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The Descendants (movie)

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  • TV Picks: 'Adventure Time,' shows on writing, 'Muscle Shoals,' more

    TV Picks: 'Adventure Time,'  shows on writing, 'Muscle Shoals,' more
    'Adventure Time' (Cartoon Network, Mondays). Pendleton Ward's splendiferous cartoon series begins its sixth season. (Which is not to say sixth year; it has been on the air only since 2010). By any standard of inventiveness, intelligence, imagination, ambition, care, fearlessness, boldness, openness, humor, poetry and love I'd care to live my life by, it is as good as anything on television; and better than many more ballyhooed series that only seem superior, in the cultural agora and critical Thunderdome, by virtue of being populated by fleshly beings. This is not the show's failing, but the world's. Its own world, and worlds within the worlds that world contains, represent a full spectrum of human emotion and existential whatnot. There is birth and death and transfiguration; killing and creating; love and desire; wisdom and flatulence. It is dark and life-affirming, funny and frightening; the nice can be naughty and the naughty nice. It is not a cartoon made for children, but it is not a cartoon not made for children. The magical and/or post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, where Jake the human and Finn the stretchy dog go on quests and protect the Candy Kingdom from the Nightosphere and so on, has its predecessors in a host of tales that take place over the rainbow or straight on till morning; but it is completely its own place, with its own rapidly evolving mythologies, ways of talking, of partying, of mixing the extraordinary and the humdrum, the yin and the yang, the anima and the animus. (Sometimes it flips gender, to become the adventures not of Finn and Jake, but of Fionna and Cake, with all the other characters translated accordingly.) The season opener, an especially beautiful, strange and exciting two-part special in which Finn searches for his "human father" within the "nastified" cosmic prison the Citadel, also brings back Kumail Nanjiani, whose year this seems to be (see also: "Silicon Valley," "Portlandia") as Prismo the Wish Master.
  • Review: 'Divergent' plays it by the book, a winning strategy

    Review: 'Divergent' plays it by the book, a winning strategy
    From Harry Potter to Bella Swan to Katniss Everdeen, the hottest phenomenon in publishing these days is young adult fiction about risk takers who dare to go their own way. So it's more than a little ironic, if predictable, that films made from these...

    The No. 1: 'Divergent' separates from the pack; our full coverage

    The No. 1: 'Divergent' separates from the pack; our full coverage
    The new dystopian thriller "Divergent" defied the recent trend of young-adult book adaptations faltering on the big screen, topping the weekend box office with an estimated $56-million opening. While that falls short of the first "Twilight" ($69.6...

    'Divergent': 5 things to know about the Shailene Woodley movie

    'Divergent': 5 things to know about the Shailene Woodley movie
    As the latest film franchise based on a bestselling young-adult book series, "Divergent" arrives in theaters Friday to the delight of die-hard fans. But for those unfamiliar with the dystopian thriller's background and mythology, all this talk of...

    'Divergent' likely to pass box-office test; 'Muppets' looks solid

    'Divergent' likely to pass box-office test; 'Muppets' looks solid
    Teen sci-fi should rule the box office this weekend, with the highly anticipated "Divergent" poised for a strong launch of a new franchise.    "Divergent," from Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment, could generate $55 million or more in ticket sales from...