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  • In Birdman, Michael Keaton Spoofs His Superhero Past

    Before there was a Birdman, there was a Batman — several, in fact, though the best was played by Michael Keaton in the two Tim Burton films. Since then, Christian Bale's somber strutting and muttering, as seen in Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, has — go figure — become the gold...
  • The New New Beverly and the Artist Cameron: Readers Write

    Life of Cameron Tanja M. Laden's account of the fascinating life of L.A. artist/occultist Cameron had readers turning pages last week ("Cameron's Connections to Scientology and Powerful Men Once Drew Headlines, But Now Her Art Is Getting Its Due," Oct. 10). Pan69 writes simply, "Wonderful." Rafael Calderon agrees, writing, "An enthralling account of a woman living her life, neither asking nor giving quarter." But...
  • Dear White People Braves Tough Questions of Race

    Among its many attributes, Justin Simien's exuberant debut feature, Dear White People, proves that we're not yet living in a "post-racial America": Forget for a moment that there are so many vexing problems entwining race, class and economics that we haven't been able to put a Band-Aid on, let alone...
  • Fury Is an All-Too-Typical "War Is Hell" Movie

    A gloom that only the audience can see hangs over writer-director David Ayer's brutal war drama, Fury. It's April 1945, and we know that in weeks the Nazis will surrender. The war is already over — Hitler just hasn't admitted it. American sergeant Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt) suspects as...
  • Young Ones Redeems the Sci-Fi Western

    Jake Paltrow's Young Ones is a dustbowl Western with a sci-fi twist. It looks and sounds like the past: The plains are barren, the people wear cheap cotton and the score, by Nathan Johnson — all vibrating, beautiful melancholy — could be layered over any John Ford flick. But when...
  • As Lit's Biggest Prick, Jason Schwartzman Wears Us Down

    You can’t live in New York for more than 10 days without meeting some truly dreadful people: couples who fret about having to choose between buying a summer home and having a second child, even as you’re struggling to pay your monthly rent; large groups of people getting together for...
  • Sandra Fluke and Film Critics: Readers Write

    St. Sandra of WeHo Last week, you may have enjoyed our Best of L.A. issue — if you were lucky enough to find a copy. But few scintillating arguments have broken out in response to our picks for, say, "best old-school chili dog stand" or "best composting class." Apparently, for...
  • Kill the Messenger: The Tragic, True Story of Reporter Gary Webb

    It was a mystery that reporter Gary Webb would have jumped on: a man who'd made powerful enemies allegedly committing suicide with two gunshots to the head. The tragedy is that Webb himself was the deceased. Michael Cuesta's earnest, ire-inducing Kill the Messenger is a David-and-Goliath story where truth is...

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    Best New Live-Music Venue

    Café Nela

    Despite its name, Café Nela isn't really a cafe so much as it is a beer bar for those 21 and older.

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