February 7, 2013 |
"Identity Thief" is a larcenous bit of funny business. It probably should be locked up for its crimes and misdemeanors against moviemaking. But its stars, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, steal so many laughs from such improbable places that the bumps in this revenge/road trip farce can be mostly forgiven, though not forgotten. Directed by Seth Gordon, the film has the same R-rated tenor of his relatively horrible "Horrible Bosses" and his really dreary "Four Christmases. " More problematic, it has the same difficulty with the connective tissue - anything but the really funny stuff sags or is superfluous.
February 1, 2013 |
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. Maybe it's the only day that you deign to watch football, or maybe it marks the culmination of five months of blood, sweat and beers spent glued to the television out of devotion to your favorite team. Either way, it's the one day of the year that America comes together over a singularly American sports obsession, and as such it's a darn good reason to party. Sports bars and restaurants across the city will throw open their doors in a high-def blitz. Here are a few of our favorite options: -- The Bungalow, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
January 9, 2013 |
The fact that David Bowie managed to secretly record his first full album in 10 years suggests that the glam-rock pioneer, who turned 66 on Tuesday, remains a mystery even in the age of Twitter. The seemingly inevitable leak of pre-release music - or indeed of information related to his return to the studio - never materialized, and so Bowie was able to do what he's done best over the last five decades when he revealed Tuesday that "The Next Day" is due out in March. He surprised us. Unlike fellow pop-star enigmas such as Prince, Bowie actually is on Twitter , issuing pronouncements to the 66,000 followers he's amassed since 2009 about everything from deluxe reissues to his son's wedding.
January 6, 2013 |
In "Deception," a new mystery serial premiering Monday on NBC, Megan Goode plays Joanna Locasta, a San Francisco police detective recruited by the FBI - by her ex-partner/ex-boyfriend (Laz Alonso), specifically - to go undercover among the family of her former best friend, the victim of a suspicious drug overdose. The family, in whose house Joanna grew up - her mother was their maid - is, of course, rich and powerful and ridiculously dysfunctional. Not only that, but also, in the words of Joanna's FBI handler and ex-boyfriend, "They've been under investigation for stock manipulation for the last nine years," suggesting that the family is very clever, or that the authorities are very distracted.
December 24, 2012 |
Things aren't what they used to be in the world of "Parental Guidance," not just with the kids but parents too. In this lazy, smugly self-satisfied movie starring and produced by Billy Crystal, the comedian apparently wanted to say a thing or two about modern "helicopter" parenting techniques from the perspective of an old-school, been-there grandparent. Crystal and Bette Midler portray the less-popular "other grandparents" to the three children of their only daughter, played by Marisa Tomei.
December 23, 2012 |
For an executive generally short on time under the best of circumstances, this winter must seem painfully compact for Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber. The longest season in the league's 17-year history stretched into December this year before giving way to its shortest off-season, with most 2013 training camps scheduled to open three weeks before the Super Bowl. What hasn't changed, however, is the pressure on Garber to keep MLS moving forward. By most measures Garber, commissioner since 1999, has done a phenomenal job, and in many ways 2012 was his league's most successful season.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2012 |
WATERTON CANYON, Colo. - The concrete-floored room looks, at first glance, like little more than a garage. There is a red tool chest, its drawers labeled: "Hacksaws. " "Allen wrenches. " There are stepladders and vise grips. There is also, at one end of the room, a half-built spaceship, and everyone is wearing toe-to-fingertip protective suits. "Don't. Touch. Anything. " Bruce Jakosky says the words politely but tautly, like a protective father - which, effectively, he is. Jakosky is the principal investigator behind NASA's next mission to Mars, putting him in the vanguard of an arcane niche of science: planetary protection - the science of exploring space without messing it up. PHOTOS: Stunning images of Earth at night As NASA pursues the search for life in the solar system, the cleanliness of robotic explorers is crucial to avoid contaminating other worlds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2012 |
Reg Green of La Cañada Flintridge enjoys a brisk early morning hike, and that's what he was doing in the hills behind Descanso Gardens when he came upon an imposing figure standing motionless on the trail. Green, 83, was briefly alarmed, then realized he was looking at a life-size plywood cutout of a man, and not just any man. It was Clint Eastwood in a pose from the movie "A Fistful of Dollars. " The rugged cowboy was wearing a poncho and chomping a stogie. "What a great idea this is," Green thought at the time, back in May. "This is really a way of bringing art to the people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - The year shouldn't slip by without giving Gov. Jerry Brown his annual report card. And that's tough. Not the grading: He obviously deserves high marks if the yardstick is effectiveness. And that's my yardstick. The only decision is whether to give him a B-plus, an A-minus or a full A. The tough part is acknowledging that Brown, who regards himself as the smartest man in the room and tends to let people know it, usually is. Certainly he was in 2012. This was the year Brown delivered what he was selling when he ran for election in 2010: political know-how, inherited from his father Pat Brown's genes and developed over decades of trial and error; the governor uniquely qualified by experience and wisdom to clean up Sacramento's fiscal mess.
November 24, 2012 |
Notre Dame is a religious school with a storied history of priests, playbooks, prayer books and spiritual advisors. No one in the Coliseum press box could actually recall, though, the Irish saving a season. That changed Saturday night when Notre Dame defeated USC, 22-13, and rescued this year's Bowl Championship Series from a humongous one-loss egg scramble. Notre Dame's defeat would have left a giant mess that could have led some people to think the 14-year-old system is actually flawed.