Review: 'Animals' on HBO turns our furry friends into the obnoxious bro next-door

For years, I've wished animals could speak, but it took only four half-hour episodes of HBO's new animated series "Animals" for me to pray they'd shut up.

Seriously, who knew that urban rats, pigeons, dogs, cats, swans and geese were so weirdly insecure and blindly narcissistic? Awkward at parties, concerned about their virility, traumatized by...Read more

Cigarettes on screen leave us breathless

Like so many of our contemporaries, my brother and I grew up in a sea of harvest gold and avocado green, and the most interesting furniture in our Racine, Wis., house was a hi-fi that took an entire old-growth forest to manufacture. Above that sea of green and gold, with Burt Bacharach and the original cast album of "The Music Man" wafting out ...Read more

Time is tricky in '45 Years'

TORONTO -- For a couple about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, time would seem to be on their side. But secrets may not be.

"45 Years" stars newly minted Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling and veteran actor Tom Courtenay as Kate and Geoff. They seem like an ideally matched English couple until a letter from Switzerland arrives with ...Read more

Review: Spike Lee's 'Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall' really shakes it down

The title of Spike Lee's "Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall," an exhilarating new documentary on Showtime, could not be any plainer or more accurate. It's the story of how a child prodigy and pre-teen idol became a world-conquering solo artist, from the Jackson 5, to the Jacksons, to the man who was Michael.

Every artist is ...Read more

Movie review: In 'Rams,' hardheaded Icelandic brothers clash with each other but love their animals

"Rams" is named not only in honor of the sheep that are central to its story but also because of two men, as hardheaded and rambunctious as they come, who are devoted to the sheep but can't stand each other.

Written and directed by Grimur Hakonarson and winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, "Rams" is the latest in a series of ...Read more

Jason Sudeikis is an everyman for the early 21st century

When Jason Sudeikis was making the Farrelly brothers' 2011 comedy "Hall Pass," writer-director Peter Farrelly told the comic actor he reminded him of Jack Lemmon, the everyman Oscar winner who was equally adept at comedy and drama.

"I'm flattered by the comparison, especially given the breath of what I have done to this point," Sudeikis, 40, ...Read more

Academy Awards: #OscarsSoWhite joins a long line of Oscar controversies

The #OscarsSoWhite uproar over the lack of diversity in the Academy Award nominations the last two years and the subsequent call by some for a boycott of the ceremony played a role in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changing the rules regarding the organization's membership.

But boycotts are nothing new in academy history. The ...Read more

Movie review: 'Boy and the World' draws viewers in to animated story of a boy's world

Like silence, white space is a seriously undervalued tactic in animation. Think about it: Few things capture your eye more immediately than tiny bits of color or movement, swathed in a sea of bright nothingness.

The beguiling Brazilian feature "Boy and the World" proves this from its very first hand-drawn moments. Writer-director Ale Abreu's ...Read more

Movie review: A portrait of 1960s' 'Troublemakers' who changed the art world landscape in a big, big way

An involving and exciting inside look at some of the most middle-of-nowhere outdoors art ever made, "Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art" is a brief 72-minute documentary that covers a lot of territory, both literally and figuratively.

Though visitors to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be familiar with Michael Heizer's outdoor "...Read more

Movie review: 'Arabian Nights: Vol. 1 — The Restless One' is ambitious portrait of Europe in crisis

The subtitle tells the truth; here is a wonderfully restless movie. To the critic-turned-filmmaker Miguel Gomes, Portugal has become a socially unjust excuse for a "bread and water" existence. His feelings about the state of his nation inform every seemingly clashing element of his three-part, six-hour whirligig titled "Arabian Nights."

Gomes ...Read more

Samantha Bee finally gets shot at her own show

LOS ANGELES -- For the past 15 years, "The Daily Show" has surpassed "Saturday Night Live" as TV's sturdiest springboard to stardom. But while Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver were encouraged to take the plunge, the series' longest-serving correspondent remained in the kiddie pool.

Samantha Bee finally gets her turn on the high ...Read more

Q&A: Samantha Bee goes 'Full Frontal' after long 'Daily Show' run

NEW YORK -- Samantha Bee will bring a much-needed female perspective to the male-dominated world of late-night comedy when her weekly show, "Full Frontal," debuts Monday on TBS. She'll also bring the fearlessness that defined her 12 years as a correspondent on "The Daily Show," where she filed reliably hilarious reports on sometimes grim ...Read more

Beyonce announces 'Formation' world tour moments after Super Bowl halftime show

No one holds on to a secret like Beyonce does.

After a weekend that included her eagerly awaited return to the Super Bowl stage and the surprise release of a new single called "Formation," the pop diva announced Sunday she will hit the road this spring in a commercial that dropped right after her appearance alongside Coldplay and Bruno Mars.

...Read more

'Kung Fu Panda 3' wins weekend box-office battle

LOS ANGELES -- Neither the Coen brothers nor zombies in Jane Austen's England could claw their way to the top of the box office as 20th Century Fox's "Kung Fu Panda 3" kept its hold on moviegoers.

The latest "Kung Fu Panda" installment grossed an estimated $21 million in the U.S. and Canada over the past weekend. After opening Jan. 29 with a ...Read more

Inarritu wins DGA award for best feature film

LOS ANGELES--For the second year in a row, Alejandro G. Inarritu won the Director's Guild of America's feature film award Saturday, giving his survival drama "The Revenant" a boost in the ever-shifting best picture race.

"I never expected to win this award, truly," Inarritu said, after earning the first back-to-back win in DGA history. "I'm ......Read more

Around the remote: "Superbowl 50", "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee", more

DON'T MISS: Super Bowl 50 -- Break out the chicken wings and adult beverages. America's day of gridiron gluttony is finally upon us. The big game pits the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos in Santa Clara, Calif., as about a gazillion TV viewers look on. Oh, but it's about so much more than football. There's the totally wacky ...Read more

PAFF, where black films matter

LOS ANGELES -- When Hollywood studio executives say there aren't a lot of black-led films for them to produce and distribute, Ayuko Babu laughs. He then picks up the event booklet for the upcoming Pan African Film & Arts Festival at which more than 100 largely made by black filmmakers will be shown.

Babu, who founded the festival 24 years ago, ...Read more

'Accessibility' is key to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's push for change

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art may be almost a century and a half old, but that doesn't mean that one of the oldest art institutions in the United States isn't intent on evolving.

In mid-March, the museum will open a new branch devoted to Modern and contemporary art: The Met Breuer, which will inhabit the Marcel Breuer-designed building ...Read more

Broadcasting legend Jack Whitaker called Super Bowl I, says game now is 'almost secondary'

LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't even called the Super Bowl when Jack Whitaker worked the first pro football championship game between the American Football League and National Football League. Still, he knew 50 years ago that the game he was announcing was something special.

Both CBS and NBC broadcast that showdown on Jan. 15, 1967. Whitaker, Ray ...Read more

Lily James takes on fierce role as zombie killer in twist on 'Pride and Prejudice'

LOS ANGELES -- It hits you as soon as Lily James walks into the room: The star of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" looks like she has been whisked out of the 19th century by some form of time traveler, wrapped in modern garments and deposited in the 21st century. The look has worked for her on the TV show "Downton Abbey" and the film "...Read more