Blogs > Tuned in to Pop Culture

They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tie at the weekend box office

Two movies that had gotten somewhat negative feed back (44 percent and 20 percent ratings on Rotten Tomatoes have tied for first place in their opening weekend at the box office. I wonder who spends so much money on movie tickets to see movies that aren't that appealing, but I also remember being a middle-schooler and spending my entire allowance on movie tickets every week, no matter what was playing.

And though I have little desire to see "The Smurfs" - except for the fact that I love Neil Patrick Harris - I do kind of like the Smurf dress Katy Perry wore last week.
It's awful but awesome, right? I couldn't wear it, but it's so fun on her.

From The Associated Press:
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1 (tie). “Cowboys & Aliens,” $36.2 million. (Review by The AP's David Germain)
1 (tie). “The Smurfs,” $36.2 million.
3. “Captain America: The First Avenger,” $24.9 million ($48.5 million international). (Review by The News-Herald's Mark Meszoros; "Evans apprehensive about clutching shield in 'Captain America'" by The AP's Derrik J. Lang; "Captain America's co-creator proud of patriotic hero" by The AP's Matt Moore)
4. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” $21.9 million. (Review by Meszoros; "But what if the 'Harry Potter' stars had never been cast?" by Germain)
5. “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” $19.3 million. (Review by The AP's Christy Lemire)
6. “Friends with Benefits,” $9.3 million. (Review by The AP's Jake Coyle)
7. “Horrible Bosses,” $7.1 million. (Review by Meszoros)
8. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” $6 million ($42 million international). (Review by Meszoros)
9. “Zookeeper,” $4.2 million. (Review by Germain)
10. “Cars 2,” $2.3 million ($30 million international). (Review by Lemire)

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ten in the morning: Favorite superhero movies

With a few days to digest the wonderful film, "Captain America: The First Avenger," I'm fairly confident I'm not a prisoner of the moment when putting together a top 10 list of my favorite superhero movies.

Without question, Captain America deserves to be on my top 10 list. Here we go:

10. "Kick-Ass" (2010): This underrated superhero film was ... well, you know.

9. "V for Vendetta (2006): "Remember, remember the fifth of November."

8. "The Incredibles" (2004): Pixar film a continuous joyride. Particularly enjoy Samuel L. Jackson's Frozone.

7. "Superman: The Movie (1978): The late Christopher Reeve seemed born to play the man of steel.

6. "Spider-Man" (2002): It will be difficult for Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) to outdo Tobey Maguire. We will find out next summer in "The Amazing Spider-Man."

5. "Superman II" (Richard Donner cut, 2006): If you haven't seen this version of the sequel to the first Superman, check it out. Better than Richard Lester's.

4. "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011): Two hours of patriotic fun, and an excellent period piece. It's difficult not to root for Steve Rogers.

3. "Spider-Man 2" (2004): Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus is excellent and the subway scene between Spider-Man and Doc Ock is ground-breaking special affects.

2. "Batman Begins" (2005): A reboot never felt better than director Christopher Nolan's classic.

1. "The Dark Knight" (2008): The Joker (Heath Ledger) and Batman (Christian Bale) matching wits is the gold standard for superhero flicks. It won't be topped. Ever.

- Mark Podolski

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You and the 'Captain' make it happen

The latest big summer blockbuster knocked the previous big summer blockbuster out of first place at the weekend box office. (Sports Editor Mark Podolski blogged about his thoughts on "Captain America", if the links below aren't enough on the first avenger for you.)

From The Associated Press:
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. “Captain America: The First Avenger,” $65.8 million ($2.8 million international). (Review by The News-Herald's Mark Meszoros; "Evans apprehensive about clutching shield in 'Captain America'" by The AP's Derrik J. Lang; "Captain America's co-creator proud of patriotic hero" by The AP's Matt Moore)
2. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” $48 million ($121.3 million international). (Review by Meszoros; "But what if the 'Harry Potter' stars had never been cast?" by The AP's David Germain)
3. “Friends With Benefits,” $18.5 million. (Review by The AP's Jake Coyle)
4. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” $12 million ($62 million international). (Review by Meszoros)
5. “Horrible Bosses,” $11.7 million. (Review by Meszoros)
6. “Zookeeper,” $8.7 million. (Review by Germain)
7. “Cars 2,” $5.7 million ($17.7 million international). (Review by The AP's Christy Lemire)
8. “Winnie the Pooh,” $5.1 million. (Review by Lemire)
9. “Bad Teacher,” $2.6 million. (Review by Lemire)
10. “Midnight in Paris,” $1.9 million.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Friday, July 22, 2011

REVIEW: Captain America: The First Avenger

If you're old enough, there's a good chance you remember a U.S. Army campaign with the catch phrase, "Be all you can be."

That pretty much sums up the character Steve Rogers, who eventually transforms into Captain America. Chris Evans plays the role in "Captain America: The First Avenger," in theaters now.

If you're unfamiliar with Cap's origin, here it is: Rogers is a 100-pound weakling with an assortment of physical ailments who desperately wants to serve his country during World War II, but the army doesn't want him. A transplanted wiz doctor from Germany, who has ties to the film's villain, the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), has created a secret military program called Project: Rebirth, with hopes of using a secret serum to create super soldiers and take out the Nazis.

The project needs a volunteer. Enter Rogers, who's as American as apple pie, and the film makes no bones about it. The character works. Sure, he isn't as edgy as Batman or Spider-Man, but anyone who's ever heard of Captain America knows what you see is what you get. Project: Rebirth works, Rogers goes from zero to muscle-bound hero and has an entire country rooting for him at every turn the rest of the way.

Some say these types of films are campy, not to be taken seriously.  I say they're fun, and that's exactly what we have here, plus a bit more. Like Spider-Man's Peter Parker, Rogers doesn't have much in life until he becomes Captain America, and that makes you root for him that much more.

As for the film, it's a two-hour thrill ride packed with plenty of cool action scenes, a fun villain to root against (you wonder who was more evil, the Red Skull or Hitler), a few surprisingly heartbreaking scenes and a clever cliffhanger ending that sets up Marvel's "The Avengers," set for release next summer.

Most of all, you get what pay for: Captain America and his iconic shield taking on and beating the Nazis. That's good enough for me.

As for Evans, he's OK. It's a physical role and he fits the part. It's the secondary characters that work the best. Tommy Lee Jones plays the grizzled army veteran Colonel Chester Phillips and the role of comic relief. The same goes for Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, the father of the character Tony Stark, who later becomes Iron Man. Remember, the film is set in the 1940s.

Period-piece films can be tricky, but director Joe Johnson pulls it off well, making it nostalgic without losing the fun of what should be one of the top summer action blockbusters of 2011, and why not? You've got a selfless hero wearing red, white and blue going up against the Nazis.

Sure it's a bit corny, but wasn't "Be all you can be" as well?

- Mark Podolski

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The World's Biggest Harry Potter Fan

And I thought I was a big Harry Potter fan.

I mean, I definitely am a big fan. As I wrote last year, I still have my Platform 9 3/4 sign proudly on display (although it has moved from my bedroom to the living room of my condo, which is probably nerdier) in my home. I drove to Westlake to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part II" at 3 a.m. the night it opened in IMAX 3D. I rocked my Harry track jacket modeled after the ones the Tri-Wizard Tournament competitors wore in "Goblet of Fire." I'm going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for my vacation in August. And my one word review of "Part II"? AMAZING.

But I digress.

Steve Petrick is shown dressed up as Harry Potter.
If I thought I was a huge fan, I hadn't heard about Steve Petrick of Pittsburgh. He is the World's Biggest Harry Potter Fan, as evidenced by these photos and a video detailing his fandom.

Read on for more about Petrick from Scripps Howard.
There are fans and there are superfans. And then there's Steve Petrick of Pittsburgh.
He has been crowned the world's biggest Harry Potter fan -- and think how tough the competition for that title had to be. Petrick, 22, won the honors last fall in an online competition sponsored by the website Moviefone.
He has filled three rooms in his house with Potter memorabilia and collectibles and filled his head with trivia on potions, spells and creatures. He has read the books over and over, has a massive wardrobe of Potter clothing -- he can go three months without wearing the same item twice -- and a growing collection of Potter tattoos.
He was supposed to go to Sydney, Australia, for the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" premiere there earlier this week to judge a competition for Australia's biggest fan. But since the competition wasn't sanctioned by "Potter" producer Warner Bros., the trip didn't happen. Instead, the world's biggest fan was expected to hit the opening-day showings Friday like everybody else.
His "World's Biggest Harry Potter Fan" video, posted on YouTube, has more than 1.5 million views and has netted him TV and radio guest spots.
Plenty of people in Petrick's generation are captivated -- OK, obsessed -- by Harry and friends. But few have built elaborate, over-the-top shrines to author J. K. Rowling's creation.
"I love to surround myself with a world that taught me how to be comfortable in my own skin," he said in an interview this week. "I like to feel like I'm collecting artifacts from a rare and mysterious world."
Much of his massive collection consists of gifts from family members. There's an autographed copy of the British version of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," a Final Challenge chess set and a printing proof and embossing plate used to publish "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." And at least 15 wands.
Petrick will be a sophomore fine-arts major, with a concentration in drawing and double major in animation, at Kent State University next year.
He caught the Potter-mania bug in sixth grade. He failed English that year and his parents grounded him from all activities except for reading and homework.
"My grandma, both feeling bad and knowing how to manipulate me, handed me a package when I visited for Thanksgiving. She told me if I accepted the gift, my grades had to come up." The gift was "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the first book in the seven-book series.
"As soon as I was done reading it, I immediately wanted the next one," he said.
He claims to have re-read each volume in the series 100 times. "I re-read them every time a new book came out, every time I didn't have anything else to read, and basically whenever the teacher wasn't looking."
For Petrick, the films are second to the books, and his collection is a by-product of his love for the books.
In 2006, he went to New York to see J.K. Rowling do a charity book reading. "I was only 17 at the time and asked my parents 'If Jo Rowling signs my arm, can I get it tattooed there?' Thinking there was a snowball's chance ... (they) said yes."
He was able to get a book -- and his arm -- autographed, however, and now Rowling's signature is one of several Potter-themed tattoos he has. Others include the Hogwarts crest, the symbol of the Deathly Hallows and Sirius Black's prison numbers on the back of his neck. "Mischief Managed" on his chest is a recent addition. He plans to get more -- good guys on the right arm, bad guys on the left, a lightning-bolt scar in UV-reactive ink on his forehead and "I must not tell lies" in white ink on the back of his right hand (a reference from the fifth book in the series, "The Order of the Phoenix.")
Of all his treasures, the Rowling autograph/tattoo is his favorite. "The one on my arm is probably worthless, seeing as it has no resale value, but to me it's the most valuable."
Petrick is writing his own books and designing their covers. "Most are of the fantasy genre, but some are romance, some are ... stretched reality." He'd like to work on a Harry Potter graphic novel some day. "I'd love to tell the story completely true to its word and illustrate some of the things we haven't had the chance to see in the movies."
The premiere of "Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" is bittersweet for Potter fans because it means the end of a magical era. But Petrick says that he and all other Potter fans have plenty to look forward to, including spinoff projects such as the fall launch of, an interactive online experience based on the book series.
And he plans to keep expanding his own collection of Potter artifacts. "I want my own little museum eventually."
 For more on Petrick, visit his Facebook fan page.

Click here for a review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part II."

-- Danielle Capriato |


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer released

It's Comic-Con week, so that means movie trailers will get the 24-7 treatment in San Diego. Fans will be begging for them.

One such trailer has already been released. "The Dark Knight Rises," Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman film will hit screens in 2012, but fans have their first taste of what to expect, which is once again an intense movie-going experience. Check it out below.

In other super hero news, I'll be in attendance on Wednesday for an advanced screening of "Captain America: The First Avenger," starring Chris Evans. I'm excited for the film, and I think it has a chance to be the surprise hit of the summer, but we'll see. I'll post a blog about the film on Thursday.

I'm also excited about the photos Entertainment Weekly released for next summer's "The Amazing Spider-Man," starring Andrew Garfield (The Social Network). Critics have said it's too soon for a reboot of the franchise, but I say an emphatic YES. Spider-Man 3 was a major disappointment and some new faces and a new take on Spidey was needed.

- Mark Podolski

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Splitscreen: A Love Story

Technology allows people to do really awesome things, and the Internet lets them share it. Check out this neat splitscreen video called "Splitscreen: A Love Story," which was winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011.

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

'Harry Potter' on track to make $1 billion

It seems like it's about time I get into this "Harry Potter" phenomenon - or is it too late, now that the movie franchise is ending? Someday, I'm sure I'll read the books and see the movies. I'm just a little bit behind most of the literate world.

From The Associated Press:
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” $168.6 million ($307 million international). (Review from The News-Herald's Mark Meszoros; "But what if the 'Harry Potter' stars had never been cast?" by The AP's David Germain)
2. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” $21.3 million ($39 million international). (Review by Meszoros)
3. “Horrible Bosses,” $17.6 million. (Review by Meszoros)
4. “Zookeeper,” $12.3 million. (Review by Germain)
5. “Cars 2,” $8.3 million ($12.4 million international). (Review by The AP's Christy Lemire)
6. “Winnie the Pooh,” $8 million. (Review by Lemire)
7. “Bad Teacher,” $5.2 million. (Review by Lemire)
8. “Larry Crowne,” $2.6 million. (Review by Meszoros; "Tom Hanks may be a huge star, but he makes a believable everyman" by Germain)
9. “Super 8,” $1.92 million. (Review by Meszoros)
10. “Midnight in Paris,” $1.9 million.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Fans wait for final Harry Potter film

The News-Herald waited with Harry Potter fans for the first showing of the final movie in the series. Check out what we saw below.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Coming to a close

Mere hours stand between myself and the midnight release of the final film of the Harry Potter series.
It’s bittersweet.

As the time draws nearer, I find myself thinking on a regular basis, “Oh my God! Harry Potter is only so many days away!” Or, as I’m writing this, hours.

And although it is extremely exciting and I cannot wait to see how the director has transformed the second portion of my favorite book, I’m sad to see it end.

Pottermore isn’t going to cut it. 

Thirteen years ago, when I was 10 years old, the first book was published in the U.S., and in 2007, when I turned 19, I finished “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” This series has been a part of my entire life - at least the years I can actually, clearly remember.

Although I am very passionate about the books now, I actually had stopped reading them after the fourth book was published.

I couldn’t tell you why -- I just lost interest.

When my grandmother, who was dying of lung cancer, picked up the series, my interest sparked again – mostly as a way to be closer to her and have a connection after she passed away.

The fifth, sixth and seventh books have all been my favorite, with the final being the clear-cut winner.
As for the movies, I have been a fan all along, although when I look back at the first one now, it does feel a little cheesy. The good news for me is that I am bound to be thrilled (and balling my eyes out) while watching the last movie. I have loved the books, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve read them, so I don’t remember all of the minute details that someone else may pick up on if it were to be left out of the film.

I heard a lot of complaints about part one of this movie, due to the fact that it was a slower pace. I personally felt they did a wonderful job with it, and all the detail that I did remember from the book was laid out exactly the way I had imagined it. I remember anticipating watching Harry, Hermoine and Ron in the forest as they were in hiding trying to figure out exactly what to do.

I imagine for those who were disappointed with part one, that part two will differ greatly and you can expect a lot of action, and heartache. If you haven’t read the books,  get ready.

Ohhhh, I love Harry Potter. I wonder if any other series will captivate me the way this one has, and if it will be as long of a ride – 13 years, over half of my life.

-- Caitlin Fertal


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Boo Netflix

I am not happy, and I'm sure many of you Netflix subscribers feel the same way.

If you haven't heard the news, Netflix is raising its prices, by quite a bit.

Is it really worth it for me to nearly double what I'm paying to get the same service as now? Probably not.

"Netflix’s willingness to risk alienating subscribers signals that it needs to bring in more money to cover its rising costs," The Associated Press writes.

The price spike set off a mostly angry discussion on Twitter: Dear Netflix was trending late Tuesday night. Several of the tweets I saw were people complaining that more of the catalog isn't available for streaming. (Of course, the company has to pay for the rights to stream content and couldn't afford to go streaming-only without cutting its catalog.) One tweet mentioned using Redbox instead, which I suppose would be fine if you are looking to watch more new releases.

I use Netflix to watch a lot of older movies and TV shows that I missed in their original run, and I really hate that canceling the mail part of my plan would mean giving that up. But that's what the library is for, right?

What are you going to be doing with your Netflix account?

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Great news for wizards and muggles!

America's finest news source is reporting that the final minutes of the seventh "Harry Potter" movie will be split into seven more movies to extend the series through 2019:

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's 'Transformers' again

Ouch, kind of a weak weekend at the box office. The top movie made $70 million less than last week, and the awful-looking "Zookeeper" placed third, ahead of a Pixar flick.

From The Associated Press:
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released today.
1. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” $47 million ($93 million international). (Review by The News-Herald's Mark Meszoros)
2. “Horrible Bosses,” $28.1 million. (Review by Meszoros)
3. “Zookeeper,” $21 million ($7.5 million international). (Review by The AP's David Germain)
4. “Cars 2,” $15.2 million ($26.9 million international). (Review by The AP's Christy Lemire)
5. “Bad Teacher,” $9 million. (Review by Lemire)
6. “Larry Crowne,” $6.3 million. (Review by Meszoros; "Tom Hanks may be a huge star, but he makes a believable everyman" by Germain)
7. “Super 8,” $4.8 million ($2.5 million international). (Review by Meszoros)
8. “Monte Carlo,” $3.8 million.
9. “Green Lantern,” $3.1 million. (Review by Lemire)
10. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” $2.9 million. (Review by The AP's Jake Coyle)

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sly turns 65

Tuesday was Sylvester Stallone's 65th birthday.

Sly is the man. The guy defines the American dream.

Check out a great video montage of his acting career below.

- Mark Podolski


Revisiting 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

The other night I was looking for something on TV to zone out to, and "Mrs. Doubtfire" was on. I enjoyed the movie when I was younger and figured it would make for good background entertainment while I played on my iPod Touch. Instead, I became somewhat engrossed in the movie while trying to figure out what it was that so entertained me when I was younger.

The story: Robin Williams plays an unemployed actor who pretends to be a woman that his ex-wife hires as a housekeeper so he can spend time with his kids. (My BF tells me that "Tootsie" does a better job with this story idea, though I've never seen it [it came out before I was born].)

I had thought the plot of "Mrs. Doubtfire" and the craaaaazy situations were hilarious. Now, I can't wrap my mind around how this could have worked. (Yes, I know it's just a movie, and Hollywood happenings don't have to be real, but they should be plausible, or plausible in the setting in which they exist [magic is OK in a movie that establishes that magic exists, for example].) Eighteen years after the movie was in theaters, I keep asking myself, "How did this get made?"

First of all, logistics: How the heck did Mrs. Doubtfire get paid? Did Miranda write a check to "Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire"? How did a man named Daniel cash that check?

Secondly: Didn't Miranda think to call references before hiring a housekeeper? Who in their right mind hires someone to care for their children without checking them out with someone else who has employed that person?

The final restaurant scene: Daniel and Mrs. Doubtfire - who are the same person - need to be in the same place at the same time! How will he ever pull it off?!?! (Spoiler alert: He doesn't.) You can't spend that much time away from your dinnermates without them wondering what the heck is going on with you. Also, drinking a lot of alcohol doesn't help. I didn't catch the fact that he was drunk when I was younger, so the stumbling around of Mrs. Doubtfire made a little more sense this time around.

And after you've spend 15 years married to the same person, wouldn't you recognize their eyes? Even with the mask, the wig and the body suit, the eyes are still the same. Shouldn't Miranda have figured out it was Daniel?

I don't think I'll be watching this movie again.

Sidenote: This movie probably shouldn't be watched in the two-hour timeslot on cable television. The film runs at 125 minutes, but the version I caught the other night made it in 120 - including commercials - probably cutting out nearly an hour of movie. (On second thought, maybe it's better that way?) I don't remember the movie well enough to know which scenes were omitted, so maybe some of my above questions were resolved in parts that didn't make the cut.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Google+, the new Facebook?

About a week ago, Google launched its next attempt at breaking into social media.

Google+ is the search giant's response to the popularity of such social sites as Facebook, Twitter, and even Foursquare. Upon launch, the only people able to access the social site were select individuals such as journalists and others who were given invites. As the site gained notoriety, more people were invited. Because of high interest, Google has turned off invites at times, meaning a small-but-sizeable network of individuals have Google+ profiles.

I was fortunate enough to score an invite last Thursday, and have been able to invite a handful of other friends to join me. At this point, I'm mostly connected to those few friends, a few others who had been previously invited, and a handful of people I know only through Twitter. 

Needless to say... So far I'm not that impressed.

Google+ does absolutely nothing my other networking sites don't already do. There's a live stream that mimics the Facebook news feed, status updates or the ability to post links or other media, chats, a check in process, and a mobile app. I can tag friends in pictures, +1 posts I appreciate (the equivalent of a Facebook "like") and create "circles" of my contacts so I can decide to share information with select groups of people. What differs from other social sites, at least that I've noticed so far, are the video "hangouts" where you can create video chats for any number of contacts in your circles, and a feature called "Sparks" that really mimics StumbleUpon in that it allows you to choose interests (music, movies, comedy) and Google delivers news bits or blog posts to you based on things you say you like.

The circle concept was leaked months ago when there was talk of Google launching a new networking site. The basic appeal was supposed to be that Google's site would allow more privacy controls for people who would like to share content. Users can lump coworkers together, friends from high school, friends from college, people with brown hair, people who have pet cats, or whatever oddball categories you want. (Entertainment Editor Mark Meszoros told me he was going to move me to "mortal enemies." I'm going to have to keep my eye on him.)
This is an image from Google, not one of my account.

The best part about circles is that you can just drag and drop people into them. It makes it really easy to organize your contacts. Of course, Facebook and Twitter both have list functions, but editing them is not as simple or enjoyable. However, I have so few contacts on Google+ at this point, circles have already lost their appeal.

What I do like about Google+ is the way it looks. It is clean, like most of Google's properties, and fairly intuitive and pretty easy to use. What I'm finding boring about it is that so few people are using it--and with invites down, that can't really change any time soon. But how, I wonder, am I supposed to enjoy a social media site when I can't actually be social?

My opinions, of course, are pretty rudimentary. I am certainly not a techie, but I have found it interesting to be able to explore this new development.

Anybody else out there using Google+? I'd love to hear what others have to say.

For a better understanding of what Google+ is, check out the Official Google Blog post about it. And for more reviews from those more "in the know" than I, click here, here, here and here.

Danielle Capriato |

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Monday, July 4, 2011

'Transformers' rakes it in

I haven't seen any of the "Transformers" movies and don't know anything about Decepticons (which my spell check and I always think should be "Deceptions"), but didn't the second installment in the series get a pretty awful review? Why are so many people flocking to theaters to see this? The thrill of the summer blockbuster will win over any movie review. (Our own Mark Meszoros gave the flick two stars out of four.)

From The Associated Press:
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Monday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released today.
1. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” $116.4 million ($217 million international). (Review by The News-Herald's Mark Meszoros)
2. “Cars 2,” $32.1 million ($24.4 million international). (Review by The AP's Christy Lemire)
3. “Bad Teacher,” $17.6 million. (Review by Lemire)
4. “Larry Crowne,” $15.7 million. (Review by Meszoros; "Tom Hanks may be a huge star, but he makes a believable everyman" by The AP's David Germain)
5. “Super 8,” $9.5 million. (Review by Meszoros)
6. “Monte Carlo,” $8.8 million.
7. “Green Lantern,” $8 million. (Review by Lemire)
8. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” $6.9 million. (Review by The AP's Jake Coyle)
9. “Bridesmaids,” $4.4 million ($7.2 million international). (Review by Christy Lemire)
10. “Midnight in Paris,” $4.3 million.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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