March 28, 2013 |
Somewhere, as his former team prepares to face La Salle on Thursday in their unlikely West Regional matchup, Gary Thompson must be thankful the NCAA conducts its tournament at neutral sites. In Philadelphia basketball's long and rich history, it's doubtful any coach ever enjoyed a visit here less than the late Wichita State mentor. After his No. 2-ranked Shockers were upset by St. Joseph's in the 1964 Quaker City Tournament final, Thompson called Palestra fans "horrible," the officials "atrocious," and the whole experience "a damn farce.
January 18, 2013
OSCAR-NOMINATED "Silver Linings Playbook" star Jacki Weaver says she loved her time in Philadelphia, and why not - it sounds an awful lot like club-hopping. "I went to a lot of pubs," said Weaver, speaking on the day she won a best-supporting-actress nod for the movie, which today goes into wider release to capitalize on its awards-season success (eight Oscar nods, a Golden Globe win for Jennifer Lawrence). The goal for the pub-crawling Aussie (nominated a few years ago for that country's "Animal Kingdom")
January 11, 2013
"LINCOLN" TALLIED the most Oscar nominations Thursday, but the biggest winner may have been Philadelphia's own "Silver Lining Playbook. " The low-profile movie picked up eight Oscar nominations - fewer than the 12 for "Lincoln" - but "SLP" is the only movie to be nominated in all of the most important categories - best picture, best director (David O. Russell), best actor (Bradley Cooper), best actress (Jennifer Lawrence), best supporting actress (Jacki Weaver) and best supporting actor (Robert De Niro)
December 27, 2012
HOLLYWOOD had a bounce-back year in 2012, mostly deserved. Movie attendance was up more than 5 percent to about 1.36 billion, as the industry did a good job giving folks what they wanted and often more than they expected. And the year closes with a strong roster of movie-making talent on view - works by Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell and Judd Apatow, with Kathryn Bigelow on the way in a few weeks. The year also closes with the industry on the list of collateral suspects in the wake of recent tragedies like the one in Newtown, Conn., prompting questions about the role of popular culture.
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 2, 2012
DENZEL WASHINGTON came to the set of "Flight" every day with no idea what he was going to do. At least that's what he told his director, Robert Zemeckis, who didn't believe Washington for a minute, because every day, Washington ended up doing everything exactly right. "I love Denzel because he never really lets you know exactly what he's up to," Zemeckis said, laughing. He was in town for the city's recent film festival, which closed with his engrossing new movie, a character study about a pilot (Washington)
April 2, 2012 |
I thought the hockey comedy "Goon" (opening in theaters this weekend) was funny, but I lack certain street cred. The kind that comes with having your brawls with Erik Gudbranson and Brandon Dubinsky posted on hockeyfights.com, or your bout with Gregory Campbell honored as Hockey Fight of the Day on fighters.com, as recently as March 18. Such are the credentials of Flyer tough guy Zac Rinaldo, who this season has compiled two goals, six...
March 9, 2012
"THE DEVIL Wears Prada" made Meryl Streep a hot box office commodity, and was a nice showcase for star Anne Hathaway. But think back to when you first saw it, to the performance that really jumped out at you, to the question on everyone's lips when they left the theater - who was that British girl? Her name is Emily Blunt, and she readily acknowledges that "Prada" launched her to top-of-the-marquee stardom, the title character in "Young Victoria," romantic lead to Matt Damon in "The Adjustment Bureau," to Jason Segel in next month's rom-com "The Five-Year Engagement," to Ewan McGregor in "Salmon Fishing in Yemen," opening today.
February 24, 2012
THE ACADEMY Award favorites this year - "Hugo" and "The Artist" - are movies about the wonder of movies, the sort that do well at Oscar time. "The Artist" is a love letter to cinema's adaptive power; "Hugo" a celebration of pioneer Georges Melies, an early effects wizard and audience-wowing showman. But here's a question: If Melies were alive today, what movie would he be watching? "Hugo" or that other backward-looking piece of nostalgia, "The Artist"? I think Melies would be scratching his head, wondering why the latter is not even tinted.
February 10, 2012
'TIS NEARLY Valentine's Day, fellas, when you're expected to sit down with your gal to see "The Vow," or something like it. Something very dangerous to your relationship, your self-esteem. Starring someone like Channing Tatum - bigger, better-looking, unafraid of commitment, supplied by screenwriters with an endless supply of cute things to say and do. In "The Vow" Tatum asks his girlfriend to move in with him by spelling out the question in the blueberries he places next to the pancakes he's just made for her. See what I mean?