January 16, 2010 |
"Avatar" won a record-breaking six Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Friday night, but it was the independent Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" took home the best picture honors from the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. Kathryn Bigelow also won as director of the harrowing ensemble war film. "The Hurt Locker," which is nominated for best picture and director at Sunday's Golden Globes, has received the lion's share of critics' awards, including honors from the L.A. Film Critics Assn.
January 26, 2010 |
Shoppers spent more than they planned during the Christmas season, giving retailers a much-needed sales spurt that industry watchers are hoping will continue this year. Consumers spent an average of $811 on holiday gifts, significantly more than the $699 they initially planned to spend, according to a Consumer Reports survey expected to be released today. About 4 in 5 consumers bought gifts, and in a good sign for discretionary spending, many shoppers bought for themselves, the poll found.
March 22, 2010 |
A stranger wandering into the scene that overtakes downtown Austin, Texas, every year during the music portion of the South by Southwest festival could be forgiven for thinking it was some kind of apocalypse. The din, the trash, the packs of stumblers forming strange clumps of humanity in the middle of each block and then dispersing across the intersections -- the total environment emanates disaster. It's really a party, of course, a packed gathering of fans jumping from club to club in search of the perfect set from the thousand-plus artists playing dozens of showcases in dozens of venues around Austin's core.
February 17, 2010 |
Southern California is headed for a gradual economic recovery in 2010 and 2011, along with the rest of the state and the country, according to a forecast released today. Unemployment will remain elevated, but the entertainment, international trade and tourism sectors will push growth regionally, according to the report from the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. "The feeling is that the worst is past and we are looking at a modest recovery," said Jack Kyser, founding economist of the center.
March 22, 2010 |
Two weeks after winning Oscars, "Up" and "The Cove" received additional honors Saturday at the 24th annual Genesis Awards, which honor media depictions of animal protection issues. "The Cove," which chronicles the slaughter of dolphins by fisherman from a Japanese village, was named outstanding documentary film. "Up," the animated adventure from Pixar that involves the fight to protect a rare bird, shared the feature film award with "Hotel for Dogs," a comedy with Lisa Kudrow and Don Cheadle that was applauded for "celebrating the special bond between children and dogs."
March 1, 2010 |
California's hands-free cellphone law has been a lifesaver. According to California Highway Patrol statistics, the law has helped reduce the number of annual fatalities on our roads by 700 and collisions by between 75,000 and 100,000. CHP data also show that traffic fatalities and crashes in California were each down by roughly 20% in the first six months since the law took effect on July 1, 2008, compared with the same six-month periods of previous years. These statistics are all the more compelling when you consider the steady increase in the number of licensed drivers in California over the last several years, and the fact that there are more than double the number of cellphones out there today than there were just a decade ago. Although compliance with the new law has been good, it certainly could be better.