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'Deadpool 2' tops 'Avengers' but fails to surpass its predecessor

LOS ANGELES -- Two Josh Brolin-led Marvel movies dominated the domestic box office this weekend, led by 20th Century Fox's "Deadpool 2."

"It's Deadpool's world and we're just living in it," said Chris Aronson, the studio's president of distribution.

The film opened in first place with $125 million, the second biggest debut for an R-rated film ...Read more

A new-world spin on old tradition

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was grand in many ways, but perhaps the most striking aspect were the myriad collisions of American and British culture.

The wedding was an unprecedented mix of royal pomp, British tradition, black-American culture and Hollywood celebrity. Britain's longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...Read more

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or as Spike Lee takes second place at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

He sat in his seat, perfectly still, as if he couldn't believe the news. And he was not the only one surprised, as master Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda was the unexpected but very welcome winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or for his "Shoplifters."

Kore-eda has been at the festival several times before, most recently with films ...Read more

Japanese director Kore-Eda wins best-film prize at Cannes

CANNES, France -- Hirokazu Kore-Eda Saturday became the first Japanese director in 21 years to win the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or for best film.

Kore-Eda was awarded the prize for "Shoplifters," which tells a heartbreaking story about a family of petty criminals.

The last Japanese director to win the prize was Shohei Imamura in 1997 for...Read more

Album reviews: Playboi Carti, Arctic Monkeys, Brent Cobb

Playboi Carti

"Die Lit"

(AWGE/Interscope )

Atlanta's Playboi Carti would not be the first artist to be looked upon as enigmatic, especially as -- up until the present -- he's released none of his own solo material to show for his long rep as the king of the mumble rappers. Features? He's had a slew of them since 2014, with repetitive, ...Read more

'13 Reasons Why' wades deeper into controversial territory in Season 2

The first season of "13 Reasons Why," an adaptation of Jay Asher's young adult novel of the same name, was a binge-fest for young viewers. But the Netflix series, which centers on the lead-up to a teenage girl's suicide, also became a cultural lightning rod, triggering critical takes on its value and potential danger.

While the first season ...Read more

When Harry Met Meghan: The royal wedding is the perfect Hollywood ending for a very Hollywood story

LOS ANGELES -- In Hollywood, the best love stories are the ones that involve an Unlikely Couple -- two people so divided by family or fate, time or class, personality or geography that it seems impossible they will ever get together.

Saturday's royal wedding provides a happy ending made possible by Hollywood, so it makes sense that it involves ...Read more

P. Diddy revealed as buyer of $21 million painting

CHICAGO -- Hip-hop mogul P. Diddy has been revealed as the buyer of Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall's "Past Times," the work that sold at auction this week for $21 million, a price believed to be near the maximum paid for a living artist.

Marshall's New York dealer, Jack Shainman, told the New York Times that P. Diddy, whose real name is ...Read more

Star cellist, 19, was to perform in L.A., but then Meghan Markle called

LOS ANGELES -- You've heard of a runaway bride. But what about a runaway cellist?

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra learned that it will be left at the altar this weekend -- the altar being the Alex Theatre on Glendale, Calif. For the last concert of its 50th anniversary season, LACO was to perform with 19-year-old British cello virtuoso Sheku ...Read more

The bracing 'First Reformed,' starring a superb Ethan Hawke, resurrects Paul Schrader's career

In the opening shot of Paul Schrader's new movie, the camera creeps slowly toward First Reformed Church, a small chapel in upstate New York that has welcomed parishioners since 1767. The place has seen better days, and so has its weary reverend, Ernst Toller (a superb Ethan Hawke).

He leads a weekly congregation of about four or five in a ...Read more

'Cold Water,' Olivier Assayas' brilliant 1994 film, finally arrives in the U.S.

There are a few different meanings for the title of the 1994 French youth drama "Cold Water," an early triumph for the writer-director Olivier Assayas that is only now receiving a proper U.S. theatrical release.

An intimate, enveloping tale of romance and rebellion set in 1972, the film opens in a suburb near Paris but soon follows its 16-year-...Read more

'Whitney' offers an unflinching look at Whitney Houston's triumphs and tragedies

"The biggest devil is me," Whitney Houston told Diane Sawyer in her most infamous interview.

It was an exchange confirming years of speculation that the pop superstar had struggled with substance abuse, a dependency that ultimately contributed to her death at age 48 in 2012.

By the time the interview -- the same one where she proclaims "crack ...Read more

Saoirse Ronan and Ian McEwan reunite for tragic romance 'On Chesil Beach'

"On Chesil Beach" is a beautifully made film that is as difficult to write about as it is to watch, and it is inescapably hard to watch.

Yet the reasons it is difficult -- a completely heartbreaking story brought to exquisite life via immaculate writing, directing and acting -- are why it's worth putting up with the pain.

The story of the ...Read more

The looming specter of #MeToo stories turned into fodder for TV and film

It is inevitable that the #MeToo movement will be turned into TV and film. But whose stories are being told? And who gets to tell them?

The answers feel, well, actually kind of predictable for Hollywood.

Last week, the New Yorker published a long and fascinating profile of TV producer Ryan Murphy and in it, he mentioned an idea for an ...Read more

Snark conquers all in 'Deadpool 2,' a superhero sequel that's more of the same

It's not easy to capture lightning in a bottle twice, and it's even harder to push boundaries when you're playing it safe.

In "Deadpool 2," the manic antics fly fast, but the franchise loses its edge as wise-cracking antihero Deadpool goes dadcore, attempting to infuse standard-issue four-quadrant studio blockbuster beats into what was once a ...Read more

'Catfish' host Nev Schulman denies sexual misconduct accusations as MTV investigates

"Catfish" host and executive producer Nev Schulman denied accusations of sexual misconduct Thursday following MTV's suspension of production on the show pending a third-party investigation.

On Saturday, Ayissha Morgan published a video to her YouTube page titled "The TRUTH about the show Part 1," which detailed purported misconduct by "the main...Read more

The CW is saying goodbye to 'Jane the Virgin,' 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' and hello to Sundays with 'Charmed' reboot

The CW is charming its way into Sunday and saying goodbye to some fan favorites.

The 2018-19 season will see the network, which until now has been doling out 10 hours of programming each week, boost its primetime schedule by 20 percent by adding two hours of scripted programming on Sunday nights. And the network is hoping to cast a spell from ...Read more

John Travolta on #MeToo: 'I honestly don't know a ton about it'

CANNES, France -- John Travolta doesn't do a lot of interviews. But at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of his mob drama "Gotti," in which he plays embattled mafia don John Gotti, the Oscar-nominated actor sat for a two-hour conversation as part of the festival's master class series, dubbed "Rendez-vous with."

The event was moderated ...Read more

'Deadpool 2' to unseat 'Avengers: Infinity War' at the weekend box office

Time for Iron Man and Captain America to give someone else a turn at the box office -- namely, the guy known for throwing shade at his fellow superheroes.

Ryan Reynolds' foul-mouthed mercenary, Deadpool (aka Wade Wilson), is poised to rule the charts this weekend, two years after the superhuman antihero first shattered film industry ...Read more

'Book Club': This mature lady rom-com is no page turner

"Book Club" is not about reading.

There's a book club in "Book Club," all right. But its members -- Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Mary Steenburgen -- choose to read "Fifty Shades of Grey," and subsequent discussions are not of a literary nature.

Instead the women are inspired to resume ... well, let's call it dating. Those that...Read more