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Movie review: 'Papa' is a flop

"Papa: Hemingway in Cuba," directed by Bob Yari, trumpets itself as the first Hollywood movie to shoot on location in Cuba since the 1959 revolution. It is not, however, the first good Hollywood movie to shoot in Cuba since the 1959 revolution; apparently we'll have to wait for that.

Based on true events, "Papa" unspools from the point of view ...Read more

Movie review: 'Keanu' is a funny caper with comedic duo Key and Peele — and one cute kitty

Here, kitty kitty kitty ...

OK, why don't more movies have kittens in them? I can think of a dozen recent ones off the top of my head (most egregiously, this week's "Mother's Day") that would have been vastly improved by an adorable miniature cat. That's the hook of the uneven but thoroughly enjoyable "Keanu," in which a couple of regular guys ...Read more

Viacom's Paramount Pictures suffers $136 million operating loss

LOS ANGELES -- Viacom Inc. continues to suffer from Paramount Pictures' box-office blues.

The media company's fiscal-second-quarter earnings were marred by more missteps from the Melrose Avenue movie studio.

Paramount released two films that underwhelmed audiences: "Zoolander 2," with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, and "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" ...Read more

Katzenberg to relinquish DreamWorks Animation CEO role after Comcast deal

LOS ANGELES -- Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul whose name has been synonymous with DreamWorks Animation, will step down as chief executive after his company is sold to Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal.

After the deal closes, Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, made up of the company's stakes in Awesomeness TV and NOVA, ...Read more

Two Whitney Houston documentaries are in production, but only one has the estate's blessing

Two filmmakers have announced plans to make documentaries about Whitney Houston, but the legendary singer's estate is saving all its love for only one of them.

On Thursday, Altitude Film Entertainment -- the production company that released last year's popular Amy Winehouse doc -- announced that it is making a film about Houston with director ...Read more

Prince had prescription painkillers on him when he died, reports say

Prince was in possession of prescription painkillers at the time of his death, and local officials have sought the help of the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the investigation, according to published reports.

NBC Nightly News cited unnamed law enforcement officials on Wednesday saying that prescription painkillers were in the pop ...Read more

BBC One and Netflix partner to produce watered-down 'Watership'

What is "Watership Down" if it's not traumatizing small children? Fans of the vocal stylings of Ben Kingsley and, also, bunnies have reason to rejoice as BBC One and Netflix announced Thursday a four-part computer-generated animated miniseries adapting Richard Adams' classic adventure novel "Watership Down." However, some might find elements of ...Read more

Movie review: Susan Sarandon sparkles in 'The Meddler,' a valentine to mothers

The smooth, cozy charm of writer-director Lorene Scafaria's "The Meddler" offers considerable seriocomic satisfaction in its story of a mother and a daughter, the meddler and the meddled with, respectively. I don't get the high-end praise for this medium entity. But as a performance vehicle it's nice and spacious.

Susan Sarandon is Marnie ...Read more

Comcast's NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8 billion deal

NBCUniversal on Thursday said it has acquired DreamWorks Animation in a deal valued at $3.8 billion.

Under the deal, DreamWorks shareholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks stock.

The deal came together with breathtaking speed. The animation studio will be folded into the Universal Filmed Entertainment group, run by Jeff ...Read more

Eric Church will sing some more reflective tunes as well as his oldies at Stagecoach Festival

When Eric Church headlines the first night of this weekend's Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., on Friday, he's likely to showcase the songs that have made him Nashville's foremost rabble-rouser.

He'll sing "These Boots," about all the trouble he's gotten into while wearing his favorite pair. He'll do "Drink in My Hand," in ...Read more

Movie review: 'Green Room' is a tension-filled thrill

Thrillingly suspenseful and laced with gut-busting macabre laughs, "Green Room" provides everything a fan would want in a survival drama. It's a Panzer tank of a movie, solid iron and well-nigh unstoppable.

An East Coast punk group touring the Pacific Northwest picks up a lunch gig at a sleazy backwoods bar crammed with skinhead white ...Read more

Movie review: 'Sing Street' is another charmer from director of 'Once'

A well-written song can resonate several pitches in a fast row, much like movies by Irish director John Carney. His Oscar-winning debut hit "Once" gave us a pair of songwriting collaborators on the Emerald Isle making sweet music together, having some good laughs and falling sort of in love -- the imaginative holy trinity of Carney's creative ...Read more

Movie review: 'Viva' is authentic depiction of life in Cuba

"Viva" is Rocky in drag and sequins, transplanted to Havana. The movie is pure formula, but it's surprisingly effective anyway, because director Paddy Breathnach and screenwriter Mark O'Halloran don't sugarcoat the reality of life on the island. Instead, they incorporate the hardscrabble nature of their characters' existence into the story: The ...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

Netflix announces new 'Wet Hot American Summer' series

Netflix announced Wednesday a return to Camp Firewood and a new original series based on the 2001 film "Wet Hot American Summer."

Inspired by the final scene from the film, set in 1981, in which the counselors of a fictional summer camp gather together and vow to meet up again in 10 years, "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later" will make ...Read more

CBS renews entire daytime schedule for 2016-2017 season

Similar to its primetime pickup of 11 veteran shows in March, CBS renewed its entire daytime lineup for the 2016-17 season.

The network previously renewed "The Price is Right," hosted by Drew Carey, and the soap opera "The Young and the Restless" through the 2017 season. Both shows serve as staples for CBS, with the former debuting in 1972 and ...Read more

Chyna died of accidental overdose of Valium and Ambien, her manager says

LOS ANGELES -- Chyna's manager said he knows how the wrestling star died last week.

Chyna, whose real name was Joan Marie Laurer, died of a combination of the sleeping pill Ambien and a form of Valium, her manager, Anthony Anzaldo, said Wednesday.

Chyna had been taking the legally prescribed pills over the course of three weeks, but wasn't ...Read more

How Comcast would benefit from DreamWorks

PHILADELPHIA -- Comcast CEO Brian Roberts on Wednesday morning had no comment on speculation that the cable giant was talking about acquiring DreamWorks Animation, the creator of the "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" movie franchises.

Roberts and other executives declined to talk about any potential acquisition deals during a regularly scheduled ...Read more

DreamWorks Animation shares soar on Comcast deal talks

LOS ANGELES -- DreamWorks Animation shares soared Wednesday after reports that the "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" studio could be sold to Comcast Corp. for $3 billion.

The stock jumped 17 percent in midday trading on Wall Street to $31.70 a share, while Comcast rose 1 percent to $61.54.

The potential bid would amount to a 38 percent premium to ...Read more

Muslim stereotyping in pop culture is worse than ever, expert says

WASHINGTON -- In the 1970s, Jack Shaheen, the son of Lebanese Christian immigrants, began his groundbreaking research into how Arabs and Muslims are demonized in American pop culture and, from the start, it was an unwelcome pursuit.

The first academic paper Shaheen wrote on the subject languished, unpublished, for three years. His first book ...Read more