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Hollywood's summer problem? Reboots people don't want

Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer aren’t talking about their decision to produce a remake of the classic epic “Ben-Hur,” and it’s easy to see why.  Their re-imagining of the New Testament-era tale grossed a measly $11.2 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada in its debut last weekend,...

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  • Football drama 'Greater' is an appealing underdog saga

    Football drama 'Greater' is an appealing underdog saga

    The true story of the late Arkansas Razorbacks football hero Brandon Burlsworth is an underdog saga to rival “Rudy,” and while the modest Burlsworth biopic “Greater” doesn’t have that film’s inspirational spark, the indie drama is just sweet enough and slick enough to appeal to pigskin fans and...

  • Crime looks gorgeous in the Hollywood Hills-set thriller 'Blood in the Water'

    Crime looks gorgeous in the Hollywood Hills-set thriller 'Blood in the Water'

    Filmmaking brothers Ben and Orson Cummings deliver a compact, cleverly constructed L.A. noir with “Blood in the Water,” their third film as a writer-director team. Though its story and character-development aren’t up to the standards of the genre classics it’s aping, the movie sports an attractively...

  • Kamala Lopez makes a forceful argument for women in doc 'Equal Means Equal'

    Kamala Lopez makes a forceful argument for women in doc 'Equal Means Equal'

    Director, actress and activist Kamala Lopez stumps for women’s rights in her searing documentary “Equal Means Equal.” With a ruthless, surgical approach, Lopez breaks down legal gender inequality in the United States, what she terms the War on Women. Lopez primarily attacks the laws, acts and legislation...

  • Watch me: 'Rings' trailer gives cursed video franchise a digital upgrade

    Watch me: 'Rings' trailer gives cursed video franchise a digital upgrade

    Death by viewership is back in the “Rings” trailer.  The long-awaited third installment of the “The Ring” franchise hit the Internet on Wednesday, bringing the haunted VHS tape into the digital age. See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour » This time around, a young woman is sucked...

  • At the Hollywood Bowl, breathing life into the most famous symphony ever written

    At the Hollywood Bowl, breathing life into the most famous symphony ever written

    In his book “Conducting Business,” Leonard Slatkin, former principal conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, recalls a time when bowl audiences cheered after the first four notes (ta-ta-ta-TA) of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 were played. On Tuesday night, a large Bowl crowd...

  • France's Air revives its 'slow motion music' for a visit to FYF Fest

    France's Air revives its 'slow motion music' for a visit to FYF Fest

    “Slow motion music.” That’s how Jean-Benôit Dunckel characterizes what his band Air creates. And if you’ve heard anything by this crafty French duo, which also includes Nicolas Godin, you know what he means. In songs like “Cherry Blossom Girl” and “Playground Love” (from Air’s soundtrack for 1999’s...

  • 'Kubo' and 'Don't Think Twice' among critics' picks, Aug. 26-Sept. 1

    'Kubo' and 'Don't Think Twice' among critics' picks, Aug. 26-Sept. 1

    Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang and other reviewers. Café Society Woody Allen’s new film, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Steve Carell, is of course funny, but it also ends up, almost without our realizing it, trafficking in memory, regret and the fate...

  • Stacey Snider to take over as Fox Film chief sooner than expected

    Stacey Snider to take over as Fox Film chief sooner than expected

    Jim Gianopulos, the veteran chief of the 20th Century Fox film studio, is stepping down sooner than expected to make way for his replacement, Stacey Snider.  Snider, whose elevation was announced in June, will take over as chairman and chief executive of 20th Century Fox Film on Sept. 1. She had...

  • Second City Hollywood to launch Diversity in Comedy Festival

    Second City Hollywood to launch Diversity in Comedy Festival

    With the debate over diversity in Hollywood growing louder, the conversation will shift toward the world of comedy with the announcement of the Diversity in Comedy Festival by Hollywood’s Second City comedy club.  The goal of the October event is to offer a stage for people of color, LGBT performers...

  • What's behind those peepholes at Union Station?

    What's behind those peepholes at Union Station?

    Who can resist a peephole, visual entry to some sort of private delight? Especially one — make that a dozen — making their mysterious appeal in a highly public setting? The large wooden shipping crate parked at a jaunty angle to the foot traffic flowing through Union Station's grand waiting room...

  • Actor Steven Hill, the original D.A. on 'Law & Order,' dies at 94

    Actor Steven Hill, the original D.A. on 'Law & Order,' dies at 94

    Steven Hill, a versatile character actor in theater, films and television who achieved his greatest success late in life as grumpy Dist. Atty. Adam Schiff on TV's long-running “Law & Order,” died Tuesday. He was 94. He died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said his wife, Rachel. The cause of...

  • Universal sets DreamWorks Animation leadership team

    Universal sets DreamWorks Animation leadership team

    Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has solidified the leadership structure for DreamWorks Animation, a day after NBCUniversal completed its $3.8-billion acquisition of the Glendale studio. DreamWorks Animation’s film group, known for movie franchises like “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek,” will continue...

  • Roundup: SFMOMA's big donor agreement, housing and density in NorCal and SoCal, Peter Doig's strange trial

    Roundup: SFMOMA's big donor agreement, housing and density in NorCal and SoCal, Peter Doig's strange trial

    Teasing apart an agreement between a San Francisco museum and a major donor. Why the naked Trump statue is a pile of clichés. And the surreal case of a painter getting sued over a painting he states (quite firmly) he didn’t paint. Plus: The issue of housing heats up in Palo Alto and Sunnyvale,...

  • Frank Ocean is headed toward his first No. 1 album with 'Blonde'

    Frank Ocean is headed toward his first No. 1 album with 'Blonde'

    After a whirlwind, unconventional release, Frank Ocean’s new album is coasting toward the top of the charts. “Blonde,” the follow-up to the enigmatic singer’s critically acclaimed and Grammy-winning major label debut, “Channel Orange,” is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — a first...

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