July 11, 2016 |
Before Jaws , there was no such thing as a summer blockbuster. The stretch between May and Labor Day was rife with genre fare, drive-in double bills, the schlock, the crock, the crusty. And then, on June 20, 1975, everything - everything - changed. Steven Spielberg's adaptation of a bestseller about a New England beach town terrorized by a giant shark opened to huge crowds, the media fueled the mania, the industry took note. High-concept "event" pics - heavy on action, thrills, chills - backed by massive ad campaigns and booked into as many theaters as possible had the potential to turn the summer doldrums into Hollywood's hot season.
December 28, 2015
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights By Salman Rushdie Random House. 304 pp. $28 Reviewed by Patrick Rapa Like a big-budget summer blockbuster, Salman Rushdie's latest novel threatens civilization with a heavy hand and an impish shrug. In Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights , jinn, a.k.a genies, sneak into the mortal realm to troll humanity with horrific but meaningless pranks: an undermining of physics here, an unraveling of politics there.
September 6, 2014 |
In a huge boost to the research efforts of drugmaker Merck & Co., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new type of drug that unlocks the body's immune system to attack cancer cells. Merck, which is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and employs thousands of people in Montgomery County, had staked much of its future hopes on approval and then sales, which analysts expect will generate billions of dollars a year. The chemical name of the drug is pembrolizumab and its brand name will be Keytruda.
April 28, 2014 |
Reboots on the ground! If the 2014 summer movie season - officially underway with Friday's opening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - will be remembered for anything, it could be its head-spinning deluge of giant-screen sequels, prequels, retreads, and franchise revivifications. Take the aforementioned Marvel-branded action romp starring the arachnoidal crime-stopper: a sequel to a reboot of an original franchise based on a comic book series. Shall we go on? If some enterprising soul out there has Final Cut Pro and time to burn, there's a great mashup to be culled from the trailers of S pider-Man, Godzilla, Transformers , and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
November 8, 2013 |
SHOULD Andrew Bynum step onto the court at the Wells Fargo Center tonight when his Cleveland Cavaliers take on the 76ers, the noise that will greet him probably will be near ear-splitting level. It will be in stark contrast to the amount of sound Bynum made yesterday when talking to reporters after the team's practice at Temple. Speaking in a barely audible tone on the side of the Owls' practice court, Bynum answered the questions lobbed at him quickly and seemingly without much feeling.
November 6, 2013 |
OBAMACARE is going Hollywood. Since the healthcare.gov website is turning users into the Incredible Hulk, the .gov is calling on TV creative folk to make a difference and persuade the uninsured to sign up. The California Endowment, a private foundation, recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure that TV writers and producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can be stitched into plot lines watched by millions. The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy, Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the overhaul a success.
January 29, 2013 |
As Debbie and Troy Smith revel in steadily increasing sales, a backlog of demand for their services, and the freedom of being their own bosses, the Chester County couple has earned the right to gloat. Not that they are gloating. They're just relieved that in 2006, while both had good jobs, they developed and began implementing Career Plan B. "We just saw the way the economy was going and were concerned about losing our jobs," Troy Smith said. In his wife's case, those worries were justified.
December 27, 2012 |
WHEN SHOPPING for gifts this holiday season, buyers want value. One would think that's what Hollywood producers want also, but they always seem drawn by the big star and the big summer tentpole with the $200 million budget. But with so few stars consistently bankable - even Tom Cruise hasn't lured audiences lately - Forbes magazine has come out with a list of the stars who provide the best value. It isn't very helpful, however, because aside from the woman at the top of list, Natalie Portman , the others are young actors in huge, blockbuster franchises.
December 16, 2012 |
At some point Thursday, David Altchek will look Andrew Bynum directly in the eyes, and the doctor will relay either good or bad news concerning the 76ers center's chronically aching knees. (Or, as Bynum now says, knee, as he has proclaimed the right one pain-free.) Cognizant that there have been too many false starts and false reports, the Sixers expect that, some seven months after Bynum last played a game in the NBA, they will finally know whether or not the 7-footer is actually on the road to recovery.
September 28, 2012 |
WRITER/DIRECTOR Rian Johnson is trying to bring some indie cred to the studio blockbuster. After "Brick" and "The Brothers Bloom," his new film "Looper" is a bigger-budget sci-fi suspenser that's filled with ideas and quirky touches and doesn't go - like most studio films - exactly where you expect it to. When we spoke with Johnson at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, he said the indie/studio...