Column: Why N.W.A belongs in the Rock Hall

"F -- tha Police." One song. Ten years ago, there would have been a different argument for why N.W.A should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and 10 years from now, there could be a better reason.

But this song does a lot of work in a small space. It will make both the voters and brass nervous and complicate relationships between ...Read more

Some thoughts on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has started its annual pop music conversation with the announcement of the 2016 nominees: The Cars, Chic, Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Janet Jackson, the J.B.'s, Chaka Khan, Los Lobos, Steve Miller, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A, the Smiths, the Spinners and Yes. Generally, the hall inducts about five, so some of ...Read more

TV review: BBC's 'Last Kingdom' brings complexity and personality to the Middle Ages

Thanks to "Game of Thrones," television just can't get enough of the Middle Ages. Those flickering smoky interiors, enormous woolly coats and bloody, ax-heavy battles; the remarkable decolletage, the picaresque foliage and mud. Sometimes there's magic, sometimes there isn't, but, by gosh, there's always plenty of bloody hacking and mud.

...Read more

Movie review: 'Big Stone Gap' a folksy charmer

No one today would ever call an unmarried 40-year-old an old maid or spinster, unless he wanted to ignite a firestorm in the Twitterverse or real universe.

But it's 1978 in Big Stone Gap, a small coal-mining town in Virginia, and Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) matter-of-factly uses both descriptions about herself. She lives with her mother as...Read more

'Big Stone Gap' writer-director went back to her roots

Adriana Trigiani is not like most directors.

Not only is she a woman -- a rarity behind the camera -- but she returned to her hometown of Big Stone Gap, Va., to direct the movie of the same name based on her novel, which she shaped into a screenplay.

The best-selling author, who now resides in New York's Greenwich Village, lived with her ...Read more

Movie review: 'Steve Jobs' is smart, energetic, compelling, just like the man

Compelling subject. Fast-paced, exhilarating dialogue. Focused direction that maintains an almost ruthless pace. Acting that couldn't be more assured.

It has to be "Steve Jobs."

Written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet (with expert support from Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg ...Read more

What's opening in theaters next week


Opening Friday:

"Steve Jobs" (R): Michael Fassbender plays the controversial genius who founded Apple in this drama adapted from Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network") and director Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire").

"Goosebumps" (PG): Jack Black plays author R.L. Stine in this ...Read more

Q&A: Steve Martin wants to spread the love for Canadian painter Lawren Harris

LOS ANGELES -- Lawren Harris is a painter who is very famous above the 49th parallel. Steve Martin is a writer, musician and actor who's very famous at just about every latitude. Martin, a longtime admirer of the Canadian artist and owner of three of his works, wants Harris to become better known everywhere, including Los Angeles. A Harris ...Read more

Drones are providing film and TV viewers a new perspective on the action

LOS ANGELES -- A dazed and bloodied student who had just been mugged stumbled down a darkened alleyway in a slum. He lifted his shirt, revealing a gaping wound, before collapsing on the ground as curious onlookers gathered around.

Buzzing some 20 feet above the crowd of extras was a drone, its whirling blades humming like a swarm of bees. The ...Read more

Keep your eye on these 10 TV actors

Every new TV season brings a mix of veteran actors and new faces to network television shows. Some of the new faces will never be seen again on TV after their series ends. Others will survive and thrive. This is my 18th season of singling out 10 actors to watch on new TV shows.

Some of my past predictions have been on target, such as the 2007 ...Read more

With 'Bridge of Spies,' Steven Spielberg continues his fascination with American history

We all had him pegged wrong. Turns out that what the director of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" and "Jurassic Park" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" really wanted to do when he grew up was to be a historian.

"While I was making all my big popcorn movies, I was always hoping that some day I could take a break ...Read more

TV review: Amazon's 'Red Oaks' is a good swing through '80s

In the Amazon Studios way of doing things, pilots are posted for public perusal long before they go to series; and so we became acquainted some months back with the promising first episode of a comedy called "Red Oaks"; nine more episodes have now come along to build on that promise, and to better it.

A coming-of-age story set in the 1980s -- ...Read more

Movie review: 'Victoria' is a stunning emotional journey

The audacious one-shot wonder "Victoria" is a masterful feat of execution, but the long take is so much more than a nifty trick -- it's an absolutely necessary part of the storytelling that colors in the themes explored in this wild film. Helmed masterfully by Sebastian Schipper, "Victoria" delves into the nightclubs of Berlin, and spills out ...Read more

Movie review: 'Pan' is weird and wacky, but it works

The Peter Pan tale is an eternal favorite that infuses just a little bit of magic into everyday life, for those who don't want to grow up. It is rich cinematic territory that has been frequently mined on the big screen: Steven Spielberg put a modern spin on the tale with the classic "Hook," in 1991, and now Joe Wright has spun his own version of...Read more

Movie review: 'Pan' is weird but wonderful

"Pan" is a remarkable accomplishment. It is overlong, over-the-top and self-indulgently idiosyncratic. It's also wackadoodle original, stylish and well worth seeing. Its agreeable virtues don't outnumber its many flaws, but they slug out the conflict to an entertaining split decision.

This peculiar prequel arrives from director Joe Wright, who ...Read more

Movie review: 'Pan' eventually peters out

It seems that Peter Pan not only won't grow up, he won't go away. It was bad enough sitting through a season of the TV series "Once Upon a Time" that dealt with the backstory of the ageless hero from the J.M. Barrie book, and suffering through the TV musical adaptation with Christopher Walken turning Capt. Hook into a stumbling hoofer.

Now Pan ...Read more

Movie review: 'Pan' is a grim, bizarre prequel

In "Pan," young Peter learns he can fly in the grimmest possible context, as he plummets to his presumptive death after being kicked, viciously, off a plank hundreds of feet above a rock quarry. In the new film directed by Joe Wright, Neverland lies high above the clouds as usual, but much of its real estate has been turned over to a miserable ...Read more

'Pan,' 'The Walk' face slow weekend at box office

LOS ANGELES -- Warner Bros.' "Pan" is not expected to soar at the box office this weekend.

The film, which cost $150 million to make in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, is looking at an opening in the $20 million range, according to people familiar with prerelease audience surveys. That means director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," ...Read more

Kevin Corcoran, known to generations of Disney fans as 'Moochie,' dies at 66

LOS ANGELES -- Disney child actor Kevin Corcoran, who played the irrepressible Moochie in the "Spin and Marty" serials on "The Mickey Mouse Club" and went on to play roles in films such as "Old Yeller," died Tuesday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 66.

The cause was colorectal cancer, said his wife, Laura.

Moochie -...Read more

Reality TV: 'Survivor,' 'Amazing Race' keep a surprising hold on their audiences

Most reality competitions on network television are still trying to find the bottom of their ratings. "The Voice" and "Dancing with the Stars" keep rolling downhill from the days when they topped the ratings charts, and "American Idol" set some sort of land speed record for a fall from grace.

But the erosion has been much slower for "Survivor,"...Read more