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Movies / TV

This undated image released by HBO shows host John Oliver of "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," airing Sundays at 11 p.m. EDT. (AP Photo/HBO)

‘Daily Show’ Alum Recognizes Debt

Friday, April 25, 2014

New York — When the time comes for a young bird to leave the nest, he’s often more than ready to go and doesn’t care too much what Papa Bird thinks. The analogy doesn’t apply to John Oliver, the former Daily Show featured player who debuts his new HBO topical series Sunday at 11 p.m. He’s extremely loyal to Jon …

A Bipolar Doctor Probes The Brain on ‘Black Box’

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NEW YORK — ABC’s brainy new medical drama Black Box does a neat trick: It dares viewers to imagine for themselves the cost-benefit ratio of addiction, and does it without taking a firm stand. It does it in the person of lovely, top-of-her-field Dr. Catherine Black, known as “the Marco Polo of the …

Palestinian Rapper Tamer Nafar Aims for a Global Stage

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tel Aviv, Israel — Tamer Nafar, a 34-year-old rapper who has been described as the Chuck D of Palestinian hip-hop, was standing on a sidewalk dressed in a skin-tight black bodysuit and wearing a silky red wig. “Can I see more duck lips?” the director prodded from behind the camera. Nafar pursed obediently. …

‘Winter Soldier’ Raises the Bar for Comics Movies

Saturday, April 5, 2014

You wouldn’t think that there was much more to do with movies set in the Marvel comics universe. You’d be wrong. Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes a flying leap off the basic premise of superhero movies and …

‘Sabotage’ Is Nasty, Brutish, And Not Short Enough

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sabotage opens with Arnold Schwarzenegger, as drug enforcement agent John “Breacher” Wharton, sitting in front of his computer screen watching a video of a woman being tortured. He’s obviously disturbed by it, judging by the look on his craggy face. It’s a nasty, brutish job he has. By …

Letterman’s Retirement News Really Is No Surprise

Saturday, April 5, 2014

In a flurry of unexpected tweets and hastily assembled blog posts, the news went out across America and the world Thursday that David Letterman is retiring from CBS’ Late Show, which he has hosted for 21 years, sometime in 2015, or as he put it “2015, for the …

Watching Big Movies on the Very Small Screen: Is Something Lost?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Whether it’s time or technological preference, many of us watch movies in ways we would’ve considered ridiculous a few years ago. The other day, blowing off the sensible Not Safe for Work guideline, I reviewed Nymphomaniac: Volume I …

The Greatest Stories Never Told: Ambitious Movies That Weren’t Made

Friday, April 4, 2014

Make no small plans, said Alejandro Jodorowsky. Probably. Certainly, at some point, in the mid-1970s, while the Chilean filmmaker was trying to get his gargantuan Hollywood adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel Dune off the ground, he thought that. Jodorowsky, whose El Topo (1971) and The Holy Mountain …

Spies, Just Like Us: You Should Be Watching ‘The Americans’

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Cold War ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union fractured into a patchwork of independent republics. That it could break apart seemed incomprehensible to those of us who grew up with the assumption that the United States and the Soviet Union would stare each other down from …

Mindy Kaling Challenged On Diversity

Friday, April 4, 2014

By Greg Braxton Los Angeles Times Los Angeles — When The Mindy Project premiered on Fox in fall 2012, it was widely hailed as a breakthrough in the diversity of mainstream television. Its star, Mindy Kaling, who plays …

‘Mother’ of All Finales? Not This Time

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Like anything that comes along with sky-high expectations, the How I Met Your Mother series finale inevitably disappointed a lot of people Monday night. Intense anger is nothing new in terms of highly anticipated series finales of long-running …

‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Orphan Black,’ ‘Scandal’ Among Peabody Winners

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Winners of the 73rd annual George Foster Peabody Awards were announced Wednesday on CBS This Morning, with a record 46 series, specials and reports from television, radio and the Web being honored for excellence in 2013. There were some old favorites among the television honorees, but for the …

‘Billy Elliot’ Star Turns to TV

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pasadena, Calif. — Child actors often grow up conflicted by the experience. But that’s not so with British actor Jamie Bell. Bell was at the peak of adolescent angst when, at 14, he was a smash hit in …