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Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010
Will Precious be this year’s Slumdog Millionaire and sweep the Academy Awards? It’s a daunting challenge indeed. However, both films came out of nowhere and were greeted with an enthusiastic response on the festival circuit. Precious won the Audience...
Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

Golden Globe winner Ready for the Oscars?

For years, Scott Cooper plugged away in Hollywood as an actor. Stardom eluded him. Now, he has created quite a splash as the screenwriter and director of the critically acclaimed Crazy Heart. The film chronicles Bad Blake, a down-and-out country singer/songwriter. Once a rising force, he’s become encumbered with numerous ex-wives and a serious drinking problem...
Friday, Dec. 18, 2009
You might recall a little film by the name of Titanic. The vehicle arrived in1997 with the stench of failure attached to it. Originally scheduled for the summer blockbuster season, the release had been delayed for months, usually a portent of disaster. Its director, James Cameron, had locked horns with studio execs as he obsessively-compulsively fixated on post-production reediting. The film ran way over budget...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The U.S. occupation of Iraq has inspired a panoply of cinematic depictions. Despite their topicality, these films have ended up being box office duds. The Hurt Locker, which focuses on a bomb disposal unit in Baghdad, has been greeted by a chorus of critical plaudits...
A&E Feature
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Midwest actor, playwright finds Hollywood success on his terms

In the new film The Answer Man, Jeff Daniels portrays an erstwhile best-selling author who has become a recluse. In real life Daniels is no recluse, but he is a multitalented actor, musician and playwright who has eschewed the bright lights of Hollywood and New York for a home in Chelsea, Mich. In fact, this veteran of more than 50 films and numerous stage productions vehemently denies any intention to pursue a thespian career at all. "I was dragged into it," he says. "I had a choir teacher in high school...
A&E Feature
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The story behind the movie The Soloist

As a longtime journalist, Steve Lopez knows a good story when he sees one. Lopez was walking down the street, near his office at the Los Angeles Times, when he first noticed a disheveled man playing the violin in Pershing Square. "Here was a guy who was getting pretty good sound off of a violin that only had two strings, and he looked like he was living on the streets," Lopez recalls. "I thought to myself, 'What the heck's going on here? This might mak...
Saturday, May 3, 2008

Old folks in concert

You might think the notion of a bunch of septuagenarians and octogenarians belting out cover versions of rock ’n’ roll tunes sounds hopelessly schmaltzy. You wouldn’t be alone. Stephen Walker, the director of Young@Heart, says he chuckled at the irony of his initial reaction. When his wife approached him with the idea of hearing a concert by the group, Walker recoiled at the prospect and told her, “That sounds awful.” “I had little interest in the concert,” Walker says. “I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was a gimmick or it might be karaoke.”
A&E Feature
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

Abdul-Jabbar on black pride

In all likelihood, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will remain best known for his exploits on the basketball court. After all, with 38,387 points, he is the highest scorer in NBA history. However, since retiring from sports, the erstwhile center for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers has also become a bestselling author and an advocate for reading.

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