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By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | October 27, 2000
In morality tales, the hero usually slides down some slippery ethical slope, suffers, and then climbs back up to the high ground after an over-dramatic epiphany. In "Lucky Numbers," though, all bets are off (pun fully intended). This darkly funny modern immorality fable with John Travolta as the altruistic, all-American-as-Boy-Scouts protagonist has a twist that preaches a tenet more along the lines of Wall Street's "Greed is good" - especially if you can get away with it. Directed by Nora Ephron (responsible for Meg Ryan vehicles "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail")
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By LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 24, 2005
Fox $27 The 40th anniversary edition of the Oscar-winning musical is now available on a new two-disc set. It includes a beautiful new transfer of the musical drama; commentary with the late director, Robert Wise, as well as with stars Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Charmian Carr (Liesl); a retrospective documentary; a delightful reminiscence with Andrews and Plummer (who has a great sense of humor); a reunion of the actors who played the Von Trapp family children; a look at the sing-along Sound of Music phenomenon; a biography on the real Von Trapp family; a restoration comparison; and a short but very amusing screen test with a young Mia Farrow, who was auditioning for Liesl.
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NEWS
By Sandy Coleman and Sandy Coleman,BOSTON GLOBE | May 12, 1996
As if they haven't done enough by showing up in soda commercials, in badly imitated hairstyles and in movies, the stars of NBC's "Friends" show up everywhere this month in magazines.There is David Schwimmer in Vogue talking about how he got from television to film. Courteney Cox is in Redbook denying the rumors that she is bulimic and as neurotic as her TV character. Lisa Kudrow shows off her style in Elle. And the actress who plays the character with the haircut everyone is copying shows up by way of a 1971 photo of actor David Cassidy (ex-"Partridge Family" member)
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH AND ANNIE LINSKEY and CHRIS KALTENBACH AND ANNIE LINSKEY,SUN STAFF | May 6, 2004
It may have been the most aptly named sitcom ever. When Friends airs its last original episode tonight at 8, a particularly warm relationship of some 10 years' standing between the show and as many as 28 million TV viewers will end -- or, at least, shift into reruns. While the show's passing is not being lamented as much as other shows that truly advanced the art of the sitcom, its absence will leave a void just the same. For if Friends was never as edgy as Seinfield, or as pioneering as I Love Lucy, or as sophosticated as The Dick Van Dyke Show, it was two things that were almost as important: Reliably funny.
NEWS
By COX NEWS SERVICE | December 31, 1995
NBC will use its hit show "Friends" to keep millions of viewers watching the network after the Super Bowl Jan. 28.In a special two-parter, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Brooke Shields and singer Chris Isaak will guest-star on TV's No. 3-rated series. And NBC is negotiating with Julia Roberts to appear in the episodes, shot this month. If she signs on, "Friends" would re-shoot.Ms. Shields plays a wacko fan who shows up at Joey's (Matt LeBlanc) place after he lands a role on "Days of Our Lives." Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow)
FEATURES
By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | February 23, 1995
Tonight's TV is as easy to recommend as it is to watch. Just tune to NBC at 8, and stay tuned for the full three hours of prime time.That'll get you two episodes of "Friends," one episode each of "Mad About You," "Seinfeld" and "E.R.," and help you avoid the CBS "Simon & Simon" reunion made-for-TV movie in its entirety.* "Mad About You" (8 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Channel 11) -- Just in case you're sampling one or more of tonight's NBC series for the first time, here's a bare-bones rundown of how the Thursday-night series relate to one another -- especially tonight.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 24, 2003
Wonderland marks a "biopic" first: Moviegoers will know less about the real-life subject going out than they did going in. Forget porno-watchers who remember John Holmes (Val Kilmer) as the monarch of blue movies in the '70s. Those who've seen Boogie Nights, with its Holmes-inspired antihero Dirk Diggler, will already have a better grasp of the porn boom's cruddy drug-fueled euphoria and death spiral than they'll get from Wonderland. The movie tells and retells, roughly two and a half times, the story of how Holmes, already over the hill in 1981, either triggered or took direct part in a quadruple killing in a drug dealer's pad on Hollywood's Wonderland Avenue.
FEATURES
By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,SUN STAFF | April 25, 1997
Ha! And you thought it was the year of the volcano movie. It's really the year of the high-school reunion movie: "Grosse Pointe Blank" and now "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion."The generation that grew up with John Hughes flicks, in which moussed suburban teens had cross-clique romances with Molly Ringwald, has returned to re-evaluate. But despite similar, kickin' '80s soundtracks, these two films have done it quite differently."Blank," which stars the same sibling Cusacks, John and Joan, who had tiny roles in "Sixteen Candles" all those years ago, shows our hero as a frustrated kid who fled his high-school romance and joined the Reagan-era military only to become a warped hit man. It's ironic and smart.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 24, 1998
Think of "In the Company of Men" from the other side of the reflecting glass, a haunting paeon to anti-careerism, a brilliant ensemble piece that shows how ensembles, especially of women, splinter and fall apart, and you get some idea of "Clockwatchers."Toni Collette plays Iris, a recent college grad who is being pressured into becoming a salesperson by her salesman father. But, instead, she signs on to be a temporary worker, and we meet her on her first day on the job at Global Credit, one of those faceless behemoths that seem to do nothing but produce paper and put it into different files and piles.
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH AND ANNIE LINSKEY and CHRIS KALTENBACH AND ANNIE LINSKEY,SUN STAFF | May 6, 2004
It may have been the most aptly named sitcom ever. When Friends airs its last original episode tonight at 8, a particularly warm relationship of some 10 years' standing between the show and as many as 28 million TV viewers will end -- or, at least, shift into reruns. While the show's passing is not being lamented as much as other shows that truly advanced the art of the sitcom, its absence will leave a void just the same. For if Friends was never as edgy as Seinfield, or as pioneering as I Love Lucy, or as sophosticated as The Dick Van Dyke Show, it was two things that were almost as important: Reliably funny.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 24, 2003
Wonderland marks a "biopic" first: Moviegoers will know less about the real-life subject going out than they did going in. Forget porno-watchers who remember John Holmes (Val Kilmer) as the monarch of blue movies in the '70s. Those who've seen Boogie Nights, with its Holmes-inspired antihero Dirk Diggler, will already have a better grasp of the porn boom's cruddy drug-fueled euphoria and death spiral than they'll get from Wonderland. The movie tells and retells, roughly two and a half times, the story of how Holmes, already over the hill in 1981, either triggered or took direct part in a quadruple killing in a drug dealer's pad on Hollywood's Wonderland Avenue.
NEWS
By Athima Chansanchai and Athima Chansanchai,Sun Staff | October 28, 2001
When Steven Spielberg calls, Hollywood answers, especially when it's for a good cause. So when the legendary movie director asked Gwyneth Paltrow, Whoopi Goldberg and nearly 20 other celebrities to re-write four classic children's stories, they said yes. The result, Once Upon a Fairy Tale (Viking, $30), is a quirky take on old favorites that is visually captivating, thanks to 21 renowned children's book illustrators -- and easy on the ears, thanks to a CD that comes with the book. Royalties from the project will go to the STARBRIGHT Foundation.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 11, 2001
LOS ANGELES - Jeff Zucker has been NBC's new entertainment president for less than a month, but he's already faced with a serious threat to one of the network's most lucrative franchises: its dominance on Thursday nights, which stretches all the way back to "The Cosby Show" in the mid-1980s. Following its post-Super-Bowl launch Jan. 28, CBS will air "Survivor: The Australian Outback" Thursday nights at 8 p.m. opposite NBC's "Friends," the second-most popular series on television, and the linchpin of NBC's Thursday night dominance.
FEATURES
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | October 27, 2000
In morality tales, the hero usually slides down some slippery ethical slope, suffers, and then climbs back up to the high ground after an over-dramatic epiphany. In "Lucky Numbers," though, all bets are off (pun fully intended). This darkly funny modern immorality fable with John Travolta as the altruistic, all-American-as-Boy-Scouts protagonist has a twist that preaches a tenet more along the lines of Wall Street's "Greed is good" - especially if you can get away with it. Directed by Nora Ephron (responsible for Meg Ryan vehicles "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail")
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 15, 2000
A dramatic weekend standoff over the fate of NBC's "Friends" ended happily for fans yesterday as stars of the hit sitcom agreed to a deal that will keep the series on the air for two more years. Each of the six stars -- Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow -- will receive about $750,000 per episode for the 48 episodes ordered by NBC. The actors had been asking $1 million per episode each and threatening not to return next fall if they didn't get it. With the network set to unveil its fall schedule to advertisers in New York today, Scott Sassa, NBC's West Coast president, said he'd had enough of the actors' threats and issued an ultimatum late Friday telling Warner Brothers, the production company that makes "Friends," to have the stars signed by noon Sunday or face cancellation.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 18, 2000
Meg Ryan is the cute-as-a-button center of "Hanging Up," a movie that, like most of Ryan's movies, ends up being more about her hair than anything else. As Eve, the surrogate mother in a wackily dysfunctional show-biz family, Ryan's emotional state is eloquently expressed by the condition of her famously tousled hair. The more crazed and confused she gets, the more adorably messy that hair becomes. You find yourself wondering, not what her character is feeling but what products she uses to get her hair to do that.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 15, 2000
A dramatic weekend standoff over the fate of NBC's "Friends" ended happily for fans yesterday as stars of the hit sitcom agreed to a deal that will keep the series on the air for two more years. Each of the six stars -- Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow -- will receive about $750,000 per episode for the 48 episodes ordered by NBC. The actors had been asking $1 million per episode each and threatening not to return next fall if they didn't get it. With the network set to unveil its fall schedule to advertisers in New York today, Scott Sassa, NBC's West Coast president, said he'd had enough of the actors' threats and issued an ultimatum late Friday telling Warner Brothers, the production company that makes "Friends," to have the stars signed by noon Sunday or face cancellation.
FEATURES
November 18, 1997
"Mad About You" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Jamie has difficulty trusting Mabel's first baby-sitter (Lili Taylor), while waitress Ursula (Lisa Kudrow) can't determine what's different about Jamie. NBC."Nova" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- "Treasures of the Sunken City" tells of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1375. Could its remains still be lying under the sea? PBS."NewsRadio" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11)
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 24, 1998
Think of "In the Company of Men" from the other side of the reflecting glass, a haunting paeon to anti-careerism, a brilliant ensemble piece that shows how ensembles, especially of women, splinter and fall apart, and you get some idea of "Clockwatchers."Toni Collette plays Iris, a recent college grad who is being pressured into becoming a salesperson by her salesman father. But, instead, she signs on to be a temporary worker, and we meet her on her first day on the job at Global Credit, one of those faceless behemoths that seem to do nothing but produce paper and put it into different files and piles.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 3, 1998
"The Opposite of Sex" is one of those scrappy little human serio-comedies for which the word "quirky" seemed to be invented. And Dedee Truitt would just hate that. Dedee, a hard-looking, tough-talking, 16-year-old runaway from Louisiana, can't stand words like "scrappy" and "quirky." They make her want to puke. She makes her world-view quite clear early in her narration of "The Opposite of Sex." She has "no heart of gold, and I'm not going to grow one, either." So there. One of the supreme accomplishments of "The Opposite of Sex" is that it bears such warmth and humor in spite of its toxic center.
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