April 15, 2014 |
SHREVEPORT, La. - A woodsy stretch of Willow Lake Farm, just outside this city, has been painstakingly built to look like a 17 t h century New England village, filled with shops and houses with steep-pitched roofs and drab clapboard exteriors. Milling about nearby are women in elaborate capes and cinched dresses, and men clad in peasant shirts and heavy coats. It's all textbook quaint - until you see the towering gallows at the center of town. This is the setting for "Salem," the new TV series from Tribune Co.'s WGN America set in the Massachusetts village that was the scene of notorious Colonial witch trials.
April 11, 2014 |
Coming off the success of the groundbreaking horror movie "The Exorcist" and the Academy Award-winning cop thriller "The French Connection," director William Friedkin seemed to have the magic touch in the 1970s - until he made "Sorcerer. " Adapted from the the 1950 Georges Arnaud novel "Le Salaire de la peur" ("The Wages of Fear") and inspired by the 1953 Henri-Georges Clouzot film of that name, "Sorcerer" is a taut thriller about four outcasts transporting truckloads of high explosives over treacherous South American terrain.
April 10, 2014 |
LAS VEGAS - Telling friends that you're heading to Las Vegas for some Shakespeare is a bit like claiming you read Playboy for the interviews. Well, I did indeed head to Vegas last weekend to see "The Tempest," and I can guarantee that I was the only person on my morning flight reading Harold C. Goddard's classic "The Meaning of Shakespeare. " Just a few pages from the chapter on "The Tempest," mind you. The guys downing pre-lunch wine and cocktails around me were whooping it up "Hangover"-style.
April 2, 2014 |
If you haven't made it to "Bad Words," Jason Bateman's directing debut and sarcastic takedown of the spelling bee game, it's just become much easier to indulge in this guilty pleasure. Like Bateman's 40-year-old Guy with a grudge and unbeatable spelling chops, the movie is turning up everywhere now. The competitive spelling world, teeming with bright kids, obsessive parents and rigid educators, proves to be rich terrain for a caustic, clever comedy. The actor-director puts himself in good funny company too - Kathryn Hahn and Allison Janney among others.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 |
An Arcadia sixth-grader won the Los Angeles County Office of Education Spelling Bee this week in just over an hour with the word "thrombosis. " Kai Morita, a First Avenue Middle School student, beat out 24 other contestants in fourth through sixth grade at the Almansor Court Conference Center in Alhambra on Wednesday evening. First Avenue Middle is part of the Arcadia Unified School District. In second place was Daniel Ozaraga, a sixth-grader at Santa Fe Elementary School in the Baldwin Park Unified School District.
March 13, 2014 |
Sarcastic, sanctimonious, salacious, sly, slight and surprisingly sweet, the black comedy of "Bad Words," starring and directed by Jason Bateman, is high-minded, foul-mouthed good nonsense. I had wondered where Bateman's angry itch would take him next. The script, by Andrew Dodge, his first to be produced after many years in the studio trenches, is a good match of man and material. As an actor - whether a victim trying to even the score with Melissa McCarthy in "Identity Thief" or the ruthless top firing dog in "Up in the Air" - Bateman always brings an edge to his work.