October 11, 1995 |
When it was over--and it was after nine days on the witness stand--Dennis Fung stepped down and did the oddest thing anyone could imagine. After days of being interrogated, assailed and reduced to an exhausted, hesitant witness, the Los Angeles Police Department criminalist shook hands with his torturer--defense attorney Barry Scheck. And he shook hands with Scheck's client, O.J. Simpson.
September 3, 2009 |
One of the best films ever made about Los Angeles is also one of the hardest to see, so it's a pleasure to report that Thom Andersen's exceptional documentary, a two hour and 49 minute essay-meditation and labor of love on how this city has been depicted on the screen, is showing this weekend. Smart, insightful, unapologetically idiosyncratic and bristling with provocative ideas, "Los Angeles" serves up segments from more than 200 films, from 1913's "A Muddy Romance" to "Chinatown" and beyond.
June 21, 2009 |
In the late 1960s, a tall and ungainly Englishman named Peter Reyner Banham brought his shaggy beard and wonky teeth to Los Angeles and declared that he loved the city with a passion. It helped that, as a visiting architecture professor (Banham was teaching at USC), he was given some pretty fancy digs: He stayed in Greene & Greene's Gamble house in Pasadena, one of the most beautiful and romantic houses in America. So Banham had a privileged base from which to explore.
March 11, 2011 |
Before we begin, a moment of silence please for all the brick and mortar that made the ultimate sacrifice for "Battle: Los Angeles. " Sob. Let me just grab a tissue. Sorry. Let us not forget the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air either. The pyrotechnics are patriotic, sizable, and clearly the star of "Battle: Los Angeles," so don't let the tight shots of Aaron Eckhart's chiseled jaw and cleft chin fool you. The movie, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, is very much in the tradition of those old World War II films you find on late-night cable with rickety fighter planes engaged in long skirmishes that you can't follow all that well except you know a few good men are trying to save the day. But with less story and instead of Germans or Japanese for hostiles, we get hordes of vengeful aliens, their monstrous UFOs choking the L.A. skies like rush hour on the 405. Chris Bertolini's script is totally predictable from the first few moments when Eckhart's Marine staff sergeant signs his discharge papers only to have them put on hold.