Timberlake or Lorde, pop star auteur or pop 'classic' — what do you want from arena pop in 2018?

CHICAGO -- For pop stars, arena tours are a necessary evil and expected spectacle. Sometimes, the experience is electric -- the choreography, the costumes, the set design; sometimes, the actual performance suffers under the pressure of its own hype. Not to mention these blockbuster tours typically come with a hefty price tag (think those folks ...Read more

This is how Spanish-language TV portrays LGBTQ characters, and it's worrisome

Although the entertainment industry in the United States has helped advance a more tolerant and inclusive public perception of sexual minorities, Spanish-language television networks are still marginalizing and misrepresenting the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) community in scripted programming.

LGBTQ characters in ...Read more

An inside glimpse into what it means to be a female writer and showrunner in Hollywood

In her new book about her career as a television writer, Nell Scovell talks about interviewing for a job during one of her pregnancies. "I went to meet Joss Whedon, creator of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,'" she emailed a friend shortly after. "He took one look at me and said, 'Boy, are you fat.'" Scovell laughed. Then the show's co-executive ...Read more

Movie review: 'Sherlock Gnomes' doesn't stand out from pack of family-friendly film boom

There's a current boom of family-friendly film fare inspired by beloved British literary characters, which makes this moment ripe for the animated "Sherlock Gnomes," the sequel to 2011's "Gnomeo and Juliet." In terms of ranking these adaptations, "Sherlock Gnomes" is quite a bit more pleasant than "Peter Rabbit," but doesn't touch the wonder of ...Read more

Television Q&A: How much of the skating did Margot Robbie do in 'I, Tonya'?

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: We just saw "I, Tonya," and I was wondering how much of the skating Margot Robbie actually did.

A: Robbie, of course, played the notorious skater Tonya Harding in the comedy-drama based on Harding's life. And she spent months training for the film, Emmy-winning skating choreographer Sarah Kawahara ...Read more

With Claire Foy and an iPhone, post-retirement Steven Soderbergh blazes another trail with 'Unsane'

It may not be intentional, but Steven Soderbergh can really make other people feel lazy.

In 2013, he announced his retirement from filmmaking and promptly began work on "The Knick" for Cinemax; he directed all 20 episodes of the show's critically acclaimed two-season run.

Last year he returned to features with the heist comedy "Logan Lucky." ...Read more

Steven Soderbergh's 'Unsane' is insanely creepy

You're never sure what the prolific, ever-rebellious Steven Soderbergh is going to do next. But from "Sex, Lies and Videotape" to "Erin Brockovich" to the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise, you know it's going to be different.

His latest, "Unsane," is as peculiar as they come. It is a psycho thriller panic dream that's a galaxy distant from anything ...Read more

'Flower' takes root thanks to star Zoey Deutch

The dark comedy "Flower," about a teenage girl who's too sexually advanced for her own good, opens memorably with the 17-year-old Erica (Zoey Deutch) servicing the local sheriff in his car, wherein she cheerfully blackmails him for cash in return for her not posting incriminating photos on the internet.

How else is she supposed to raise money ...Read more

Netflix-bound Shondaland has a parting gift for ABC: the 'Grey's Anatomy' spinoff 'Station 19'

"Grey's Anatomy," which was born way back in the first term of the Bush (II) administration, has had a baby, which it has named "Station 19."

The new offspring was to be introduced to the world Thursday on ABC, in that programming playground called Shondaland, though with executive producer Shonda Rhimes taking future business to Netflix, it ...Read more

How 'brown buffalo' Oscar Acosta, best known as Hunter Thompson's Dr. Gonzo, inspired his own TV doc

There was his size: a substantial 6 feet, 225 pounds, according to his FBI file.

There was his style: a Chicano attorney who materialized in Los Angeles courtrooms in loud ties, bearing business cards embossed with the Aztec god of war and, on at least one occasion, a gun.

Then there was his death, which was not so much a death as a ...Read more

Do critics overlook the wrong movies? The case for 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle'

Of all the things I get asked as a film critic, I'm always tickled, though no longer surprised, by one of the most frequent questions: "How do you decide what you're reviewing?"

Buried within that question is really another. It's not just a matter of "What do you like and dislike?" but also "How much control do you exercise over what you get ...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

ANNIHILATION 3 stars. A group of scientists (Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson) enters a mysterious zone of new life comprised of mutating alien DNA. Trippy, downbeat sci-fi from director Alex Garland (Ex Machina) mixes old and new special effects, old and new sci-fi ideas. 1 hr. 55 R (violence) -- Gary ...Read more

My worst moment: 'Death of Stalin's' Jason Isaacs and the missing co-star

Well-known in the U.K., British actor Jason Isaacs is probably best recognized in the U.S. as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, or more recently as "Star Trek: Discovery's" Captain Gabriel Lorca. He's also currently filming the second season of Netflix's "The OA."

But his role as a puffed-up army general in the new 1953-set comedy "The ...Read more

'Pacific Rim 2' review: This time, it's impersonal

"Pacific Rim: Uprising" may be not be much, but in the spirit of the film itself, let's be realistic. It's better than any of the "Transformers" movies, and shorter.

The sequel to the Guillermo del Toro-directed "Pacific Rim" (2013) plows through its battle sequences and utterly mechanical "humanizing" moments until the last 20 minutes or so. ...Read more

Lollapalooza 2018 lineup: The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White among headliners

CHICAGO -- The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, the National, Vampire Weekend and Odesza will headline Lollapalooza.

The lineup, announced Wednesday for the festival Aug. 2-5 in Grant Park, brings a strong hip-hop presence that includes Logic, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert, Tyler the Creator, Lizzo and Brockhampton.

...Read more

Matt Danner happy to speak for new version of 'Muppet Babies'

Matt Danner has been working in animation for more than two decades, starting while he was still in high school. Over the years, he's worked on a variety of programs, including "Gravity Falls," "The Looney Tunes Show," "Dan. Vs.," "Wander Over Yonder" and "WWE Slam City." None of those projects has excited him as much as being named the ...Read more

Movie review: 'Pacific Rim Uprising' manages to outpace its predecessor

The "Pacific Rim" action franchise has a relatively simple premise -- giant robots and alien monsters clobber each other to smithereens -- but surprisingly, it's driven by a supremely radical embrace of collectivism, teamwork and empathy. This isn't necessarily a surprise, because it comes from the big, beating heart of Guillermo del Toro, who ...Read more

Wes Anderson has howling good success with 'Isle of Dogs'

Oscar-nominated Wes Anderson has always shown what can happen when an unbridled mind meets a creative heart. Whether it be the unique examination of family in "The Royal Tenenbaums" to the redefining of animated storytelling with "Fantastic Mr. Fox," Anderson has taken what in the hands of a lesser creative soul would be merely a passable story ...Read more

The National Book Critics Circle winners are announced — and they're all women

Women swept the National Book Critics Circle awards, announced Thursday night in Manhattan. Women prevailed in all of the six competitive categories.

Joan Silber took the fiction prize for her novel "Improvement," published by independent press Counterpoint. The story of a single mother in Harlem who becomes involved in criminal schemes with ...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

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

1. Thor: Ragnarok -- Disney

2. I, Tonya -- Universal

3. Coco -- Disney

4. Daddy's Home 2 -- Paramount

5. Murder on the Orient Express -- Fox

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri -- Fox

7. Wonder -- Lionsgate

8. The Disaster Artist -- Lionsgate

9. Lady Bird -- ...Read more