April 1, 2014 |
GIBBSBORO Fifth grader Raymond Ennis penned a sticky scenario for his classmates: Would you keep your promise to play with your little brother or jump at the chance to hang out with a friend? The response was swift and decisive from the youngsters in his reading group during a lesson on character at Gibbsboro Elementary School. "If you make a promise, you should keep it," said Raymond, 11, drawing nods of agreement from a small circle of students. At Gibbsboro Elementary, character-building is part of the curriculum for all ages and subjects.
February 1, 2014 |
In "Possessions," one of five very fine entries in The Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2014: Animated , the ghost spirit of a broken old umbrella springs to life, causing a night of splendid havoc for a weary Japanese traveler. A gorgeously realized homage to the concept of Tsukumogami - that after 100 years, tools and instruments attain souls and self-awareness - Shuhei Morita's 'toon works as a metaphor for the process of animation itself: Whether the artist is using pencil and paper, or spacewarp software, the inanimate is transformed into something alive and vital.
January 23, 2014 |
Anthony Alexander was an immigrant success story. A native of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Alexander came to the United States in 1995 at age 44. He built his own auto-repair business in West Philadelphia, met a local woman, and had a son. His reputation as a hardworking, honest, law-abiding man was pristine - right up until he shotgunned his ex-girlfriend in front of her family. The question facing Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson is whether the 62-year-old Alexander's reputation alone is so sterling that it negates any criminal intent in the Feb. 26, 2013, killing of 37-year-old Jennifer Fitzpatrick.
January 21, 2014 |
IT SAYS MUCH when one legendary newspaperman feels as strongly about another as John Schulian does about Sandy Grady. Schulian, the 1984 recipient of the Boxing Writers Association of America's Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism, calls Grady, one of his role models, "the Red Smith of Philadelphia from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. " That description is spot-on, and is much of a compliment to Smith, the late, great New York columnist who won the Fleischer in 1975 and in 1976 became the first sports writer to win a Pulitzer Prize, as it is to Grady.
January 17, 2014 |
THE CEMETERY in Southwest Philadelphia is an abandoned, tumbledown ruin, overgrown in many places, gravestones knocked on their sides. To attempt to find a grave there, amid tens of thousands of graves, would have been impossible without the help of the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, a volunteer group working to preserve and restore the property. The email was answered within a day or so. Harry Shifren's grave is in Section K, Range 29, Lot 41. With a map, it took only a few minutes to find.
December 13, 2013 |
JEAN LUC GODARD once said that all you need for a movie is a gun and a girl. Peter Jackson hasn't the option of a gun in his second "Hobbit" extravaganza, but he gives us the Middle Earth equivalent of the Godard exacta - a girl and a dragon. Both are desperately needed. Especially the girl - Evangeline Lilly, playing a female elf named Tauriel who appears nowhere in J.R.R. Tolkein's text, but surely can be found in the studio-boardroom minutes after executives pondered the demographics of "The Hobbit.
November 20, 2013 |
THE ROM-COM ensemble "The Best Man" was a surprise hit when released in 1999, winning the week against "Fight Club" and Martin Scorsese 's "Bringing Out the Dead. " That's usually the prelude for a quick sequel, but it's taken a full 14 years for the follow-up, "Best Man Holiday," in part because writer-director Malcolm Lee didn't want to make a sequel back then. "I was a young director. This was my first movie. I didn't want to get pigeon-holed. I wanted to try different things," Lee, in town Thursday to promote the movie, told Daily News movie critic Gary Thompson . "But there's no question it made news.
November 8, 2013 |
IF YOU THINK the movie-ratings system in the U.S. is arbitrary, maybe you should go to Sweden. In the equality-minded Scandinavian country, they're introducing a new rating to highlight gender bias, or rather the absence of it. To get an "A" rating, a movie must pass the so-called Bechdel test, which means it must have at least two named female characters who talk with each other about something other than a man. Like, say, "Thelma and Louise....
October 31, 2013 |
Finding the perfect wig for your Halloween costume can be the difference between a trick or a treat. Especially this year when our celebrities du jour - many of whom do scary things all year long - are so creative when it comes to coifs. Think Nicki Minaj's ombré, white-to-pink tresses; singer Miguel's dark pompadour; and the signature Afro of Philly's own Questlove Thompson that isn't complete without a perfect power-to-the-people pick. "The wig makes the character," said Lois Arnold, owner of Lois A. Wigs on South Fourth Street.
September 27, 2013 |
* MASTERS OF SEX. 10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime. MICHAEL SHEEN'S played famous people before - David Frost in "Frost/Nixon," former British prime minister Tony Blair in three movies, including "The Queen" - but he's never portrayed anyone quite like Dr. William Masters, the groundbreaking sex researcher whose story Sheen brings to life in Showtime's "Masters of Sex. " "So much of him is buried, and he shows so little of what's really going...