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  • High concept, uninspired execution plagues 'Rock Dog'

    High concept, uninspired execution plagues 'Rock Dog'

    The animated feature “Rock Dog” arrives one week after the release of another prominent Chinese-American co-production, the fantasy adventure “The Great Wall.” Director Ash Brannon brings Pixar and Sony bona fides (he co-directed “Toy Story 2” and directed “Surf’s Up”) to this adaptation of rocker...

  • Friday's TV Highlights: 'Shark Tank' and '20/20' on ABC

    Friday's TV Highlights: 'Shark Tank' and '20/20' on ABC

    SERIES VICE It’s the return of the weekly news magazine providing in-depth coverage of news that is often overlooked by mainstream media, returns. The season premiere profiles Bashar Assad, Syria’s president. 7:30 p.m. HBO MacGyver When an overseas assignment goes awry, Bozer and Mac (Justin...

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  • Horror-thriller 'Drifter' is a semi-successful exercise in genre homage

    Horror-thriller 'Drifter' is a semi-successful exercise in genre homage

    Quentin Tarantino and Brian De Palma proved that there’s nothing wrong with filmmakers wearing influences on their sleeves, provided they also bring their own personality and gusto. Writer-director Chris von Hoffman’s debut feature, “Drifter,” hits its target about half the time. Sometimes it’s...

  • Amusing sequel 'Punching Henry' finds reality in comedy

    Amusing sequel 'Punching Henry' finds reality in comedy

    The knowing satire “Punching Henry” may not amount to a lot in the end, but getting there is lots of fun. This sequel to the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival hit “Punching the Clown” (both movies were directed by Gregori Viens, who co-wrote with star Henry Phillips) proves another enjoyable trip across...

  • Criterion brings 'Mildred Pierce' out of the noir shadows

    Criterion brings 'Mildred Pierce' out of the noir shadows

    It may not be as faithful or definitive an adaptation of the James M. Cain novel as Todd Haynes’ 2011 HBO miniseries, but Michael Curtiz’s “Mildred Pierce” (1945) remains a rip-roaring entertainment. Joan Crawford won an Academy Award for her performance as a single mother-turned-restaurateur,...

  • 'Expendables' producer Millennium Films sells majority stake to Chinese company for $100 million

    'Expendables' producer Millennium Films sells majority stake to Chinese company for $100 million

    Millennium Films, the producer of the “Expendables” movies and the most recent “Rambo” sequel, has agreed to sell a 51% stake to Chinese conglomerate Recon Group for $100 million. Recon, known for owning the Aston Villa Football Club in Britain, will acquire a majority ownership of Los Angeles-based...

  • Making sense of Measure S, the latest battle in L.A.'s long war over development

    Making sense of Measure S, the latest battle in L.A.'s long war over development

    If you want to understand the forces — and more to the point, the grievances — that gave rise to Measure S, the anti-development initiative that will appear on the March 7 ballot in Los Angeles, you have to go back to the 1980s. That was the decade Angelenos finally rebelled in significant numbers...

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