May 4, 2008 |
The trailers for "The Dark Knight" have shown quite a bit of Heath Ledger's scabbier, surlier reinvention of the Joker (think of Malcolm McDowell's thug from "A Clockwork Orange" but with kelp-colored hair, scars and a hyena laugh), but the producers have been keeping the film's other Batman bad guy, Two-Face, under wraps. "That's right, people don't really know yet," actor Aaron Eckhart said with grin.
July 28, 2008 |
For Warner Bros., the mission was to keep "The Dark Knight" from seeing the light of day. In an era of instantaneous digital copying and widely available high-speed Internet access, the premature and unauthorized release of a movie to the public -- especially a coveted summer blockbuster -- can spell disaster. If the movie's a stinker, the word will travel at the speed of a mouse click, ruining chances of making back money.
June 8, 2008 |
With the release of "Batman Begins" in 2005, director Christopher Nolan reframed the series with true-crime grit. Yet perhaps where the film took the greatest departure was in its music. Before "Batman Begins," the franchise was marked by a grand overture created by composer Danny Elfman. "Batman Begins" instead saw a pairing of two composer heavyweights in Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. The two shied away from giving "Batman Begins" a more traditional superhero theme; there were recurring notes heard when Batman was on the screen, but they were simple, and more rhythmic in nature.
November 14, 2012 |
NBCUniversal has promoted two veteran news executives -- Alexandra Wallace and Don Nash -- to manage its profitable but troubled morning program "Today," which has taken a dramatic tumble in the ratings. On Wednesday, NBC announced that it had elevated Nash, a 23-year veteran of the show, to the job of executive producer, overseeing the broadcast's operations. He replaces Jim Bell, who is moving to NBC Sports to manage editorial content for the company's Olympics broadcasts. In his new role, Nash, 47, will be responsible for all four hours of "Today," and will be the executive in charge of the show's staff. He takes over Dec. 1, and will report to Wallace, who was promoted to the newly created role of "executive in charge" of the "Today" show. "In that capacity, Wallace will have executive oversight of 'Today,' " NBC said in a prepared statement.
July 15, 2009 |
Remember those records that "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" set during its first week at the box office last month? In a few days they could be ancient history. More than 4,000 sold-out midnight screenings via ticketing websites Fandango and MovieTickets, and massive audience interest, as indicated by pre-release polling, point to a record-breaking opening Wednesday for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" in the U.S. and Canada.
July 23, 2012 |
At the risk of being accused of having an obsession with references to race and ethnicity in journalism, I want to call attention to a controversy over the fact that some news reports identified James Holmes, the accused shooter in "The Dark Knight Rises" movie theater shootings, as a white man. (The L.A. Times story did not so describe him.) This is from Richard Prince's “Journalisms” feature on the website of the Maynard Institute: "News consumers learned that the man suspected of shooting 70 people in Aurora, Colo., on Friday was white before they knew his name.
July 22, 2012 |
Just hours before 12 people died and dozens were wounded in the "Dark Knight Rises" movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., I was at a screening of "Gangster Squad," an upcomingWarner Bros. film about a war between 1949-era L.A. cops and the gangster Mickey Cohen. One of the bloodiest scenes in the film featured a scrum of gangsters nonchalantly shooting up a movie theater, causing a panic as they killed scores of innocent filmgoers. The studio has already cut the scene from the film's trailer and may edit it out of the movie, due in September.
September 9, 2012 |
Not even the Sexiest Man Alive could lure moviegoers to the box office this weekend. On the the slowest weekend at the multiplex thus far this year, "The Words," a new film starring Bradley Cooper -- deemed by People magazine to be the most attractive man in 2011 -- debuted to lackluster ticket sales. The weekend winner was "The Possession," the horror flick that topped the box office over the Labor Day holiday. The film collected an additional $9.5 million, according to an estimate from distributor Lionsgate, raising its overall total to a solid $33.3 million.
September 5, 2011
books 'Go the ---- to Sleep' by Adam Mansbach Mansbach's hilarious, profane picture book for exhausted parents, from renegade independent publisher Akashic Books. By the numbers: 11 weeks on the L.A. Times bestseller list; four weeks at No. 1 on the L.A. Times bestseller list (including Aug. 21); 115 days in Amazon's Top 100; six printings, totaling 450,000 copies. Why it worked: This profane, irreverent book is just short enough for even the most sleep-deprived parent to get through before nodding off - and the bleary-eyed can opt for the audio version, read by actor Samuel L. Jackson.