'Finding Dory' outswims 'Independence Day,' while 'The Shallows' surprises

LOS ANGELES -- Two aquatic tales -- one geared for families, the other for scare-seeking teens and adults -- helped to buoy the weekend box office, with Disney/Pixar's "Finding Dory" retaining the No. 1 spot and the shark-attack thriller "The Shallows" exceeding expectations in its first weekend to come in fourth.

"Finding Dory" was expected to...Read more

UK film and TV industries 'grieving' in wake of 'Brexit' vote

LOS ANGELES -- Most fans of the horror series "Penny Dreadful" think of the Showtime drama as a British TV show. The story is set in turn-of-the-century London and many of the actors and writers are from the U.K. But "Penny Dreadful" has been a multinational show helped by the U.K.'s membership in the European Union -- a relationship the British...Read more

Versace under fire for ad campaign photographed in Chicago

Luxury fashion brand Versace is under fire for ads featuring models Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid in Chicago that some say promote teenage motherhood and slavery symbolism.

Versace posted a short video called "Chicago is my Beat" online this week as part of its fall/winter 2016 campaign that intermixes shots of posing models with performances by ...Read more

What to expect from the 'Game of Thrones' Season 6 finale

In the early years, the biggest events in "Game of Thrones" history tended not to come in season finales. Neither -- spoilers alert -- Ned Stark's execution nor the Red Wedding was in a concluding episode.

But lately, the show's creators have been packing their closers with an awful lot of punch. Tyrion put a fatal arrow into his father to end ...Read more

Ralph Stanley: an imperishable musical legacy

Ralph Stanley, the elder statesman of bluegrass, who died Thursday at age 89, never went out of favor with young people.

When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke with him in 2013, he was headlining an Athens, Ga., show featuring the Honeycutters and other performers the age of his grandchildren, many of whom learned how to play by listening ...Read more

Why it's still scary to be gay

SEATTLE -- Another senseless slaughter in the name of religion took place in Orlando two weeks ago. I mourn the victims who were simply out for an evening of dancing and camaraderie with friends old and new. Then the unthinkable happened, again.

In recent years, I've mourned schoolchildren at Sandy Hook, college students at Virginia Tech, ...Read more

Movie review: 'Independence Day: Resurgence' is a dull disaster

From the metallic shell of the 1996 smash "Independence Day," director Roland Emmerich has pulled a seriously lousy sequel, dripping with alien goo and incoherence.

I take no pleasure in reporting this news, folks. I've been a lonely, half-mad defender of some of Emmerich's cheesiest cheese, including "10,000 B.C." But "Independence Day: ...Read more

Movie review: Todd Solondz's 'Wiener-Dog' puts humanity in a tragicomic cage

LOS ANGELES -- Nothing softens up a hard-hearted auteur quite like the presence of a beloved animal. The Coen brothers demonstrated this conclusively a few years ago with "Inside Llewyn Davis," an exquisite ode to loserdom that was brightened, and at times upstaged, by a winsome orange tabby cat. And even that most snappish of cinematic ...Read more

Rock 'n' roll lifestyle on TV in 'Sex&Drugs' and 'Roadies'

Peeking behind the curtain is almost always a letdown. Most musicians will tell you that while being on stage is exhilarating, the other 22 hours of the day are an endless series of sound checks, infighting and stinky bus rides.

"Vinyl," Martin Scorsese's attempt to capture the 1970s rock vibe, tried pumping up the volume by incorporating a ...Read more

Movie review: French drama 'Les Cowboys' artfully reworks 'The Searchers'

LOS ANGELES -- "Les Cowboys," Thomas Bidegain's restless and emotionally bruising directorial debut, opens amid a flurry of red bandanas and blue denim, worn by men and women who have gathered to wave Stars and Stripes and to sing and dance to their favorite folk tunes. The sights and sounds of classic Americana are so richly immersive that it's...Read more

Video game review: 'Mirror's Edge Catalyst' a fast-paced thrill

The original "Mirror's Edge" game, released in 2007, was a unique vision in the gaming world. It was a first-person shooter (FPS) without the shooting. The game largely replaced traditional combat with an emphasis on the urban running-and-vaulting style of locomotion known as parkour.

At the time, "Mirror's Edge" looked and played like no other...Read more

What's opening in theaters next week


Opening Friday:

"The BFG" (PG): Steven Spielberg reunites with his "E.T." screenwriter, the late Melissa Mathison, for this adaptation of Roald Dahl's fable about a little girl (Ruby Barnhill) and a big friendly giant (Mark Rylance).

"The Legend of Tarzan" (PG-13): After spending time in the civilized world, a domesticated Lord ...Read more

Movie review: Incisive 'Eat That Question' gives Frank Zappa the stage

LOS ANGELES -- Not to put too fine a point on it, but Frank Zappa, the fiercely idiosyncratic musician and composer, hated being interviewed.

"It's one of the most abnormal things you can do to anyone, two steps removed from the Inquisition," he once said with typical brio, adding, "I don't think anyone has ever seen the real Frank Zappa."

...Read more

Movie review: Sam Neill anchors 'Wilderpeople,' a hilarious, touching New Zealand odyssey

LOS ANGELES -- Every once in a while, a small, unheralded film comes along, so smart and funny, such a pleasure to experience, you can't believe your luck. "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" is such a film.

The wacky story of the way-unlikely alliance between an overweight reprobate of a teenager and a surly, wilderness-loving loner, "Wilderpeople" ...Read more

Movie review: Hypnotic 'Neon Demon' stylishly crosses fashion with horror

LOS ANGELES -- Even if you were to somehow miss the elegant "NWR" monogram in the opening credits, you would be safe in assuming that Nicolas Winding Refn's latest film is a self-indulgent exercise in style. But what self-indulgence, and what style!

A surreal urban fairy tale, "The Neon Demon" unfolds in a murderously debauched corner of the ...Read more

2016 Kennedy Center Honors go to the Eagles, Al Pacino, Mavis Staples and more

The Kennedy Center Honors on Thursday announced its honorees for 2016 with recognition going to Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, musical group the Eagles, actor Al Pacino, singer Mavis Staples and musician James Taylor.

The honor for the Eagles in particular will be bittersweet, as founding member Glenn Frey died in January. The group was ...Read more

Movie review: C'mon in, the water's Lively in 'The Shallows”

LOS ANGELES -- There's an excellent movie now in theaters: a deeply moving adventure about a traumatized young female who plunges into unfamiliar waters and experiences terror and salvation by way of some computer-generated marine life. But enough about "Finding Dory." If you're looking for a quick and satisfying summer thrill -- a reminder that...Read more

Jury sides with Led Zeppelin in copyright infringement case

LOS ANGELES -- Rock giant Led Zeppelin did not lift music that formed the basis for their iconic hit "Stairway to Heaven," a jury found Thursday, clearing the iconic rock band of accusations that it stole the opening riff of one of rock music's most celebrated songs.

The unanimous decision by the panel of eight men and women came after a ...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. 1.5 stars. Sasha Baron Cohen joins Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in this inferior, dull sequel to Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland." It's a theme-park ride with a hollow heart. 1 hr. 45. PG (fantasy, action) -- Tirdad Derakhshani

THE ANGRY BIRDS. 2 stars. Well-made, funny, fast and ...Read more

TV review: Bill Simmons kicks off 'Any Given Wednesday' on HBO

It isn't often that C-SPAN trumps HBO in terms of new and original programming, but on Wednesday night that's exactly what happened.

Late Wednesday morning, Rep. John Lewis and a group of fellow Democrats took over the House floor to demand a vote on gun control legislation. Chanting "No bill, no break," Democrats staged a sit-in that forced ...Read more