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August 24, 1986
There are two reasons why "Howard the Duck" is doing so poorly at the box office ("Duck Didn't Get to Market," by David T. Friendly, Aug. 7): The first (and more obvious) reason is that it's a bad film--shallow, plodding, loaded down with tired special effects and chases, and predictable. A less obvious reason for the film's failure was that most people cannot appreciate the sophistication of the concept of a talking duck. The idea of a talking duck living in our world is basically silly, childish and unsophisticated.
April 13, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
A high-stakes battle is underway in Washington over launching the U.S. government's most sophisticated national security satellites. Space entrepreneur Elon Musk is pitted against the nation's two largest weapons makers, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., in a fight for military contracts worth as much as $70 billion through 2030. For eight years, the Pentagon has paid Boeing and Lockheed - operating jointly as United Launch Alliance - to launch the government's pricey spy satellites without seeking competitive bids.
June 7, 1992
Your feature article "Mickey Goes to France," in the May 3 issue, prompted us to write you with a suggestion. Dump the mother and keep the kid. Alexandra made us laugh, and Marjorie reminded us how terribly sophisticated, "seen-that, been-there" writers discourage travel. Yeah, Alexandra. BARBARA POLLARD Santa Barbara
April 5, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
The two new tunnels discovered this week along the San Diego-Mexico border mark the sixth and seventh cross-border passages that authorities have located in the last four years. Officials have found more than 80 tunnels from California to Arizona since 2006. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in San Diego announced the discovery of the two new drug-smuggling tunnels Friday, calling them sophisticated and elaborate. On Wednesday, ICE officials arrested a 73-year-old Chula Vista woman on suspicion of overseeing the operation of an underground tunnel leading under the border to an Otay Mesa industrial park in San Diego.
May 30, 1987
Based on World War II experience, I can fully support The Times' editorial (May 21) on the Navy frigate Stark, which said that sophisticated military technology has its limits. For me, it happened on April 23, 1944. Our main carrier fleet under Adm. William Halsey was proceeding at high speed en route to attack the Japanese at Truk. The night was pitch dark, the formation was tight, all ships were darkened. I was stationed on the navigation bridge of the carrier Cabot, acting as command duty officer in the temporary absence of the captain who was resting in his emergency cabin below.
June 17, 2007
Regarding "Women claim lives with WellPoint exec," June 14: I realize that executives at publicly traded companies should be held accountable for their actions. However, a story about allegations of adultery made against a former executive is completely worthless to investors who follow WellPoint. Claims are made against executives all the time, and when they involve personal matters, they belong in gossip columns, not front and center in a business section with sophisticated readers.
February 15, 2004
While it may be heartening to see new jobs created by the security industries, it is also saddening to some of us oldsters who remember different times ("From the War on Terrorism, New Jobs," James Flanigan, Jan. 25). As this industry grows and reaches critical mass, as it will, it will also inevitably develop the means to perpetuate itself through a burgeoning public relations apparatus, advertising and sophisticated political lobbying. To continue to thrive it needs the constant threat of an enemy, real or imagined, lurking somewhere out there waiting to kill us. Marshall Lumsden Malibu
January 6, 2002
Susan Spano twice mentions "high tea" in her column about Hillwood ("A Woman Who Brought Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams to Life," Her World, Dec. 9). I'm certain that brought at least a turn in her grave from Marjorie Merriweather Post. The faux pas is confusing high tea and afternoon tea. They are very different, but the confusion is common among the uneducated. High tea is a rural British dinner served around 6 p.m. and consisting of meat, eggs, cheese etc. Afternoon tea is a sophisticated serving (near 4 p.m.)
Olympic sprint champion Florence Griffith Joyner died after suffering an epileptic seizure, according to autopsy results released Thursday, and her family and friends say they hope the findings will put to rest rumors that drug use contributed to her death. Griffith Joyner died last month in her sleep at age 38. Her husband, Al Joyner, bitterly criticized those who suggested that she took performance-enhancing drugs.
National swim team coaches from the United States, Hong Kong and Australia suspect the Chinese women's team of using steroids in the wake of China's world-best performances during last month's Asian Games. Richard Quick, coach of the U.S. national team and Stanford women's team, said he felt obligated to speak out after the Chinese produced three times that rank No. 1 in the world this year and three others that are No. 2 during the competition at Beijing.
April 3, 2014 | By Robert Abele
With a title like "Hot Guys With Guns," actor turned writer-director Doug Spearman's niche comedy-mystery aimed at pop culture-savvy gays makes plain its intentions - titillation, tension and titters - and for the undiscerning, it's likely to deliver. After a chicly designed credit sequence that appealingly spoofs James Bond openings, we settle on caustically friendly exes Danny (a likable Marc Anthony Samuel), a sweet-faced out-of-work actor taking private eye classes, and Patrick/Pip (Brian McArdle)
March 22, 2014 | Ricardo Lopez
If the IRS is calling and demanding you pay up or else, it's probably not the IRS. In what officials in Washington are calling the largest of its kind, a sophisticated phone scam has swindled 20,000 people nationally out of a combined $1 million. Scammers are armed with enough information and technological know-how to bilk taxpayers, often convincing unsuspecting victims because they can recite the last four digits of their Social Security number, officials said. The call that comes in appears to be -- at least on caller ID -- from the Internal Revenue Service.
March 17, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan and Barbara Demick
The U.S. military pulled its warship out of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on Monday and will rely instead on sophisticated submarine-hunting aircraft, a sign of just how complex the international search for the missing Boeing 777 has become in its second week. At least 26 nations have deployed ships, aircraft and satellites in one of the largest international coalitions ever mustered in a search and rescue operation. Search teams are concentrating on wide bands in both the northern and southern hemispheres west of Malaysia, crossing the territories of a dozen Asian nations as well as the sparsely traveled waters of the southern Indian Ocean.
March 3, 2014 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
PARIS -- In his fall collection shown at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday, Riccardo Tisci, the man who turned Bambi print sweatshirts and fierce magnetic tusk earrings into trends, turned his attention away from the street and toward a new sophistication. Where his last few runway shows were full-on entertainment extravaganzas with live musical guests and model choreography, this one was more intimate. The straightforward runway presentation put the spotlight on the clothes, or more specifically, the fine details.
February 1, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Even for a city in which architectural surprise is no surprise, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple surprises. Do yourself a favor and step inside; the interior has just been magnificently restored. A radiant 1929 mural surrounds the domed synagogue, conveying Jewish history from biblical times to the arrival of Jews in the New World in vivid Hollywood-esque imagery. Commissioned by the Warner brothers, it defies an orthodox reading of the Second Commandment, which forbids graven images.
December 6, 2013 | By Susan King
Cinema was in a state of transition 100 years ago. Films and movie audiences were becoming more sophisticated. On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will explore this seminal time with "A Century Ago: The Films of 1913" at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Randy Haberkamp, the academy's managing director for programming, education and preservation, has been presenting these centennial celebrations for the past decade. But this one will be the last where it will primarily be made up of one-reelers - short films that lasted 10 to 12 minutes.
The call came on the eve of his Los Angeles concert, just as he was leaving his home in Mexico. We have your son. Follow our instructions. Don't make trouble. It was a year ago, and Vicente Fernandez was about to headline four sold-out shows at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena, his annual Memorial Day pilgrimage to the Eastside suburbs of L.A. Now this voice, saying his 33-year-old son, his namesake, was being held for a ransom of millions.
"People come to our film expecting some kind of true crime story but that's not what we were attempting to do," said 30-year-old filmmaker Joe Berlinger of the award-winning documentary "Brother's Keeper."
November 14, 2013 | By Jack Schneider
How do you measure school quality? For the last decade, the answer has been informed by a single set of data: standardized test scores. Now there is a chance to change that. Although Congress remains unwilling to overhaul No Child Left Behind, with its overemphasis on testing, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has taken matters into his own hands, issuing waivers that have freed 42 states and eight California districts - including L.A. Unified - from the law's accountability mechanisms.
November 1, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
The Internal Revenue Service warned about a telephone scam in which targeted taxpayers are told they owe money and must pay up immediately. The IRS on Thursday said the operation was sophisticated. The scammers are able to provide would-be victims the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and have the ability to spoof the agency's toll-free number on caller ID. “This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country," said Danny Werfel, acting commissioner.
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