January 25, 2013 |
From a story once passed down in the oral tradition comes a version transmitted by repetitive audio-visual assault in "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. " The notorious folkloric tale about lost little siblings encountering the worst kind of sugar-coated bad news has been given a jokey R-rated once-over by Norwegian writer-director Tommy Wirkola, whose calling card as a purveyor of wink, wink, splatter, splatter entertainment was the 2009 undead Nazis romp "Dead Snow. " There's little to suggest, however, that shifting from zombies to witches has shaken his love of obliterating bodies by any means necessary.
January 10, 2013 |
We got Osama bin Laden - and now we'll be getting him again on cinema screens across the nation, as "Zero Dark Thirty" hits neighborhood multiplexes. Lauded and criticized, that film's the talk of the town. Is it also the first of a new genre? If so, here are my five nominations for other CIA films. Let's start with the CIA's 1953 coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, whose democratically elected government had nationalized the country's oil industry. It couldn't be oilier, involving BP in an earlier incarnation, the CIA, British intelligence, bribery, secretly funded street demonstrations and (lest you think there'd be no torture in the film)
January 7, 2013 |
This week, Dallas city officials began razing an apartment complex once home to President Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The site does not have any official historic designation, according to the owner and city documents. But the decision has still caused a stir in a city where sites related to the assassination have proved a major draw, including Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was shot, and the Texas School Book Depository, where Oswald lay in wait. Dealey Plaza is now a national historic district and the book depository houses the Sixth Floor Museum, which sees 325,000 visitors a year.
January 1, 2013 |
For the last two decades, video game movies have been so bad that the genre itself has become shorthand for failure. So when French game publisher Ubisoft, best known for its "Assassin's Creed" series and Tom Clancy-branded military games, decided to take a stab at movies, the company didn't search for a Hollywood expert to be its partner. Ubisoft decided to hire him. Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive of the 2-year-old Ubisoft Motion Pictures unit, takes a hands-on approach to translating his company's intellectual property from interactive to linear media.
December 25, 2012 |
AL SARRAIN, Yemen - The U.S. drone flew over a cluster of mud houses on a ridge and, according to Yemeni officials, locked onto Adnan Qadhi, a mercurial man of many guises, including radical militant, peace mediator, preacher of violence and army general. Villagers said Qadhi climbed out of his utility vehicle the night of Nov. 7 to make a cellphone call shortly before the missile struck. His photo - broad face peering from beneath a tilted red beret, stars on his epaulets - now hangs in a small grocery store in a land where farmers work narrow fields below the villas of politicians, tribal leaders and a former president that rise like fortresses on nearby hilltops.
December 10, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Gunmen killed another female Afghan official in the latest in a series of violent attacks on women who promote women's rights or are involved in activities outside their traditional roles here as homemakers. The acting director for women's affairs in the northeastern province of Laghman was shot and killed by two gunmen Monday morning as she was on her way to her office. The director, Najia Sediqqi, had been filling in for her predecessor, Hanifa Safi, who was assassinated in Laghman in July by a bomb attached to her car. No group immediately took responsibility for Sediqqi's murder.
November 20, 2012 |
MEXICO CITY -- As a small-town mayor in the drug-trafficking western state of Michoacan, she survived two assassination attempts. One claimed the life of her husband; another three months later left her badly wounded. That was in 2009 and 2010. Her mayoral term ended in 2011. And over the weekend, Maria de los Santos Gorrostieta Salazar was slain, apparently tortured and beaten to death, her body dumped in a ravine. Gorrostieta had been mayor of Tiquicheo, a remote town in the so-called hotlands of Michoacan, farmland firmly under the thumb of drug-trafficking cartels.
November 14, 2012 |
JERUSALEM -- Retaliating for a recent barrage of rockets fired by Gaza Strip fighters, Israel on Wednesday killed a senior Hamas military commander as he traveled by car through Gaza City, the militant group said. Ahmed Jabari, the 52-year-old head of the Hamas military wing, and three other people in the vehicle were killed in the airstrike. Shortly after, Israeli forces also struck other targets in the seaside enclave. The attack marked the launch of a new Israeli military assault, dubbed Operation Pillar of Defense, aimed at “defending the people of Israel who have been under rocket attack and crippling terrorist organizations' capabilities,” said Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovitz.
November 7, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Syria's armed opposition, driven back from Damascus in a fierce government counteroffensive last summer, appears to be responding with a revamped strategy that runs through some of the capital's most explosive sectarian and ethnic fault lines. A pair of bombings this week struck districts that are strongholds of President Bashar Assad's Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam whose adherents are generally hostile to the Sunni-led uprising. Trusted Alawite commanders run much of Assad's security apparatus.