CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2013
Bobbie Smith Original member of Spinners R&B group Bobbie Smith, 76, a singer with the Spinners soul music group since the 1950s, died Saturday in Orlando, Fla., of complications from pneumonia and influenza. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November, according to a statement from the band's manager. Along with Henry Fambrough, Smith was one of two remaining original members still performing with the R&B group. His tenor voice was out front on a number of the Spinners' biggest Atlantic Records hits in the 1970s, including "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "I'll Be Around," "Games People Play" and the 1974 Dionne Warwick duet "Then Came You. " Originally calling themselves the Domingoes and then the Detroit Spinners, Smith and Fambrough formed the vocal group in their native Detroit in 1957 with high school classmates Pervis Jackson, George W. Dixon and Billy Henderson.
March 14, 2013 |
What is it with Hollywood and hyperbole these days? Last week saw "Oz the Great and Powerful" and now we have "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. " Calling it "The Mildly Diverting Burt Wonderstone" would have been more accurate, but how many tickets is that going to sell? Neither as good as you might hope nor as dreadful as doubters may fear, "Wonderstone" has in Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin four of the funniest men working in movies today. But it doesn't seem to know how to consistently get the best out of them.
March 13, 2013 |
The crowd at New York's legendary Comedy Cellar is always primed for high-profile drop-ins like Louis C.K. and Jerry Seinfeld. But this was different. Dave Chappelle was in New York - and on stage. Chappelle, one of the country's most sought-after yet reclusive comedians after walking away in 2005 from his still-influential Comedy Central show, spent three recent nights onstage at the Cellar, sometimes joined by friends, including Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Marlon Wayans and Paul Mooney.
March 13, 2013 |
In "Snitch," a thriller set in the dangerous drug world, Dwayne Johnson plays a father who goes to work as a drug informant to free his jailed son. The PG-13 film from Participant Media features a street fight, a car chase and a gun battle - high-octane action aimed at attracting the coveted young adult male audience. It's not the kind of movie ordinarily associated with Participant, which has built its reputation on films with social messages, including the global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and "The Help," about racism in the 1960s South.
March 6, 2013 |
IFC is out to prove that big things can come out of small, quirky shows. Sparked by the success of "Portlandia," the series poking gentle fun at Portland, Ore., and its offbeat residents that has charmed both critics and viewers, the basic cable network has enlisted A-listers Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller as it aggressively ratchets up in hopes of becoming a leader in alternative comedy fare. Ferrell, who is currently filming the sequel to his hit "Anchorman," and frequent partner Adam McKay, are executive producers of "The Spoils of Babylon," which will be produced by Funny or Die, their comedy video website that is an outgrowth of their production company.
March 6, 2013 |
Comedies starring Paul Rudd and Julianne Moore, a new drama from Neil LaBute and documentaries about personalities such as Richard Pryor, Gore Vidal and Elaine Stritch will be some of the films world-premiering in the Tribeca Film Festival's Spotlight section. Festival organizers announced Wednesday that among the notable scripted tales will be Craig Zisk's “The English Teacher,” in which Moore stars as an educator whose life is shaken by a former prized pupil, and Phil Morrison's "Almost Christmas," an odd-couple comedy about two bumbling French-Canadians played by Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti (and evokes for this reporter the possibility of a Kevin Kline-esque set of fake French accents)
March 4, 2013 |
Girls and gore are proving to be a winning strategy for Fox as the network announced on Monday it was renewing "The Following," "New Girl," "The Mindy Project" and "Raising Hope. " "The Following," which stars Kevin Bacon as a former FBI agent tasked with stopping a serial killer's cult, is coming back for a second 15-episode season. The series, created by Kevin Williamson and Maros Siega, is a ratings hit for the network, and has gotten an even bigger boost from DVR viewers, making it the No. 3 drama overall for the season.
March 1, 2013 |
Three guys, one night, drunken debauchery. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore realized that, on paper, their new screenplay, "21 & Over," looked very derivative of "The Hangover. " Then again, they were the guys who wrote "The Hangover," which spawned the most successful R-rated comedy franchise of all time and heralded their arrival as successful Hollywood writers in 2009. And they wanted to direct a movie. So they decided to go with what they knew. "We were definitely conscious that the angle people would take on the movie is that it was a 'Hangover' retread," said Lucas, sitting next to his writing partner in a Hollywood sports bar a few weeks ago. PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments "But on a very practical level," Moore chimed in, "we wanted to get another movie made and direct it ourselves.
February 28, 2013
"Heart of Darkness" creator Greg Barris is well-known on the New York City stand-up circuit. His show features crazed comedy, live music and bizarro antics — a mixture that landed it its 20th sold-out show in a row in Brooklyn. Catch a rare L.A. performance featuring interactive comedy and music from Reggie Watts, Everything Is Terrible!, Rory Scovel, Kate Berlant and Barris himself. The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 10 p.m. Sun. $12. (323) 655-2510; http://www.cinefamily.org .
HOME & GARDEN
February 23, 2013 |
Like to laugh, don't care why or where. Don't care the occasion, formal or otherwise, though the formal ones always - to quote Jack Nicholson - "bring out the devil in me. " Like to laugh with people and at people and for people, which is what I found myself doing the other night, laughing in support of the National Lampoon's new stage show, playing for the next month at a little theater near MacArthur Park, a landmark probably best known for...