Features

Mike at the Movies

The Revenant (R) ***** Between them, the two movies opening in the past two weeks set a collective record for blood-shedding. Both are quality films, just not for everybody. The plot of “The Revenant” was borrowed from a novel by…

Travel Talk

When I was a child, my mother’s strictest rule for me was “Never talk to strangers.” Many years later, I not only unconsciously ignored that rule, but talking to strangers became an essential part of my travel experiences. I found…

Healthful Italian for All Tastes

Contrary to popular belief, Italian food is the perfect cuisine for those looking for heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly dishes. Real Italian food, that is, which is healthful, delicious, and the most popular cuisine in the world. At its core, classic Italian cuisine is…

‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ Written by Anne Tyler

It has always been an easy question for me to answer—“Who’s your favorite author?” Without a moment’s hesitation I say, “Anne Tyler.” Yet afterwards I sometimes ask myself if it’s only because I’ve been reading and savoring her books since…

Mike at the Movies

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (PG-13) ***** Criticism of this film is superfluous. It has already sold about as many tickets as have been made available and audiences are approving it heartily. It is one of the few movies I…

Mike at the Movies

In the Heart of the Sea (PG-13) ***** This heart-thumping film of the sea is, as its narrator says at the start, less a story of a whale and more a story of two men under severe stress. The amazing…

Mike at the Movies

Creed (PG-13) ***** Sylvester Stallone reprises his Rocky Balboa role, and this is by far the best work he has done in it. Restrained, textured, emotionally rewarding, he is ably aided and abetted by Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed-Johnson,…