May 10, 1993 |
Through no desire of her own, Kathy McNamara came to be known as "the book banner from Banning." Colleagues kidded her about it, but most of the time, she bristled at the joke. It just wasn't funny. Censorship and the death of a friend never are. Against her better judgment, McNamara, the principal at Susan B. Coombs Middle School, had removed Maya Angelou's autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," from a required reading list.
April 17, 1990 |
A coalition of artists, executives and record companies are urging makers of compact discs to "Ban the Box"--the disposable plastic and paper packaging in which most CDs are sold. So far, Olivia Newton-John, Kris Kristofferson and The Grateful Dead, along with Rhino Records, Fantasy Records and Rykodisc, have lent their names to the group, which is calling for an end to the environmentally damaging packaging.
February 11, 1995 |
"Billy Madison" looks as if it were made to fill the void left by Pee-wee Herman. We never needed Pee-wee more. Adam Sandler plays Billy Madison, a spoiled rich nudnik who stands to inherit the family business from his hotel tycoon father (Darren McGavin)--except Madison Sr. seems to think his jerky scion isn't up to it. For one thing, the only reason he graduated public school is because his father paid off the teachers.
January 10, 2003 |
"Just Married" is of interest only as a product of such generic blandness as to be absolutely airtight: not a whiff of originality or real life has been allowed to spoil its plastic perfection. Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy are attractive and skilled performers as the film's newlyweds, but the movie is so mechanical it's like watching Barbie and Ken dolls going through the motions.
June 15, 1998 |
There's something vaguely subversive about comedian Norm Macdonald's insistence on depersonalizing everything and everyone. In his new movie "Dirty Work," he impersonally greets other characters with flat, under-descriptive monikers ("Hey, homeless guys"; "OK, building tenants"; "hey, fat lady").