God gives very few answers


Oh my God, where did this film go wrong? British native Peter Rodger’s documentary was advertised as a valiant attempt to define God in such a way that would pervade religious barriers and promote peace. The actual product, however, is a sloppy, cliché film by a novice director. Rodger and his two-man crew traveled to […]

A sweet spot in Little Tokyo


Chewy. That’s the best word to describe traditional Japanese mochi, a treat derived from glutinous rice. Though most Benihana-eating, less educated folk know the treat as a round rice ball filled with ice cream or as a trendy pétite topping for frozen yogurt, mochi’s origins stem from customary offerings to the gods and are a […]

Beneath the snowfall and leaves is another side of the season


Can I admit something? The warmth of California sometimes frustrates me. It is just so undeniably constant. So predictable. I know when I wake up in the morning what I will need for the day — every day. There is always sun, a slightly smoggy sky and chilly, empty nights. But most of all, there […]

Believe the hype: Sundance winner is a ‘Precious’ gem


When a small independent film achieves mainstream success through several festival wins and early critical praise, a tidal wave of backlash is almost inevitable. Usually, the innocent underdog is tossed on a pedestal so fast that Oscar purists are quick to call sabotage before the hype can smother anybody else. Slap the names Oprah Winfrey […]

New releases: This week’s DVDs in review


Up Rating: PG Length: 96 min. Now available When film critics and audiences alike believed no animated film could top the incredibly innovative and heartfelt WALL-E, Pixar Animation Studios upped the stakes — again — with Up, the colorful, slightly more mature tale of misanthropic 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner). A former balloon […]

Cluttered home pages call for November spring cleaning


When it comes to social networking, I consider myself a generous person. I am willing to click like there is no tomorrow, joining Facebook groups I don’t care about and becoming fans of things I’ve never heard of just so its owners can get one more popularity point. These are the sacrifices I make for […]

In your headphones


Dashboard Confessional Alter the Ending Vagrant/Interscope Now available Two years after the release of Dashboard Confessional’s last studio album The Shade of Poison Trees, singer/songwriter Chris Carrabba slips further into his Christian rock-tinged emo-project with Alter the Ending, 12 more tracks about promiscuous women, loneliness and the sweeping feeling of summer love. A free acoustic […]