Features

Mike at the Movies

St. Vincent (PG-13) ***** When a character delivers lines like “Lady of the Night—one of the more honest ways to make a living,” and, when asked why he always makes things more difficult, says, “It makes me more interesting,” and…

Mike at the Movies

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (R) ***** There are at least three magnificent performances in this film: Michael Keaton in the role of his life as Riggan, a former action hero in movies who is trying to make…

Productive Time Spent Waiting in Line

Waiting in line isn’t my favorite pastime, especially when I’m pressed for time. My composure is severely tested when I see several cashiers and a manager trying to help solve one customer’s problem while the line of waiting customers grows…

Mike at the Movies

The Judge (R) ***** Acting at its best is the art of one person becoming so like the character he is portraying that you forget there is an actor performing. A great film happens when a company of actors become…

Mike at the Movies

Dolphin Tale 2 (PG) *** What can be wrong with a movie that features two cute kids, not one but TWO dolphins, Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick, Jr.? Not much, as it turns out. For anyone who loves…

Creating ‘Noni’s Little Problem’

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By Nora Hickman Caplan, “Noni’s Little Problem” for middle-grade readers explores issues of weight and bullying, offering readers sympathy and encouragement.

The first glimmer of an idea for my book came from Diane Dorney, the founder of what was then called “The Kentlands Town Crier.” The early articles I submitted seemed awkward; I wasn’t comfortable about my writing. I hadn’t yet…

Mike at the Movies

A Most Wanted Man (R) **** Most of John le Carré’s novels seem dark, and that mood is maintained easily in this movie by filming it in Hamburg. As with most le Carré’s plots, this one is apparently very complicated,…