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February 7, 2014 | By Philip Brandes
There are misbegotten plays so bad they're good, and satire so good it's great, but you rarely get both in the same show. Thanks to its intricate farce-within-a-farce construction, Michael Frayn's “Noises Off” efficiently packs a fair number of two-for-one laughs in an appropriately frenetic revival from Ventura's Rubicon Theatre. Slamming doors (11 of them) and double entendres abound as the backstage romantic entanglements of a hapless theater troupe collide with the bedroom antics of a dreadful sex comedy they're attempting to perform.
February 6, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
After an atomic apocalypse, only 10 people out of a group of 21 can live in a specially outfitted bunker for a year, at which point they will restart civilization as we know it. Which 10 would you pick - and why? This is the set-up of "After the Dark," an unusually creative and ambitious film of ideas that offers so much more than its forgettable title and sensationalized publicity may imply. Impressively written and directed by John Huddles, this existential sci-fi thriller follows a so-called thought experiment in which one Mr. Zimit (James D'Arcy)
January 30, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
Charles Manson has been behind bars since 1969, but he's still a hero to budding sociopath Chloe. When the prep-school dropout declares early in the film that her master plan is to become famous, it's clear she's trouble: In the movies, only bad people pursue fame. In her thick eyeliner and all-black outfits, Chloe (Gia Mantegna) could be just another cyber-bullying mean girl. Her greatest asset as a destroyer is her ability to hide in plain sight. But she's also model-gorgeous, which is how she gets two dopes to mistake her manipulations for fun. Nick (Devon Werkheiser)
January 19, 2014 | By Catharine Hamm
Given the number of people you see on the street, head down, eyes focused on their phones, it's no surprise that more than half of American adults have a smartphone. We love to call, we love to text, we love to post to Facebook. But what we don't love, if we are traveling abroad, is an enormous post-vacation bill or, worse, being disconnected. Andy Abramson, whose role as chief executive of Comunicano, a marketing agency, keeps him on the road about two-thirds of the year, and Sebastian Harrison, president of Cellular Abroad, offer these 14 tips for staying tethered while you're away.
January 16, 2014 | By Annlee Ellingson
Actor-turned-first-time-director Bruce Ramsay recasts "Hamlet" as a soap opera, setting Shakespeare's tragedy in post-World War II London instead of medieval Denmark, eschewing any mention of the play's encroaching war with Norway and compressing several months into one fateful night. The result is a focused, if at times melodramatic, take on the play's beating heart. Ramsay also stars as the Prince of Denmark, although it's unclear whether his family is meant to be literal royalty or metaphorical aristocrats.
January 15, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
By all accounts, Mark Walter is rare among baseball owners. When he says he lets the baseball people make player personnel decisions because he is not a baseball expert, he actually means it. However, in his early days as the Dodgers' controlling owner, Walter expressed skepticism about long-term contracts for starting pitchers. "Pitchers break," he said. On Wednesday, the Dodgers agreed to make Clayton Kershaw the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history. Walter declined to confirm the $215-million deal - the Dodgers are expected to make an annoucement Friday - but he was succinct in explaining why he would even consider approving it. "Greg Maddux," Walter said.
January 6, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
LAS VEGAS -- As expected, talk of the smart home has been a big topic on the second day of the International Consumer Electronics Show. The Times previewed this trend a couple of weeks ago.  In a show so far lacking any startling product breakthroughs, it seems the deeper push to connect every corner of the home is a perfect example instead of the way technology is changing our lives by its growing presence in our lives.  [Video]...
January 2, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
The scariest thing about some horror movies might be when "5" appears at the end of the title - little good has ever come from that. So it's not surprising the team behind the "Paranormal Activity" films has gone an alternate route, adding a non-numbered secondary title of "The Marked Ones" on the franchise's fifth entry. The wildly successful series of low-budget films have trafficked in a sort of charged mundanity, the movies' found-footage aesthetic based on the essential angst of "Who's there?"
December 27, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
One shot or one play doesn't necessarily determine the outcome of a game, coaches and players like to say, because there are so many shots and plays during the course of a game. But there was one shot Thursday night, by Portland's Nicolas Batum, that had the Clippers talking after the game, all of them lamenting how they should have done something different to prevent the game-tying three-pointer with 5.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Coach Doc Rivers said he should have had his team commit a foul to put one of the Trail Blazers at the free-throw line.
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