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  • Retro comedy 'Pitching Tents' flounders with '80s raunch

    Retro comedy 'Pitching Tents' flounders with '80s raunch

    Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. Period filmmaking can often express a desire for different or simpler times, a rose-colored-glasses version of an earlier era, like the ‘80s. But nostalgia can also offer an all-too-easy easy excuse to swim in the waters of the naughty, the taboo, the decidedly not...

  • Survivalist drama 'Here Alone' swaps adventure for less satisfying touchy-feelies

    Survivalist drama 'Here Alone' swaps adventure for less satisfying touchy-feelies

    In the opening sequence of the post-apocalyptic drama “Here Alone,” a wiry young woman named Ann (Lucy Walters) goes about an ordinary day of smearing her body with muck and saving her urine as a disinfectant. For a few minutes, director-producer Rod Blackhurst and writer-producer David Ebeltoft...

  • Is Britain's Little Mix finally having a moment in America?

    Is Britain's Little Mix finally having a moment in America?

    Huddled in the Trojans’ locker room at USC’s Galen Center, the members of Little Mix were describing a determination to win that’s “almost desperate,” as Leigh-Anne Pinnock said with a laugh. “In terms of wanting it,” Jesy Nelson added, “we’re hungrier than we’ve ever been.” The game they’re playing?...

  • Aimee Mann on how she allowed herself to 'roll around' in the biggest stereotype about her music

    Aimee Mann on how she allowed herself to 'roll around' in the biggest stereotype about her music

    The Los Angeles songwriter Aimee Mann will issue her new solo album, “Mental Illness,” on Friday. The 11 new ballads, waltzes and weepers — from one of the most acclaimed songwriters of her generation — resonate through lines and rhymes that capture characters drowning in hard emotions. Last month...

  • 'For Here or to Go?' mines comedy and drama to portray visa struggles

    'For Here or to Go?' mines comedy and drama to portray visa struggles

    A knowing take on cultural identity and the immigrant experience, “For Here or to Go?” is a first feature that suffers from having too much on its plate. Set against the backdrop of the 2008 recession, the dramedy starts off promisingly, as ambitious young Silicon Valley software engineer Vivek...

  • The jazz tragedy of Lee Morgan, exquisitely rendered

    The jazz tragedy of Lee Morgan, exquisitely rendered

    Artistic, obsessive and intoxicating, “I Called Him Morgan” is a documentary with a creative soul, and that makes all the difference. It’s not just that this is a haunting, deeply moving jazz tragedy, dealing with the life and untimely 1972 death of fabled trumpeter Lee Morgan, who was shot at...

  • Indie-drama 'Fare' wields tension in an Uber-like world

    Indie-drama 'Fare' wields tension in an Uber-like world

    From “Taxi Driver” to “A Taste of Cherry” to “Collateral,” there’s a long cinematic tradition of films about cabbies at work. Writer-director-actor Thomas Torrey enters the fray with “Fare,” a tense drama set almost entirely in the oppressively tight space of one mid-sized automobile. Torrey’s...

MOVIE REVIEWS

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  • Lisa Loomer's 'Roe': An abortion drama that settles nothing

    Lisa Loomer's 'Roe': An abortion drama that settles nothing

    It has been 44 years since the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision decriminalized abortion, but the debate has hardly been settled. The rhetoric has only grown more inflammatory, and the vitriol of activists has given way to violence. American political life is still being held hostage...

  • Review: '13 Reasons Why' is Netflix's newest must-see series

    Review: '13 Reasons Why' is Netflix's newest must-see series

    “Mean Girls.” “Freaks and Greeks.” “Heathers.” Perhaps you’ve heard: High school is treacherous place. Students are ruthless to one another. Hormones are bad-behavior accelerants. And adults? Utterly clueless. Now throw in social media-shaming, sexism and suicide, and you have the basic building...

  • Veteran CBS 2 anchor Paul Magers to announce retirement

    Veteran CBS 2 anchor Paul Magers to announce retirement

    Veteran KCBS news anchor Paul Magers, regarded as one of the top newscasters in Los Angeles, will retire after 13 years at the station. Magers, who will be 63 next month, intended to announce his plans in a recorded segment with co-anchor Pat Harvey during the early evening and late-night newscasts...

  • Where confusion is the goal: Tony Oursler's first solo L.A. show in 10 years

    Where confusion is the goal: Tony Oursler's first solo L.A. show in 10 years

    Tony Oursler’s first solo show in Los Angeles in 10 years leaves a lot to be desired — and that’s precisely the point of “Unidentified.” At Redling Fine Art, the New York artist has installed disparate multimedia works that do not form a coherent whole so much as they make incoherence palpable....

  • Saying farewell to the surprisingly radical politics of 'Bones'

    Saying farewell to the surprisingly radical politics of 'Bones'

    One of the most quietly political and culturally subversive shows of the new century came to an end this week, and it exited as it entered: with the insistence that science will prevail, even if it has to rise from the ashes to do so. “Bones,” which finished its 12-season run on Fox on Tuesday...

  • Viacom's BET network shuffles top programming ranks

    Viacom's BET network shuffles top programming ranks

    The top two programming executives at television channel BET abruptly stepped down Wednesday, adding to the management turnover at struggling media company Viacom Inc. BET’s head of programming, Stephen Hill, said he would exit Friday after 22 years at Viacom and 18 years at BET. “It has been my...

  • Director Kasper Collin brings jazz great Lee Morgan's tragic love story to West Coast

    Director Kasper Collin brings jazz great Lee Morgan's tragic love story to West Coast

    On a snowy night in February 1972, Helen Morgan reached into her bag and pulled out the pistol her husband, Lee, had bought her. Lee, a 33-year-old jazz trumpeter who'd risen to fame as a teenager, was getting ready to perform at Slug's Saloon, a nightclub in New York City's East Village. His mistress...

  • Frank Gehry's archives are headed to the Getty

    Frank Gehry's archives are headed to the Getty

    The Getty Research Institute announced Wednesday that it has acquired a major portion of architect Frank Gehry’s archives — documents spanning from 1954, when Gehry studied architecture at USC, to 1988, when he submitted the winning design for Walt Disney Concert Hall. “This is the California time...

  • Women rule, and other lessons from Universal's CinemaCon presentation

    Women rule, and other lessons from Universal's CinemaCon presentation

    All signs are that Universal Pictures is poised for a massive year at the box office in 2017. That much was clear from the studio’s Wednesday presentation of upcoming movies at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of movie theater owners in Las Vegas. Even with a slate anchored by franchise bets including...

  • Two black employees sue Fox News, accusing their ex-boss of racist behavior

    Two black employees sue Fox News, accusing their ex-boss of racist behavior

    Two black employees of Fox News have filed a racial discrimination suit against the company and the recently fired executive they worked under. The suit filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court is the latest legal action to hit the 21st Century Fox unit, which has either settled or litigated...

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