May 1, 2015 |
With "Avengers: Age of Ultron" projected to do at least $200 million domestically - after opening to over $200 million overseas last weekend - it is clear that Marvel Studios remains hotter than ever, years after some movie pundits declared the comic-book movie craze over. "We are under incredibly crushing expectations," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in an exclusive interview. Indeed, it says something that if "Avengers: Age of Ultron" does "only" $500 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide, it would be considered something of a disappointment.
April 9, 2015 |
In the late fall of 1863, Pvt. Franklin Hill of Northern Liberties was fighting his way through the Tennessee Valley with the Union Army. Tattered and tested at the age of 20, Franklin had already been through hell and back. He was wearing a dead man's pants. He was eating a pig he bought with a Confederate $20 bill he found in the same dead Rebel's pocket. And he was worried sick over his white star. The white star was the emblem of Franklin's famed regiment - the 29th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
February 13, 2015
ISSUE | STATE STORES End booze monopoly The politically motivated, specious support among Harrisburg Democrats for the dinosaur that is the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board should anger and incite everyone ("The great bottleneck," Feb. 9). Indeed, the agency is a "Rube Goldberg bureaucracy" - one that was ripe for corruption, wastefulness, and nepotism almost from its inception. That Gov. Wolf stands by this monster shows that he, too, can be influenced by the dirty politics of Harrisburg.
February 10, 2015 |
Tillman Valentine didn't know the hard times he'd face when he enlisted in the Army that morning of June 30, 1863. He was a black man in a country at war with itself over slavery and state's rights. Emotions were running high as Confederate forces invaded Pennsylvania, where a great battle - the bloodiest of the Civil War - was about to be fought at Gettysburg. Valentine bade an affectionate goodbye to his pregnant wife, Annie, and their three children in West Chester and headed to Camp William Penn, the first and largest federal training ground for black soldiers, just north of Philadelphia.
December 3, 2014 |
The Civil War ended, the constitutional amendments abolishing slavery and establishing civil and legal humanity of African Americans passed - a new day dawned in 19th-century America. Meet the new day, same as the old day. Reconstruction ended in 1877, blacks were disenfranchised, the Supreme Court gave its imprimatur to segregation in 1896; a half-century passed before civil rights dominated the national stage again. Mostly this story is told as it unfolded in the South. But what of the North?
October 22, 2014 |
Here's the quick review of People's Light and Theatre Company's local premiere of Row After Row : Jessica Dickey's imaginative play uses a unique subculture to probe fascinating ideas in what is ultimately a flawed and incomplete attempt. And given the play's 70-minute length, even that sentence probably is too much. Dickey's play hops between two events: Pickett's Charge, the foolhardy Confederate gambit during the Battle of Gettysburg, and that same stratagem staged by Civil War reenactors in the present.
September 26, 2014
IT TOOK documentarian Ken Burns more than 11 hours to document the devastation of the Civil War. It took the creators of "The Civil War - The Musical" about a fifth of that time to convey with equal power and intensity, the story of the defining episode in our nation's history. There is much to praise about the production at Hammonton's Eagle Theatre, which runs through Oct. 5, beginning with the surprisingly solid and affecting score, which defies major expectations. Going in, the idea of recounting such a brutal and universally destructive event via contemporary musical formats, including rock and country, seemed frivolous and lightweight at best, trivializing and disrespectful at worst.
September 25, 2014 |
THERE ARE some questions that seniors in high school should never have to ask. Questions that are deep, philosophical and largely unanswerable. Queries that can, if you let them, stunt your growth, stifle your ambition or paralyze your progression. However, for Haverford School senior running back and linebacker Phil Poquie, a single question and all its permutations, weigh heavily on his mind, but also spur him toward success. When civil war erupted in his native Liberia, Poquie was just 2 years old. His family fled to the United States, sent for by a grandfather who lived in Staten Island, N.Y., to begin life anew, rich with possibilities.
August 31, 2014 |
The worn, leather-bound diaries, each about the size of a smartphone, reveal a voice rarely found in print. In them, Emilie Davis, a young housekeeper and seamstress, chronicles her life as a free black woman in Philadelphia during the Civil War. "To day has bin a memorable day and i thank god i have bin sperd to see it," Davis wrote in an entry dated Jan. 1, 1863, the day the Emancipation Proclamation became official. It is the first sentence in a series that fills three pocket diaries, recounting Davis' life from 1863 to 1865.
July 24, 2014 |
Almost a century ago, a pair of clever British writers published a send-up of history-as-memory titled 1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England, Comprising All the Parts You Can Remember , Including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings, and 2 Genuine Dates . Since then, I'm sorry to report, things have gone precipitously downhill. We remember nothing. History is only what we know, or sort of know, perhaps imparted to us in movies, legal tender, and Fat Albert cartoons.