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  • Eddie Murphy makes a new bid for serious-movie stardom with 'Mr. Church'

    Eddie Murphy makes a new bid for serious-movie stardom with 'Mr. Church'

    On a recent afternoon, Eddie Murphy sat and reflected on how much the world around him has changed in the past few years. “It’s not just comedy – it’s a brand new world,” Murphy mused in the restaurant of a Beverly Hills hotel, dressed all in black, his manner far more serious and composed than...

  • Can new chief executive Thomas Dooley fix what's ailing Viacom?

    Can new chief executive Thomas Dooley fix what's ailing Viacom?

    For Thomas Dooley, securing the job as chief executive of Viacom Inc. might be the easy part. Fixing the struggling media company will take more work. Late last week, as part of a legal settlement to end a messy boardroom fight with Sumner Redstone and his family, Viacom’s board elevated Dooley,...

  • Lightweight boxing biopic 'Hands of Stone' hits the wall

    Lightweight boxing biopic 'Hands of Stone' hits the wall

    With “Hands of Stone,” Robert De Niro officially enters his Burgess Meredith-in-“Rocky” phase, bringing the ringside grizzle and rumpled gravitas by the pound. In writer-director Jonathan Jakubowicz’s peppy, none-too-probing biopic of Panamanian champion Roberto Duran, played by Édgar Ramírez,...

  • HLN drops Dr. Drew from its prime-time lineup

    HLN drops Dr. Drew from its prime-time lineup

    The doctor is out at HLN. CNN’s sister cable channel is dropping addiction expert Dr. Drew Pinsky’s nightly prime-time show, “Dr. Drew,” on Sept. 22. The program, which has aired on HLN since 2011, is the latest casualty of an overall revamp at the channel aimed at returning it to its news roots....

  • Datebook: Towers of clay, the L.A. landscape reconsidered, dance at the Getty Villa

    Datebook: Towers of clay, the L.A. landscape reconsidered, dance at the Getty Villa

    Sculptural pieces that dwell on material and color. A performance inspired by the work of women sculptors. Paintings that draw from the unremarkable aspects of L.A.’s urban settings. And a daylong dance choreography that looks at identity in antiquity. Here are four openings and events to check...

  • FYF Fest: Tame Impala's Kevin Parker is making behind-the-scenes moves toward pop

    FYF Fest: Tame Impala's Kevin Parker is making behind-the-scenes moves toward pop

    Long-haired, guitar-clutching frontman is a job in which Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has excelled. Yet these days, the 30-year-old musician from Australia is spending more and more of his time in a different role: behind-the-scenes enabler for some of the world’s biggest pop stars. In May, Mark...

  • Fede Alvarez and Sam Raimi plumb new depths of horror in 'Don't Breathe'

    Fede Alvarez and Sam Raimi plumb new depths of horror in 'Don't Breathe'

    Two small objects were stacked on a worktable in the East Hollywood office of filmmaker Fede Alvarez on a recent morning, one prop each from his first two features. From his feature debut, 2013’s “Evil Dead,” was a midsized book, crafted and distressed to look like the mystical ancient tome known...

  • Plenty to recommend in ensemble indie 'The Intervention'

    Plenty to recommend in ensemble indie 'The Intervention'

    The weekend-away-with-friends indie has become a safe testing ground for first-time feature directors: one (typically pretty) location reduces certain production stresses, while a large cast allows plenty of room to discover what works and what doesn’t. In the case of actress Clea DuVall’s debut...

  • Director-star John Krasinski works hard at making 'The Hollars' likable

    Director-star John Krasinski works hard at making 'The Hollars' likable

    It’s tough to dislike “The Hollars,” which is something director-star John Krasinski and writer Jim Strouse work overtime to ensure. That’s hardly a bad thing, though, when a film is as warm, funny and truthful as this one. But it’s the movie’s endearingly wacky approach that most sets it apart...

  • Korean thriller 'Tunnel' may make you rethink your commute

    Korean thriller 'Tunnel' may make you rethink your commute

    What “Psycho” did for showers and “Jaws” did for the ocean, the Korean disaster flick “Tunnel” won’t likely do for, well, tunnels. But after watching this often gripping, humanistic thriller, you may just think twice before driving into one. On a typical day’s ride home from his job selling Kias,...

  • Animated sequel 'Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon' feels earthbound

    Animated sequel 'Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon' feels earthbound

    There’s so much quality children’s entertainment on TV and at the movies these days that there’s no real reason to take your kids to see a dog — or, more specifically, “Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon.” The sequel to 2010’s “Space Dogs” follows the son of a canine cosmonaut as he stows away on...

  • Christian drama 'Natural Selection' is no subtle offering

    Christian drama 'Natural Selection' is no subtle offering

    There’s little that comes off as “natural” in “Natural Selection,” a stiffly heavy-handed, drawn-out, faith-based drama about a Christ-like teen struggling to find his true path. Arriving in a new town, soft-spoken Tyler (Mason Dye) and his alcoholic mother (“Bluebloods” regular Amy Carlson) have...

  • Cinecon brings dozens of classic gems back to Hollywood

    Cinecon brings dozens of classic gems back to Hollywood

    Los Angeles is rife with film festivals of all sorts, but if the city has an underappreciated gem, it’s the Cinecon Classic Film Festival, a beloved event whose 52nd edition runs Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-5, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Passionately dedicated to rarely screened films...

  • Laura Lasworth paintings read as luminous reflections of life

    Laura Lasworth paintings read as luminous reflections of life

    The three-page statement accompanying Laura Lasworth's show at Lora Schlesinger Gallery is useful for learning about the sources of the work but entirely unnecessary to feel the sheer radiance of it. Lasworth paints in a dawn-light palette with such luminous clarity and devotional intimacy that...

  • Retro-horror mashup 'I Am Not a Serial Killer' has an unexpectedly warm and fuzzy side

    Retro-horror mashup 'I Am Not a Serial Killer' has an unexpectedly warm and fuzzy side

    It takes one to know one, apparently, despite the titular protestations of “I Am Not a Serial Killer,” Irish horror filmmaker Billy O’Brien’s adaptation (with co-writer Christopher Hyde) of Dan Wells’ young adult novel. The surprisingly warm and fuzzy horror-dramedy wonders “can serial killers...

  • 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...

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

    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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