Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Today's Top 5: Tuesday

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Dec. 23, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

180 Seconds Stand-up Open Mic Night at The Comedy Zone

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Holiday on Ice at NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza

Country Tuesday at Snug Harbor

Bingo at Killington's

Trivia at Petra's Piano Bar

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Opening Christmas Day

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 8:00 AM

The Imitation Game

Big Eyes - Amy Adams, Christophe Waltz

The Gambler - Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange

The Imitation Game - Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley

The Interview - Seth Rogen, James Franco

Into the Woods - Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt

Unbroken - Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Question the Queen City: Daisy and Violet Hilton return to the screen

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

It's been nearly 45 years since their death here in Charlotte. Many longtime residents have heard or know first hand the tale of Daisy and Violet Hilton, the internationally famous conjoined twins who became celebrities of vaudeville, stage and a handful of obscure (but fascinating) films.

Daisy and Violet Hilton at Park n Shop, where they worked as produce clerks. In the left rear is Charles Reid, store owner, friend and the man who was responsible for providing the Hiltons with a funeral and burial plot.
  • From the collection of Charles Reid
  • Daisy and Violet Hilton at Park 'n Shop, where they worked as produce clerks. In the left rear is Charles Reid, store owner, friend and the man who was responsible for providing the Hiltons with a funeral and burial plot.

After a lifetime like a roller coaster ride, they ended up in Charlotte in July, 1962, while on a film promotional tour. They had appeared in Charlotte at the old Carolina Theater in 1945 and it was thought another appearance here 17 years later would be as successful.

It was not, and they were left high and dry by an under-handed manager to fend for themselves in a town they were barely acquainted with.

I've written about them before for Creative Loafing and elsewhere in greater detail. I have to admit — they've always held a personal fascination for me. They spent their final years here, working as a produce clerks at a local grocery store, before succumbing to the Hong Kong flu epidemic in 1969. As it turns out, they've become a personal fascination for a number of other people, as well.

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SEFCA finds Budapest grand

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 3:24 PM

The Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) yesterday named The Grand Budapest Hotel the Best Picture of 2014 in its 23rd annual voting. Writer-director Wes Anderson's unique comedy earned a total of three awards, with its other victories coming in the categories of Best Ensemble and Best Original Screenplay (Anderson and Hugo Guinness).

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Boyhood and Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which respectively placed second and third in the tallying for Best Picture, were the only other movies to score multiple wins, each winning two prizes apiece.

The Wyatt Award, given annually to the "film that best evokes the spirit of the South" (past winners have included Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Help and Winter's Bone), this year went to director Ava DuVernay's Selma.

The Southeastern Film Critics Association is comprised of film journalists from nine states representing the Southeastern section of the United States. This year, 54 members participated in the voting, including Charlotte critics Sean O'Connell, Lawrence Toppman, Harvey Burgess and me.

In addition to naming its Best Picture, SEFCA also releases its Top 10 for the year. The complete list of winners and runners-up in all categories is below.

BEST PICTURE
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Boyhood
3. Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
4. Whiplash
5. The Imitation Game
6. Gone Girl
7. Snowpiercer
8. Nightcrawler
9. Foxcatcher
10. The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTOR
1. Michael Keaton, Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
2. Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS
1. Julianne Moore, Still Alice
2. Reese Witherspoon, Wild

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
2. Edward Norton, Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
2. Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

BEST ENSEMBLE
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood
2. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
2. Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn
2. Wild: Nick Hornby

BEST DOCUMENTARY
1. Life Itself
2. Citizenfour

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
1. Force Majeure (Sweden)
2. Ida (Poland)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
1. The LEGO Movie
2. Big Hero 6

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Emmanuel Lubezki
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel: Robert Yeoman

THE GENE WYATT AWARD FOR THE FILM THAT BEST EVOKES THE SPIRIT OF THE SOUTH
1. Selma
2. Cold in July

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Today's Top 5: Monday

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Dec. 22, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Scrooge! at ImaginOn's McColl Family Theatre

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Find Your Muse Open Mic at Evening Muse

Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Salsa Group Class at Metropolitan Ballroom

Knocturnal at Snug Harbor

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First Drip (12/22/14): New protections may be coming for LGBT residents, more

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 7:30 AM

In case you didn't know: the City of Charlotte does not have any protections in place for LGBT residents who feel discriminated against in "places of public accommodation." That may change soon.

Police officers around the country are being warned to wear their bulletproof vests after two officers were killed "execution-style" in New York by a man who earlier in the day had shot his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore. Authorities say the 28-year-old gunman, who killed himself, had threatened to kill police in retaliation for Michael Brown and Eric Garner's deaths.

As Cuba inches closer to falling off the terror list, another country might be getting added soon. In response to the FBI's claim of evidence linking North Korea to the Sony hacks, President Obama is considering returning the country back to the list of state sponsors of terrorism after it was removed six years ago. Meanwhile, in a move that doesn't make the country look so great, North Korea is threatening retaliation over any punishment for the attacks.

If Cheerios' interracial family commercials just burned you up, you're probably going to be giving up Tylenol, too. The company is releasing a new set of advertisements updating the family-centric Normal Rockwell painting "Freedom From Want." "One spot focuses on a Jewish blended family that includes a lesbian couple with children, a Chinese-Japanese-American family and an African American family headed by a matriarch with an eyebrow piercing. Rockwell’s turkey is replaced by challah, a hotpot and cornish hens."

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Today's Top 5: Sunday

Posted By on Sun, Dec 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Dec. 21, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

K. Michelle at Neighborhood Theatre

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Scrooge! at ImaginOn's McColl Family Theatre

41st Anniversary Party featuring Federal Bureau of Rock & Roll at Double Door Inn

Pig Mountain at Milestone

Nutcracker at Belk Theater

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today's Top 5: Saturday

Posted By on Sat, Dec 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Dec. 20, 2014 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

1,000 Times Good Night screening at Theatre Charlotte

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Merry Stripmas Burlesque Show at UpStage

Ugly Sweater Holiday Party at Nan and Byron’s

5-Year Anniversary at Bar at 316

Off the Wall: Wu Tang Forever Edition Vol. 2 at Crown Station Pub

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Friday, December 19, 2014

New study says not expanding Medicaid in N.C. hurt our economy

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

According to a study released this week, North Carolina’s decision not to expand Medicaid will directly hurt Mecklenburg County's, and the state’s, pockets.

The report, sponsored by the Cone Health Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, found that Mecklenburg County’s “gross county product is $236 million smaller in 2014 and the county lost more than $2 million in county revenue.”

Researchers from George Washington University also said 2,406 fewer jobs will be created here in 2016, and there will be a loss of $18.8 million in tax revenue between 2016 and 2020, if the state doesn't elect to expand Medicaid next legislative session. Oh, and let's not forget the 32,316 Mecklenburg County residents who won’t have access to affordable health care. Thanks, McCrory!

As with any great book, I skipped ahead to the last sentence for a spoiler: "Expanding Medicaid would strengthen the economy and bolster job growth in counties all across North Carolina, as well as improve health access for almost half a million North Carolinians."

You can read the study here.

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Cheap list: Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, 1,000 Times Good Night, Pro Ho Ho Bash and more

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Going out in Charlotte doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, to prove that statement, we've compiled a list of cheap - $10 or less - things to do in the Q.C. this weekend. These events may vary, but they're all entertaining and they won't break your bank (piggy banks excluded).

Champagne Charades at Suite This one's for the ladies: Gather up your gal pals for a night on the town. Specifically, be sure to hit up Suite where there's free cover and complimentary champagne from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. For VIP tables, call 704-971-7878 or email party@suitecharlotte.com. Dec. 19. Suite, 210 E. Trade St. 704-971-7878. www.suitecharlotte.com.

Carlos Valencia at UpStage Former Charlottean and comedian Carlos Valencia is in town to perform at Upstage, where he'll also be recording the show for a future CD. Come for laughs and to show your support. Free admission. Dec. 19, 10:30 p.m. UpStage, 3306 N. Davidson St., Suite C. 704-430-4821. www.upstagenoda.com.

Ugly X-Mas Sweater Party at Roxbury Throw on your ugliest Christmas sweater for this party at Roxbury. You'll also enjoy '80s and '90s music, in addition to drink specials ($2 Clark's bottle beer, $5 cinnamon roll vodka drinks, and $5 cousin Eddie's egg nog with Jim Beam) and prizes for the worst and best sweater. Dec. 19. Roxbury Nightclub, 115 W. 5th St. 704-375-8090. www.roxburynightclub.com.

1,000 Times Good Night at Theatre Charlotte Charlotte Film Society presents this 2013 drama about a photojournalist with an obsession with war zones. When given an ultimatum from her family to quit the risky work, she must decide what’s more important. The film, directed by Erik Poppe and based off of some of his own experiences as a photojournalist in the ’80s, is a winner of the jury’s Special Grand Prix at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2013. For more information, visit www.charlottefilmsociety.com. $5-$10. Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Road.

Pro Ho Ho Bash at Prohibition The folks at Prohibition are honoring their customers with this holiday appreciation party that will feature secret Santa gifts for everyone (from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.). One of the gifts will include a $250 gift card. There's also complimentary Newcastle beer. Cheers! Prohibition, 200 N. Tryon St. 704-358-4244. www.prohibitionclt.com.

5-Year Anniversary at Bar at 316 Bar at 316 — an LGBTQ-friendly spot known for karaoke, drag shows and brunches — opened in December 2009. To celebrate its half-a-decade anniversary, the folks at 316 are throwing a party with five things to get excited about: drag queens, variety acts, go-go boys, drink specials and giveaways. Stick around for Buff Faye & Patti O’Furniture’s Big Fun Drag Show. $5 admission. Dec. 20, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Bar at 316, 316 Rensselaer Ave. 704-910-1478. www.thebarat316.com.

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