Monday, 15 July 2024

Arts & Life



‘CLIPPED’ ON FX NETWORK

Donald Sterling, if remembered at all, was at the center of scandal that gripped the NBA when TMZ released the tape of a conversation between the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and his mistress/assistant V. Stiviano.

Despite Stiviano being part African-American herself, Sterling was recorded on a racist rant against black people when he’s quoted asking her why she was associating with minorities.

FX Network’s miniseries “Clipped” takes one back to 2014 when the private chat went viral, and the NBA, under the leadership of commissioner Adam Silver, banned Sterling from the league for life on top of a $2.5 million fine.

An entire series season could be devoted solely to the legal battles that Sterling had not just with the NBA but even with his wife Shelly, when in her position as a co-owner of the Clippers, tried to sell the team after the NBA-imposed ban.

Starting his career as an independent lawyer, Sterling soon became a real estate mogul buying up apartment buildings, before acquiring the San Diego Clippers in 1979 and then moving them to Los Angeles two years later.

Beyond the business squabbles, Sterling was subject to sexual harassment lawsuits from women who had worked in one capacity or another in property management for his apartment buildings. It’s obvious that Sterling was not exactly a person of “sterling” character.

More interesting in “Clipped” than Sterling (Ed O’Neill), an erratic miser and a bully, is the role of legendary coach Doc Rivers (Laurence Fishburne) taking the helm of the Clippers team with the notion of turning perennial losers into champions.

Abrasive and driven, Rivers arrives as the coach knowing that he has the building blocks to win the franchise’s first title, even if he knows that Sterling may be an impediment due in no small measure to his being oblivious to boundaries.

Knowing he’s dealing with a dysfunctional organization as well as even less functional marriage in which Sterling’s wife (Jacki Weaver) throws in her two cents, Rivers feels he can rise above the toxic environment until V Stiviano (Cleopatra Coleman) tosses the racist stink bomb.

For her part, Coleman’s V is somewhat enigmatic. How does she tolerate a boss who texts “Don’t Bring Black People to My Games?” When the scandal breaks, she seems to relish the attention, as if she strives to be an ersatz Kardashian.

What should be a short-hand description of “Clipped?” A sports drama rooting for an underdog team to succeed in the playoffs as a vindication for Doc Rivers? Yes, partially. Is it a grand soap opera of sleaze and duplicity? There’s that too.

Gina Welch, writer and executive producer, may have nailed it at the winter press tour, observing that the essence of the show is the “sort of costs of living and working and trying to thrive under the power of a racist incompetent buffoon who’s abusing the power.”

“Clipped” is a campy melodrama of deviation from societal norms, sometimes humorous and other times sordid.

MORE LIFETIME CRIME MOVIES FOR END OF JUNE

Premiering on June 23rd, in the “Devil on Campus: The Larry Ray Story” ex-convict Larry Ray (Billy Zane) unexpectedly moves into his daughter’s (Tedra Rogers) dorm, enthralling her friends with talk of promises to help them with personal transformations by preying on their insecurities and fears.

Under Ray’s influence, the students recover false memories of childhood trauma that Ray uses to further alienate them from their families. As the students continue to fall under Ray’s control, he begins to target their friends and family.

Extending his reach of emotional, financial, sexual abuse and mental persuasion, Ray becomes increasingly manipulative. As the students get pulled deeper into the cult, Ray’s control moves form emotional and mental to sexual as well, creating a web of lies and deceit.

Interestingly, the story of Larry Ray was previously told by the Law & Crime Network in “Devil in the Dorm,” which chronicled the criminal’s sway over college girls at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College.

“The Killer Inside: The Ruth Finley Story,” premiering on the last Saturday in June, is a truly bizarre case that occurred in Wichita, Kansas during the infamous BTK Strangler killing spree gripped with city with sheer sense of foreboding.

Middle-aged Ruth (Teri Hatcher) and her husband Ed (Tahmoh Penikett) found their tranquil life suddenly turned upside down when Ed suffered a heart attack. As Ed fights for his life in the hospital, Ruth starts to receive mysterious threats, leaving her in a state of panic.

With the city held hostage by the BTK killer’s reign of terror, Ruth finds herself enveloped in paranoia, convinced she will be the next victim, as the menacing phone calls escalate into chilling letters.

Amidst the frenzy of police pursuit of BTK, Ruth is abducted, sending shockwaves through the community. Yet her sudden reappearance leaves investigators baffled and scrambling for answers.

As suspicion mounts and new evidence comes to light, the authorities entertain the unsettling notion that the perpetrator may be someone intimately connected to Ruth.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

LIFETIME TRUE CRIME MOVIES IN JUNE

The Lifetime cable channel regularly churns out crime movies that are “Ripped from the Headlines,” and the month of June will feature more movies than normally, with the biggest star being Teri Hatcher in “The Killer Inside: The Ruth Finley Story.”

Known for her television roles, Hatcher portrayed Lois Lane in the series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” followed later in the role of Susan Mayer in the long-running “Desperate Housewives” series. She was also Paris Carver in the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

A Lifetime movie will debut every Friday and Saturday in June beginning with “The Girl Locked Upstairs: The Tanya Katch Story” on Friday, June 8th. Tanya (Jordyn Ashley Olsen) was fourteen and at risk, struggling with an unhappy home life and a victim of bullying at her new school.

Feeling isolated and lonely, she is befriended by Tom Hose (Robert Baker), the school’s security guard, who manages to lure Tanya to his home, where he held her captive and sexually abused her for over a decade.

Convinced he had Tanya brainwashed and that she would never attempt an escape, Tom eventually allows her to take on a part-time job. Out from under Tom’s watchful eye, Tanya finally finds the courage to take a dangerous step toward freedom.

Following the premiere, Lifetime will debut “Beyond the Headlines: The Tanya Kach Story with Elizabeth Smart.” The documentary follows executive producer Elizabeth Smart as she meets the real-life Tanya Kach, who had vanished from a Pittsburgh suburb at such a young age.

Debuting the next day, “Gaslit by My Husband: The Morgan Metzer Story,” based on a true story, follows Morgan (Jana Kramer) and Rodney Metzer (Austin Nichols), who were childhood sweethearts and married by the time Morgan was just 21 years old.

The couple loses their first child shortly after birth but are overjoyed when they have twins a year later. Tensions begin to rise when Rodney loses his job and goes into debt. He blames their fights on Morgan’s drinking and convinces his wife that she pushed him down the stairs in a blackout rage.

The couple finally separates and Morgan’s life turns around, until Rodney gets diagnosed with cancer. Not long after, a masked intruder breaks into Morgan’s home and assaults her.

Rodney suspiciously shows up only minutes after the intruder is gone. When authorities question him, Rodney’s story doesn’t seem to be adding up. Does Rodney really have cancer and is he the hero he claims to be, or has he been gaslighting Morgan for decades?

On June 15, “Yoga Teacher Killer: The Kaitlin Armstrong Story” is based on the true events of a deadly love triangle that led authorities on an international manhunt.

When pro-cyclist Moriah Wilson (Larissa Dias) is found dead after a short-lived affair with fellow professional Colin Strickland (Kyle Schmid), all signs point to Texan yoga teacher and Strickland’s on-and-off girlfriend Kaitlin Armstrong (Caity Lotz).

After being accused of allegedly killing Wilson in a jealous rage, Armstrong disappears into thin air. On the run, Armstrong alters her looks in attempts to elude the authorities as they work to track her down, leading them to places that they never expected to find her.

“Danger in the Dorm,” premiering on June 16, is inspired by one of Ann Rule’s earliest true crime works, which tells the story of Kathleen (Clara Alexandrova) after the tragic murder of her childhood best friend.

Kathleen must shed her rebellious youthful spirit in order to catch a killer who’s preying on young girls around campus, even as her mother Joanne (Bethenny Frankel), tries to protect her daughter from suffering the same fate as her friend.

Launching on June 22nd, “The Bad Orphan” is a psychological drama centered on Jessica (Betsy Brandt) and Karl (Mark Taylor), loving parents of Rhiannon (Eve Edwards), who after years of trying to add to their family are elated to adopt Gabby (Chloe Coco Chapman).

The girl is an 8-year-old orphan born with personal challenges. The idea of a perfect family comes into question when the parents discover that Gabby is a troubled little girl, and the family begins to believe things aren’t what they seem.

As the unsettling behavior of the orphan child worsens and lies are uncovered, cracks in the family dynamic form with Jessica becoming increasingly concerned that Gabby is a threat to their family.

Lifetime has had a track record of delivering powerful films based on true stories. “Prosecuting Casey Anthony,” starring Rob Lowe as the prosecutor in the famous murder trial, was particularly stunning for what led to the controversial verdict.

“Natalee Holloway,” based on her mother’s book “Loving Natalee,” was a truly heartbreaking story about the disappearance of the 18-year-old while on vacation in Aruba.

Part of next week’s column will conclude with the two remaining original Lifetime crime movies, ending most notably with Teri Hatcher’s as the titular character in “The Killer Inside: The Ruth Finley Story.”

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

CLEARLAKE, Calif. — The city of Clearlake Recreation and Events Department will hold its annual Summer Concert Series for 2024.

The concert series will start on June 14, with country artist Dylan Schneider.

Schneider has opened for such artists as Kane Brown and Florida Georgia Line.

The complete concert schedule is as follows:

June 14: Dylan Schneider (The Fiddling Brothers will be the openers).

July 6: Rock with You (a Michael Jackson Tribute Band).

July 13: Boys of Summer (an Eagles Tribute Band).

July 20: Township (mix of country songs) and The Ultimate Aldean (Jason Aldean Tribute Band).

July 27: Aquanet (playing the hits of the 80s).

Aug. 10: Journey Revisited (Journey Tribute Band).

For more information on concerts or other upcoming Clearlake events, please follow the Clearlake Recreation and Events page on Facebook or the Recreation and Events page on the city of Clearlake website, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 707-994-8201, Extension 131.

Installation of “The Space Between” exhibit at the Middletown Art Center. Courtesy photo.


MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — The Middletown Art Center will hold the opening reception of its latest exhibit, “The Space Between” on Saturday, June 15.

The reception will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

This evocative group show brings together a diverse array of regional artists, both familiar and new, to explore and express their unique spiritual journeys through a variety of artistic mediums.

Each of us is nurtured by creative, magnetic and biodiverse energies. This shared connection serves as the foundation of the exhibit, while the expression of our spirituality and spiritual journeys is as varied as our individual paths.

“The Space Between” features a captivating collection of artworks in a variety of media including clay and found objects, redwood, large scale pigmented prints, and Tendai shodo scrolls.

Each piece serves as a testament to the artists' personal path, providing a profound glimpse into the myriad ways spirituality and creativity intertwine.

Free to the public, “The Space Between” will be on view through Sept. 8, Thursday through Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment.

Middletown Art Center is a nonprofit dedicated to engaging the public in art making, art education, and art appreciation and providing a platform for diverse voices and perspectives, striving to create an inclusive and accessible space for all.

The MAC is located at 21456 State Highway 175 at the junction of Highway 29 in Middletown.

To find out more about MAC’s programs, events, and ways to support their efforts to weave the arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County, visit https://www.middletownartcenter.org/index.html or call 707-809-8118.



‘FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA’ Rated R

The “Mad Max” universe, launched more than 40 years ago, has spawned a string of wildly successful action pictures based upon the exploits of the protagonist in a post-apocalyptic world filled with violence and mayhem.

The fifth film, “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” is a prequel to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” where Charlize Theron’s Furiosa was joined by Tom Hardy’s Max for a road battle with warlord Immortan Joe.

As an origin story, the titular character in “Furiosa” is first seen as a spunky young girl (Alyla Browne), torn from her idyllic homeland called the “Green Place” by biker thugs under the command of Dementus (Chris Hemsworth).

After the abduction from the sanctuary, Furiosa’s mother (Charlee Fraser), bravely wielding a machete gives chase, taking out many bikers before suffering a grisly fate that drives her daughter’s relentless quest for revenge.

What follows for Furiosa, now captive in a dystopian world where survival of the fittest is not just some Darwinian theory, is avenging the brutal murder of her mother with a target on Dementus, that she carries into adulthood (Anya Taylor-Joy, filling the part for the balance of the film).

Having in mind to subjugate other criminal enclaves, Dementus launches an assault on the Citadel, ruled by Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme), that fails, and then ultimately delivers Furiosa to Joe. To avoid sexual advances, Furiosa cuts her hair and pretends to be male.

Coming into her own as a warrior, Furiosa escapes by hiding in a huge rig driven by Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke), which allows for her to prove her worth as an ally in fending off endless attacks from vicious, heavily armed bikers.

As this film is a prequel, there is no Max in this “Mad Max Saga,” a role played by Mel Gibson for the first three films, but a future awaits where renegade warrior Furiosa will team up with Tom Hardy’s Max.

In reality, suspense is lacking to a certain extent with the knowledge that, no matter the dire situations in which Furiosa may fall, the heroine of the story will live to fight another day in her revenge quest.

Fans of the franchise will likely not be disappointed in “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” because what matters for writer and director George Miller is the sheer spectacle of protracted chases and amazing stunts.




‘THE VEIL’ ON FX NETWORK

In the international spy game, it often seems that the protagonists are plagued either by personal demons or conflicts in the workplace, or just maybe a combination of the two. But this was never an issue for James Bond.

In any case, FX Network’s spy thriller series “The Veil” explores the fraught relationship between two women who play a deadly game of cat and mouse where the threat of a nuclear attack on American shores must be averted.

Elisabeth Moss’ British MI6 agent Imogen Salter is on a mission that begins at a refugee camp on the border of Syria and Turkey where Yumna Marwan’s Adilah El Idrissi has been hiding out while holding on to a secret that could reveal the plans of a dangerous terrorist organization.

In the shadows, mission controllers at the CIA and the French intelligence service DGSE must work together, albeit with a lot of territorial conflict, to avert a potential disaster threatening untold number of lives on the East Coast.

During the winter press tour, FX’s panel discussion included Steve Knight, the executive producer and writer of the show, who made it known the idea came from a colleague who suggested the friction between allied intelligence agencies was fertile ground for a story.

In doing research for the series, Knight went to Paris, noting that in meeting three people in French intelligence” he found that “the true stories are much more compelling.”

Knight discovered that what appealed to him most is “when big, big international conflicts, events, boil down to individuals,” and that’s how “The Veil” is focused on “two people in a car driving through snow, and the nature of the conversations affects the outcome for thousands of people.”

We learn a lot about Imogen haunted by her past but doing great at her job, which is to figure out on the way back to Paris as to whether Adilah is someone who just wants to get home to her young daughter or is a pivotal member of a group planning a terror attack.

With Imogen and Adilah, the essence of their interaction is purely psychological. It’s only when CIA agent Max Peterson (Josh Charles) is on the scene to spar with French agent Malik Amar (Dali Benssalah) that the action expected in a spy thriller really takes hold.

Elisabeth Moss delivers a gripping performance and the exotic locales from Istanbul to Paris and London are stunning. “The Veil” demands an attentiveness on the part of the audience to follow the twists and turns of a relationship between two women on the edge.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.



‘THE FALL GUY’ Rated PG-13

About four decades ago, the ABC television series “The Fall Guy” starred Lee Majors as Hollywood stuntman Colt Seavers who was moonlighting as a bounty hunter, using his physical skills to capture fugitives.

Fast forward to today, the film “The Fall Guy” can only charitably be referenced as loosely-based on the 1980s series, and now Ryan Gosling is stuntman Colt Seavers, but no longer a bounty hunter.

The original Colt’s sidekick Howie Munson (Douglas Barr in the series) and fellow stuntwoman Jody Banks (Heather Thomas) no longer exist. The new Colt is on his own unless you count stunt coordinator and friend Dan Tucker (Winston Duke).

Suffering from a broken back in a precipitous fall, Colt retired from show business and took a job as a valet parking attendant. After 18 months, he gets summoned by director Gail Meyer (Hannah Washington) for an assignment on a film shoot in Australia.

Coincidentally, Colt’s former flame Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), the cinematographer on his last film, is making her directing debut on the space Western “Metalstorm.” After a falling out, they are uneasily reunited and yet a palpable sense of a rekindled romance may be in the air.

Colt’s job is to replace the stuntman for the film’s arrogant star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), but it becomes more than that when the actor pulls a disappearing act and Colt is tasked with employing his previous moonlighting skills to track him down.

Now the action kicks into high gear with fights and extended chases, one involving a runaway trash truck. Poking around the actor’s place, Colt is ambushed by Iggy Starr (Teresa Palmer) who plays an alien in the film.

Discovering a dead body in a bathtub, Colt ends up being framed for murder and goes on the lam not just from the police but also a ruthless gang leader named Drexler (Ben Knight) and his thugs.

What about the relationship between Colt and Jody? Will they end up together in the end? Take a guess.

The story of “The Fall Guy” is basically immaterial as the plot is driven primarily by action-fueled spectacle lacking much in the way of substance.

Delivering crowd-pleasing thrills, a wild ride is to be had with a surfeit of over-the-top, daring stunts as well as chases on land and sea.

‘NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT’ ON PBS

Honoring the service of our men and women in uniform, the 35th anniversary live broadcast of “National Memorial Day Concert” will air on PBS and stream nationwide on Sunday, May 26th from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with a repeat following immediately.

America’s national night of remembrance, the PBS special returns from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for a tradition unlike anything else of television to honor service members and their families through a unique blend of dramatic storytelling and uplifting music.

The program will be hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, both steadfast champions of veterans’ causes and active service members, with the latter having an eponymous charitable foundation helping wounded veterans and their loved ones.

The 2024 “National Memorial Day Concert” will feature several segments. The “World War II Tribute,” featuring actor Bryan Cranston, is a salute to the millions of Americans who served the nation in uniform and the home front.

On the 80th anniversary of 1944, a pivotal year in the war, the tribute will commemorate hard fought battles in the Pacific and European theaters that secured the allied path to victory.

As part of this special segment, the concert will share the story of U.S. Army Veteran John T. “Jack” Moran, a soldier in the Battle of the Bulge, and his remembrance of friends who fought alongside of him. Members of this Greatest Generation will be honored on stage at the Capitol.

“Gold Star Families Remembrance,” hosted by actor and director BD Wong, will be a concert to remember our fallen heroes and Gold Star families with the story of Vietnam Veteran and Gold Star father Allen Hoe, who followed generations of his proud warrior family into military service.

Hoe’s two sons continued the family legacy serving honorably in the Army. First Lieutenant Nainoa K. Hoe was tragically killed in combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is a story of honor and remembrance and the search for peace after his son’s death.

Following 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, “Honoring a Generation’s Service,” featuring actress Jena Malone, the concert will explore the challenges faced by a generation of wounded and ill veterans who carry visible and invisible wounds of war.

The moving story of Marine Corps Veteran and amputee Kirstie Ennis, an inspiring adaptive athlete who carries with her the memory of her fallen brothers and sisters in arms, shares through the concert her journey after a life-changing injury on deployment.

In tribute to all members of our armed forces, the annual audience favorite “Salute to Service” features military bands and choruses of the various branches.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

Upcoming Calendar

16Jul
07.16.2024 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Board of Supervisors
16Jul
07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
16Jul
07.16.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
17Jul
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
20Jul
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
23Jul
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
27Jul
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
30Jul
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
3Aug
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
6Aug
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar

loader

LCNews

Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 

 

Newsletter

Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.