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April 29, 2013 | By Kate Mather
A Garden Grove woman was found guilty Monday of torture and aggravated mayhem after allegations that she drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis and threw it in a garbage disposal. Catherine Kieu, 50, also was convicted of a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife, the Orange County district attorney's office said. She faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced June 28. Kieu was arrested the night of July 11, 2011, after she and her 60-year-old husband -- whose name has not been released -- apparently argued about the possibility of a friend staying at their home, prosecutors said.
April 25, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
When Michael Bay goes small, "Pain & Gain" happens. Humans handle the bone-crunching. The gore becomes gorier. The dialogue increases substantially too. Metal things may not transform, but they still make a world of hurt delivered by "Pain & Gain's" iron-pumping bodybuilders. The suddenly budget-conscious Bay shot the movie in and around his Miami mansion, so maybe that reference to "Mickey D's fries" wasn't a joke. And yet he still can't wrap up the action in less than two hours.
April 11, 2013 | By Amy Nicholson
"Disconnect" doesn't need cars, fists or guns. Its tech-obsessed characters do enough damage with their keyboards. The first narrative feature from Henry-Alex Rubin (who directed the Oscar-nominated doc "Murderball") is to smartphones what "Crash" is to racism. Call it "Send. " The weapons are social media, Web cams and chat rooms, and the attackers take turns as victims and villains. Jason Bateman, disguised in a beard, plays the father of an awkward teenager (Jonah Bobo) humiliated by a fake Facebook profile.
February 24, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A party photographer apparently snapped some evidence in Las Vegas' recent homicide case -- a photo of the lead suspect near the scene of the crime wearing a T-shirt that featured a gun. A shooting on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning that resulted in a traffic collision left three dead, triggering a manhunt for the shooting suspect, 26-year-old Ammar Harris, also known as Ammar Asim Faruq Harris. The shooting was thought to have begun after an argument in front of the Aria hotel valet stand sometime after 4 a.m. Valerie Darling, who works for a limousine company that often posts cars at the Aria, previously told the Los Angeles Times that the men involved had been inside the Aria's nightclub, called Haze.
February 23, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The third victim killed in the wild attack on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning was a Seattle-area businesswoman on her way to the airport. Sandi Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, Wash., was identified by the Clark County Coroner's Office on Friday night as the passenger in a taxi that burst into flames, killing her and the driver, Michael Boldon, 62. The cause of their deaths was listed as multiple blunt-force injuries. The cab had been struck by a Maserati that lost control after being struck by bullets fired from a Range Rover on the Strip, police said.
January 25, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
One of the more prolific butt-kickers in recent years, Jason Statham has carved out a nice niche playing the antihero with a heart of gold. His characters may break the law from time to time, but they ultimately do the right thing, stop the bad guy, save the girl, crack a few jokes and look sharp doing it. Statham's title role in the new crime thriller "Parker" (based on the Donald E. Westlake novel "Flashfire") finds the action hero up to his usual tricks, this time as a principled thief seeking revenge on his double-crossing crew.
November 20, 2012 | By David C. Nichols
Would that all indie films translated to the stage as well as “86'd” at Theatre 68. Jon Polito and Darryl Armbruster's dark comedy about collective moral equivalency in a late-night diner weathers some blips in tone and casting to hold us in uncomfortably laughing thrall. Based on the 1996 direct-to-video “Just Your Luck,” written by Todd Alcott and Gary Auerbach , “86'd” occupies an archetypal lower Manhattan greasy spoon, superbly designed by Danny Cistone . At rise, veteran cop Carl (Ed Dyer)
October 11, 2012 | By Robert Abele
It's not only Americans who can make leaden, video game-style exercises in dumb war action. French import "Special Forces" whips up a lot of the same swirling camerawork, macho theatrics and fast-cutting mayhem we expect from testosterone-fueled Hollywood as it tells the tale of a tight-knit band of Gallic soldiers - led by a stoic Djimon Hounsou - tasked with rescuing a war correspondent (Diane Kruger) from Taliban captivity in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Writer/producer/director Stephane Rybojad likes his Islamic fundamentalists childishly ruthless, his Afghani victims helpless and his first-person-shooter heroes full of spit, vinegar and martyr-laced bravado.
September 19, 2012 | By the Los Angeles Times
ALEPPO, Syria - The elderly woman, covered in a long black gown and matching headdress, was despondent. Tears of anguish flooded her eyes. She stood at the entrance to the cobblestone streets of the Old City, pleading with the rebel fighter. "Why can't you get the bakeries running?" she implored, saying she had spent four hours seeking fresh bread for her family. "We are not accustomed to living like this. " At the receiving end of her exhortations was a strapping 27-year-old country boy with a white T-shirt, sandals and a rifle who called himself Abu Mohammed.
August 16, 2012 | By Robert Abele
Mixing awkward dating humor, starry-eyed sentiment and James Bond-ian set pieces, "Ek Tha Tiger" is a relentlessly superficial - nigh, ridiculous - entertainment, but manages to protect its story twists the old-fashioned way, through star power, picturesque locations (Ireland, Cuba, Turkey) and pleasurably choreographed action. The lavishly produced Bollywood action love story starts from an admittedly unusual point in the spy-vanquisher genre: career fatigue and romantic longing.
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