'Big Little Lies': How Meryl Streep redeems a mediocre season

Mary Louise Wright wasn't meant to be a superhero. The mousy grandmother, played by a transformed Meryl Streep, looked so neutral when she arrived on "Big Little Lies" six episodes ago that she may as well have been a clump of seagrass. Beige was the color of her sweaters, skin -- and personality.

Yet it's this seemingly frail woman who has ...Read more

Martha Plimpton has left the Steppenwolf ensemble, a rare exit

CHICAGO -- To most curious outsiders, Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble looks a lot like the Hotel California: You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.

Why would anybody want to go? It's inarguably among the most prestigious collections of stage actors in the world and yet membership comes with no formal ...Read more

Immersive or distracting? Regal L.A. Live to experiment with 'ambient' movie theater tech

LOS ANGELES -- Faced with greater competition, movie theaters have tried multiple experiments to upgrade the cinematic experience, including bigger and brighter screens and rumbling seats. But a major challenge for exhibitors is to make the experience more enticing without resorting to gimmickry.

One Los Angeles theater, Regal L.A. Live, is ...Read more

Study has something good to say about the video game 'Minecraft'

Video games often come under fire for their violent and potentially addictive properties. But a new study from a UC Davis researcher and a Swiss colleague has found that they can have their benefits.

UC Davis researcher Seth Frey and Swiss scholar Robert W. Sumner studied users of the online game "Minecraft," in which players build structures, ...Read more

Movie review: Ride the waves of a gripping race with historic all-female crew in 'Maiden'

A taut, gripping documentary about one young woman's dream, "Maiden" takes us on a journey we won't soon forget: around the world on a 58-foot yacht, in the company of its historic all-female crew.

It was 1989, and no all-woman crew had ever competed in the storied Whitbread Round the World Race, a nine-month and 32,000-mile journey through ...Read more

Joshua Rush sees 'Andi Mack' as one step toward change

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The final episode of the groundbreaking Disney Channel series "Andi Mack" is scheduled to be broadcast July 26. During its three seasons, the series has been praised for tackling issues designed to spark social change especially in the case of Joshua Rush. His character marked the first portrayal of an openly gay character on ...Read more

Nantucket indecent assault case against actor Kevin Spacey dropped

NEW YORK -- An indecent assault case against U.S. actor Kevin Spacey has been dropped, according to media reports.

The Nantucket District Court Clerk's Office in Massachusetts said the criminal case was dropped given what was "the unavailability of the complaining witness," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Spacey, 59, faced a criminal case...Read more

Movie review: Watch 'The Great Hack,' then delete Facebook

Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim's documentary "The Great Hack," streaming on Netflix starting July 24, should be required viewing for every American citizen (make it a double feature with the Steve Bannon doc "The Brink"). Then every American citizen should delete Facebook. At a bare minimum, we should seriously consider the devil's bargain we've ...Read more

Sandra Oh poised to make Emmy history

Sandra Oh is on the verge of killing it. As expected, the "Killing Eve" star was included Tuesday among the Emmy nominees for outstanding actress in a dramatic series, setting the stage for a historic moment.

Only one actor of Asian descent, "The Good Wife's" Archie Panjabi, has ever won an Emmy, but that was for a supporting role. Only one ...Read more

Do abuse allegations against 'Bachelor' creator Mike Fleiss spell trouble for the franchise?

LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles County judge on Tuesday ordered Mike Fleiss, the reality television producer behind "The Bachelor" franchise, to stay 100 yards away from his estranged wife after she filed a complaint alleging that he'd verbally and physically abused her. As part of that complaint, she submitted photos of bruises she alleged he'd ...Read more

Jennifer Hudson, David Otunga reach parenting agreement in Cook County case

CHICAGO -- Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and her former fiance, David Otunga, reached an agreement Tuesday in Cook County court to end their year-and-a-half legal battle over child support and parenting time for their 9-year-old son.

Hudson, a 37-year-old South Side native, and Otunga, a 39-year-old Elgin native, signed paperwork after seven ...Read more

'Lion King' to bolster Disney's box office dominance

LOS ANGELES -- The Walt Disney Co. doesn't have to wait to be king, unlike the little cub Simba. But the release of its latest remake, "The Lion King," should further cement the company's rule at the box office.

Disney's high-tech re-imagining of its 1994 animated hit is expected to lord over the multiplex once it hits theaters Thursday night. ...Read more

Xxxtentacion's estate teases new song, 'Royalty,' one year after his death

The estate of the late rapper Xxxtentacion is expected to release a new track by the artist on Friday, called "Royalty," feeding a demand that shows no signs of slowing down a year after his death. A snippet of the song has been floating around the internet since April, and an Instagram account reportedly linked to the estate teased the release ...Read more

Between 'Fleabag' and 'Killing Eve,' Phoebe Waller-Bridge has the Emmys nominations' golden touch

LOS ANGELES -- Maybe Emmy voters couldn't resist Phoebe Waller-Bridge's fetching black jumpsuit. Maybe they've finally started listening to critics. Or maybe the Hot Priest just called in some favors with the man upstairs.

Whatever the case may be, the bittersweet second season of "Fleabag" picked up 11 Emmy nominations Tuesday -- exactly 11 ...Read more

Review: Watch 'The Great Hack,' then delete Facebook

Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim's documentary "The Great Hack," streaming on Netflix starting July 24, should be required viewing for every American citizen (make it a double feature with the Steve Bannon doc "The Brink"). Then every American citizen should delete Facebook. At a bare minimum, we should seriously consider the devil's bargain we've ...Read more

Around the Remote: "Orange Is the New Black", "Big Little Lies" finale, more

DON'T MISS: "Orange Is the New Black" -- The award-winning prison dramedy that gifted viewers with a wonderfully diverse ensemble of women, and helped put Netflix on the original programming map, closes out its run. In the show's final, 13-episode season, the women of Litchfield come to terms with the fact that their time behind bars has changed...Read more

Emmy nods reveal a lot about those we put on thrones

Fantasy collided with reality when the nominations for the 71st Emmy Awards were announced Tuesday: The Television Academy overwhelming chose to fly with dragons and tackle real-world racism, all in the same election cycle.

The final season of "Game of Thrones" -- by far its weakest -- landed 32 nominations, the most ever for a drama series in ...Read more

Chiwetel Ejiofor picks at Scar from 'The Lion King'

LOS ANGELES -- Whether it be the 1994 animated version of "The Lion King" or the new live-action version of the animal tale, the one thing that remains a constant is that Scar is one of the most manipulative, power-hungry, control-obsessed characters in Disney history. Jeremy Irons was behind bringing that evilness to life in the animated ...Read more

'Sword of Trust' review: Marc Maron's pawn shop owner takes on Civil War conspiracy theorists

A glass three-fifths full, writer-director Lynn Shelton's affable comedy "Sword of Trust" gets by on the improvisational wiles of its cast.

For those looking for it, there's also a glimmer or two of social observation regarding the way our country's current divide zigzags back inevitably to the Civil War, how that turned out, who wants what to ...Read more

Johnny Clegg, South African artist who fought apartheid with music, dies at 66

South African musician Johnny Clegg, who formed one of the first rock bands with black and white musicians that performed together when apartheid was still the law of the land, has died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 66.

Clegg died at his home in Johannesburg, his manager, Roddy Quin, confirmed in a statement.

Clegg was ...Read more


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