October 10, 2015 |
Over the last decade, American cities have been making a concentrated effort to repair the damage done by a century of car-first policies. It hasn't been easy, because so much public territory was ceded to motorists in that period. Streets got wider, sidewalks narrower. Elegant street lamps were replaced with highway lights that cast our neighborhoods in the melancholy shadows of an Edward Hopper painting. But now, urban planners are starting to pile up the wins. They've introduced amenities that encourage the slow-movers - things like sidewalk cafes, parklets, bike lanes, and riverfront trails.
October 9, 2015 |
AS THE TITLE promises, there is indeed widespread mobster slaughter in "Yakuza Apocalypse," but that ain't the half of it. Some of the mobsters are vampires, so they are invincible in battle, and can hack up enemies with impunity. This gore makes them thirsty, so they commence to feeding on people. And because the movie is subtitled, whenever a vampire bites into the neck flesh of a victim, we get this helpful prompt: "Suck!" Subtitles, though, don't help us understand very much of what happens.
August 21, 2015 |
* FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC. THE LAST thing that high-school guidance counselor Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) needs is a zombie apocalypse. As AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead" opens Sunday, Madison's drug-addicted son, Nick (Frank Dillane), is missing. She and her English teacher boyfriend, Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis), are new to living together and the blending of their families - which also include her daughter, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and his son, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie)
May 15, 2015
"MAD MAX: Fury Road" reminds us that there is nothing filmmakers love more than imagining mankind's destruction, and nothing we love more than watching it. At various times, we've found the end of our world horrifying or funny, or both. Here, in no particular order, are the some of the best apocalypse movies, with an eye to how they've evolved. "La Jetee": French, intellectual, black & white, only 28 minutes long but endlessly influential. The way it combined the apocalypse, time travel and the idea of a man who foresees and shapes his own destiny has been updated by Terry Gilliam as "12 Monkeys," James Cameron in "The Terminator" and even "Looper," in which Bruce Willis replaces the existential poetry of "Jetee" with something more concrete: "I don't want to talk about time travel.
July 15, 2013
Even if the television viewers of Great Falls, Mont., were not sufficiently shocked by the revelations of The Steve Wilkos Show one afternoon last winter (topic: "Teen Cheaters Take Lie Detectors"), the emergency alert that interrupted the program may well have roused them from their recliners. Following the iconic tones of the Emergency Alert System, a voice warned: "Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living.
June 17, 2013
By Eileen M. DiFranco Around Memorial Day, as the end of the school year approached, kids used to start singing: "No more pencils, no more books ... " Come September, this children's chant could become a reality in Philadelphia. Come September, not only will there be no pencils and no books. Under the district's current budget and layoff plan, there will be no secretaries, no counselors, and no aides watching the children in the cafeterias. There will be no counselors and no librarians.
June 14, 2013 |
Alien invasion? Zombie attack? A massive, catastrophic earthquake? Nope, in This Is the End it really is the end - an old-fashioned, New Testament apocalypse, straight out of the Book of Revelation and happening right now, in plain sight of the Hollywood sign. But not to worry. "Who do they rescue first?" asks Jonah Hill, the Oscar-nominated thespian, trying to reassure his fellow real-life movie, TV, and music biz stars, all of whom have flocked to James Franco's new million-dollar digs for an unfortunately timed housewarming party.
June 3, 2013 |
It's the summer of the apocalypse. Tom Cruise patrols a dystopian Earth in Oblivion . Giant monsters rise from the deep to destroy the planet in Pacific Rim . Even James Franco and his celebrity goof-offs face a final accounting in This Is the End . And in After Earth , directed and cowritten by Chester County's M. Night Shyamalan , from a story by the older of its two stars, Will Smith , a father and his son -...
May 29, 2013 |
AS MAY 21, 2011, was approaching, the money was rolling in to get the word out: Judgment Day was close upon us. A suburban Philadelphia group, eBible Fellowship, which had fallen for Christian evangelist Harold Camping's latest doomsday prediction, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to help fund a global advertising blitz. Billboards, T-shirts, caravans, SEPTA bus wraps, bumper stickers, radio broadcasts, foreign missions. All with the same message: May 21, 2011 would be the end. Camping's biblical math was solid, they said.
January 11, 2013 |
In a nuclear crisis, the United States' secret war plan calls for the president to decide in just 13 minutes what he should do in the event of a serious warning of missile attack. That's right: 13 minutes to decide the fate of the world. President Obama has the power to change that in his second term - and live up to a campaign promise he made, by the way, back in 2008. It won't be as simple as a pen stroke, but with some creative thinking and deft diplomacy, Obama could make the world much, much safer by eliminating this Cold War hangover.