New Jack City: Summer 2014 Movies Fizzle at the Box office

grG8DMRMany moons from now when we look back to the movie summer of 2014, we’ll still be asking ourselves, WHAT HAPPENED?

However, the answer is really quite simple. As a wise man so brilliantly put it:

“IF PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO SEE IT, THERE’S NO STOPPING THEM.”

It goes without saying that the movie industry—primarily the exhibition side—has just come off one of the most blistering summer seasons in ages.

Depending on who you believe, the domestic, hot weather box office from May through Labor Day was down some 20 to 25% from the summer of 2013.

Not a single film hit the magic $300 million domestic breakthrough. Continue reading

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Hearne: The Secret of Des Moines, Iowa’s Success

Look how clean downtown Des Moines looks

Downtown Des Moines, so pristine it looks photoshopped!

Trust me on this…

You wouldn’t want to have to live in Wichita. Just being from there must be a downer, judging from the folks I’ve in Kansas City who run successful bars, restaurants or businesses that practically apologize for being from the land down under.

And don’t get me started on Topeka.

I think I’ve made myself clear on how lame the capital of Kansas is and you know how much I hate to repeat myself.

Omaha?

Doable, I suppose, if one had to.

Although after suffering through two years in Lawrence, Kansas’ KU basketball cult, I’m pretty sure 24/7 Cornhusker Mania would be equally insufferable.

And despite the physical charms of Omaha’s Old Market, my experience was the people didn’t appear much different than the folks at Sam’s in Topeka. I know I’m being catty, just trying to keep it real.

Like most rural cities, cooler dudes like Nebraskans Kevin Collison and Greg Hall usually find a way to escape the gravitational pull to places like Kansas City or Denver.

Which brings us to the topic of the day, Des Moines, Iowa.

And while this may represent a rush to judgement, I have to say, I think I could actually handle living in Des Moines. Seriously.

Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 7 Comments

Hearne: Lawrence’s ‘John Brown Underground’ Facing Steep Odds

IMG_4641It was one of the most anticipated bar openings in Lawrence in ages…

And on a frisky Friday late last month – in the midst of the Lawrence Busker Festival – a “speakeasy” called the John Brown Underground quietly came into this world at 7 East 7th Street in downtown Lawrence.

A speakeasy, you say?

My dictionary defines speakeasy as “a saloon or nightclub selling alcoholic beverages illegally, especially during Prohibition.”

And since Prohibition has long since passed, and pretty much all of the liquor I saw at the tiny basement club appeared to be of the “legal” variety, I’d say John Brown’s speakeasy reference has a lot more to do with the fad of retro style bars hustling classic cocktails than any illegal activities.

Early on rumors that the John Brown was to be a “gentlemen’s club” had some local lasses a titter over the prospect of scantily clad, lewd women cozying up to ungentlemanly gentlemen. That however was not to be.

Here’s the deal… Continue reading

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Hearne: This Just In…Star Mag Was Right, Des Moines is Hip

IMG_4741Kansas City hates being looked down upon…

We don’t like playing second fiddle to St. Louis and don’t like getting lumped in with third rate “flyover” cities like Wichita, Omaha and Des Moines.

We hate it.

That’s why for the better part of more than 15 years, the thing that pissed off Kansas City Star readers of my column most were my tongue-in-cheek references to KC as “the cowtown.”

Hey, Kansas City is World Class with attractions like Major League Baseball, the NFLNelson-Atkins Museum and Country Club Plaza. We’ve got two – count ‘emApple Stores and two – count ‘em againTrader Joe’s. We’ve got the Sprint Center, Sporting Kansas City and one of the finest stadiums in all Major League Soccer. We’ve got some killer local barbecue joints and most of the important fast food chains, with the exception of In-N-Out Burger.

Nothing third rate about us. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 11 Comments

Leftridge: Chiefs Could Have Gone 4-0 in the Preseason, Would Still Suck This Year

In case you missed it, the Kansas City Chiefs did not have a very good preseason. In fact, it was pretty abysmal. This has caused uneducated football fans around the city to declare “THIS TEAM IS GONNA BE REAL BAD NOT GOOD OH GOD FIRE CARL PEDDERSON NOW!”

Now, before I receive scores of threatening hate-mail (by which I mean “comments on this blog“), please allow me to assure you that I do not expect big things from the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs. As a matter of fact, I think they will be a very disappointing team and will be quite lucky to amass seven wins. (And eight wins would take a miracle, I bet.)

But they won’t be bad because of their preseason struggles. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Glazer: It’s Gonna to be a Really Long Chiefs Season

2012-11-22-tyler-bray-4_3_r560

Tyler Bray The Chiefs lone bright spot

Some of us watched the Kansas City Chiefs last preseason game last night…

And just like the other three Chiefs preseason games, the team stunk up the field. There’s precious little to brag about with this final, horrid example of what’s to come for our boys in red for the 2014 season. Clearly they’re one of the NFL’s worst teams.

And nobody who knows football will argue that anymore. Not now, anyway.

The Chiefs have shown nothing, zip. It’s a major step backward from last year’s unimpressive season end. Yep, another bad year for our Chiefs, coming right up. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 20 Comments

Calvin Sense: Contrary to Popular Opinion California Gov. Jerry Brown Cares Not for Working Americans

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Unbelievable! 

California Governor Jerry Brown said Thursday that illegal aliens are welcome in California and he’s going to extend state benefits, financial aid, and facilitate getting drivers licenses to help them.

California is already a sanctuary state and Brown is taking this concept to the highest level possible.  He also said he’s going to find a way to make shorter wait times for people entering California at the Tijuana-San Diego crossing.

I’m sure the drug traffickers and people smugglers are gearing up for a great future!  

Does Brown even know these types of crimes exist? Continue reading

Posted in Calvin Sense, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Paul Wilson: Sprint’s New Rate Plan Likely to Trigger Massive Layoffs

406328_353377968076055_177145255_n1Before I dig into this too deep bear in mind, Sprint’s No. 1 problem is churn…

Which results in eroding margins. And when you look at anything they do going forward, it has to be weighed against that as the base line understanding before you can judge any changes as positive or negative.

Unfortunately, in the end, Sprint’s latest effort may fall short.

The new plan claims to double the data offering, even though rumor has it your speed is actually throttled back on the cheapest plan.

Next, Sprint are offering a credit of up to $350 for customers switching from other carriers. Customer acquisition is expensive enough as it is, so where’s the $350 going to come from? Straight from the bottom line is the answer, which will further erode margins.

And bear in mind, keeping a happy customer – retention – is cheaper than getting a new one – acquisition. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 3 Comments

Hearne: Lefsetz Decries, ‘He Who Dies With the Most Toyz’

He-Who-Dies-With-the-Most-ToysSometimes I wonder that if whether it weren’t for cliches, this country would collapse...

Culturally. Just blow away. And as if we didn’t have more than enough of them growing up, every year we add more to the slag heap of our existences.

Take “Live by the sword.” Isn’t that really just a variation on, “Whatever it takes”?

And aren’t the “cup half full” and “taking it up the @$$” really  just another way of quantifying “the 47 percent”?

The list goes on… Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 8 Comments

Calvin Sense: Run Ben, Run! Dr. Ben Carson Wins Iowa Straw Poll

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Carson for winning the Polk County Iowa Straw Poll and the Western Conservative Summit Poll in Denver…

 If you haven’t seen Dr. Carson on talk shows such as the O’Reilly Factor it is a must that you do.  One of the principles he believes in is free speech. He doesn’t believe in political correctness and has been quoted as saying, “I hate political correctness.” 

Carson believes it’s antithetical to the nation’s founding principles of freedom of speech and expression. As you know, I too do not believe in political correctness for it’s hindering us as a society from emphatically saying what needs to be said. And it makes wimps out of people.

Carson is fiscally conservative and believes the American Dream can be obtained by anyone.  In these straw polls he’s beaten Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Rick Perry of Texas, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and as many as 50 other candidates. 

If anyone favors him ,indicate so in your comments and maybe we can get him to visit our city.

                     

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.” Charles Schwab

Calvin Sense is a prominent African-American businessman who has chosen not to revel his true identity. 

Posted in CalvinSense | 16 Comments

Paul Wilson: Olathe Attorney Claims Hillary Can’t Win

Hillary ClintonFrom time to time your well-coiffed Scribe likes to hang out on the patio of Dub V’s, a nondescript bar across from the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe…

You know, enjoying a cigar and fine conversation with some of the city’s best and the brightest attorneys and judges. Among them, political junkie Michael Dreiling.

Last week the topic turned to why Hillary Clinton won’t win the presidency.

That’s Dreiling’s opinion and I happen to share it, regardless of what Harley says. We’re not going to see another Clinton in the White House. Not anytime soon anyway.

Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | Tagged , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Sutherland: Is Elite Education Poison Ivy?

WilliamDeresiewiczAMBQSix years ago, William Deresiewicz, a former Yale professor and literary critic, wrote a very cogent and thought-provoking essay, “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education.” 

Last month, he followed up on his original diagnosis, expanded on it with further observations, and made suggestions for how to address the problem. Deresiewicz gave this most recent piece the catchy title, “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.”

As if that weren’t enough to fuel the debate, he has now published a full length book, “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life,” which the latest essay is a chapter in.

Deresiewicz’s take on the contemporary world of elite education in America is accurate and comprehensive (By “elite education,” he means the most selective colleges and universities, plus the secondary schools that prepare students for those institutions, plus the whole new industry of college advisers and counselors whose job is to help applicants navigate the labyrinthine path to admission.) Continue reading

Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Pierce Brosnan Plays Russian Roulette as ‘The November Man’

MV5BNTkzMDk5NjUxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzMwOTMyMjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Forget Bond, James Bond

As ex-CIA agent Peter Devereaux, Pierce Brosnan is a lot edgier—taking on the bad guys in an R-rated, no rules kind of way.

Code named THE NOVEMBER MAN, Brosnan is surprisingly lethal despite that he’s enjoying the quiet life these days living in Switzerland.

Of course there’s always that last mission in Hollywood thrillers.

And here it’s trying to save the woman he once loved and had a daughter with. However when that Moscow mission fails he attempts to track down her killer who just happens to be a former protege.

And a mole messing up the works…ya think? Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 2 Comments

Glazer: A Salute to Chelsea Handler as She Hangs it Up on the E-Channel

chelsea-handler-playboy-cover-jpg-1I know, I know many of you don’t like Chelsea Handler

She’s a little slutty and brash – drunk and high at times – but always a winner. Last night Chelsea said goodbye to her long running television series, CHELSEA LATELY. She did it with a star studded cast singing, WE ARE THE WORLD. Chelsea style. You know, Chelsea Hammer.

Oh, and it was star studded alright.

Goodbye, E Channel with Gloria Estefan leading the way. Even Jennifer Aniston showed up. No doubt Handler’s a big star with big bucks and big power. No, not enough to get her the hosting gig on the TONIGHT SHOW or LETTERMAN, but enough to get her her own talk show on Netflix.

Handler has produced and owned several television sitcoms and made millions. She even had an ill fated sitcom with Stanford’s regular Ali Wong. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Calvin Sense: When Will the Funerals for Looted Businesses be Held?

quiktrip_fergusonWhy don’t people seem to care about the businesses in Ferguson that were looted?  

Where is the presidential task force to provide capital to help the small businesses that were vandalized and looted reopen?  Where are the comments from the African American community for laws to be enacted to help the looted businesses recover?

What are the families of the looted businesses owners to do for food, utilities and other necessities of life, having no income because their business has been destroyed?

What is the phone number of the emotional hotline to help the business owners get over the tremendous amount of depression they’re suffering now?

I could go on and on but the point is no one cares. Continue reading

Posted in Calvin Sense | 12 Comments

Starbeams: Lenexa Roundabouts, Goo Goo Dolls & Sofia Vergara

traffic-circle-pch-lkwd-blvd1Little Known Fact:  The movie “Maze Runner” was filmed in the endless string of traffic circles in Lenexa.

*******

White students are now a minority in U.S. public schools.  This means Mexican restaurants can finally start charging money for chips.

                                                          *******

President Obama left Martha’s Vineyard Monday morning.  He says he can hardly wait for Labor Day in the Hamptons!

                                                                ******* Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: Will the Real Al Sharpton Please Stand?

UnknownTalk about out of Left Field…

Yesterday our favorite race baiter – the Reverend with no church, the activist better coiffed than your well coifed Scribe – spoke at Michael Brown’s funeral. You can call him Al.

Brown, as you know, is the 18 year old black man shot by the Ferguson, Mo cop.

Here in good ole KC, we’ve got Blolonzo Washington, our local junior race baiter wannabe, who doesn’t compare with master baiters, Jesse, Al and their ilk. And while I’m ultra quick to slap them around, I have to mention when they do something right as well.

And Al had a few words of wisdom worth hearing… Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 27 Comments

Calvin Sense: Negative Rap Heroes Create Negative Wanna-Bes & Hunting for Foley Killer

suge_snoop-1The shooting of Suge Knight - gangster rap mogul and founder of Death Row Records – at last night’s pre-party for the Video Music Awards highlights the negative image of the music industry.

Unfortunately this negative image is a role model for African-American youth.

Kids who believe that becoming rich can be not only fast and easy and glamorous if you become a rap artist. This gangster image is also prevalent in sports by a lot of African-American athletes. The saying goes, “All the rappers wanna be athletes and all the athletes wanna be rappers.”  

And looting is the gangster rapper’s mentality.

I have no doubt the rappers bravado was on Michael Brown’s mind when he strong-armed the storekeeper in Ferguson. Continue reading

Posted in CalvinSense | 3 Comments

Glazer: Woodside Health & Tennis Streaks Past KC’s ‘Traditional’ Golf Clubs

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Craig Glazer (far left) Ted McKnight & Nicci (far right)

The verdict is in…

After a huge capital investment the Woodside Health & Tennis Club’s fabulous redo is complete and represents a major change in direction for the club. That being a measure of new style country club success that likely will greatly diminish the status of Old Guard, blue blood, golf club snob country clubs.

I’ve never seen a local club like Woodside with full pool crowds on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The tans, the smiles the well built, upwardly mobil members feasting on a cutting edge new social spot. It’s an all-ages club – meaning there is NO GOLF COURSE – which is very likely is the wave of the future.

Kansas City has long been a Who’s Who, country club city type of town, with private clubs like Mission Hills, Oakwood and Kansas City Country Club to name the big guns. Clubs that require prospective members to make it past a very close – and often catty – scrutiny to join.

We all remember the controversy when golfer Tom Watson quit the KCCC after failing to get Jewish friend Henry Bloch into the club. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Donnelly: DC Hands Sporting Worst Loss Ever at Sporting Park

Photo by Nick Tre.Smith/SKC/AZO

The American flag at the northeast corner of Sporting Park was lifeless and limp as the National Anthem filled the stadium.  On the pitch the temperature was over 100 degrees.

Halfway through the tune, several of the customary pre-game fireworks appeared to malfunction, redirecting into the east stands and the Cauldron. I don’t believe anyone was hurt, but everything seemed out of sorts in the packed house. One guy posted a picture showing a burn mark on his shirt.

Yes, Saturday was a weirdly dramatic night in the battle for first place with Sporting Kansas City facing off against DC United, the next best team in the Eastern Conference. Continue reading

Posted in Matthew_Donnelly, Uncategorized | 3 Comments