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Film Review: ‘Chef Flynn’

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 04:24 AM PST

There’s a different, darker film lurking beneath the lusciously edible Food Network surface of “Chef Flynn,” and when director Cameron Yates lets it peek out from the gastroporn, like little chips of charcoal in a white chocolate mousse, you feel a slight jab in your gut. A largely celebratory portrait of one of the most wondrous wunderkinds ever to hit the American culinary scene, self-taught teenage chef Flynn McGarry, Yates’ film gives viewers every reason to believe the hype built up by glossy media profiles over the years — and lets them feel the sting of an online backlash that would get under the skin of even the most dauntless adolescent. But it’s as an ambiguous study of parenting a prodigy that the film lingers on the palate, as McGarry’s mother Meg documents and manages his evolution to an obsessive, gradually oppressive degree.

Following festival berths in Sundance, Berlin and South By Southwest, “Chef Flynn” should easily find a place on VOD menus — though viewers hoping simply for a mouthwatering feature-length slab of “Top Chef”-style entertainment will be surprised by the more conflicted family story at its heart. At the beginning, however, Yates sells us on his 19-year-old subject as an infectiously eager gastronomy geek: McGarry is introduced darting around in the wild, enthusing over foraged ingredients like a junior Jamie Oliver, his signature ginger pompadour bobbing up and down with equal energy. He would ace a culinary TV show, but there’s plenty of time for that yet. Admittedly, those are not words that have been much heeded in the life of a boy who founded a restaurant-level supper club at his Los Angeles home aged 12 and earned a New York Times Magazine cover story at 16.

The film’s decade-spanning timeline is a dense one, invaluably served by Meg McGarry’s vast archive of home video footage: Scarcely a moment on the kid’s precocious journey to chefdom has gone unfilmed by his mother, a filmmaker herself, who regards her son with a mixture of doting parental pride and detached documentarian’s curiosity.

Her helicopter parenting turns on a fine line from endearing to invasive: As Meg and the teenaged Flynn argue in the car over her attempt to him even from a dashboard-mounted camera, one wonders if his preternaturally controlled kitchen is not just a workspace but a sanctuary. By the time she follows him to New York City to help him launch a buzzy pop-up, defensively hectoring diners on an already calamitous first night, he appears to have outgrown her surveillance. When Meg, meanwhile, complains wearily that “the creativity is all on his side,” the perils of guarding your child’s gifts too possessively are made clear.

The film is a little skimpy on the origins of his passion: We’re told that the 10-year-old was spurred to experiment in the kitchen as a reaction to Meg’s post-divorce reliance of takeout, but less about the building blocks between grilled cheese and Cordon Bleu. The McGarrys bristle somewhat, too, on the subject of the financial privilege enabling an expensive hobby, which is understandable — talent is talent is talent, after all. Overall, however, the picture presented of Flynn’s unorthodox childhood seems to be missing a few strokes.

As a simple showcase of his bewilderingly advanced skills, however, “Chef Flynn” serves as a light, persuasive rejoinder to the skeptics — both in the restaurant industry and the dark netherworld of internet comment boards — that emerged with McGarry’s growing celebrity as, in one critic’s sneering words, “Chef Doogie Howser.” Critically, we get to see the young chef crack drastically under pressure. It’d be hard to believe him, or this attractive, diverting film, if we didn’t, or if his family life was as neat as his plating style.

‘The Third Murder’ Wins Six Japan Academy Prizes

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 03:23 AM PST

The Hirokazu Kore-eda legal drama, “The Third Murder” scooped six Japan Academy prizes at the awards ceremony in Tokyo, including awards for best picture, best director, best screenplay and best editing.

Yu Aoi took best actress honors for her turn as a mentally disturbed woman in Kazuya Shiaishi’s relationship drama “Birds Without Names.”

Masaki Suda was named best actor for his performance as a juvenile-delinquent-turned boxer in the Yoshiyuki Kishi’s two-parter “Wilderness.”

Best supporting actor went to “”The Third Murder” star Koji Yakusho, playing a two-time convicted murderer being tried for a third killing, and facing certain execution. Playing the daughter of the murdered man, Suzu Hirose took best the supporting actress prize.

FICCI-Frames: TV Fuels Indian Creative Industry Growth, Says Study

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 03:15 AM PST

India‘s creative industry sector, comprising television, film and OTT, had an overall market size of $11.5 billion in 2017, and is set to grow to $13 billion in 2018, according to a Deloitte report released in Mumbai during the annual Frames conference organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Overall, the sector is projected to grow 12% annually to reach $22.3 billion by 2022.

Television continues to be the dominant sector, growing from $9.1 billion in 2017 to $10.5 billion in 2018. The report notes that the chief challenge to the business is the incomplete digitization process. Though the digitization deadline is long over, some 40 million homes remain analog, Variety has learnt.

Despite the success of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion,” “Tiger Zinda Hai,” and “Dangal,” the film sector has ceased growing. Deloitte forecasts gross revenues $2.25 billion in 2017 to $2.29 billion in 2018. The challenges listed for the film industry are the same as previous years – censorship, clearances and permissions, crippling taxation, piracy, low screen density and rising production costs. The market share of international films, dominated by Hollywood, at the Indian box office, continues to hover around the 10%.

The report valued India‘s nascent OTT market at $109 million in 2017, a number that is set to grow $141 million in 2018 and touch $218 million by 2022. The key growth drivers here are increasing smartphone penetration, the launch of global giants Amazon Prime and Netflix in India, and increasing availability of original content and sports.

Glancing at related sectors, the report notes that India now accounts for approximately 10% of the global animation and VFX outsourcing pie; and that the music industry will register a small growth from $1.8 million in 2017 to $2.1 million in 2018.

Elton John slams ‘rude’ fan

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 01:00 AM PST

Sir Elton John has blamed a “rude and disruptive” fan for him storming off stage during a concert in Las Vegas last Thursday (03.01.18).

The 70-year-old singer invited some lucky audience members up onto the stage with him as he performed his classic hit ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’, but cut short the spot and left the stage after one man allegedly “completely disrupted” his performance by putting his hands on the piano and trying to take pictures of the entertainer up close.

Elton said in a statement: “Thursday night in Las Vegas a fan put his hands on the piano keys while I was playing and continued to do so even after I asked him to stop.

“He then proceeded to reach over the piano and try to take pictures, completely disrupting the performance.

“I bring fans onstage every evening when we play ‘Saturday Night…’ in the set, it is always a lovely part of the show where I get to meet them, shake their hands and have them right there with me while I play. They have always been very courteous to the fact we are in the middle of playing a song live.

“This guy was rude, disruptive and had no care or respect for our show and so I let him know how I felt, then left the stage until they had removed him.”

The ‘Crocodile Rock’ singer spoke out about what had happened after it was claimed he had sworn at fans and stormed off the stage because he was so annoyed by the incident.

A source previously said: “During ‘Saturday Night’ they brought a ton of people on stage, and one guy wouldn’t stop touching him.

“He went off mic and clearly mouthed ‘f**k off’ twice and then pushed his hand.

“He left, and they cut the song short and ushered everyone off stage and escorted the guy out of the building.”

Although Elton later calmed down and returned to the stage, he insisted the incident had made him rethink his concerts.

He said: “No more coming on stage during ‘Saturday Night…’. You f***ed it up.”

The legendary musician then launched into ‘Circle of Life’, from ‘The Lion King’.

Elton – who has sons Zachary, seven, and Elijah, five with his husband David Furnish – recently announced that he plans to quit touring in 2021 and spend more time at home with his family.

He explained his plans to embark on a three-year ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ world tour to mark his retirement, which will see him play over 300 shows across the globe, concluding in 2021.

Timothee Chalamet flattered by Jennifer Lawrence’s crush

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 01:00 AM PST

Timothée Chalamet thinks it is an “honor” that Jennifer Lawrence has a crush on him.

The 22-year-old actor downplayed the ‘Red Sparrow’ actress’ recent praise that she thinks the ‘Call Me By Your Name’ star is “so, so talented and hot”, but he is very flattered to have caught her eye.

Speaking to ‘Entertainment Tonight’ at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, he said: “I don’t know if she said it exactly like that.

“As I’ve said before, she’s a total legend.

She’s an icon amongst young people where it’s tough to have a career at a young age, and she’s done that and then some. So, what an honor.”

Timothée has met Jennifer, 27, in the past and thinks she’s “awesome”.

He added: “I’ve gotten to meet her a couple times. She’s awesome. She’s really… this whole ride has been f**king crazy.”

The ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ actress recently confessed to her crush on the ‘Lady Bird’ actor but admitted she thought he was too young for her, so was planning to wait a few years before she made a move on him.

She quipped: “Timothée, I’m waiting for him to get a little bit older, you know?

“[I’m] buttering him up like a pig for slaughter, and then I’m going to swing right in there as soon as he’s, like, 30.

“He’s old enough to say that, right? He’s over 18? What if I was like, ‘He’s hot!’ and he’s 15?’

“I didn’t realize he was so young. Tell him to wait!… [He’s] so, so talented and hot!”

The ‘Hunger Games’ actress – who previously dated the likes of Coldplay’s Chris Martin, 40, and her ‘Mother!’ director Darren Aronofsky, 49 – recently claimed she is currently in “single mode” but predicted she’ll soon be feeling lonely without a partner.

She said: “I am in the single mode where I am like, ‘Cool, I can do whatever I want and I can be alone and watch terrible TV.’ And then, of course, in a few months I will be devastatingly lonely and feel like I’m on some long waiting list. But I am not there yet.”

Woman’s platonic friend doesn’t understand ‘no’

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 12:01 AM PST

Dear Amy: I am a 58-year-old woman, divorced with three grown kids.

I live on a small farm by myself out in the country.

I am independent. I don’t feel the need to go out all the time.

I have a male friend who I have known for 40 years. He and I dated when I was 20. We were sexually intimate.

He calls me frequently. The problem is I no longer feel ANY sort of physical attraction toward him, but he is still very attracted to me. We have a great time talking at dinner or watching a movie, but then he wants to become physical, and I demur each time.

I have even told him I am no longer interested in sex at all, but he just ignores it and says things like, “Once we start, I know you’ll enjoy it.”

I have (so far) been able to hold my ground but it is getting harder because of the pressure he exerts to be physical. I truly enjoy his company, so I hate to just start saying no to all his invitations. I don’t want to hurt his feelings either, by saying that I don’t find him physically attractive. I need a good line for next time to let him know I enjoy his friendship but only in a strictly platonic way!

— No Sex in the Country

Dear No Sex: How’s this: “Dude. Stop. No means no. Do you get that?”

You have already offered all sorts of explanations to guard his ego. You do not owe him any further explanation about anything. If he can’t handle being platonic and strictly nonsexual friends with you, then you shouldn’t spend time with him.

Dear Amy: I have a friend, “Shelly,” with whom I have had a warm relationship for many years. We met more than two decades ago when we were both engaged to our future-husbands, who were friends.

Over the years, we drifted apart, but always reconnected quickly the few times we ran into each other. We both had tragic illnesses in our respective families, so we could relate to each other’s struggles.

A couple of years ago Shelly’s husband died, leaving her with four school-age children and few financial resources.

Because of my own health issues, I have not been in touch (other than through a condolence card) since she was widowed, but I think of her and her children often.

This past Christmas, I expressed that sentiment in a card to her and included a $100 gift card to a popular family steakhouse in her area, adding that I hoped that she and her family could use it for a fun dinner outing. My husband, “Brent,” personally handed the card to her after a Christmas party that I was unable to attend.

Without opening the card, she said that she was going to call me to catch up on things. That was weeks ago, and I have heard nothing from her.

Do you think that my gift offended her? Her silence makes me wonder if I did something wrong.

— Wondering

Dear Wondering: The last time I gave someone a gift card contained in another card, I experienced some pretty major anxiety about it, because giving a gift card is like enclosing a $100 bill — you can’t know for sure if it has been received, spent or redeemed, unless the recipient tells you. I’ve received Christmas cards at busy times that I’ve put in my backpack and forgotten to open until Easter.

You should contact her. Cop to your own anxiety. Say, “This is awkward, but Brent assured me that he handed you a card at the Christmas party. I’m a little nervous because I had enclosed a gift card, and I just want to make sure that Brent did get it to you. If so, great. And I’m very eager to catch up. I think about you and the kids so often and regret that I haven’t been in closer touch. That’s on me, and I’d like to remedy that.”

You should not automatically assume that your gift has offended her, but if it has, her response to your contact should clue you in.

Dear Amy: “Horrified” taught an adult education class. One of the students insulted another. You suggested that the teacher confront the perpetrator privately. Amy, no! The teacher should contact the school’s dean or administration, and turn this over to them.

— Fellow Teacher

Dear Teacher: I’ve heard from many teachers who suggest a variety of responses, across the board. Mainly, this is a teachable moment, and the teacher should definitely deal with it.

(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.)

OMARR’S DAILY ASTROLOGICAL FORECAST, For release 03/04/18 for 03/04/18

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 12:01 AM PST

BIRTHDAY GAL: Actress Jenna Boyd was born in Bedford, Texas on this date in 1993. This birthday gal portrays Paige on “Atypical” and as a child appeared on episodes of “Criminal Minds,” “Ghost Whisperer,” and “CSI.” On the big screen, Boyd’s film work includes “Last Ounce of Courage,” “The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants,” and “The Missing.” Jenna is the older sister of actor Cayden Boyd.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Step up to the starting gate or you may end up at the back of the pack. In the week ahead roll up your sleeves and get down to business. Resting on your laurels will get you nowhere.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Too much of anything is unhealthy. You may be confident in your professional abilities, but need a break this week. Step back from tedious projects to get your bearings before you finish a job.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Sometimes great things need a little push to get started. You may have doubts as to whether a project is worth starting in the first place. Hold off until mid-week and re-evaluate your plans.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You may have plenty of work, but by the end of the week you will have time to spend. Put free time to good use through creative outlets. Draw a picture, bake a cake or compose a symphony.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A period of indecision and doubt may work out for the best. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to make major purchases. Wait until the last half of the week to make important choices and decisions.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Hold off on making major decisions or changes during the next few days. Wait until the second half of the week to enter into agreements, make commitments or hold a crucial meeting.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You might need a hearing aid to detect the voice of experience. Early in the week, you may ignore sound advice where your job or work is concerned. Count pennies carefully in the week ahead

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Agree to disagree. Don’t let anyone change your opinions no matter how persuasive their arguments may be. In the latter half of the week your energy levels will be at a higher level.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Even the sharpest shooting cupid misses the mark occasionally. An object of your affection may receive mixed messages about your true intentions in the first half of the week.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Conflicts are best avoided. You may be fighting against conventional wisdom, but what seems like a hopeless situation will seem trivial and meaningless by the middle of the week.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It is possible that you will be challenged to be precise rather than passive. You may feel drawn to shiny, attractive things in the first part of the week, but the beauty may not be lasting.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You may be too understanding for your own good. Your intuitions could be far off base. Wait until the second half of the week to make a promise or begin an important creative project.

IF MARCH 4 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: You might meet someone new during the next three to four weeks, but only time will tell if that relationship is merely a fantasy. In April you are wiser and luckier than usual, so this is an excellent time to make key decisions or to launch an important initiative. You have more than enough energy for constructive work to achieve a key goal or complete an important project in May or June. Between June and August your popularity is at a peak, so this is a good time to change jobs or to meet a prospective employer or a romantic partner. September is a good time to put the pedal to the metal and make financial or business dreams a reality.

*Pluggers – Color Comic Panel – 20180304cpplc-s.jpg

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 12:01 AM PST


Posted: 04 Mar 2018 12:01 AM PST



             By J. McCarthy  


Phoenix is 3-7 against the spread its last 10 games overall. Atlanta is a solid 12-3-1 against the spread its last 16 games versus a Western Conference opponent. The home team has won 8 out of the last 10 games in this series. Take Atlanta -2 1/2 for another Best Bet winner.




 Favorite            Points    (O/U)      Underdog  


 ATLANTA               2 1/2   (222)       Phoenix   WASHINGTON            3 1/2   (208.5)     Indiana   TORONTO               9       (219)     Charlotte   New Orleans           3 1/2   (223)        DALLAS   Philadelphia          1       (209.5)   MILWAUKEE   New York              2       (215)    SACRAMENTO   LA CLIPPERS           8       (226)      Brooklyn  


               College Basketball  


 Favorite            Points               Underdog  


 WICHITA ST            1 1/2            Cincinnati   Smu                   9             SOUTH FLORIDA   MEMPHIS               12 1/2        East Carolina   TULSA                 1 1/2                Temple   HOUSTON               15 1/2          Connecticut   CENTRAL FLORIDA       7                    Tulane                 Colonial Conference  

North Charleston Coliseum-North Charleston, SC.

                  Quarterfinals   William & Mary        1                    Towson   Hofstra               5 1/2         NC Wilmington                    Horizon League          Little Caesars Arena-Detroit, MI.                    Quarterfinals   Wisc Milwaukee        1 1/2      Illinois Chicago   Oakland               6 1/2                 Iupui                     Added Games                 Southern Conference           US Cellular Center-Asheville, NC.                      Semifinals   NC Greensboro         3 1/2               Wofford                    Summit League       Sanford Premier Center-Sioux Falls, SD.                    Quarterfinals   Ipfw                  2 1/2       North Dakota St   Denver                1 1/2          Oral Roberts                     Extra Games               Atlantic Sun Conference                  Championship Game   FLORIDA GULF COAST    6 1/2              Lipscomb                   Patriot League                     Semifinals   COLGATE               7 1/2            Holy Cross   BUCKNELL              12                 Boston U                Big South Conference                  Championship Game   RADFORD               2 1/2               Liberty  




 Favorite             Goals    (O/U)      Underdog  


 FLORIDA             Even-1/2  (5.5)  Philadelphia   Nashville           Even-1/2  (6)        COLORADO   ANAHEIM              1/2-1    (5.5)       Chicago   Vegas               Even-1/2  (6)      NEW JERSEY   Winnipeg            Even-1/2  (5.5)      CAROLINA   MINNESOTA            1/2-1    (5.5)       Detroit   SAN JOSE            Even-1/2  (5.5)      Columbus  


               Home Team in CAPS  



Ask Kim: 529 savings plans have more uses, but states need to catch up

Posted: 04 Mar 2018 12:01 AM PST

Q: What are the new rules for using money in a 529 college-savings plan for kindergarten through 12th-grade expenses, rather than just college?

A: The new tax law expanded the definition of eligible expenses for 529s. You can now withdraw up to $10,000 from a 529 each year tax-free to pay tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade. You can still use 529 money tax-free for college expenses, such as tuition and room and board, with no annual limit. For more information about eligible expenses, see the “Qualified Tuition Program” section of IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

The new tax law left some unknowns. Some states need to change their laws to coordinate with the new federal law. Otherwise, they could end up charging state income taxes and a 10 percent penalty for withdrawals that aren’t used for college, says Susie Bauer, senior vice president and 529 manager at Baird Private Wealth Management.

Also, if you received a tax deduction for your contribution, you may have to repay it if you use the money for non-qualified expenses and your state doesn’t change its rules. Contact your plan before taking money out of the 529 for K-12 tuition to make sure the withdrawal is a qualified expense in your state. If your state’s rules aren’t clear yet, you may want to wait a few months before taking a precollege withdrawal. More states should be clarifying their laws in the next few months.

You may also want to adjust your investments. “If you’re going to take advantage of the K-12 tuition change, you need to take into account your time horizon,” says Roger Young, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price. Depending on your child’s age, you may be taking those withdrawals much earlier than you had originally intended, particularly if you invested in an age-based fund whose mix of stocks and bonds are tied to the year your child will start college. In that case, you may want to shift some money you plan to withdraw for K-12 expenses in the next few years to more conservative investments, so you won’t have to worry about market volatility when the tuition bill is due. And because you can change your 529 investments only twice per year, consider keeping the current money invested where it is but adding new contributions to conservative investments for short-term expenses, says Young.

Even though you can now use some money from your 529 for K-12 tuition, think carefully before taking that withdrawal. The longer you keep the money growing in the account, the more time you’ll have to benefit from the tax-free gains for eligible expenses.

(Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.)