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November 29, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
It sometimes seems like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power specializes in frustration. In September, the utility flipped the switch on a new $162-million customer information system that had been in the works for three years. The system includes meter reading, billing and customer service, and it replaces a 40-year-old model that was outdated 20 years ago. It's designed to be more efficient and more accurate, let customers resolve inquiries with one call and eventually enable the DWP to switch from bimonthly to monthly bills.
November 23, 2013 | By Ben Bolch
Bring out your dead The Brooklyn Nets' season is unfolding a bit like owner Mikhail Prokhorov's favorite work of Russian literature. Anyone who has read Nikolai Gogol's "Dead Souls" knows that's not a good thing. The novel starts with its protagonist, Chichikov , spending lavishly to buy the "dead souls" of the townspeople's serfs in a convoluted get-rich-quick scheme that quickly unravels. Prokhorov is paying about $183 million in salary and luxury taxes for a fossilized roster that is hemorrhaging players as injuries and defeats mount.
November 23, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Our collective fear of death has driven story since its invention. But where once we quaked at the thought of a life cut short - by violence, illness, childbirth - we now just as often obsess about lives, and deaths, stretched overlong. A variety of shows currently square off against these anxieties, from the fantastic (AMC's "The Walking Dead") to the literal (Showtime's "Time of Death"). And no matter their overall tone, all acknowledge the grim jest that is mortality. HBO's hour-long comedy "Getting On," premiering Sunday, sets the standard for this emerging "hospice humor.
November 18, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
The seemingly cursed Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will reportedly be turning off its lights for good come January. The production -- the most expensive show in Broadway history at a hefty $75 million -- has not been breaking even for weeks now, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported online Monday that sources close to the production said it will be closing. According to the Broadway League, the show grossed $742,595 last week, against a potential gross of more than $1.5 million.
November 18, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin and David Ng
The seemingly cursed musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will be turning off its lights for good come January -- at least on Broadway. "We are excited to report that the next destination for 'Spider-Man' will be the entertainment capital of the world: Las Vegas," Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for the show, said Monday evening.  "Further details will be announced in the weeks to come. " The production -- the most expensive show in Broadway history at a hefty $75 million -- has not been breaking even for weeks now, according to the Wall Street Journal . According to the Broadway League, the show grossed $742,595 last week, against a potential gross of more than $1.5 million.
November 14, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Early on in the excellent new indie drama "Sunlight Jr.," a thunderstorm turns the Florida sky a low-hanging gray. A car runs out of gas. A couple on their last dime are stranded - on the roadside and in lives as empty of promise as that tank. The scene is a modern-day reality and "Sunlight's" central metaphor. Filmmaker Laurie Collyer uses a conspiracy of hardships to set the tone for this bittersweet romance. The film stars Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon as Melissa and Richie, the down-market lovers who will take us into a world of suburban decay where the American Dream is reflected in the broken glass of bankrupt stripmalls.
November 11, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
The numbers were thrown around soon after “Thor: The Dark World” premiered: fourth-best opening of the year, ninth-best November opening ever, etc. On one level, the $86.1 million for the Chris Hemsworth thunderousness isn't exactly surprising: Superhero sequels make bank. It's more surprising these days when a film in this vein doesn't work. And the opening was lower than the $90 million-$100 million some expected (and a planet away from the $170 million-plus of "Iron Man 3" earlier this year)
November 10, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
With its god of thunder "Thor" lighting up the box office this weekend, Marvel has struck again at the multiplex. The 3-D sequel "Thor: The Dark World" debuted with a healthy $86 million, according to an estimate from Marvel distributor Walt Disney Studios. That's the fourth-highest opening of the year, but well behind another Marvel property, "Iron Man 3," whose $174-million debut is still the biggest of 2013. Heading into the weekend, prerelease audience surveys suggested the comic book adaptation would debut with a minimum of $90 million -- and given strong early interest, even a $100-million launch didn't appear impossible.
November 6, 2013 | By Michael Phillips
If anyone ever asks you what "Thor: The Dark World" has in common with "Blondie Goes Latin" and "Bomba and the Jungle Girl," here's the answer: It's the eighth movie in its franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, as "Thor's" particular franchise is known, encompasses the new adventures of Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and so on, worth billions around the world. (Rumor has it the next all-star "Avengers" movie will be two hours of actors in costume, counting their money.) So how's this "Thor" sequel?
November 6, 2013 | By Susan Denley, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Jaimie Alexander, who plays warrior Sif in Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World," knew how to get attention at the movie's premiere in Hollywood on Monday. All it took was this Azzaro Couture gown. What there was -- or wasn't -- of it. [Telegraph] Julia Peyton-Jones, director of the Serpentine Gallery,  presented the Harper's Bazaar UK Tastemaker of the Year Award to fashion designer L'Wren Scott at a ceremony in London on Tuesday. Victoria Beckham and actress Gillian Anderson were also among award winners.
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