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Joel Mcneely

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 2005 | Richard S. Ginell, Special to The Times
What's a present-day composer to do when asked to write a piece for a program that also contains first-class works by Mozart, Schubert and Wagner? You can't compete with them; that's a no-win proposition. One thing you can do, though, is complement them -- and that is what Joel McNeely's new "Two Portraits" for violin and strings gracefully managed to do for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's program at the Alex Theatre on Saturday night.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 2005 | Richard S. Ginell, Special to The Times
What's a present-day composer to do when asked to write a piece for a program that also contains first-class works by Mozart, Schubert and Wagner? You can't compete with them; that's a no-win proposition. One thing you can do, though, is complement them -- and that is what Joel McNeely's new "Two Portraits" for violin and strings gracefully managed to do for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's program at the Alex Theatre on Saturday night.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2005 | Chris Pasles, Times Staff Writer
Early on Christmas morning 1870, Richard Wagner woke his wife, Cosima, with a birthday surprise. The composer had lined up 13 musicians on the narrow stairs leading to her bedroom at their home in Triebschen, Switzerland. At exactly 7:30 a.m., he gave the downbeat that gently launched a work first called the "Triebschen Idyll" and later -- after Wagner released it to the world -- the "Siegfried Idyll."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2005 | Chris Pasles, Times Staff Writer
Early on Christmas morning 1870, Richard Wagner woke his wife, Cosima, with a birthday surprise. The composer had lined up 13 musicians on the narrow stairs leading to her bedroom at their home in Triebschen, Switzerland. At exactly 7:30 a.m., he gave the downbeat that gently launched a work first called the "Triebschen Idyll" and later -- after Wagner released it to the world -- the "Siegfried Idyll."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 2003 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
There is something unnerving about watching Brittany Murphy portray a kooky, klutzy daughter of a deceased rock legend in "Uptown Girls." Director Boaz Yakin has her constantly going over the top and flailing about in all directions in a misguided attempt at madcap comedy. Murphy, who looks like she could use a good rest, strives mightily to accommodate him but ends up seeming merely strained when she's supposed to come across as irresistibly charming despite her character's erratic ways.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 1999 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Imagine an alien life force that is electrical rather than protoplasmic in nature, and you've got the gimmick that energizes "Virus," an unpretentious, amusing thrill-a-minute sci-fi horror thriller / monster movie that plugs right into fears of a Y2K crisis.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 1996 | DAVID KRONKE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Flipper" is push-button family filmmaking that could have used a stronger sense of porpoise. Plotwise, it ain't much, just your standard-issue fodder about a disillusioned kid whose parents have divorced (is there any other kind of teenager in movies these days?) who gets dispatched someplace he's determined to hate and yet somehow he grows to love it. A dolphin figures in there somewhere. Nonetheless, the dolphin sequences are guaranteed to charm.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2003 | Kevin Thomas, Times Staff Writer
Since its 1967 release, Disney has reissued "The Jungle Book," inspired by Rudyard Kipling's stories, many times and even made a live-action, direct-to-video sequel in 1998. At last it has produced a big-screen, animated sequel, "The Jungle Book 2," a work of such charm and imagination it should enchant, as the old circus phrase goes, "children of all ages."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 1995 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
At the beginning of "Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain"--a charming yet substantial adventure movie aimed at adolescent girls--13-year-old Beth (Christina Ricci), arriving in a picture-book Oregon village nestled in the most spectacularly beautiful mountain setting imaginable, asks petulantly, "Where's the mall?" Fearing the prospect of a boring summer, Beth, a deep-dyed L.A. girl, is completely oblivious to the magnificence of her surroundings.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2002 | GENE SEYMOUR, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
As we've lately come to realize, it's harder to look up to the skies and dream beautiful dreams when those same skies are capable of delivering man-made destruction. So one can understand the no-nonsense skepticism chilling the fantasy life of Jane, a gritty young girl struggling to keep watch over her little brother, Danny, while making her way through London streets bruised by bombs during World War II. Her father's away fighting the good fight while her mother ...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 1996 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
To watch Jackie Chan in the fresh and exhilarating "Supercop" is like watching Douglas Fairbanks Sr. or one of the silent-era clowns in one of their biggest hits. A whirling dervish with a Beatles mop top and an impish grin, the boyish Chan is a one-man Cirque du Soleil, and "Supercop" shows off both his sense of humor and his acrobatic martial arts wizardry just as effectively as "Safety Last" served Harold Lloyd seven decades ago.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2004 | Kevin Crust, Times Staff Writer
Reverge Anselmo's romantic drama "Stateside" strives to uphold the U.S. Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis" -- always faithful -- but leans more heavily toward "love means never having to say you're sorry," the platitudinous tagline of the 1970 sob fest "Love Story," without, for better or worse, hitting the melodramatic highs and lows of that film.
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