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Idris Elba, Emma Watson, Ice Cube among 683 invited to join the movie academy — the largest, most diverse class ever

LOS ANGELES -- Brie Larson, John Boyega, America Ferrera, Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman were among 683 invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Wednesday in what the nearly 90-year-old organization touted as its largest and most diverse new class ever.

The group represents the latest and most dramatic sign of the...Read more

Movie review: Oscar-winner Rylance delightful to watch in Spielberg's 'The BFG'

There's a lot not quite right and even flat-out wrong with "The BFG," and we'll get to that. There's also a lot that's very, very right, starting with Mark Rylance's astonishing performance-capture portrayal of the Big Friendly Giant created by author Roald Dahl. The right stuff makes it worth seeing.

Like millions of other kids, I cherished ...Read more

Movie review: 'The Purge: Election Year' is the craziest Purge yet

"The Purge," 2013's low-budget home invasion horror hit, found its breakout star in The Purge itself: an annual 12 hour bloodbath of government-sanctioned mayhem. In this dystopian near-future, the New Founding Fathers of America have instituted the contained lawlessness in order to keep crime, and the population, in check. The 2014 sequel, "The...Read more

Film's touchy subject a legal tangle: Accusations fly over the details of documentary 'Tickled'

LOS ANGELES -- When David Farrier first stumbled upon the largely secret world of competitive endurance tickling, it seemed like just another quirky story for him to cover as an entertainment and pop culture journalist for New Zealand television.

But the tone of his story changed after he took a closer look and found what he alleges is a ...Read more

Should a chimp have legal rights? Legal battle to grant animals 'personhood' transforms creators of 'Unlocking the Cage'

LOS ANGELES -- D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus are renowned for their clear-eyed documentaries examining everything from presidential campaigns ("The War Room," from 1993, which documented Bill Clinton's rise and brought the political duo of James Carville and George Stephanopoulos to the world) to obsessive French chefs ("Kings of Pastry," ...Read more

That daring Daniels duo: Filmmaking pair who go by one name mix stupidity and sincerity in 'Swiss Army Man'

Among the most-talked about movies at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, "Swiss Army Man" is a work of wild imagination and furious creativity with a whimsical sense of invention and a lingering air of melancholy isolation. It also features a corpse who talks and passes gas, among other bodily surprises.

Daring to be both stupid and ...Read more

Movie review: 'The BFG' is no big deal

Steven Spielberg loves introducing children to alternate universes and amazing creatures.

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T." and "Jurassic Park" aren't just technological wonders, they're great original kids' adventures. His magic act works less effectively when he makes faithful adaptations of existing children's classics. His 2011 ...Read more

Nite Jewel explores a fresh sonic world with notes of R&B in her latest album

LOS ANGELES -- Ramona Gonzalez makes smart, fuzzy beat music as Nite Jewel, but when it came to writing songs for her self-produced new album, "Liquid Cool," she sought stillness. Or to be more precise, the particular sensation in daily life when communication gives way to isolation.

"You close the laptop, and then, silence, you're alone," says...Read more

Q&A: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner gets lethal with 'Orange Is the New Black'

A year after Don Draper bought the world a Coke in the series finale of "Mad Men," his creator, Matthew Weiner, has returned to television -- not as a writer or show runner but as a director on Netflix's prison dramedy, "Orange Is the New Black."

Weiner helmed the penultimate installment of Season 4, "The Animals," which ended with a tragic ...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The Top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of June 20:

1. How to Be Single -- Warner

2. Zootopia -- Disney

3. 10 Cloverfield Lane -- Paramount

4. Deadpool -- Fox

5. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi -- Paramount

6. Ride Along 2 -- Universal

7. The Brothers Grimsby -- Sony

8. The Boy -- Universal

9. Dirty Grandpa -- ...Read more

Album review: 'The Mountain Will Fall' revels in darkness

DJ Shadow set a new standard for the art of sample-based composition with his auspicious 1996 debut album, "Endtroducing." It was an album that turned snippets of obscure recordings into aural journeys, as if Shadow were orchestrating a perfectly sequenced dream, creating order out of randomness.

That everything Shadow, aka Josh Davis, has ...Read more

ABC's summer of nostalgic pop fun: 'Greatest Hits' tackles musical eras with a fresh spin on the singing genre

For anyone who has ever watched the Grammys, the scene onstage was familiar. While the hit song being performed was recognizable, the artists were polar opposites, each from a different genre and era.

On this recent afternoon it was rootsy singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt and emerging soul singer Andra Day. Presiding over the left-field pairing ...Read more

Movie review: Spielberg, Dahl work well together in 'The BFG'

It makes sense that the sensibilities of Steven Spielberg and Roald Dahl would someday collide, as they do in Spielberg's adaptation of Dahl's "The BFG." Both artists often tell stories about misunderstood children finding connections with misunderstood, fantastical, alien creatures. They have a knack for drawing out the dark and maudlin aspects...Read more

Movie review: 'The Music of Strangers' is soulful doc on Yo-Yo Ma and his world-music band

Typical of so much video associated with the beloved, charismatic cellist Yo-Yo Ma, "The Music of Strangers" is full of humanitarian philosophy and picturesque shots of artist and cello in exotic locales.

But preemptive skepticism is best placed on hold. Morgan Neville's high-budget HBO documentary about Ma and the musicians in his cross-...Read more

Wheeler Walker Jr., alter ego of comedian Ben Hoffman, is more than a dirty joke

Are you ready for this country?

"My goal was to make the best country album of the year and make it completely unplayable. So I achieved my goal," Wheeler Walker Jr. says. "It's a pretty dumb goal."

Speaking from a van headed to New Orleans from Dallas, the singer is discussing his deeply country -- and outrageously filthy -- debut album, "...Read more

Movie review: A count hits Freud's couch, comically, in 'Therapy for a Vampire'

"I'm not good at self-reflection," a new patient tells Sigmund Freud in the Austrian horror comedy, "Therapy for a Vampire." "I feel old and tired. I've seen everything ... . I no longer have a thirst for life."

A stylish, painterly picture that evokes classic horror films from the 1930s, writer-director David Ruhm's send-up of genre films is ...Read more

Movie guide: Capsule listings, reviews of current releases

Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (...Read more

Hollywood's 15 all-time best movies based on kids' books

Steven Spielberg's "The BFG," which debuted last month at Cannes and comes to theaters July 1, is an appropriately big adaptation of a characteristically strange Roald Dahl story, first published in 1982, about an orphan girl (played by the very-Dahlish sounding Ruby Barnhill) scooped up and taken away in the dead of night by a big friendly ...Read more

Ludacris to play Guantanamo on the Fourth of July

MIAMI -- Rapper Ludacris is putting on a show for the folks at U.S. Navy base Guantanamo on the Fourth of July.

But don't think about trying to jump on a boat or plane to see it. The base in Cuba best known for the detention center that President Barack Obama wants closed is inside a restricted military zone. Fewer than 6,000 people live there,...Read more

Rihanna releases new song for 'Star Trek Beyond' soundtrack

Rihanna and Sia previously penned a smash-hit tune about glittering objects floating in the infinity of space. So it's a natural fit that they'd return to collaborating for the new "Star Trek Beyond" film.

Rihanna has released a new single, "Sledgehammer," from the sci-fi epic's soundtrack. The song is in a new trailer for the film, out July 22...Read more