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  • How Prince's Revolution reformed — and why his legacy might be in trouble

    How Prince's Revolution reformed — and why his legacy might be in trouble

    In the years since they played with Prince in the early 1980s, Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman have become two of Hollywood’s most prolific television composers, creating music for such shows as “Heroes,” “Prime Suspect” and “Shades of Blue.” So it makes sense that when recalling three gigs they...

  • Irish drama 'The Journey' reduces history to a contrivance

    Irish drama 'The Journey' reduces history to a contrivance

    A feat of imagination surrounding the very real agreement that closed one of the widest chasms in political history, “The Journey” proposes that the bloody, hard-fought Troubles in Northern Ireland may have been settled with that most timeworn of movie tropes: opposites stuck together on a road...

  • 'The Bad Batch' reveals a muddled but visually striking desert dystopia

    'The Bad Batch' reveals a muddled but visually striking desert dystopia

    The title of “The Bad Batch,” Ana Lily Amirpour’s arid and feverish new movie, refers to the assorted undesirables who have been exiled by the U.S. government to a vast and barely habitable stretch of Texas wasteland. Under a merciless sun, a sullen new arrival named Arlen (the British actress...

  • French thriller ‘Moka’ builds tension with a grieving mother on a mission

    French thriller ‘Moka’ builds tension with a grieving mother on a mission

    “Moka” is a tense psychological thriller whose twisty plot benefits from a bravura performance by Emmanuelle Devos. Devos' work will not surprise French cinema fans. Though not a household word over here, she is one of her country's top working actresses, best known for her Cesar-winning performance...

  • John Green to publish his first book since 'The Fault in Our Stars'

    John Green to publish his first book since 'The Fault in Our Stars'

    It’s been more than five years in the making, but John Green’s follow-up to his beloved 2012 novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” is finally becoming a reality. Penguin Young Readers announced the upcoming release of “Turtles All the Way Down,” Green’s new novel, scheduled for publication on Oct. 10....

  • With the doc 'Can't Stop Won't Stop,' Sean Combs takes a step toward cementing his name

    With the doc 'Can't Stop Won't Stop,' Sean Combs takes a step toward cementing his name

    Although he’s one of the most successful and famous pop musicians of his era, Sean Combs has always been something of a mystery. Blame the ever-changing stage names (Puffy, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, and counting) or the timing of his biggest hit-making years coming during a decade when hip-hop...

  • 'Score: A Film Music Documentary' explores composers' art

    'Score: A Film Music Documentary' explores composers' art

    Although it won’t win any prizes for narrative structure, Matt Schrader’s “Score: A Film Music Documentary” spotlights such a rich and fascinating topic — the craft of motion picture scoring — that its mere presence proves a feast for the eyes and ears. The film also offers one key aspect so often...

  • Time-warped comedy 'Ripped' is less than half-baked

    Time-warped comedy 'Ripped' is less than half-baked

    The time-travel stoner comedy “Ripped” blows a potentially funny idea on slapdash filmmaking and lazy storytelling. If much of this overly broad eye-roller wasn’t made up on the fly, it sure looks that way. The film’s, er, high concept involves 17-year-old best buds and weed-fueled slackers Reeves...

  • Authentic portrait of young men at risk in documentary 'Raising Bertie'

    Authentic portrait of young men at risk in documentary 'Raising Bertie'

    Margaret Byrne turns in an impressive directorial debut with “Raising Bertie.” The documentary spends six years with three young black men living in rural Bertie County, North Carolina, focusing on a population that so rarely gets the spotlight. The film alternates between triumph and tragedy,...

  • 'Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press' examines the dangers to news media in the age of Trump

    'Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press' examines the dangers to news media in the age of Trump

    It was a curious twist that Hulk Hogan’s sex tape became a test for the 1st Amendment in an era when the news media were increasingly vulnerable to petulant billionaires, angry mobs, shrinking advertising, a Twitter-frenzied president and a Montana congressman who body-slammed a reporter. The new...

  • Documentary reveals struggles and opportunities of 'Night School'

    Documentary reveals struggles and opportunities of 'Night School'

    How do you combine homework with the everyday struggle to survive? For the three working-poor subjects of Andrew Cohn’s documentary “Night School” — high school dropouts returning to class years (and in one case decades) later to get not a GED but a full-on diploma — it’s more than just finishing...

  • Horror-comedy 'A Beginner's Guide to Snuff' aspires to entertain, not exploit

    Horror-comedy 'A Beginner's Guide to Snuff' aspires to entertain, not exploit

    The horror-comedy “A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff” explores the “lighter” side of guerrilla underground filmmaking, following two bumblers who kidnap and pretend to torture a woman. Thanks to three lively lead performances and smart storytelling choices, what could have been a distasteful premise...

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  • New CAA study says diverse casting increases box office potential across all budgets

    New CAA study says diverse casting increases box office potential across all budgets

    There’s been little debate over the moral arguments behind increasing diversity on- and off-screen in Hollywood, but the economic arguments haven’t always been so clear. While women, people of color, LGBTQ folk and other historically marginalized communities in Hollywood continue to insist “diversity...

  • Wednesday's TV highlights: 'Fargo' on FX

    Wednesday's TV highlights: 'Fargo' on FX

    SERIES Little Big Shots: Forever Young This new spinoff of the talent show for the very young showcases the talents of somewhat more senior individuals, including a 72-year-old former plumber, pursuing his passion as an opera singer, and an 81-year-old daredevil grandmother. The season premiere...

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