Quality films fare best this summer

Hollywood is in the midst of its stormiest summer in years. Box-office ticket sales since the first weekend in May are down 8 percent from a year earlier, according to data firm ComScore, prompting the stocks of major cinema chains to drop.

Ken Burns sees Vietnam War as a virus, documentary as vaccination

Filmmaker Ken Burns views the Vietnam War as a virus that infected Americans with an array of chronic illnesses — alienation, a lack of civil discourse, mistrust of government and each other. And he hopes his new documentary can be part of a cure.

TLC’s ‘crazy, sexy, cool’ comeback is just the beginning

Having provided the blueprint for girl groups throughout the ’90s and the early 2000s, TLC’s brand of slinky, hip-hop-infused R&B-pop can be traced through a current generation of R&B talents, including Tinashe, Sevyn Streeter, Kehlani and Ella Mai.


Still in a league of her own

It’s been 25 years since Geena Davis starred in “A League of Their Own,” a film that broke ground not only for its strong, mostly female cast but because it was a major film directed by a woman, Penny Marshall.

Can big-screen comedy survive the superhero era?

Days before the opening of the Will Ferrell-Amy Poehler comedy “The House,” producer Adam McKay could see the writing on the wall. The box-office forecast for the film wasn’t looking good.

'SNL,' 'Westworld' lead Emmy Award nominations with 22 nods

“Saturday Night Live” and the sci-fi drama “Westworld” are at the top of the Emmy nominations with 22 bids each.

Steve Zahn went ape over latest role

With “War for the Planet of the Apes,” Steve Zahn has landed the biggest part in the biggest film of his career. There’s only caveat: He doesn’t actually appear on screen because he’s playing a chimpanzee.

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  • Charlie Puth: ‘No more love ballads’

    “No more love ballads,” Charlie Puth declares. “That was people nudging me in a direction that I didn’t want to go in.”

  • Q&A

    Alfred Molina’s Robert Aldrich is a director desperate for success in ‘Feud’

    Alfred Molina has been a jack-of-all-stages, creating memorable characters and tackling multiple genres on the big and small screens as well as in the theater.

  • Kyle Mooney isn’t trying to be himself

    “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kyle Mooney admits that the idea of standing at a mic and telling jokes about himself makes him uncomfortable.

  • Call Rico Nasty a ‘cartoon rapper’ at your own risk

    The maestro Leonard Cohen used to describe his ballads as little things designed to help “get you through the dishes.” Rico Nasty, a 20-year-old rapper raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, approaches her craft with the same sense of utility.

  • Q&A

    Trey Parker on giving voice to ‘Despicable Me 3’ villain, mulling the end of ‘South Park’ and ignoring Trump

    To the easily offended, Trey Parker has long been a kind of comedic super-villain. For decades, Parker and his longtime collaborator Matt Stone have been blowing up taboos left and right on their Comedy Central show “South Park,” in films like “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” and “Team America: World Police,” and in their Broadway smash “The Book of Mormon.”

  • Commentary

    Schlocky Hollywood blockbusters shouldn't count on Chinese audiences to bail them out

    It certainly looked like a bomb. “Transformers: The Last Knight,” which cost Paramount Pictures over $350 million to make and market, earned a lame $69 million during its first five days in U.S. theaters in mid-June. Paramount executives could overlook that performance because in China, where the “Transformers” series has enjoyed a decade of wild popularity, the film earned over $123 million during the same period. But the time when Hollywood filmmakers could count on Chinese viewers to rescue them from disaster might be rapidly coming to an end.

  • Young director of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ doing his best not to freak out

    It’s been a wild ride for director Jon Watts. Tasked with bringing everyone’s favorite web-slinger to the big screen in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Watts has entered the swirling $11.7 billion-grossing maelstrom of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  • Ansel Elgort’s career shifting into high gear

    After puttering around the track for several years in teen vehicles like “The Fault in Our Stars” and the Divergent series, Ansel Elgort’s film career is about to jump into overdrive. As the wheelman in the car chase crime spectacular “Baby Driver,” he shows the winsome charm of old but reveals the unexpected ability to deal with high-speed crashes, rampant violence and wide-ranging genres of essential pop music.

  • Winning weekend: ‘Despicable Me 3’ lifts the Minions to rare cartoon-franchise milestone

    In the short term, sure: It’s well and good for Universal and Illumination Entertainment that “Despicable Me 3” just won the weekend in North American theaters. Yet what the solid debut of the fourth film in the Minion universe really illuminates is the rare larger commercial milestone being hit here.

  • 'Spider-Man' is back in Marvel’s cinematic web

    Sony Pictures Entertainment was running out of options for its most valuable film franchise, Spider-Man. After 15 years and five movies of web-slinging, the studio was struggling to give the character a much-needed reset.

  • 'Baby Driver' started for director Edgar Wright with a few notes

    Edgar Wright tells an audience that has shown up for an early screening of his latest film, “Baby Driver,” that he’s had the idea for the movie spinning around in his head for more than two decades. The spark of inspiration that has burned all these years came one day when a 21-year-old Wright was cruising around listening to “Bell Bottoms” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

  • Giving voice to songwriters

    Ross Golan has written hit songs for Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and dozens of other stars. But his most important contribution to pop songwriting today might be a podcast.

  • Camp Lejeune to host music festival on Independence Day

    Lifehouse will headline the festival on the North Carolina base and there will also be performances by Brett Young, Chord Overstreet, Muddy Magnolias, Temecula Road and DJ SpinDoc.

  • Hollywood dystopia or a lens into future?

    Our doomsday stories and how they scroll and flash before us have changed since the parchment days of the Bible. But we remain fascinated by the specter of our demise, whether the end is wrought by deities, our own folly or imposed by outside forces like monsters, asteroids and aliens that have haunted us since Orson Welles’ 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. Few of our dystopias, however, are as frightening as the planet gone asunder, polluted and destroyed by humanity’s amorality, recklessness and greed. Film and literature — to say nothing of our private insecurities —resound with a world that freezes, boils, chokes, cracks with earthquakes, dwindles with resources and succumbs to pestilence and disease.

  • Jamie Foxx game for anything

    It’s not a good time for Jamie Foxx. It’s a GREAT time. A big reason the Oscar- and Grammy-winning performer is so happy is that he’s starring in “Baby Driver,” the latest feature film from director-writer Edgar Wright. His role in the car chase/romance/heist movie is as the psychotic Bats, a thief who is as violently crazy as he is deadly philosophical.

  • ‘Star Trek’ fans’ anger at remake’s diversity proves they don’t understand ‘Star Trek’

    The trailer for CBS’s “Star Trek: Discovery,” the latest entry in the “Star Trek” universe, feature two women of color — Michelle Yeoh as the starship captain and Sonequa Martin-Green as her first officer — as they engage the Klingon people.

  • A new hope for Han Solo film?

    It’s official: Oscar-winning director Ron Howard is taking over the reins of Lucasfilm’s Han Solo “Star Wars” spinoff. Whether that’s a win for fans or the mark of a troubling turn to the dark side for the 40-year-old franchise remains to be seen.

  • Lizzo finding rap success in her own way

    Lizzo may be making some inroads into the mainstream, but she’s doing it by owning and often accentuating her differences. She’s that rare rapper-singer who can also lay down a flute solo. Her music blends everything from indie-rock to gospel, and accentuates her body-positive and feminist viewpoints with a sense of sassiness and sexiness that makes it not just empowering but fun.

  • Roxane Gay’s about being overweight took her to some painful places

    Roxane Gay begins her new book — the hardest she’s ever had to write — by describing what it isn’t. “The story of my body is not a story of triumph,” Gay writes in the opening pages. “Mine is not a success story.”

  • Ethan Hawke’s career has been a long arc of questions and changes

    The sun breaks across rooftops in the early days of a Brooklyn spring. The sidewalks are quiet, and Ethan Hawke is inside editing a movie about a shot-to-death singer most people have never heard of. The screen fills with a misfit’s raucous delight at banging on drums and mocking Richard Nixon. Hawke laughs. Then he leans forward, scratches his graying goatee and turns serious.

  • Don’t even try to pigeonhole actress Rachel Weisz

    With her wide-ranging flair for serious drama, absurd comedy, nail-biting crime stories, legal thrillers and romantic roles of all categories, Rachel Weisz might be the most unclassifiable marquee actress in cinema today. She appears in more types of movies than is mathematically possible.

  • Brendan Fraser still has loyal fans — and they’re not happy about ‘The Mummy’ reboot

    The new “Mummy” reboot is getting pilloried by critics — and that’s delightful news for one group of movie fans.

  • Music

    Big passions from small-town roots

    Jade Jackson can recall every detail of the room in which she played her first gig — the size of the place, what it smelled like, the decor hanging on the walls. But of course she can: The venue, a cozy coffee shop in this tiny Central Coast city, sits just across the street from her parents’ restaurant, where the gifted young country-rock singer has waited tables since her family settled here the summer before she began seventh grade.

  • Marvel movies are commercial bonanzas, but DC has a bigger and better idea

    Marvel and Disney have created a sort of perpetual motion machine, churning out intellectually spare but critically and commercially successful films based on beloved properties. But DC has done them one better, creating a morally serious cinematic universe devoted to thinking about an interesting question: How would humanity react to the discovery that gods walk amongst us?

  • Taylor Swift’s latest move is petty, savvy and guaranteed to annoy Katy Perry

    We’re not saying that Taylor Swift just released all her music on streaming services at midnight June 9 just because her nemesis, Katy Perry, dropped her new album at midnight June 9. However ... let’s take a look at this intriguing sequence of events.

  • Q&A

    Director Schults shows versatility with ‘It Comes At Night’

    It’s all fun and games until they haul out the gas masks.

  • Matthaus embraces its founder’s inner nerd

    “The challenge I present myself with is to get out of my own way,” says Benjamin Montalbano, founder and frontman of Matthaus. “At the end of the day, that’s my MO and my reason for doing this project: to present songs that are digestible but also satisfy my own inner nerdiness.”

  • Alicia Silverstone jumps back into the Hollywood scene as passionate as ever

    “A-leeeee-shaaaa!” The voice is unmistakable. It’s the same one that has announced the giveaway of dozens of free cars. The one that can make anyone - “John Tra-vol-tahhhh!” “Tom Cuh-ru-ooze!” “Celine Dee-onnnn!” - sound as if they’re about to enter the gladiator’s arena.

  • TV

    ‘Kevin Can Wait’ drops Erinn Hayes for Kevin James' former costar, Leah Remini

    Don’t keep up with the inner workings of Kevin James’ latest sitcom? It might be time to pay attention, because something odd just happened behind the scenes.

  • Q&A

    The newest dystopian setting in one of gaming’s top franchises: Rural America

    Ubisoft announced May 26 that its upcoming video game, "Far Cry 5," will set the series in the United States for the first time. The story pits a player’s band of Heartland resistance fighters against a charismatic doomsday cult leader who kidnaps townspeople all while proclaiming a love of freedom, faith and firearms (not necessarily in that order).

  • Q&A

    Cult-comedy actor-director Chandrasekhar tells all in his stand-up and new memoir

    At his core, Jay Chandrasekhar, 49, is a storyteller. The actor/writer/director/comedian has been telling stories all his life — often raunchy, hilarious ones with his collaborators in Broken Lizard, the comedy troupe that formed at Colgate University in 1990 and went on to make the cult films “Super Troopers” and “Beerfest” in the 2000s.

  • Dreamcar has no doubt about the supergroup’s tunes

    On a recent spring evening, Tony Kanal and his bandmates prepared to take the stage at the Roxy in Los Angeles. It’d been 21 years since the Southern California-based bassist last performed at the famed Sunset Strip venue, and it was under decidedly different circumstances. At the time, Kanal’s band, No Doubt, was arguably one of the hottest live acts in the world, thanks in large part to the success of its multi-platinum breakout album, 1995’s “Tragic Kingdom.” This time, however, with a brand-new band, he and three other musicians were hoping for little more than a chance to prove their worth.

  • Original ‘Baywatch’ TV star David Hasselhoff rides the wave of renewed interest

    David Hasselhoff wasn’t actively stalking Zac Efron on the way to the beachside port-a-potty. But now that they were both there he figured, well, why not make the most of it?

  • Hollywood’s summer has flopped so far.

    Here comes 'Wonder Woman' to the rescue

    Hollywood just suffered its worst Memorial Day weekend in 18 years, an eye-popping omen for what’s shaping up to be a bleak summer box office.

  • 'Wonder Woman' may flip the superhero script

    Diana, princess of the Amazons, better known as Wonder Woman, has spent 75 years saving the world in DC comic books and TV shows, and has fought alongside Batman and Superman with her sword and Lasso of Truth. Still, her male counterparts have hogged the big-screen glory.

  • Movies

    The director who got ‘Everything’

    Hollywood loves a Cinderella story, and Stella Meghie has a real one. In 2009, Meghie quit her job as a publicist for fashion and beauty brands to go back to school and follow her dreams of being a writer-director. In 2011, she completed her screenwriting degree at London’s University of Westminster; the years that followed have been a film student’s dream.

  • Not just a funny guy: Danny McBride is full of surprises

    Danny McBride has a special flair for playing obnoxious loudmouths — the kind of outwardly cocky yet inwardly tragic jerks that he’s brought indelibly to life in films like “The Foot Fist Way,” “Pineapple Express,” “This Is the End” and the HBO series “Eastbound & Down” and “Vice Principals.”

  • Worst TV shows made into movies

    There was a time when Hollywood executives were convinced that television would end the movie industry. They were certain no one would want to pay for entertainment when there was free TV to watch.

  • Saldana and Del Toro help open new Disney ‘Guardians’ ride

    Stepping inside Disney’s latest theme park attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT!, is like being thrust into one of blockbuster films’ pulsating, action-packed trailers.

  • Lewis Del Mar is riding wave of experimental pop success

    Max Harwood and Danny Miller have been friends since they attended the same grade school in Washington, D.C. In high school, the two started a garage-rock/punk band.

  • After Chris Cornell’s death: ‘Only Eddie Vedder is left. Let that sink in.’

    Eddie Vedder stands alone now. Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s death May 17 left rock fans reflecting on the grunge era, and many came to a sorrowful realization: Vedder, the frontman of Pearl Jam, is one of the movement’s only icons who is still alive.

  • TV

    Will young viewers care about a ‘Dynasty’ reboot? CW hopes so

    Add another TV reboot to the long list of shows back from the dead: “Dynasty” will debut on the CW this fall.

  • Summer movie preview 2017

    Pratt, Depp, Gadot and Gru battle for box office supremacy

    It's the summer of Chris Pratt. Again.

  • 'King Arthur' is summer's first big box-office flop

    Warner Bros.' "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" failed to pull an Excalibur-like miracle to top "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," becoming the summer season's first big flop.

  • ‘Guardians’ shows strength comes in all shapes

    Zoe Saldana, who reprises her role as Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” says it’s great that there are more strong roles for women in film.

  • The man who panned 'Sgt. Pepper'

    That day in the summer of 1967, Richard Goldstein walked into the New York Times offices in midtown Manhattan wearing a purple cape. He was 22, a hippie and a freelancer. And he was about to deliver a scathing review of the most important album of the year, perhaps the most important album in rock history.

  • On the road with Billy Joel: The Piano Man talks Trump, LA — and new music?

    Billy Joel wanted to be clear: He wasn’t starting a tour.

  • ‘Voice From the Stone’ called out to Emilia Clarke

    In “Voice From the Stone,” Emilia Clarke had a dream come true. The star of the HBO fantasy adventure series “Game of Thrones” had been excited about the project ever since she read the script.

  • An epic film from India assails global box office: ‘Baahubali 2’ is flexing its muscles in US too

    If you’ve been to the movies recently, you might have glimpsed it — an unfamiliar name alongside the latest from Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, Disney’s Belle and her Beast.

  • 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' debuts as second-biggest opening of the year

    After three weeks of “Furious” box office results, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” from Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Studios, took over this weekend.

  • Newcomer Fionn Whitehead storms ashore in 'Dunkirk'

    A year and a half ago, Fionn Whitehead was an unknown aspiring actor working in a coffee shop in the Waterloo district of London. On his off hours, he’d go in for every audition he could, hoping to catch a break that would free him, he says, from “washing dishes and taking orders from angry businessmen.”

  • Heists, history and heroes: 16 summer movies you'll want to see

    Hollywood, we have a problem. Somehow the summer blockbuster season has arrived without a 007 sequel, a Shrek threequel or a spinoff of the Hangover franchise. What's up?

  • Michael McDonald: White-haired icon of blue-eyed soul

    When Michael McDonald was a teenager, he played as a member of one of the countless pick-up bands that famously backed the late Chuck Berry on the road.

  • Netflix adaptation of ‘Dear White People’ mixes personal and political for best of both

    In the appealing new Netflix comedy “Dear White People,” Justin Simien expands his 2014 movie about black life at a mostly white Ivy League college into a 10-part series. That this review is written by a white person would matter to some of the characters within the context of the series, but some of those characters would also wonder whether it should. It’s an issues-based Socratic comedy, of sorts, in which someone is nearly always bantering, debating or arguing; but it’s a romantic comedy as well, and a college comedy in a long tradition of them.

  • Epic reunion for a power duo

    Ritchie and Law are back in action with 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

    To say that Jude Law is director Guy Ritchie’s muse might be an overstatement, but the pair have worked together on three feature films (plus a Dior Homme ad campaign) in just the last eight years.

  • Sharlto Copley just lets it rip

    In the Martin Scorsese-produced shoot-’em-up “Free Fire,” South African actor Sharlto Copley plays Vern, a narcissistic gunrunner in a polyester suit who’s prone to a certain behavioral grandiloquence.

  • From ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ to ‘Game of Thrones,’ TV goes by the books

    When Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” was published in 1985, no one knew from Hulu. The streaming service is now presenting the first three episodes of a 10-episode first season based on Atwood’s book. And so much of that sentence once would have seemed as outrageous as her dystopian story of a post-U.S. theocracy in which women have been stripped of their civil rights, with some sentenced to reproductive slavery.

  • Shonda Rhimes tells all — about how to be a screenwriter

    Shonda Rhimes, the TV mastermind whose hits include “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” keeps a lid on plot twists. But she’s giving aspiring screenwriters a behind-the-scenes look at how to succeed in her craft.

  • Virtual reality, apps add interactivity to music videos

    More musicians are using new technology, including 360-degree cameras, virtual reality musical experiences and vertical videos, to reach the smartphone generation of music fans who are discovering new music on their phones and tablets.

  • Charlie Hunnam searches for meaning in his life and his work

    Most actors who dine in Hollywood restaurants don’t talk to beret-clad strangers. And they’re especially not likely to be taking in disquisitions from one of those strangers on wine. Yet there is Charlie Hunnam — yes, gritty-as-dirt Jax from the FX biker series “Sons of Anarchy” — eagerly receiving wisdom from an older man in colorful headgear.

  • Instant reactions to Kendrick Lamar’s startling new album

    After weeks of feverish anticipation — and just days ahead of his headlining April 16 performance at the Coachella festival — Kendrick Lamar released his new album, “Damn,” on April 13.

  • Movies

    Potent mix of family, inclusion fueled ‘Fate of the Furious’ to historic No. 1 opening

    “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth installment in Universal’s “Fast & Furious” series, sped to more than $100 million domestically and $532.5 million internationally — notching the biggest global opening of all time — thanks to its muscular star power, fast cars, furious action and the kind of over-the-top spectacle usually reserved for summer blockbuster season.

  • Review

    More size, more stars: How expansion is affecting Coachella

    “Don’t be scared — I’ve done this before,” Lady Gaga told the massive crowd gathered April 15 for her Saturday night headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. And, sure, this was hardly the Super Bowl halftime veteran’s first experience before a live audience numbering in the tens of thousands.

  • In ‘Henrietta Lacks,’ Oprah Winfrey reveals one woman’s remarkable legacy

    Oprah Winfrey says she lives without feeling rage, which is a nice way to go through your days but potentially limiting when you’re playing the pivotal character in a film about an emotionally scarred woman who is all but consumed by it.

  • No ‘tell-all,’ but Prince’s ex details their life in memoir

    Love, grief, loss and legacy are just a few of the reasons Mayte Garcia is stepping back into the purple light with a new memoir covering her 11 years with the late music icon Prince.

  • Anne Hathaway wanted to star in something weird. Here's what she picked

    As I struggle for a diplomatic way to bring up that time when the internet was mean to her, Anne Hathaway graciously intervenes.

  • Octavia Spencer ‘was not going to be deterred’

    Octavia Spencer gets around. She co-starred in “Hidden Figures,” earning an Oscar nomination in the process. Last month she played God in the faith-based drama “The Shack,” then hosted “Saturday Night Live.” This fall she’ll star in Guillermo del Toro’s mysterious Cold War fantasy “The Weight of Water.” And soon afterward, she and John Hawkes will co-star as brother and sister in the dark, intense thriller “Small Town Crime,” which she produced, just as she starred in and produced Ryan Coogler’s must-see 2013 feature debut, “Fruitvale Station.” And that’s only 4 percent of her 120 acting credits in the past three decades.

  • Political talk helping ‘The View’ come back

    The unquenchable thirst for chatter about President Donald Trump has changed the dynamics of a fierce daytime television competition much as it has in late-night TV.

  • For ‘Colossal’ director, a fascination with creature features

    Nacho Vigalondo grew up watching kaiju eiga — cheesy Asian monster movies. Now the 40-year-old Spanish filmmaker, whose work includes several shorts and low-budget horror and sci-fi films, has made a creature feature himself. His new movie, “Colossal,” represents a giant leap, elevating Vigalondo’s profile as a filmmaker and raising intriguing questions about human behavior, through the vehicle of genre cinema.

  • Lauren Alaina finally has the No. 1 song on country radio

    Over the weekend, country singer and former “American Idol” runner-up Lauren Alaina posted a Facebook Live video of herself, sobbing.

  • Take over for Beyonce at desert festival? No problem. Lady Gaga’s choreographer doesn’t miss a beat

    Richy Jackson was on a plane to L.A. from Houston when he got the big news. Well, the next big news. It was only March, and 2017 was already among the most demanding years of the visual director and choreographer’s career.

  • TV

    ‘Powerless’ ponders mortal life amid all the mayhem

    Equipped with ergonomic chairs, fluorescent lights and dotted with Mac monitors, the room could pass for just about any modern-day, millennial-baiting workplace. It feels familiar, unremarkable even — that is, until the clouds of cartoon-y smoke start wafting past the windows.

  • The next level: Elizabeth Mestnik, a coach of actors

    The woman sitting next to the clock will lead you to the dark, scary place, the joyous epiphany. Her words are swift, her gaze fixed. A gleam, like a knife, waits in her smile. Elizabeth Mestnik has been teaching actors — strivers, posers and naturals — for decades. The unfortunate one standing beneath the globed-paper lights of her stage is about to get schooled.

  • Matthew Perry on Ted Kennedy: ‘By far the most challenging role I’ve ever played’

    Matthew Perry doesn’t bear much of a physical resemblance to Ted Kennedy, but at least he had nailed the late senator’s distinctive way of speaking. Or so he thought.

  • At home with Father John Misty: ‘I’m basically a meme at this point’

    “You want some coffee?” Josh Tillman asked on a recent afternoon at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, and as soon as he got to work in the cramped, overheated kitchen, it was easy to see why.

  • Commentary

    4 ways ‘Ghost in the Shell’ could have been genuinely interesting

    Most of the discussion before the release last weekend of Rupert Sanders’ live-action remake of “Ghost in the Shell” concerned the casting of Scarlett Johansson, who is white, to play Major, a character who was Japanese in the original manga and anime franchise. The optics of that decision fed into a long tradition of white actors playing Asian roles with results that range from cringe-worthy minstrelsy to performances that raise questions about why Hollywood apparently can’t bothered to avail itself of the Asian and Asian American actors already doing great work in the industry.

  • Life after ‘The Bachelor’: Contestant talks Corinne, Nick and reality TV’s weirdness

    Women will walk up to Taylor Nolan in bars and not even introduce themselves before making their allegiances clear.

  • Warner Bros. hopes The Flash outruns movie development drama with a strong performance in ‘Justice League’

    No Justice Leaguer has it as rough when it comes to solo movies as The Flash.

  • TV

    With help from Melissa McCarthy, life imitates art on ‘Nobodies’

    “You want to take that phone call?” Rachel Ramras is midway through explaining how the idea for the new TV Land comedy “Nobodies” sprang out of a failed movie pitch to fellow Groundlings alums (and series executive producers) Melissa McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone when she catches cast mate and series co-creator Larry Dorf checking his phone.

  • Okee Dokee Brothers are big-time kids' music contenders

    The little kid stood right in front of the stage, his eyes fixed on Joe Mailander. The kid mirrored Mailander, one of the guys onstage in the Okee Dokee Brothers, down to the plaid shirt, pint-size fedora and toy guitar with steel strings and capo, no less. He mouthed every word that Mailander sang. Between songs, the kid tried to tune his guitar, just like Mailander did.

  • Drake goes roaming: In ‘More Life,’ he lets go on one hand and focuses on his pet topics on the other

    An album. A mixtape. An audiobook in which he annotates his old scripts from “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

  • Movie review

    ‘Life’ is no picnic for a crew of astronauts, but a real treat for the audience

    The film “Life” is a test-tube baby, born from a blend of old-school monster-movie DNA and state-of-the-art digital effects. At times silly — yet surprisingly satisfying — this tale of sci-fi suspense and horror, set in the weightless environment of the International Space Station, gives Emmanuel Lubezki’s vertiginous “Gravity” cinematography a run for its money, with dizzyingly deft camera choreography and long, unbroken takes shot by Seamus McGarvey (“Nocturnal Animals,” “The Avengers”) that may remind viewers of his work on “Atonement.”

  • Movie review

    Raunchy ‘CHIPS’ will have you chuckling in spite of yourself

    The randy action-comedy “CHIPS” is pitched right to that 18-24 demographic, but that audience is probably wondering what this whole California Highway Patrol movie is about. Two words, teens: Erik Estrada. He was the ultimate late ’70s small-screen sex symbol and people were really into his hair — at least according to what we’ve been able to glean from the “CHiPS” detritus that always seems to be in the pop cultural ether.

  • Q&A

    Ryan Gosling on Malick, directing and that Oscar flub

    Even amid the chaotic melee on the Dolby Theatre stage during the infamous best-picture Oscar flub, Ryan Gosling was typically unflappable. While most reacted with shock and confusion, there was the “La La Land” star — cool and bemused — chuckling on the side of the stage.

  • A Muppet with autism to be welcomed soon on ‘Sesame Street’

    Folks on Sesame Street have a way of making everyone feel accepted. That certainly goes for Julia, a Muppet youngster with blazing red hair, bright green eyes — and autism.

  • Audra McDonald: ‘You say ‘yes’ when Disney calls’

    Audra McDonald has six Tony Awards and a voice that will make you believe in angels. That combination puts her in a place where she can be choosy when selecting her next job.

  • Jenny Lawson’s new book, ‘You Are Here,’ is a coloring book. Kind of.

    Jenny Lawson — the best-selling author of “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” and “Furiously Happy” — has a new book, and it’s a coloring book, kind of.

  • Jussie Smollett of ‘Empire’ gets political in new video

    While TV star Jussie Smollett was in the recording studio working on his own music apart from “Empire,” set for release later this year, he couldn’t help but write a song about what’s going in the world, from injustice to President Donald Trump.

  • ‘Beauty and the Beast’ director focuses on ‘books, not boys’ for update

    One of the most cherished musical numbers in a Disney movie centers on a young woman ostracized from her community because she likes to read.

  • Movie review

    Gang’s still all the rage in ‘T2 Trainspotting’

    Looked at logically, “T2 Trainspotting” should not work as well as it does. In fact, it shouldn’t work at all. But up there on the screen, where it matters, the dark magic remains intact and logic be damned.

  • Movie review

    Disney’s live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ tries to reawaken that timeless magic

    What would Howard Ashman have thought? We’ll never know. But as the credits rolled on “Beauty and the Beast,” Disney’s live-action update of its own 1991 animated masterwork, I found myself perusing the late, great lyricist’s words in search of a phrase that would do the experience justice.

  • John Goodman spills on ‘Kong,’ the Coen brothers and Bob Dylan

    During a recent phone conversation about his latest film, John Goodman wisecrackingly proved that even when the cameras aren’t rolling, he can put on one heck of a show.

  • Box-office beasts like ‘Kong’ and ‘Logan’ reflect March’s crowded new normal

    For so long, March came in like a CGI lion and went out like an animated lamb. The month was often a safe space to open such kiddie fare as Fox/Blue Sky’s animal cartoons and handily win an audience.

  • After ‘Logan’ and ‘Arrival,’ can we stop pretending ‘genre’ movies are unserious?

    Defending so-called “genre” fiction against the people who shallowly assume that it’s nothing but stories of ray guns printed on cheap paper stock is a long and noble argumentative tradition.

  • Music

    ‘American Teen’ lives his dream

    Inside a trendy Fairfax District sneaker store in Los Angeles on a busy afternoon, Khalid is scanning the room looking for a pair that catches his eye.

  • Movie review

    This ‘Kong’ is king

    With seven full-on King Kong movies since his arrival on-screen in 1933 — not to mention countless media spinoffs — it’s reasonable to question his return in “Kong: Skull Island.” Why make another movie about the big ape? Turns out, there are excellent reasons. Lots and lots of them.

  • King Kong: Pop culture icon still roaring in 2017

    He’s a lover, not a fighter. The big ape called King Kong has been a chest-pounding pop culture icon for nearly 85 years. But for all of his destructive ways, the hairy heap of horror has a heart. More specifically, he has a thing for winsome blondes.

  • Rosamund Pike has been preparing for career all her life

    Rosamund Pike’s philosophy of acting is that it’s a process of observing what it means to be human. That way of thinking came in very handy as she tackled the feature film “A United Kingdom,” where she plays Ruth Williams in the true story of a marriage that almost brought down a kingdom.

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