December 8, 2000 |
The epic role-playing game that has been the obsession of millions of sun-deprived, sugar-fueled geeks (only kidding there, folks) for 25 years has been turned into a sword-and-sorcery quest film that boasts some cool special effects and a hilariously odd - and awful - performance from Jeremy Irons. Dungeons & Dragons is a shaky conflation of J.R.R. Tolkien and H.P. Lovecraft, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Robin Hood, with a trio of youthful heroes - two thieves and a magician's assistant (no, not the kind who volunteers to be sawed in half)
December 8, 2000 |
"Dungeons & Dragons" was made to capitalize on the popularity of the role-playing fantasy game that has a purported 25 million followers. I don't know if the movie will satisfy devotees, but as one of the uninitiated, I can say this: I felt like I was in a dungeon, and things sure were draggin'. Understaffed and overblown, "Dungeons & Dragons" is one of the worst movies released in a year already notorious for bad movies. It stars Jeremy Irons as Profion, a warlock/politician (aren't they all?
January 27, 1988 |
If you like tenor Placido Domingo, and opera in general, sit yourself by your stereo radio and your television at 9 tonight for a live simulcast of Puccini's "Turandot" from New York City's Metropolitan Opera House. Channel 12 handles the video, with WFLN (FM/95.7) providing the stereo sound (unless your TV has that feature). Domingo sings the role of Calaf, with James Levine conducting. Other performers: Eva Marton (Turandot); Leona Mitchell (Liu); Paul Plishka (Timur). Jonathan Kozol is an author/activist whose earlier works focused on inner- city education and illiteracy.
November 16, 2007 |
Maybe the best line in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" came when Diane Keaton told Allen she wanted to look into taking some college classes. "Just don't take any course where you have to read 'Beowulf,' " Allen warns her. Screenwriter Roger Avary knows the feeling, having, like most American high-school students, battled "Beowulf" in English lit class. Being a Dungeons & Dragons geek, Avary figured he'd love any tale involving swords and monsters, but his 17-year-old brain couldn't wrap itself around the Old English verse.
September 9, 1989
HE CAN'T BE REFERRING TO US... Don't ask author John Gregory Dunne to the next taping of The McLaughlin Group. Here's a quote from his latest work of nonfiction, Harp (Simon and Schuster). "Frankfurt: Mid-afternoon. Fitfully awake. The hotel TV carried CNN via satellite . . . In the studio, Robert Novak huffed, Patrick Buchanan puffed. Fred Barnes here, Morton Kondracke there, Michael Kinsley holding up the progressive end. I decided, not for the first time, that I detested politics.
October 7, 1993 |
In response to Elmer Smith's upfront column, "KKK Ties To Snapple? it's Loony Idea": I share Mr. Smith's concern about the current popularity of "natural" products and society's tendency to ignore serious issues in favor of engaging in paranoid debate over issues that are in reality quite ridiculous. It troubles me that the furor over whether the presence of a ship and the letter "k" on the label mean that the Klan is behind the production of Snapple is given precendence over issues such as how the Food & Drug Administration defines what can be labeled as a "natural" product and why these products all seem to be more expensive than their "unnatural" counterparts, although the "natural" ones likely contain fewer ingredients since they are free of chemical additives.
July 17, 2012 |
A few feminist websites recently argued that nice guys pose more danger to women than overtly abusive jerks. Need proof? Look no further than Dennis Kelly's After the End, now in a harrowing, emotionally vicious staging at GDP Productions. Here, nerdy Mark (Jeremy Gable) rescues his pretty, popular coworker Louise (Cuba Hatheway) from a terrorist suitcase nuke attack. He takes her to the Cold War era bomb shelter built behind his apartment building, where the pair wait weeks for relief workers, playing Dungeons & Dragons while subsisting on Nutrigrain bars and spam.
December 20, 1994 |
This game is so big that it has kept some sports-card stores from dying during the baseball strike. It's so big that some Generation-X aficionados are willing to spend as much as $1,500 a box for cards that originally sold for $87. It's even so big that it has spawned its own urban legend: "The factory burned down," was a clerk's earnest explanation for why the Electronics Boutique at the Cherry Hill Mall was out of cards a few weeks ago....
December 9, 2005 |
Starting tonight, more than 2,000 fans of science fiction will converge on the city at Philcon - the Philadelphia Science Fiction Convention. No matter what kind of sci-fi you're into, Philcon has something for you, a longtime fan said. "It's a convention for people who love sci-fi as a genre," said Hugh Casey, 41, a financial representative and lifelong science-fiction fan. "It doesn't matter if you are into anime, adventure, fantasy, or any of the subgenres in between. " Philcon is hosted by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, a group for the area's sci-fi minds to meet since 1935.
September 23, 2005 |
My daughter is a Boy Scout. Weird? Not at all. The Boy Scouts have co-ed "adventure troops" targeting the 16-to-21 age group. Adventure troops choose their focus. Most do traditional outdoor camping activities. One here in South Jersey has a more esoteric focus. My daughter's troop, called Epic, does LARPing. If you have a "nerdy" teenager, you may know what to LARP means. Do you hear about things like Rifts and Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)? When your blossoming offspring talks of gnomes and vampires, do you imagine the worst?