March 28, 2014 |
SOMETIMES I think I'd feel better about our nation's future if people worshipped David Ayer the way they do Wes Anderson. Ayer, if you didn't know, is a guy who grew up in South Central L.A., served in the Navy, then started writing and/or directing movies - hard-boiled stuff about mean streets and meaner cops ("Harsh Times," "Dark Blue," "Training Day," "Street Kings," "End of Watch. ") You wouldn't mistake his work for strict realism, but there's an urgency to it - "Harsh Times" remains one of the most interesting, unpredictable movies yet made about a contemporary war vet. Last fall's "End of Watch" was a vivid, patrolman's-eye view of the war on drugs.
March 3, 2014 |
WILLINGBORO A dozen years after local officials persuaded Merck Medco to build the nation's largest pharmaceutical mail-order facility in the township and create more than 1,000 jobs, the company's latest owners are relocating to a neighboring community, a few miles away, where sweeter tax breaks and other incentives beckon. Florence Township officials wooed Express Scripts, the new owner, with an offer that will slash the property taxes on the site by more than 75 percent - from $417,000 to $108,000 in its first year.
August 1, 2013 |
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - David E. Kelley has a fast car. His name is Robin Williams. From the moment that CBS announced that Williams would star in "The Crazy Ones," a new comedy from Kelley ("The Practice," "Ally McBeal") in which the free-associating comedian and actor plays a wild and, well, crazy advertising genius, I've wondered how that might work. Because Kelley's a writer used to hearing his words delivered pretty much the way he wrote them. And that isn't necessarily what people expect from a Robin Williams comedy.
June 9, 2013 |
BEIJING - The Philadelphia Orchestra was divided but not conquered. The orchestra's 40th anniversary tour of China was moving on to Macau on Friday - its last and glitziest tour stop - when a handful of musicians and orchestra executives on the early-bird flight from Beijing were stuck on the tarmac due to heavy rain. The takeoff was delayed six hours. Nonetheless -. "Our musicians would like to offer you a musical surprise," announced orchestra president Allison Vulgamore to the marooned, disgruntled passengers.
May 3, 2013 |
When it comes to online video, men aren't the boss anymore. Rapidly growing in numbers and influence, female viewers are reshaping original programming at major platforms such as AOL, Hulu, and YouTube. WIGS, YouTube's popular women's channel, marks its first anniversary with the premiere Friday of the second season of Lauren , a powerful drama about rape in the military starring Troian Bellisario, Jennifer Beals, Bradley Whitford, and Raymond Cruz. Founded by filmmakers Jon Avnet ( Fried Green Tomatoes )
March 18, 2013 |
One of this spring's most anticipated TV shows isn't actually on TV. It's on Netflix. Hemlock Grove , a creepy werewolf thriller directed by horror maestro Eli Roth, will premiere April 19 on the subscription video-streaming site. It's part of a new wave of sophisticated, polished online scripted shows that - finally - have propelled online video into the big leagues. With backing from major studios and creative spark from Hollywood A-listers including Tom Hanks and Jerry Seinfeld, online platforms including Yahoo!
January 6, 2013 |
On the first day of 1863, as the Civil War raged on, President Lincoln proclaimed all the slaves in the rebellious Confederate states to be "forever free. " With his Emancipation Proclamation, whose 150th anniversary the United States celebrates this week, Lincoln made the end of slavery a Civil War goal. As PBS's ambitious documentary miniseries The Abolitionists shows, Lincoln's words came at the end of a decadeslong antislavery campaign led by a tiny group of activists whose fervor alienated them from the mainstream of American life.
December 7, 2012 |
LAYING FOR Keeps" is a perfectly pleasant romantic comedy completely lacking in novelty. This will leave many viewers unengaged, but may not be a disadvantage for its core audience. Genre fans, like children, love to hear their favorite stories again and again. They will find a comforting familiarity in this well-worn tale of a sensitive, immature hunk tamed by the love of - but I dare not reveal the ending. Gerard Butler stars as a former soccer star, now broke, divorced, and trying to learn how to co-parent his young son. When we meet him, he is shooting an audition tape for a job as a TV sportscaster.
November 21, 2012 |
When bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc. declared it would end its bakery business and potentially incinerate thousands of jobs with a liquidation move, I had the sense I had seen this movie already. Just two days before Friday's announcement, which set off Twinkie nostalgia while torching a nationwide strike by Hostess' unionized bakers, I had written a small blurb about another company that had faced precarious talks in Chapter 11 bankruptcy with its unions: The final three Super Fresh stores in the South Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia are being shut down by corporate parent Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., according to the union representing 155 clerks who will lose their jobs.
October 19, 2012
U.S. SEN. Bob Casey Jr. is not the first to confront this question: With political allies like Ed Rendell , who needs enemies? Casey is just the latest. Pennsylvania's former governor grumbled this week to the Scranton Times-Tribune that Casey is running a "non-campaign" for a second term against Tom Smith , a former coal-company owner from Armstrong County who has dumped $16.5 million of his own money into the race. To be fair, Rendell has a point. Casey has been running variations of one campaign ad on television, casting Smith as a radical tea-party guy who wants to privatize Social Security and convert Medicare into a voucher program.