Movies Till Dawn: A Deeper Shade of Black and White

The Killing” (1956, Kino Lorber) Stanley Kubrick documents the rise and fall of a crew of hardluck thieves who watch their carefully planned robbery of a race track (Bay Meadows in San Mateo) fall to pieces thanks to greed, lust, and plain bad luck. Kubrick’s arthouse photography and a script co-written by hardboiled noir fiction great Jim Thompson that fairly drips with venom and mordant musings are the key selling points of this low-budget crime drama, but it’s the cast that really delivers the doomstruck perspective: comprised of noir vets (Sterling Hayden, Elisha Cook Jr, Marie Windsor), granite-jawed types (Jay C. Flippen, Ted DeCorsia), babyfaces Coleen Gray and Vince Edwards, and assorted weirdoes (Timothy Carey, Kubrick regular Joe Turkel, wrestler Kola Kwariani, and briefly, Rodney Dangerfield), their remarkable faces and presence set the tone for the rogues’ galleries that populated a half-century of noir that followed (see “Reservoir Dogs,” “The Usual Suspects,” etc.). Kino’s Blu-ray offers a new 4K Ultra HD remaster of the film with Dolby Vision and bundles it with a new commentary track by noir historian Alan K. Rode.

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Don’t Miss LA Times’ Food Bowl this Weekend!

The Team from Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken at LA Times Food Bowl. Photo by Elise Thompson.

After seriously missing the L.A. Times Food Bowl for the last few years, we are so excited that they are bringing back Night Market this weekend!  Presented by City National Bank, the L.A. Times Food Bowl’s Night Market is back at the Paramount Pictures Studios backlot. Enjoy unlimited pours, cocktails, and tastings from more than 40 restaurants,  plus, exciting cooking demos. cooking demonstrations.

“Saturday Night Flavor” brings you global cuisines tomorrow night, Sept. 24th., from 7-10 p.m. If there’s one thing we love here at the LA Beat, it’s dumplings, and Times Food Columnist Jenn Harris has curated a Dumpling Crawl with dimsum and more from restaurants like CHD Mandu, Go Go Gyoza, Hui Tou Xiang, Lunasia Dim Sum House, and Monta Factory and more. A few other restaurants offering plates are LA Beat favorites Black Market Liquor, Park’s BBQ, Pasta Sisters · Poppy + Rose, and HomeState. Celebrity chef and author Jet Tila will present a Thai Food cooking demo., and Jenn Harris: Times Food Columnist and host of the new video series “The Bucket List: Dumplings!” Jenn Harris will explore the international world of dumplings.

L.A. is known for its brunches, and the Food Bowl brings you “Backlot Brunch” on Sunday, Sept. 25, from 2-5 p.m. Dessert god, Duff Goldman, of “Ace of Cakes,” will present a baking demonstration that is not to be missed. A bunch of our favorite restaurants and bakeries will be delighting us with their irresistible trats, including B Sweet (Hoping for some ube treats!), Gabi James, Here’s Looking at You (Please bring biscuits!), Howlin’ Ray’s  Little Fatty, Lunasia Dim Sum House, Jitlada Southern Thai (Oh, how we have missed Jazz!), and Tacos 1986.

All-inclusive tickets are $185. Whether you like wild cocktail parties or genteel Sunday brunch, the Food Bowl has something for you. We like both…see you there!

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How to Get a Free Pepperoni Pizza on September 20!

Photo courtesy of Napoli’s Pizza Kitchen.

Yes, you read that right – you can get a free pepperoni pizza on Tuesday, September 20.  Napoli’s Pizza Kitchen, located in Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys, is offering a free pepperoni pizza to walk-in guests from noon to 4 pm.

If you’re not familiar with Napoli’s Pizza Kitchen, its owner, Edgar Martirosyan, became famous during the 2014 Academy Awards when Ellen Degeneres invited him on stage to deliver his pizzas to audience members including Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, and Harrison Ford. Edgar went on to open Wood in Silver Lake with his brother, along with Napoli’s, known for artisanal pizzas made with fresh, local ingredients. 

Click here for more info about Napoli’s Pizza Kitchen.

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Celebrate Cafe Gratitude Venice’s 10-Year Anniversary on 9/18

Gracias Madre Taco Cart. Image courtesy of Cafe Gratitude/Gracias Madre.

Celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Cafe Gratitude’s Venice location when Jason Mraz hosts an afternoon party on Sunday, September 18.

Starting at noon, guests can enjoy live music, a photo booth, raffle prizes, and samples from pop-ups including Nomadica wine, June Shine hard kombucha, Groundwork coffee, and more. Get posture assistance from a StretchLab flexologist and buy tacos from sister restaurant Gracias Madre’s taco cart.

Then, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the anniversary event will transform into a DJ after party at Cafe Gratitude’s bar. A new wine and beverage program and happy hour menu will be unveiled. T he happy hour menu and the beverage program will debut at all Cafe Gratitude locations on September 20.

Taylor Grant, who Food & Wine anointed one of its Sommeliers of the Year in 2019, heads up Cafe Gratitude’s new beverage program with meticulously curated wine pairings to accompany the plant-based creations of Chef Dreux.

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Wet and Mild: Duran Duran with Nile Rodgers and Chic at the Hollywood Bowl

Guest Post and Photos By Else “Evil E” Duff

I never bought a Duran Duran record but do I remember when “Rio” came out, my friends were losing their minds. I certainly liked it but not enough to buy it. I was way into Van Halen and my heart belonged to Eddie. So when it was announced that Duran Duran was doing 3 shows at the Hollywood Bowl I was intrigued, yet not really enthusiastic. A friend since Junior High informed me she would be coming in town for the show, so when another friend asked on The Facebook if anyone was going to the show, I responded something like “I’ll go if you want to go for the cheapest seats.” She responded, “Fuck it. Girls gone mild.” Right on! Couldn’t go without my trusty concert buddy Su so I got 3 tickets in section W2.

Nile Rodgers and Chic was the opener and I was pretty excited to see them. But there was an unexpected act on the bill and that was Hurricane Kay. So grateful for rain especially with the L.A. heatwave, but everything indicated the wet remainder of Kay would be hitting at the earliest on our walk home from the Bowl. Funny thing about weather, gonna do what it wants whether you think you got it figured out or not. Late afternoon drizzle had subsided but I brought my umbrella just in case I needed it on the way home. I must have jinxed Su because she had to cancel. But I still had my dear friend Maul’r and we were ready to get moderately enthused. Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: The Saturday Morning Strange Gets Mean

Upgrade Dept: Blue Underground has provided new and/or improved editions of three previously released Blu-ray titles from their vast library of rare horror and cult films. The truly bizarre but entertaining 1975 Italian-US Western “Get Mean,” which pits Tony Anthony’s wisenheimer hero, the Stranger, against 19th-century Mongols and Vikings (yes, you read that correctly) in Spain, returns in a single-disc edition that echoes the Limited Edition two-disc release in nearly all ways save for the extra DVD. Blue Underground also has Ultra HD editions of Larry Cohen’s “God Told Me To,” with Tony Lo Bianco investigating acts of violence seemingly motivated by divine intervention (including one perpetrated by Andy Kaufman), and a 25th Anniversary edition of “Uncle Sam,” a collaboration between Cohen and BU chief William Lustig in which an amoral soldier returns to life after being killed in action and lays waste to his hometown. The Ultra HD upgrade affords improved views of the films’ more outrageous sights, like Richard Lynch’s intersex extraterrestrial messiah and Robert Forster blown up with Fourth of July fireworks. Extras are plentiful on each disc, including retrospective interviews, commentary, deleted scenes, and more.

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Free Margarita & Taco at Los Feliz’s Encanto Tonight!


Encanto celebrates its grand opening tonight, Thursday, September 8, from 8 to 10 p.m. Come dine at Encanto in Los Feliz and enjoy a complimentary welcome drink – a classic margarita – from beverage Director Taylor Barton, along with a free carne asada or braised chicken taco. 

A stone’s throw from neighborhood favorites Little Dom’s and All Time, the new Cal-Mex eatery took over the Hillhurst Avenue space that housed Mexico City for 25 years. 

Menu standouts include house-fermented roasted salsas, pork cheek and swordfish tacos, whole branzino with mole verde, and elevated cocktails made with boutique agave spirits. 

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Melody Trucks Helps Keep The Spirit Of Allman Brothers Music Alive–And is Also Charting Her Way Through Her Own New Music

Melody and Vaylor Trucks, photo by Frank Allen Sr.

Melody Trucks was born into one of the “first families” of blues and Southern Rock. Her father was Butch Trucks, one of the two drummers for the Allman Brothers Band. Her cousin is Derek Trucks, of the Tedeschi-Trucks Band. Melody, meanwhile, not only listened and played music, including that from the Allman Brothers as well as from her father’s side projects like Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band. She also found an interest in music as a career, carrying high school music classes into a serious college-based music endeavor. These days, she has several music projects going, some which will be shown at The Blue Jay Listening Room near her home in Jacksonville, Florida.

Melody Trucks took some time to talk to The Boise Beat about her own Melody Trucks Project and some of her full band projects, as well as growing up with music around her and the Allman’s one-two drummer combo.

Q: Hello, Melody and thank you for telling us about your story. For many, such as myself, we grew up with the Allman Brothers Band and many of us were not only inspired to play music because of them, but many of us in the late 60s and later were turned onto Southern Rock and blues by your father and his bands.

A: My name is Melody Trucks; and we have more than one band, so I have my solo project which is Melody Trucks, I have a band with my brother [Vaylor Trucks], which is called Brother and Sister. I also have a concert series which I do with my brother as well called the Blue Jay Sessions. Plus, I’ve started going out on the road a couple times a year with the Lee Boys, so how’s that!

Q: What was it like growing up with so much music in your life?

A: My mom and dad split when I was very young. I don’t remember my parents boing together, I think I was maybe a year and a half or two years old when they split. Music has always been a part of my life—I grew up with my mom, so I wasn’t as immersed in it as if they had stayed together. But I got to see both sides of the coin growing up, because my brother and I moved with our mom to her home town, which is this very small town in central Florida called Wauchula. We lived a very humble and low-key life in a small town. Then I’d go visit my dad, we’d ride around in limos and hang out with Charlie Daniels. Lord only knows who else was in the studio at that time! So I got to see both sides of the coin growing up, which I really feel helped me have a much rounder perspective on life in general.

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High and Dry – Joan Jett / Poison / Def Leppard / Motley Crue at SoFi, August 27, 2022

Guest Post And All Photos By Else “Evil E” Duff

High and Dry. Guess that’s the best way to recap the Joan Jett / Poison / Def Leppard / Motley Crue concert at SoFi Stadium. You can bring in a small sealed water bottle, and I did. And I got another small water bottle when getting tacos. Two small water bottles in nine and a half hours, because I didn’t want to miss anything while in the bathroom line. However, the edible I took kicked in real nicely.

I was so very lucky a generous friend gave me her concert tickets after my weekend plans were cancelled and was rather excited to see SoFi stadium. Seats 70,000 for concerts and 100,000 for sports. It is MASSIVE and like most colossal venues throughout time, it was built on the blood of the less fortunate. In this case off of student loan debt. Took my trusty concert buddy Su, because friends who protest and have worked on the front lines of women’s health together make excellent concert buddies. Plus, she rocks and had been to SoFi for BTS and had parking all figured out. SoFi definitely offers the full giant stadium concert experience and this tour was supposed to open it 2 years ago. But like many things it was postponed by COVID. An unlucky break for Vince Neil because I’m guessing that delayed payday is what required him to make the rather epic commercial for Dollar Loan Center. )

We arrived at our seats in time for Joan Jett. As we waited for her to go on, I texted my husband that I had made it and then got a notification from Amazon that a package arrived and quickly texted him that the shredder was here. Hmm… “The shredder is here,” kinda vague considering. Clarified that the paper shredder we ordered had been delivered.

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$3 Movie Tickets, Vegan Ice Cream Showdown, Halloween Movies, & Other Fun Things to Do This Labor Day Weekend

Image courtesy of Cafe Gratitude.

Labor Day Weekend is about to begin. Due to the heatwave, my weekend will be primarily oriented around ice cream, central air, and a swimming pool, but if you need to get out, here are a few suggestions for a change of scenery. Just be careful to not get overheated. 

Saturday, September 3 is National Cinema Day, and to celebrate, dozens of local movie theaters are selling $3 movie tickets! Participating cinemas include the AMCs at Westfield Century City and Westfield Topanga, along with other AMC theatres, Alamo Drafthouse, Cinemark, Regal, and more. Click here for the complete list.

Cool down with boozy ice cream spritzes, samples of vegan ice creams, and Olipops root beer floats, along with vegan bites, live music, raffle prizes, and a photo booth at the Vegan Ice Cream Showdown. Taking place at Cafe Gratitude’s Larchmont location from 2 to 4 p.m. on Labor Day, the entire event is just $20. You can buy tickets here.

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