On screen

‘Ex-Machina,’ ‘It Follows’ breathe life into stale genres

Written by JAKE COYLE,
AP Film Writer
Thursday, 02 April 2015 07:01

Alex Garland has learned a few things in his years as a science-fiction screenwriter: namely, that money doesn’t always help.

Garland is now making his directorial debut with the acclaimed science fiction film “Ex-Machina,” after earlier scripting the influential zombie thriller “28 Days Later” and seeing his first book, “The Beach,” turned into the Leonardo DiCaprio adventure. The 2007 Danny Boyle-directed space thriller “Sunshine,” which Garland wrote, particularly drove home the lesson.

Daniel Dae Kim takes control in ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and beyond

Written by LYNN ELBER,
AP Television Writer
Saturday, 28 February 2015 14:17

Daniel Dae Kim stars on Hawaii Five-O. — PHOTO: Courtesy CBS

Daniel Dae Kim made an impressively smooth transition from a stalwart husband on “Lost” to dashing crime fighter on “Hawaii Five-0.”

Fox series ‘Empire’ challenges homophobia in the black community

Written by David Bauder,
AP Television writer
Sunday, 25 January 2015 14:40

Terrence Howard stars as the patriarch of a music empire in Fox’s ‘Empire,’ created by out gay director Lee Daniels, who’s best known for his films “Precious” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” -PHOTO: Courtesy

The creator of Fox’s prime-time soap Empire said he wants to “blow the lid off homophobia” in the African-American community with a depiction of the show’s lead character’s hostile relationship with his gay son.

Wisconsin Film Festival unreels a week of flicks

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 March 2015 15:26

Chimes at Midnight. — PHOTO: Courtesy Wisconsin Film Festival

Movie buff Jim Healy’s life is governed by a single credo: There are no new films or old films, only films that he hasn't yet seen.

In ‘Lambert & Stamp,’ the backstage story of The Who

Written by JAKE COYLE,
AP Film Writer
Thursday, 02 April 2015 06:49

The teenage revolution was in full force on the fall 1964 night that Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp stumbled into the Railway Tavern, a London pub where a band called the High Numbers was playing and mods were gyrating. It was London’s Swinging 1960s, with its subculture explosion and stylish youths.

Such is the scene, glimpsed in footage shot that night, at the beginning of the riotously entertaining new documentary “Lambert & Stamp.” Lambert and Stamp were assistant film directors, frustrated by not ascending to the director’s chair, but full of wild ideas. They wanted to find a band to make a film about, but their plans had wider cultural aspirations: “a mad (expletive) concoction of stuff,” says Stamp in the film.

WE TV airing ‘Sex Box’ reality TV show, and some object

Written by DAVID BAUDER,
AP Television Writer
Friday, 27 February 2015 14:09

A new relationship therapy TV show gives most participating couples the same prescription: Go into a modular, windowless room onstage and have sex while the studio audience waits until they’re done. Not surprisingly, “Sex Box” has attracted some negative attention.

The Parents Television Council, One Million Moms and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation say they’ve collected more than 38,000 signatures on a petition urging WE TV to shelve the show.

Host Neil Patrick Harris welcomes a Kanye moment at the Oscars

Written by SANDY COHEN,
AP Entertainment Writer
Friday, 20 February 2015 09:31

Neil Patrick Harris might use his job as Oscar host as a way to meet his favorite stars.

“I have, essentially, an all-access pass to the theater,” Harris said during a recent interview. “So I love being able to stand there and say hello to people I’ve never met before. I’m very easily star struck, so it’ll be very exciting to shake hands with celebrities.”

Review: 'Insurgent' could use more divergence

Written by The AP Thursday, 19 March 2015 07:28

Given that conformity is the scourge of the "Divergent" series and much of its young-adult ilk, it's a shame that the films, including the new "Insurgent," do so little to stray from well-worn YA paths. 

For a series that waves the banner of individualism, they make a poor case for it. Instead of throbbing with a teenage spirit of rebellion — or things like youthful wildness, humor or sex — the two "Divergent" movies are curiously content to eke out a rigid, lifeless fable in drab futuristic environs. 

'House of Cards' returns for 3rd season

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 03 March 2015 11:24

Even if it never wins another award, "House of Cards" already ranks among the most influential series in television history.

The political drama launched Netflix's expansion into original programming two years ago, a risky bet that might have toppled the Internet video service had "House of Cards" flopped and squandered its estimated $100 million investment. Instead, the show was an immediate hit with viewers and critics, giving Netflix the financial clout and creative firepower to further transform how we watch and define "television." And it spurred other online services such as Amazon.com Inc. and Google's YouTube to spend more on their own original content to create shows that rival those produced by broadcast and cable channels.

Natalie Portman embraces Paris, motherhood and the chance to sit in the director’s chair

Written by Jan Janssen,
The Interview Feed
Friday, 27 March 2015 06:48

Natalie Portman’s latest acting role is in Terence Malick’s upcoming film Knight of Cups. She’s also taken her first foray into directing.
— PHOTO: Dior

The past year has been an interesting adventure for Natalie Portman. Following her marriage to long-time boyfriend Benjamin Millepied, director of the ballet department of the Paris Opera, the Oscar-winning actress moved to Paris last year with the couple’s 3-year-old son. She’s been soaking up French culture and adapting to her new world as wife, mother and Parisienne.

Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Eva Longoria projects part of NBC’s slate

Written by The AP Monday, 19 January 2015 11:22

Stevie Wonder is on board for an NBC miniseries set against the 19th-century Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves find freedom.

Wonder, who will serve as executive producer for the project, also may be involved in a musical adaptation of the miniseries that is aimed at Broadway, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said.

Review: ‘Second Best’ Marigold Hotel lives up to its title

AP National Writer
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:42

If you’re going to do a movie sequel that doesn’t quite measure up to the original and seems rather hurriedly cobbled together, well, OK. Many filmmakers have done the same.

But actually putting the words “Second Best” in the title? Now, that’s just asking for the unflattering comparisons.