November 2, 2012 |
With the response to the storm known as Sandy still an ongoing concern, and the full scope of the destruction just only now becoming clear, what, exactly, can a bunch of famous people do to help? Simple: What they do best. Draw eyes and ears to a TV screen so that they can get a message out. On Friday night in New York, that message wasn't “buy our music,” but “donate money.” “Everywhere she went she spread darkness,” host Matt Lauer explained of the storm in his introduction to the broadcast on NBC affiliated networks, after Staten Island-born Christina Aguilera sang an honest, emotional version of her classic, “You Are Beautiful.” Her tone was strong but somber, a mood that extended through the first few performances.
February 10, 2012 |
A self-indulgent pilgrimage to the shrine of '70s fabulousness, "Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston" assembles a fine assortment of archival material but falls far short of its stated goal. Halston, who died in 1990, is a compelling subject - a Midwesterner who became synonymous with Manhattan night life while changing the fashion industry - and his story helps to define an era. That story is trivialized in this glitter-deep overview of familiar Studio 54 terrain. The film combines two documentary subgenres: the fashion doc and the inquisitive-filmmaker-inserted-in-every-scene doc. The spotlight-hogging director is star-struck first-timer Whitney Sudler-Smith.
April 1, 2011
'Avatar 2' as innovator James Cameron plans another innovation for his next "Avatar" installment: shooting at double or more the film speed that has been Hollywood's standard since the 1920s, a move he says will greatly improve 3-D images. Cameron, whose 2009 sci-fi blockbuster raised the bar for digital imagery and put the 3-D craze on the fast track, told movie exhibitors in Las Vegas on Thursday that "Avatar 2" would be shot at 48 or 60 frames a second to reduce an effect called "strobing" that can blur moving images, particularly those in 3-D. For more than 80 years, the norm has been 24 frames a second.
March 30, 2009 |
Partnerships between pop superstars usually deliver less than the sum of their talents. Nostalgia isn't always enough, but a surprising collaboration between Elton John and Billy Joel, who play nothing more than their best-known hits from the '70s and '80s, has been going strong since 1995. That was enough to land the singer-pianists in front of a full house at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday as part of their latest "Face 2 Face" tour.
December 17, 2008 |
Elton John is looking to whip up a little something special for his upcoming Face 2 Face tour with fellow '70s piano man Billy Joel to make it more than just a greatest-hits outing. Returning to the concert trail together starting next spring for the first time in six years, John and Joel want to inject some new music into the mix. "We're thinking about recording three songs together," John told The Times on Tuesday. "Definitely not our own songs, or oldies, but we're interested in getting some people to write new songs for us. I've got Raphael Saddiq and Nile Rodgers working on something, so we're booking some time to go into the studio and record."
July 17, 2008 |
The razing of Shea Stadium later this year marks the end of an era for baseball fans, but it's also closing the door on a chapter of pop music history that began in 1965 when the Beatles became the first pop group to play a concert at a U.S. sports stadium. Billy Joel will play the final notes at Shea on Friday in a performance to be documented for a film and DVD titled "Last Play at Shea," slated for release next year. Several guest artists are expected at the concert, which is one of only a handful that have been held at Shea in the 43 years since the Beatles played.