Five Classic Films to Watch This Halloween

The Birds marquee at The Alex Theatre in Glendale. Photo by Anthony Nittle

“The Birds” featured in 2012 on The Alex Theatre marquee in Glendale, Calif.
Photo by Anthony Nittle

Last Halloween I talked my husband into watching “Carrie,” and he still hasn’t forgiven me. Watching a blood-drenched teen use her telekinetic powers to exact revenge on the classmates who bullied her wasn’t Anthony’s idea of a good film.

“But it’s a classic,” I whined when he complained about the movie. For his tastes, the 1976 horror film wasn’t classic enough. While he can view gritty crime dramas without as much as flinching, contemporary horror flicks just aren’t his thing.

With films about misfit teens with paranormal powers and knife-wielding psychos in masks, the 1970s ushered in horror films as we know them today. But during the three decades that preceded the disco era, audiences had a very different idea of what constituted a scary movie. Although a glut of B-movies debuted in the mid-20th century, the films that generated the most buzz then were equal parts suspenseful and psychological. These thrillers managed to leave viewers on edge with little to no gore. So if you’re like Anthony and want some cinematic suspense on Halloween without a bunch of blood and guts, check out this list of classics that debuted during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. First up “Gaslight.”

Why Raven-Symone Should Own Being African American & Gay

Labels Allison McDonald/

Allison McDonald/

Oprah knew this would happen. When the chat queen recently sat down with Raven-Symone, she predicted the ex-Cosby kid would set the Internet ablaze for quipping, “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American; I’m an American.”
Reportedly in a longtime relationship with model AzMarie Livingston, Raven only added fuel to the fire by remarking, “I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay.’ I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’”

In a single interview, the “That’s So Raven” star managed to alienate herself from not just one but two marginalized groups. As Winfrey anticipated, the public wasted no time taking the actress to task for attempting to shirk labels with which multitudes of Americans identify. Continue reading

Your Favorite Books From Childhood May Be Back in Print

DebutanteHill/Lizzie Skurnick Books

DebutanteHill/Lizzie Skurnick Books

Lois Duncan. Paula Danziger. Richard Peck.

If all of these names ring a bell, you’re likely over 30-years-old and spent your tween years gobbling up one young-adult novel after another, living vicariously through characters navigating puppy love, puberty and out-of-touch parents. While today’s YA fiction has taken a different turn—series about vampires, werewolves and aliens are all the rage—the book industry has caught on to the fact that Gen Xers and Yers want to revisit the books of their youth. The popularity of blogs about bygone series such as The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High has proven that.

Now a new imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books, is reissuing YA classics from the most beloved authors in the genre. The imprint will kick off its launch with Lois Duncan’s 1958 novel Debutante Hill about a teen from the right side of the tracks who gets the cold shoulder when she opts not to be a debutante. Is anyone else reminded of the “Gilmore Girls” episode when Rory makes her debut? But I digress. In addition to Duncan’s work, Lizzie Skurnick Books will give fans of classic YA the opportunity to read the works of Ernest Gaines, Lila Perl and Ellen Conford, to name a few. Continue reading

Way Back Wednesday Roundup: Prince Covers Shania, New Backstreet Boys Album, “Daria” Trailer

ImagePrince Does Shania

I was so excited about this week’s installment of Way Back Wednesday because on Tuesday news broke that Dan Chamberlain had unearthed an old recording of Prince covering Shania Twain’s ’90s classic “You’re Still the One.”  Being Prince and all, the artist naturally changed the spelling of the song to “Ur Still the 1”—a reflection of the text message speak he’s eerily been fond of since before text messaging even existed.

While the Internet remains abuzz about this Prince cover featuring Marva King, it appears the recording has been pulled from the World Wide Web. I’ve visited website after website offering the track up only to get an error message when I click the “play” Continue reading

Review of Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s “Legends of the Summer” Tour

Jay-Z And Justin Timberlake - "Legends Of The Summer" Tour - Pasadena, CA

Jay-Z And Justin Timberlake – “Legends Of The Summer” Tour – Pasadena, CA
Photo Courtesy of WireImage

Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake are so obscenely famous that it’s entirely plausible that people would shell out their hard-earned cash to see the rapper and pop star read from the phone book. But when the duo dropped by the Pasadena Rose Bowl on Sunday for the “Legends of the Summer” tour they’re co-headlining, they certainly didn’t phone in their performances. Instead, both artists put on a high-octane show that had an estimated 60,000 spectators dancing, head bobbing and swaying back and forth to their mix of club jams, hip-hop anthems and ballads.

The pair kicked off the concert with “Holy Grail,” a track featuring Justin Timberlake from Jay’s new chart-topping album Magna Carta Holy Grail. They then launched into a mash up of their hits—kicking off with Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U” and Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body.” Concertgoers with a preference for either the rapper or the pop Continue reading