Monday, 17 June 2024

Arts & Life

LAKEPORT – “Cafe Victoria Presents” will have a two-hour music interlude Saturday August 18 and 25 from 4 to 6 p.m.


Phil Mathewson and Friends will be on stage on Saturday, Aug. 18 and Little Deer will perform Saturday, Aug. 25.


Admission is free and food and beverages are available for sale.


Cafe Victoria is on the corner of Main St. and Third, Lakeport. Call 263-1212 for information or to sign up to perform.


Scheduling may change so please check with Cafe Victoria when making your plans.




Though the action is nowhere near Asia this time, “The Bourne Ultimatum” seems to be channeling the spirit of Hong Kong Cinema, where a film auteur like John Woo cranked out high-octane action thrillers in which fists and bullets would fly fast and furious.

This third film in the “Bourne” trilogy could reasonably be described as a mixture of martial arts fury, James Bond coolness and “Die Hard” mayhem. It’s a spectacular achievement of immeasurably thrilling nonstop action in which a well-trained secret operative with amnesia and a hair-trigger temperament goes on a globe-trotting journey of self-discovery with frequent stops in foreign lands.

With a minimal amount of understanding of basic plot points, “The Bourne Ultimatum” stands on its own for delivering excitement, though greater appreciation of the film is gained by familiarity with both “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy.”

As rogue agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) gives an even tougher portrait of a spy than Daniel Craig could bring to the last James Bond film. That’s no insignificant achievement. One would suspect that a trained assassin has an impenetrable toughness, but Bourne’s rough edge may come from not knowing with any clarity how to distinguish between friends and foes. The “Bourne” trilogy revels in its hero’s murky past, made all the more mystifying by his amnesia.

Much of Bourne’s hardened, brutal behavior comes from his distress at not knowing his own true identity and his unquenchable thirst for revenge for the death of his girlfriend. When the film begins, Bourne is getting chased once again by agents in Moscow, and as usual he makes a narrow escape, only to end up in London.

His desire to disappear without a trace is rudely upended when a front-page story in a London newspaper speculates about his existence as an operative in a covert program named Blackbriar. Arranging a meeting with British newsman Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) turns into a deadly affair at the busy London Waterloo train station.

It becomes quickly clear that Bourne, once trained as a super-assassin by top secret CIA black-ops program, has some Agency types gunning for his termination with prejudice. Shadowy conspiracies are ginned up from the defunct Treadstone operation, and Bourne is caught in the middle of a turf battle that soon rages between the deceitful black-ops chief Noah Vosen (David Straithairn) and CIA internal investigator Pamela Lundy (Joan Allen).

Vosen and his crew are only interested in killing Bourne as a final solution to covering up the errant Treadstone program, while Lundy is more intent on getting Bourne to come in from the shadows, where he may cast a bright light on corrupt Agency behavior.

Bourne’s instinct for survival is well-honed by his past training, and as a result he is stronger and smarter than his pursuers, which happen to be secret operatives, federal agents and the local police in every city he visits in a desperate quest to find answers to questions that still haunt him.

While even the CIA director Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn) conspires against him, Bourne picks up a few friends in the field, including conflicted CIA agent Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), who once before endangered her career to help him. Her assistance is invaluable in Madrid, where Bourne engages two agents in deadly hand-to-hand combat. Then they slip off to Tangier, hot on the trail of the Madrid CIA chief who’s transporting secret documents.

The chase sequence in Tangier is particularly spectacular, involving a motorcycle chase up and down narrow streets as well as steep sidewalk steps. But the action is most impressively stunning as Bourne leaps dangerously from rooftop to rooftop to evade a Moroccan assassin.

As with the previous films, there are several exciting car chases, with none more amazing than the one in New York City when Bourne comes home to confront the bad guys. Each “Bourne” film strives to top the previous one for the level of excitement in its car chases.

The action is relentlessly breathless and there is no respite from the thrills until the end credits roll. “The Bourne Ultimatum” is the biggest rollercoaster ride of the summer.

Tim Riley writes film reviews for Lake County News.


LAKEPORT – Persistence paid off Tuesday, both for Lakeport Cinema 5 manager Justin Hamaker and the Lake County residents who've been asking him to run Michael Moore's “Sicko.”

The documentary compares the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and relates HMO horror stories.

Fans who had made the request by phone and on the theater's Web site received this message Tuesday afternoon from Hamaker: “I have good news for all of you who requested we play Sicko! It will be opening this Friday, Aug. 3, for a one week-engagement.

“The only way we could accommodate Sicko was to bring it in for a single matinée showing each day at 12:15. I realize this may not be an ideal time for all of you, but the only other alternative was to not play it at all,” Hamaker reported.

He added, “I would like to ask each of you to spread the word so we can maximize attendance each day. With your help we can send a message to Michael Moore and Lionsgate that even small communities like Lakeport are interested in documentaries and other small films.”

The requests and the booking are a sequel to Lake County's booking of “Fahrenheit 911,” which also took a campaign of requests to bring it to Lakeport.

On July 22, the fans received this message from Hamaker: “You are receiving this message because you requested Sicko through our web site. We realize you are still waiting for us to bring Sicko to Lakeport. I can assure you we are trying to find a weekend to bring it in. However, we are in the midst of a summer season which has more releases than we can keep up with. Just this weekend we had to pass on Hairspray which made an estimated $27.8 million nationwide. Unfortunately the situation won't improve soon as there are about 12 new major releases in the next four weeks.

"With Sicko the problem is complicated by a continued lackluster performance in theaters,” Hamaker reported. “This weekend Sicko opened in 361 new theaters but still only made an estimated $1.9 million nationwide – which is down 27 percent from the previous weekend despite playing in almost 50-percent more theaters. In fact, we opened Sicko at our sister theater in Paradise and had less than 100 people total for Friday and Saturday.

“At this point, the most likely scenario for us playing Sicko is to bring it in for one week when it can share a screen with another movie – meaning Sicko would have just two to three showings per day. Unfortunately, being in a small market and only having five screens greatly limits our ability to play special interest films like Sicko – especially when the filmmaker and studio choose a limited release at a time of year when the market is overwhelmed with major blockbuster pictures.”

Variety's Alissa Simon wrote Sicko is “an affecting and entertaining dissection of theAmerican health care industry, showing how it benefits the few at the expense of the many. Pic's tone alternates between comedy, poignancy and outrage as it compares the U.S system of care to other countries.”

The Internet Movie Database,, reported that as of July 22 Sicko had grossed $19 million.


The talented young classical guitarist Travis Austin was the featured performer at Friday's concert at Tuscan Village. Photo by Joanne Bateni.


LOWER LAKE – Listeners enjoyed another perfect Friday evening at the Tuscan Village in Lower Lake as Travis Austin played classical guitar.

Austin is only 22 years old and has been playing since high school. He also teaches guitar and has at least one CD at his credit which he was selling at the concert.

Austin produces his own CDs in his recording studio and has a Web site,, which lists his upcoming performances.

He has played many venues around Lake County including some charity events. His next big gig is the California State Fair.

A visitor from San Francisco, who happened to see the concert sign on the highway, stopped in, not knowing what to expect and was very impressed with the venue and the entertainment. She said she will definitely be coming back.

Phil Mathewson and Friends will be playing on Aug. 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Call Rick at 2 Goombas for more information, 994-DELI (3354).


LAKE COUNTY – The Lake County Blues Allstars are bringing great music to a venue near you this month.

The group, including Mike Wilhelm and Jim Williams on guitar, and Jon Hopkins on bass, will be joined by Neon, just back from her southwest tour.

On Thursday, Aug. 9, the group will play at the Saw Shop Gallery Bistro, 3825 Main St., Kelseyville. The show starts at 7 p.m. For information, call the Saw Shop at 278-0129.

Then, on Aug. 20 and 27, the band will perform at a new Lake County tradition “Blues Mondays” at the Blue Wing Saloon, 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. The show takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. For information call the Blue Wing Saloon, 275-2233.


LAKEPORT Locals and visitors alike can look forward to warm temperatures and two hours of blues and rock music this afternoon at Lakeport's Library Park.

Featured at this evening's installment of the Summer Concerts in the park are Levi Lloyd and The 501 Band.

KNTI's Eric Patrick and friends head the list of sponsors for the 19th year of the free concerts.

Bring your bag of silly items for the mid-show giveaway of treats and goodies provided by local businesses.

The concert begins at 6:30 p.m.


Upcoming Calendar

06.18.2024 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
06.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.18.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
06.19.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
06.22.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.22.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love of the Land Dinner
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar



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