Saturday, November 24, 2012
David O. Russell directs ensemble cast in film garnering Oscar buzz.
Cinema Siren knows mental illness. Who doesn't? Like me, most of you probably have friends or family who struggle with the challenges of bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder on a daily basis. What makes Silver Linings Playbook so endearing and what will make it so enduring as a new fan favorite is the straightforward, unflinching way it portrays those disorders while maintaining a surprising sense of charm and a great comedic heart. This is a movie worth any movie lover's time and money, and will resonate with anyone who has personal experience interacting with those who live with these diseases. The story, directed and adapted by David O. Russell (The Fighter, Three Kings), follows prodigal son Pat (Bradley Cooper), who …
Friday, November 23, 2012
Eight recipes to make Turkey Day leftovers into something special!
I love Thanksgiving, the reminder to stop and give thanks, the gathering of friends and family, the changing seasons and fall foliage, but mainly, the food. I love Thanksgiving so much that occasionally, come March or April, I have to bust out some of my favorite Turkey Day recipes, just to get my fix halfway through the year. While I don't intend to eat my Thanksgiving leftovers for days after, I do like to both find new ways to experience my favorite flavors, and use up all the leftovers I have from the big day. Here are some great recipes using Thanksgiving ingredients that will tantalize your taste buds, and make you a leftover genius! "The Bobbie"—I never thought that the old fashioned sub shop that I worked at as a teen in Wilmington…
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Fifth and last in the blockbuster film series debuts, based on novels by Stephenie Meyer. Rated PG-13.
Fairfax Corner 14 and Regal Fairfax Towne Center are showing "Breaking Dawn Part 2" practically around the clock this weekend, with more than 30 showings at each theater on multiple screens. It debuted there — and everywhere else — Thursday night to large crowds. The big finale of the Twilight Saga needs no help from anyone beyond their fans, thank you very much. You need but look to the scores of Twihards who lined up at movie theaters around the world over a week before the premiere. These fans can rest easy. Director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls) gives them exactly what they expect. For the rest of the planet, it feels cliched and fangless until a rousing last act climbs so over the top it makes it almost worth the …
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
It’s not worth it.
French fries, pizza and ice cream are so delicious, but overeating can lead to unbelievable misery. About 65,000 Americans have limbs amputated every year due to a completely curable condition called Type II diabetes. And it doesn’t stop there. Diabetes is the number one cause of new cases of blindness in adults aged 20 – 74 according to the American Diabetes Association. This actually begins a couple million years ago when we were hunter-gatherers. Our ancestors experienced periods of feasts and famines, and our bodies create the hormone insulin, which builds fat to be used during periods when food is scarce and we couldn’t walk into a Safeway and get a genetically engineered fish or piece of corn. And this little evolutionary adaptation …
Friday, November 9, 2012
Review of latest James Bond film.
In its 50th year, there is much at stake for the Bond franchise. So many great movies, producing such a cultural icon, they want to create a movie worthy of release in the anniversary year. Something mediocre or forgettable just wouldn't do (ahem, Moonraker, I'm talking to you…). They have their past and their future to think of. They don't want to be asking "Will Bond live to die another day?" By showing due respect to its pedigree, adding some exciting new elements, featuring a great script, acting, and production design, Skyfall rises to the top as one of this year's best films, Bond or otherwise. Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) helms the story wherein a madman (of course) winds up with the hard drive that reveals …
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Leader of Fairfax County Federation of Teachers says lack of discussion before textbook program came to fruition has resulted in no buy-in, issues of access and equity.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
To the Editor: There is a new math ‘series’ that is being implemented in Fairfax County Public Schools, currently. It is an online disaster that could have been avoided. Let’s reflect upon how this happened: Right after the FCPS School Board approved the FY 2013 budget (which was ‘tight’ due to revenue problems), the superintendent dropped a $7.7 million bill on their laps at the FY 2012 budget review, announcing that $10 million dollars was now available from the previous year. Later, it was discovered that FCPS administration had the nerve to sign the contract for the math series before the school board even approved the money for it. The fact that the new math series was to be primarily an online resource (vs. the more ‘traditional’ …
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Fairfax City reader urges neighbors to vote for Chris Perkins (R) on Nov. 6.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
To the editor: In Response to Gerry Connolly for his comment that veterans and career-first officers, including Colonel Perkins, do not have the "sweat equity" needed to hold federal office. Gerry Connolly, a lawyer who doesn't legislate because Nancy says read Obama Care after it is passed. Connolly also say Yes when Nancy and Harry want more Tax Revenues from the 53% who pay taxes, and Yes to Harry and Obama when the Far Left want devastating cuts to our national defense capabilities and increasing unemployment in private and public sectors. Gerry Connolly's "sweat equity" is take money from tax payers and give it away in order to keep the very large size chairs he needs. Gerry Connolly is hell-bent on cutting the military and …
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Just because we can be in touch with our career life 24 hours a day doesn't mean that we should.
I highly recommend, from local Alexandria author Amy Fries, her book Daydreams at Work. In it, she says we need to give our brains a chance to step away sometimes from the details and annoyances in order to think differently. You know that feeling at the end of the workday when you power down your computer, grab your bag and head out into Beltway traffic? You leave the stresses, the projects not yet finished and the office politics behind and you turn your mind to dinner, family and maybe the game on TV later tonight. A normal end to a normal workday — but then there is a buzz in your pocket. An email marked "urgent" asks you to answer a few questions for a presentation that needs to go out first thing tomorrow. Then another reminding you …
Monday, October 22, 2012
We look at life expectancy in relation to cardiovascular risk factors.
We know this: Heart disease is the number one killer of men in the United States, but a healthy diet and lifestyle can dramatically reduce our risk factor. Smell the roses In 2009, the British Medical Journal published a 38-year-long study that followed 19,000 men in the British Civil Service from age 50 and on. The study examined the following risk factors: The men who entered the study with none of the three risk factors above lived 10 years longer, on average, than compared to men with all three of the risk factors. Now, each of these risk factors that cut life short can be changed through relatively small modifications in diet and lifestyle. What is a healthy diet? A healthy diet is simply a balanced meal plan that includes three …
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Time for a living dead history lesson.
So you say you love zombies. Maybe you routinely use the quote: "They're coming to get you, Barbara," and you've dressed up three years in a row for the local Zombie Walk. And yet…you've never heard of Lucio Fulci, the Italian director who made three of the best zombie movies ever. When I saw the new Angelika Mosaic Theatre featured an onscreen viewing of The Walking Dead season premiere, I figured it was time for a living dead history lesson. Welcome to the "School of Rot." For the first time in Cinema Siren column history, I asked a zombie expert, my friend Douglas E. Winter, to help pick 10 movies that are perhaps less known by late-coming fans of the undead, yet required viewing for any true zombiephile. Doug is the horror critic and …