The true cost of your iPhone is hard to stomach

Mar 2, 2016

The true cost of your iPhone is hard to stomach

‘Information should be free” was one of the mantras of the IT revolution, promising a new era of civic openness. But though the economy of “Big Tech” is largely based on its ability to harvest and monetize your personal information, corporations display no openness ...

'The Wrecking Crew' played the American soundtrack to the 1960s

Feb 17, 2016

'The Wrecking Crew' played the American soundtrack to the 1960s

The 2002 film “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” is a documentary about The Funk Brothers, an anonymous band of studio session musicians that defined the sound of classic 1960s soul music. Now we have “The Wrecking Crew,” a documentary about the West Coast ...

'Unbroken' opens in Tokyo with few complaints

| Feb 17, 2016

'Unbroken' opens in Tokyo with few complaints

In a small victory for freedom of speech, independent distributor Bitters End opened Angelina Jolie’s controversial World War II prison camp movie “Unbroken” at Shibuya’s Theatre Image Forum, and in the end there were no fascist sound trucks or other harassment — just a ...

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Feb 3, 2016

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Flashback to 1983: Director Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” set during World War II in a Japanese-run POW camp in Java, is opening in theaters across Japan. It starred David Bowie with two huge local stars: comedian Beat Takeshi and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. ...

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

Jan 27, 2016

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

‘Black Mass” may sound like a classic horror film featuring Vincent Price or Barbara Steele, but it’s actually a modern crime film about a gangster nicknamed “Whitey,” played by Johnny Depp. Confusing? Yes, even more so when you examine its promo photos of a ...

| Jan 15, 2016

The man who sold the world on music

The Starman has departed for his home planet. I can’t imagine a world without David Bowie, but the strange thing is, he never was in my world, at least physically. So why do I feel the loss as dearly as I would my closest ...