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Winter Olympics TV ads exploit the movie in our head — the one in which we star

"Diet Coke Ginger Lime," says the red-headed guy on the low-rent couch, taking a swig on his beverage of choice as he stares into a camera that feels not unlike the one in your cracked smartphone. "Because I support all things ginger."

"What, what?" the man asks, addressing an unseen skeptic perchance questioning the wisdom of choosing his ...Read more

'The Walking Dead' returns, but will the angry fans?

"The Walking Dead" returns on Sunday to kick off the second half of its eighth season and AMC's monster hit has already been renewed for a ninth.

But I can't help but wonder: How much life, really, is left in the series?

After all, this is an aging show that too often has shown signs of creative exhaustion, and last year experienced a ...Read more

'Wonder Woman' is the exception as Hollywood continues to cast men in major roles, report says

Galvanized by Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and others in the #MeToo movement, women seized the narrative in Hollywood in 2017. But on screen, it was a different picture.

Women claimed just 24 percent of leading roles, or protagonists, in the top 100 films last year, down from 29 percent in 2016, according to a new report from San Diego State's ...Read more

Even in exile, Harvey Weinstein maintains an upscale lifestyle. But his expenses are adding up

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- To visitors of this upscale Phoenix suburb, one of the main attractions is the Praying Monk, the natural rock formation in the shadow of Camelback Mountain that resembles a holy man kneeling in contemplative repose.

In recent months, however, another man has come to the area in search of his own isolation: Harvey ...Read more

'Seven Seconds' puts a dramatic spin on tensions around law enforcement and race relations

It takes roughly 55 seconds from the opening of "Seven Seconds" for the nightmare at the core of the new Netflix drama to begin.

A white cop, and anxious father-to-be, is rushing to the hospital when he accidentally strikes a black teenager riding a bike along a desolate park road in Jersey City, N.J. His white superior officer, fearing a ...Read more

A changing of guard: After unthinkable tragedy, Generation Z emerges loud and clear

Up until last week, most of us had never really considered what to call the group of American kids growing up behind the millennials.

Those born in the 2000s, who grew up alongside Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, have inspired plenty of commentary about the damaging effects of social media and selfies, but little reflection about ...Read more

Movie review: 'Game Night' is a fun genre hybrid win

We all have those friends who are way, way too into trivia. What if those friends got married, bonded for life through their love of competition, and then had to put their table games expertise to use during a violent kidnapping? This is the question posed by the refreshingly oddball action comedy "Game Night," which is much funnier and more ...Read more

Former 'Prairie Home' returns to Minnesota for first time since Keillor scandal: 'It's been really hard'

"The show must go on." That is Chris Thile's mantra as he brings the Radio Show Formerly Known as "A Prairie Home Companion" back to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul this weekend.

It will be the first Twin Cities performance since Minnesota Public Radio accused Garrison Keillor of inappropriate behavior, severed their ties and renamed the 44-...Read more

New Orleans police investigated 'Breaking Bad' actor after sexual assault allegation; D.A. declined to file charges

New Orleans police last year investigated "Breaking Bad" actor Dean Norris after a woman said he sexually assaulted her, but prosecutors ultimately decided not to file charges, the Orleans Parish district attorney's office has confirmed.

New Orleans police received a report alleging assault by Norris last June, according to authorities. A 32-...Read more

Television Q&A: Is 'Midnight, Texas' coming back?

Q: Is "Midnight, Texas" coming back?

A: NBC has ordered a second season of the supernatural drama, though I don't have an air date for its return at this time. There will be some changes from the first season of the show based on novels by Charlaine Harris: Neither Yul Vazquez (Rev. Emilio) nor Sarah Ramos (Creek) was listed among the returning...Read more

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams make 'Game Night' a winner

Of all the underappreciated performing categories, the comedy straight man might be the most wrongfully ignored. By keeping a deadpan focus on the lunacy erupting around him, he gives the gags a frame that makes the energetic edgier and the ribald hilarious. Like a gymnast at the bottom of a human pyramid, he doesn't get much credit, but without...Read more

As a kid in NC, she 'couldn't Google gay stuff.' On TV, she's out — and a rising star.

Fortune Feimster is wearing a pretty blue cardigan, bright red lipstick and dangly earrings, and she's doing her best to pretend she's not a lesbian.

It's a scene from Mindy Kaling's forthcoming NBC sitcom "Champions," which centers around a gym owner who has just found out he has a long-lost teenage son, who is gay. In it, Feimster -- who co-...Read more

'Annihilation' review: Natalie Portman leads journey to the center of the blob

In the popular culture and various corners of our own lives, we confront the unknown in one form or another, learning something about our own fears and desires. The examples defy rational explanation. The Monolith in "2001: A Space Odyssey." The Mist in Stephen King's novella. The Smoke Monster in "Lost." The Great Boyg in Henrik Ibsen's "Peer ...Read more

Movie review: Female-driven 'Annihilation' is singularly adventurous

Sometimes cinematic adaptations are conversations with source material rather than direct representations. No recent film more exemplifies this idea than Alex Garland's bold, metaphysical and just plain weird "Annihilation," adapted from Jeff VanderMeer's book, the first in his "Southern Reach" trilogy. The result is a deeply challenging, big ...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of Feb. 12:

1. Wonder -- Lionsgate

2. A Bad Moms Christmas -- Universal

3. Roman J. Israel, Esq. -- Sony

4. Only the Brave -- Sony

5. Geostorm -- Warner

6. Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween -- Lionsgate

7. Blade Runner 2049 -- Warner

8. It (2017) -- Warner

9. Despicable Me 3 -- ...Read more

'Black Panther' is a powerful force at the box office everywhere — including Africa

Marvel Studios and Ryan Coogler's blockbuster superhero movie "Black Panther" has become a legitimate global juggernaut, grossing a jaw-dropping $427 million in global ticket sales and defying movie business assumptions. It's also showing strength in the continent where the film mostly takes place -- Africa.

Released by Walt Disney Co., "Black ...Read more

Anna Deavere Smith talks about taking on real people and Shondaland

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Anna Deavere Smith has lived many lives as an actress for hire, moving fluidly among stage, film and television. The Baltimore native has inhabited memorable characters in "The American President" and "Rachel Getting Married" and on "Nurse Jackie," "The West Wing" and most recently "black-ish." (She joins the Shondaland ...Read more

'Designated Survivor's' Italia Ricci calls politics stranger than comic book worlds

LOS ANGELES -- One of the biggest mid-season finales among all the network programs was the ABC drama "Designated Survivor," where a deadly car crash took the life of First Lady Alex Kirkman (Natascha McElhone). When the series returns to original programming Wednesday, 10 weeks will have passed and President Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) and ...Read more

Natalie Portman's savvy sci-fi thriller 'Annihilation' is a real thriller

"Annihilation" is an eerie, ominous and challenging film that is also great. With a stellar cast, state-of-the-art visual effects and excellent direction, it burrows its way into your brain like a parasite and eats it from the inside.

This is a sophisticated science fiction film that takes us to unbearable heights of fear, tension and bleak ...Read more

How Yance Ford's historic 'Strong Island' Oscar nomination is a victory for more than trans filmmakers

On Oscar nominations morning, Yance Ford sat on his couch with his partner, Amanda, watching the telecast. One hundred seventy documentary features had qualified for consideration, and Ford's "Strong Island" had already made it to a pre-nominations shortlist of 15.

As announcement hosts Andy Serkis and Tiffany Haddish made their way to the ...Read more