Me, Earl and the Dying Girl (June 2015) Written by Jesse Andrews & Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Starring Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke & Ronald Cyler II Rated: PG-13 Review: 9/10 Trailer
By Doug Lane
Last summer, I wrote a pretty forgiving review of “The Fault in Our Stars,” claiming that its conventional (and at times, manipulative) narrative didn’t subvert, but rather wandered within its movie boundaries well. And while I still stand by such a statement, I must confess that I've become somewhat jaded with such critiques. While there's nothing wrong with being perfectly adequate, movies should take risks when dealing with tough subjects, even if they are adolescent-oriented. This is why I loved “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” so much:, another wonderful summer film getting lost within the big-budget blockbuster scene.
Greg Gaines (played by Thomas Mann), ‘Earl’ (Ronald Cyler II) and the ‘Dying Girl’ Rachel (Olivia Cooke) may seem like indie-movie stand-ins, but the film does a great job to make sure each character actually has depth. Greg is a loner, preferring to remain aloof than participate in the high school social structure; he calls Earl his ‘co-worker’ because of their working relationship (they cleverly remake classic movies together) despite being friends since childhood. He scoffs at the idea of visiting Rachel, despite his parents (a wonderful pairing of Connie Britton and Nick Offerman) telling him of Rachel’s leukemia diagnosis.
Adapted for the screen by the book’s author Jesse Andrews and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the movie’s biggest upside is its frankness. Mann, Cooke and Cyler II all mesh perfectly together, with each actor playing to the other instead of themselves, even when the narrative prefers to focus on Greg. What we get is an enduring friendship between the three that’s both beautiful without the dousing of sentimentality that plagues most coming-of-age movies. For the most part, Gomez-Rejon’s style plays well with the actors, creating a Wes Anderson-esque vibe without all the emptiness that sometimes accompanies Anderson films.
However, the most striking thing about this film is the structure. From the start, Greg frames the movie through the writing of an essay (much like “The Spectacular Now," another wonderful coming-of-age film), which creates both an intriguing and, at times, infuriating framing device. Greg’s internalizing of Rachel’s death is a little off-putting upon first glance. But think back to the structure: Greg is attempting to recreate this narrative in a way that makes sense not only to him, but to an external audience. One of the first lines in the movie is Greg musing how he “doesn’t even know how to tell this story.” As he relives the experience in his mind, mediating it before putting it to screen and thus, to the audience, he’s attempting to make sense of something that, at times, doesn’t make any sense.
In this light, Greg’s internalization of Rachel’s sickness makes the third-act much more honest than the dishonest third act from “The Fault in Our Stars.” The movie doesn’t move outward, but inward, as Greg attempts to thrust all his feelings upon himself, since no other way makes sense for him. So while it might seem unfair to focus on Greg instead of Rachel, it shows how selfish one can be in the face death: instead of coming together, we turn away, preferring to trivialize rather than accept the truth.
Even after passing the precipice of grief, Greg can’t help but think upon himself until the very last scene of the film. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a definitive, powerful scene that will linger around for days to come. All the quirkiness from the first-two acts subtly blend together into a scene that encapsulates the word 'bittersweet.' It's a scene I wish was in "The Fault in Our Stars," but one that I simply conceded was too mature for such a film genre to pull off. I'm glad I've never been so wrong.
Doug Lane is a Lewisville resident, where he just graduated from the University of North Texas. Lane also graduated from Lewisville High School, where he wrote movie reviews for the Farmers Harvest Copyright 2015, Doug Lane - Licensed to the Lewisville Texan Journal
Saturday June 27, 11:00am Today marks the debut of The Lewisville Texan Journal's Burger Run. Burger Run judges Omari Newton, Garrett Schick, Terri Starns, and Ray Hernandez started off at Square One Cafe. The burger presented was the Bacon and Bleu Burger. With bacon and blue cheese presented with both a wheat and poppy seed bun with spinach, tomato, Boar's Head Blue Cheese and 1/2 pound of fresh local beef. Served with a side of bacon steakhouse potato salad and priced at 9.23 and 2.99 respectively.
Ray Hernandez said: "The blue cheese was not tart, the patty was cooked perfectly and juicy." Terri Starns said: "The patty is so thick but not overdone, everything is great and prepared perfectly." Omari Newton said: "The bacon, the bread, its all good." Garrett Schick said: "I can't add anything the other haven't said, great burger."
A great start to a great day, the judges cheerfully loaded into the Chevrolet Suburban compliments of Huffines Chevrolet of Lewisville and made their way to the next location.
Saturday June 27, 11:27am Second on the run is the Korner Cafe. The judge panel walked into a very busy lunch rush and were immediately greeted by wonderful accommodation. Presented was the Borderline Burger, a half pound patty that is dressed with house made chipotle mayo, carmalized onions and jalapenos, and put on a whole grain Orrowheat bun, served with steak fries and priced at 7.99.
Garrett: "Diner Style; I liked it." Omari: "The bread, the jalapeños, the onions-- everything was fresh." Terri: "It was good. the heat and everything was perfect, it looked dry but it was surprisingly juicy." Ray: "Everything was very good, the jalapeño and onions were caramelized perfectly."
With high spirits and full bellies, the judge panel headed to the next location
Saturday June 27, 12:00pm The judge panel made their way inside Joe Avezzano's Hat Tricks. They were instantly greeted by the booming sound of the Flower Mound School of Rock, where children ages 7-12 were performing various covers of famous rock hits. The burger presented was the H.T. Surf N Turf Burger. Akaushi Beef and garlic shrimp topped with a house made paprika mayo, queso fresco, and served on a local made Brioche bun.
Ray: "Overall it was very good, a bit overcooked, the complexity was amazing however and the flavor were all on point." Garrett: "It was an insanely good burger, everything worked so well, it wasn't the most impressive visually but it blew my mind in flavor." Omari: "Original is an understatement, this was one of the most unique concepts in a burger." Terri: "A bit overcooked,but the spices were incredible, it was phenomenal."
Saturday June 27, 12:31 Starting to feel the effects of the run, the judge panel sat at the circular tables of Rack & Tap. After being given bottles of water, the judges were presented The Texas Tailgate Burger. Price at 9.50 the jalapeno, brisket, and pickles topped with mild cheddar cheese, the 1/2lb burger comes on a brioche bun.
Ray: "The brisket was a nice surprise, it was chopped, I enjoyed it and the potatoes were especially unique." Terri: "I enjoyed the fries and the sauce, I felt the barbecue sauce was bit overwhelming but overall good." Omari: "The fries were very original, the burger was juicy and and cooked well, the barbecue sauce was not incredibly overwhelming, but great." Garrett: "Reminiscent of traditional Texas Barbecue sandwich, excellent curly taters. Very good."
And with partially full bellies, the judges made their way and took a brief intermission to prepare for the next tasty presentation.
Saturday June 27, 1:28pm Drunken Donkey housed the fifth location on the run. Greeted by manager Patrick Bright and kitchen manager of all Drunken Donkey locations Jorge Nieto, they were presented "The Squealer"; a 1/2 pound of beef on Lindemans Frambois marinated pork, topped with ham, bacon, and dressed with onion and priced at $12.99.
Terri: "Amazing, it just all worked so well." Omari: "It was real good, the detail of everything put in is upfront, the citrus notes, the marinade all good." Ray: "Overall it all worked well, so many components worked together in harmony. It squealed with excellent flavor, pun intended." Garrett: "It was pig overload, but i loved every second of it!"
Saturday June 27, 2:18 Running a bit behind, the judges arrived at The Rusty Beagle. A decent crowd arrived to support the establishment. The burger submitted was The Rusty, a 1/2 pound burger topped with cream cheese filled Jalapenos and topped with bacon and dressed with barbecue brisket. Named after the late owner Rusty, this burger was cooked with emotion and love and priced at $11.99.
Garrett: "Massive burger. really unique idea with the stuffed Jalapenos. Enjoyed it." Ray: "Culmination of love for family, and the name perfectly matches the store." Omari: "The burger perfectly fit the home town atmosphere, clearly this was a town charm." Terri: "It seemed a bit under cooked due to time constraints, the burger was juicy and the jalapenos were great."
With energy visibly drained, and bellies reaching near full capacity the judge panel got back into the Suburban provided by Huffines Chevrolet of Lewisville and made their way to spot #7
Saturday June 27, 3:00 Tired and beaten,the judges stumbled into Martinez Grill and Taqueria. They were served a Mexicano burger dressed with ham, bacon, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and onion. A modest but meaty burger priced at $7.59 with fries. They reluctantly dug in with fear for their stomachs.
Ray: "There was a bit too much mayonnaise, and the patty tasted frozen." Terri: "It was decent overall, good value." Omari: "The value was excellent, the burger was decent." Garrett: "Decent burger, similar to a Big Mac in flavor but great value."
Feeling defeated, they loaded back into the Suburban and made their way down the road to the final spot
Saturday June 27, 3:31 Just a step away from crawling from being too full to walk, the judges made their way to their table at Tierney's Cafe. As they were presented their Lewisville Farm Burger, a tower of locally grown vegetables sitting atop a ground brisket and chorizo burger patty, over-medium egg, and jalapeno bacon and served with a side of waffle battered onion rings. The burger has a jaw-dropping $7.95 price tag. The representatives from all the local spots made their way to prepare for the score announcements.
Ray: "Excellent, the fresh vegetables and all the dressing work together to make one amazing burger, and those onion rings are just incredible." Omari: "The value, the vegetables, its just too good." Garrett: "Incredible, the amount of flavor here is just magical." Terri: "This is just the best; its simply amazing."
Saturday June 27, 4:00 After 5 long hours, the first Lewisville Texan Journal Burger Run came to an end. All participating venues brought their best items to the table to win. There are no losers this day, everyone here was voted by the citizens of our lovely town to participate in this event.
Final Scores: Each restaurant was rated by each judge 1-10 for taste, execution, appearance, and value for a total score of up to 160 points each. Here are the full scores each restaurant received:
In addition, our online readers gave the Citizens Choice award to Drunken Donkey.
Spirits were high despite some unexpected placing, but in the end we all enjoyed a delicious and beautifully detailed burger cake from Muffintops And Jellyrolls. All in all the Lewisville Texan Journal burger run was a success.
The Lewisville Texan Journal thanks all of these restaurants for participating, as well as all the judges, who maintained their fairness despite being stuffed, Huffines Auto Group for providing the use of the Chevy Suburban, and Muffintops and Jellyrolls for the beautiful cake.
We'll be updating this list as we learn more about local festivals and fireworks displays. Here are some local July 4th activities:
Lewisville: The annual “Red, White & Lewisville” fireworks show will be held Saturday, July 4, starting at about 9:30 p.m. The best viewing area is on the south side of Vista Ridge Mall, between the mall and the Sam Rayburn Tollway.
Flower Mound The annual "Independence Fest" is headlined by popular Southern Rock band 38 SPECIAL. Beginning with the popular Children’s Parade and concluding with a spectacular fireworks finale, Independence Fest will also feature a vintage car show presented by Time Machine Car Shows, a showcase of local businesses, and a variety of delicious food vendors. In addition to 38 SPECIAL, the self-proclaimed “greatest disco band in the world” Le Freak will also perform on the main stage along with crowd-favorite country act Breaking Southwest.
The Independence Fest 2015 evening program, which includes the free concerts, fireworks display, vintage car show, and local business showcase, will take place at Bakersfield Park, 1201 Duncan Lane in Flower Mound. Gates for the festival activities will open at 5 p.m. and this year, due to the crowds, there will be no on-site parking available. However, all free parking and shuttle information listed on the Independence Fest informational website.
The Colony The Colony hosts "Liberty by the Lake". Due to flooding, it will not be at Stewart Creek Park this year, but instead will be at The Colony Five Star Complex, 4100 Blair Oaks. Starting with 1 mile and 5k run at 7:45 a.m., there is a parade at 10 a.m. and activities all day, until the fireworks finale around 9:30.
The popular Sounds of Lewisville concert series, a free family event since 1991, continues Tuesday, June 30, with Texas Flood, performing in the courtyard at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles Street. Texas Flood is a tribute to the blues and the legendary Dallas native Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Concerts start at 7 p.m. every Tuesday night in June and July. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for their comfort. Well-behaved pets on a leash are allowed at the shows. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
When construction is completed on Wayne Ferguson Plaza across the street from the art center, the concerts will move to the permanent stage and grass lawn in the new park.
Presented by Credit Union of Texas and the Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, other performers in the Sounds series include returning favorites The Killdares on July 14, and the popular Beatles tribute band Hard Nights Day on July 21. For a full schedule, visit SoundsOfLewisville.com.
Many concert nights also will feature additional entertainment or activities during intermission, including special performers and lots of fun things for kids and families.
For more information about the “Sounds of Lewisville” concerts, please call 972.219.8446 or visit SoundsOfLewisville.com.
Back in 1984 Kirkpatrick was a gravel road with a massive water tower at the end of it. This is the time I started 9th grade at Marcus High School. During those early years there was a man whose voice we heard every morning-Larry Sigler. Many today know him for the Auditorium named in his honor or his recent induction into the Marcus Hall of Fame. I knew him as a fierce defender of the right of every student to succeed and one of the kindest folks I have known in my 45 years.
Mr. Sigler lived for the spirit of a Marcus pep rally and for almost twenty years he was the face and the spirit of Marcus. From running a ninth grade school that was half finished to graduating our charter class in 1988, he was a strong leader and brought our alma mater into being. Boombah-hey is not a foreign concept to anyone who attended Marcus during his tenure.
My time at Marcus ended in 1988 as I graduated with the charter class, but I kept in contact with Mr. Sigler as his leadership helped Marcus become a Blue Ribbon school as well as a consistent institution of excellence. Excellence was present in academics, athletics, and service to the community. Larry Sigler was a role model to thousands of students over the years.
In his retirement, Mr Sigler battled numerous health problems. I would see him around town and he always remembered me, and we would talk about the tradition of excellence that lived on at Marcus. It was difficult to see age and disease dull a mind that was always so razor sharp. Larry Sigler fought a hard and courageous battle.
Mr. Sigler was a kind man, a generous man, and a giant in the community of Southern Denton County. I am proud to have known him. May he rest in peace and may all who knew him find peace in his well lived monumental life.
Note - 6/24/2015: We have been in the process of upgrading both the scanner radio, and the recording and streaming software that we use. So far, we're at about the $1,000 mark on this project, including the various hardware, software, cables, hosting costs and so forth. Feel free to chip in, if you like. Generous donors have kicked in about a third of it so far.
This has not been without hiccups, and we're still not satisfied with the audio quality. We are still working out bugs, and still planning on having versions that work on mobile devices like iPhone and Android.
The F.A.Q. below has been updated with new information.
The stream that you can listen to here may contain radio traffic of a sensitive nature. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This service is provided as-is, as available, and may be discontinued at any time for any reason. NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND ARE EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE LEGALITY OF ANY DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE BROADCAST OR THESE RECORDINGS. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
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A small amount of engine oil from a natural gas compressor station has been picked up by flood waters in Lewisville, according to Lewisville Fire Marshall Tim Ippolito, who also serves as Lewisville’s Oil and Gas Inspector.
In aerial photos released by the Lewisville Office of Emergency Management Saturday, a hydrocarbon sheen could be seen on flood waters crossing Creekside Mobile Home Park, which is just downstream from the facilities. Upon review of the FEMA flood maps of the area, we realized that the Chesapeake Lewisville natural gas compressor station and several other gas wells and a wastewater collection facility were located within the affected area. We contacted Ippolito on Sunday, and he had already been notified of a situation that morning, and was on his way to check out the gas wells.
Chesapeake Energy owns a gas well and a compressor station in the area west of Duncan Lane, and south of Spinks. FEMA maps show most of that land within the 100 year floodplain, with the northern portion of the site in the 500 year floodplain. Trinity River Energy owns several wells and a centralized wastewater collection facility, which is shown to be in FEMA zone “X”, which is minimal flood hazard.
Ippolito said Monday that Chesapeake notified both the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the release, which the Chesapeake representative told him was “less than 20 gallons”. Ippolito said that the operator had placed diking material around the Chesapeake compressor facility and along the downstream perimeter of the site, and that they had been on-site Friday through Sunday, which was when the peak flooding occurred. When Ippolito inspected the site on Sunday, he said that he saw no visible signs of leakage, and that the facility was shut down. “While it is unfortunate that they experienced the small leak, I am satisfied that they responded appropriately and do not anticipate any further leakage,” he said. “We will monitor the situation.”
Update: 10:35 p.m.: It appears that Denton Creek may have crested. As you can see from the chart, the water level has been at around the 26.9 foot level, and appears it may be ready to start slowly receding.
A quick drive through Creekside this evening showed water levels approximately where they were this morning when we checked them out. Fingers crossed, hopefully the worst is behind us, and the water will not damage any homes.
Update: 10:45 a.m.: Waters definitely have risen overnight, and many streets throughout the park have been flooded. Some streets have between 9 inches and a foot of water covering them, and have been barreled off by the City. Water has come up into the 500 year floodplain now, according to the FEMA map we posted last night.
Update - 10:40 p.m.: The City of Lewisville Emergency hotline is 972-219-3700. That number provides information about the facility if you need to go. You can also bring your pets with you, and Animal Services will be on-hand to help take care of them.
Update: 10:25 p.m.: Lewisville Office of Emergency Management says that currently only one family has taken advantage of the city's shelter at the Fred Herring Recreation Center, 191 Civic Circle in Lewisville near the Police Department and Library.
OEM has provided a map showing the potentially affected area. Note that this is NOT a map of current flood waters, but rather a map of the homes at risk
Update: 10:15 p.m.: Grapevine lake has continued to rise today, on pace to pick up about 9 inches today. As long as the lake is on the rise, Denton Creek will also be on the rise. It could take days for this water to go back down.
The only forecast that I have right now is for the Elm Fork Trinity, near Carrollton, which is down stream from where Denton Creek, Timber Creek, and the Elm Fork from Lewisville converge. This forecast puts the crest there happening about mid-day on Sunday, a foot and a half higher than what it is right now. This doesn't translate to the same rise for Denton Creek, but that should shed some light on their thinking.
Update: 9:55 p.m.: A couple things we wanted to mention:
- Electricity has been turned off for many residents who are expected to be affected by this flooding. So has water service. That means that although the evacuation is not mandatory, it would be quite uncomfortable to stay overnight. If you are in one of the affected homes, we strongly encourage you to heed the warnings and leave so that you don't get stuck with no way out, and no way to make a phone call or charge your phone.
- The nearest flood gauge to watch for this is at Denton Creek and SH 121. That gauge can be found online here. As you can see, the height of the water is making a pretty linear rise. It is about 2.5 feet higher than it was at noon today.
Update: 9:30 p.m.: Here's the FEMA 100 year floodplain map for the Denton County portion of Creekside. Gray areas are the 100-year flood inundated area.
And here is the Dallas County portion:
Update: 9:10 p.m.: The water has risen quite a bit at Creekside today. Residents were told this afternoon that the water could come up an additional 5 feet or so. Zulma Gasca was gathering her family and belongings and getting ready to go stay with her sister. Waters were about 3 feet below her front door threshold when we stopped by to visit with her, and were continuing to rise.
Tropical Storm Bill's massive rainfall in Wise and Montague counties caused an inflow of water to Grapevine Lake, which is now going over the spillway into Denton Creek. Denton Creek, the "creekside" part of the park's name runs just to the south and west of the park, and had jumped its banks.
The evacuation is recommended for residents who live near the creek, or who must travel on roads that may become flooded. Roads may flood and become impassable before water enters any homes.
For your own safety and for the convenience of the residents in the park, please do not go sight-seeing in the park. Lewisville Police will be patrolling the park all night to maintain security and assist residents.
Original Post Via The City of Lewisville (About 5 p.m.) Residents of a Lewisville mobile home park have been asked to evacuate their homes as a nearby creek rises toward flood levels. Mayor Rudy Durham signed an Order of Local Emergency earlier today.
City workers visited Creekside Mobile Home Park on Ace Lane in southern Lewisville this afternoon to notify them about the flooding risk and to assist with evacuation of homes threatened by rising water.
Even though rain has stopped locally, the potential for flooding remains a concern as Denton Creek continues to rise with runoff from heavy rains earlier this week in parts of the Lake Grapevine basin. State and federal officials monitoring the water levels have notified the City of Lewisville that the creek is expected to rise another 4-5 feet above the elevated levels measured at noon today.
If that prediction proves accurate, multiple homes in the western and southern parks of Creekside Mobile Home Park close to the flood path of Denton Creek, are expected to take on water later tonight. Adjacent streets also are expected to flood. The water level could remain elevated for several days. Evacuees using the shelter are encouraged to bring food, blankets, pillows and other items they might need during the evening and overnight.
Residents in the homes likely to be impacted were asked to remove possessions from their yards and properties that might be damaged or washes away by flood waters. Because high water also could cause utility outages, including electricity and water/sewer, they were advised to prepare to spend at least several days away from their homes.
The city has set up a temporary shelter at Fred Herring Recreation Center, 191 Civic Circle, for residents displaced by the evacuation. The shelter will open at 7 p.m. and remain open overnight, or longer depending upon need. Lewisville Police Department is arranging security at Creekside Mobile Home Park.
Anyone caught in the flood waters or facing a life-threatening emergency should call 9-1-1.
Impacted residents can get more information by calling the Emergency information Hotline at 972.219.3700, on the city website at cityoflewisville.com, or through Facebook or Twitter.
Want to know who has the best hamburger in Lewisville? We do too! That’s why on Saturday, June 27th, we’ll send four judges to each of eight local Lewisville restaurants known for their burgers, and we’ll settle the question.
Each of the eateries will get a visit at a pre-appointed time, and serve our judges one of their best burgers for judging. Each burger will be judged on 1-10 scale based on taste, execution, appearance, and value, for a total possible score of up to 160 points.
We’ll be live-tweeting and blogging the event here on The Lewisville Texan Journal, and our Facebook and Twitter pages, starting at 11 a.m., and ending around 4:30 p.m.
Results will be tabulated and winners announced at 4 p.m. at Tierney’s, where the top three winners will receive their trophy or plaque. Join us at Tierneys, where Muffintops and Jellyrolls bakery will provide a delicious cake.
In addition to the judging, The Lewisville Texan Journal will have a Citizens' Choice award, for the most popular burger chosen by the general public in our online poll. Vote now!
The Lewisville Texan Journal thanks Philip Moulard of the Lake City Swallow for his hard work in organizing the contest, and Huffines Auto Group for the use of a Chevy Suburban to haul the judges around to the restaurants, and Ray Hernandez for being the driver.
The festival focuses on craft beer, provided by over 80 breweries that will be on-hand sampling their brews to the public. Local brewery Cobra Brewing Company will exhibit at the Brewfest, as will the local Witherspoon Distillery.
The event begins at 9 a.m. with a classic car and bike show in the east parking lot of Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church St. That show is free to attend, and concludes at 1 p.m. Food will be available for purchase and Dixie Rex will provide live music.
The Brewfest begins at 1 p.m. for VIP attendees ($65 per person) and 3 p.m. for general admission attendees ($35 per person).
All attendees receive a 5 ounce tasting cup (similar to the one shown in the photo) and a tasting card good for 12 beer tastings. VIPs receive a special gift bag, and access to an air-conditioned lunch with finger foods.
Additional tasting cards are $5 each.
After the Brewfest ends at 7 p.m., there will be an "After Party in the Park" featuring local bands playing on the main stage at Ferguson Plaza. Admission to this event is included in the Brewfest ticket price, or can be had for $10 for non-Brewfest attendees.
Proceeds from the Best Little Brewfest in Texas go to Cloud 9 Charities, which supports Alzheimer's respite care and teen suicide counseling and prevention.