December 22, 2013 |
I recently said goodbye to an old friend that had been with me since I was about 12 years old: my worn-down, blue-and-yellow Blockbuster video rental card. There are few better examples of how the entertainment business has actually changed (as opposed to various romantic theories about how it could develop) than the decline of this once culturally important institution. The downfall of Blockbuster was held by many experts to portend the fate of traditional media business models that relied on the other kind of blockbuster - those big, bloated mass-entertainment creations that had become a mainstay of the industry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 |
Radio commentator and human rights activist Viet Dzung, who dominated the airwaves for decades in Little Saigon and was one of the early voices in the emerging immigrant community, died Friday. He was 55. Born Nguyen Ngoc Hung Dung, Viet Dzung became well known in the Vietnamese American community for both his singing and his political commentary on Radio Bolsa, an Orange County-based broadcast that reaches Vietnamese listeners across the country. Though he was born in Vietnam, Viet Dzung refused to return to his homeland after communist forces took control in the wake of the Vietnam war. He also told listeners that he preferred not to play music by artists from Vietnam because of the country's refusal to import music recorded by Vietnamese Americans.
December 20, 2013 |
LAS VEGAS - Sure, Anthony Cools is a hypnotist, but this slick pompadour-sporting showman won't help you quit smoking. He drives a Lamborghini and dresses in form-fitting suits with a bow tie, skull ring and pointy-toed, black-and-white Giorgio Brutini wingtips. Under his calculated spell, in fact, you might even start chain-smoking, or engage in other nefarious activities you wouldn't be caught dead doing in your right mind. Maybe you'll move your bra outside your blouse, dirty-flirt with a stranger, or act in a porno casting call - with a chair.
December 19, 2013 |
The new 3-D nature tale "Walking With Dinosaurs" is nothing like its predecessors. I don't mean the creatures of the Jurassic Period, which came before the Cretaceous Period that is the movie's staging ground. Not the "Jurassic Park" period either, when that great paleontologist Steven Spielberg introduced rampaging dinosaurs to a new generation. No, I'm referring to the late 20th century when "Walking With Dinosaurs" roamed the BBC's airwaves as an excellent TV natural history series narrated by Kenneth Branagh.
December 18, 2013 |
AMC Entertainment shares climbed as high as 8% on the day the nation's second largest theater chain sold its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. AMC sold 18.42 million class A shares for $18 each, raising about $332 million for the Leawood, Kan.-based company in its first public stock offering in nine years. The company went private in 2004 when it was acquired by a private equity group and later merged with Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp. Investors responded favorably to the IPO on Wednesday.
December 18, 2013 |
David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures' home entertainment division, is leaving the company in March when his contract expires, a Sony spokesman said on Wednesday. A replacement has not been named for Bishop, who has led Sony Pictures Home Entertainment since 2006 during a turbulent time for the home video business as consumer habits changed. "David played a tremendous role in building the home entertainment organization we have in place today: an innovative business that can compete aggressively in the evolving digital marketplace," said Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment. PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV This comes after a shakeup earlier this year in which Sony picked Dwight Caines as president of theatrical marketing for the company's Columbia TriStar Motion Pictures Group.
December 15, 2013 |
Will you go Prime? That's a question of increasing importance for Amazon Studios as its second original television series, "Betas," gets underway. The show, which premiered last month and continues to roll out new episodes on Fridays, is about a group of young Silicon Valley strivers working to create the next big tech sensation. The first three episodes of the half-hour comedy were free. FOR THE RECORD: Amazon Studios: An article about Amazon Studios in the Dec. 15 Calendar section misidentified Joe Lewis as Amazon's programming chief.
December 14, 2013 |
We just returned from a two-week tour of northern Vietnam, with the itinerary planned by Win An Tours. It featured a mixture of biking, hiking and kayaking; traveling was by boat, train and bus. Every detail was planned yet flexible. We visited a national park, the Sapa region (the "roof" of Indochina) and the Ha Long Bay area. Our guides were helpful, knowledgeable and entertaining. Win An Tours, Hanoi, Vietnam; http://www.winantours.com Kaaren Page San Diego
December 12, 2013 |
So much about Morrissey has hardened into caricature over the course of his three-decade musical career - he's a megalomaniac! A sad sack! Perhaps even a racist! - that you might expect him to use his feverishly anticipated memoir to dismantle some of those notions. Maybe next time. With its desperate hyperbole and withering cruelty, its vivid set pieces and lengthy odes to forgotten movie stars, "Autobiography" is a corroborating portrait of the artist we're all certain we know, down to its very title, which seems to be after a kind of scholarly weight that something like the folksier "My Life" wouldn't have conveyed.
December 12, 2013 |
David O. Russell is a director on a hot streak, an audacious original with an affinity for edgy American madness. His dizzying, outlandishly entertaining "American Hustle" is a 21-first century screwball farce about 20th-century con men, scam artists and those who dream of living large, a film that is big hearted and off the wall in equal measure. As he demonstrated in his previous two pictures, "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The Fighter," out of control people are Russell's specialty.