March 13, 2014 |
Out to prove that the comic-book movie needn't be mega-financed behemoths, the scrappy superhero-noir indie "Sparks" busks its 1940s saga of dark redemption with considerable visual energy, if not always coherence or competence. Starting with wounded, wanted vigilante Ian Sparks (Chase Williamson) barging into a newspaper to report his own murder, the movie flashbacks - and flashbacks - to unravel a convoluted story stemming from a superpower-bestowing meteorite crash, Sparks' teaming with masked crime fighter Heavenly Lady (Ashley Bell)
February 26, 2014 |
Piotr Michael has created what he's calling a PSA for Oscar nominees, advising them on award-acceptance behavior. His recommendations: Don't cry. Have some humility. Thank those who worked on the movie -- not "your neighbor, your garbage man, little Fido. " The video's gaining steam on YouTube and is worth watching. Or, better yet, listen to it with your eyes closed. Michael's a gifted voice artist and this video brings you Maggie Smith ("Thank the crew, for God's sake!") as well as Charlie Sheen, Ian McKellen ("Don't start sobbing!
February 12, 2014 |
Sid Caesar, who died Wednesday at the age of 91, had a career that spanned stage and screen, but it was on TV that he was best known. His first TV appearance was on Milton Berle's "Texaco Star Theater," but it was on the variety show program "Your Show of Shows" that he became famous. The show, which aired on NBC beginning in 1950, showcased Caesar's talents alongside other future comedy legends, including Carl Reiner, Imogene Coca and Howie Morris. Mel Brooks and Neil Simon were writers for the show, which grew from the vaudeville tradition.
February 5, 2014 |
When you've been working since you were 8, as Alyssa Milano has, it takes a special kind of role to get you really excited. Using your birthday to raise money for clean water in Ethiopia, for instance. Or hunkering down with the beleaguered in Kosovo and Angola, as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Or getting help for African women and children with AIDS. Or her latest - creating "Hacktivist," a four-issue graphic novel/comic book whose heroes run a world-beating social media company by day and practice world-beating social activism by night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 |
When Morrie Turner was just a cartoon-doodling kid in Oakland, he wrote a fan letter to the creator of the popular comic strip "Terry and the Pirates. " In return, Milton Caniff, who later created "Steve Canyon," sent young Turner a typed, six-page personal reply with pointers on story lines and drawing. "It changed my whole life," Turner told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005. "The fact that he took the time to share all that with a kid, a stranger, didn't impress me all that much at the time.
January 9, 2014 |
Magdalena Zyzak's delightful first novel, "The Ballad of Barnabas Pierkiel," has no noble characters, a good deal of mean-spirited behavior, and it all ends badly - in other words, it's a comedy. For those who think that religious fanaticism, racial hatred and Nazis are not fit subjects for humor, Zyzak mounts a spirited defense. "Prejudices and stupidities … in any time, in any people, serve as worthy targets for a bit of mockery," she writes. "This may be considered, in its modest way, a document of protest, as lightheartedness has become rather rare in this part of the world.