‘Downton Abbey’ back on Jan. 4 for season 5

Written by The AP Saturday, 26 July 2014 16:24

“Downton Abbey” will be back for its fifth season on Jan. 4, but the return date for another hit PBS series, “Sherlock,” is up in the air, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger said.

“We will have to wait to know when it’s finished and available,” Kerger said of the mystery starring Benedict Cumberbatch. “Whenever it comes, we’ll put it in a wonderful place.”

‘Old lion’ Kathy Bates still roaring

Written by Mike Cidoni Lennox,
AP writer
Thursday, 10 July 2014 20:49

Sandra Oh and Kathy Bates play a lesbian couple in Tammy. - PHOTO: Courtesy

Kathy Bates calls herself “an old lion.”

Review: Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' catchy but uneven

Written by Jocelyn Noveck,
AP National write
Sunday, 22 June 2014 07:21

You don’t have to be middle-aged, or even an adult, to know songs like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man.” Sure, they’re ’60s-era hits by The Four Seasons, but they’ve become such pop culture fixtures that even youngsters who’ve never heard the name Frankie Valli could surely croon a few bars in his signature falsetto.

Review: Jolie’s a fun hero-villain in ‘Maleficent’

AP National Writer
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 18:46

Then and now from Disney. - PHOTOS: Courtesy Disney

Maybe it’s too soon to say the tide has shifted definitively. But it’s certainly been a unique time for fairy-tale villains.   

Review: Woody Allen's sweet, sugary 'Magic in the Moonlight'

Written by JAKE COYLE,
AP Film Writer
Friday, 25 July 2014 22:51

Woody Allen’s late period has been defined by a quality you wouldn’t have expected from the man who produced the inspired chaos of “Bananas” or the Fellini-esque carnival of “Stardust Memories”: tidiness.

For years now, Allen’s films have been light farces (“Midnight in Paris,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”) or neatly structured parables (“Match Point,” “Blue Jasmine”). They breeze in innocuously in the summer, promising pleasant entertainment and not much more.

Review: 'Tammy' misses the funny bone

Written by The AP Thursday, 03 July 2014 07:35

Meet Tammy. Boy, is she a mess. Angry, profane and aggressive, then suddenly shy and sweet. Sometimes she's funny, sometimes totally not. She can't figure out what she wants to do or be, or where to go. She has loads of people around her, yet can't figure out what to do with them. This one's in desperate need of outside help.

And you thought we were talking about Tammy, the character — played by lovable Melissa McCarthy in her first venture as producer, star and co-writer with husband Ben Falcone. Well, sure. But really we're talking about "Tammy" the movie, about which all of the above descriptions are also true.

Review: Lovely visuals, smart writing in ‘Dragon’

AP National Writer
Monday, 16 June 2014 09:48

You thought it was tricky to train a dragon?

It’s even trickier to take a much-admired animated film and make a sequel that feels satisfying and worthwhile. And it’s harder still to balance the competing needs of stretching the story in new directions but retaining the guiding spirit of the original enough to make fans happy.

Eco-terrorism grips in ‘Night Moves’

Written by JAKE COYLE,
AP Film Writer
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 22:27

In Kelly Reichardt’s spare, eco-terrorist thriller, the two spurts of violence that disturb the placid pine forests of the Pacific Northwest are each hazy with fog. One is a misty nighttime bombing of a hydroelectric dam, the other a fatal encounter in a sauna.

A thick moral cloudiness hangs over “Night Moves,” Reichardt’s fifth film. Three disillusioned environmentalist radicals conspire to send a message by blowing up a dam that has upset the local ecosystem. Clad in wet wool hats, they’re far from romantic terrorists like Carlos the Jackal. One, after all, is played by Jesse Eisenberg.

‘Game of Thrones’ earns 19 Emmy nominations

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 11 July 2014 18:15

The sprawling and bloodthirsty saga “Game of Thrones,” defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for such fantasy fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series.

Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, “Fargo,” with 18 bids, and “American Horror Story: Coven,” with 17.

Ho, ho, ho: Hallmark TV celebrates Christmas in July

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 03 July 2014 06:22

The Hallmark TV channels are beginning a week's worth of holiday programming on the Fourth of July - but think ornaments and egg nog instead of fireworks and hot dogs.

The stunt on the Hallmark and Hallmark Movie channels begins Friday afternoon and continues into the early morning hours of July 15. Mostly, it will be repeats of the holiday movies that Hallmark traditionally airs during the last two months of the year.

'Edge of Tomorrow' - what summertime movies are all about

Written by The AP Friday, 06 June 2014 13:00

The time-shifting sci-fi thriller "Edge of Tomorrow" has perfectly encapsulated what it is to be a summertime moviegoer. We're dropped into a battlefield of digital effects with the fate of the world at stake. Torrents of gunfire and explosions surround. Some alien clonks us over the head.

We black out and it all happens again. And again.

‘Normal Heart’ beats with outrage

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Friday, 30 May 2014 14:23

Taylor Kitsch and Mark Ruffalo in Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, now available on HBO. Photo: HBO

A long time in the making (Barbra Streisand held up the screen rights for years), the movie adaptation of Larry Kramer’s difficult early AIDS-era play The Normal Heart finally premiered May 25 on HBO. It was a fitting start for the Memorial Day Weekend, as there are so many friends, family and loved ones who must not be forgotten.