Kevin! The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is presenting HOME ALONE with live orchestra this weekend!

Home Alone PosterThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents the first concert of the 2019-2020 Acxiom Pops! Live concert series: Home Alone: Film with Orchestra, Saturday, December 21th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 22th at 3:00 p.m. in the Robinson Center. The Pops! Live concert series is sponsored by Acxiom.

A true holiday favorite, this beloved comedy classic features renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live to picture by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacations, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves. Hilarious and heart-warming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the entire family!

The Symphony, under the direction of Geoffrey Robson, will be playing John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score as the film plays.

Joining Culkin (whose aunt Bonnie Bedelia is a star in another Christmas move: DIE HARD) in HOME ALONE are a group of seasoned veterans.  While the adults are meant to be more cartoonish, they still keep the film grounded.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern have wonderful chemistry as the Wet Bandits.  John Heard’s slightly befuddled father is an apt foil for Catherine O’Hara’s intense mother. The latter displays much warmth when needed, as well. John Candy turns in a fun cameo in the first film. If you blink, you may miss future Tony nominee and The Newsroom actress Hope Davis as a French ticket agent.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57, and $70; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at https://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.

Yippee-ki-yay – DIE HARD is being shown at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater tonight

Die Hard PosterThe Nakatomi Plaza Christmas Party of 1988 was one to remember!

Relive it all as the CALS Ron Robinson Theater shows Die Hard tonight at 7pm for only $5.

Facing Christmas 3,000 miles from his estranged wife and two children, New York policeman John McClane flies to Los Angeles bearing presents and hoping to patch up his marriage. He then becomes the only hope for a small group of hostages, one of whom is his estranged wife, trapped in a Los Angeles high-rise building when it is seized by terrorists on Christmas Eve.

The film stars Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherteon, Hart Bochner, James Shigeta, Alexander Godunov, De’voreaux White, and multiple Tony nominee Alan Rickman.  Directed by John McTiernan, it was was written by Jeb Stuart and  Steven E. de Souza based on a novel by Roderick Thorp (which was originally intended to be for Frank Sinatra.)  It was nominated for four Oscars: Sound, Film Editing, Sound Effects and Visual Effects.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Film starts at 7:00 p.m. Beer, wine, and concessions will be available!

DIE HARD tonight at the CALS “Not-Quite-Holiday Film Fest” at the Ron Robinson Theater

Image result for die hardIt’s a wonderful life, unless you happen to find yourself in Nakatomi Tower on Christmas Eve. Tonight, John McClane utters his famous “Yippee Ki Yay…….” quote as part of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) ”Not-Quite-Holiday” Film Fest.

Starring Bruce Willis, this 1988 film also features Bonnie Bedelia, Alexander Godunov, Reginald Vel Johnson (and his Twinkies), Paul Gleason, James Shigeta, William Atherton, Hart Bochner, and De’voreaux White.  It was also the first theatrical film of the ever-cool and charmingly evil Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber.

It starts at 6:30 pm at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 Rock Street in Library Square.  Admission is $5. Tickets are available at ronrobinsontheater.org.

As part of the holiday film series, concessions at Ron Robinson Theater include an expanded hot drinks menu and gourmet candied popcorn options.

The Not-Quite-Holiday Film Fest is sponsored in part by The Point 94.1 and The Ride 106.7.

12 Days of Christmas Movies : DIE HARD and DIE HARD 2

Though not the typical holiday fare, both DIE HARD (1988) and DIE HARD 2 (1990) take place at Christmas time.

Christmas parties, Christmas travel and references to Santa Claus are present throughout these movies.

Bruce Willis’ John McClane is an Everyman hero in these movies. His performance combines macho bravura with humor, frustration, exhaustion, honor, compassion and rough edges.

Bonnie Bedelia, as his long-suffering but independent-minded wife turns what could have been a caricature into a fully-fleshed character.

Reginald VelJohnson adds humor and a sense of redemption to the first movie. He also makes a welcome cameo in the second.

One of the joys of the first movie is Alan Rickman’s deliciously slick villain. He relishes the role. Rickman’s portrait of a nemesis is so compelling the audience is almost sad to see him disappear at the end.

For the second movie, the villains are less interesting, but the plots twists and turns make up for that.

Veteran character actors William Atherton (in both), Paul Gleason (in the first), Fred Thompson, Dennis Franz, and Art Evans (in the second) flesh out the movies as skeptics and/or foils for Willis and Bedelia.

These two movies are definitely period pieces. The plot points would be much different now in this day of smartphones, social media, and truly 24 hour news cycles. It was also amusing to see 74 cent gas. IMG_5077-0.JPG