There's a lot not quite right and even flat-out wrong with "The BFG," and we'll get to that. There's also a lot that's very, very right, starting with Mark Rylance's astonishing performance-capture portrayal of the Big Friendly Giant created by author Roald Dahl. The right stuff makes it worth seeing.
Like millions of other kids, I cherished ...Read more
"The Purge," 2013's low-budget home invasion horror hit, found its breakout star in The Purge itself: an annual 12 hour bloodbath of government-sanctioned mayhem. In this dystopian near-future, the New Founding Fathers of America have instituted the contained lawlessness in order to keep crime, and the population, in check. The 2014 sequel, "The...Read more
Steven Spielberg loves introducing children to alternate universes and amazing creatures.
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T." and "Jurassic Park" aren't just technological wonders, they're great original kids' adventures. His magic act works less effectively when he makes faithful adaptations of existing children's classics. His 2011 ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Ramona Gonzalez makes smart, fuzzy beat music as Nite Jewel, but when it came to writing songs for her self-produced new album, "Liquid Cool," she sought stillness. Or to be more precise, the particular sensation in daily life when communication gives way to isolation.
"You close the laptop, and then, silence, you're alone," says...Read more
A year after Don Draper bought the world a Coke in the series finale of "Mad Men," his creator, Matthew Weiner, has returned to television -- not as a writer or show runner but as a director on Netflix's prison dramedy, "Orange Is the New Black."
Weiner helmed the penultimate installment of Season 4, "The Animals," which ended with a tragic ...Read more
The Top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of June 20:
1. How to Be Single -- Warner
2. Zootopia -- Disney
3. 10 Cloverfield Lane -- Paramount
4. Deadpool -- Fox
5. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi -- Paramount
6. Ride Along 2 -- Universal
7. The Brothers Grimsby -- Sony
8. The Boy -- Universal
9. Dirty Grandpa -- ...Read more
DJ Shadow set a new standard for the art of sample-based composition with his auspicious 1996 debut album, "Endtroducing." It was an album that turned snippets of obscure recordings into aural journeys, as if Shadow were orchestrating a perfectly sequenced dream, creating order out of randomness.
That everything Shadow, aka Josh Davis, has ...Read more
For anyone who has ever watched the Grammys, the scene onstage was familiar. While the hit song being performed was recognizable, the artists were polar opposites, each from a different genre and era.
On this recent afternoon it was rootsy singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt and emerging soul singer Andra Day. Presiding over the left-field pairing ...Read more
Days of the GiantsRJ Petrella
Days of the Giants follows intern Slater Barnes through a conflict between Boston City Hospital staff and corrupt municipal officials. Inspired by Boston City Hospital’s public mission to treat patients regardless of personal resources, Barnes finds meaning in his ...
It makes sense that the sensibilities of Steven Spielberg and Roald Dahl would someday collide, as they do in Spielberg's adaptation of Dahl's "The BFG." Both artists often tell stories about misunderstood children finding connections with misunderstood, fantastical, alien creatures. They have a knack for drawing out the dark and maudlin aspects...Read more
Typical of so much video associated with the beloved, charismatic cellist Yo-Yo Ma, "The Music of Strangers" is full of humanitarian philosophy and picturesque shots of artist and cello in exotic locales.
But preemptive skepticism is best placed on hold. Morgan Neville's high-budget HBO documentary about Ma and the musicians in his cross-...Read more
Are you ready for this country?
"My goal was to make the best country album of the year and make it completely unplayable. So I achieved my goal," Wheeler Walker Jr. says. "It's a pretty dumb goal."
Speaking from a van headed to New Orleans from Dallas, the singer is discussing his deeply country -- and outrageously filthy -- debut album, "...Read more
"I'm not good at self-reflection," a new patient tells Sigmund Freud in the Austrian horror comedy, "Therapy for a Vampire." "I feel old and tired. I've seen everything ... . I no longer have a thirst for life."
A stylish, painterly picture that evokes classic horror films from the 1930s, writer-director David Ruhm's send-up of genre films is ...Read more
Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (...Read more
Steven Spielberg's "The BFG," which debuted last month at Cannes and comes to theaters July 1, is an appropriately big adaptation of a characteristically strange Roald Dahl story, first published in 1982, about an orphan girl (played by the very-Dahlish sounding Ruby Barnhill) scooped up and taken away in the dead of night by a big friendly ...Read more
MIAMI -- Rapper Ludacris is putting on a show for the folks at U.S. Navy base Guantanamo on the Fourth of July.
But don't think about trying to jump on a boat or plane to see it. The base in Cuba best known for the detention center that President Barack Obama wants closed is inside a restricted military zone. Fewer than 6,000 people live there,...Read more
Rihanna and Sia previously penned a smash-hit tune about glittering objects floating in the infinity of space. So it's a natural fit that they'd return to collaborating for the new "Star Trek Beyond" film.
Rihanna has released a new single, "Sledgehammer," from the sci-fi epic's soundtrack. The song is in a new trailer for the film, out July 22...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Jesse Williams made explicit what so much of this year's BET Awards has been trying to imply: Things are different now, and so much of black America is fed up.
The "Grey's Anatomy" actor, teacher and producer/star of BET's "Stay Woke" documentary delivered arguably one of the most searing speeches in the history of televised ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Lawyers for Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman on Monday pressed a Massachusetts court to fast-track a trial over his removal from the trust that will control the company.
Ninety-three-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone last month moved to oust Dauman and fellow Viacom director George Abrams from the National Amusements ...Read more
Beware the supergroup. When strong-willed solo artists join forces, end results often do not equal, let alone exceed, the sum of their parts. There's no working at cross purposes in evidence, however, on this impressively cohesive three-way team-up of Americana-leaning vocalist and songwriters Neko ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- The list of things you'll encounter when watching the BET Awards and no other awards show is a long one, and of course it begins with black people speaking without interference to one another on national television.
In the era of #OscarsSoWhite, it was a beautiful thing, indeed, to see actor Jesse Williams accept the cable ...Read more
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- Movie review: Spielberg, Dahl work well together in 'The BFG'
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