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Blood And Sand

April 18, 2010
If you're nostalgic for warrior princesses, talk about "Xena: Warrior Princess." Long before Lucy Lawless was going topless in Starz' "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," she was just a warrior bent on overcoming her dark past and saving innocents to redeem herself in the campy '90s cult TV series. Want to relive that Spartan costume? The first season is now available on DVD. (Tuesday) If you want vampires that don't sparkle, talk about "American Vampire."
December 12, 2009 | By Geoff Boucher >>>
There were inscriptions written above the entrance of the Temple of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi, and the two most famous ones were cautionary words of wisdom: "Know thyself" and "Nothing too much." Those bits of ancient advice are worth considering as two Hollywood studios hope to launch film franchises that use Greek mythology as the unlikely premise for popcorn entertainment. "These are the stories that began storytelling in many ways," director Louis Leterrier said a few months ago on the London set of his "Clash of the Titans," the Warner Bros.
The American Cinematheque's Alternative Screen showcase at the Egyptian presents tonight at 7:30 George Ratliff's "Hell House," which documents how the Trinity Assembly of God Pentecostal Church in Dallas has turned Halloween into an opportunity to terrify teens onto the path of righteousness. This is an authentic slice of Americana, a sometimes unintentionally amusing but overall disturbing conflation of primitive hellfire-and-damnation religious convictions and up-to-the minute technology.
January 3, 2012 | By Amy Dawes, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The pair of Golden Globe nominations for "Boss" — it got nods for top drama series and lead actor — is undoubtedly a shot in the arm for Starz, the pay-cable network on which the show appears. The network's motto is "the next big thing. " It has been striving to make headway with its original series, particularly since the arrival two years ago of Chief Executive Chris Albrecht, who was programming chief at HBO during the era of "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under" and other landmark cable series.
March 23, 2010 | By Denise Martin and Joe Flint
There's no confusing Starz's "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" with Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." In the pay TV channel's adaptation of the tale of the rebel Roman slave, the battle cries from the Classical Age have, well, a distinctly 21st century ring ("My boot will meet your ass in the afterlife!"). The sexual intrigue seems lifted right out of a VH1 dating show (when a socialite decides to buy one of the gladiators-in-training, the men are ordered to drop their loincloths so she can make an informed choice)
February 20, 1987 | MICHAEL WILMINGTON
Come with us now to mythical Jamal, the place of "Death Before Dishonor" (citywide). It's a desert land, swimming in blood and sand--where a band of kill-crazy Arabs, advised by a German fashion model and her sidekick, are spreading a reign of incomprehensible terror. What a crew! The felonious Amin, the degenerate Zabib, the sadistic Said and their depraved leader, the jelly-bellied Jihad. Their perfidy is endless as the sands. They slaughter diplomats, blow up embassies and kidnap U.S.
May 1, 2007 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
It may have taken a quarter of a century to bring "Dreamgirls," the seminal Broadway musical about a female R&B singing group, to the screen, but the wait paid off -- and the film transformed former "American Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson into an Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner as the powerful lead singer who is forced out of the group.
October 6, 1993 | MAL FLORENCE
Kickers have decided a lot of NFL games this season, but if Denver Bronco linebacker Karl Mecklenburg had his way, he would give them all the boot. "I've always maintained that football would be a lot more fun if they just eliminated all the kicking and punting," Mecklenburg said. "It just seems kind of strange to me that you're out there killing yourself for 60 minutes and them some guy with no dirt on his uniform comes in to kick the ball and decide the game."
Longtime movie director Budd Boetticher, who died last Friday of organ failure, was a cinephile's director, famed throughout the world among movie buffs, little known by the general public. A master of both low-budget westerns and film noirs, he created classics such as "The Bullfighter and the Lady" (1951), "The Tall T" (1957) and "The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond" (1960).
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