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FLICKS: To Life! and X-Men: Apocalypse

Posted on 02 June 2016 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


To Life! opens tomorrow in neighborhood theaters. A German movie (Auf das leben!) with English subtitles, To Life! is about two misfits who are separated by generational gaps, but united by personal pain and loss.

Ruth (Hannelore Elsner) is a troubled senior with a past. A victim of the Nazi Holocaust, Ruth was a popular cabaret singer in post-war Berlin. After a rocky start, Ruth befriends Jonas (Max Riemelt), a troubled man on the run. As these two lost souls confront their problems, both individuals find simple healing.

At 86 minutes, To Life! feels epic, especially during some clever flashback scenes featuring young Ruth (Sharon Brauner). Once the climax is reached, the film wraps up with sweet denouement that will make one toast “L’Chaim!”

It has been 16 years since Bryan Singer directed the first X-Men movie, a film hailed as the most realistic comic book movie of all time. Now Singer has closed out the second X-Men trilogy, and there is a sense of diminishing returns.

There is an attempt to make X-Men: Apocalypse a stand-alone movie, but the weight of five X-Men movies, two Wolverine movies and one Deadpool film constricts the narrative momentum. With X-Men: Apocalypse, the production staff reaches back to Biblical times to create a villain, En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), an ancient one who recruits the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Of course, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are mutants, most notably former X-Men teammates Storm (Alexandra Shipp, replacing Halle Berry) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

While running the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, wheelchair bound Professor X (James McAvoy) attempts to prevent the end of the world in 1983. Professor X reunites with Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), who served on the X-Men team during the Cuban Missile crisis and end of the Vietnam War.

With Hugh Jackman providing a cameo to set up his final Wolverine movie, X-Men: Apocalypse is a montage of superheroes performing their own unique talents: Mystique is a chameleon, Magneto controls metal and Professor X thinks.

Despite a critical drubbing, this film was the Memorial Day weekend box office champion. It is not a bad film, but it simply feels tired.

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Apocalypse strikes for national crown

Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM

Rylee Hage

By Gary Curreri

Craig Miller wonders if there is anything his semi-pro flag football team Apocalypse can’t accomplish.

The seven-man, Pompano Beach-based team recently won the United States Flag and Touch Football League national championship in Kissimmee by defeating a pair of former national titleholders from New Orleans.

Apocalypse defeated Quick-strike (2008 champs), 30-27, and the Untouchables (2005 and 2010 champs), 36-20, for the title. Both teams were from New Orleans.

“This USFTL national title was our biggest win because the league rules are different and difficult for us, and it was the last title we had not won,” said player/coach Miller, who lives in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

“To be honest, our feelings, after the victory, were more relief than elation. This opportunity only comes once a year, and the stress is off-the-chart.”

Apocalypse, a semi-pro flag football team based in Pompano Beach, has finally added a national crown to its collection of titles. (Back row, L-R): Brad Corliss, Terrance “TB” Bunting, Bernard Summerall, Seneca Evans, James Panuindo, David “DJ” Brooks, John Wassmer, Brian Baer, Howard “Bud” Lewis; (Front row, L-R): Darrin “Tony” Walton, Reggie Haugabook, Coach Craig Miller, Derrick “Hollywood” Brown, Quinton McLendon. Submitted photo

Apocalypse was led by a pair of quarterbacks – Brian Baer of Parkland and Brad Corliss of Davie; rusher/center Derrick Brown of Tamarac; and wide receiver Quinton McClendon of Deerfield Beach. All of these players were named USFTL All-Americans.

Apocalypse tied the all-time state record set by Palace Saloon of Tallahassee in the 1980s with four consecutive A Division FFFL State Championships with its win last year and has already begun its quest for an unprecedented fifth crown in June.

Miller said the team has been so potent that it has had to cut former NFL players from its squad. The national title completed an “Apocalyptic” six-month head-to-head sweep of all national championships for the past seven years.

“We’ve had former NFL players with Division I College National Championship rings who we had to cut from our roster – including a Raider, Titan and Dolphin,” Miller said. “We had NFL receiver Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson on our roster for some local tournaments … He became a “shut-down” corner who saved a game for us in the Willis McGahee (Miami) tournament, which we won.”

The Pompano Beach-based team is slated to play in three more tournaments before the state tournament in Brevard (June 23-24). It will play in Palm Beach (April 14-15), Cocoa Beach (May 19-20) and in Ft. Myers (June 2-3).

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