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Ninja Warriors love to test themselves against the quirkiest obstacles you've ever seen

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. -- The place is hard to find. You must drive into the mountains above Santa Cruz, following a road that turns from asphalt to dirt, then park at the top of a rise and look for a path whose entrance is deliberately concealed by brush.

A handful of men and women arrive here on a weekday afternoon in late spring, tramping ...Read more

Review: 'This Is Not Berlin' vividly conjures a bygone Mexican counterculture

The exuberant Mexican drama "This Is Not Berlin" opens with a quote from Proust and a blast of raucous misfit energy: It's like a promise that we are about to see a memory broken open and poured out onscreen, raw and unfiltered. In the opening scene, boys from rival schools are locked in an afternoon brawl, while Carlos (Xabiani Ponce de Leon), ...Read more

Mary McNamara: Middle school is the new high school. Catch up, pop culture

It might have been the full-page dress code or the Instagram photos of the already decorated lockers or all the sleek new haircuts framing expressions of careful ennui as they made their way down the early morning sidewalk. Whatever the culture-tipping factor, delivering my third and youngest child to her first day in seventh grade, I realized ...Read more

Review: 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' gets real about body image and self-worth

"Brittany Runs a Marathon" is as simple and declarative as a movie title gets. The film itself, blessedly, is anything but.

A singular amalgam of humor, heartache and self-help that won the U.S. dramatic audience award at Sundance, "Brittany" resolutely goes its own way, entertaining us as richly as anything that's come out in a while.

Written...Read more

Rapper Kodak Black pleads guilty to lying to gun seller, faces decade in prison

MIAMI -- Rapper Kodak Black, accused of lying on documents while purchasing weapons at a Hialeah distribution center earlier this year, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday.

Black, a 22-year-old Pompano Beach song writer whose real name is Dieuson Octave, was arrested prior to a performance at the Rolling Loud Music Festival in Miami ...Read more

Sean Spicer responds to 'Dancing With the Stars' backlash

Sean Spicer attempted a somewhat diplomatic approach when addressing the backlash surrounding his recent casting on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," saying that he hoped the show would give people "another opportunity to see a side of me that is different."

Donald Trump's former White House press secretary was the source of both internal ...Read more

Oops! Taylor Swift accidentally reveals she's opening the VMAs

Look what you made her do.

Taylor Swift accidentally let slip that she'll be opening the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, during an interview with "Good Morning America" on Thursday. Plus, she elaborated on her decision to rerecord her older albums in a defiant stand against talent manager Scooter Braun.

"I'm opening the show, so that's exciting,"...Read more

Sarah Huckabee Sanders joins Fox News as a contributor

Former Trump White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed on to become a paid contributor for Fox News Channel, the network announced Thursday.

Sanders, 37, departed the Trump administration in July after serving as the president's chief spokesperson for two years. She will begin her career as a pundit on Sept. 6, making her ...Read more

Tom Bergeron wanted 'DWTS' to avoid politics. Then Sean Spicer was cast

"Dancing With the Stars" host Tom Bergeron has waded into the political debate surrounding ABC's casting of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the long-running dance competition.

The stalwart Bergeron, ever the voice of reason in the show's cavalcade of sequins, feathers and spray tans, voiced his disappointment Wednesday over "...Read more

Review: 'Jawline' examines the fleeting fame of live streams

Liza Mandelup's debut documentary feature, "Jawline," opens with a photo shoot. Aspiring digital heartthrob Austyn Tester, a good-natured teen from rural Tennessee, asks his brother, Donovan, to take his picture with his smartphone. None of the many, many shots are good enough. They eventually give up, planning to try again later for perfection....Read more

Brad Pitt knows what really happened to Cliff's wife in 'Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood'

Among the many enigmas, controversies and unexplained mysteries within Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" is a bit of backstory about Brad Pitt's character, Cliff Booth. What happened to his late wife?

A stuntman and war veteran resigned that his best days are behind him, Booth works as a handyman, driver and general aide-...Read more

Trump's Jewish comments play on anti-Semitism in culture, film and art

Nazi caricatures of Jews as conniving, scurrilous schemers -- a people of hooked noses and sinister motives -- infused the art, literature, film and propaganda that led to the Holocaust. Jews had been stereotyped for centuries across Europe as devious and untrustworthy. They hoarded money, killed Jesus, betrayed the French, brought vermin and ...Read more

Venice Film Festival preview: Can 'Joker,' Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson and 'Birth of a Nation''s Nate Parker continue the festival's hot streak?

Begun in 1932, the Venice International Film Festival can be described the way "Guys and Dolls" described gambler Nathan Detroit's livelihood. It's the oldest established permanent floating crap game in the business.

The festival's headquarters, the Palazzo del Cinema not far from the swank Hotel Excelsior facing the Adriatic Sea, is located on...Read more

Todd Martens: In the Trump era, can videogames about killing Nazis be just 'for fun'?

Part history lesson, part warning that history may repeat itself, the upcoming strategy game "Through the Darkest of Times" is driven by news headlines.

One day brings talk of trade tensions and higher tariffs on imported goods. Another day an attack on a research institute inspires debate over whether LGBTQ citizens should have equal rights. ...Read more

Need a feel-good movie? Rush out to see 'Peanut Butter Falcon'

"The Peanut Butter Falcon," the story of a fugitive on the lam with a young man with Down syndrome, is an affecting, appealing piece of Americana.

Zak (Zack Gottsagen) is an orphan housed by the state in a Virginia old folks home. He slips out one night to pursue his dream of meeting and training with the pro wrestler whose tapes he watches ...Read more

Television Q&A: Is the end of TNT's 'Animal Kingdom' near?

You have questions. I have some answers, starting with a spoiler-y question if you haven't been keeping up with "Animal Kingdom."

Q: Does the death of Smurf (Ellen Barkin) signal the end of "Animal Kingdom" on TNT?

A: No. Another season of the drama has been ordered, although fans were stunned at Barkin's departure. Executive producer John ...Read more

'Dancing With the Stars': See who's who in the wild, weird 2019 cast

A "Queer Eye" host, a "Bachelorette" and a former White House press secretary walk into a dance studio ...

Only "Dancing With the Stars" could round up a cast that is simultaneously as star-studded and as random as its 2019 lineup, which includes Karamo Brown, Hannah Brown and Sean Spicer as well as supermodel Christie Brinkley, Fifth Harmony ...Read more

For her new album, 'Lover,' Taylor Swift has embraced streaming. But is it too late?

For more than a decade, Taylor Swift's record sales have been about as close to a sure thing as exists in the rarely settled music industry.

When the singer's most recent album, "Reputation," came out in 2017, it sold more than 1.2 million copies in its first week -- her fourth record in a row to go platinum essentially upon release. (That's ...Read more

Jennifer Aniston and Mark Hamill couldn't save 'The Kids Are Alright.' Can its impassioned star?

Nothing in life is permanent, least of all television. But we are creatures of the moment, and the imminent next moment: As it's happening, the loss of a TV series can feel like a kick in the head.

Mary McCormack is feeling that loss, from the inside. Known for her roles in "Murder One" and "The West Wing," and as the lead of USA's federal-...Read more

Review: 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' takes comedian Jillian Bell on a compelling journey

It's not often that your best friend writes and directs their debut feature film about you, but Brittany O'Neill's mental and physical transformation inspired her friend/writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo to make "Brittany Runs a Marathon," a drama disguised as a comedy about the hard work of changing yourself. Comedian Jillian Bell steps into ...Read more

 

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