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  • On 'Glory,' her sexy new album, Britney Spears is back in control

    On 'Glory,' her sexy new album, Britney Spears is back in control

    “Here’s my invitation, baby / Come feel my energy,” Britney Spears purrs to open her new album, “Glory,” and what a welcome offer that is. Throughout the 2000s, no one made better — or weirder — pop records than Spears, who achieved instant superstardom in 1999 with “…Baby One More Time,” then...

  • Five questions for Victoria Legrand of Beach House

    Five questions for Victoria Legrand of Beach House

    This weekend, the Baltimore duo Beach House arrives in Los Angeles for two performances in support of its most recent work. The pair, which features keyboardist and vocalist Victoria Legrand and multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally, has over the past decade composed a luxurious brand of guitar pop...

  • In this 'Next to Normal,' the message is loud but not clear

    In this 'Next to Normal,' the message is loud but not clear

    "Next to Normal," the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about a suburban mom's struggle with bipolar disorder, first arrived in Los Angeles in 2010, on its national tour. I remember feeling electrified — at once thrilled and unnerved — by the bracing honesty of Brian Yorkey's book and lyrics, the...

  • TV This Week, Aug. 28-Sept. 3: 'You're the Worst' and more

    TV This Week, Aug. 28-Sept. 3: 'You're the Worst' and more

      SUNDAY  Empowering young people is what it’s all about on a new edition of the star-studded special “WE Day.” With Paula Abdul, Zooey Deschanel, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Hudson, Joe Jonas, Demi Lovato, Natalie Portman, Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, et al. 7 p.m. ABC “I Miss Downton Abbey!” — perhaps...

  • 'Mechanic: Resurrection's' action scenes click, but fast-forward the rest (when it hits video)

    'Mechanic: Resurrection's' action scenes click, but fast-forward the rest (when it hits video)

    Just like the 1972 Charles Bronson vehicle “The Mechanic” and the 2011 Jason Statham-starring remake, the best scenes in “Mechanic: Resurrection” contain almost no dialogue. When the sequel is really clicking, it becomes action cinema in its purest visual form: just one buff, taciturn dude doing...

  • 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....

  • Stellan Skarsgård executes Norwegian vengeance in 'In Order of Disappearance'

    Stellan Skarsgård executes Norwegian vengeance in 'In Order of Disappearance'

    As a generally mild-mannered father undertaking a brutal course of revenge in “In Order of Disappearance,” Stellan Skarsgård might occasionally strike you as Scandinavia’s answer to Liam Neeson in the “Taken” movies. Then again, he might not. The comparison almost, but not quite, nails the quiet...

  • 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...

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