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Resisting the rom-com label: The stars and co-writer of 'How to Be Single' say the film is so much more

Yes, it's a comedy. And, yes, romance is involved.

But don't call the new film "How to Be Single," which opened Friday in time for Valentine's Day, a romantic comedy (or its familiar abbreviation, a rom-com).

"I feel like it's a tiny bit sexist and gets applied to movies that women are in," said Dana Fox, who co-wrote the screenplay for the ...Read more

Album review: Freakwater finds light in 1,001 dark nights

The title of Freakwater's first album in more than 10 years, "Scheherazade" (Bloodshot), name-checks the Arabic storyteller and future queen of "One Thousand and One Nights" fame. You won't find Sinbad, Ali Baba or Aladdin mentioned in the lyrics, but singers Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean are adept storytellers, and they know how to spin yarns ...Read more

Movie review: Michael Moore seeks greatness in other lands in 'Where to Invade Next'

Looking like an unmade bed in his signature uniform of T-shirt, jeans, rumpled fatigue jacket and ball cap adorned with the Detroit Tigers logo-ed letter D (he's a Michigan boy, don't you know), Michael Moore places himself squarely in the center ring of all of his pictures.

And there, displaying an ego as big as his waistline, with an attitude...Read more

'Lucha Underground' wrestling: tights and melodrama on TV

LOS ANGELES -- Across the Los Angeles River, in a warehouse of ghosts and corrugated steel, King Cuerno fastens his mask and strides bare-chested past girders and broken windows toward the ring, where wrestlers spin in pinwheels and dance on ropes in a frenzied ballet of peacock colors and flying head scissors.

The crowd in Boyle Heights -- ...Read more

Mavis Staples brings the joy, but it's complicated

Mavis Staples had only one request when some A-list artists were approached to write songs for her forthcoming album, "Livin' on a High Note" (Anti). "I wanted joyful," she says. "I've been making people cry down through the years, and this time I wanted to make them smile."

But joy in the Staples lexicon is a complicated emotion. She grew up ...Read more

Movie review: 'A War' effectively shows havoc that combat wreaks at home, abroad

LOS ANGELES -- "A War" is a film done exactly right about a situation gone horribly wrong. A powerful foreign language Oscar finalist, it proves yet again that agonizing moral dilemmas make for the most effective cinema.

Written and directed by Denmark's Tobias Lindholm, "A War" joins Susanne Bier's taut 2004 "Brothers" as a superb drama ...Read more

Being wedding DJs wasn't their dream gig, but it pays the bills and serves a purpose

Jesse Kivel and Michael David have toured the world in their electronic pop bands Kisses and Classixx, performing and DJ-ing to all kinds of festival and club crowds. But the show with the elephant in the audience was a first.

"Oh, yeah, we've played a traditional Indian wedding with the full elephant," Kivel said, rattling off a few of the ...Read more

NBC pays tribute to black history with new Jesse Owens documentary

The intersection of race and athletics has become an increasingly popular documentary subject, embodied most recently by ESPN's epic O.J. Simpson series.

Now NBC is offering a new entry to the canon: "More Than Gold," a story of Jesse Owens' historic performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, narrated by Morgan Freeman. The documentary, which ...Read more

'Van Gogh's Bedrooms' at Art Institute show artist's quest for home

CHICAGO -- "Van Gogh's Bedrooms," the intensely focused new exhibition at Chicago's Art Institute, contains many unusual things.

There are 19th-century wren's nests, borrowed from the Field Museum to evoke the largely self-taught artist's first studio. There are four large video screens, displaying such materials as the words of Vincent Van ...Read more

Des Ark no longer all about extremes

An interview with Aimee Argote, frontwoman for the Pittsboro, N.C., duo Des Ark, begins on a tragic note. In late 2013, the singer-songwriter and a friend were driving late at night on U.S. 15-501 outside of Chapel Hill when they came across what looked like a bundle that had fallen out of a truck.

They stopped to investigate, and discovered ...Read more

ShowYouSuck finding success by being himself

CHICAGO -- Clinton Sandifer has been releasing a steady stream of music for five years. He'll tell you he's greatly affected the Chicago hip-hop scene for the better, and is the first to admit his new, as-yet-released material is arguably the most contemplative, fully developed of his career. And yet the 30-year-old Chicago MC remains filled ...Read more

What's opening in theaters next week

MOVIES

Opening Friday:

"Race" (PG-13): Stephan James stars as the legendary track and field star Jesse Owens as he competes in the 1936 World Olympics in Hitler-era Berlin.

"The Witch" (R): In writer-director Robert Eggers' highly-anticipated horror movie, a farmer and his family are forced to move to a remote stretch of land where ...Read more

Movie review: 'Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong' is a pleasant trip to nowhere in particular

It's hard to watch "Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong," in which a man and a woman meet randomly in a major city and talk their way into a deeper relationship, and not think of Richard Linklater's lovestruck 'Before Sunrise.' By that considerable yardstick, this less incisive romance comes up short. Yet, as both a valentine to new love and Hong Kong...Read more

Movie review: 'How To Be Single' a lot more intelligent than expected

"How To Be Single" is an example of the dangerous pitfalls of judging a movie based only on the cast list, movie poster and early trailers. Going strictly by those elements, "How To Be Single" looks a chick flick that relies heavily on bawdy material to generate laughs.

This kind of assumption comes from the casting of Rebel Wilson, who tends ...Read more

'Where to Invade Next' review: Michael Moore aims to make America better

Michael Moore's wry first-person documentary "Where to Invade Next," his first since 2009 and "Capitalism: A Love Story," isn't what it sounds like. The title suggests a cry, or a typically ironic Moore screed, against the history and dangers of recent U.S. foreign policy. But Moore's latest goes a different direction. It follows one goofball ...Read more

Movie review: Why 'Deadpool' will get on your nerves

LOS ANGELES -- "Deadpool," the latest Marvel creation to get his own major motion picture, is very much like a character you might encounter at a party or sit next to on a plane. But not necessarily in a good way.

At first it all seems promising. Energetically played by Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool may be a mutant, but he has no use for his goody-...Read more

How Adam McKay brought unity to Congress for one night with 'Big Short' screening

Filmmaker Adam McKay had just finished introducing his Oscar-nominated movie "The Big Short" at a special screening in the Congressional Auditorium on Wednesday night, and he figured he'd stick around, stand in the shadows and see how the film would play for the bipartisan audience of assembled politicians.

"Here's the moment I knew we had a ...Read more

'Star Wars' film production company sued for Harrison Ford accident

Harrison Ford's accident on the set of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens: is coming back to wreak havoc on Foodles Production, a British subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co.

In 2014, Ford suffered a broken leg on the set, after being struck by a hydraulic door aboard his character Han Solo's famed ship, the Millennium Falcon. The accident caused the ...Read more

Bruce Springsteen to publish his autobiography, 'Born to Run,' in the fall

The Boss has dropped a bombshell.

Bruce Springsteen has been at work for the past seven years on his autobiography, and on Thursday he announced its arrival. Called -- what else? -- "Born to Run," the book will see worldwide publication by Simon & Schuster on Sept. 27.

According to the press announcement, Springsteen, 66, started work on the ...Read more

Starz announces premiere date for 'Outlander' season two

The wait is nearly over for eager "Outlander" fans.

Starz announced Thursday that its hit original series overseen by Ronald D. Moore ("Battlestar Galactica") and adapted from Diana Gabaldon's best-selling series of novels will debut its second season on Saturday, April 9.

When fans last saw Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona ...Read more