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Rick Mitchell

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ENTERTAINMENT
November 26, 2006
GIVEN the premise of John Horn and Chris Lee's article, it's surprising that they didn't mention last year's "Chronicles of Narnia," a classic fairy-tale adventure that subjected its 'tween heroes to a greater degree of danger and actual physical harm than has been allowed over the last 40 years ["Fairy Tales for a Mean New World," Nov. 19]. It's also worth noting that Walt Disney had no qualms about putting young characters in serious harm's way, especially in his live-action films, most notably "Swiss Family Robinson" (1960)
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2008
CONTRARY TO "Wednesday Express" [by John Horn, Aug. 6], Wednesday movie openings are a return to a procedure established over 90 years ago with the rise of first-run exhibition in movie palaces. It was one of many practices borrowed from the legitimate stage, where new plays opened on Wednesdays to allow for reviews published on Thursdays to hopefully inspire weekend attendance. The practice changed in the late 1970s because, with the rise and presumed importance of film critics, a majority of "popcorn" movies were getting negative reviews and it was decided that Friday openings would get around this as far as such reviews affect attendance.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 2003
Robert Welkos' article on the decline in filmed drama ("Muscled Aside," Sept. 7) overlooks the primary reason why such projects are more likely to be found on cable: The potential over-30 audience for such films doesn't patronize them in sufficient numbers to justify the cost of their production because they have the alternative of waiting to see them on TV -- over-the-air, cable, or home video. This wait has declined from five years between theatrical and TV release 40 years ago to as short a span as two months between theatrical and home-video release today.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 26, 2006
GIVEN the premise of John Horn and Chris Lee's article, it's surprising that they didn't mention last year's "Chronicles of Narnia," a classic fairy-tale adventure that subjected its 'tween heroes to a greater degree of danger and actual physical harm than has been allowed over the last 40 years ["Fairy Tales for a Mean New World," Nov. 19]. It's also worth noting that Walt Disney had no qualms about putting young characters in serious harm's way, especially in his live-action films, most notably "Swiss Family Robinson" (1960)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 1997
In his enumeration of Warner Bros.' initial mishandling of "Bonnie and Clyde," Patrick Goldstein errs both in including the film's local booking at the Vogue Theater and in describing the venue as "an action-movie theater on the wrong end of Hollywood Boulevard" ("Blasts From the Past," Aug. 24). Though today anything east of Highland is considered "the wrong end," in 1967 the Vogue, a block east of the then-venerable Egyptian, was the Hollywood outlet for films that fell between the blockbusters booked into the Egyptian and Chinese and action/genre pictures that were the standard fare at the late lamented Hollywood, Pix and World.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 2003
Larry Alexander is wrong in claiming that "Demetrius and the Gladiators" was rushed into production to capitalize on Jay Robinson's performance as Caligula (Letters, March 16). When the decision was made to shoot "The Robe" in CinemaScope, the sets had to be rebuilt and Darryl Zanuck assigned writer-director Delmer Daves to come up with a sequel that would use most of the sets and spread the additional costs over two pictures. "Demetrius" began shooting a couple of weeks after "The Robe" finished.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2005
In "The Big Sleep That Awaits the Big Screen" [May 15], David Freeman repeats a common historical error, that the vertically integrated film companies had to sell off their theaters. What they were really ordered to do was get out of one of the areas -- either production, distribution or exhibition. It would have been economically foolish to get out of distribution, and because they were going through a major box office slump, which reminded them of a similar slump during the Depression that put all but one of the theater-owning companies into receivership, they chose to sell off the exhibition wing.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2008
CONTRARY TO "Wednesday Express" [by John Horn, Aug. 6], Wednesday movie openings are a return to a procedure established over 90 years ago with the rise of first-run exhibition in movie palaces. It was one of many practices borrowed from the legitimate stage, where new plays opened on Wednesdays to allow for reviews published on Thursdays to hopefully inspire weekend attendance. The practice changed in the late 1970s because, with the rise and presumed importance of film critics, a majority of "popcorn" movies were getting negative reviews and it was decided that Friday openings would get around this as far as such reviews affect attendance.
OPINION
August 31, 2003
"Fire Engine Limits Set" (Aug. 19), subsequent letters and "Curbing the Obstructionists" (editorial, Aug. 27), on the L.A. Fire Department setting speed limits for emergency vehicles, overlook a major reason why motorists don't yield: They often have no place to do so. This is definitely a problem on major thoroughfares that now carry more traffic than they were originally designed for, such as Cahuenga Boulevard, the route used by emergency vehicles leaving...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 6, 1996
The items concerning "The Ghost and the Darkness" in last Sunday's Sneaks issue discreetly overlook the point that it's technically a remake of "Bwana Devil" (1952), the first 3-D feature, with Michael Douglas as Robert Stack and Val Kilmer as Nigel Bruce. Both films are based on the same historical incident--lions terrorizing East African railway workers--though the older film was reportedly shot in the northwest San Fernando Valley. RICK MITCHELL Los Angeles Are Michael Douglas fans eager to see the 52-year-old actor play a grizzled 19th century wild-game hunter in "The Ghost and the Darkness" ("Cutthroat Weekend," by Patrick Goldstein, Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 2005
AS a native Kentuckian, I grew up with Nick Clooney's strong, principled presence on my television and still read his newspaper column three times a week online. George's warm respect for the legacy of his father's integrity reveals his own integrity. He could easily cash in and coast on his clout. Instead, he uses it to try to create work of originality and resonance. I'll look forward to "Good Night, and Good Luck." CHARLES EDWARD POGUE Hollywood IN the mid-'60s, in the wake of the popularity of Joe Pyne's call-in radio programs, a number of stations around the country started similar shows.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 2005
In "The Big Sleep That Awaits the Big Screen" [May 15], David Freeman repeats a common historical error, that the vertically integrated film companies had to sell off their theaters. What they were really ordered to do was get out of one of the areas -- either production, distribution or exhibition. It would have been economically foolish to get out of distribution, and because they were going through a major box office slump, which reminded them of a similar slump during the Depression that put all but one of the theater-owning companies into receivership, they chose to sell off the exhibition wing.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 2003
Robert Welkos' article on the decline in filmed drama ("Muscled Aside," Sept. 7) overlooks the primary reason why such projects are more likely to be found on cable: The potential over-30 audience for such films doesn't patronize them in sufficient numbers to justify the cost of their production because they have the alternative of waiting to see them on TV -- over-the-air, cable, or home video. This wait has declined from five years between theatrical and TV release 40 years ago to as short a span as two months between theatrical and home-video release today.
OPINION
August 31, 2003
"Fire Engine Limits Set" (Aug. 19), subsequent letters and "Curbing the Obstructionists" (editorial, Aug. 27), on the L.A. Fire Department setting speed limits for emergency vehicles, overlook a major reason why motorists don't yield: They often have no place to do so. This is definitely a problem on major thoroughfares that now carry more traffic than they were originally designed for, such as Cahuenga Boulevard, the route used by emergency vehicles leaving...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 2003
Larry Alexander is wrong in claiming that "Demetrius and the Gladiators" was rushed into production to capitalize on Jay Robinson's performance as Caligula (Letters, March 16). When the decision was made to shoot "The Robe" in CinemaScope, the sets had to be rebuilt and Darryl Zanuck assigned writer-director Delmer Daves to come up with a sequel that would use most of the sets and spread the additional costs over two pictures. "Demetrius" began shooting a couple of weeks after "The Robe" finished.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 1998
Kenneth Turan's commentary on "Gone With the Wind" ("A Real Steel Magnolia," June 24) sadly perpetuates one of today's more popular American myths, that the movie is racist, primarily because Prissy, a childlike black woman, is so "painful" to watch. Aunt Pittipat is an old white woman, just as ditsy as Prissy. Why isn't she painful to watch? "GWTW" is about a pampered, indulged girl whose life is destroyed around her and how she uses everything from drapes to deceit to keep from going hungry again.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 1998
Kenneth Turan's commentary on "Gone With the Wind" ("A Real Steel Magnolia," June 24) sadly perpetuates one of today's more popular American myths, that the movie is racist, primarily because Prissy, a childlike black woman, is so "painful" to watch. Aunt Pittipat is an old white woman, just as ditsy as Prissy. Why isn't she painful to watch? "GWTW" is about a pampered, indulged girl whose life is destroyed around her and how she uses everything from drapes to deceit to keep from going hungry again.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 2005
AS a native Kentuckian, I grew up with Nick Clooney's strong, principled presence on my television and still read his newspaper column three times a week online. George's warm respect for the legacy of his father's integrity reveals his own integrity. He could easily cash in and coast on his clout. Instead, he uses it to try to create work of originality and resonance. I'll look forward to "Good Night, and Good Luck." CHARLES EDWARD POGUE Hollywood IN the mid-'60s, in the wake of the popularity of Joe Pyne's call-in radio programs, a number of stations around the country started similar shows.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 1997
In his enumeration of Warner Bros.' initial mishandling of "Bonnie and Clyde," Patrick Goldstein errs both in including the film's local booking at the Vogue Theater and in describing the venue as "an action-movie theater on the wrong end of Hollywood Boulevard" ("Blasts From the Past," Aug. 24). Though today anything east of Highland is considered "the wrong end," in 1967 the Vogue, a block east of the then-venerable Egyptian, was the Hollywood outlet for films that fell between the blockbusters booked into the Egyptian and Chinese and action/genre pictures that were the standard fare at the late lamented Hollywood, Pix and World.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 6, 1996
The items concerning "The Ghost and the Darkness" in last Sunday's Sneaks issue discreetly overlook the point that it's technically a remake of "Bwana Devil" (1952), the first 3-D feature, with Michael Douglas as Robert Stack and Val Kilmer as Nigel Bruce. Both films are based on the same historical incident--lions terrorizing East African railway workers--though the older film was reportedly shot in the northwest San Fernando Valley. RICK MITCHELL Los Angeles Are Michael Douglas fans eager to see the 52-year-old actor play a grizzled 19th century wild-game hunter in "The Ghost and the Darkness" ("Cutthroat Weekend," by Patrick Goldstein, Sept.
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