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Tough 'Lego Batman' kicks through 'Wall' at box office

LOS ANGELES -- A talking building-block toy proved tougher than Matt Damon's "The Great Wall" at the box office over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, as "The Lego Batman Movie" from Warner Bros. finished first, raking in an estimated $42.5 million in the U.S. and Canada.

The animated "Batman" parody, now in its second week, saw its total ...Read more

Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin selling his gear online

CHICAGO -- Chicago drummer Jimmy Chamberlin is selling more than 200 pieces of gear, including equipment he used live and in studio with the Smashing Pumpkins.

Chamberlin's online shop, which features drum kits, snare drums, tambourines, cowbells and other instruments, is set to go live on reverb.com Wednesday. Prices were initially set between...Read more

'Moonlight,' 'Arrival' take top honors at Writers Guild Awards

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- At its annual awards show -- one of the final indicators of which way the winds of Oscar buzz may be blowing before the Academy Awards -- the Writers Guild of America honored "Moonlight," the poetic story of a gay black youth's coming of age in Miami, and the cerebral sci-fi film "Arrival."

"Moonlight" -- which has been...Read more

Some roles stay with David Morrissey

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Being married to an actor can be difficult, says British actor David Morrissey. "It's a profession where you can't plan anything. Talk to my wife about planning a holiday -- forget it. There's always a job coming up or if it hasn't, you think a job MIGHT come up. So it's that sense of living in a very insecure atmosphere...Read more

New albums: Jimmer, Allison Krauss, Lupe Fiasco

Jimmer

"God Like the Sun"

(Chief Injustice 1/2)

In the '80s, Jimmer Podrasky led the Rave-Ups, a proto- Americana band that should have been bigger than it was. In 2014, after nearly 25 years and some tough times, he returned with the terrific "The Would-Be Plans." Now, he's back again with the even better "God Like the Sun."

"I think I ...Read more

Former Time film critic Richard Schickel dies at 84

Richard Schickel, whose erudite prose and piercing critiques made him one of America's most important film critics in an era when cinema became increasingly ingrained in the cultural consciousness, died Saturday in Los Angeles from complications after a series of strokes, his family said. He was 84.

In a career spanning five decades, thousands ...Read more

Bill Maher's 'Real Time' interview with Milo Yiannopoulos fuels new criticism

In the end, it was a non-event.

Which to some people made it a really big event.

Bill Maher's decision to host controversial blogger Milo Yiannopoulos on "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO Friday led to very few on-air fireworks. Maher talked to his guest mostly about free speech, agreeing with him nearly as much as disagreeing with him and ...Read more

Meet Justin Hurwitz, the man most likely to win an Oscar

Of all the Academy Awards contenders this season, the surest sure thing heading into pre-Oscars week is Justin Hurwitz, the 31-year-old composer of "La La Land."

He and lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have been nominated for two of the original score's songs, "City of Stars" (likely to win, not my favorite) and "Audition," also known as "...Read more

Movie review: No dialogue, but plenty of heart in animated marvel 'The Red Turtle'

Yes, there are lots of colorful animals in "The Red Turtle," a gorgeous, animated family picture by first-time director Michael Dudok de Wit, which has picked up an Oscar nomination for best animated feature.

But if you go to the theater expecting "Zootopia" or "Finding Dory," you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Coproduced by France's Wild...Read more

Column: 'Moonlight's calm but revelatory power and beauty make it best-picture worthy

"Moonlight" deserves to win the Oscar for best picture.

That may be a crass, clunky thing to say about one of the least self-important American films in recent memory, but then not all truths can be conveyed as gracefully and eloquently as they are in director Barry Jenkins' beautiful movie.

So at the risk of bluntness, it bears repeating: "...Read more

Movie review: David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike shine in rousing political romance 'A United Kingdom'

David Oyelowo has been on fire of late. The British actor who was robbed of an Academy Award nomination for his role as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma," has amassed a remarkable body of work over the last half a dozen years with "The Paperboy," "The Butler," "Nightingale," "Five Nights in Maine," "Nina" and "The Queen of Katwe."

...Read more

That ethereal Banners sound is no accident

There's an ethereal quality to the modern pop-rock music of Mike Nelson, better known by his stage name Banners. The British singer-songwriter comes by the vibe honestly -- he grew up singing in a cathedral choir in his native Liverpool.

Now he's putting that vocal training to use. After initially recording under the name Raines, he signed with...Read more

'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan on why Americans have so many problems with their dogs

CHICAGO -- When I sat down with Cesar Millan recently, he had just finished a speaking event in town. I asked how it went. "In other places, you get the feeling you don't belong," he said, "so it can be challenging to deliver this message in places like Los Angeles or New York." That message? In almost every case, it is you, not your dog, that's...Read more

'Good Wife' spinoff sees a 'Good Fight' in a tumultuous era

NEW YORK -- Four years ago, Netflix changed the definition of television and shook up the medium by creating quality original content.

Now CBS is hoping to return the favor. With the debut Sunday of "The Good Fight," the network is betting that traditional content providers can compete in the streaming business -- and with politically charged ...Read more

Studio chief Grey to step down

LOS ANGELES--Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey is preparing to leave his job, ending months of speculation about his future as Viacom Chief Executive Bob Bakish moves aggressively to revive the long struggling studio.

Grey, who has led the storied movie company for 12 years, is in negotiations with Paramount Pictures parent Viacom Inc. to ...Read more

Rob Owen: 'Good Wife' begets promising 'Good Fight'

Spinoffs are always a dicey proposition. Is this new series even close to as good as the show that birthed it?

After two episodes, "The Good Wife" spinoff "The Good Fight" seems poised to answer that question in the affirmative, but it will take more time to know for sure.

"The Good Fight" debuts Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS but subsequent episodes...Read more

TV review: 'Planet Earth II' is packed with wonders, stories and, finally, warnings

"Looking down from two miles above the surface of the Earth, it's impossible not to be impressed by the sheer grandeur and splendor and power of the natural world," says David Attenborough at the beginning of "Planet Earth II," the sequel to his landmark 2006 "Planet Earth." That globally popular series – the BBC estimates its viewership at ...Read more

Concert review: Japandroids do it loud, fast and urgently

CHICAGO -- Japandroids wasted no time at a sold-out Vic Theater in Chicago on Wednesday addressing the core themes responsible for the urgency in their songs. "The future's under fire/ The past is gaining ground," guitarist/vocalist Brian King sang in the opening seconds, the words spilling out of his mouth with the breathlessness of someone ...Read more

Women in control on screen, behind scenes in HBO's 'Big Little Lies'

LOS ANGELES -- "Sex and the City" and "Girls" may have established HBO as a playground for women seeking love and laughs, but when it comes to serious drama, the pay-cable giant remains a boys' club.

Of the 20 dramatic series in HBO's history, only two -- the short-lived "Tell Me You Love Me" and the enduring "True Blood" -- were headlined by a...Read more

Major Rolling Stones exhibit heading to Chicago's Navy Pier in April

CHICAGO -- It's only rock 'n' roll, but they're enshrining it.

"Exhibitionism," a show displaying hundreds of Rolling Stones artifacts from the group's 50-plus-year career, will go up in Navy Pier's Festival Hall in mid-April, the pier and exhibit promoters announced at a news conference Thursday morning.

The 18,000-square-foot extravaganza of...Read more