Interview - Andrew Rossi

Opening this week is the documentary “Page One: Inside the New York Times,” which follows a year in the life of the behemoth of print journalism as it struggles with sweeping changes in the media landscape, captured by director Andrew Rossi. In June, Rossi spoke at the 2011 Investigative Reporters and Editor Convention, also screening his film to a room of prominent journalists. The filmmaker also offered a few moments to discuss his picture and his feelings on the future of the industry. 

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Review - Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disney's Hollywood Studios


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a motion simulator attraction titled “Star Tours,” born from the imagination of George Lucas and his iconic “Star Wars” franchise. For over two decades, the entertainment experience remained unchanged at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, leaving fans to wonder if the semi-dated attraction would ever see a significant overhaul. After all, being an unabashed tinkerer, why would Lucas leave one of the more vividly imagined forays into his ATM-like empire unmolested? Would “Star Tours” remain the same forever? I mean, honestly, how many times can a person do the trench run before a case of the sleeps sets in?

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Interview - Bethany Hamilton


“Soul Surfer” (opening in theaters on April 8th) recounts the amazing true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton (played in the film by AnnaSophia Robb), who survived a horrific shark attack, losing her left arm at the age of 13 but not her will to continue life on idyllic Hawaiian waves. It’s a story of perseverance, faith, and family, capturing a teenage girl as she faces an extraordinary situation with a shockingly sound mind. Recently, I had the chance to speak with Hamilton (now 21 years old) about her experience with the film and her life beyond the waves.

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The Terrace Theater in Robbinsdale, Minnesota (Take Two)


I received an unexpectedly warm response to my original Terrace Theater story. My inbox was filled with support and stories, people who wanted to share their grief over the loss of this movie palace. It was a gush of nostalgia that encouraged me to head back to the site of the crumbling theater, yet I completely forgot to post the pictures from the trip. This is a more unedited look at the state of the building, with a few peeks inside. As always, click the picture for a larger view.

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Star Wars Celebration V - Day One


Star Wars Celebration is the big show for anyone with a major hankerin’ for sparkly Lucasian action, assuming control of a vast space and filling it with all matters of Jedi and Sith-related material. It’s an astounding presentation of hot-blooded fandom, bringing together a swirl of admirers from all over the planet (perhaps a few alien nations as well) to discuss the infinite “Star Wars” universe, hobnob with aging media stars, and buy gobs of merchandise from excitable, finger-rubbing merchants. Because it wouldn’t truly be a “Star Wars” experience without an opportunity to give George Lucas your every last cent.

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Always Late to the Party - E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears (Story Treatment)

ET 1

Midway through the summer of 1982, there was no one absorbing more power in Hollywood than Steven Spielberg. With his sci-fi masterpiece, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” Spielberg not only had a smash hit flexing unreal box office muscle, but a motion picture that won over every audience it played for, burrowing straight into total cultural consciousness. The success of the picture guaranteed many changes for Spielberg that summer, but two matters were most certain: he would attain world cinematic supremacy and the studio would demand a sequel.

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A Visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Part One)


When The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was officially announced in 2007, it sent shockwaves of giddiness through theme park enthusiast circles, J.K. Rowling admirers, and fantasy movie fans. Here was a remarkable opportunity to live the Harry Potter life, not just sit passively while pages turned or images swung across the big screen. The barriers were finally being kicked down, as Universal Orlando proclaimed to the world they were going to build their very own Hogwarts right in the middle of Central Florida.

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Once is Always Enough - Returning to Tombstone


There are two types of people in this world: fans of “Wyatt Earp” and fans of “Tombstone.” I consider myself a great admirer of Lawrence Kasdan’s ambitious 1994 stab at dissecting the enduring mustachioed legend known as Wyatt Earp; however, I understand, after all these years, that my appreciation for the picture places me firmly in the minority. Most side with 1993’s “Tombstone,” and, heavens, they are a vocal majority. Not since the great Pepsi/Coke, York/Sargent, and Sega/Nintendo preference battles of yesteryear has there been such a combustible divide of entertainment opinion.

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