How Jimmy Stewart's war service affected 'It's a Wonderful Life'

As we stare headlong into the approaching holiday season, the 1946 James Stewart classic "It's a Wonderful Life" is set to make its annual television appearance Saturday on NBC. It was the first movie Stewart made when he returned home after serving as a pilot in World War II, an experience that left him adrift and not without psychological ...Read more

'Falling apart but we deny it': Is J. Cole talking about Kanye West?

So much for not kicking a man when he's down.

Rapper J. Cole on Thursday night released a new documentary about the making of his upcoming fourth album, and 12 hours later the Internet is convinced that one of the album's songs is a shot at Kanye West, who spent a portion of last month in the hospital following what's been described as a ...Read more

Texas congressman defends 'Fixer Upper' stars

WASHINGTON -- Texas Rep. Bill Flores is defending the hosts of a home improvement show who have come under fire because of their church.

Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of the hit home improvement show "Fixer Upper," were the subjects of a controversial BuzzFeed News report detailing their connection to an evangelical megachurch.

The story ...Read more

Next round's on Taylor Swift: She's the world's highest-paid musician

Taylor Swift is doing something right. A lot of things, actually: She's No. 1 on Forbes' 2016 list of the highest-paid musicians in the world.

Her $170 million take, earned primarily through her recent world tour and various endorsements, also made her the top-earning celebrity back in June, the magazine said. Yes, out of all the world's ...Read more

The Rolling Stones go home to the blues with 'Blue & Lonesome'

When the Rolling Stones fell in love with American blues music as teenagers in England in the late 1950s and early '60s, the grand old men of the genre they idolized were 20 to 30 years their seniors.

Muddy Waters was in his late 40s and Howlin' Wolf was about 50.

Now that the Stones themselves are wizened veterans, they are bringing a ...Read more

'Jackie' screening in DC: Film shows human side of a mourning first lady

WASHINGTON -- For 100 minutes, actress Natalie Portman is on the screen portraying not only the famously sophisticated widow of a president, but the complex and fundamental historical character in the new movie "Jackie."

The film's director, Pablo Larrain, explained in a panel discussion at the D.C. premiere at the Newseum on Thursday night ...Read more

Dave Mason revisits his 1970 solo debut album, 'Alone Again,' on stage and record

Traffic co-founder Dave Mason is not the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee to perform one of his early albums, in its entirety, live on stage. In this case, the album is his all-star 1970 solo debut, "Alone Together."

But Mason may well be the first to do so who is re-recording the same album, song for song, as a new release. And he's ...Read more

Brian Boitano explains why Stockton, Calif., was selected for ABC's latest skating special

The Colgate Skating Series on ABC continues with "Holiday Movie Skating Spectacular: Where Did They Film That?," which was filmed at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif.

The arena seats a maximum of 12,000 fans and is the home venue of the American Hockey League's Stockton Heat, which is affiliated with the National Hockey League's Calgary ...Read more

Hollywood Notebook: Career start big for one actor while another makes changes

LOS ANGELES -- Generally, an actor's first job is a small part, often without a single line of dialogue. Some are lucky enough to be cast in a commercial.

Few have the kind of success that Auli'i Cravalho found with her very first acting job. The Hawaiian native is the voice of the title character in the new Disney animated film, "Moana."

Not ...Read more

It's the most wonderful time of the year for Johnny Mathis

Peppermint extract, stockings on the mantle, bustling shopping malls and, of course, the Christmas music repertoire of Johnny Mathis are all classic standards of every holiday season.

For more than six decades, Mathis has serenaded every holiday party across the globe with his silky vocals on "Silver Bells," "White Christmas," "Silent Night," ...Read more

How to binge-shop for the die-hard TV fan

This Christmas, "Star Trek" fans can boldly go where no DVD box set has gone before.

Fifty years after Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew embarked on their original five-year mission (in what endures as one of the great action-adventure shows of all time), we've yet to run out of interesting extras to enhance the ...Read more

NBC's 'Hairspray Live!' says good morning to Baltimore, again

It sounds like the stars of "Hairspray Live!" will need a full emergency room team waiting in the wings when the ambitious TV version of the Broadway musical airs on NBC.

Leading lady Maddie Baillio, an effervescent League City, Texas, native who beat out nearly 1,000 other actresses who auditioned for the role of Tracy Turnblad, evidently has ...Read more

So very glam in Mariah's world: The singer opens her glittering life to cameras for an E! network series

LOS ANGELES -- It's dimly lit in here. Dimly lit and quiet.

Inside an unused dressing-room suite on the NBCUniversal lot in Universal City, things are mostly unremarkable until Mariah Carey, dressed in a plunging black jumpsuit, saunters in. Two members of her team sit on a nearby sofa, toiling on their phones. Her 5-year-old twins are in the ...Read more

Movie review: In 'Mifune,' Spielberg, Scorsese and others shed light on legendary Japanese actor

LOS ANGELES -- Toshiro Mifune was a name to conjure with.

A galvanic performer who was as present in his roles as anyone who ever lived, the legendary Japanese actor is the subject of "Mifune: The Last Samurai," a smart and thoughtful examination of who the man was and how he got that way.

As directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Steven ...Read more

Movie review: 'The Eyes of My Mother' is a lyrical, grisly horror film that upends expectations

LOS ANGELES -- "The Eyes of My Mother," Nicolas Pesce's hypnotically eerie debut feature, builds calmly and quietly to one of the most appalling sequences I've seen in a film this year. I'll keep the details vague; anyone inclined to seek out this movie's dread-soaked pleasures may as well take their poison straight. Suffice to say that the ...Read more

TV re-examines Pearl Harbor attack in compelling new documentaries

"December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy ..."

Thus began one of the most memorable speeches in presidential history.

But imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt hadn't made one savvy editing change before delivering his post-Pearl Harbor address to a joint session of Congress.

In the debut episode of Smithsonian Channel's "The Lost ...Read more

Movie review: 'Manchester by the Sea' is a film of astonishing honesty, grief

Two people, who once loved each other and maybe still do, face each other on a sidewalk on a chilly New England afternoon. Years ago, they endured a tragedy that pulled them apart; now, upon a chance meeting, Randi (Michelle Williams) wants to make amends.

"I don't have anything big to say," she begins, as Lee (Casey Affleck), her ex-husband, ...Read more

Q&A: Why is music on TV shows so loud?

You have questions. I have some answers, including a perennial one.

Q: Why do all the TV shows and movies now feel that they have to have music in the background, sometimes so loud we cannot hear the dialogue? No matter what the situation is, there has to be music in the background.

A: You are not the only person asking. There was also this ...Read more

What's opening in theaters next week


Opening Friday:

"Miss Sloane" (R): Jessica Chastain stars as a crackerjack political lobbyist trying to make a difference on Capitol Hill.

"Office Christmas Party" (R): Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Kate McKinnon and Olivia Munn are among the revelers at an office holiday celebration that gets way out of control.


In ...Read more

Movie review: Robert De Niro amuses, but 'The Comedian' doesn't kill

LOS ANGELES -- Jackie Burke, the 67-year-old funnyman played with a wink and a scowl by Robert De Niro in "The Comedian," originally came to fame as the star of a hugely popular, thoroughly dreadful sitcom called "Eddie's Home." Everywhere he goes, Jackie is greeted by nostalgic fans ("Eddie! Eddie!") who demand that he do his "Honeymooners"-...Read more