CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2013 |
It's been fun reading the qualifiers and questions about Jason Collins' place in history this morning, after the NBA player came out of the closet. And boy, what a closet he was in. Even his twin brother didn't know he was gay. “So much for twin telepathy,” wrote Collins, 34, in a long, poignant Sports Illustrated essay about the “unbearable strain” of being a closeted professional athlete. He chose the number 98 as a private homage to gay rights icon Matthew Shepard, tortured and murdered in Wyoming in 1998.
June 10, 2012 |
Summer is when Hollywood takes out those big-budget, big-event films dubbed tent poles because their job is to prop up everything from studio profits and acting careers to producers' fortunes (someone's got to pay for the summer place in Barbados). Moviegoers, of course, are the main target for these multimillion-dollar attractions. And who doesn't love a tasty popcorn extravaganza? We do tend to turn out in droves for the "Potters" and "Pirates," the "Transformers," the "Treks" and "Shreks" of the world.
March 23, 2012 |
"The Raid: Redemption" is a slam-bang, knock-your-socks-off action bonanza with some of the most peerlessly shot, performed and choreographed fight sequences you're likely to see on screen. Welsh-born writer-director-editor Gareth Evans ("Merantau") proves a visionary force, grabbing hold of the audience with a barrage of virtuoso set pieces that are both hide-your-eyes violent and mind-bogglingly stunning. The Jakarta-set film lays out its do-or-die mission in a few brief, well chosen sentences and never looks back.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2012 |
As a set illustrator for Hollywood studios, Robert Temple Ayres created his most famous work at Paramount in 1959. Officially called "Map to Illustrate the Ponderosa in Nevada," it was conjured up just so it could burst into flames on television screens during the opening of the long-running show "Bonanza. " While the memorable "Bonanza" theme music played, Ayres' map appeared, then dissolved in flames , revealing the Ponderosa ranch's inhabitants on horseback — the Cartwright clan played by Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts.
February 13, 2012 |
Once upon a time, a new TV network needed sports programming and made a deal to broadcast NHL games. The relationship benefited both parties. Over time the network dropped its gimmicky events, gaining major league sports and major credibility. It came to need the NHL much less than the NHL needed the network, and their relationship deteriorated. That network — ESPN — parted ways with the NHL after the 2004-05 lockout, and as much as hockey fans long for ESPN's mainstream cachet, that ship isn't coming back.
February 9, 2012
Whether you're in love or not, you're sure to cry your heart out at the American Cinematheque's Valentine's Day weekend romantic film bonanza, featuring such classics as "City Lights," "His Girl Friday," "Gone With the Wind" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's. " Egyptian and Aero Theaters, Hollywood and Santa Monica. Fri. to Tue. Schedule varies. $11. http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com
October 21, 2011 |
The WWE's campaign to turn its brutes into box office deals another tepid hand with "The Reunion. " Following his monolithic turn in the generically solemn "Legendary," muscleman John Cena gets to try his hand at cynical wisecracks as the oldest of four heirs — along with Amy Smart, Ethan Embry and Boyd Holbrook — to a despised father's fortune. The catch in the will is that the brothers, who hate one another, have to go into business together as bail bondsmen, a venture that immediately sends the trio to Mexico to find a billionaire kidnapped by a vengeful businessman (Michael Rispoli)
August 18, 2011
EVENTS Loosen your belt to prepare for a weekend of award-winning sizzling, sauce-slathered meats, including pork ribs, beef ribs, tri-tip, pulled pork, chicken and sausages, at the Orange County BBQ Bonanza. Live entertainment will come from the Bill Maggee Blues Band, Bonne Musique Zydeco, Texas House Party and others, plus there will be kids' entertainment. Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley. 5-10 p.m. Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Admission $5, menu items $2-$25.
June 21, 2011 |
When it comes to sequels, "Cars 2" flies in the face of conventional Hollywood calculus. Its predecessor was the least well-reviewed of Pixar Animation Studios' 11 movies and among its poorest performers at the box office — at least, by the premier animation studio's sterling standards. One attribute distinguishes "Cars" from most other films: it sparked a licensing bonanza that continued to fuel merchandise sales long after Lightning McQueen, Mater and the movie's other anthropomorphic autos rolled out of the megaplex.