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Movie review: 'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' succeeds where most 'Transformers' movies have failed

Taking a live-action “Transformers” movie seriously feels absurd. And yet, that’s what director Michael Bay did with his abysmal reboots of the toy brand starting in 2007, leaving an entire generation of would-be fans with the sense that these shape-shifting robots are as flat, joyless and violent as Superman and Batman are in the hands of...Read more

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Movie review: 'Dalíland' chooses wrong perspective for portrait of artist's later years

Sometimes real historical figures are so grand and eccentric that, like the rare and special occurrence of a solar eclipse, it seems that one can only view them through a pinhole, their light too bright to fully take in. Such is the case in the biopic “Dalíland,” directed by Mary Harron, written by her husband John C. Walsh, which is not ...Read more

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'Past Lives' review: A delicate romantic triangle forms the year's most gratifying film so far

It’s a rare movie that settles, quietly, into some part of your own experiences and memories without a speck of narrative contrivance gumming up your response to the story on the screen.

“Past Lives” is that rarity — modest, I suppose, in scope and budget, yet expansive in its three-part, 24-year unfolding of a friendship that keeps ...Read more

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Sound Advice: Enhance summer fun with video projector bargain

Get a really nice high-definition video projector for $82.99: Regular readers of the column know I love video projection and the big-screen experience. Many are interested, but hesitant to buy an expensive projector because they are not sure how much they will use it. Well, get ready to join the club! I recently found a satisfying high-...Read more

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This is our 'Barbie' era: From a dream house to Margot Robbie and Issa Rae Barbie dolls

C'mon, "Barbie," let's go party.

Mattel Inc. announced a new Barbie collection inspired by one of the most anticipated films of the summer (maybe ever?), created in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Margot Robbie, Issa Rae, America Ferrera and Simu Liu were introduced to the doll versions of their "Barbie" characters in a new video ...Read more

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Family guide to new movie releases


Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language.

What it’s about: Set in 1994, two kids from Brooklyn team up with the Autobots and the Maximals to stop Unicron from destroying the planet.

The kid attractor factor: The big crashy spectacle and talking cars.

Good lessons/bad ...Read more

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Movie review: 'The Flash' a fast-moving, Bat-tastic, universe-altering thrillfest

If it’s not one multiverse, it’s another.

Coming hot on the superhero heels of the mind-blowingly multidimensional animated work of art that is “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” “The Flash” is an almost-as-excellent universe-hopping live-action extravaganza.

Almost always moving at what feels like the speed of light (but, ...Read more

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Review: Booze-fueled tragedy 'Days of Wine and Roses' is now an off-Broadway musical

NEW YORK — Just as New York’s theater world sashays from one end-of-season party to another, bars open at every turn, comes a gorgeously and expressionistically scored new musical from Adam Guettel, an often melancholic composer known as much for the years that flow between his shows as from being Richard Rogers’ immensely talented ...Read more

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Commentary: Why the Tony Awards should give one to the audience this year

Theater audiences have been getting attacked from all sides since venues reopened.

Broadway producers and artistic directors are angry that they’re not showing up in pre-pandemic numbers. Critics are complaining that their conservative taste is holding the American theater back. Actors, resuming their war on phones and hard candy now that ...Read more


Q&A: NC filmmaker and the brother of Jennifer Pandos on HBO's 'Burden of Proof'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new four-part true-crime documentary premiering this week on HBO (and streaming on MAX) goes beyond the typical genre offering.

“Burden of Proof,” directed by Durham filmmaker Cynthia Hill, tells the story of Stephen Pandos and his search for answers about what happened to his sister, Jennifer, who was just 15 years ...Read more

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'Thor's' Chris Hemsworth says Marvel magic often faded: 'I got sick of the character'

Chris Hemsworth dedicated more than a quarter of his life to playing Thor for Marvel. Naturally, taking on the Mjölnir-wielding Norse god grew stale.

Nearly a year after starring in the critically panned "Thor: Love and Thunder," Hemsworth, 39, opened up in a far-ranging interview with British GQ about his time in the Marvel films, his ...Read more

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Redbox's top 10 DVD rentals

The top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of May 29:

1. 65 — Sony

2. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves — Paramount

3. Creed III — Warner

4. Shazam! Fury of the Gods — Warner

5. Cocaine Bear — Universal

6. Knock at the Cabin — Universal

7. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — Marvel Studios

8. 80 for Brady �...Read more

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Seal on the George Clooney connection to 'Kiss From a Rose' and why singing it is a 'minefield'

LOS ANGELES — Dressed in a baggy green flight suit, his fingernails painted black, Seal squared himself behind a microphone in a Van Nuys rehearsal studio and bobbed his signature bald head as his five-person band wound its way through the intro of his song "Fast Changes."

The airy, intricately rhythmic folk-soul tune is hardly the best known...Read more

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In triumphant 'Britain's Got Talent' homecoming, Susan Boyle reveals she had a stroke

Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who became an overnight sensation while competing on "Britain's Got Talent," revealed Sunday that she had a stroke last year.

The 62-year-old mezzo-soprano shared the health update on live TV when she returned for the Season 16 finale of the talent show that launched her career in 2009. Boyle joined Lucie Jones ...Read more


'Succession' creator was 'terrified' when Jeremy Strong did this while filming finale

The creator of "Succession" did not appreciate one potentially dangerous choice Jeremy Strong made while filming the series finale — even if it made sense dramaturgically to the actor.

In a new interview with NPR, showrunner Jesse Armstrong recalled the moment Strong attempted to jump into the Hudson River while shooting his character Kendall...Read more

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Celebration 2023 will explore Prince's complex relationship with hip-hop

MINNEAPOLIS — Chaka Khan will talk, not sing. Chuck D will talk, not rap. Stokley and the Sounds of Blackness will perform, bringing a true Twin Cities flavor to Celebration 2023 at Paisley Park.

The annual celebration of Prince, scheduled for Thursday through Sunday in Chanhassen, also will feature unreleased Prince music and concert footage...Read more

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10 perfect Cynthia Weil songs

In a career that stretched more than half a century, Cynthia Weil wrote hits for girl groups, rock bands, country acts and soul singers. Her lyrics captured the many facets of love — its euphoric bloom and its agonizing demise — but also pondered family, friendship and the details of urban American life.

Weil, who died June 1 in Beverly ...Read more

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Lionel Loueke, Gretchen Parlato to play back-to-back at 150-seat La Jolla Athenaeum and 17,500-seat Hollywood Bowl

SAN DIEGO — How does a genre-blurring music duo go from performing in a 150-seat arts library in La Jolla to performing in a 17,500-capacity amphitheater in Los Angeles less than 24 hours later?

Acclaimed singer Gretchen Parlato and award-winning guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke are about to find out. The two —who have collaborated since ...Read more

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'Abbott Elementary's' Tyler James Williams shares Pride Month message, calls rumors about his sexuality 'dangerous'

On TV, "Abbott Elementary’s" Gregory Eddie is an endearing first-grade teacher who doesn’t tolerate nonsense from his students.

Off camera, the actor who plays him says he also won’t tolerate nonsense — or rumors.

In a note published on Instagram, Tyler James Williams shut down a longstanding fan theory that he is gay.

“I’m not ...Read more

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Showtime scraps plans for Louis C.K. documentary amid comic's divisive comeback

Louis C.K., in the years following his sexual misconduct scandal, has been trying to reenter the entertainment scene. He's released comedy specials, a self-directed film and launched a tour.

However, it seems the disgraced comic won't be getting any shine from Showtime — not even as the subject of a documentary about his downfall.

The ...Read more