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  • Apple plants a flag in Culver City, further expanding its presence in Hollywood

    Apple plants a flag in Culver City, further expanding its presence in Hollywood

    As it forges ahead into original programming, Apple Inc. will elevate its physical presence in Hollywood in a significant way by planting a flag in Culver City. The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant will lease an entire building at 8777 Washington Blvd., near Culver City’s fashionable art gallery district,...

  • Lazy actioner 'Showdown in Manila' is no thrilla

    Lazy actioner 'Showdown in Manila' is no thrilla

    If “The Room” impresario Tommy Wiseau had been given the opportunity to make an action film, the result would still have been more entertaining than the egregiously nonsensical and amateurish “Showdown in Manila.” A crass shoot-em-up that only Rodrigo Duterte could love, it harks back to a simpler...

  • 'Dance Baby Dance' taps out predictable, poorly-made story

    'Dance Baby Dance' taps out predictable, poorly-made story

    Bad movies can inspire derision or disappointment, but indie comedy “Dance Baby Dance” mostly just evokes pity. Writer, director, producer and star Stephen Kogon is clearly trying his hardest to create an entertaining film fueled by a passion for tap dance, but what’s on screen demonstrates an...

  • Lo-fi sc-fi 'This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy' excels on a shoestring

    Lo-fi sc-fi 'This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy' excels on a shoestring

    With an affection for nerd culture that is inversely proportional to its budget, this lo-fi sci-fi comedy is destined for laugh-filled late-night viewing. “This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy” pays homage to favorites like “Doctor Who” and “Battlestar Galactica” while looking...

  • With Sundance 2018, a festival reaches to meet the moment

    With Sundance 2018, a festival reaches to meet the moment

    Yes, there are still movies at the Sundance Film Festival. But the 2018 edition of the preeminent indie film showcase, which kicks off Thursday night in Park City, Utah, also will be dealing with a moment of tumultuous upheaval and uncertainty in the culture. Multiple moments, to be more exact....

  • A look at Sundance Film Festival's stronger than usual 2018 lineup

    A look at Sundance Film Festival's stronger than usual 2018 lineup

    "Obsession. Unfetter. Unravel. Unleash. Fantasy. Nightmare." What does it all add up to? Would you believe Sundance 2018? Though already first among leaders in the domestic film festival universe, Sundance has seen fit to rebrand itself with an enigmatic ad campaign featuring all those words and...

  • Despite controversy, Netflix comedy 'Step Sisters' is more than it appears

    Despite controversy, Netflix comedy 'Step Sisters' is more than it appears

    Two weeks ago, when the trailer for Netflix’s “Step Sisters” debuted, the minute-long trailer set (Black) Twitter ablaze. The film, which premieres on the streaming platform Friday, follows the president of a black sorority (Megalyn Echikunwoke) who is tasked with teaching one of the campus’ white...

  • Some Oscar voters are having a case of James Franco remorse

    Some Oscar voters are having a case of James Franco remorse

    “Can I change my vote?” That was the question several motion picture academy members were asking after five women accused actor James Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior in a Times investigation published Thursday. The allegations — two of which showed up on Twitter Sunday,...

  • Penthouse magazine parent files for bankruptcy protection

    Penthouse magazine parent files for bankruptcy protection

    Penthouse Global Media, the company behind the legendary adult magazine created five decades ago by Bob Guccione, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to court documents filed Thursday in federal court in California. The filing represents the latest setback for the publisher,...

  • Mired in melodrama, this 'Proud Mary' fails to keep rollin'

    Mired in melodrama, this 'Proud Mary' fails to keep rollin'

    When Screen Gems debuted the trailer for “Proud Mary” last July (a full six months before release) the Taraji P. Henson-starring blaxploitation riff seemed like an easy hit — a female “John Wick” or an African-American “Atomic Blonde.” But this week, the distributor has seemingly dumped the film...

  • 'Black Panther,' 'Annihilation' and 'Isle of Dogs' highlight films due this Winter and Spring

    'Black Panther,' 'Annihilation' and 'Isle of Dogs' highlight films due this Winter and Spring

    Below are the films opening theatrically through April 20. Release dates and other details as compiled by Kevin Crust, are subject to change. Jan. 19 D’Inked: A Tattoo Removal Documentary. Indie Rights Dance Baby Dance Drama. Indie Rights Delirium Horror. Gravitas Ventures Den of Thieves Action...

  • If you love young-adult coming-of-age dramas, you'll 'Love, Simon'

    If you love young-adult coming-of-age dramas, you'll 'Love, Simon'

    While Hollywood has had its fair share of queer storytelling on screens large and small, hardly ever has it been supported by a major film studio and almost never has it been situated against the backdrop of high school. That is until 20th Century Fox’s dramedy “Love, Simon” hits theaters March...

  • Ziad Doueiri's latest controversial film, 'The Insult,' is on Oscar's shortlist

    Ziad Doueiri's latest controversial film, 'The Insult,' is on Oscar's shortlist

    Ziad Doueiri has no problem with controversy. The Lebanese-born American citizen — a former camera assistant for Quentin Tarantino — has directed a number of films telling fraught stories set in the Middle East. His award-winning, semi-autobiographical “West Beirut” depicted the partitioning of...

  • Liam Neeson sticks to the formula, and sticks to it well, in 'The Commuter'

    Liam Neeson sticks to the formula, and sticks to it well, in 'The Commuter'

    January is the grimmest month as far as new releases are concerned, an elephant's graveyard where signs of life are few. So it's a good thing we can count on Liam Neeson to periodically rescue us from these dark and desperate times. Starting with "Taken" a decade ago, a saga successful enough to...

  • Quirky, incandescent 'Dim the Fluorescents' loses its way

    Quirky, incandescent 'Dim the Fluorescents' loses its way

    The quirky Canadian dramedy “Dim the Fluorescents,” the feature directorial debut of Daniel Warth, who co-wrote the script with Miles Barstead, follows the story of two struggling Toronto actresses. Lillian (Naomi Skwarna), also a playwright, and Audrey (Claire Armstrong) are desperate for the...

  • Documentary advocates to know more about 'What Lies Upstream' in our drinking water

    Documentary advocates to know more about 'What Lies Upstream' in our drinking water

    What’s in your drinking water is worrisome enough these days, but the documentary “What Lies Upstream” will also have you wondering what’s in the minds of corporations, regulators and politicians who seem unconcerned with appropriate oversight of the first issue. Filmmaker Cullen Hoback, who last...

  • Arab Israeli filmmaker gives voice to young women in debut drama 'In Between'

    Arab Israeli filmmaker gives voice to young women in debut drama 'In Between'

    The first words uttered in “In Between,” the assured feature debut of Arab Israeli filmmaker Maysaloun Hamoud, are words of advice: If you want to make your husband happy, an older woman tells a bride, “don’t raise your voice.” For the trio of young women at the center of this sharp, wise and vibrant...

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