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August 3, 2009 | Glenn Whipp
The extraterrestrial advance team in the kid-friendly adventure romp "Aliens in the Attic" qualifies as the most unthreatening bunch of cinematic space invaders since the waterlogged aliens in M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs." But then that's precisely the point, since adults have as much place in the movie's world as the grown-ups in the "Peanuts" comic strips.
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NEWS
April 12, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Actress Scarlett Johansson topped the box office charts last weekend playing the character of Black Widow in the Marvel superhero flick "Captain America: The Winter Soldier. " That same weekend she was on screen as a man-eater of a different type in the cryptic indie sci-fi film "Under the Skin. " As a space alien in human form who lures male victims into a mysterious black void, Johansson gives a performance at once sinister, sultry and unexpectedly sympathetic. If "Captain America" was the latest product of a studio franchise machine, "Under the Skin" was the handcrafted result of writer-director Jonathan Glazer's 10-year quest to bring a singular experience to the screen.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Robert Abele
As the found-footage horror genre reaches the please-lose-it-again point, "Alien Abduction" arrives to remind us how tedious the camping trip set-up has become as well. Taking the notorious "ghost lights" above North Carolina's Brown Mountain as its inspiration, the movie purports to be Air Force-leaked footage from an 11-year-old autistic boy's camcorder of how things went horribly wrong for his family on a weekend nature outing. (Considering some of the eye-level shots, he must be a very tall 11-year-old.)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Robert Abele
As the found-footage horror genre reaches the please-lose-it-again point, "Alien Abduction" arrives to remind us how tedious the camping trip set-up has become as well. Taking the notorious "ghost lights" above North Carolina's Brown Mountain as its inspiration, the movie purports to be Air Force-leaked footage from an 11-year-old autistic boy's camcorder of how things went horribly wrong for his family on a weekend nature outing. (Considering some of the eye-level shots, he must be a very tall 11-year-old.)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 1997
Pathfinder landed on Mars and NASA didn't release any photographs of little green aliens. Hmmmmm! Must be a government cover-up. CAROLINE SWEITZ Woodland Hills
NEWS
September 10, 2012 | By Paul Whitefield
Not content with messing up Earth, apparently we've taken to messing up other planets. The Times' Louis Sagahun reported Monday that the Mars rover Curiosity's “drill bits may be contaminated with Earth microbes. If they are, and if those bits touch water, the organisms could survive.” Seems that Curiosity was initially sterilized, then some folks got cold feet about the rover's ability to drill once it hit the surface of the Red Planet, so they opened the box of drill bits and put one bit into Curiosity's drill.  NASA being NASA, there are rules for handling this sort of thing, including that the “planetary protection officer,” one Catharine Conley, was supposed to be consulted.  But NASA being NASA, she wasn't.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 1988
As the director of the Office of Social Concerns of the Mission San Luis Rey Parish in North County, I deal on a daily basis with aliens from many countries, both legal and illegal. I had expected an unbiased article from The Times. However, I feel that the (recent) series has shown only some negative aspects of one small segment of the Hispanic presence in North County. The uninformed public must not be left with only the information printed in this series. There must be a follow-up showing the positive aspects of the same segment of our society.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 1987
It is amazing how much mis- and non-information abounds. Even so astute a writer as Doris Meissner (Op-Ed Page, Aug. 2) feels free to say, "Legalization is unique in our history." That statement is quite inaccurate. Since at least 1929, it has been the policy of the United States to permit legalization of aliens who illegally entered our country. In that year Congress passed a statute (45 U.S. Statutes at Large (Stats) 1512-13) allowing legalization of the undocumented aliens who entered before June 3, 1921.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 2011
EVENTS Giving new meaning to the phrase "creature comforts," the all-inclusive Aliens to Zombies Convention celebrates extraterrestrials, the undead and otherterrifying critters. Participants include special-effects artist Todd Masters, "The Walking Dead" actor Michael Rooker, "Dark Skies" producer Bryce Zabel, and monster makers Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Sat. $50-$75. (323) 665-8080. http://www.alienstozombies.com
SPORTS
July 13, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Baron Davis, Los Angeles native and former NBA star, talked Friday about an alien abduction that took place two weeks ago when he was driving home from Las Vegas. Sure, it could have been a hallucination brought on by heat exhaustion, if you know anything about driving through the Barstow area between Vegas and L.A. Not so oddly, he ended up at In-N-Out Burger during the encounter. It likely was a tall tale, since the interview took place on the podcast "The Champs" with comedians Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher during a segment they call "Tell Us About That.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
To truly get "Under the Skin," it's helpful to come in with no preconceptions, no expectations, and just give yourself over to the primal ooze of the experience filmmaker Jonathan Glazer has created and Scarlett Johansson has made brilliantly, unnervingly real. Watching this film feels like a genesis moment - of sci-fi fable, of filmmaking, of performance - with all the ambiguity and excitement that implies. It's as if director and star have gone into some alien space to discover what embodies a person, exposing the interior dynamic of psyche and soul and its relationship to the exterior.
NEWS
April 3, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Once again, Bill Clinton proved that being an ex-president, surrounded by the rosy glow of the past, beats being the current pilloried resident of the White House. A Wednesday night guest on comedian Jimmy Kimmel's late-night ABC show, Clinton was tight-lipped about his family's future political plans, leaving that to Hillary Rodham Clinton to eventually divulge, but embraced his 1992 moniker as the nation's “first black president” - and the actual first black president. “I loved being called the first black president, but Barack Obama really is,” Clinton told Kimmel, to laughs.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By Richard Verrier and John Horn
When filmmaker Darren Aronofsky started scouting locations for his biblical flood epic, "Noah," he had two potentially competing needs. The landscapes on which he would shoot exteriors needed at first to look like an uninhabitable wasteland, and, after the deluge, a new garden of Eden, where Noah, his family and his ark of animals could begin to repopulate the earth. The writer-director's production team considered Death Valley, deserts in Mexico and the Canary Islands. But when they visited Iceland, "Noah" found its port of call.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
The extraterrestrial species that the denizens of "Almost Human" have close encounters with is of the parasitic variety that also possesses the ability to manipulate the behavior of its hosts. Mark (Josh Ethier) reemerges two years after his abduction by aliens and immediately embarks on a killing spree. With circumstances of Mark's inexplicable disappearance now recurring, his best friend, Seth (Graham Skipper), and now-ex girlfriend, Jen (Vanessa Leigh), begin fearing the worst.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
No one can accuse the people at the CW of not giving its audience what they think it wants. "Star-Crossed," which premieres Monday and might easily be reverse-engineered from its title alone - it's "Romeo and Juliet," with aliens - adds another story of cross-cultural, interspecies romance to the network of "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Vampire Diaries" (and "Hart of Dixie," for that matter). For a certain sort of moony viewer, there is no love so true as the impossible love that is meant to be. Created by Meredith Averill (formerly a story editor at "The Good Wife")
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
The stereotypical Sundance movie is thought of as something capital-Q quirky, typically a story of family dysfunction or coming-of-age. This year's festival, across its numerous sections, featured a newfound immersion in genre storytelling that pushed the films to places that were familiar but with unexpected and most welcome twists. Gareth Evans' "The Raid 2," for instance, does for the blood-soaked Asian action film what "The Dark Knight" did for the superhero film, injecting it with a seriousness, a depth of characterization and a scope of storytelling that raises it to a new level of legitimacy.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 2009 | Patrick Kevin Day
The visual effects team at Canada's Image Engine had a challenge in making the "prawns" of director Neill Blomkamp's "District 9" look alien yet sympathetic. No easy trick for creatures modeled closely after the not-so-cute Goliath beetle. Actor Jason Cope, who played most of the alien roles, provided the movements on set to be digitally tracked and replaced by an animated alien body. But the creatures' faces needed to emote more effectively than that process allows. "The . . . eyes were too insect-like," visual effects executive producer Shawn Walsh said.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 14, 2009 | Betsy Sharkey FILM CRITIC
Set in South Africa in the not too distant past, the riveting "District 9" begins nearly three decades after a monstrous spaceship lost power over Johannesburg. There it sits still, suspended over the city like a giant metal thundercloud. These are stormy days indeed inside District 9, the refugee camp just outside the city built to deal with the huge alien population left stranded by the broken craft. It's one of those "separate but equal" shantytowns reeking of garbage and growing dissatisfaction among the Prawns, which is as good a slur as any for a race of creatures who look like tall, two-legged cockroach/lobsters on steroids.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
The line between the real and the surreal is a thin one for James Franco. The actor's persona has become such a carefully cultivated hall of post-postmodern mirrors that it can often be hard to tell what's true and what's a put-on. So naturally, when online award spots started appearing, promoting Franco for his role as a "gangster mystic" in Harmony Korine's outrageous indie hit "Spring Breakers," it was hard to know what to make of it. In fact, one ad plays on this confusion. "Are you being serious?"
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2013 | By Heller McAlpin
"The Apartment," Greg Baxter's absorbing, atmospheric and enigmatic first novel, unfolds in extended paragraphs without chapter breaks on a single snowy mid-December day in a fictional European city that evokes aspects of Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Its long, frigid journey into a long, sleepless night explores a man's uneasy relationship with his past, himself and a world in which violence is inescapable. The book's unnamed 41-year-old narrator is a retired U.S. Navy submariner who has served two tours providing intelligence in Iraq - the first as a reservist, the second as a private contractor identifying insurgents for the Iraqi police, which made him a fortune.
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