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Movie review: 'Civil War' delivers entertaining punch

The task seemed as impossible as facing Dr. Doom, Thanos and the Sandman armed with nothing but a pointy stick. That's the magnitude of challenge that Marvel Studios faced releasing its next movie after the nearly flawless "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and hero-packed "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

In the ever expanding universe of comic ...Read more

Movie review: 'Mothers and Daughters' is another Mother's Day disappointment

Just what did the moms of America do to deserve not only the "Mother's Day" movie, but now "Mothers and Daughters," a film that might have been rejected by the Lifetime channel for being too heavy-handed? Like the Garry Marshall film that opened last week, "Mothers and Daughters" is a glossy-looking assortment of interlocking stories, in which ...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD. 3.5 stars. Adapted from the steampunk graphic novel by Tardi ("The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec"), this astonishing, imaginative animated epic set in an alternative version of Paris will delight kids and fascinate adults. 1 hr. 45 PG (action/peril including gunplay, some thematic elements and ...Read more

Movie review: 'Louder Than Bombs' explores death, life, loss

A film about life's unpredictable and disorderly chaos that runs like clockwork: Call it a forensic tragedy. "Louder Than Bombs," the English-language debut from Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier, is a note-perfect exploration of death and life and loss.

It is one of the increasingly rare character-driven films sympathetically exploring human ...Read more

'Dad Magazine' pokes fun at the changing status of fathers — and their quirks

There is this thing I mutter around my house, probably at least three times a week, usually upstairs, usually in relation to the bathroom late at night. It goes like this: "Light switches work in both directions, people."

And that -- I wouldn't call it an "obsession," but it is at least an "interest" in having the lights also get turned off -- ...Read more

Movie review: 'Civil War' may divide its audience in two.

Consider this the summer of superhero discontent.

First came "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," with the twin titans of the DC Comics universe having at each other like enraged cage fighters. Now it's Marvel's turn, and "Captain America: Civil War" doesn't hesitate to amp up the volume.

Not for this group the existential loneliness of ...Read more

Album review: Brian Eno brings another wave of innovation

Brian Eno is perhaps best known as producer to the stars (U2, Coldplay, David Bowie, Talking Heads). But as estimable as some of that work has been, quintessential Eno can be found on a long string of less widely celebrated solo and collaborative records dating to the '70s.

Since playing mad scientist to Bryan Ferry's brooding night-crawler on ...Read more

Federal agents to join Prince death investigation

MINNEAPOLIS -- Federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they have joined local authorities in the investigation into Prince's death.

Prince was found in an elevator April 21 at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m., 19 minutes after emergency responders arrived.

The Carver County Sheriff's Office has ...Read more

Prince's would-be doctor at cutting edge in use of buprenorphine as drug to treat addiction

The day before Prince died, his representatives reached out to a nationally recognized opioid addiction expert from the San Francisco Bay Area to help the music icon kick a life-threatening dependence to prescription painkillers.

With the country's opioid crisis in the headlines, national attention is now turning to Howard Kornfeld and what ...Read more

'Today's' Natalie Morales is moving to LA to join 'Access Hollywood'

NEW YORK -- Natalie Morales is leaving her role as news anchor on NBC's "Today."

The morning program's staff was told late Wednesday that Morales is relocating to Los Angeles, where she will be West Coast anchor and a host on the syndicated programs "Access Hollywood" and "Access Hollywood Live."

The move is expected to be the first of a ...Read more

Review: Drake's surprise is a snooze

It's the era of the stealth album, but sometimes a "surprise" album isn't all that surprising. Take Drake's "Views" (OVO Sound/Young Money), for example, which floated online a few days ago without any fanfare.

The Toronto MC has spent the past several years working with essentially the same collaborators -- notably the producers Noah "40" ...Read more

Um, Alicia Keys just released a new single — and it's kind of great

Oh, this is a welcome return.

After a few years away from the spotlight, Alicia Keys released a new single, "In Common," late Tuesday, and so far it's feeling like a low-key delight -- certainly an improvement over the ponderous do-gooder vibe that pervaded much of her recent work.

The singer made "In Common" with the producer Illangelo, known...Read more

Hulu confirms cable-like digital bundle

LOS ANGELES -- Less than a week after rumblings surfaced that Hulu is developing a cable-like digital service that would stream feeds of live programming from broadcast and cable TV channels, Chief Executive Mike Hopkins confirmed the news.

The announcement was made during Hulu's presentation to advertisers Wednesday at Madison Square Garden ...Read more

Prince died amid plans for drug addiction treatment

MINNEAPOLIS -- Prince was found dead one day before he was scheduled to meet with a California doctor in an attempt to kick an addiction to painkillers, an attorney with knowledge of the death investigation said Tuesday.

Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a national authority on opioid addiction treatment, was called by Prince representatives the night of ...Read more

'Spring Awakening' traveled unlikely path

From its humble start in a small theater space in downtown Los Angeles to its three Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, including a nod for musical revival, Deaf West's production of "Spring Awakening" qualifies as this Broadway season's little theater production that could.

The innovative staging, which combines sign-language and spoken ...Read more

Movie review: 'A Bigger Splash' has deceptive depth

No less than his ravishing 2009 melodrama "I Am Love," Luca Guadagnino's "A Bigger Splash" is a swooning cinematic appeal to the senses -- two hours of al fresco lovemaking, gorgeous scenery and simmering erotic warfare. Which is not to suggest that the movie short-circuits rational thought or inquiry; on the contrary, its teasing, sun-drenched ...Read more

2016 summer movie preview: Here come the sequels, superheroes and remakes

Ah, summer! The time of year is almost upon us when the days are long, the kids are out of school and cinemas are packed with original, artful films unlike any you've seen before.

OK, that last part isn't really true. Sequels, remakes and superheroes are a year-round business for the movie industry, but they're particularly abundant during the ...Read more

Movie review: 'Pele' traces soccer legend's early years

Brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, noted documentary filmmakers, tackle their first narrative feature film in "Pele: Birth of a Legend," about legendary Brazilian soccer star and "Athlete of the Century" Pele. While the format may be new, the subject matter certainly is not: They know the worlds of both Brazil and soccer, from their excellent ...Read more

How comic book movies are making comic books worse

This year, the Marvel/Disney movie "Captain America: Civil War," which opens Friday, takes the coveted spot of Superhero Movie That Kicks Off Blockbuster Season.

Which could also be known as A Good Time To Be Reminded That Superhero Comics Are Now Way Too Much Like Movies.

I am not going to complain about superhero movies as movies. I don't ...Read more

Anthony Mackie flying high as Falcon in 'Captain America: Civil War'

In "Captain America: Civil War," Anthony Mackie reprises the role of Sam Wilson, aka the winged superhero Falcon, for the third time. The actor would like you to know that the big scene everyone will be talking about -- a massive superhero brawl on the tarmac of the Leipzig airport in Germany -- might be a blast to watch, but it was miserable to...Read more