December 14, 2012
IN FIVE AREA theaters, "The Hobbit," will be exhibited in a new format designed to improve the movie's 3-D presentation. It's called 48 frames per second, which refers to the speed at which individual frames are projected on the screen. It's twice the traditional rate, and it gives the movie hyper-clarity compared with 24 frames per second, the standard since the dawn of the industry and art form. Tech-savvy directors like Peter Jackson like the faster speed because it gives them the ability to do more things when working in 3-D and using computer-generated images.
December 12, 2012
* THE HOUR. 9 p.m. Wednesday, BBC America. ACTORS IN period pieces often crow (or complain) about the costumes or the hairstyles, but one of the biggest adjustments Dominic West ("The Wire") had to make to play a 1950s TV newsman in BBC America's "The Hour" was to his attitude. Early on, "I made the mistake of adopting some of the interview style and attitude of more modern interviewers . . . TV interviews have developed enormously over the last 40 years and I hadn't quite taken that onboard," West said in an interview this past summer.
December 6, 2012 |
Leo Tolstoy was a fashionista. They don't teach you that in Comparative Lit class. But just leaf through his 1870s masterpiece, Anna Karenina , and you'll come across enough detail on rosettes and lace sleeves that you'd think he was a judge on Project Runway. And then there's velvet. Don't get him started on velvet. Flip to Chapter 22 for a memorable ballroom scene in which he dresses Anna in "a black, low-cut, velvet gown, showing her full throat and shoulders, that looked as though carved in old ivory, and her rounded arms, with tiny, slender wrists.
December 5, 2012 |
Quite a cast of characters will help Lisa Nutter, the mayor's wife, officially light the city's holiday tree early Wednesday evening at JFK Plaza, better known as Love Park. Santa. At least a half-dozen musical acts. A wizard and an elf king from the world of the new Hobbit film. Assorted marching/dancing/leaping units, including the Sixers Dream Team and Flight Squad. Plus dignitaries and several pageant winners. The 38-foot tree, with its 5,800 LED lights, stands in the middle of a sprawling holiday scene, with the 60-plus shops of the Christmas Village lining most of the plaza's walkways.
November 15, 2012
SEEING A movie star like you've never seen him before - it's an old pitch in movies but decidedly true of Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook. " Writer-director David O. Russell said his top priority was to give heartthrob Cooper a significant makeover in the movie, and a fresh start with audiences. "I knew that I wanted to reintroduce him," said Russell, who cast the Abington native as Pat Solatano, an Upper Darby man just sprung from an institution where he received treatment in lieu of a criminal sentence stemming from an assault.
November 8, 2012 |
Barack Obama has always said it was never about him. It was about us. And in the end, it was. Forget all of the polarization and backbiting. The voter suppression and racist dog whistles. The obsession with polls and the divisive parsing of our nation. On Tuesday, it was our turn. And we used our single most powerful weapon. The vote. Four years ago, I could hardly type the words to express my euphoria when the nation resoundingly placed its future in the hands of its first African American president.
November 1, 2012
By Justin Cronin Ballantine Books. 568 pp. $28 Reviewed by Carole E. Barrowman In Justin Cronin's bestseller The Passage , plagues of vampires swarmed the earth, forming the "Twelve Viral Tribes" who laid "waste to every living thing," except for pockets of survivors, and Amy, "a child to stand against them. " In a review last year of The Passage I suggested the novel was a creation story - a poetic postapocalyptic tale, part supernatural thriller, and part philosophical meditation on the nature of humanity.
October 22, 2012 |
The difficulty of Andy Reid's challenge can best be understood this way. After some bye-week tinkering, he needs an Eagles team that is .500 (11-11) since the start of the 2011 season to go 8-2 or, at worst, 7-3 over the next 10 games. Is it possible? It is, for a couple of reasons. First, the schedule provides a paved road. After next week's game against undefeated Atlanta, the Eagles face a bunch of eminently beatable opponents. Half their games are against the thoroughly mediocre NFC East.
October 22, 2012 |
'In Miami, everybody hates everybody. " That's what Dionisio Cruz, mayor of Miami, tells Chief of Police Cyrus Booker in Tom Wolfe's novel Back to Blood (Little, Brown, $30). Wolfe, who appears Thursday at the Free Library of Philadelphia, says: "It's not inevitable, that kind of friction, but it's a city of immigrants, like no other, and you're going to have tensions. " Back to Blood is another novel in which the celebrated reporter, reluctant godfather of New Journalism, and novelist (starting with The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1989)
October 8, 2012 |
Religion - not intellectual theological debate, but old-time, fundamentalist, burn-in-hell, get-down-on-your-knees evangelical preachifying - is a tricky topic for a play. Especially a play written by a fundamentalist Christian from Idaho that won an Obie in New York. You keep asking yourself, is this for real? Does this play mean it? How seriously are we supposed to take these characters? How much does patronizing pity - for people who work in big-box stores for minimum wage, live in their cars, and have little in their lives to sustain them - color this show?