June 28, 2008 |
Radio programs that survive in Los Angeles for a quarter-century come along about as frequently as a SigAlert-free day on the freeway. On that front alone, this year's 25th anniversary of "Breakfast With the Beatles" constitutes a minor miracle, to say nothing of the longevity of a weekly show devoted to the music of one band that released just a little more than 200 songs during a short but spectacular eight-year recording career.
December 14, 2012 |
Roll up, America; step right this way. Here comes the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour," getting a big night on domestic television, 45 Christmastimes after it first aired in the United Kingdom, on Boxing Day, Dec. 26, 1967. Newly restored and premiering Friday as part of the PBS series "Great Performances," it has been packaged with an indifferently titled but well-made documentary, "Magical Mystery Tour Revisited," that gives helpful context to a famous, fascinating mess. Apart from the inability earlier that year of the "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane" single to reach No. 1 in Britain - its way blocked by Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me," marvelous to relate - the TV special was the first real Beatles failure.
March 22, 2001 |
Disney's "Remember the Titans," an uplifting family film starring Denzel Washington, scored high marks with critics and audiences last fall. The DVD ($30) won't disappoint the film's fans. The digital edition of this movie, based on a true story about a racially integrated high school football team in Alexandria, Va., features a wide-screen edition of the drama, the trailer, production notes and cast and crew bios. The three featurettes are all above average.
March 15, 2008 |
It was shaping up as the quintessential theater-world nightmare. Deep into rehearsal, barely 72 hours before the curtain would rise on this world premiere, the show's creator sat silently in a darkened theater, a potential disaster brewing before him. As the climactic musical number began, the onstage drummer began scrambling to locate a vital piece of missing equipment. He'd lost his pig nose. Out in the house, Eric Idle remained unfazed. No wayward snout was going to stop the reincarnation of his whimsical pop-music creation, the Rutles, nor his enjoyment of this utterly surreal career moment.
April 13, 2003 |
Since the dawn of time, music has been written to stir, to celebrate, to make its performer seem potent or wise. One way or the other, it's meant to be good. But for a handful of musicians and songwriters during the last three decades, many of them working in film, the task has been to create something awful, even ridiculous.
September 4, 1994 |
'I just got off the phone with the Spam people," announces Terry Lewis, co-chair of the British Academy of Film & Television. He gleefully ticks off the triumphs. "They've been incredibly positive. They're sending us 3,000 Spam recipe cards and refrigerator magnets, and 400 'Great Taste of Spam' recipe books, and we've got 400 cases of Spam arriving. Of course the Spam always has a trademark symbol next to it, so it just couldn't be more perfect."
October 12, 1989 |
Neil McInnes rolled the draw , curved the yard then unleashed the drive . Having demonstrated, with ease and accuracy, the three basic shots that have made him an American legend in his sport, McInnes turned toward an onlooker at the Pasadena Lawn Bowling Club and grinned. "It's really a mental game. It's all up here," says McInnes, pointing to his head. "If you can't handle it in your head, then you've got problems."
October 19, 1989 |
Neil McInnes rolled the draw , curved the yard then unleashed the drive . Having demonstrated, with ease and accuracy, the three basic shots that have made him an American legend in his sport, McInnes turned toward an onlooker at the Pasadena Lawn Bowling Club and grinned. "It's really a mental game, it's all up here," said McInnes, pointing to his head. "If you can't handle it in your head, then you've got problems."
October 23, 1994 |
D eath be not proud seems to be one of the chief themes of the collective canon of Monty Python, the six-man British comedy troupe whose work first began airing on the BBC a quarter-century ago this month. Their TV show was infamous for its litany of dead parrots, sick undertakers and quasi-cannibals; their movies signified by medieval torture and disease, heroes dying on crosses and grim reapers. In Monty Python's world, there are 8 million ways to die--all of them silly.