November 23, 2011 |
Sue Grafton, author of the alphabetically themed mystery series starring the snappy female detective Kinsey Millhone and a town very much like 1980s Santa Barbara, has long been adamant that her books and her character would never make it to the Hollywood screen. She even told her children that she would haunt them like a malevolent ghost if they were to sell the rights after her death. It certainly hasn't kept her heroine from the kind of fame that is usually only achieved by being the main character in a blockbuster film.
May 16, 2013 |
South Korean provocateur Kim Ki-duk's new film "Pieta," about a cold, wraith-like loan-shark enforcer in a poverty-stricken village, is expectedly gruesome in some of its details. But it's the explicitness about capitalism's emotional wreckage that gives this micro-budgeted drama a gut-punch heft. Kang-do (Lee Jung-jin, working a thousand-yard stare) slaps, breaks, tortures and cripples the desperate small-time machinists of cramped, industrial Cheonggyecheon who owe his boss money.
February 18, 2012 |
It has the makings of a trash-film lover's idea of heaven. In this corner, the filmmaking team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, credited as Neveldine/Taylor, purveyors of willful, gleefully disreputable movies like "Crank" and "Crank 2: High Voltage. " They are smart enough to know better and self-consciously shameless enough to go there anyway. And in this corner is Nicolas Cage, who has over time transformed into a performer of such ridiculous earnestness that it is impossible to unravel whether he gets it or not. Cage is the opposite of irony.
January 20, 2002
Re "A Son Has Been Waiting 26 Years for Justice," Jan. 17: Columnist Steve Lopez and Jon Opsahl have it wrong. It is not the function of the justice system to provide therapy or vengeance to Jon Opsahl or even to focus on his slain mother, Myrna Opsahl. That is the function of the civil courts. The job of the criminal justice system is to keep our society safe. I defy anyone to tell me how our society is any safer if Sara Jane Olson, Bill Harris, Emily Harris (Montague) or Michael Bortin are put in prison for the rest of their lives.
November 6, 1989 |
"Ministry of Vengeance" (citywide) tries to freshen up the macho revenge formula with, of all things, spirituality, but the result is tedious and cynical. "Dukes of Hazzard's" John Schneider stars as a minister and Vietnam veteran haunted by wartime nightmares that caused him to turn to religion in the first place. Then his faith is shattered when his wife and daughter are murdered by an Arab terrorist in Rome's airport.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 1985
None of us has any doubts that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a shamefully irresponsible act; causing the death of an innocent human being multiplies that act tenfold. But reading the account (May 30) of Evan Haller's sentencing hearing in a Van Nuys court was deeply disturbing, particularly Judge Albracht's remarks delivered from the bench that "an offense like this cries out for the vengeance." Forgive me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that sentencing under our judicial system was not for the sake of avenging a criminal act but instead to impose punishment to fit the crime and, hopefully, rehabilitation.