December 10, 2014 |
It's stick-a-big-package-under-the-tree season, and for those who would like to give the gift of music with something more tangible than an iTunes gift card or Spotify subscription, boxed sets conveniently proliferate. The musical bounty includes hefty single-artist sets from a host of big names. Twentieth-century titans Louis Armstrong and Leonard Bernstein have been boxed. David Bowie and Joni Mitchell are releasing self-curated collections. And Bob Dylan's formidable The Basement Tapes , reviewed earlier in my column, have finally seen the light of day in their entirety.
December 9, 2014 |
"THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay - Part 1" continues to dominate the domestic box office, but awards-season hopefuls "Wild" and "The Imitation Game" proved their might with impressive limited-release showings on this sleepy post-Thanksgiving weekend. In its third weekend in release, "Mockingjay - Part 1" earned an estimated $21.6 million. The penultimate chapter in the massively successful franchise has now earned $257.7 million domestically, according to studio estimates yesterday.
November 10, 2014 |
"INTERSTELLAR" may have been the movie adults were excited about this past weekend, but once again kids rule the box office! The animated "Big Hero 6" debuted in first place with $56.2 million, according to studio estimates yesterday. Director Christopher Nolan 's brainy space saga, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway as very attractive astronauts, took off in second place with $50 million, estimates said. "Interstellar" opened below Nolan's last film, the mind-bending thriller "Inception," which conjured up $62.8 million when it debuted in 2010.
November 6, 2014 |
The two push-button house phones outside the main entrance of the vacant Trump Plaza hotel in Atlantic City remain. A sign outlining access rules concludes with "Trespassers will be prosecuted. " They may as well also take down the "Valet Only" sign. Nobody's allowed in the driveway. There's a big fight next door at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, Bernard Hopkins against Sergey Kovalev for the light-heavyweight title. There will be a strong crowd. It just won't be quite like the old days, certainly not next door.
October 29, 2014 |
SIGHTINGS of Usher have been flying in fast and furious while he's in Philly rehearsing for his UR Experience Tour, which hits the Wells Fargo Center Nov. 11. While I've let you know where the R&B superstar has been dining, my favorite tip has nothing to do with his culinary choices (such as Parc and Good Stuff Eatery). Outside his rehearsals at Temple's Liacouras Center, Usher opted to get buff(er) at NoLibs' Joe Hand Boxing Gym (543-547 N. 3rd St.), training with Danny Davis , who has worked with the likes of Bernard Hopkins . Turns out, Usher is no wilting flower.
October 22, 2014 |
CHICAGO - Before the puck dropped on the regular season, new Flyers general manager Ron Hextall held a meeting with his team. His message, among others, was simple: "Penalties are killing us," Zac Rinaldo recalled. Hextall pointed out the statistics. The Flyers have finished either last or second-to-last in fewest minor penalties in six of the nine seasons since the game changed after the 2004-05 lockout. He even held a meeting with Rinaldo during the offseason to drive home his point.
October 21, 2014 |
HELL HATH no "Fury" like a "Gone Girl" scorned. Or something like that. War won the box-office battle this weekend as David Ayer's tank drama topped David Fincher's psychodrama. "Gone Girl" had been tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and Co. blasted the film to second place. "Fury" captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates yesterday. "Gone Girl" followed with $17.8 million. Both films are rated R. "The fall movie season is all about making the transition from PG-13 world of summer to the R-rated, edgier world of the fall and awards season," said Paul Dergarabedian , senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.
October 14, 2014 |
AMY DUNNE is still missing and moviegoers are eager to find out what happened to her. "Gone Girl" stayed atop the box office for a second week with $26.8 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates yesterday. "Dracula Untold" bit into second place with $23.4 million. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," debuted in third with $19.1 million, so it was a not so terrible, horrible weekend. "Annabelle" claimed fourth place in its second week of release with $16.3 million, followed by the Robert Downey Jr. - Robert Duvall drama "The Judge," which debuted with $13.3 million.
October 1, 2014 |
Philadelphia high school students equipped with welding torches and steel plates are wielding their tools to build drop boxes for weapons and other contraband. Students at A. Philip Randolph Career and Technical High School in the Allegheny West neighborhood have made waist-high, blue-and-white amnesty boxes as collection receptacles to be placed outside selected city schools. Police said students are unlikely to discard firearms in the boxes, as that doesn't typically happen in other amnesty programs.
October 1, 2014 |
BRIAN AGOSTO and Rafael Sanchez, two students enrolled in the welding program at the A. Philip Randolph Career & Technical High School in Nicetown, worked on a project this summer that they knew had a greater purpose. The two, along with 25 other Randolph welders, built four 36-by-28-inch metal containers known as "amnesty boxes. " The containers will be placed in four district high schools for the safe collection of contraband such as drugs or firearms. The containers were featured during an event at the school, on Henry Avenue near Roberts, along with the school's partnership with locally based Airgas Inc. The district's head of safety, Chief Inspector Carl Holmes, Airgas chief executive officer Michael Molinini and other district and Airgas officials attended.