June 20, 2013 |
James Gandolfini, the most important actor in the most influential television series of the last decade and a half, died suddenly Wednesday, in Italy. He was only 51, and though he had been a busy working actor -- in film and onstage as well as on TV -- for two decades, and had (with writer David Chase) created a character for the ages, he was also at what, especially in light of an early death, felt like the beginning of his career. Even though he spent the years of "The Sopranos" and afterward taking parts that told the world there was more to him than a New Jersey mob boss -- that is to say, waste management consultant -- its length and depth, its cultural mass, guarantee that Tony Soprano is the role for which he'll be most remembered.
July 10, 2013 |
PHOENIX - Just when the baseball world thought it had seen everything that Yasiel Puig could become, the Dodgers phenom has added yet another tool. It's not as overwhelming as his bat, or as strong as his arm, but it can be just as powerful - or powerfully destructive - as both. The hot young outfielder and hitter is also now officially a villain. It happened this week in Arizona, where the charging Dodgers swept through the first-place Diamondbacks against a backdrop of boos, accusations and rips.
September 13, 2012 |
It's slightly depressing that some of the most riveting recent disaster films are dramas driven by precisely the sort of deceit that helped derail Wall Street. Last year there was the extraordinarily callous desperation of "Margin Call's" moneymen. Now comes "Arbitrage," taking a sophisticated swing at a hedge-fund magnate who is bankrolled by, and bets with, other people's money. Writer-director Nicholas Jarecki squarely lands that punch, creating a tense and chilling horror story for financially fraught times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 2010 |
It isn't easy being despicable. Just ask the creators of "Despicable Me," who started out trying to make a movie about a villain from the villain's perspective and ended up with a 3-D animated feature so saccharine that sappy sentimentality is more of a danger than exposure to evil. As that exercise in false advertising indicates, watching "Despicable Me" can be something of a chore, especially when you factor in a penchant for what the MPAA ratings board characterizes as "rude humor."
January 11, 2011 |
"The way he did it wasn't the right way but ... he lives with it every day and he seems pretty happy.... Do I agree with it? Do people agree with it? No, but they're not him. " ? Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls Actually, no one was ever close to being LeBron James and, in the way of all-time greats, no one may ever be as hyped, adored and reviled by 25. That's how old he was when he signed with Miami, and the Heat's image changed from squeaky-clean and corporate to Attila and the Huns.
October 2, 2012 |
After seeing director Bart DeLorenzo's lively staging of “Cymbeline” at A Noise Within, one wonders why Shakespeare's rollicking romance is not more frequently produced. Reputedly one of Shakespeare's final four plays, “Cymbeline” is a tragicomic mélange that freely samples Shakespeare's earlier works. Among other delightfully unlikely plot elements, there's a young heroine dressed as a boy, a villain who steals a souvenir to malign a faithful wife, even a potion that induces a death-like sleep.