CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2013 |
In the 1950s, special-effects pioneer Petro Vlahos laid the groundwork that made a modern movie genre possible -- the blockbuster. He did it by vastly improving a composite-image process commonly known as the "blue-screen effect" for the 1959 epic film "Ben-Hur. " And he did it again when he created a related technique that made Dick Van Dyke appear to dance among the penguins in the 1964 movie "Mary Poppins. " By devising new ways to combine separately shot footage of actors and backgrounds into a single scene, he opened the door to such special-effect spectaculars as "Star Wars" and "Titanic.
January 23, 2012 |
Step inside any theater at the Sundance Film Festival this week and you'll find directors unspooling tales of economic despair, food shortages, collapsing healthcare and a broken justice system. But if the troubles of so many American have-nots leave you in the dumps, the festival's corporate hangers-on have just the cure: endless canapés, on-the-house snow boots and iPads, and enough Grey Goose vodka, Sugar lip exfoliations and Paul Mitchell hairstyling touch-ups to make you feel like a million bucks.
April 10, 2011 |
It has taken businessman John Aglialoro nearly 20 years to realize his ambition of making a movie out of "Atlas Shrugged," the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand that has sold more than 7 million copies and has as passionate a following among many political conservatives and libertarians as "Twilight" has among teen girls. But the version of the book coming to theaters Friday is decidedly independent, low-cost and even makeshift. Shot for a modest $10 million by a first-time director with a cast of little-known actors, "Atlas Shrugged: Part I," the first in an expected trilogy, will play on about 300 screens in 80 markets.
January 1, 2012 |
The art of adaptation, as the rash of movies derived from plays this season attests, is never easy. The best artistic looters of all time — Shakespeare, the Greek tragedians — recognized that independent vision is everything. Borrowing didn't inhibit them in least. Their goal, of course, wasn't to duplicate but to create something autonomous. Heck, Shakespeare wasn't beyond taking a freehand with history itself. Contemporary purloiners tend to be less independent. They struggle under a self-imposed obligation of faithfulness.
September 17, 1995
In "Computer Firms Feeling the Heat on Monitor Size" (Aug. 29), you complain about the misleading dimensions of monitor screens attached to computers. The complaint should be extended to the even more misleading statements about screen resolution. The monitor manufacturers do include specification sheets in their brochures and manuals. These spec sheets tell all about the actual dimensions of the viewable screen, the spacing of the colored spots on color screens and brag about the wonderful resolution you can expect.
October 28, 2002
Touch-screen voting last week (my first time doing it) was a bit frustrating. The on-screen ballot did not match the sample ballot in layout or content. On screen, the page breaks were different, and the easy-reference punch numbers were missing. This slowed me down. The machines' huge screen and type size diminished the secrecy of voters' ballots. As soon as I entered the room, I could see the layout and choice pattern of someone else's ballot. (A poll worker said that was because the voter chose to sit.)
March 25, 2011 |
Furthering Hollywood's push into China, Imax Corp., the Canadian-based big-screen theater chain, is expanding its footprint in that country in hopes of cashing in on the nation's rapidly growing film industry. In a joint venture with China's largest cinema operator, Wanda Cinema Line Corp., Imax plans to open 75 theaters in 25 locations by 2014. The deal with Wanda represents Imax's first full revenue-sharing agreement in China and brings the total number of Imax theaters slated to open there to 177 over the next several years.
November 3, 2012 |
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Until they break up the Bowl Championship Series in two years, the only thing left to do is shake it up. Tiger Stadium, on a Saturday night, seemed a perfect place to do it. Pittsburgh had a similar thought at South Bend and USC actually came close to running down Oregon's rabbits at the Coliseum. Almost, though, never counts in the BCS. In the end, the top four undefeated teams remained undefeated and so now we move forward to next week. Pittsburgh let a 20-6 lead slip away against Notre Dame and Louisiana State let the biggest catfish, Alabama, slip off the hook.
May 14, 1990 |
Steven Spielberg's trio of "Back to the Future" films will be presented as a package at select theaters nationwide May 24 when Universal Pictures releases the newest of the series starring Michael J. Fox. "Back to the Future," "Back to the Future Part II" and "Back to the Future Part III" will be released as a one-time-only triple feature program in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and other major markets.
October 4, 2005 |
Hollywood might be bad for your health, according to a new study, which concludes that blockbuster movies paint a consequence-free view of sex and drugs. Dr. Hasantha Gunasekera, the study's lead author from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, said the findings are troubling, "given the HIV and illicit drug pandemics in developing and industrialized countries."