Stories for July 10, 2009
Well it seems that studios have tired (i.e. are discovering the diminishing returns) of badly remaking Asian horror films and are now turning to Japanese anime for sources of inspiration. We recently had the horrendous live action "Dragonball Z" and Keanu Reeves is set for a "Cowboy Bebop" remake while Leonardo DiCaprio wants to produce a live action version of the seminal anime "Akira." In the meantime we have to suffer through "Blood: The Last Vampire" (opening July 10 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas). See the trailers for both the anime and the live action film.
California has resumed funding of beach water monitoring in San Diego County this year despite the state budget crisis. But it's uncertain whether the program will get state money next summer.
A report from San Diego’s Auditor says the Center City Development Corporation has been successful in redeveloping downtown. However, KPBS reporter Katie Orr says the report finds there’s room for improvement.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a life-like robot that can be taught to make facial expressions. KPBS reporter Katie Orr says the researchers believe their creation might one day help children with autism.
Violence escalated in Baja California this week as three police officers from Tijuana and Rosarito were killed in less than 24 hours. The killers have threatened to murder five police officers a week until Tijuana's police chief resigns.
The plan to build a new downtown library has been revived. Earlier this week, the San Diego City Council approved a plan to build a new library-school combination facility. The San Diego Unified School District has agreed to provide $20 million for the project in exchange for using two floors of the building for a new charter high school.
The state budget stalemate continues, with no resolution in sight. Earlier this week, Democratic lawmakers walked away from talks aimed closing the state's $26.3 billion deficit. Now, the governor is proposing a 20 percent wage cut for state employees.
There are probably more than 100,000 reasons for going to the San Diego Comic-Con International -- one for each person who attends because that's how different and precise everyone's motive is for going to this gathering of pop culture fanatics. And yes, we are fanatics because we care passionately about our obsessions and we appreciate that Comic-Con is put on by people who feel exactly like we do. Here are some fan responses to the question of why do they attend Comic-Con. These interviews were from a couple years back but I thought it would put you in the mood for this year's upcoming convention.
A vigil is planned outside Camp Pendleton this evening. It’s to honor the memory of a Navy sailor found shot dead in a guard shack on base ten days ago. August Provost was gay, but the Navy is downplaying suggestions that the killing was a hate crime.
Okay. I understand that studios and distribution companies are motivated by the need to turn a profit, and that often prompts them to try and cash in on trends. But the new DVD re-release of Kathryn Bigelow's 1987 vampire tale "Near Dark" goes too far. In an attempt to capitalize on the frenzy stirred by the "Twilight" books and movies, Lionsgate has given the box art for "Near Dark" a pasty makeover so that Adrian Passer's reluctant bloodsucker looks like the pale shimmering Edward of "Twilight." Give me a break!
Three years ago, Sacha Baron Cohen cemented his status as one of the most inventive and incendiary comedians on the face of the planet when his outrageous Kazakistani news reporter traveled the U.S. Now Cohen is bringing yet another staple character of his Ali G days to the big screen in "Brüno" (opening July 10 throughout San Diego). And all I have to say is thank god for Sacha Baron Cohen. There is no other person in Hollywood today who's willing to push so many boundaries and look past the line of decency again and again just to give us some laughs, along with some good-natured culture shock.