Tuesday, July 09, 2013


The Pathfinder Chorus, of Fremont, NE, returned home from the Barbershop Harmony Society International Competition in Toronto as the tenth best chorus worldwide in the barbershop harmony federation. The Chorus Finals, held Friday, July 5th, in Toronto, Canada, consisted of the 29 Chorus finalists from ~ 840 groups around the globe, coming from as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom.

This year marks the fourth consecutive International Competition for the Pathfinders, and they have the additional distinction of being the most consistently improving chorus in the Society, moving up each year since their international debut at 20th in 2010. The chorus has existed continually since 1972, and their 100+ members come from a 20,000 square mile area each Monday evening, 7-10 pm, to rehearse at the First Presbyterian Church at West Linden & Nye Avenue in Fremont, NE. Men of all ages who like to sing are invited to visit and experience firsthand this fast-growing, Top Ten world-ranked chorus.

Their next performances are at the Cuming County Fair on August 11, and at the Rose Theatre in Omaha for the River City Organ Society on August 18. To obtain recordings or tickets for upcoming performances, please visit the chapter web site www.pathfinderchorus.org. For more information on becoming a member, call Michael Petry, Membership VP, 402-598-5816.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Argo wins Academy Award, but in some ways is disappointing

By Gillian Anzel

The movie Argo revealed some facts about the Canadian rescue of six Americans from Tehran in 1980 that I didn't know. I knew that Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor and his wife risked their lives to hide the Americans. I thought that they also got them out of Iran. However, it was a single CIA agent Tony Mendez who brought them home. This was not revealed at the time of their rescue.

Argo is the story of their rescue. Directed by Ben Affleck who also acts as Mendez the movie is sometimes gripping and tense. The movie is well-written and well-acted. The movie portrays the rescue as a miracle. The six Americans and their rescuers just got out in the nick of time.  Thirty seconds later they would have been caught.

While coincidences happen in real life, too many coincidences make the story unbelievable.  Yet, the movie is supposed to be about real life. Real people in a real situation.

However, too many coincidences occurred as the rescue story is told. While I believe in answers to prayers, I don't believe in coincidence. Nor luck. The string of coincidences in this movie make the story unbelievable.

I also object to the crudity and foul-language in the movie.  In my years of teaching I have met only two really crude people - and both were performers. The story shows Americans who are irreligious and often crude. It also shows weak and sulking hostages. The Americans in hiding are no different. Where is the spiritual strength and courage I identify as an American trait? In my mind, these people are not real.

I can only imagine that among the Americans held hostage in Iran were many religious and courageous people.  But this is not a story that Hollywood wants to tell. Instead the characters are foul-mouthed and crude. This is the stereotypical Hollywood character.  And this is what Hollywood thinks sells pictures.

 I would have liked to have seen a spiritual aspect of the story, if one existed. If Americans and its government officials are as secular and irreligious as portrayed in the movie, all I can say is "poor America."

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Life of Pi (2012)

I've read Life of Pi so I persuaded my wife to go see the movie with me. I wasn't disappointed. And she enjoyed it. It is one of those movies that went quickly to the cheap theaters but it will come back if it gets an Academy Award Nomination.

The movie story was close to the book although it left out one major part where the tiger saves Pi from the cook. That was a good part to leave out. If it was shown the way it was described in the book, it would have definitely made the movie R rated.

I won't tell you much more. You need to enjoy discovering the story again through the movie. Most of the actors were unknown to me. However, I enjoyed seeing Gerard Depardieu who played a cameo role as the cook.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom is another coming to age movie, based in the 1960s. This one brings together Bruce Willis and Bill Murray. Two 12 year old lovers runaway as a hurricane force storm brews. Bruce Willis, the police captain, and Bill Murray, join forces with a Scout troop to look for them. The situation is hilarious and laughter is inevitable. At 12 years old in the 1960s I was not nearly as knowledgeable as the young people in the film were about some things. I'm sure their actions didn't surprise my 13 year old granddaughter, but I blushed and grandma proposed we fast forward the rough spots. Otherwise it was good fun.

The Story of Silent Night

The Story of Silent Night 

BYUtv's original holiday movie, Silent Night, is receiving a lot of positive reviews from viewers.The film tells the true story of a young priest, Joseph Mohr, who upsets the upper class in his new village by inviting poor, uneducated people to church. Mohr stays true to his convictions, and goes on to write the world's most famous Christmas carol. Beautifully filmed on location in Austria, Silent Night is the perfect new movie for your family this holiday season.
You can watch Silent Night online by clicking here.

Rhone nominated for NAACP Image Award

Many in Hollywood fled small towns and Midwestern cities long ago and few return; producer Eric C. Rhone is a rare exception.  A successful executive, Rhone helped lead the production team that recently earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for the top rated series "The Soul Man" on TV Land.  In 2012 Rhone, working closely with his business partner Cedric "The Entertainer," produced a television series, a comedy tour, and the 2012 Soul Train Awards which Cedric headlined and hosted respectively, but he remains most passionate about bringing money into his home state -- so much so that he proudly holds a post as a commissioner on the tourism board.  

After debuting to the second highest audience in TV Land's history, being featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times (October 13, 2012) as one of few positive portrayals of a nuclear African American family on television, "The Soul Man" concluded its first season with some well-earned critical acclaim. Rhone, who serves as executive producer for the hit series, which stars Cedric, Niecy Nash, Wesley Jonathan and John Beasley, is honored by the recognition and is excited about the show's future.

"I couldn't be more thrilled that the NAACP Image Awards have acknowledged the hard work we're doing at The Soul Man by nominating us this year," said Rhone.  "It shows that we're on the right track and viewers really 'get' what we're trying to accomplish in highlighting this engaging middle American family. Cedric and I are both looking forward to more great storytelling about Rev.Boyce Ballentine and his comical clan during season two, which begins production this Spring."   
In addition to his work in entertainment, Rhone is dedicated to serving his home state of Missouri. As a state tourism board representative and founder of the National African American Tourism Commission (NAATC), Rhone is credited with helping to drastically increase voter awareness and education in many of St. Louis' lowest voting districts, through the "Take Power, Take Control" initiative. 

Eric C. Rhone shares his secrets to a successful Hollywood career without leaving his hometown of St. Louis with NBC Affiliate Channel 5 KSDK.
Click image to view video 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Everyman's War

I watched this movie, because it was made as a tribute by two sons for their father.  He was involved in the invasion of Germany in January 1945.  I was not disappointed by the movie.  The movie was well crafted and told a good story.

Here are excerpts from IMBD.com:

As the seasoned infantry and tank units of the German 11th Panzer "Ghost" division move silently into position on the snow covered hills around Nennig Germany ,a battle weary GI and his unit stand ready to defend the small town, a key position in the Allied advance to win the war. Outgunned and outnumbered, S/ Sgt Don Smith struggles to find hope and courage against overwhelming odds in one of the decisive confrontations in the "Battle of the Bulge" during WWII. His squad of GI's of the 94th Infantry Division lay dug in on the ridge-line outside of town. No one in high command believed that German forces would attack in the sub zero temperatures and near blizzard conditions. As the pre-dawn attack comes, with communications down Sgt. Smith is left with no choice but to make his way through enemy fire, unarmed and wounded, into town and warn of the coming attack. Based on actual accounts "Everyman's War" explores the heroic events of this decorated veterans courage and the struggle between duty and desire. Between the prospect of the life and love, Dorine that waits at home and the harsh realities of war which marks the pivotal epoch in his life as he discovers that the loss of hope can be worse than the loss of life. One man's courage... One man's hope...Everyman's War.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Outlaw Trail: The Treasure of Butch Cassidy (2006)

Meridian Magazine says David Pliler is a professional screenwriter with six lucky children and a very patient wife.

He's also the script writer and acts as the diner cook in Outlaw Trail: The Treasure of Butch Cassidy (2006). Filmed in southern Utah, it has great footage of scenery and is a good family film - one you can let children watch unsupervised.

So what if Leroy Parker (aka Butch Cassidy) didn't die in Bolivia? Where did he die and where did he hide his stash? Those are questions answered in this adventure story that pits kids against adults. When that happens the kids always win and the adults look a little silly.

Read more about David Pliler at http://davidpliler.com/

Friday, June 18, 2010

Help Me

This episode of House shows many of the techniques used in search and rescue.