January 16, 2014 |
"The Rocket" winds through the mountains of northern Laos, the contemporary drama carrying a touch of fable and a powerful sense of place. Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), the 10-year-old at the center of the movie, makes an appealing rooting interest, not only because he's sparky and resourceful but also because he challenges the superstitious antipathy of his grandmother, who believes he's cursed. Displaced from their village by a dam project - after viewing a heartlessly chipper corporate video on the wonders of relocation - Ahlo and his family find themselves in a barren field of tents.
January 11, 2014 |
Thirty-six seconds into his return from an injury that sidelined him for six weeks, Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick scored on a 15-foot jumper off a pass from Blake Griffin. Fifteen seconds later, Redick drove down the lane for a layup, another sign that his broken right wrist and torn ligaments on the side of the wrist that kept him out of 21 games were just fine. Redick made four of his first five shots against the Lakers Friday night on his way to a 19-point game. "That was fun," Redick said after the Clippers whipped the Lakers.
January 8, 2014 |
There's something admirably old school about the costly and dangerous prank that members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration allegedly pulled on a political opponent last year -- to the detriment of the entire city of Fort Lee, N.J. And in a strange way, I wish Christie had taken responsibility for it rather than denying it as he did Wednesday afternoon. It would put him in LBJ's league as a bare-knuckled power-broker. Granted, deliberating creating a giant traffic jam in a city to spite the mayor ranks as a textbook abuse of power.
January 4, 2014 |
Taylor Swift energetically paced the room of her West Hollywood hotel on a recent visit to Los Angeles. "I'm trying to outrun the jet lag," she said with a smile, looking far from ragged in her matching purple sweater and skirt. Before landing in L.A., she'd flown from Australia to London, then on to Nashville on her way back from the latest leg of her "Red" tour. But Swift, 24, is nothing if not game to be front and center for every facet of her career, so she committed to the schlep to L.A. for a Directors Guild of America screening of "One Chance," the film that's earned her a second Golden Globe Award nomination for her original song, "Sweeter Than Fiction.
December 30, 2013 |
This is the season of giving, when we give to the people we love as well as to people we have never even met. And the gift you may think of as insignificant and of little consequence to a charity is often the very thing that will make all the difference to people in need. It turns out that nonprofit organizations receive most of their annual contributions during the final quarter of the year. A cynic would attribute this surge to the imperatives of the tax code, and others to some amorphous, benevolent, seasonal spirit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Obama administration policies stimulating an expansion of tribal gambling have touched off new battles over proposed tribal casinos in California and elsewhere. Since President Barack Obama took office, the Department of the Interior has recognized dozens of new tribes and approved requests from a handful of others to acquire land that could house a casino, contingent on deals between the tribes and their home states. The department rejected nearly all such applications under President George W. Bush.
December 28, 2013
Since Steve Lopez's first column last week on Carmen Mendoza - the Bell Gardens mother who endures 15-hour workdays and rides up to nine buses a day to shuttle her children to high-quality but distant schools - more than two dozen readers have written to express their awe at her dedication to her family. Some told of how Lopez's most recent column on Wednesday - a follow-up piece reporting how reader Hector Delgadillo and his employees bought Mendoza a family car - moved them to tears.
December 24, 2013 |
As a director and star trying to extend into new territory, Ben Stiller is his own best friend. With wild and crazy films like "Zoolander" and "Tropic Thunder" in his past, Stiller's taken a different turn in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," but, fortunately for all concerned, the Old Ben has decided to come along for the ride. As a result "Walter Mitty," inspired by the brief 1939 James Thurber short story about a man who lapses into heroic daydreams at the slightest provocation, has a pleasant, curiously off-center quality that reflects the blending of these two sensibilities.
December 7, 2013 |
Irregularly shaped windows and openings add an unexpected bit of playfulness to this wooded retreat in Pacific Palisades. Built in the 1950s, the home was redesigned by local architect Josh Schweitzer, who is known for his imaginative work on restaurants and houses. Location: 16130 W. Northfield St., Pacific Palisades 90272 Asking price: $3.325 million Year built: 1951 House size: Four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 3,494 square feet Lot size: 18,044 square feet Features: Open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, den/office, three fireplaces, walled courtyard with swimming pool, outdoor dining area, mature trees, stream About the area: In the first half of the year, 170 single-family homes sold in the 90272 ZIP Code at a median price of $2.268 million, according to DataQuick.
December 6, 2013 |
For a short and breezy documentary narrated by Adam Sandler in which a group of famous comedians talk about themselves, "The Improv: 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall" packs a surprisingly provocative punch. In these days of digital "stardom," when fame is tweet-fleeting and the goal too often seems more Simon Cowell-approved branding than original voice, the rigors of an old-fashioned comedy club seem historically artisanal, like candle-dipping at Colonial Williamsburg. In the post-"Seinfeld" years, stand-up comedy, once the province of the scruffy and outrageous, has become increasingly sleek and well fed. Ray Romano, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Judd Apatow, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, the Wayans brothers, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Fallon - the people reminiscing here about the Improv are among the media elite, with studio deals and television shows, car collections and famous divorces.