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OUR BLOGGERS!

March 30, 2017

Are you lost in the gym?

by Connor Coman
March 30, 2017

Looking for Female Superhero Movies?

by Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Cream NoHo
March 28, 2017

Cream

by Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
March 21, 2017

The Artist Dilemma – Perfections vs Excellence

by Fran Montano
March 17, 2017

Affordable Countertops; Who knew.

by Christopher Porikos
March 15, 2017

818 Arts

by Raleigh Barrett
March 09, 2017

Firehouse Subs on Lankershim

by Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
March 08, 2017

Giving to Charities - Choosing a Cause With Care

by Lillian Appleby
March 05, 2017

Four Things You Can Do to Have an Edge in Dating Now

by Cristina Morara
March 03, 2017

Get Out; Post-Oscar Reflections

by Mike Peros
February 28, 2017

Horoscopes - March 2017

by Maya White
February 26, 2017

Saving Animals - One Bite at a Time

by Nancy Bianconi
February 23, 2017

Low Budget Film - High Expectations

by Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
February 22, 2017

Acting Advice - Assess yourself

by Fran Montano
Monday, 22 October 2012 15:41

Movie Review >> Argo; Seven Psychopaths; Taken 2

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Ben Affleck’s Argo is an intelligent, reasonably compelling depiction of an intelligence operation that remained pretty secret for years.

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The first time I saw and heard Dean Regan perform was at The North Hollywood Church of Religious Science. Dean is a phenomenal singer with a vocal style and range that is reminiscent of the giants in Old School Broadway.

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Riam Johnson’s riveting sci-fi/noir Looper combines time travel and future urban angst as it tells an intricately plotted tale weaving strands of organized crime, loyalty, telekinesis, mother love, and mortality.

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 22:13

Album Review >> Mumford & Sons Babel Review Gets 5/10

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Mumford & Sons are back with their new album ‘Babel’ and credit should be given where it is due. The record, in terms of sound quality, composition and lyrics are fantastic. Once again the band strip down music to the bare essentials and make it work for them. Songs like "Reminder" and "The Boxer" are perfect poetic stories that, whilst being short, have a huge amount of depth to them.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012 06:57

Movie Review >> Arbitrage & The Words

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Truth or Consequences in Arbitrage and the Words

Monday, 17 September 2012 09:06

Music Review >> Ryan's Rock Show at "BONNERHAUS!"

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"I didn't know sh*t like this happened in the Valley" - Common comment from audience members.

Monday, 10 September 2012 09:04

Music Review >> Matchbox Twenty - "North"

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Comebacks aren’t for everyone...

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John Hillcoat’s Lawless purports to tell the story of the resilient Bondurant brothers who sold moonshine in Virginia during the 1930s  and allegedly achieved some degree of legendary stature…at least in the eyes of Matt Bondurant, the relative who wrote the book (The Wettest County in the World) on which the film (written by Nick Cave) is based.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 09:47

LA Music Interview >> OTYP

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Today, we are interviewing Jim Manzo, member of  the OTYP Band.  Jim goes back quite a few years with the NoHo Arts District.  He graduated from the Los Angeles Recording Workshop, which moved to Hollywood and is now where the Art Institute of California Hollywood is standing.  Jim was a regular at local recording and rehearsal studios such as AMP, Leeds and The Alley.   Now, the  OTYP Band is releasing their new album.

Monday, 27 August 2012 10:36

Movie Review >> The Expendables 2 and Hit & Run

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The Expendables 2 is an action-packed, testosterone-filled sequel to the 2010 Sylvester Stallone-driven (writer, director, star, set caterer—I may be mistaken on that last part) commando adventure. This time out Stallone shares the writing credit with Richard Wenk and relinquishes the directorial reins to Simon West. The result is the rare sequel that is actually an improvement on the original. Whereas the first film was laden with expository, brooding scenes meant to establish the team’s camaraderie and air of fatalism, the sequel is more focused and tighter paced yet with a looser feel, courtesy of some macho, quasi-mocking banter. In addition, the action scenes are consistently exciting and exhilarating without being excessive and exhausting. The plot is pretty negligible…the bad guys led by Jean-Claude Van Damme want to steal a lot of plutonium, enslaving a small town-and killing an expendable Expendable (Liam Hemsworth with death written all over his face—you’ll know the minute he mentions the girl waiting at home) in the process. This galvanizes these altruistic mercenaries (they only kill for a good cause) led by Stallone and Jason Statham into doing what they do best: locking and loading to wipe out these evildoers and possibly the save the world as we know it. Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are back, but this time they ‘re not just picking up a check—these action icons are picking up automatic weapons and blowing away the bad guys; in addition, the script abounds with references to their past triumphs that enables everyone to be in on the joke-and enjoy themselves while doing it. At the screening I attended, the biggest audience response was reserved for Chuck Norris, playing a renowned lone wolf of a mercenary. Perhaps the big screen wants him back…

Dax Shepard wrote and co-directed (with David Palmer) Hit & Run, a hit or miss chase comedy that is noteworthy for not wasting the lovely and talented Kristen Bell, as well as giving Bradley Cooper a chance to shine as a vengeful bad guy with jail issues. Shepard is Charlie Bronson, so named after he entered the witness protection program. His idyllic, anonymous existence in New Mexico (with live-in girlfriend Kristin Bell and skittish agent/caretaker Tom Arnold) is jeopardized when he decides to drive her to L.A.---thus incurring her ex-boyfriend’s wrath, which leads the ex to contact Shepard’s nemesis, a dread-locked Bradley Cooper. Much fleeing, chasing and stunt driving ensue. The car chase scenes themselves are probably the lesser part of the movie; they’re not bad but you’ve seen them before-and better. However, the writing gives the performers plenty of opportunities to show off their wares; Tom Arnold, while initially a little too cartoonish as the would-be protective agent, nevertheless gets to display flashes of likability and warmth; Bradley Cooper is like an actor reborn as the animal-loving, gun-toting robber with more than a few axes to grind. Kristen Bell finally has a lead role that gives her a chance to show many of her formidable skills, including her comic timing, intelligence and ability to project strength and vulnerability (previous films of hers generally focused on one aspect, much to the films’ detriment). Shepard (Bell’s real-life fiancé) and Bell convince and have genuine chemistry as a couple, so that their exchanges between the chases aren’t just filler, but portray the insecurities and suspicions that can befall even a seemingly happy couple. Hit & Run is a hit—whenever the tires aren’t screeching.

Our Innocence Lost- Like A Complete Unknown

Rock and Metal are one of the few genres that are still thriving with talent. Each new band seems more underrated than the last and Our Innocence Lost release of their brand new album ‘Like A Complete Unknown’, is no exception to that rule.

Friday, 17 August 2012 07:48

Movie Review >> The Campaign and Hope Springs

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Jay Roach’s funny but uneven political spoof The Campaign pits morally lax incumbent North Carolina congressman Will Ferrell against insecure, uptight tour guide Zach Galifianakis.  Before you can say “no contest,” Galifianakis, with some seriously shady financial backing, not to mention a shark of a campaign manager (Dylan McDermott), manages to give the previously unopposed Ferrell a run for his money, as the two candidates descend to the kind of overzealous one-upmanship (including a novel use of a sex video) that gives politics a bad name.   While the movie makes some passing references to the current economic situation and the power of the media, much of what occurs is a little too silly, with a corresponding lack of insight, to make this a genuine political satire.  Despite this lack of artistic ambition, The Campaign is pretty funny, with a few hilarious sequences including a dinner in which Galifianakis learns more than he wanted about family secrets, and a scene involving the overly eager candidates and a baby.  There is solid support form Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow as Galifianakis’ rapacious backers, Jason Sudeikis as Ferrell’s campaign manager, and Dylan McDermott as Galifianakis’ campaign manager from Hell-almost literally.  As for the candidates: I've rarely found Galifianakis funny in the past, yet here he manages to be likable and appealing, even when he engages in some down and dirty dealings.  Ferrell’s incumbent also manages to retain his likability, even when indulging in the must outrageous, childish behavior.  Amidst all the shenanigans, there is a quiet scene where Ferrell and Galifianakis share some bourbon and reflections. It is not a particularly funny scene (nor was it intended to be), but it manages to convey some of the characters’ decency, so that what happens at the end of the contest is not totally unexpected or unfounded.

The sunny trailers for David Frankel’s Hope Springs might lead you to believe this may be a cheerful comedy about post mid-life crisis, but it’s much more serious than that.  Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones’ lengthy marriage has fallen into a malaise of hasty morning goodbyes, unrelieved small talk (if any) at dinner, separate bedrooms, and nothing in the way of intimacy.  While Jones is seemingly content with how things are, Streep has decided (over Jones’ objections) that they will travel to a small town in Maine (called-you got it-Hope Springs) for some intensive couples therapy with compassionate counselor Steve Carell. There is some humor here- in the befuddled, cantankerous Jones’ reactions to small town life, as well as Streep’s sojourn in a tavern (under the watchful eye of bartender Elizabeth Shue—somebody get that actress more work). However, the wrenching power of the movie is in the portrayals of Streep and Jones.  They are entirely convincing as a couple whose relationship is more like that of roommates than of soulmates. One can see Streep’s insecurity as she wonders if she is still attractive to Jones, as well as Jones’ fear that he is no longer the man he was-or that Streep deserves.  The most intense scenes are in the therapist’s office as they lay bare, under Carell’s gentle prodding, all the disappointments and regrets-as well as the happy memories that caused them to find each other in the first place.  The movie shows is how easy it is for two people to fall into marital monotony, to forego meaningful communication in favor of impersonal distance.  Where the movie occasionally falls down is in not trusting the actors’ abiltities and instead adding some music to needlessly underscore the emotional moments.  In spite of this shortcoming, the exquisite artistry of Streep and Jones should manage to move the hardened heart.

Friday, 10 August 2012 07:32

Music >> BETO CUEVAS - A Music Star's "TRANSFORMACION"

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BETO CUEVAS is in demand! He is currrently in Puerto Rico inundated with press interviews for his new album,"TRANSFORMACIOM" Warner Music. "TRANSFORMACION" is fast on track to becoming a hit. "QUIERO CREER," (I Believe), the first single released that has climbed the music charts and is now a number one music video. After ten successful albums as the frontman for Latin rock group La Ley, selling millions and receiving a Grammy, Latin Grammys and MTV Awards, BETO CUEVAS emerged as a solo artist in 2008. "Miedo Esceni," his first post La Ley launch spawned notable hits such as "Vuelvo" and "Hablame."

The Watch has received its share of scathing reviews and, if truth be told—they’re well-deserved. This so-called comedy about a neighborhood watch that encounters aliens (I hope I’m spoiling everything) fails on practically every conceivable level.


Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is, to my mind, an improvement over its overly busy, overrated predecessor. However, while this is intended to be mainly a movie review, it is difficult to ignore the striking parallels to real life, some intended—some regretfully unintended…

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 09:35

Movie Review >> Oliver Stone's "Savages"

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Savages - a Vicious Califor-noir from Oliver Stone

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There is so much to savor in Oliver Stone’s Savages, especially if you’re a fan of clever dialogue, pulp fiction, film noir, Salma Hayek-and John Travolta.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 09:29

Music Reviews >> Fusebox Funk

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I've said it before and I will say it again, experimatation is something that makes music beautiful, the ability to try anything in music and see what fits and sounds good is always a positive.

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To Rome With Love, Woody Allen’s latest European love letter, finds the prolific writer/director presenting an assortment of vignettes set in a beautifully photographed Rome (courtesy of cinematographer Darius Khondji). It is also fairly enjoyable, as long as you’re not expecting another Midnight in Paris.

Sunday, 24 June 2012 07:59

Music Review >> Mercury Underground

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When bands release a three track EP they really need to get their point across of who they are and what they are about fast due to the time constraints.

Just when you thought you were done with the ‘80s, they’re back, courtesy of two new music-laden, star-driven vehicles, Rock of Ages and the latest Adam Sandler chuckle-fest, That’s My Boy. There is a good deal of amusement/curiosity value to be found in both as they resuscitate (some might say regurgitate) ‘80s pop culture in the service of musical mashups and predictable plotlines.

 

Snow White and the Huntsman, or 2012’s second revisionist look at Snow White, is a brooding, beautifully filmed work that attempts to graft a blend of Gladiator and Joan of Arc onto the tale of the fairest maiden of them all—with somewhat mixed results.

Friday, 01 June 2012 09:11

Music Review >> The Temper Trap

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When Aussie Indie rockers The Temper Trap first released their debut album ‘Conditions’ back in 2009 it rocketed them to fame in the indie scene.

the dictator

If you’ve seen the coming attractions for The Dictator, the latest teaming of Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles, you’ve seen many of the best bits, and considering the film runs a scant 83 minutes—heck, you’ve seen almost the whole movie. Cohen’s General Aladeen is the avaricious, lascivious, supremely childish ruler of the fictional country of Wadiya.

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Well....I love Aardman films....(creators of Wallace & Grommit)...and directors Peter Lord (who also directed Chicken Run) and Jeff Newitt (key animator on Flushed Away) made a visually stunning clay-mation feature that is filled with panoramic views of old London, the Caribbean and the open sea!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 20:39

Music Review >> Moses Luster - I'm The Lion

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Moses Luster is an American musician who’s debut album ‘I'm The Lion’ is something that is unusual to say the least.

A few years ago, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 helped reinvigorate both Robert Downey Jr’s career and the comic book superhero genre. Last summer, cinemagoers and comic fans were treated to a surplus of comic book epics, ranging from the very disposable, non-Marvel-ous Green Lantern (don’t know anyone who is clamoring for that sequel) to the hugely entertaining Captain America (Thor falls somewhere in-between). This spring, Marvel fans (and I predict many others) will be able to enjoy a superhero equivalent of The Magnificent Seven with Joss Whedon’s very entertaining The Avengers, only this time it isn’t a poor, hardworking village at stake—it’s nothing less than the entire Earth (by way of New York).

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:58

Music Reviews >> Attaboy - Christian Rock

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attaboy christian band north hollywood news - noho arts district.com music reviews christian rock

Attaboy are a Christian Rock band from Indiana; I admit that I don’t listen to much Christian Rock music, but if this band and their EP ‘Unshaken ’ is anything to judge it by than it is a truly underrated genre.

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With their occasionally very funny The Three Stooges, the Farrelly brothers have rebounded somewhat from the comic abyss that was Hall Pass.

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