efron's first critically praised performance, nor is it the first film about professional wrestling to earn critical acclaim. "The Wrestler" revitalized Mickey Rourke's career 16 years ago, and Efron's performance was the best thing about "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" five years ago, but what still makes "The Iron Claw" stand out is how successfully it simulates a specific era of professional...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 18, 2024

    The vocal trio The Starlets perform pop, doo-wop, rhythm-and-blues and Motown tunes from the 1950s and '60s from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center. The Mason County Community Concerts Association presents the show as part of its annual program. Single-concert tickets are $30 for adults, with children under age 18 admitted free. Ticket packages for the remaining season are $80. For more information, go to www.masoncountyconcerts.org. The Mason County...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 18, 2024

    The cold weather has had me housebound, so no trips to the movie theater for me. Instead, I bunkered down and caught up on streaming series as two shows ended their seasons and another made its premiere. The first season of "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters" on Apple TV+ had solid performers, but not all of their characters were written equally well. It often felt as though father and son Kurt and Wyatt Russell were carrying the show in their flawless portrayals of the older and younger versions of...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 18, 2024

    Bruce Coughlan, the longtime singer and songwriter for the Canadian Celtic folk band Tiller's Folly, performs a solo concert at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Germain's Episcopal Church, 600 N. Lake Cushman Road, Hoodsport. Admission is the suggested donation of $15, but organizers say no one will be turned away. For 26 years, Tiller's Folly has written and recorded songs that draw from Scottish, Irish and maritime traditions "to preserve a measure of the West's colonial history in stories and songs,"...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 11, 2024

    Most people know Woodie Guthrie for his anthemic "This Land is Your Land." In 1941, the folksinger and activist composed 26 songs in 30 days traveling the Columbia River and visiting the Grand Coulee Dam project, penning tunes as an employee of the Bonneville Power Administration that included "Roll On Columbia." Olympia actor/teacher/musician/historian Joel Underwood brings the singer and the times to life with "That Ribbon of Highway: Woody Guthrie in the Pacific Northwest" at 2 p.m. Jan. 28...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 11, 2024

    As a Washington boy, there's no way I wasn't reviewing this week's premiere of "The Boys in the Boat," based on the 2013 book by Daniel James Brown, about the University of Washington rowing team that competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics. I was joined during my screening by a fan of the book, retired English literature teacher Linda Boxleitner, my mom, who lives in Cape George, and my insights below borrow liberally from her own. I tend to see films about sporting or athletic competitions as...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 4, 2024

    "Ferrari" is every inch a Michael Mann film, which means its acting, cinematography and production are all impeccable, but for once, I didn't find the result entirely compelling. Mann has sought to make this movie since the turn of the millennium, which makes sense. Mann's obsession with propulsion likely inspired lesser directors such as Michael Bay. Mann's narratives tend toward masculine protagonists, who pathologically need to pursue that which could lead to their own unraveling. Within the...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Dec 28, 2023

    Hoodsport author Rebecca Holbrook will read from her debut novel "Omie's Well," and writer Melanie Jennings - the current writer-in-residence at Hypatia-in-the-Woods - will read essays from her work in progress, "Cake," at 2 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Shelton Timberland Library. Admission is free to the event at 710 W. Alder St. Holbrook will also play some of her compositions on banjo. Rebecca Holbrook Holbrook grew up in the South, where her maternal line went back to some of the earliest settlers aro...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Dec 28, 2023

    I've shilled for this one before, but unlike "Die Hard" or "A Christmas Story," it has yet to make the jump from a holiday curio to a beloved Christmas classic, so here's hoping I can make it happen this time around ... It's that drowsy week between Christmas and New Year's, when you're still in a festive mood, but you've run out of options for holiday viewing that you haven't already seen. You've already watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "It's a Wonderful Life," you know the adaptations o...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Dec 21, 2023

    Growing up in Federal Way in South King County, Adrian Conner first heard AC/DC as a junior high student on a field trip while attending an assembly at her future high school. When "You Shook Me All Night Long" roared through the speakers, "I immediately had goose bumps - what is this?" she recalled in a telephone interview with the Shelton-Mason County Journal. These days, she's playing lead guitar licks on that song and other AC/DC classics such as "Highway to Hell," "Thunderstruck" and "Back...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Dec 21, 2023

    Whether you're looking for childish flights of fancy in the cinema or suspenseful spy thrillers on streaming, this week's reviews have you covered. "Wonka" smartly seeks to appeal chiefly to those who know of its title character through 1971's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," starring Gene Wilder, rather than Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in 2005, starring Johnny Depp, or Roald Dahl's original 1964 novel. Wilder's Wonka shared some of the less-than-kid-friendly edge...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Dec 14, 2023

    The groups Runaway Train Bluegrass Band, the Union City Council Bluegrass Band and The Rank Strangers perform at the ninth annual Bluegrass from the Forest Midwinter Celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 29 in the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center, 3737 N. Shelton Springs Road. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door and at bluegrassfromtheforest.com. People ages 15 and younger are admitted for free. Kristmas Town Kiwanis hosts the concert. The group also presents the 19th annual...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Dec 14, 2023

    It was one of the most daring moves on what would become one of the most popular shows on television, and it started because the actors were delivering their lines so quickly that the episodes were running short on time. By reader request, we're reviewing the second season of "Moonlighting," which originally aired from the fall of 1985 through the spring of 1986, and which is now streaming on Hulu. Even though it boasted more lines of dialogue per episode than any other hour-long scripted show...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Dec 7, 2023

    Beth Bradley's church's Christmas pageant is predictable every year - the angel choir members wear too much lipstick, shepherds wear their father's bathrobes and the minister's son is always cast as Joseph. But when the authoritative pageant director breaks her leg, Beth's inexperienced mother Grace steps in. That's when the rambunctious Herdman children descend on the production, lured by the promise of free dessert at Sunday school and determined to win all the lead roles. During the frenzy...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Dec 7, 2023

    Too many of my fellow critics of cinema have a long and unfortunate history of refusing to acknowledge the artistic validity of any number of specific genres of film, until they're forced to do so by an emerging popular consensus that proves so broad and strong that it threatens to render their perspectives culturally irrelevant. Once upon a time, gangster flicks were considered as soulless and formulaic, as fine folks such as Martin Scorsese have deemed the majority of modern onscreen superhero...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Nov 30, 2023

    Welcome to the Disney era of "Doctor Who." Once upon a time, there was a globally popular, decades-spanning sci-fi TV series about a mythic alien trickster who changed into different lead actors every few years and who traveled through space and time in a disappearing blue box that was bigger on the inside than on the outside. As the narrative became less accessible to casual viewers, due to the compounding complexity of its many backstories, it only took a handful of ill-considered revisions...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Nov 23, 2023

    For its annual holiday production, The Harstine Island Theatre Club is bringing to life two O. Henry short stories - "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Cop and the Anthem" - at 7 p.m. Dec. 1, and 2 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3 at the Harstine Island Community Club. Admission is free. For the third time, Pam Mueller is directing the group's holiday play. She also directed "Velveteen Rabbit" and last December, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." "The Gift of the Magi" is one of O. Henry's most beloved short stor...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Nov 23, 2023

    The Apple TV+ streaming service delivered a couple of solid sci-fi series these past few weeks. Nov. 17 saw the premiere of the first two episodes of "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters," which is slated to last at least 10 episodes total, running weekly through Jan. 12. "Monarch" is set in Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures' "MonsterVerse," and I'd recommend having seen at least 2014's "Godzilla" and 2017's "Kong: Skull Island" before starting this one, which I suspect might also soon encompass the...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Nov 16, 2023

    "The Nature of Community" is the theme of Shelton High School's annual "Night of Musical Theater," staged by the school's choir and stagecraft students beginning tonight in the school's Performing Arts Center. "Night of Musical Theater" is presented at 7 tonight and Friday, and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the school at 3737 N. Shelton Springs Road. The doors open a half-hour before the show. Admission is the suggested donation of $15, with proceeds helping the students travel to festivals. The...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Nov 16, 2023

    Two very different films showcased the standout acting talents of their young supporting performers in theaters this past weekend. Dominic Sessa made his film acting debut in "The Holdovers," by two-time Academy Award-winning director Alexander Payne, and Sessa holds his own in spite of sharing the screen with seasoned performers Paul Giamatti and Da'Vine Joy Randolph. This unlikely trio forms the backbone of a Christmas character study, set in a fictional Massachusetts boarding school in 1970....

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Nov 9, 2023

    Veterans of the armed forces can celebrate, and be celebrated, at three Veterans Day events in Mason County. Disabled American Veterans Chapter 60 of Shelton hosts a breakfast and Veterans Day ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at Memorial Hall, 210 W. Franklin St., downtown Shelton. Trevor Severance of the Mason County Sheriff's Office is the guest speaker, and members of the Shelton NJROTC will participate in the ceremony. Veterans will be honored at a ceremony from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m....

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Nov 9, 2023

    It's the most influential television show that multiple generations of TV viewers have never seen, and it ended an entire season of simmering sexual tension with a free-for-all food fight. Because I'm faced with slim pickings for recent theatrical releases, I'll try an experiment by reviewing the first season of a show that made its streaming debut on Hulu in October, after originally airing from 1985-89. You can tell me if you want me to continue. "Moonlighting" wasn't the first romantic...

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