Gillespie Life

Wed
18
Feb

It's all grey: '50 Shades' too bland

It takes two to tango — one to lead and one to follow — in the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The follower, Dakota Johnson as the naïve and bookish Anastasia, is a breath of fresh air anytime she appears on screen and truly gives 110 percent of herself to every scene no matter how much clothing she wears.

However, the leader, Jamie Dornan as the charismatic and mysterious billionaire Christian, can’t dance to save his life.

In relationship-heavy two-handers like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it’s important that both leads utilize the other’s performance to help elevate their own, but Johnson is acting against a brick wall.

There’s only so much an actor can do when given nothing to work with. It’s what makes Johnson’s honest portrayal of the loss of innocence more noteworthy.

Wed
18
Feb

It's all grey: '50 Shades' too bland

It takes two to tango — one to lead and one to follow — in the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The follower, Dakota Johnson as the naïve and bookish Anastasia, is a breath of fresh air anytime she appears on screen and truly gives 110 percent of herself to every scene no matter how much clothing she wears.

However, the leader, Jamie Dornan as the charismatic and mysterious billionaire Christian, can’t dance to save his life.

In relationship-heavy two-handers like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it’s important that both leads utilize the other’s performance to help elevate their own, but Johnson is acting against a brick wall.

There’s only so much an actor can do when given nothing to work with. It’s what makes Johnson’s honest portrayal of the loss of innocence more noteworthy.

Wed
11
Feb

Student artists display work

First-year art student Camela Patton’s work is included in the annual Student Art Exhibition at Whistle Pik Galleries. Patton, a 10th grader at Ambleside School, created her black scratch paper piece, “Owl Study.” Although she hopes to continue studying art while in high school, she said that she is looking at pursuing a career in some type of architecture. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

Wed
11
Feb

Sci-flop "Jupiter Ascending" not worth your time

It’s unfortunate that “Jupiter Ascending,” the latest sci-fi adventure from the Wachowski directing team of “Matrix” fame, wasn’t released last summer like originally scheduled.

The film, which believes itself to be the second coming of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, is more like the Jar Jar Binks of the sci-fi genre, heavily derided, over-animated and just not that good.

It certainly doesn’t seem like the extra seven months taken following its July 18 expected release date helped the overall aesthetic of the film.

To be sure, “Jupiter Ascending” is a terrible film lacking in any semblance of character development, cohesive plot or sense of purpose.

But films like “Jupiter Ascending” are necessary evils that remind us just how fortunate we are for movies like “Edge of Tomorrow” or “Guardians of the Galaxy,” science fiction films with an actual point of view and something interesting to hold on to.

Wed
04
Feb

Sun setting on Pat's Hall


The mighty live oak tree, around which dancers scooted to two-steps and waltzes, stands ready for its new role at the home of what will be Providence Hall School. Owner Kathy Shearer sold this and the adjoining property to the school, which sought to expand to expand its local facilities. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke

 

True Texas dance halls are becoming more rare as time marches on, and the sale of Pat’s Hall means there will be one fewer of the iconic structures in the Lone Star state.

Steve Dean, director of the nonprofit Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc., said owners have to adapt to changing times to survive.

Pat’s Hall was sold recently to Providence Hall, a small Christian school looking for room to expand.

The hall, with its exterior dance floor surrounding a huge oak tree, has been the site of many a good time for locals for generations.

Dean was disappointed to hear of the sale, but said he understands the challenges faced by today’s dance hall owners.

“It’s unfortunate, because Fredericksburg is such a lively, energetic town,” he said. “I wish we could have found an owner who would continue the dance hall.”

Wed
04
Feb

Chastain, Isaac shine in 'A Most Violent Year'

Hollywood is putting serious pocket change into remaking vintage films using modern technology for new audiences.

It seems as though no film is beyond the grasp of remake-hungry directors, though there are still some movies that need to be left untouched.

You just can’t remake “The Godfather.”

“A Most Violent Year,” a little-seen film that the National Board of Review chose as the best of 2014, isn’t a “Godfather” rip-off or remake, but carries with it all the lessons modern filmmakers can learn from the Francis Ford Coppola crime classic.

J.C. Chandor’s third feature film — following 2011’s breakout hit “Margin Call” and 2013’s “All Is Lost” — stars Oscar Isaac as a businessman trying to stay clean in a dirty, corrupt heating oil industry.

The film gets its title from the background in which it is set — New York City in 1981, a disproportionately violent year in the town’s history.

Wed
28
Jan

Challenge accepted and enjoyed


Nancy Bennett of Fredericksburg completes the second day of her 140-day journey as apart of Race Across USA with Jack Cain, who joined the core team in running across California — Photos by Ted Bennett

By Yvonne Hartmann

 

Nancy Bennett likes a challenge.

She completed a cross country bicycle ride in 1998, ran her first marathon in 2001 at the age of 50, and now at the age of 63, is running as part of the Race Across USA.

Bennett is one of 12 core team members taking part in the 4½-month journey and running the equivalent of 117 back-to-back marathons across the country. When it is all done, Bennett and the other team members will have run 3,080 miles in 140 days.

She discovered Race Across USA, which raises awareness of childhood obesity and funds for the 100 Mile Club, while searching for her next challenge. “It sounded really exciting,” she said.

Since running her first 26.2-mile race, she has completed more than 60 marathons, with at least one in each of the 50 states.

“Over 3,000 people have climbed Mt. Everest, but only 252 people have successfully crossed the United States in a footrace?” she said.

Wed
28
Jan

Oyelowo paces shallow 'Selma' with worthy performance

There’s no reason not to like “Selma,” the Ava DuVernay-helmed drama which chronicles the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during the 1960s led by captivating activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

British actor David Oyelowo makes the most of a poorly outlined script by first time screen-writer Paul Webb, largely succeeding in the attempt to provide a larger picture of King the man while given limited opportunity for character development.

There are better movies yet to be made about King’s life, achievements and character as DuVernay’s third feature film simply scratches the surface of a complex and powerful leader.

“Selma” is the rock dancing along the top of the water of importance, skipping around from beatings in the streets to White House visits, from quiet personal moments to loud public emotions without ever diving into any of them.

Wed
21
Jan

The man who 'had a dream'


A gathering of local resi-dents listen as the Gillespie County Ministerial Associa-tion replays Dr. Martin Lu-ther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech on Mon-day during an MLK Re-membrance Ceremony. The association hopes to renew such ceremonies and make them annual events in town. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie

 

“I have a dream.”

More than 51 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic speech that became the voice of the civil rights movement, Fredericksburg residents gathered at Marktplatz on Monday to remember and reflect.

King gave his speech on Aug. 28, 1963, during the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” at the Lincoln Memorial.

The Gillespie County Ministerial Association hosted the event, which honored King and remembered his contributions to equality.

“I am told we have done this before,” said the Rev. Jeff Hammond, rector at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. “We are trying to restart this tradition. This speech is beyond eloquent and it is very relevant to the world we live in today.”

Hammond said the civil rights era was the time he became interested in ministry.

Wed
21
Jan

Gem & Mineral Show rocks on


From left, Shelba Fenimore, Susan Crenwelge and Callie Crenwelge check out “baubles, bangles and beads” at one of the display booths. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke

 

Three local men found they shared a common interest in geology. Then they found they shared much more.

John Roup, Jim Gedeon and Jim Chude are all officers in the Fredericksburg Rockhounds group, the geo-enthusiasts who host the annual Fredericksburg Gem and Mineral Show each January at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park.

But the three also had previously worked for the same company – Amoco Corporation (now a part of BP Oil). As the three friends learned of one another’s geologist careers, they discovered yet another connection.

“All three of us worked in the same building at the same time in Houston, but didn’t know it,” Roup said.

The three were on hand Saturday and Sunday to help treasure seekers at the show, one of the steadiest in the nation as it nears the half-century mark.

Last weekend’s event was the 46th annual.

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