February 12, 2014
Re "Errors could hurt college bound," Feb. 10 Such a simple word as "errors" diminishes the severity of purposely concealing grave misconduct by college applicants. The 11 Orange County students recently expelled from their high school over the cheating scandal in which they took part likely knew that what they were doing was wrong. Any college or university that wishes to keep the public's respect must have a standard policy of discarding any application deemed dishonest. Merely urging students who have cheated to "come clean quickly" is hardly enough.
February 12, 2014 |
The merits of the nine nominees for the Academy Award for best picture are being debated by cineastes around the world. But as a college professor, this year's Oscar nominees also reaffirm the growing importance of the movies in the classroom and how film can inspire young people to greater academic inquiry. Although most of my students have never heard of the 1970s Abscam scandal, many have seen "American Hustle. " The horrors of American slavery are brought back on screen, in "12 Years a Slave," for a generation of white undergraduates who see nothing extraordinary about having African Americans as roommates, teammates or teachers.
February 10, 2014 |
When I saw “The Lego Movie” about six weeks ago - alone, in a screening room, with no social proof of any kind - I had two thoughts. The first: Am I crazy, or is this pretty great? The second: Will a mainstream audience go for it? That latter question of course yielded a big yes last weekend, with the film pulling in $69.1 million, one of the largest-ever openings for a movie this time of year. Extracting lessons from a film that is sui generis in so many ways doesn't really make sense - the reason it worked is precisely because it wasn't like anything else.
February 7, 2014 |
Early in the development of "The Lego Movie," Jill Wilfert, the executive who oversees Lego's licensing efforts in Southern California, had a question for her bosses at company headquarters in Denmark: Can we have a character die? "It wasn't something we ever had to really think about before," Wilfert said. "But we had to think about it now. " Their conclusion was yes, and it became one of a number of freedoms the company allowed Warner Bros., producer Dan Lin and writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller in creating the most freewheeling and reference-packed picture to come out of film's branded-movie era. PHOTOS: Actors who've been turned down for famous roles "Lego"--which as of Thursday had garnered a rare 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and was expected to open upward of $50 million this weekend--is a rare Big Hollywood entertainment with a playful subversiveness, the world's first postmodern toy film.
February 6, 2014
Re "Better history through storytelling," Opinion, Feb. 3 Nicholas Meyer thinks that "no one learns history (or civics, remember them?) anymore. " He blames the "dismantled" school system and says movies that are based on history but alter facts are picking up the slack. The same complaint appeared in the New York Times - on April 4, 1943, in an article with the title, "Ignorance of U.S. History Shown by College Freshmen. " It reported that only 25% of the students knew that Abraham Lincoln was the president during the Civil War and that only 15% knew where Portland, Ore., was. In 1930, Thomas Briggs of Columbia Teachers College reported that high school students had no idea who Solon was and were unable to define the Monroe Doctrine.
February 4, 2014 |
Timothy Bradley laid out some valid points about why he believes his April 12 rematch against Manny Pacquiao will be even more impressive than their June 2012 fight that Bradley won by a controversial split decision. "He can still punch like hell, but I feel the killer instinct is gone," Bradley said Tuesday in Beverly Hills, where he and Pacquiao launched the promotion of their HBO pay-per-view bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The 35-year-old Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs), with more than triple the number of Bradley's knockouts, was asked about that zinger.