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May 1, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey
There's a big, raw-boned appeal to "Kon-Tiki," the Norwegian film based on its native son explorer Thor Heyerdahl and the 100-plus days he and a crew of six spent on a balsa wood raft crossing the Pacific to prove a point. Carried by currents from Peru to the Polynesian islands, the journey was already legendary, the subject of Heyerdahl's 1948 book and his 1951 Oscar-winning doc. Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg's dramatic version all these years later was Norway's Oscar entry earlier this year.
April 18, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Oblivion" will make you remember, not forget. This Tom Cruise vehicle is a throwback to the days when on-screen science fiction was about speculative ideas rather than selling toys to tots - think of it as the most expensive episode of "The Twilight Zone" ever made. "Oblivion" is not perfect. Its dystopian story makes no apologies for its familiarity, echoing such films as "The Planet of the Apes," "The Matrix," "2001" and even "Wall-E. " And expecting the wheels not to eventually begin to fall off its pleasantly complicated, head-spinning plot (based on the director Joseph Kosinski's graphic novel)
April 16, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
A ride at Disneyland and another at Disney California Adventure Park remained closed Monday as park officials worked to fix safety violations cited by the state. Disney officials said they voluntarily closed Disneyland's Space Mountain and Soarin' Over California at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim over the weekend while they review their safety procedures. Park officials said they have no estimate on when the rides will reopen. The state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued fines Friday of $234,850 for six violations related to the maintenance of fire extinguishers and safety barriers and anchors for exterior cleaners and other workers on Space Mountain.
March 29, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The first episode of the second half of the seventh series of the reborn "Doctor Who" - which I can't help thinking of as the first episode of the eighth series of the reborn "Doctor Who" following a very short seventh season, a Christmas episode and a 2 1/2-minute online prequel - lands in our corner of space-time Saturday, via BBC America. "The Bells of Saint John" finds 11th Doctor Matt Smith living among monks in the 13th century as he meditates on the mystery of Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman)
March 20, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
In May 2005, DreamWorks Animation SKG and Aardman Animations announced that, following their collaborations on "Chicken Run," "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and "Flushed Away," their next joint venture would be "Crood Awakening," a stop-motion comedy about a caveman living in a small village with a prehistoric genius. John Cleese of Monty Python fame and Kirk DeMicco ("Racing Stripes") were hired to write the script. And now nearly eight years later, a vastly different version of the tale is opening Friday.
March 12, 2013 | Chris Erskine
PHOENIX - Let me tell you about Josh Hamilton's first rocket ship of spring. It isn't a perfect home run. He gets under it a bit more than he would've liked, so it's towering, corpulent, full of cha-cha. At last sighting, it was in geosynchronous orbit with Earth. NBC was about to bounce Brian Williams' evening newscasts off of it, and someone at Palomar was pronouncing it a planet. So no, it wasn't a perfect home run by any means. But it got your attention, all right. It was the kind of celestial event befitting the newest Angel.
March 6, 2013 | By Jay Jones
With the spring fishing season fast approaching, a remote lodge in British Columbia is offering the opportunity to fly fish for trout in some of the most pristine coastal rivers in Canada. At Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort , near the northern tip of Vancouver Island, the fishing spots are so isolated that guests, accompanied by expert guides, reach them by helicopter. The season opens April 15 and continues through May 31, when many of the fish have reached 25 pounds in weight.
March 2, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
With the possible exception of that football team in Minnesota, the vikings have seen some fairly serious brand slippage over the years. Once the scourge of Europe, vikings have increasingly lost their mojo - the Wagnerian soprano in the horned hat and even the scraggly barbarians of Capitol One ads are actually Visigoths, although the Viking cruise line still proudly tours where its titular progenitors once conquered. So the time is right for an image refurbishment, and here is History, in the midst of its own makeover, to provide just that.
February 28, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
Armchair travelers and adventurer-seekers who dream of getting off the grid will find a taste of the exotic in a new trip being organized by Asia Transpacific Journeys called The Wild Jungles of Borneo . The April 8-21 trip will explore the Southeast Asian island's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, known for their variety of species. The tour promises a chance to search for tigers, rhinos, elephants and leopards from treetop aerial walkways and to observe nocturnal wildlife and birds on a night safari.
February 23, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Phil Keoghan of "The Amazing Race" has scuba dived with a dog, swilled the blood of a cobra and attended a nudist wedding. He also tried swimming the mile across the Bosporus strait that separates the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, but drifted downstream three miles before getting fished out. And he sometimes gets lost when he travels as host of the TV show too (but not for the same reasons as the contestants do.) "I love traveling," the New Zealand-born Keoghan told the audience Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show . "My whole philosophy is 'no opportunity wasted' or NOW, which means living the biggest possible life you can. " In case you miss the point, he has written a book with the same title that encourages people to draft their own life list.
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