It may seem early to start a “Worst Movies of the Year” list, but surely “Baywatch” will qualify. A raunchy parody of the old TV series, “Baywatch” struggles to mine a few meager laughs from gross-out jokes, but it drowns in its own off-color excesses. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron have charisma and the female cast members provide plenty of cheesecake, but they’re efforts can’t resuscitate this victim.


And speaking of shipwrecks, Johnny Depp’s latest appearance as Capt. Jack Sparrow isn’t enough to save the bloated adventure, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the fifth entry in the popular series. The production values are stupendous and it has some dazzling action sequences, but the plot is so perplexing that it seems like they were making it up as they went along. An Easter Egg after the credits hints that there may be one more episode in the works.


Reclusive actress Debra Winger and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts star in “The Lovers,” a comic drama about an aging married couple who are both involved in extramarital affairs. Things get complicated when they start cheating on their lovers…with each other. It’s beautifully acted and more than just a little twisted.


Liev Schreiber’s affable performance is the driving force behind “Chuck,” the true story of ups and downs in the life of Chuck Wepner, the boxer who inspired the story of “Rocky” and gained fame by going 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. The strong supporting cast includes Jim Gafigan, Elizabeth Moss and Naomi Watts. While it’s no knockout, “Chuck” is one likable palooka.


Also opening this week, “The Survivalist” is a post-apocalyptic drama about a man protecting his small harvest from starving strangers. “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” is a documentary about the famous and influential chef.

Susan and Russ have different takes on “Norman,” a character study starring Richard Gere, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi. Gere plays a wheeler dealer who uses his relationship with an Israeli government official to ingratiate himself with the Jewish business elite of New York City.

TAKE TWO: “Norman”
Episode date : May 26, 2017
On Take Two

We present a press conference held last week concerning how EPA budgetary cutbacks will adversely impact Kansas City. We also present testimony from the public hearing held last week regarding plans for the old Bannister Federal Complex.

Enjoying arts, architecture and historic neighborhoods in KC, John Hoffman will discuss his program, “Arts Alive,” its events discovering art, artist workshops, and the many art-connected businesses and organizations, as well as creative work being done to enhance development with grace and beauty in Kansas City.

On this week’s edition of Arts Magazine, Michael Hogge welcomes actor Phil Fiorini and director John Rensenhouse to talk about the Kansas City Actors Theatre production of The Realistic Joneses. Later, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme…. or I should say, the actress who portrays her, Liz Golson, along with director Michael Grayman, will join us to chat about the Spinning Tree Theatre production of Assassins.

KCMO Human Relations Department Talks Housing Discrimination

One of the factors that makes it easier for the formerly incarcerated to succeed at reintegrating into society is stable housing. Many returnees even with employment and support are often denied housing because of their conviction. The Federal Government does not allow those with drug convictions to live in subsidized housing even if it means they are separated from the family support system that could mean success.

Host Teresa Wilke speaks with Paul Pierce, Discrimination Investigator and Greta Wills, housing Investigator with KCMO Human Relations Department about reporting housing discrimination by those with convictions and the laws that protect them.

KCMO Human Relations Department –
webpage – http://kcmo.gov/humanrelations/about-2/
Phone – (816) 513-1836

Justice Department Report On Deaths In Jail

The number of deaths behind bars has been on the rise perhaps because of poor diet and substandard food, denial of or inadequate healthcare, violence by inmates and guards and other factors. The Justice Department conducted a study in 2015 on the rise in fatalities of those who do not have death sentences.

Host Melvin Merritt talks with Joshua Aiken of the Prison Policy Institute about the Bureau of Justice Statistics Deaths in Custody Reporting Program and what remedies the Justice Department and JPI may be proposing.

Justice Policy Institute –
Webpage – http://www.justicepolicy.org/index.html

Justice Department Report on Deaths in Custody –

While Ridley Scott’s newest “Alien” prequel “Alien: Covenant” doesn’t add much that’s new, it does fill in the blanks. We now know where the creatures came from. Fans of the franchise should enjoy the action and mayhem that this origin story provides, even though it all seems a bit too familiar. Still, it’s a spectacular production that manages to make you jump even though you know what’s around the corner.


In the high-concept teen romance “Everything, Everything,” a homebound girl suffering from immunodeficiency problems falls in love with the boy next door through her bedroom window. Will she step outside to be with him even though it could kill her? What do you think? This sweet but very predictable film based on the YA novel has likable stars in Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson, so it should appeal to its teen target audience. Others, beware.


Richard Gere gives one of the top performances of his career in “Norman,” the story of an aging Jewish con man who befriends a high-ranking Israeli government official and uses the connection to wheel and deal among the Jewish business elites of New York City. Smart filmmaking and a top-notch supporting cast help turn this very low-key character study into a social commentary.


“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” is a documentary about journalist-turned-activist Jane Jacobs, who fought intractable powers in New York to stop ravages taking place under the guise of Urban Renewal. It’s a thoughtful and informative primer on the subject.


Also opening this week, Cynthia Nixon stars as poet Emily Dickinson in the biopic, “A Quiet Passion.” “Folk Hero & Funny Guy” is a comedy about a musician and his standup comic opening act. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” is the fourth entry in the comedy franchise. “Champion” is a faith based flick set in the world of dirt track racing.

This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, our show is called “Hate Has No Home Here.” We’ll cover reaction to the Olathe shooting at the Solidarity In Community meeting there against anti-immigrant terrorism and to honor the Indian engineer who died and the men who were shot. Then, we’ll speak to Kansas Citians from the Northland who responded in solidarity to the Olathe shootings. Thursday at 6pm, rebroadcast Friday at 5am.

Hate Has No Home Here
Episode date : May 18, 2017
On Heartland Labor Forum

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