Fall movies 2016: Twenty ‘must see’ films

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1) Southside With You

What is it about: The film is set in the summer of 1989 in Chicago and tells the story (with some cinematic liberties) of the first date between future President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Parker Sawyers plays the President with Tika Sumpter taking on the role of Michelle.

Why we should be excited: While the concept of the Obamas first date seems like a stretch, it has to be better than the last time they made a movie about a President while he was in office (looking at you Oliver Stone’s “W”). The trailer sells the romance pretty well with both leads really leaning into the roles without doing impressions of these very identifiable personalities. Also, they sit and discuss Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” which should be ticket price worthy enough.

“Southside with You” opens on August 26.

 

2) Hands of Stone

What is it about: The film tells the story of boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and his rise to the top alongside the legendary trainer, Ray Arcel (Robert DeNiro), including a fight between him and Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond).

Why we should be excited: It is always kind of cool to see DeNiro return to the ring and do a boxing movie even when he isn’t putting on the gloves. It seems like he is pretty hit-or-miss with most roles these days and this seems like one shepherded to pulling out a classic and great performance from the legendary actor. Ramirez has silently been rising up the ranks lately and this could be his big Oscar-caliber role even if it doesn’t seem to have the punch that “Creed” had last year.

“Hands of Stone” opens on August 26.

 

3) The Light Between Oceans

What is it about: Based on the novel by M.L. Stedman, the story follows a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander), who are living off the coast of Western Australia when they find a baby that washes ashore. They decide to raise it, but the situation becomes more complicated when a woman (Rachel Weisz) comes to town and may be the birth mother.

Why we should be excited: Not only does this star two immensely talented actors, but it also stars two beautiful people who are (might be) dating! Vikander just took home an Oscar for Best Actress in “The Danish Girl” while Fassbender has consistently been one of the better actors in the industry over the past few years. The trailers are promising a tear-jerker so get ready to ball your eyes out.

“The Light Between Oceans” opens on September 2.

 

4) Sully

What is it about: From director Clint Eastwood, the film stars Tom Hanks as Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who became a hero when he glided his plane along the Hudson River in 2009, which saved the 155 crew members and passengers. The movie also stars Aaron Eckhart, Anna Gunn, Laura Linney, and Jerry Ferrara.

Why we should be excited: Eastwood has been hit-or-miss lately (as one of the people not completely in love with “American Sniper”), but he is still a name to take notice of whenever a new project is coming out. It is hard to believe that this is his first time working with Hanks and this seems like a role tailor made for the actor as he plays an American hero dealing with the pitfalls of fame and scrutiny.

“Sully” opens on September 9.

 

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5) Bridget Jones’ Baby

What is it about: The film picks up where the last one in the series, “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” left off in 2004 with Bridget (Renee Zellweger) still single and barely making it through life until she runs into the complication of having a baby with two possible dads, played by Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey.

Why we should be excited: I guess if you like the previous two movies, it will be nice to return to the world of neurotic British people having problems. Zellweger hasn’t been in too many projects lately so she is a welcome presence back on screen and this is Firth’s first time returning to the role as an Oscar winner. Also, I don’t think Patrick Dempsey ages and that is frustrating.

“Bridget Jones’ Baby” opens on September 16.

 

6) Blair Witch

What is it about: Coming out of nowhere after a surprise announcement at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, the film is a sequel to the out-of-nowhere hit from 1999, “The Blair Witch Project.” In this version, the brother of one of the main characters from the first movie discovers video showing what he believes to be recordings of his sister in the woods of the Blair Witch so naturally, he sets out with some friends to find his lost sibling. The film is directed by horror aficionado, Adam Wingard, who also helmed “You’re Next” and “The Guest.”

Why we should be excited: I don’t find “The Blair Witch Project” to be a good movie in any respects with the only impressive thing about it being how well they marketed that film. This one has caught my attention due to Wingard being attached to it with his film, “The Guest,” being an exercise is chilling horror and stylish action directing. Much like the original, this is a cast of unknowns, but it will surely keep you frightened.

“Blair Witch” opens on September 16.

 

7) Snowden

What is it about: Director Oliver Stone takes us into the story of Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and how the former NSA employee leaked thousands of classified documents to the press in 2013. The movie also features Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Scott Eastwood, and Nicolas Cage.

Why we should be excited: Stone has been in a rut lately and the trailer for this film doesn’t inspire much confidence that this was a temporary thing. For those who have seen “Citizen Four” on HBO, there really isn’t much incentive to seek out this version when the documentary, which won an Oscar, is as chilling and informative as anything Stone could come up with. Also, what accent is Joseph Gordon-Levitt doing? Stop, please.

“Snowden” opens on September 16.

 

8) The Magnificent Seven

What is it about: This remake of a remake is directed by “Training Day” and “White House Down” director Antoine Fuqua and stars both Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke from that first movie with other members of the cast including Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Matt Bomer. The film follows seven gunmen in the Old West, who have to come together and help a poor village, which is being pillaged by thieves.

Why we should be excited: The cast should earn your ticket dollars alone because what better experience at the movies will you be getting this year than Denzel, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke gun-slinging and taking down bad guys in the West. Fuqua knows action well and the trailers have been selling this movie as a fun blockbuster with a talented cast.

“The Magnificent Seven” opens on September 23.

 

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9) Deepwater Horizon

What is it about: Peter Berg of “Lone Survivor” fame directs this movie starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Dylan O’Brien, Gina Rodriguez, and John Malkovich. The movie follows the story of a team on an offshore drilling rig, which exploded in April 2010 and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Why we should be excited: Berg and Wahlberg struck gold with “Lone Survivor” and this seems to be carrying that patriotic, heroism vibe to it. The trailers promise massive explosions and lots of yelling and reaching from Wahlberg with the cast giving us what should be a very engaging and thrilling blockbuster drama.

“Deepwater Horizon” opens on September 30.

 

10) The Girl on the Train

What is it about: Based on the best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins, the story follows Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) as she takes the train to work each day in London and passes by her old house. One day, as they’re passing the house, she sees something shocking and wakes up the next day with the sneaking suspicion that something bad has happened. The film is directed by Tate Taylor, who is known for “The Help” and “Get On Up,” with a cast that also includes Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Haley Bennett, Laura Prepon, and Rebecca Ferguson.

Why we should be excited: This book has been heralded the sequel to “Gone Girl” in terms of tone and the movie is definitely trying to sell us on that. The first trailer has threads of the David Fincher-directed thriller mixed with the sexuality of “Fifty Shades of Grey” with Blunt’s character being in the middle of it. She is a talented actress and it seems like she is being given a big stage to work on, but I’m not sold on Taylor being the right director to sell the intrigue like Fincher could.

“The Girl on the Train” opens on October 7.

 

11) The Birth of a Nation

What is it about: The film is written and directed by the first-time director Nate Parker, who took home the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for his work on this project. The movie follows Nat Turner (Parker), as he rises from child to adult and uses his knowledge of the Bible to be a preacher to the other slaves. As he works, he notices the scope of slavery and decides to become a different leader for them. The rest of the cast includes Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, and Gabrielle Union.

Why we should be excited: People were raving about the film after Sundance and how well Parker was at directing it, and the first trailer seemed to verify that. It plays so evocatively and at times, in a very visceral way. Parker seems to try to sway it from previous stories of slavery such as “12 Years a Slave” and tell a different story in a different light and this instantly looks to be a major Oscar contender both for him and his cast.

“The Birth of a Nation” opens on October 7.

 

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12) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

What is it about: The sequel to the 2012 action film, “Jack Reacher,” finds Tom Cruise once again in the title role and on the run. Not much is known about the plot, but it seems to center around Reacher teaming up with military specialist Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) to take down a plot from the inside. The movie is directed by Cruise’s director from “The Last Samurai,” Edward Zwick, and also stars Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper, and Danika Yarosh.

Why should we be excited: Watching Tom Cruise beat people up is just fun. That’s really the only reason. The first “Jack Reacher” movie was solid and while these don’t have the world-travelling fun that ensues in “Mission: Impossible,” there is something nice about the small-level action and more hand-to-hand moments that this series offers. Smulders is also a very lively actress to fans of the Marvel movies and her role as Maria Hill.

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” opens on October 21.
13) A Monster Calls

What is it about: From director J.A. Bayona, who will be taking over the “Jurassic Park” franchise soon, the film follows a boy seeks help from a tree monster as he tries to cope with his mother’s terminal illness. Felicity Jones stars as the mother with newcomer Lewis MacDouglass playing the boy and Liam Neeson voicing the tree monster. Toby Kebbell, Sigourney Weaver, and Geraldine Chaplin also star.

Why we should be excited: The trailer made it seem like a more exotic version of Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” from earlier this year with stunning visuals and a much more dramatic plot. Bayona earned enough credit for this movie and “The Impossible” to be picked to take over for Colin Trevorrow with “Jurassic World 2” so it may be worth seeing this one to see if he can pull it off. Judging from the trailer, he may be perfect.

“A Monster Calls” opens on October 21.

14) Inferno

What is it about: Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon in the third movie in the “Da Vinci Code” series by director Ron Howard. This time, Langdon wakes up in Italy with amnesia and has to team-up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to uncover what he is forgetting and foil a global plot of destruction. The film also stars Ben Foster, Omar Sy, and Irrfan Khan.

Why we should be excited: The movies in this series have been popular even if the last one, “Angels and Demons,” was not as critically well-received. It seems odd to take 10 years to return to this franchise, but it seems like Howard and Hanks have a story they want to tell and the biblical history has always been a fascinating point.

“Inferno” opens on October 28.

 

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15) Doctor Strange

What is it about: The latest entry from Marvel stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Steven Strange, a surgeon who is forced to re-examine his life after his career is destroyed and a sorcerer (Tilda Swinton) takes him under her wing and trains him to hone his magical gifts to rid the world of evil. The film is directed by Scott Derrickson with a cast that also includes Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong, and Benjamin Bratt.

Why we should be excited: This looks like it may be Marvel’s most different and weird movie yet and I say that will the utmost excitement. They have teased a movie that will include mind-bending visuals and the trailers for this movie seem to promise that with moments that could put “Inception” to shame. Cumberbatch has been waiting for the blockbuster property to work on and he selected this one with the hopes it will churn out Marvel gold like the other entries. The biggest hurdle will be whether or not audiences will buy the eccentricities of this new hero.

“Doctor Strange” opens on November 4.

16) Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

What is it about: Leaving the more modern setting of “Harry Potter,” this spin-off takes us to the 1920s in New York City where recent Hogwarts castout, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), is interacting with the wizarding world of the United States and collecting information for his study in the magical creatures of the area. The film is directed by previous “Potter” director David Yates from a script by J.K. Rowling with Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Jon Voight rounding out the cast.

Why we should be excited: I doubt this needs to be hyped up anymore, but any new “Harry Potter” adventures are always exciting. Redmayne is one of the hot ticket actors right now and is hoping to make this “his series.” The biggest question facing this proposed trilogy is how it will separate itself from the “Potter” movies. Having some similarities is fine, but completely retreading what they did before will get redundant and boring very quickly.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” opens on November 18

17) Moana

What is it about: The latest Disney Animation movie follows a young woman named Moana (voiced by Auli’l Cravalho), who uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled land and is joined by the legendary demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson). The movie is directed by “Great Mouse Detective” and “Lilo & Stitch” directors Ron Clements and John Musker with songs by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda and a cast that also includes Alan Tudyk and Jemaine Clement.

Why we should be excited: The trailers for this already look utterly charming and the fact that names such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Taika Waititi (who wrote the script), and Dwayne Johnson are involved should get people stoked. Disney has been doing great work in the animation department lately and already have a bonafide hit this year with “Zootopia.” I assume they’ll have another with this one.

“Moana” opens on November 23.

 

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18) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

What is it about: The first “Star Wars” spin-off or anthology movie will be taking place before the events of the original trilogy with a band of rebels being sent on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards helms the film with a cast that includes Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, and James Earl Jones returning as the voice of Darth Vader.

Why we should be excited: It’s “Star Wars.” I don’t need to pump you up anymore for this. The most exciting quality is the concept, which sounds like it will explore new avenues in the “Star Wars” universe while also playing with some of the lore we recognize from the previous movies. This looks like a lot of fun and the cast is absolutely stellar.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens on December 16.

 

19) Passengers

What is it about: This science fiction movie comes from “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum and stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as passengers on a spacecraft that is taking thousands of sleeping people to a planet to colonize. Lawrence and Pratt’s characters wake up 60 years too early and are stuck on this ship together for that span of time.

Why we should be excited: Other than the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are together? The concept sounds very similar to something like “Moon” or “Gravity,” but with a more romantic angle. Plus you have two of the most charismatic actors working today stuck on a spaceship together. What could go wrong?

“Passengers” opens on December 21.

 

20) Assassin’s Creed

What is it about: Based on the popular video game series, “Assassin’s Creed” stars Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, who is taken to a secret facility and put into a machine known as the Animus, which allows him to travel back in time and re-enact the life of his ancestor, Aguilar, who lived during the Spanish Inquisition. The movie is directed by Fassbender’s “Macbeth” director, Justin Kurzel, and features a cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and Ariane Labed.

Why we should be excited: The game’s concept has always begged to be put on the big screen and the first trailer for this seems to live up to that scope. While video game movies have tended to be flops, this one is hoping to buck the trend and possibly re-invent the genre. Will it succeed? Who knows. Will we get to stare at a shirtless Michael Fassbender? Absolutely.

“Assassin’s Creed” opens on December 21.

Time for you to weigh in! Which movie do you want to see?

‘Game of Thrones’ is bringing Westeros to South Florida

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We’ll have to wait longer for the next season of “Game of Thrones,” but that doesn’t mean we have to wait long to journey back to the land of Westeros because the hit HBO series is coming to South Florida.

The series announced a 28-city live concert tour, which will be headlined by the show’s composer Ramin Djawadi, and will feature “an immersive music and visual experience that will bring the Seven Kingdoms to life on a scale never seen before,” according to Entertainment Weekly. The tour will be making two stops in Florida — March 11 in Fort Lauderdale and March 12 in Tampa.

According to EW, the concert will feature a “live journey through Westeros and Essos” with footage being featured that hasn’t been seen on the show. “For seven years, Ramin has been blowing our mind with his music’s force, subtlety, and endless inventiveness,” executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said. “The Game of Thrones’ Concert Experience will be unique in the history of concert tours, an eye-popping, ear-splitting, phantasmagoric blend of the show’s visuals and Ramin’s powerful compositions. We are more excited about it than anyone.”

The concert tour will kick off on February 15 in Kansas City, Mo., with tickets for all the shows going on sale starting on Aug. 10 at 10 a.m.

Read more at Entertainment Weekly.

Things to do in Palm Beach County in August

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1) Pirates & Pokemon Go will be invading the Palm Beach Zoo on August 13 from 4:15 p.m. until 9 p.m. The zoo promises to “drop some lures” and bring in the biggest and best Pokemon from around Palm Beach County to allow players to catch them. The event also includes arts and crafts for the kids, dinner specials, and live music. Tickets start at $10.50 for kids and $14.50 for adults with zoo members and toddlers getting in for free. For more information, click here.

 

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2) Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical is making a stop at the Olympic Heights Performing Arts Theater in Boca Raton on August 11 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. The musical tells the story of the Banks family and their eccentric nanny much like the Disney classic film. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here.

3) The Long Run, the Eagles tribute band, will be hosting a free concert at Mizner Park in Boca Raton on August 12 at 7:30 p.m. Games are available as well as a Beer Garden, which opens at 6:30 p.m., with experts from Hollywood Brewery answering questions. Food and beverages are available for purchase as well as chairs to sit in for $5. For more information, click here.

4) The 2016 PGA National Craft Beer Bash is being hosted at the PGA National Conference Center in Palm Beach Gardens on August 13 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The event will be featuring more than 150 craft beers and ciders for sampling as well as a food court and live music from the Helmsman. Participants are allowed to vote for their favorite brewery and cider mill with the opportunity to get their picture taken in the Celebrity Cruise Craft Beer Lounge. Tickets are $39 in advance and $49 at the door with a limit of only 200 for those trying to buy them on the day of the event. For more information, visit the event’s website.

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5) Brad Paisley is taking to the Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre stage on August 13 at 7:30 p.m. along with Tyler Farr and Maddie & Tae as part of his Life Amplified World Tour. Paisley has sold over 12 million albums with three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, and two American Music Award wins. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry and had his songs featured in the Pixar movie, “Cars.” Tickets start at $11 with more information here.

6) The Dixie Chicks are joining Vintage Trouble and Smooth Hound Smith on the Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre stage on August 20 at 7 p.m. as part of the DCX World Tour MMXVI. The American country music band has won 13 Grammy Awards including Album of the Year in 2007 for “Taking the Long Way.” The band has sold more than 30.5 million albums with 27.5 million albums sold in the United States alone. Tickets start at $24 and can be purchased here.

7) Canvas & Cocktails is bringing the high life to the Old School Square in Delray Beach on August 25 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event, which is available to anyone over 21 years old, offers the best in wine, craft beer, and signature cocktails with participants working on artwork while they sip on these delicacies. The event costs $35 with more information being found here.

8) Chase Bryant and Canaan Smith are making noise at CityPlace on August 30 at 6 p.m. in a free concert hosted by 103.1 WIRK. Bryant is known for his debut single from 2015, “Take It On Back,” which became a top 10 hit. Smith made waves with his debut single, “We Got Us,” which came out in 2012 and was a contestant on the reality TV show, “The Amazing Race” in its 15th season. An after-party will be hosted at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ with more information being found here.

Which South Florida spot is one of the top homemade ice cream shops in America?

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The heat is driving people to find some source of refreshment such as a bowl of ice cream. So why not try the best? One South Florida ice cream parlor was named one of the best spots for homemade ice cream.

Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant in Dania Beach was listed among Thrillist‘s list of the Best Old-School, Homemade Ice Cream Shops in the U.S. The restaurant, which is located on S Federal Highway, is known for its “kitschy memorabilia” and is called “the kind of place where you eat you ice cream at a proper table.”

Related: Vote now – Best ice cream shop in Palm Beach County

According to Thrillist, checking out this ice cream spot is imperative for people in the South Florida area. “Up front, you’ll see a kitschy souvenir shop full of candy and Styrofoam barber shop hats, and the dining room’s done up with enough license plates and other bric-a-brac to make an old TGI Friday’s blush,” the site stated.

“The ice cream menu is full of sundaes that will make your teeth hurt just reading about them, but the king of them all is the Kitchen Sink (yes, it’s served in a sink), which is made from whatever the hell the people in the back feel like throwing in a sundae before charging $13.95 per person (minimum four people). You’ll need everyone.”

Jaxson’s was the only Florida spot on the list, but that doesn’t mean it is the only ice cream place worth checking out. The Post is currently seeing what readers think is the best ice cream shop in Palm Beach County while West Palm Beach’s Sloan’s was named one of the top destinations in a recent poll by USA Today.

Read more at Thrillist.

South Florida ice cream stop makes list of America’s most popular

 

071615cherries_C -Atlanta- Cherry-Bourbon Ice Cream. Cherries and smoky sweet bourbon are a heavenly marriage, especially when folded into this rich vanilla-custard ice cream. You may also try rum or brandy, stir in chocolate shavings or top the finished ice cream with chocolate sauce.   (styling by Wendell Brock) (Photography by Renee Brock/Special)
(Photography by Renee Brock/Special)

It is so hot outside that stopping for a quick scoop of ice cream is imperative. So what better place to visit than the most popular ice cream stop in the state of Florida?

Broward County’s own Wilton Creamery in Wilton Manors was listed as the most popular ice cream shop in Florida by BuzzFeed this week. The creamery features season and rotating flavors such as Pecan Praline Dulce, Sea Salt Caramel, Sweet Cinnamon, Strong Coffee, Triple Rum Raisin, Snickers Adjacent, Christopher Loves Chocolate, and “He’s Not Worth It,” which the store’s website labels as one of their favorites.

According to BuzzFeed, the ice cream stop features a number of flavors perfect for a hot summer day. “I recently had a cup of the Sweet Cinnamon topped with a scoop of the Christopher Loves Chocolate, which was fantastic — very creamy and flavorful,” Yelp user, Jeff B., posted. “Yesterday, I tried the Passion Fruit Sorbet, which was perfect for a hot humid day in Florida. There are also lots of choices for those who want or need something dairy-free or sugar-free, and they have a variety of toppings — as well as flavored whipped cream choices, too.”

It is even a hit with dogs. “They have ice cream for dogs, which my dog LOVED. They keep it super frozen, so it takes them a while to lick dry — which is nice because it gives you time to eat your ice cream,” Yelp user, Christian R., said.

West Palm Beach already features a favorite stop for ice cream after Sloan’s Ice Cream in CityPlace was named one of USA Today’s 10 Best in a recent poll.

Read more at BuzzFeed.

Best 14 things to do in Palm Beach County in June

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Tito Puente Jr.

1) Tito Puente, Jr. will be rocking the Arts Garage in Delray Beach June 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. Puente and his Latin Jazz Ensemble have been called “a dazzling show filled with charisma, flair, and all the right dance moves.” Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.

2) Roar & Pour will take over the Palm Beach Zoo June 4 starting at 4:30 p.m. with food, drinks, and live music. The June event will feature San Francisco-infused food including grilled chicken on sour dough, chicken teriyaki, and burgers or hot dogs. The event will also feature a drink menu fueled by Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach with the band starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information, and tickets, visit the zoo’s website.

3) The Everglades Experience is coming to West Palm Beach at the Grassy Waters Preserve June 4 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The event will feature a guided tour along the land and is intended for children 10 and older. Tickets start at $15 for adults and $7 for children with more information here.

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4) Darius Rucker, Dan and Shay, and Michael Ray are jamming on the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater stage June 4 at 7 p.m. The Grammy-winning artist, Rucker, started with Hootie & the Blowfish in 1986, but has since gone solo with four albums, most recently “Southern Style” and “Home for the Holidays.” Tickets start at $33 and can be purchased here.

Related: Concerts you must see this summer in Palm Beach County 

5) “Weird Al” Yankovic is bringing his brand of music and comedy to West Palm Beach and the Kravis Center on June 4 at 8 p.m. The artists is currently in the middle of his “The Mandatory World Tour” and is known for hit parody songs such as “Eat It” and “Like a Surgeon.” He is also one of three people to have had top 40 singles in each of the last four decades, joining Michael Jackson and Madonna. Tickets start at $22 and can be purchased here.

6) Founder’s Day is back at the Flagler Museum with free admission at the gate on June 5 starting at noon and going until 5 p.m. Visitors are offered a self-guided tour of Whitehall through a museum that has been called “an absolute must-see.” For more information on what the museum will be offering, visit their website here.

7) Music in the Museum will be overtaking the Boca Raton Museum of Art on June 5 from 3 until 4 p.m. Performances include Antonio Rincón and David Block on piano and violin. Rincón was trained at the Peabody Conservatory of Music while Block studied at Florida Atlantic University. The concert is free with the cost of the museum’s admission. For more information, click here.

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8) Cyndi Lauper just wants to have fun with guests of her concert June 11 at 8 p.m. at the Mizner Park Amphitheater. The Grammy, Emmy, and Tony-winning artists is celebrating more than 30 years in the business and global record sales of more than 50 million. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased here.

9) Journey and the Doobie Brothers will be rocking out with the small town girls living in a lonely world on June 11 at 7 p.m. in the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater in Wellington. Journey rose to popularity in the 1970s with hit songs such as “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Faithfully” with the former hitting number one on iTunes in 2009, becoming the top-selling track on the site not from the 21st century. The Doobie Brothers started in the 1970s with a brief split in the later portion of that decade. Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased here.

10) Beach Walk around Delray Beach on June 11 from 9 a.m. from 10 a.m. The event will feature a guided walk of the beach where participants will investigate plants, animals, and learn more about the ocean. The hour-long program costs $8 per-person with more information here.

11) The Lake Worth Mango Festival will be taking place on June 11 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. around the city. The event will feature programs along Lake Ave. with food from Eat Da Bone BBQ & Jerk and Sherri’s Breads from the Heart, which will feature mango-infused additions to the timeless favorites. Artists such as TombiFlow and Charles Pan Vibes will be performing d the festival with other street performers showing up. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

12) The Don Quixote Spring Concert will be taking over the Wellington High School Theatre on June 11 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on June 12 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. The concert promises to take audiences into the world of 19th century Spain “brought to life by beautiful costumes, exceptional acting, and vibrant dancing.” It will be performed by the Arts Dance Generation of Palm Beach County with guest artists Carlos Ignacio Galindez and Aaron Melendez, formerly with the National Ballet of Cuba, joining the group. Tickets start at $30, with a discounted price of $20 for students, and can be purchased here.

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13) Food Truck Safari will be at the Palm Beach Zoo on June 18, starting at 4:30 p.m. With the truck windows opening at 5 p.m., the ones set to appear include Caribbean Cowboy, The Minivan Food Truck, Woody’s Burgers,  World Fusion Cuisine, and Melted Madness. Barrel of Monks Brewing will be providing drinks with admission starting at $10 for nnon-adultmembers, $8 for adult members, $7 for child non-members, and $6 for children members. Those under three get in for free with more information here.

Related: Food truck guide of Palm Beach County

14) Maks and Val Live On Tour: Our Way will be at the Kravis Center on June 19 at 8 p.m. The dance tour includes Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, two of the stars of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and will have the brothers bringing to life some of their childhood moments and life stories. Val and I have pushed each other to be better dancers every day since we were kids, and this show will fulfill a lifetime dream to perform on the same stage together across the country,” said Maksim on the event. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.

West Palm Beach author’s book set to hit big screen with Jason Statham

Photo by Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post
Photo by Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post

Don’t go in the water because a 7-foot, fifty-ton prehistoric Great White Shark could be roaming below. It may not be our problem now, but it will be the problem of “Transporter” and “Spy” star Jason Statham, who will face the creature in an adaptation of local author Steve Alten’s book series, “MEG.”

Warner Bros. announced this week that Alten’s series would be optioned into a movie starring Statham and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” star Fan Bingbing with “National Treasure” director Jon Turtletaub helming the project. The movie, also called “MEG,” will be distributed by Warner Bros. domestically and internationally with Gravity taking over in China.

Alten’s first book was re-released under the new title, “MEG: Origins.” “I had written Origins a few years ago but it was only 80 pages, too short to print. Knowing the movie announcement was coming, I decided to release a new version of MEG with the prequel. But when I combined the two novels, the writing didn’t mesh, the prequel having been written by a far more seasoned writer,” he said in a release.

“So instead of simply adding the prequel, I ended up spending four months doing something I had been wanting to do for a long time – rewriting the entire novel, adding new scenes and developing the characters.  I also added artwork commissioned over the last twenty years, along with an eye-popping surfer cover taken straight out of pages of the book. The result is an entirely different reading experience.”

The film is set to begin production soon in New Zealand. For more information on the series, visit Alten’s website.

A Palm Beach County city was listed as one of the happiest in Florida

happy-people

Do you feel happy in Palm Beach County? According to a new list, one city is among the happiest in the state.

OnlyInYourState listed the top ten happiest cities in Florida with West Palm Beach being slotted in ninth place. Coral Springs took the top spot followed by Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Cape Coral, Tampa, Gainesville, Pembroke Pines, Clearwater, and Fort Lauderdale.

According to the site, West Palm Beach made the list because “residents love this city because there’s always something fun to do, delicious to eat, or somewhere great to shop.” They add that residents “get to experience a South Florida lifestyle with lower home prices than the bigger cities to the South.”

Related: Best parks in Palm Beach County

Naples and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton were absent from this list, but previously were named some of the happiest and healthiest cities by the State of American Well-Being rankings last year. Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Jupiter, and Wellington also ranked as happy cities on a list by Zippia in April.

Not all is great in Palm Beach County though as West Palm Beach, along with Miami and Fort Lauderdale, were listed as unfit cities by a recent American Fitness Index report.

Read more at OnlyInYourState.

Related: Best beaches in Palm Beach County

Fifth annual West Palm Beach ‘Pairings’ event promises medley of fine dining

Photo by Libby Volgyes/The Palm Beach Post
Photo by Libby Volgyes/The Palm Beach Post

Residents of West Palm Beach are set to partake in some of the best food and wine in the county as the fifth annual “Pairings” event takes place on Thursday.

The event, which is hosted by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority in partnership with SunFest and LocalDines.com, will feature more than 25 local restaurant participants. The list includes a pomegranate martini from Leila Restaurant, Cruzan rum cake, key lime tarts, and passion fruit juice from Ganache Bakery Café.

C Street Café will be serving flat bread pizzas, salads, desserts and iced coffees with Clematis staples  Longboards and O’Shea’s Irish Pub offering whole roasted locally caught fish served with chardonnay and mini beef and chicken shepherd’s pie paired with wine respectively.

Other participating restaurants and cafés include Bar Louie, The Bee, Duffy’s Sports Grill, E.R. Bradley’s Saloon, Hookah Inn Lounge, Hullabaloo, Les Rendez-vous, Oh My Chocolates, Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, Starbucks Coffee and Tin Fish.

The event, which will donate the proceeds to Families First of Palm Beach County, is set to bring back its offering of special deals and offers with Palm Beach Dramaworks offering 50 percent off tickets to any of their events prior to June 30 and free segway tour demos from Palm Beach Segway Tours. Other deals include cupcakes and 10 percent off purchases at Library Bookstore and an array of samples and gift certificates from The Sanctuary Salon and Spa.

If you feel like you may have indulged a little too much along the way, Ultima Fitness Downtown is looking to aid with your fitness goals and is offering free trial passes to help with working off all of that food and wine.

Street performers, such as the acoustic piano trio, Screaming J’s, will be showing up along the way with the violinist and DJ, Timothee Lovelock, and blues master, Mister Trombone, bringing their brand of music to the streets of downtown West Palm Beach.

For more information, call (561)-833-8873 or visit www.downtownwpb.com.

Two Florida locations among the best small cities in the country

Photo by Lannis Waters/ Palm Beach Post
Photo by Lannis Waters/ Palm Beach Post

Looking for a weekend getaway? These two Florida small cities were listed among the best in the country in a recent ranking.

Thrillist compiled a list of the 25 best small cities in the United States with St. Augustine (5) and Key West (7) making the top ten. The rest of the top ten included: Portland, Maine; Carmel, Calif.; Bozeman, Mont.; Traverse City, Mich.; South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Burlington, Vt.; Bend, Ore.; and Charlottesville, Va.

According to the site, St. Augustine “might be the one coastal city in Florida that’s best enjoyed away from the beach” with historical visit highlights including the Castillo de San Marcos and Huguenot cemetery. They also applaud the 19th century buildings and say that the city is “cleaner (and) nicer” than Key West.

Speaking of that place, Key West was referred to as “Florida’s Las Vegas. But dirtier.” According to the site, “the bars along Duval Street are a factory of regret,” but the real fun of the city happens by walking down the streets filled with 100-year-old homes and seeing attractions such as the Mel Fisher buried-treasure museum and Hemingway House. One food item that they highly recommend is the Key Lime Pie at the Blond Giraffe.

The Seven Miles Bridge in the Keys was named one of the best all-American vacations last year and the Post created a list of some of the best dive bars in the area. As for St. Augustine, this handy guide helps plan out the perfect vacation.

Read more at Thrillist.