Friday, May 17, 2024

‘The Fall Guy’ a thumbs-up winner

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 2 hours, 6 minutes

Both Ryan Gosling and director David Leitch described the movie “The Fall Guy” as a love letter to stuntmen; the guys who do all the cool moves like get thrown through windows or out of vehicles, set on fire and blown up, but don’t really get the credit they deserve. The plot involves Colt, a stuntman for popular actor Tom Ryder. When Ryder goes missing, it’s up to Colt, who is in the middle of shooting a movie with director Jody, someone he used to date and might still have feelings for, to find him or the studio will shut down production. Colt only has 48 hours; can he find Ryder before it’s too late?

This movie literally has it all – action, adventure, romance, twists, and a fast-moving plot with a strong cast. This was excellent on the big screen.

“The Fall Guy” stars Emily Blunt, Ryan Gosling, Hannah Waddingham, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Teresa Palmer, Stephanie Hsu, Winston Duke, Ben Knight, Matuse, Adam Dunn and Zara Michales.

Colt Seavers (Gosling) is the stuntman for actor Tom Ryder (Taylor-Johnson). Jody (Blunt) is a camerawoman. Colt and Jody are dating.

When a stunt goes horribly wrong for Colt, he retreats and breaks up with Jody. He is now a valet and has little interest in returning to the stunt world. Gail (Waddingham) tricks Colt into coming back to stunt work by telling him Jody wants him for her new movie “Metalstorm,” which Jody is directing.

However, Jody is still upset about the breakup, but may still have feelings for Colt. She is not happy to see him on set. She wants another stuntman, but options are limited. Colt tells Jody that he’s been living his life in regret and is afraid she’s moved on.

Gail tells Colt that Tom is missing, and he needs to find him, or the studio will pull the plug on production.

Colt promises to make it up to Jody and they have somewhat of a reconciliation after Jody catches Colt jamming to Taylor Swift.

Jody says if Colt stays with the production, he needs to keep it professional.

Colt goes looking for Tom in his home and finds there are Post It notes everywhere. He is attacked by Iggy Star (Palmer), Tom’s girlfriend.

Iggy gives Colt some clues as to where he might be able to find Tom. Colt makes a shocking discovery in his search for Tom and gets closer to Jody in the process.

Gail continues to encourage Colt to keep looking for Tom. If Tom doesn’t show up to production tomorrow, the studio will axe it.

Colt meets Alma (Hsu) in his search for Tom, but things don’t go smoothly – there is some stellar action here.

Jody is mad Colt left the set. He finds Tom’s phone and once he unlocks it, it reveals vital information, but finding Tom won’t be straightforward.

This is a fun, high-energy adventure from start to finish; don’t let the runtime fool you, it’s a fast-paced ride with a solid plot, twists, turns and great action that pays tribute to all the incredible things stuntmen do. It’s funny and somewhat of a romantic comedy, but a romantic comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has great music. Blunt and Gosling are an amazing pair, who have on-screen chemistry. It’s a feel-good movie that will have you smiling by the end. It does have mild language and violence. Stick around through the credits for more stunts and behind the scenes stuff. This one is definitely worth seeing on the big screen – you won’t regret it.

Two spicy margaritas up!

Now playing in theaters. <

Friday, May 10, 2024

Windham Lions Club’s Touch A Truck event nearing

By Ed Pierce

The time is nearing to start revving up those big engines once more as the Windham Lions Club will offer a free “Touch A Truck” for children and local families in North Windham next weekend.

The 3rd annual Windham Lions Club Touch a 
Truck event runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday,
May 18 in the parking lot behind Reny's off
Route 302 in North Windham.
The 3rd annual Windham Lions Touch A Truck event runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 18 in the parking lot behind Reny’s off Route 302 in North Windham.

At this year’s ‘Touch A Truck,’ participants will be able to climb into the cab of a fire truck, see the inside of a police car, watch a police K-9 demonstration, explore land excavators, dump trucks and much more. There will be many large vehicles on hand from throughout the community for kids to inspect, climb into the driver’s seat, and honk the horn.

Although admission is free, donations will be greatly appreciated as proceeds benefit a variety of programs year-round in the Windham community.

Free water will be supplied by Poland Springs and snacks will be available. Ice cream treats will also be sold at the event and a special prize raffle will be conducted.

“As with all events we hold, all profits are returned to our Windham community, said Evelyn Brissette, Windham Lions Club president. “One of our local businesses started us off with a gift to raffle off and others joined in. This added feature will hopefully help us to raise more money. Our intentions have always been that our Touch A Truck add enjoyment to the children and their families that come to our event. However, the raffle could help us raise more funds as we try to help as many families as possible through our Adopt-A-Family program during the holidays as well as other activities throughout the year.”

Brissette said members of the Windham Lions Club are grateful for the participation of Windham agencies and local businesses that have helped make this event possible.

“The Touch A Truck event provides a hands-on educational community event to see and touch the trucks and machinery used in the community and to meet the men and women who operate these machines,” Brissette said. “Participating vehicles will be displayed in a safe, supervised environment and it’s the perfect venue for exploring the machinery while learning about the people who build, protect and serve Windham.”

The idea for hosting ‘Touch A Truck’ staged by the Windham Lions Club came from an idea Brissette had a few years ago.

“I had done some research online and it seemed like ‘Touch A Truck’ would be a fun way to interact with kids and people in our community,” she said. “We also want our community to be aware that the Windham Lions Club does exist and with everyone’s help we can make life a lot brighter for those less fortunate.”

Brissette said that the Windham Lions Club staged its first ‘Touch A Truck’ in 2022 and it has exceeded expectations in terms of participation and the Windham community’s willingness to help others.

She said the Windham Lions Club works throughout the year to uplift the community, such as providing Christmas gifts for local students and families in need and contributing donations for worthwhile school activities such as Odyssey of the Mind.

Brissette said that she believes when Windham residents take an interest in their own community, and work together for a cause, they can make a significant difference.

All proceeds from this year’s Touch A Truck event, coupled with the annual Windham Lions Club’s Craft Fair in October, and money donated at the club’s annual “Stuff-the-Bus” event in November will go a long ways to helping those in need in Windham, Brissette said.

Since its inception, the Windham Lions Club has played a significant charitable role in the community, supporting a variety of causes and issues affecting the lives of residents.

Some of those include purchasing and manning Windham’s first rescue van in 1968; donations to the Windham Public Library; helping with expenses related to eye exams and eyeglass when they meet the Lions Club criteria; assisting with expenses related to hearing tests and hearing aids when they meet the Lions Club criteria; conducting RSU 14 eye screening with more than 5,000 students screened so far; sponsoring the “Student of the Month” program in local schools; Breakfast with Santa; Stuff-the-Bus with more than 10,000 pounds of food collected for those in need; supporting the Windham Veteran’s Center; and collecting used eye glasses and hearing aids. <

Friday, May 3, 2024

Movie Review: ‘Dream Scenario’ a good premise weirdly executed

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: R
Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Paul Matthews is a professor at Osler University and a pretty ordinary guy. He has a wife and kids and kind of a mundane personality; some might say he’s a little on the boring side. All this changes when he begins being recognized by strangers. Not because they’ve met Paul, but because he’s appeared in their dreams.

At first, he’s not doing anything; the person may be having a chaotic or bizarre dream and he’s just there in the background. However, over time, the dream-version of Paul begins to harm people while they sleep. This leads to him being ostracized from society, people no longer feel comfortable with him around even though the real-life Paul is very nice and taken aback by this newfound infamy.

Things only get worse for Paul as these dreams affect his family. This is a good premise but it fell apart in the third act although a majority of the movie is decent.

“Dream Scenario” stars Nicolas Cage, Julianne Nicholson, Lily Bird, Jessica Clement, Tim Meadows, Dylan Baker, Noah Lamanna, Paula Boudreau, and Marnie McPhail.

College professor and average guy Paul Matthews (Cage) begins getting weird looks from the students in his class one day. After seeing a show at a theater with wife Janet (Nicholson), Paul runs into an old girlfriend (McPhail) who tells him he’s been appearing in her dreams, but not in a sexual way, just in the background.

Paul finds out more people are seeing him in their dreams – a lot of people. Paul makes it on the news and scientists begin trying to explain why this is happening. Paul goes viral and becomes a bit of a celebrity. This makes him very popular with his students.

He meets with an ad agency, but tells them he doesn’t care about fame. He’s more interested in trying to get a book he’s been wanting to write published.

One of the women who works at the agency tells Paul about her dream and at this point, the movie does have a bit of sexual content, but no nudity.

At times “Dream Scenario” blurs the line between dreams and reality where you don’t know which version of Paul you might be seeing.

When dream-version Paul begins harming people and in reality students and people become afraid of him, it leads to a waitress asking the real-life Paul to leave a diner as he sits there quietly reading a book.

It begins to affect his family when his wife is removed from a project at work and his kids are teased at school. All this makes Paul unravel a bit as he has become a pariah. He makes an apology video to appeal to the masses, but it may be too late.

The first act of this movie was really good. Aside from Freddy Krueger, I’ve never seen a movie about a man being present in people’s dreams before; it’s a solid premise. When things began to unravel for Paul in the second act, I was still interested. By the third act, it seemed unrealistic; that people wouldn’t be able to distinguish who they saw in a dream from a person barely paying attention to them. Despite this, I felt bad for Paul as it seemed like the world and his family were turning on him.

The ending of this movie was not great. On the plus side, Cage gives a strong performance as a man who has infamy put upon him; unlike what I normally associate him with being which is an over-actor looking for the Declaration of Independence. Seeing a toned-down Cage was nice – he played this character well. This was only an ok movie, but I can’t say I strongly recommend it. If you decide to watch it, go in with low expectations.

2 ½ stars out of five.

Available to rent and streaming on Max. <