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November 21, 2013 | By Gary Goldstein
Sweet, slight and frequently familiar, "Geography Club," based on Brent Hartinger's novel about sexual identity among suburban teens, often feels as if it's circling its expiration date. As the would-be heart of the movie, the burgeoning romance between two attractive, closeted 16-year-olds - low-key good guy Russell (Cameron Deane Stewart) and Goodkind High's star quarterback, Kevin (Justin Deeley) - had great potential to take this largely pie-in-the-sky story to some honest, compelling and frankly sexy places.
It's hard to remember the last time a funny, provocative comedy set primarily in L.A. premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse. Then again, memories play tricks--or so says the playwright who has finally ended the aforementioned drought. In Jonathan Tolins' "If Memory Serves," which opened Sunday with a bang, a mother and her newly adult son try to remember whether she abused him. Because she's a former TV star, this is no leisurely trip down memory lane.
September 30, 2011 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Weekend" presents 48 hours in the lives of two gay men who are almost immediately attracted to each other, then have to figure out what that means in the complex tapestry of their individual situations. Written, directed and edited by Britain's Andrew Haigh, "Weekend" is a moving and empathetic look at how relationships develop, at how people fall in love and what that does and doesn't do to their lives. It's an observational film that offers generous satisfactions, but there are challenges along the way. Chief among those is the film's unblinking sexual candor, in language even more than action.
October 22, 1987
J. Vernon Walker, 78, a resident of Lomita and chief financial officer for Bay Harbor Hospital from 1960 to 1977, died Oct. 8 at the hospital. He helped in fund-raising efforts to build the hospital, which opened in 1960, and was a member of its board of directors from 1957 to 1982. Walker moved to California from Missouri in 1917 and was active in numerous South Bay civic organizations. He is survived by his wife, Virginia, four sons, Robert, Darryl, Russell and Donald, and six grandchildren.
March 15, 2006
Re "Democrat Plans to Ask Senate to Censure Bush," March 13 In this day and age, when our government is facing severe problems including the corruption, cronyism and complete disregard for the Constitution by our own president, it does my heart proud that a senator is courageous enough to stand up for old-fashioned common sense. I wish to show my support for Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.) and wish him well in this important first step toward putting the president in his place and bringing sensibility back to our government.
June 25, 1995
Roger Goulet was rather tactless and oblivious when he wrote attacking Russell Means (Letters, June 18). Yes, Mr. Means does go a bit far in his June 11 interview by claiming "the British came over here to kill Indians." That is a blanket statement and not entirely accurate. However, Mr. Goulet should remember that it was not his ancestors who died along the Trail of Tears after being forcibly removed from homes they had inhabited for 1,000 years, and neither have his "Eurocentric" brothers been corralled onto impoverished reservations of wasteland.
December 9, 1995
I recently took out the videotape of "Crimson Tide" and have this to say: I immensely appreciate the sensitivity with which the relationship between Gene Hackman's character in "Crimson Tide" and his Jack Russell terrier is portrayed. It is unusual. In most films where an animal has been introduced as a character, that animal is dropped and forgotten by the end of the film. Such was the case, for example, in "Outbreak," where Dustin Hoffman's character's two dogs were shown to be very important to him and were completely dropped from the script by the end of the film.
December 3, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
There is an unnerving moment deep inside the working-class drama "Out of the Furnace" when a primal scream cuts short an old argument between two brothers. Ripped from the emotional core of the younger, a burned-out Army soldier, Rodney Baze, played by Casey Affleck, it is frustration made manifest - a wordless rage against the death of the American dream. Painful, searing, eloquent, it puts the film's central themes of ordinary folks weathering the worst of times in sharp relief.
July 13, 1996
Why is it I think Hal Jepsen (Calendar Letters, July 6) would be a model producer on the order of a Jon "I don't need to read a script" Peters? His theory works great for the car dealer selling those beautiful sleek convertible sports cars that wind up in the shop more days than on the road. However, he would feel differently if he bought one of those lemons (I know several people that have). My guess is he doesn't attend many movies. But he's probably right--I mean "Pulp Fiction" would have been no different written by someone other than Quentin Tarantino.
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