CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2010 |
With its burned-out lawn and overgrown bushes, the corner lot next to Bethel Tabernacle Church in Venice struck sculptor Robin Murez as ripe for resurrection. So Murez laid plans to turn the church-owned lot into a pocket park with an in-ground labyrinth, where neighbors could gather to chat, and aging churchgoers could park cars there during suppers and Bible study. "A labyrinth is a very serene place made for spiritual meditation," Murez said. "The neighborhood needs some healing.
May 3, 2010 |
(Sunday's episode of "The Pacific" — the eighth of the 10-part HBO miniseries — depicted the death of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone during the first day of fighting on Iwo Jima. William Lansford, a Marine and Angeleno, also fought that day in Iwo Jima and recalls his friendship with the famous Marine gunnery sergeant and his last day.) In late 1944, after two years in the Pacific as a Marine with Carlson's Raiders, I rotated stateside and received a 30-day furlough.
April 30, 2010 |
Horror movie franchises — as it's been said about Marines — don't die, apparently. They just go to hell and regroup. Now comes the return of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," thanks in part to producer Michael Bay, who, when he's not frightening movie snobs as a director, has made something of a profitable side job resurrecting scare brands — "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "The Amityville Horror," "Friday the 13th" — from the...
April 4, 2010 |
Los Angeles Noir 2 The Classics Edited by Denise Hamilton Akashic: 300 pp., $15.95 paper Orange County Noir Edited by Gary Phillips Akashic: 300 pp., $15.95 paper "You can make a lot of mistakes in just one lifetime," says violet-eyed Eve Cressy in Raymond Chandler's "I'll Be Waiting," one of the stories in "Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics." That sums up the spirit of noir, where if you make a mistake -- and you will -- you'll find yourself skewered like a worm on a hook.
December 15, 2009 |
Forty years later, Chito Reyes can't help grinning, eyes wide, as he steps onto the floor at Pauley Pavilion. "Look at this place," he says. The arena is empty on a weekday afternoon but he can still see the crowd, hear the band, just like 1969 when he first set foot in the building. Memories come trickling back from that day when Reyes, a sophomore forward for New Mexico State, played against UCLA in a regional semifinal of the NCAA basketball tournament. He recalls seeing the blue-and-gold flags and feeling jittery during warmups.
November 18, 2009 |
Every year, the ranks of Oscar nominees are filled with actors who spend months perfecting their accents and practicing their gestures to deliver note-perfect interpretations of historical figures, and their efforts tend to pay off. Seven of the last eight top acting awards have gone to actors doing their best to raise the dead. On paper, Paul Schneider's turn as Charles Armitage Brown in Jane Campion's "Bright Star" fits the criteria nicely. The story, which centers on the romantic poet John Keats, his friend and patron Brown, and Keats' lover, Fanny Brawne, is drawn from history, and Schneider transformed his body to fit the part, gaining a substantial potbelly, growing a thick beard and adopting a light Scottish brogue.
October 29, 2009 |
Call writer-director Troy Duffy the indie movie Icarus. The Boston-born former bar bouncer went from obscurity to the highest Hollywood heights almost overnight. In 1997, he sold his first script, "The Boondock Saints," to Miramax in a widely publicized multimillion dollar deal with the studio's then co-chief Harvey Weinstein famously offering to throw in the bar at which Duffy worked to sweeten the deal for the writer-director's vigilante shoot-'em-up. And after the trade papers anointed Duffy "Hollywood's newest wunderkind," the filmmaker was off: cudgeling his friends, family and the other members of his rock band the Brood with his suddenly outsize ego. More crucially, though, Duffy's high-and-mightiness fell out of favor with Miramax's top brass, who ultimately put the project into turnaround.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 2009 |
In the eight years he has hosted the hippest haunted house in Simi Valley, Kyle Killips has dealt with his share of monsters, bloody ghouls and even a sadistic clown. But his scariest encounter occurred Oct. 16 when a city code enforcement officer posted a notice ordering him to tear down his 1,200-square-foot "Haunted Hills" maze in 72 hours or be fined. "We thought, 'That's it, it's over,' " said Killips, 37, whose day job is running the family's plastics company in Burbank.
October 20, 2009 |
Along about the fifth inning at Angel Stadium on Monday, they were cueing the funeral music. The patient was on life support, and nary a twitching eyelash could be found. The Damn Yankees were in town, their howitzers had already unloaded three times on Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, and this best-of-seven American League Championship Series was looking like a four-game publicity stunt for the Yankees, even without their own Balloon Boy. But when it comes to things such as momentum and reality, these Angels of Manager Mike Scioscia are slow learners.