FROM Ben Mezrich
“Seven Wonders” Author Ben Mezrich’s hometown paper, The Boston Globe, wasn’t kind to his latest adventure novel, Seven Wonders, calling it out as sexist, cliched and lacking in charm. But Mezrich can live with bad reviews--he’s always written stories with Hollywood in mind, and he’s had a lot of success getting his books made into movies. His book Bringing Down the House, about MIT students trained to count cards, became the movie 21, starring Kevin Spacey. In 2009 Mezrich published The Accidental Billionaires, which director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin turned into The Social Network. Mezrich’s ostensibly nonfiction books have been met with allegations that he took far too many liberties with the truth. But he won’t need to worry about that kind of controversy with his new novel, Seven Wonders. The book about an adventuring archaeologist is pure fiction--Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code. And this time, Mezrich also doesn’t have to wonder if his book will be optioned for a movie because a deal was in place from the start. In fact, Mezrich got the idea for the story from his friend, producer and director Brett Ratner, who set up a possible movie at Fox before Mezrich even started writing.
Lead poisoning hits LA County It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.
Scathing audit finds UC President's office hid $175 million A state audit says the Office of the President at the University of California has kept secret more than $175 million. The report says salaries are a lot a higher in that office than in comparable offices. The audit comes just months after the UC system won approval for its first tuition hike in six years.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein faces an angry town hall crowd Senator Dianne Feinstein faced an angry crowd at her town hall in Los Angeles Thursday. The anger came from her would-be supporters -- people on the left. Also, a new bill wants to make it illegal for local police to cooperate with the feds who are targeting marijuana growers.
In 'Free Fire,' Ben Wheatley wants to "meet the audience halfway" British filmmaker Ben Wheatley has built up a cult following with his hyper-violent, darkly funny movies. His newest film Free Fire is an action comedy starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and a whole lot of guns. The movie has the broadest commercial appeal of any of his work to date, but it's still a Ben Wheatley film, which means, spoiler alert...a lot of people die.