Lest you enter the theater become confused, Moneyball is not a baseball movie or a comedy. It is a full on drama with funny bits and baseball scenes. You heard me right, a drama with Jonah Hill in it.
The Superbad, Get Him to the Greek kid is all grown up and puts in an awkwardly charming performance.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s considerable talents are underutilized in the role of Oakland A’s manager Art Howe. Why he’s in this role is a mystery. Don’t get me wrong, he plays the part brilliantly, but why do you need an actor of this caliber to play a very secondary role? I guess they could afford him and that was good enough.
This is the story of Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane and how he revolutionized major league baseball by applying statistical analysis to player recruitment. It allows a team with a small payroll to compete with a team with more money than Midas. Sounds boring I know, but Director Bennett Miller explains the details while keeping the story flowing. The result is an interesting and entertaining film.
If this were all the movie had going for it, it would be a go-see film. But the really big news is that Brad Pitt turns in his best performance since Legends of the Fall way back in 1994. The phrase that comes to mind is “Redfordesque”. This is not Pitt relying on his looks, an ensemble cast or a quirky plot. There are scenes here where his 47 years are plainly visible and it’s just a talented actor plying his craft with precision.
Moneyball is a thinking movie. So don’t show up expecting Ocean’s 47 or Fight Club, this is a nicely turned out story and a demonstration of what Brad Pitt can be.
Moneyball hits a homerun with four tiger paws.
Killer Elite is a beat-em-up, shoot-em-up in the British vein. Based on an alleged true story—I say alleged because the British SAS denies it—Killer Elite features Jason Stathum and Clive Owen as ex-SAS troops who spend the movie
generally causing mayhem to each other and everyone around them. This is an action film after all. Some of the fight scenes get a little hokey at times, but the stunts and action sequences are entertaining.
Robert DeNiro plays the worlds nicest mercenary and mentor to Stathum’s character. The plot is part revenge, part mystery and part Hong Kong Karate flick. The story line gets a little convoluted, but overall it works.
Of special note is Yvonne Strahovski—Sarah Walker on the TV show Chuck—who turns in a very good performance as the Australian love interest. I was halfway through the film before I realized that I’d seen her before.
The Live Oak Art & Music Fest is held in conjunction with City of Conway's Fall Festival and features fine arts and crafts for sale and live music from Blues to Rap and Caribbean Country to Alternative Rock.
Chloe's Cafe is now open for lunch. The early emerging niche is fair priced, high quality, and large portioned lunches. Glad to see it open, let us know if you happen to try them out this week.
The old Lazy River/Weiner City location is rumored to have a new restaurant tenant moving in. Not much to see looking in the windows at this point and no details on the who or what. If you know something more, add it in the comments below.
Angry Coupon Fanatics Rail on BILO grocery store in Conway.
Google "bilo in conway sc" and look right there on the middle of the first page of Google's search results. The headline reads "Do not stop at the BILO in CONWAY SC - WeUseCoupons.com". It appears that a disgruntled couponer, by the username couponlace, decided to take her complaints public. I must admit that I found the whole exchange of complaints and suggested remedies way too amusing. Here is the original post.
Theatre of the Republic (TOR), the name conjures memories of L’il Abner, Mark Twain, Jesus Christ Superstar and 9. This is not your run of the mill little theater. The talent pool at TOR runs deep and wide. These folks are serious about their craft and it shows.
The latest offering is Hairspray, a musical comedy set in segregated Baltimore in the early sixties. It delves into race, women’s weight and forbidden love. Yep, lots of room to be a tacky, preachy bore. But wait, on the horizon, coming to save the day and make this funny and entertaining is the Theatre of the Republic! And boy, do they!
From newcomer to seasoned pro, the cast draws you into their world and makes that world real. No wooden monotones to be found, the dialog and emotions are solid and convincing. No easy trick when so much of the show is campy.
Of special note is Emily Ann Martel who plays our heroine, Tracy. The only word that comes to mind is spitfire. Don’t let her near a gas station, her energy might cause an inferno.
Newcomer Reggie Bromell has solid chops and is a performer to watch. Chase Clark turns in a commendable performance while keeping his “Elvis do” perfectly balanced.
Kudos to Chuck and Diane DeVaughn Stokes. They could very easily just phone it in but they are top drawer every second of every scene. They are the backbone of the cast.
Brandon Shoemaker’s performance is worth the price of admission alone, if for nothing else than the ability to dance in those shoes.
The music is first rate but just when you think you’ve heard it all, Latreece Hilly takes the stage as Motormouth Maybelle and lets loose with “Big, Blond and Beautiful”. By the end of the song, the audience was in love with this woman.
TOR’s Hairspray is sassy, rascally, campy fun. It’s talented people having fun and bringing the audience along for the ride. This is a solid four tiger paw show.
For ticket and more info: Theatre of the Republic Website
Local Writer Gets Conway, SC Featured in Statewide Magazine
She loves writing and loves Conway, SC. That's good enough for me, and good enough for South Carolina Living Magazine. Local freelance writer and blogger S. Kim Henson deserves a big thank-you from all of us in Conway. Her article, 10 Reasons to Love Conway, has been published in one of the most read magazines in South Carolina. According to Horry Electrical Cooperative, the magazine should be in your mailbox this week. If you just cannot wait, checkout the online version here: 10 Reasons to Love Conway. I'm betting more than a few folks will plan a day trip to Conway, SC after reading her work.
Temporary Space FoundIt looks like we are the latest victim of optimistic remodeling deadlines. The opening of our new Main Street location has been delayed on two fronts. The first is just the remodeling process. The other is a building ownership issue. Both of which we have no control over. Once the second issue is cleared, the first can proceed. In typical rumor fashion, I will speculate that the issues will be resolved in 2 to 3 months. Either way, the CJ will find a permanent home downtown. The good news is that this week we began work in a temporary location on Laurel Ave. We are right across from the city's planning department. It is a place to work and it is downtown. Win.
Ever watch one of those “what if” shows? What if the people next door are super heroes or what if that nerdy guy is a double naught spy. You know; shows where beaming and immortality and space critters are everyday occurrences.
Well, in light of the recent political festivities, what if Luther was president? But not just any president, but more like a king with term limits.
Don’t laugh, the original dictators were guys who cleaned up messes in ancient Rome whenever the Senate couldn’t agree to get the job done. They would elect a dictator for a year to run things and fix whatever was broken. At the end of his term, he went back to being a senator. This kept him from getting carried away with the power that came with the temporary office. Of course, this only worked until a guy named Julius got the job and made it permanent. But I digress.
If we had a temporary royal type person, what would we call them? I’ve got it! The Honorable Fixit of the United States of America, Luther would be Mr. Fixit. Since we are playing what if, he gets a two year term. Now I’ll turn things over to Luther to tell you what he would do if he was Mr. Fixit…
As a way to bring our neighbors together in some common fun and nostalgia, Stan started a FaceBook page called; You’re Probably From Conway, SC if…
We thought it would be fun and some folk’s would get a kick out of it. Well sir, we have a hit on our hands! In less than a day the group has over 600 members and more are coming every hour. Topics of remembery range from cruising the mall to used to be stores and restaurants to “submarine races”. Take a minute and come on over to FaceBook and check us out. No telling who you might meet…
I have been asked several times in the last few weeks, why are we opening an office downtown? We don’t require an office, much less a Main Street storefront to do what we do. So why do it and why do it now with the “bad economy and all”.
After much thought, my answer is; “If not now, when?”
Throughout modern history, the best time to start or grow a venture is during “down times”. Why? Less competition. When others are pulling back is the best and cheapest time to acquire market share. I love a bargain.
In making the decision to open up downtown, we talked to quite a few Conway merchants and business people to get their input. To put a not too fine a point on it, some folks are scared of what tomorrow will bring. They are holding out by the sheer force of will and uncompromising fortitude. An empty storefront gnaws at their resolve.
I received an email from a reader that made me feel good. He’s a recent college graduate who has a good job and wants to get into real estate investing. Being a smart young man, he asked me for advice on starting out. Did I point out that he’s a very smart guy?
Well, I called him up and we arraigned to meet at my current project; a five bedroom, three baths, fixer-upper in a great neighborhood. I figured, “let him see one from the bones up.” The project was in the very beginning stages so it’s as good a classroom as I could ask for.
When Floyd—not his real name—arrived, I thought about calling Lutherette, good looking hammer he is. But, I digress. I showed him around the property and explained the repairs needed and the plan for rehabbing the house. He asked intelligent questions and we hit it off. That’s when my stomach started rumbling. I missed lunch due to meeting window contractors and I was a might hungry.
Floyd had eaten so I bought him a sweet iced tea at BoJo’s and he drank while I ate. That’s probably more information than you need. Huh?
Hey, remember me? It has been a long month since our last downtown update and a lot has been going on. I've been waiting for a free minute to catch up, but I can't seem to get the world's pause button to work, so let's get on with it.
The Organization Formerly know as Conway Main Street
Downtown Conway's business development organization is changing it's name and dropping their affiliation with the national parent organization. I know a lot of people are having a tough time with the change, but I'm all for it. The national program was great, and did a lot of great things, and offered some wonderful guidance in the past. But, you know what they say about a good hen, she's only good as long as she's producing. The national program was a very expensive hen to keep happy, and she wasn't producing like the good ol' days. So now we're getting a new name, new office, new website, and I'm pretty excited about all of it. If some level of outside guidance is desired, there are a few fresh and exciting organizations that cost a fraction of the previous one. And if not, well... just let that new director run wide open, she'll do us good.
If you stayed home for fear that the normally civilized residents of Conway, SC would be transformed into ravenous zombies under the newly relaxed alcohol ordinance, you missed out on a great day. As a matter of fact, the Blue Cuppers (alcohol was required to be served in a blue cup) behaved themselves quite well, and by personal observation, seemed more prone to loosen their wallets than their dry counterparts. The spending started early with a successful opening day at the farmers market and continued on late into the afternoon. Merchants that I spoke with were reporting sales somewhere between "really good" to "record setting". The Bodega posted the best sales ever from any one day festival. Weiner City reported being blown away by the unexpected rush of business.
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