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February 24, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
A $10-million first-of-its-kind attraction coming to Canada's Wonderland will combine a 4-D interactive dark ride with a roller-coaster track inside the Toronto-area amusement park's decades-old Wonder Mountain centerpiece. Photos: Wonder Mountain's Guardian at Canada's Wonderland Debuting on May 4, Wonder Mountain's Guardian will carry riders up a 60-foot-tall coaster lift hill on the exterior of the man-made mountain before dipping inside a cavern and slowing down for a dark ride experience complete with wind, motion and other special effects.
February 23, 2014 | By Noel Murray
Blue Is the Warmest Color Criterion, $19.95; Blu-ray, $24.95 Available on VOD beginning Feb. 25 For all the controversy over the explicit sex in writer-director Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour adaptation of Julie Maroh's graphic novel "Blue Is the Warmest Color," the film is ultimately just a sensitive and honest coming-of-age story, showing how a teenager discovers who she is with the help of her older lesbian girlfriend, then has to...
February 20, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
There's an endemic problem in the world of dark crime comedies: filmmakers getting stuck in a self-reflexive loop, more interested in quoting the genre's movie-quoting movies than in telling a story. Between the inevitable nods to Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, fresh riffs are hard to come by. Dutch director Arne Toonen doesn't invent any in "Black Out," but he does corral the requisite collection of "colorful" characters, from the dumb to the deranged, in the desperate adventures of a reformed hood who gets dragged back into the criminal underbelly on the eve of his wedding.
February 20, 2014 | By Todd Martens
When the world-at-large last saw Katy Perry performing her "Dark Horse," she was emerging from a crystal ball and strutting around the Grammy Awards stage as if she were "Sleeping Beauty's" evil queen Maleficent. Now, she's remixing Egyptian history so it includes some hot-pink palaces and some even hotter puffed cheesy snacks.  The Egyptian soundstage setting of "Dark Horse's" official video is Candyland-inspired fantasy, as Perry sports neon-blue hair streaks and commands an army of "Avatar"-influenced  Na'vi-like creatures.
February 14, 2014 | By Chris Dufresne
SOCHI, Russia -- The last two Olympic combined champions, both Americans, couldn't get out of the snowplow's way Friday. After lead-footing his morning downhill, defending gold medalist Bode Miller drove his slalom run like a bumper-car ride and later admitted the course "was too tough for me. " Ted Ligety, the 2006 gold winner and current world champion in the event, let the mountain play him. "I respected the course too much," he said....
February 13, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Is it too much to compare Kem Nunn to Raymond Chandler? Both have used the loose frame of genre to write enduringly and resonantly about the dark side of the California dream. For Nunn, this has meant an exploration of boundaries, both actual and metaphorical; his last novel, "Tijuana Straits" (which won a 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize), traces the shifting landscape of the physical borderland. At the same time, there is also a willingness to take risks, to play against expectation, which marks both Nunn's fiction and his TV work on "John from Cincinnati" and now "Sons of Anarchy.
February 11, 2014 | Jonah Goldberg
Of course it's too early to talk about 2016. Now that we've gotten that out of the way.... The most interesting dynamic so far is that the Democrats are behaving like Republicans - and vice versa. Since 1940, with the arguable exception of Barry Goldwater, Republicans have nominated the guy next in line. Thomas Dewey almost beat Wendell Willkie for the nomination in 1940, so in 1944 - and 1948 - it was his turn. Dwight Eisenhower, whom both parties wanted as their nominee, was a special case, given that whole invading-Europe-and-defeating-Hitler thing.
February 6, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
After an atomic apocalypse, only 10 people out of a group of 21 can live in a specially outfitted bunker for a year, at which point they will restart civilization as we know it. Which 10 would you pick - and why? This is the set-up of "After the Dark," an unusually creative and ambitious film of ideas that offers so much more than its forgettable title and sensationalized publicity may imply. Impressively written and directed by John Huddles, this existential sci-fi thriller follows a so-called thought experiment in which one Mr. Zimit (James D'Arcy)
February 4, 2014 | By David Pierson
CLOVIS, CALIF. - Beneath unyielding blue skies on a recent afternoon, Ryan Indart knelt down to examine what was left of one of his sheep pastures. Land that should have been lush with native grasses this time of year has been reduced to powdery dirt, splotched with a few withered strands of filaree and foxtail. And where there's no vegetation, there are no sheep. A fourth-generation rancher, Indart has already sent 10% of his 4,000 ewes - which he normally would want to keep - to the slaughterhouse because he can't afford the hay to feed them.
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