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'Star Wars' author inspired by films, and vice versa

CHICAGO -- Timothy Zahn, who is 65 and bald and carries an ever-so-slight air of social anxiety, is nobody's image of a superstar. And yet as he sat behind table No. 26 and waited for fans, he did not wait long. The doors to the convention hall at McCormick Place opened at 10 a.m., and by 10:10 a.m. the line of people to meet Zahn was the second...Read more

Movie review: Not even Dwayne Johnson can rescue 'Baywatch'

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has so much charisma it can be seen from space. His charisma should be considered a national resource and channeled to power homes and solve world hunger. It's a precious and powerful tool that has lifted middling comedies like "Central Intelligence" and revved up the "Fast and Furious" franchise. But with the sloppy, ...Read more

How 'Star Wars' blazed a path for filmmakers across the galaxy

It doesn't seem capitalistically feasible to imagine a world without "Star Wars" in it, selling us stuff like the now-faded "Star Wars" pillowcase in one of the upstairs bedrooms, or the long-broken lightsabers littering the nether regions of the basement closet.

But there was a time before a long time ago. This was prior to 1977 B.C. (Before ...Read more

Fatalities confirmed at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England

LONDON -- British police say there have been a "number of confirmed fatalities" and injuries at a pop concert in the northern city of Manchester.

Emergency services were responding late Monday to "reports of an explosion" at Manchester Arena, according to a statement from Greater Manchester Police.

Witnesses attending the Ariana Grande concert...Read more

The Force is with 'Star Wars' archivist

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ask Leland Chee what he wanted to do when he was younger, and he answers so quickly that you have to ask him a couple of more times to repeat himself.

"Stwrsxprt."

Sorry?

"StrWsexprt."

Sorry?

"'Star Wars' expert -- I wanted to be a 'Star Wars' expert when I grew up."

He says this without a smirk. He is not being cute. He ...Read more

Netflix's Ted Sarandos says Cannes film fest now 'less attractive' to streaming giant

Grab the popcorn and the Champagne: Ted Sarandos has lobbed the latest volley in the budding war between streaming juggernaut Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival over how films get seen.

In tres Cannes fashion, the Netflix head -- whose company's first Cannes premiere, Bong Joon-Ho's magical pig flick "Okja," sparked an all-out culture war ...Read more

Details emerge about Megyn Kelly's new NBC show

Details are beginning to emerge about former Fox New host Megyn's Kelly's two new shows at NBC.

"Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly," the host's weekly news magazine show, will premiere on NBC June 4 at 7 p.m. The New York Post was first to report the news.

So far, no guests have been announced, but sources confirm that Fox Sports reporter and "...Read more

The Billboard Music Awards were deeply forgettable — except for these 3 moments

"Facts and industry things."

That's how Blake Shelton, standing onstage at Sunday's Billboard Music Awards, described his fuzzy understanding of the criteria for winning one of the least impressive prizes in the music business.

So let's not bother ourselves too much with who took home what from this year's show, broadcast live on ABC from the ...Read more

Review: Splendid 'Twin Peaks' reboot is very much itself in its long-awaited return on Showtime

It's not unusual for a television show to return from the dead in order to finish old business and propose new, in the form of a TV movie ("Gilligan's Island," "Mary and Rhoda") or new series ("Still the Beaver," "Fuller House"), or a series of TV movies ("Perry Mason," "The Rockford Files"), or a fold into another series altogether (the "...Read more

John Oliver looks at Trump's 'absolutely insane' week of scandal, a.k.a. 'Stupid Watergate'

Instead of diving deep into a seemingly boring topic -- dialysis, anyone? -- as he usually does, on Sunday's "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver addressed the elephant in the room.

That would be the nonstop revelations related to President Donald Trump, whose last week in office have yielded more "OMG, what now?" twists than a sweeps episode of "...Read more

Billy Bush regrets that 'Access Hollywood' tape, especially his daughter's reaction to it

It's been more than seven months since the leaked release of a 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape featuring Donald Trump and Billy Bush crudely discussing women in an exchange that Trump later dismissed as "locker room talk."

Since then, one of those men has become president and the other has been unemployed.

Bush broke his silence over the now-...Read more

Networks turn back time: What does a parade of oldies — 'Will & Grace,' 'Dynasty' — say about creativity?

It was deja vu all over again at the recent upfronts, the spring ritual in which the broadcast networks -- and various cable outlets -- showcase their wares for media buyers, advertising executives and jaded reporters in an effort to woo ad dollars.

The ostensible point is to show off new programming, but there was precious little that ...Read more

'Everything, Everything's' big opening weekend proves Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson's star power

Their names turn heads. Their faces make hearts flutter. But with this weekend's $12-million opening for "Everything Everything," Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson are finally breaking out from the acting crowd.

Granted, she's just 18 and he's 22, but the duo have played second fiddle, some might say, for far too long.

Stenberg's Rue in "The ...Read more

Movie review: Latest 'Pirates' movie follows the formula

Since Hollywood loves a nostalgic reboot, it's no surprise that the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise is setting sail once again, six years after 2011's "On Stranger Tides." For this film, subtitled "Dead Men Tell No Tales," Disney has hired a lesser-known filmmaking duo to reanimate the series -- a pair of Norweigan filmmakers, Joachim Rø...Read more

Fun (and agony) with the family: Noah Baumbach's new work echoes an earlier film but carves out territory of its own.

CANNES, France -- "I'm proud of it," Noah Baumbach says quietly, the words almost escaping unbidden, as if they had a life of their own.

"A lot of things in this movie have been long gestating. I've been thinking about them either consciously or unconsciously, and it can be surprising how it turns out."

The film in question, "The Meyerowitz ...Read more

Coming this week

"Baywatch." Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson as a veteran lifeguard butting heads with a cocky new hire (Zac Efron) star in this comedy adaptation of the David Hasselhoff television program. With Hannibal Buress. Opens Thursday. R

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Men Tell No Tales." Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow, again trying to stay one ...Read more

New recordings: Low Cut Connie, The Mountain Goats, Harry Styles

Low Cut Connie

"Dirty Pictures (part 1)"

(Contender )

Since the band's 2010 debut, pianist Adam Weiner has been the focal point for Low Cut Connie, the Philadelphia band of merry barroom marauders whose fourth album was recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis. How could he not be? This is an unabashed ham of a piano-pounding showman -- the ...Read more

U2 nurtures 'Tree': The band finds a modern relevance in performing its 1987 album

LOS ANGELES -- The members of U2 had much more than nostalgia on their minds when they performed their landmark 1987 album, "The Joshua Tree," from beginning to end Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

Part of a world tour timed to commemorate the album's 30th anniversary, the concert was explicitly looking back at songs inspired by the beauty -- ...Read more

Melissa Leo has always been a fighter

PASADENA, Calif. -- There's something to be said about having nothing. According to actress Melissa Leo, growing up without made her the woman she is today. Leo, who earned the Academy Award for her role as the fight manager-mother in "The Fighter," says, "I had a great blessing in that I grew up in a family with very little means. So when as a ...Read more

'Alien: Covenant' barely overpowers 'Guardians' at box office

LOS ANGELES -- After almost 40 years, audiences are still interested in the "Alien" universe. Ridley Scott's "Alien: Covenant," from 20th Century Fox, dethroned Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," which had topped the box office for two straight weeks. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' "Everything, Everything" and Fox's" "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" ...Read more

 

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