October 4, 2013 |
"All is Bright" - "All Is Bright" is a bit of holiday melancholy masquerading as black comedy. Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd and Sally Hawkins star in this sweet, sad tale of thieves and other lost causes tangled up in a Brooklyn Christmas tree lot one very cold December. Love of the same good woman, Therese (Amy Landecker), has both trying to go almost straight, selling bootleg Christmas trees in the big city. The film is rather rough and seedy as holiday fables go, and quite often the ideas and characters are only half baked.
October 2, 2013 |
Ed Orgeron descended the ramp from USC's McKay Center on Wednesday, cellphone pressed to his ear while flashing a "Fight On" sign to several fans. As he crossed the street to Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field, Orgeron ended his call, greeted a group of reporters and then hustled through the gate for his first practice as the Trojans' interim coach. The post-Lane Kiffin era was underway. Athletic Director Pat Haden, who fired Kiffin early Sunday, and several senior athletic department officials looked on as the Trojans worked out for the first time since a 62-41 loss Saturday to Arizona State.
September 18, 2013 |
Julia Louis-Dreyfus takes her phone out of her purse in the middle of lunch to show off a photo that's served as her screen saver for the last three years. It's a shot of the actress, her husband, Brad Hall, and their two sons just before they left their eldest on the doorstep of his new college. It's also the picture that helped her land the lead role in Nicole Holofcener's new movie, "Enough Said. " "Seeing how emotional she was about her son going away … it was a big topic," said Holofcener, 53, recalling how Louis-Dreyfus, 52, turned to the snapshot when they first met to discuss empty nest syndrome and the film's protagonist, a divorcée contending with the wild emotions associated with sending her child off into the world.
September 9, 2013 |
A few minutes into J. Cole's Sunday night set at the Rock the Bells hip-hop festival in San Bernardino, the introspective wordsmith thanked the crowd for just being there. “I know there were other choices, but I appreciate you coming to me,” Cole said as the crowd cheered. It was a rather humble acknowledgment of the obvious. The final night of the two-day festival felt noticeably thinner than Saturday, but still, the nearly 11,000 seats of the main stage were packed more than 30 minutes before he began his set. The overflow crowd sprawled out on the lawn behind the general admission orchestra and loge sections. On adjacent stages, the Christian rap of Lecrae and the tawdry, strip-club bounce of Juicy J played out to whatever was left of Sunday's delegation of hip-hop purists at the San Manuel Amphitheater.
September 1, 2013 |
This is the year of punk. Vogue magazine decreed it to be so, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute chimed in with its "Punk: Chaos to Couture" exhibition this spring. When Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie and others turned out in leather and spikes for the gala opening in May, the irony was overwhelming. All those shiny celebrities were there in the name of an anti-fashion, anti-establishment movement of working-class heroes. But that was the point of the exhibition, to demonstrate how high fashion feeds off the street and how designers appropriate the visual codes of punk, using slashes and safety pins to sell cool.
September 1, 2013 |
When friends invited my husband, Tim, and me to their wedding in Occidental, Calif., I had to look up the place, even though I'm the author of a guidebook that covers much of Sonoma County. Occidental, I learned, is a postage stamp-sized hamlet (population 1,115) about 70 miles north of San Francisco and 10 miles east of the coast. As we drove in, I was surprised by its Old West flavor. In a region obsessed with all things French and Italian, Occidental is pretty darned American. It has saloons, checked-tablecloth restaurants and a white-steepled church built in 1876.
August 29, 2013 |
In "Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride," documentarian Amy Nicholson puts a human face on the deterioration of the iconic New York amusement park by focusing on the fate of her favorite ride. Consisting of a rotating boom orbited by free-flipping cars, the 38-year-old Zipper was operated by Eddie Miranda. Ambitious development plans and greedy land-grabbers have been pushing Miranda and many of his fellow carnies out of business, rendering "America's Playground" a wasteland of dilapidated buildings and deserted parking lots - even before Hurricane Sandy ripped through.
August 25, 2013 |
Electric street lights arrived in Genoa, Nev., the state's oldest permanent settlement, around 1920, thanks to local women who organized a fundraising "candy dance. " This summer the town's historic main drag is once again illuminated by replicas of the original lampposts, which guide visitors to the attractions in this surprisingly historic town. The tab: Excluding airfare to Reno, a one-hour drive, and a rental car, a two-night visit will cost about $300. That includes lodging at the upscale 1862 David Walley's Resort Hot Springs & Spa, a casual meal for two and drinks at Nevada's oldest watering hole.
HOME & GARDEN
August 23, 2013 |
Love lettuce wraps. Love burritos. Love the crumbs you clean from the toaster just before it's about to catch fire. So when it comes to food, I am not picky. I bust my tail - in the pool, on the trails - six days a week just to be able to eat everything within view. Otherwise I would have the same circumference as the late James Gandolfini. As Mark Twain said, "Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company. " Pick your reason, the 21st century will go down as one of extremism.
August 23, 2013 |
A good place for the Los Angeles Philharmonic to try out new talent, the Hollywood Bowl can be curiously hospitable to odd couples. Concerts are one-night stands, so there is less to lose than at downtown subscription concerts, where programs are repeated three or four times. But the complicated Bowl schedule can mean an almost haphazard mix and match between soloist and conductor on occasion. It requires speed dating, given that the typical program has a single rehearsal the morning of the concert.