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Road Trips

July 11, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus" is an amusing booze-and-drug-fueled road trip, its travelers on a quest to experience the Holy Grail of highs. Starring Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann and a trio of irresistibly charming Chilean brothers, the search for a slice of the famed San Pedro cactus with legendary hallucinogenic powers takes us through northern Chile's corner of the Atacama Desert. Scenic, short and slight, the film manages to avoid the tendency to make these sort of big-screen excursions more tedious than actual road trips.
June 26, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Which famous family would Americans most like to go on a road trip with? The Obamas came in first, and acting couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner came in a close second, according to a recent survey conducted by Choice Hotels. The survey asked more than 1,200 adults and a sample of more than 500 families who plan to travel with children this summer for their opinions about summer trips. Twenty-three percent of respondents chose the Obamas and 22% selected the Affleck-Garner clan.
June 22, 2013
To keep everyone entertained on a car trip, take a list of songs with lyrics. It's a fun way to make the time pass. Ruth Kramer Ziony Los Feliz Take jars of peanut butter and jelly on international trips. Good local bread is always enhanced by a little PB&J on the road. And we've concocted berry syrup out of jam when we made French toast one morning in Tuscany. Debbie Musser La Habra Take an extra pair of socks for long flights. Your feet tend to swell when you fly so plan to take off your shoes and stretch your toes during a long flight.
June 8, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Scrape the bugs off your windshield and check your radiator coolant because the next few months are stacking up to be one of the top summers for road trips in years. With consumer confidence up, fuel prices down and frustration over airline fees growing, Americans are expected to hit the road in big numbers over the next few months, rolling to such hot spots as Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Lake Tahoe. Travel experts and surveys conducted in the last few weeks point to a season of busy freeways and crowded roadside attractions.
April 25, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Melancholy and middle America aren't usually seen in the rom-com world. In "Arthur Newman," a romantic comedy that unfolds during a road trip to Terra Haute, Ind., they are refreshingly unexpected elements that soften us up for the rough patches the film hits along the way. Also working in the film's favor are Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, both well-versed in comedy and about as appealing on screen as actors come. They star as a couple of depressed souls whose paths cross one night at the edge of a seedy motel swimming pool.
April 20, 2013 | By Judi Dash
The Tidy Table Tray plus Flexi-Diner looks like a giant clipboard, except the clip is on the bottom instead of the top, and it holds food instead of papers. The Tidy Table is a highchair tray, minus the highchair. The large pressure clip on its underside grabs firmly onto pretty much any tabletop. A removable insert fits over the tray, lifting out for a quick washing without having to remove the whole tray. The insert has an extended lip that helps keep spills off your child's lap and compartments in the insert hold a cup and slidable things such as peas and snacks.
March 31, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
CINCINNATI — The Angels' season-opening trip to Cincinnati and Texas is doubling as a Josh Hamilton reunion tour. Hamilton, a 31-year-old outfielder who signed a five-year, $125-million deal with the Angels in December, made his major league debut in Great American Ball Park almost exactly six years ago, appearing as a pinch-hitter for the Reds against the Chicago Cubs on April 2, 2007. His first big league hit, a home run at Arizona, came eight days later. Hamilton went on to hit .292 with 19 home runs and 47 runs batted in as a rookie for the Reds, who traded him to Texas for pitcher Edinson Volquez the following winter.
March 24, 2013 | By Noel Murray
On the Road Available on VOD beginning Monday Director Walter Salles, screenwriter José Rivera and producer Francis Ford Coppola have given themselves the almost-impossible task of adapting Jack Kerouac's beloved Beat Generation novel "On the Road," a fictionalized account of Kerouac's late '40s cross-country road trips with his live-wire buddy Neal Cassady. Salles shoots for a simultaneously poetic and realistic style, similar to that in his art-house hit "The Motorcycle Diaries"; and he has a good cast, with Sam Riley as Kerouac stand-in Sal Paradise, and Garrett Hedlund as the Cassady character, Dean Moriarty.
March 21, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It's not a good omen for "The Croods," about a likable family of Paleolithic cave dwellers, when a joke about "the first joke" falls flat. I don't fault the actors. The character voices provided by Nicolas Cage as the Croods' cautious dad, Grug; Emma Stone as Eep, his rebellious teenager, desperate to get out of the cave; Ryan Reynolds as Guy, the outsider who sees the future; Catherine Keener as ever-patient mom Ugga; and Cloris Leachman as cranky Gran are spot on. But "The Croods" was primed for problems before its 3-D characters found themselves right in the middle of the first continental divide.
March 12, 2013 | Chris Erskine
PHOENIX - Let me tell you about Josh Hamilton's first rocket ship of spring. It isn't a perfect home run. He gets under it a bit more than he would've liked, so it's towering, corpulent, full of cha-cha. At last sighting, it was in geosynchronous orbit with Earth. NBC was about to bounce Brian Williams' evening newscasts off of it, and someone at Palomar was pronouncing it a planet. So no, it wasn't a perfect home run by any means. But it got your attention, all right. It was the kind of celestial event befitting the newest Angel.
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