Written by Jake Coyle,
AP film writer
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 11:20

To say Ava DuVernay's "Selma" feels relevant is a mammoth understatement. It's altogether animated, propelled and enlivened by its contemporary urgency. "Selma" is a history lesson that throbs with today.

DuVernay, a former publicist with two low-budget dramas to her name, dramatizes the events around the 1965 Civil Rights march through Alabama, from Selma to Montgomery, with a straightness of purpose befitting the famous protest's direct path.

Over and out: TV flops, exits and endings in 2014

AP Television Writer
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 11:04

Along with its triumphs, the world of TV had its share of setbacks in 2014.  Here’s a sample:

• “How I Met Your Mother” Concludes: This long-running CBS sitcom met few viewers’ expectations for a slam-bang finish. Its big reveal — naming the titular “your mother” after nine years of teasing — yielded a finale only slightly less tangled than the ending of “Lost.” And even “Lost” resisted the temptation to include a blue French horn in its wrap-up.

A female Thor and a Muslim Ms. Marvel? Comic books embrace diversity

Written by Jesse J. Holland,
AP writer
Friday, 19 December 2014 10:20

This Thor is a woman now. -PHOTO: Marvel Comics

For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they truly reflect all the hues of American society.

Sam Smith tops MTV's 2014 'best artist ' list

Written by AP Tuesday, 16 December 2014 13:04

This year’s breakthrough new singer, Sam Smith, went from an artist to watch to MTV’s best artist of 2014 and beat out megastars like Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

2014 gave viewers great shows on-air and online

AP Television Writer
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 10:11

From the extraordinary Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring miniseries “The Honorable Woman” on SundanceTV to Syfy’s goofy “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” TV delivered in 2014 — streaming, on cable and over the air.

Showtime’s “Homeland” roared back from last year’s muddle with a season of white-knuckle suspense. CBS’ “The Good Wife” killed off a main character to give the show its latest burst of life. FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” ended its seven-season run with explosive closure. HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” wrapped its saga with a fascinating season that juggled three phases in the life of Atlantic City potentate Nucky Thompson.

The big reads in book news in 2014

AP National Writer
Monday, 22 December 2014 19:58

Like a serial for the digital age, the book world’s most dramatic story of 2014 unfolded in installments, often in real time.

A dispute about e-book revenues between Amazon.com and Hachette Book Group led to Amazon’s removing buy buttons, cutting discounts and reducing orders for works ranging from J.K. Rowling’s latest detective thriller to J.D. Salinger’s “Nine Stories.” The battle lasted for months. Hachette author Stephen Colbert flipped the bird to Amazon, right on camera. Amazon suggested that frustrated customers might try buying books elsewhere.

Cumberbatch shines as wartime codebreaker

Written by Jocelyn Noveck,
AP national writer
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:33

‘Tis clearly the season for Oscar-worthy performances by British actors playing mathematical geniuses facing daunting personal odds.

Sound overly specific? Consider: A few weeks ago we had “The Theory of Everything,” starring Eddie Redmayne as the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking. And now we have Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game” as Alan Turing, the man chiefly responsible for cracking the vaunted Enigma code used by the Germans in World War II.

Pot-dining in Colorado pits chefs against law

Written by Kristen Wyatt,
Associated Press writer
Friday, 12 December 2014 17:49

Acclaimed chef Chris Lanter is talking a crowd of eager foodies through a demo on cooking with marijuana. As he prepares steak au poivre, he describes how to deglaze the pan with pot-infused brandy. How to pair marijuana with fine foods. How to make marijuana’s skunky tang work for a dish, not ruin it.

Go For the Food: Coney Island hot dogs in Detroit

Written by BETH J. HARPAZ for The AP Wednesday, 24 December 2014 01:30

To New Yorkers like me, going to Coney means hopping on a Coney Island-bound subway train to an amusement park at the beach. But on a trip to Detroit, I learned that “coney” means something entirely different.

In Michigan and a few other places, coney is a generic term for hot dogs topped with onions, mustard and chili.

25 movies chosen for the National Film Registry

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 22 December 2014 12:39

Here are the 25 films selected in 2014 by the Library of Congress to be preserved as part of the National Film Registry:

• “13 Lakes” (2004)

From vintage to city chic: Holiday decorating trends

Written by KIM COOK,
Associated Press writer
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:24

For those who love to decorate, there’s no time like the holidays for adding fun, festive touches to our living spaces. This year, there’s something for many tastes and styles.

A look at the trends you’ll see at stores:

The ‘hair of the dog’ won’t cure a hangover, but other methods help

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 12 December 2014 12:47

When you wake up on Jan. 1 after partying hearty on New Year’s Eve, what kind of shape will you be in?