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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Wed
Hi: 66
Lo: 51
Thu
Hi: 59
Lo: 51
Fri
Hi: 70
Lo: 62
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The cover of the Brewers' very well-timed children's book "Hang, The Ballpark Pup," coming out Thursday, Sept. 18.
The cover of the Brewers' very well-timed children's book "Hang, The Ballpark Pup," coming out Thursday, Sept. 18.

Hank the Dog comes to Brewers' rescue with new children's book

It's not exactly the best time to be a Brewers fan. 

The ol' ball club is desperately trying to pull themselves out of a devastating tailspin. Even when they win, they seem to lose, as evidenced by last night's Giancarlo Stanton debacle which left the Marlins' – and arguably the National League's – best player with a fractured face and one of the Brewers' most consistently impressive starting pitchers with a potentially fractured psyche.

Sounds like a good time to get baseball's favorite canine Hank the Dog (sorry, Hercules from "The Sandlot") back in the spotlight!

Today, the Milwaukee Brewers announced the release of "Hank, The Ballpark Pup," a new children's book chronicling the life, time and adventures of Hank the Dog. The 40-page hardcover book, written by Karen Winnick, will go on sale Thursday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. at the Brewers Team Store.

To celebrate the occasion, Winnick and Hank will be at the Team Store that Thursday from 4:30 until 5:30 p.m. The first 75 people in line will get a free copy of the book, as well as an opportunity to have it signed by the author and take a photo with Hank. Maybe you could talk Hank into signing the book, too.

The book retails for $19.95. However, as with all Hank-related items sold by the ball club, 20 percent of that price is donated to the Hank Fund, which benefits the Wisconsin Humane Society. 

The Hank the Dog book release comes quickly after the Hank the Dog bobblehead night tomorrow night. Now, considering the low preseason expectations for the Brewers, it made sense when they planned and came up with this date all the way back in March to have a bobblehead night for the wildly popular rescue dog/mascot near the end of the season with attention likely waning and Wisconsin's ultimate pastime – football – all started up. 

However, the Brewers could've never expected how much they desperately needed a distraction, preferably an adorably cute and cuddly one. 

It's insanely convenient timing that th…

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John Ridley's "Jimi: All Is By My Side" is the Milwaukee Film Festival's centerpiece selection.
John Ridley's "Jimi: All Is By My Side" is the Milwaukee Film Festival's centerpiece selection.

Milwaukee Film Festival announces its complete 2014 lineup

After slowly teasing its complete lineup for the past several weeks, the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival finally revealed the entire cinematic buffet it's assembled for film fans – both hardcore and casual – this morning. And my friends, it looks absolutely delicious (and not just because of the newly added Film Feast program).

In addition to the features and shorts previously announced, the festival's complete list includes a movie daringly filmed right here off the coast of Lake Michigan, Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley's much anticipated follow-up to "12 Years a Slave," a historical documentary all too relevant to today's surveillance-concerned times and the latest buzzy movie starring the improbably named Benedict Cumberbatch. 

And those are just a few of the many highlights. Here's the entire lineup:

Opening Night Film 

  • "1971," a documentary about The Citizens' Commission and their theft of incriminating FBI documents at the Vietnam War's apex. 

Festival Centerpiece 

Closing Night Film 

  • "The Surface," a locally filmed thriller about two men abandoned and lost on the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan.

Spotlight Presentations 

  • "Alive Inside," a documentary about the musical treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's.
  • "Dear MKE," a short film compilation dedicated to the Cream City. 
  • "Family United," a Spanish comedy about a family coming together for a wedding – and the World Cup.
  • "The Imitation Game," a buzzy drama – starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Mark Strong and Matthew Goode – about Alan Turing's mission to decrypt Nazi codes during World War II.
  • "Life Partners," a comedy starring Gillian Jacobs from "Community" about two best friends – one straight, one lesbian – whose lives just jostled after the introduction of a long-term boyfriend. 
  • "Man with a Movie Camera," the classic documentary – often named the …
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The ZAZ crew - (from left to right) Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker - is one of several film voices receiving a tribute from the 2014 Milwaukee Fil
The ZAZ crew - (from left to right) Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker - is one of several film voices receiving a tribute from the 2014 Milwaukee Fil

Milwaukee Film Festival announces a star-studded stockpile of tributes

The main draw of the Milwaukee Film Festival is right there in the title: the films (the full lineup to come Friday. Spoiler alert: You will not be wanting). But every year, just off to the side of the main event, Milwaukee Film also wrangles together some really awesome people in the world of cinema, brings them to Milwaukee, hands them a stage and pays fitting tribute to them (plus: more movies!). 

In the past, they've brought in influential people like most of the brilliant staff at The Dissolve – which, if you're a film fan and you're not reading or at least dipping occasionally into The Dissolve, look at your life, look at your choices – prolific Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (whose latest, "Finding Fela," is a film festival selection this year) and legendary actor Martin Landau.

This year's lineup of tributes is no less spectacular, bringing in a diverse group of accomplished people in the business to share their film expertise and, most importantly, their love of movies with others.

There's a writer-director who's proven to be a star-making factory (just ask Jennifer Lawrence). There's a terrific film critic who might just be the next Roger Ebert – and he has the Pulitzer Prize to prove it. There's also an acclaimed documentarian, and there's the three-headed comedy team behind some of the funniest movies of all time.

But enough with dancing around specifics: Here are the Milwaukee Film Festival's tributes for 2014.

Debra Granik 

Before her Oscar-nominated turn in "Winter's Bone" (still her best performance), Jennifer Lawrence's filmography consisted of a couple of minimally seen indie dramas, some unsold TV pilots and 30 episodes on "The Bill Engvall Show." After "Winter's Bone," she exploded into stardom, becoming the beloved face of hot franchises, red carpets and every other Buzzfeed listicle.

Now, obviously, Lawrence deserves most of the credit for her incredible rise to fame, but it's hard to say the starlet would've made such a…

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Park and county representatives accept a check for $500,000 from MillerCoors, dedicated to fixing South Shore Beach.
Park and county representatives accept a check for $500,000 from MillerCoors, dedicated to fixing South Shore Beach.

South Shore Park on tap for clean up

Late Wednesday afternoon, representatives from MillerCoors, Milwaukee County Parks, UWM's School of Freshwater Sciences and Milwaukee County held a press conference at South Shore Park, announcing new initiatives – and namely a new $500,000 contribution from MillerCoors – to clean up the park's beach. 

The Bay View park features several recreational areas and hosts several events, but its sandy beach has often been closed in recent years due to E. Coli contamination. As a result, the beach has earned a national reputation as one of the worst in the country. In fact, earlier this summer, the Natural Resources Defense Council named South Shore one of 17 repeat offenders, meaning that its water samples have been worse than the public health benchmarks since 2009.

"As you can imagine, this designation ... we're not proud of it," said John Dargle Jr., parks director for Milwaukee County Parks, "but to many of our partners, we are committed to change that – forever – and get off this list."

Dargle Jr. and the rest of the speakers mentioned Bradford Beach several times throughout the press conference, hopeful to recreate the successful work that the city has already seen in action at the now revitalized Milwaukee hotspot. 

"I remember being around in 2008 and an incredibly enthusiastic witness to the announcement then, again from Miller, of their commitment to clean up Bradford Beach," said County Executive Chris Abele.

"We expect huge crowds now, but at the time, we didn't have anything like that, and there hand't been for a long time. Anybody who isn't clear about how much of a transformation can be impacted by a partnership like this need only drive down – as we all have – on a hot summer day and just see thousands and thousands of your community enjoying an incredible asset and a clean beach. That's what we're going to get now."

The $500,000 donation and commitment from MillerCoors is a strong start in that direction, but obviously there is much wor…

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