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How The Aces made a 'volcanic' dream come true

The young women of The Aces can pinpoint the exact moment the foursome decided to take a childhood hobby to the next level: Grammy night 2014. New Zealand ingenue Lorde took home two statues, including song of the year for "Royals." She was 17 at the time. In Provo, Utah, sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez watched along with besties McKenna Petty...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

BEIRUT. 3 stars. Well-acted, well written thriller about a bitter, failed diplomat (Jon Hamm) recalled to Lebanon during its civil war to negotiate a hostage exchange, a dangerous and complex affair involving competing factions within the U.S. contingent (Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham, Dean Norris), militia groups and Israeli intelligence. Written...Read more

'Avengers: Infinity War' review: After its psycho mood swings, that ending will create a buzz

"Avengers: Infinity War" is a lot of movie. You can hate it and still say that much with confidence. Its various, overlapping fan bases won't hold what they don't like against it, I bet. "A lot," though, doesn't mean it's much fun or even very good.

No hate here, honestly. The film has its momentary diversions, a few good throwaway jokes amid a...Read more

Filmmaker's rape lawsuit against Russell Simmons is dismissed

LOS ANGELES -- A federal lawsuit accusing music mogul Russell Simmons of raping a documentary filmmaker in 2016 was dismissed Wednesday.

The $5-million suit, filed in January by Jennifer Jarosik, was dismissed by agreement from Jarosik and Simmons' attorneys. No reason was given in the court filing for the agreement to dismiss the case "with ...Read more

The 'Infinity War' question: Is alluding to a new movie's controversial end over the spoiler line?

Can we please talk about film review spoilers without spoiling anything for anybody? Can we respect even the most spoiler-sensitive wishes on this one? We can do that.

Can't we?

I'm bad. Already I'm having a hard time playing this one straight. It's all I can do to ROSEBUD IS THE SLED refrain from revealing THE PLANET OF THE APES IS EARTH! key...Read more

Who is not in 'Avengers: Infinity War'?

There are an estimated 327 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and perhaps you have wondered: How many of them are in "Avengers: Infinity War"? Fifteen percent? Thirty-four percent? Spoiler: Nobody knows for certain how many people appear in "Avengers: Infinity War," opening Friday. It's a mystery. The ...Read more

Meek Mill, freed from prison, has his biggest audience ever

PHILADELPHIA -- It's not hard to find examples of rappers who have spent time behind bars and emerged with their careers intact.

In fact, it's a time-honored tradition in a genre in which authentic experience on the streets is prized. Tupac Shakur released the most popular albums of his career after serving eight months for sexual assault in ...Read more

Meek Mill is free, but his case goes on

PHILADELPHIA -- Meek Mill's case is not over.

The rapper secured his release from prison Tuesday thanks to an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, bringing his controversial five-month incarceration to a close.

He celebrated by heading straight to the Philadelphia 76ers game, ringing the bell before tip-off and sitting courtside next to ...Read more

Movie review: It's not all fun and games in 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Every time I review a Marvel movie (with the exception of "Black Panther"), I can't help but use a simile that popped up while reviewing "Captain America: Civil War." These movies are like eating at a chain restaurant. It's comforting because you know what you're going to get, but it's never anything new or exciting. To extend the metaphor to "...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of April 16:

1. The Commuter -- Lionsgate

2. The Greatest Showman -- Fox

3. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle -- Sony

4. The Post -- Fox

5. Father Figures -- Warner

6. Proud Mary -- Sony

7. Ferdinand -- Fox

8. Deep Blue Sea 2 -- Warner

9. All the Money in the World -- Sony

10. Insidious...Read more

Bruce Miller leads 'Handmaid's Tale' into new territory in Season 2

The cliffhanger that closes out Margaret Atwood's 1985 feminist dystopia novel, "The Handmaid's Tale," has mystified Bruce Miller, the showrunner behind Hulu's television adaption, ever since he read the book in college not long after the book's release.

Set in Gilead, a near-future America in which theocratic extremists have taken control, ...Read more

From oysters to hula hoops, the fantastic worlds of 'Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami'

Who is Grace Jones, exactly? Is she a musician, a stage performer, an interpreter of songs, an actress, a model, a muse? The documentary "Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami," now playing in select theaters, puts forth the answer as all of the above and more.

The film captures unguarded moments from someone who has spent her career building up ...Read more

'The Handmaid's Tale' boldly opens Season 2 in terrifying but familiar form

Any questions on how a modern, democratic society devolves into a brutal, authoritarian regime almost overnight are addressed within the first few moments of "The Handmaid's Tale" when it returned to Hulu on Wednesday.

The bold Season 2 opener picks up where the 2017 finale left off, with handmaid Offred, aka June (Elisabeth Moss), being ...Read more

Elisabeth Moss shares stories behind brutal second season of 'The Handmaid's Tale'

LOS ANGELES -- "The Handmaid's Tale" is moving on without its most influential superstar.

That would be Margaret Atwood, whose nightmare of a novel drove the first season of the series about an America taken over by religious zealots who have forced fertile women into bondage.

But Season 2, which is now available on Hulu, moves beyond the ...Read more

My worst moment: 'NCIS's Brian Dietzen and the rehearsal after his 21st birthday

One advantage of playing the same role for 15 seasons? "You can transform your character over several years," said Brian Dietzen, who plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer on the long-running CBS procedural "NCIS."

Easily intimidated and a bit dorky at the outset, Palmer has grown in confidence over the years to become the team's full-time medical examiner ...Read more

The classic rock generation is getting ready to retire. Who's going to fill their shoes?

The news-making thing to do in 2018 for classic rockers of a certain age is to call it quits.

Or at least say that you're planning to -- once that one last tour is under your belt. Over the winter, Elton John, Paul Simon, and Joan Baez all announced they're hanging up their rock-and-roll (or folk) shoes.

Taken together, the announcements -- ...Read more

The Chicago Afrobeat Project is back to cutting loose

CHICAGO -- When famed Nigerian drummer Tony Allen joined the Chicago Afrobeat Project last year, it was as if Hank Aaron showed up to spend a month with the White Sox. "He dragged everyone's performance game up in our band," David Glines, the project's founding guitarist, told the Tribune last year. But Allen, whom Brian Eno once called "the ...Read more

Sinclair agrees to sell 23 TV stations to gain approval for Tribune deal

NEW YORK -- Sinclair Broadcast Group will divest 23 TV stations aimed at clearing the path for its merger with Tribune Media, the company announced Tuesday.

The sale of the stations would occur after the close of Sinclair's $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune's 42 TV stations. The deal would give Sinclair ownership or operational control of 215...Read more

Meek Mill, to be freed from prison, plans to attend Tuesday's 76ers-Heat playoff game

PHILADELPHIA -- Rapper Meek Mill plans attend Tuesday night's Philadelphia 76ers playoff game, according to a spokesman for Michael Rubin, a minority owner of the team who has been among the imprisoned rapper's biggest supporters.

Ron Berkowitz, an aide to Rubin, said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon that "the plan is to bring (Mill) ...Read more

Cosby lawyers push back against #MeToo, paint Constand as 'pathological'

NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Bill Cosby's lawyers likened the legal woes and sex scandals that have dogged their client for years to "witch hunts" and "lynchings" and urged jurors Tuesday to reject Andrea Constand's claims that she was one of the comedy icon's final victims.

Delivering a final pitch to the jury, attorney Kathleen Bliss confronted head-on...Read more