March 18, 2013 |
Sizzurp, purple drank, lean -- that cough-syrup-laced concoction of many names -- has been gaining popularity in hip hop culture and notoriety as more celebrities fall prey to its effects. Rapper Lil Wayne was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai last week, reportedly linked to use of the prescription-strength medication. The codeine in the medicine serves as a pain reliever and also suppresses coughing, said Dr. George Fallieras, an emergency room physician and hospitalist at Good Samaritan Hospital.
February 21, 2013
"Side Effects," Steven Soderbergh's tightly wound mind game, is definitely worth playing. It stars Jude Law as Dr. Banks, a psychiatrist counseling a suicidal young woman named Emily, played with great detachment by Rooney Mara. Emily gets only worse, until the doctor switches her meds. The upside, the depression lifts; the downside, Emily may have killed someone while sleepwalking, the result of a rare side effect. Soderbergh allows us to get as comfortable with the facts as Banks. Then he devilishly pulls the rug out from under us. It's fascinating to watch the doctor scramble to unspool what really happened.
February 16, 2013 |
When Charlie Lustman, who ran the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax Avenue until it closed in June 2006, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that year, he thought that his world would be forever changed for the worse. Doctors removed half of his jaw, fitting him with a prosthetic. But rather than let it get the best of him, Lustman turned the experience into something positive. A lifelong musician, the 47-year-old wrote a musical called "Made Me Nuclear," a one-man show about his illness and subsequent surgery that goes on national tour again in September (details at www.mademenuclear.com )
February 11, 2013 |
The current state of our healthcare system, and especially the pervasiveness of prescription pills, have been the subject of great and compelling interest to news outlets over the last few years. But it's not exactly been the stuff of great multiplex excitement. We received more proof this weekend with the opening of “Side Effects” . The movie, which tells of a troubled woman (Rooney Mara) for whom things begin to go askew when she tries a new psychiatric medication, grossed a dismal $10 million in U.S. theaters despite the presence of popular stars (Channing Tatum plays Mara's husband)
February 7, 2013 |
“Identity Thief” will make a name for itself this weekend as the comedy is poised to easily pocket the No. 1 spot at the box office. The film, co-starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, is set to debut with a strong $25 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. The only other movie hitting theaters this weekend, Steven Soderbergh's psychological thriller “Side Effects,” will start off with a far lower sum of about $12 million. “Identity Thief” marks the first major feature film role for McCarthy, who gained massive popularity after her Oscar-nominated supporting turn in 2011's comedy “Bridesmaids.” Though she has appeared in a number of films over the years and stars in the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly,” this year is the first that the 42-year-old actress will be able to prove she has box office clout.
February 7, 2013 |
Steven Soderbergh - who's indicated, not for the first time, that he's tired of filmmaking and may retire - has had a most unusual career. His persistent ennui has led him to all manner of narrative experiments, benighted projects like "Schizopolis" and "The Good German" that were doubtless more involving for him to make than for audiences to experience. But, as successes like "Erin Brockovich," "Out of Sight" and his new film, "Side Effects," demonstrate, when Soderbergh is willing to play it on the square, he's as good as anyone at bringing intelligence and verve to straight-ahead material.