February 9, 2013 |
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Not everyone here feels abandoned by Dwight Howard. A young mother has been able to remain in the United States with her two daughters because of legal assistance provided by the Lakers center since he left the Orlando Magic. A pregnant teen about to go into delivery received a ride to a hospital in a car that Howard donated. High school students who collected coats and socks through Howard's D12 Foundation continue to be inspired by his vision for improving the community.
December 14, 2012 |
Watching the Golden Globe nominations in the darkness of Thursday morning, what struck me was the darkness of the year. It has been a season of discontent in film, not for the faint of heart. Instead, we've been asked to witness - and weather - a preponderance of thunderous artistic visions blowing through theaters like so many perfect storms. Last year's love affair with the ebullient "The Artist" seems a distant memory. Instead, retribution rules the day. Challenging, provoking, raising uncomfortable questions about life, love, faith, politics, integrity, infirmity and betrayal, the directors emerging as the ones to reckon with are proving to be a soul-searching and soul-searing bunch, not inclined to mince words.
December 12, 2012 |
When shortstop Barry Larkin was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July, Reds fans looking to defend his entry had mounds of measurable data at their disposal: 12-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, league MVP, first shortstop to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season. The truth of his talent was in the numbers. How does one gauge the worthiness of Donna Summer's entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, announced Tuesday along with five others?
November 17, 2012 |
Ken Burns, public television's signature chronicler of great American moments, pastimes and inventions, has turned his Ken Burns Effect loose upon "The Dust Bowl. " One would say it was almost inevitable that two things so huge were bound to meet. The four-hour film premieres Sunday and Monday on PBS and tells the story of the great drought that befell the Southern plains in the 1930s and the poor farming practices that made it into something far worse. Though it has the pokey pace and flat affect of his other films - for Burns, history is elegy - it is also one of his best works: more tightly focused than usual in time and place, with a clear shape, dramatic arcs and a conclusion that is at once cautionary and moving, topical and timeless.
October 6, 2012 |
It's not often that we get to compare Los Angeles to the Roman Empire, unless we're making fun of the kitschy copy-cat architecture of the Getty Villa. At least in popular stereotype, L.A. and Rome are polar opposites, each one the perfect foil for the other. One city - ours - is unfinished, amnesiac and forward-looking; the other city - theirs - is so obsessed with past glory, its streets piled so high with landmarks and layers of history, that its 21st century personality can be tough to make out. So when I began noticing similarities between an ancient Roman ritual and two huge public events in Los Angeles in 2012, I was tempted to dismiss them out of hand.
September 21, 2012 |
The space shuttle Endeavour arrived in Los Angeles on Friday, flying atop a modified 747 over landmarks such as Disneyland, the Getty Center and the Griffith Observatory before landing at Los Angeles International Airport. But that's nothing compared with previous shuttle missions, such as saving planet Earth from a doomsday asteroid. The latter, of course, refers to the shuttles deployed in the 1998 film "Armageddon," starring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. And it only hints at the history of the spacecraft's use in movies, which actually predates the first launch of Columbia on April 12, 1981.