Movie review: 'Captain America: Civil War' provides Satisfying superheroism

The solemn, wrecking-ball mediocrity that was "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" made either too much or not enough of its key themes: collateral damage; vigilante excess and the ethics of peacekeeping through extreme force; as, more to the marketing point, the bloodsport appeal of should-be crime-fighting allies beating the hell out of each ...Read more

Movie review: 'Captain America: Civil War' is the remedy for superhero fatigue

"Captain America: Civil War" is an intimate epic, a giant-sized comic-book movie in which people, not superheroes, steal the show. This is the biggest Marvel Studios film to date -- the story plays out on a global scale and the main cast reaches double digits -- but many of its best moments are small, throwaway beats: Bucky Barnes (Sebastian ...Read more

Movie review: 'Captain America: Civil War' is dependable, enjoyable

Every summer, a Marvel superhero film sweeps into theaters like a breath of fresh air, a standard-bearer. This May, that's "Captain America: Civil War," directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. There's political commentary, emotional stakes and plenty of action, but with a lighthearted quality, zingers and jokes littered throughout to brighten up the ...Read more

Movie review: Secrets lurk below the surface in terrific 'A Bigger Splash'

During one of the first decadent Italian meals in "A Bigger Splash," Harry (Ralph Fiennes) cracks open the thick salt crust baked onto a fish to reveal the delicate flesh below. It's an appropriate metaphor for the film itself, which is a cinematic feast for the eyes and senses, and where everyone's concealing a secret or a vulnerability from ...Read more

'Hamilton' writes its own history and breaks record with 16 Tony nominations

NEW YORK -- "Hamilton," Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop musical about America's founding fathers wrote its own bit of Tony Award history Tuesday morning by picking up 16 nominations, breaking the record held by "Billy Elliot" and "The Producers."

"Hamilton," already something of a shoo-in to win best musical, will now aim for "The Producers'" ...Read more

Movie review: 'Captain America: Civil War' punches its way to a whip-smart political allegory

The most impressive superpower on display in "Captain America: Civil War" isn't Tony Stark flying in a tin suit or Steve Rogers throwing a hefty shield like a Frisbee. It's the whole team's ability to give an escapist comic book movie an intelligent sense of connection to life in the modern world.

The 13th film in the eight-year-old Disney/...Read more

Beyond the tragedy, 'Janis: Little Girl Blue' reveals Joplin as a smart, funny, vulnerable feminist conundrum

Documentary filmmaker Amy Berg ("West of Memphis," "Prophet's Prey") has made an elegant, affectionate and, in many ways, remarkably cheerful film about Janis Joplin -- blues singer, bandleader, rock icon, feminist conundrum. "Janis: Little Girl Blue" comes to television under the banner of the PBS series "American Masters," and rightfully so.

...Read more

List of DVD release dates for May 3 and beyond

Following is a partial schedule of coming movies on DVD. Release dates are subject to change:


3: Joy

3. The 5th Wave

3: The Choice

3: Remember

3: A Royal Night Out

3. Anesthesia

3: Hyena Road

3: 400 Days

3: Glassland

3: The Last Ship: Season 2

10: Deadpool

10: The Boy

10: Where to Invade Next

10: Creative Control

10: ...Read more

New on DVD for May 3: 'Joy' and 'The Choice'

Love and money are themes in this week's new DVD releases:

"Joy," 3 stars: The film reunites actors Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro with director/writer David O. Russell, the team that made the marvelous "Silver Linings Playbook." Their latest collaboration looks like the same beautifully crafted tale of quirky characters ...Read more

Television Q&A: 'Brink,' 'Longmire,' 'Glass Castle,' 'Devious Maids,' more

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: Just got done binge-watching "The Brink." We are left with many loose ends. I cannot believe HBO will leave us in this situation. Any chances that this show will be set for another season?

A: No. The show starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins was dropped in October 2015 after one season. Making that a ...Read more

Kate Baldwin's winning Anna powers Lyric's 'King and I'

CHICAGO -- Anna Leonowens arrives in Siam in widow's weeds, a bereaved colonialist determined to lose herself in her work. She is not yet old enough to abandon her sexual being, but it is just one of the markers of brilliance in Oscar Hammerstein's book to "The King and I" that Mrs. Anna, the scientific woman who otherwise seems to know ...Read more

Hulu is developing a cable-like package of channels

LOS ANGELES -- Hulu is preparing a cable-like digital bundle that would stream feeds of broadcast and cable TV channels, a person familiar with the matter said.

The streaming service, based outside Los Angeles, is the latest media company to get into the so-called "skinny bundle" business, which refers to the idea of creating slimmer TV ...Read more

Second City e.t.c.'s 'Red Line' runs over Chicago's sacred cows

CHICAGO -- The admirably fearless new revue at the Second City e.t.c., "A Red Line Runs Through It," mostly runs right through Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose outsized smiling visage is such a visual and thematic presence in the show -- indeed, it's the backdrop for the best part of the show. A show with more political guts than you'll find ...Read more

Sumner Redstone's testimony of 'utmost significance,' judge declares

LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge said Monday that the ailing Sumner Redstone will have to testify in the upcoming trial to determine whether he is mentally competent.

Redstone will have to give a 15-minute deposition, which will be videotaped and played for the judge at trial. That portion of the trial will be closed to ...Read more

Fox's 'Houdini & Doyle': The game is afoot in turn-of-the-last century London

In Fox's new Canadian-British-American series "Houdini & Doyle," the famous escape artist and the creator of Sherlock Holmes team to solve murders in turn-of-the-last-century London. It is less exciting than it sounds.

It is true that the men knew each other, though not until 20 years after this story is set. In this imaginary timeline, Houdini...Read more

Here is why Hollywood also has an LGBT diversity issue

It is no secret that Hollywood has a diversity issue -- just take a look at the past two years of #OscarsSoWhite. But more than some may have expected, the industry's exclusion problems extend past the conventional conversation about race/ethnicity and sex. According to the latest study from GLAAD, released Monday, LGBT representation in film ...Read more

Judge confirms appointment of special administrator on Prince's estate

CHASKA, Minn. -- With the approval of most of Prince's siblings, a judge Monday confirmed the appointment of Bremer Trust, National Association as special administrator to manage the late musician's assets.

Carver County District Court Judge Kevin Eide ruled on the matter during a 10-minute hearing attended by several of Prince's relatives, ...Read more

Album review: Wintry and subdued: Those are the 'Views' from Drake's latest release

Expectation management is a complicated pop-music game, and Drake has dealt himself a challenging hand with "Views" (OVO Sound 1/2), the Canadian rapper's long-awaited fourth official album, released Thursday night.

Drake started talking about the album, then called "Views From the 6," way back in 2014. (The number is a nickname for his ...Read more

New albums: Lera Lynn, Darrell Scott Brian Eno

Lera Lynn


(Resistor Music )

Lera Lynn is best known as the lounge singer in the second (not as good as the first) season of the HBO noir drama "True Detective" -- she plays the heroin-addicted chanteuse with the flat affect who sang melancholy songs she wrote with Roseanne Cash and T-Bone Burnett. The songs on "Resistor" share some...Read more

Drake's 'Views' can seem contradictory

Superstardom buys many things, and Drake names an awful lot of them on his plush new album "Views."

There's the yacht "so big that they try to hit me with boat fines." There are the elaborate pool parties that transform his backyard into Mardi Gras. And there's the car he paid $1.5 million for -- then drove only five times.

"Dropped out of ...Read more