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  • The indie summer provided a cure for for blockbuster blues

    The indie summer provided a cure for for blockbuster blues

    The aggregate opinion on this summer movie season seems to be that it was full of disappointments. Films made from the seemingly critic-proof formula of sequels and reboots with built-in audiences nevertheless seemed to let down critics and audiences alike week after week. From “X-Men: Apocalypse”...

  • For photographer Gil Mares, the Port of L.A. is his supermodel

    For photographer Gil Mares, the Port of L.A. is his supermodel

    Gil Mares’ striking photographs may appear at first glance as abstract expressionist paintings of the 1940s and ’50s, but upon closer inspection, the saturated hues and sleek, minimalist lines are the steel sides of cargo ships and freighters. His compositions of hulls, anchors and bows form the...

  • 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...

  • Pop Obscure offers a new old-fashioned record store feeling in downtown L.A.

    Pop Obscure offers a new old-fashioned record store feeling in downtown L.A.

    By day, Sherry Lee works for the photography supply store Freestyle Photo in Hollywood. So when she opened her new downtown Los Angeles vinyl-only record store, Pop Obscure Records, with husband and partner Dustin Lane in July, she was well acquainted with the trials of running a retail outlet...

  • '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...

  • Overrated/Underrated: Do we still need Britney Spears?

    Overrated/Underrated: Do we still need Britney Spears?

    UNDERRATED The Tragically Hip: If you’ve heard of this band, chances are it was from a Canadian friend who asked — probably rather politely — that you give one of their albums a listen. On the heels of leader Gord Downie’s terminal brain cancer diagnosis, the Tragically Hip embarked on one last tour...

  • 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...

  • Horror master Sam Raimi recommends a scary film for fans: 'I dare you to watch it!'

    Horror master Sam Raimi recommends a scary film for fans: 'I dare you to watch it!'

    Filmmaker Sam Raimi is a producer on the new horror-thriller hybrid “Don’t Breathe,” directed by Fede Alvarez. Across his broad career, Raimi has brought touches of the horror movie not only to his own trilogy of “Evil Dead” movies but also to films such as “Darkman” or even his three “Spider-Man”...

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