Month: April 2017

Disney’s ‘Moana’ brings a brave young heroine home on DVD

dvds out tuesday

NEW FILMSMoanaJackieIncarnateCold War IIThe Eyes of My MotherTanna100 StreetsBad Kids of Crestview AcademyCheck PointI Am MichaelMan DownPocket ListingTrespass Against UsTELEVISIONSaving Hope: Season 4The Americans: Season 4You Me Her: Season 1

“Moana” is filled with clever, entertaining moments like when Maui’s tattoos come to life, making his body an animated cartoon strip, but the best part is Disney has provided a smart, intrepid heroine to inspire young girls for years to come.‘Jackie’Pablo Larraín’s “Jackie” tries to flesh out the story of history’s most-famous widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, after the assassination of her husband. Despite the volumes written about the Kennedys, Jackie’s life is sometimes reduced to the image of the woman in the blood-spattered pink suit or in black, veiled and mourning her husband.
Her companion is a daffy chicken named Heihei (Alan Tudyk). Instead, they eventually take on bigger obstacles, including a giant crab, who sings the Bowie-esque rock number “Shiny,” performed by Jemaine Clement, one of a number of infectious numbers by Lin-Manuel Miranda in the film. The two bicker, but the film from Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid”) wisely avoids turning it into a boy-girl thing. After confronting violent seas, Moana finally finds Maui, who turns out to be more of a teen himself.
The film examines the point where truth and myth meet, though whether “Jackie” sheds any more light on the story or contributes to the haze is debatable.The film from the Chilean director is a patchwork period piece, jumping between times and blending re-creations with original footage but always keeping the tragedy in the foreground. So it never strays from emotional trauma but creates some odd moments, which help lessen what could have been a dour process. The glamorous and popular First Lady was a private person, which only added to her mystery.

Oscar nominee “Moana” is a delightful animated musical about the daughter of a Polynesian chief seeking her destiny. If you saw her singing at the Oscars on Sunday, you already know that 16-year-old Auli’i Cravalho is a talent and if you’ve seen the character of Moana, then you know the teen looks like she stepped out of the film.When the isle she lives on experiences a famine, Moana — who has been prevented from venturing out on her own — sets out on a journey over the sea to find a demigod called Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) to ask his help in order to restore ecological balance.

What to watch: Marvel’s Iron Fist and ‘Underground’ war secrets among top TV bets

As he investigates, River finds himself talking to the spirit of his old partner and realizing what he didn’t see before. River, who witnessed it, isn’t sure if it was murder, suicide or a hit and run. He’s haunted by visions of the recent death of his colleague, “Stevie” Stevenson (Nicola Walker), who was hit by a car. Catch up onRiver: (Netflix) If you like to settle down with a good British mystery, this six-part series from 2015 created and written by Abi Morgan (“The Hour,” “The Iron Lady”) is just the thing. “River” has all the conventions of a standard mystery, while at the same time being unconventional. It stars the terrific Stellan Skarsgård as John River, a London Police detective.
Monday on Smithsonian) A documentary about the discovery in Northern France of a vast underground city beneath a farm field where World War I soldiers, on both sides of the conflict, took refuge a century ago.Cries from Syria: (10 p.m. Wednesday on OWN) This drama is set within a black megachurch in Memphis and focuses on the Greenleaf family, which runs the church. Keith David plays the family patriarch and bishop of the church. Monday on HBO) Helen Mirren narrates the documentary from Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky about the humanitarian crisis in Syria.Greenleaf: (10 p.m. This weekAmericans Underground — Secret City of WWI: (8 p.m.
All 13 episodes stream today.The Originals: (8 p.m. Marvel’s Iron Fist: (Available Friday on Netflix) Fourth Netflix Marvel series stars Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand, a martial-arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. Friday on CW) Fourth season of the “Vampire Diaries” spinoff.Striking Out: (Available Friday on Acorn) USA premiere of the hit Irish legal drama.

Guests (and puppet voices) include Carol Burnett, Alec Baldwin, Ellie Kemper, Josh Groban, and David Hyde Pierce. Namour: (Available Wednesday on Netflix) Drama acquired by Ava DuVernay’s production company follows the experience of an Egyptian immigrant living in Los Angeles.Snatch: (Available Thursday on Crackle) Series is an adaptation of the 2001 Guy Ritchie movie and stars Rupert Grint.Deidra & Laney Rob a Train: (Available Friday on Netflix) Movie dramedy is about a smart high school senior, Deidra, who has been helping to raise her younger sister and brother but not has to bail out her mother, too.Julie’s Greenroom: (Available Friday on Netflix) Julie Andrews hosts a new Jim Henson Company-produced children’s series.


How Disney scored new music for “Beauty and the Beast’

Disney’s 1991 cartoon hit, after all, was nominated for four music category Oscars — original songs “Belle,” “Be Our Guest” and the title track, the latter of which won the statuette, as did Alan Menken’s original score — and provided the sonic foundation for a successful Broadway musical.So it was a no-brainer to bring Menken back to do the new film’s score and compose three new songs with the stage show’s lyricist, Tim Rice. A big part of re-imagining “Beauty and the Beast” as a live-action movie was figuring out what to do with the soundtrack. (Howard Ashman, the wordsmith who, with Menken, was instrumental to the Disney animated musical renaissance begun with “The Little Mermaid,” “Beast” and “Aladdin,” succumbed to AIDS months before his second cartoon feature was released.)
“This was the first successful one in a long time; the audience could accept the conventions because it was animated. The new film’s director, Bill Condon, a lifelong fan of musicals who previously brought “Dreamgirls” to the screen, wanted this “Beauty” to echo some of Hollywood’s most memorable production numbers with state-of-the-art special effects pizzazz.“When the animated movie opened, it had been a desert for movie musicals; the genre was basically dead,” Condon points out. But actually, if you look at it, it was very inspired by previous movie musicals.
The new ditties are “Evermore,” an emotional ballad Dan Stevens’ Beast sings when he’s convinced he’s lost Belle forever; “Days in the Sun,” a melancholy remembrance of freer and/or more human pasts sung by Stevens, Belle player Emma Watson and the actors who voice all the anthropomorphic household objects; and “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” in which Belle’s father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), drops hints about the family’s origins.In addition, Ashman lyrics not heard in the cartoon have been added to the live version’s renditions of “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

I love Ravel and Satie and French music in general, so it was an opportunity for me to add some color.“And then there was going to be an emphasis on more backstory for the main characters,” Menken continues. “We wanted to emphasize more the 18th century, make it feel more grounded in period. The songs that were in the animated movie are still the basic tent poles of the live action, though.” “Those are decisions that affected where the new songs might go. “We wanted to open things up musically,” Menken says about the new, people-starring “Beast” movie. And we wanted it to feel more French, which was certainly big in influencing what I was going to write musically.


‘Marvel’s Iron Fist’ takes things slow in first season

Like the others, “Iron Fist” downplays the supernatural aspects of the story for a grittier take. They think he’s crazy and believe he is a threat, especially telling people he was living in K’un-L’un, which no one can find on a map.“You can’t get there from here,” Danny explains, but one thing for certain is that Danny has some crazy martial-arts skills. So if you are looking for explosive moments, they are few and far between early on. If he is who he says he is, he would be heir to the majority holdings in a major corporation now run by the children of his father’s business partner and childhood friends, Joy (Jessica Stroup) and Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey).
The biggest problems with it is pace and familiarity. In the meantime, the mystery drips out. “If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions,” he advises. Very little is revealed about what his company is up to, although we know they have henchman.Unlike the other three, Danny hasn’t been on the streets. Harold Meachum (David Wenham), his dad’s business partner, is supposedly dead but isn’t and is behind the scenes pulling strings. He’s far more spiritual. This makes him an odd fit in “The Defenders.” The lack of punch at the beginning of “Iron Fist” may seem a mistake, but bludgeoning action, which the other series also avoid, isn’t the answer.

“Marvel’s Iron Fist,” the fourth of the “Defenders” series to stream on Netflix, starts off slowly.While this may be disappointing to fans of “Luke Cage,” “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil,” the series rests on a very different type of protagonist. The others have built-in edges to their characters: blindness in Daredevil’s case, while Cage and Jones have underdog status and live in a tough neighborhood.“Iron Fist” is the story of Danny Rand (Finn Jones from “Game of Thrones”) the only son of billionaires who mysteriously shows up barefoot in New York City some 15 years after he supposedly died along with his parents in a plane crash over the Himalayas.
By the second episode he’s locked up in a psych ward where he tells the doctor he had been a warrior in a mystical realm. He also says he was a sworn enemy of The Hand, a supervillain organization that has appeared in other Marvel propertiesObviously, Danny feels out of place back in New York. The doctors believe he is delusional, having experienced a tragedy. He tells them he has superpowers.“I know if I focus my chi, I can summon the Iron Fist,” he says.So his big struggle at the beginning is to find himself.


‘Beauty and the Beast’: What you need to know

Love the original “Beauty and the Beast” and can’t wait to see the new one? Here’s a rundown on the 1991 original and the updated characters from the current film — plus some fun facts to get you started.WHO’S WHO IN ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’BelleWho: A bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle.Played by: Emma Watson.Originally voiced by: Paige O’Hara.Fun fact: Belle in this film is the inventor, not her father Maurice, as part of her backstory on why she was treated differently by the villagers.
He is suave and a gracious host.Played by: Ewan McGregor.Originally voiced by: Jerry Orbach.Fun fact: McGregor was unsatisfied with his French accent, so he completely re-recorded his part during the film’s post-production.Mrs. PottsWho: The matronly head of the castle kitchen transformed into a teapot.Played by: Emma Thompson. Played by: Josh Gad.Originally voiced by: Jesse Corti.Fun fact: The name LeFou in French means “the idiot,” “the fool” or “the insane.”LumiereWho: The Casanova of all candelabras.

Originally voiced by: Bradley Michael Pierce. Originally voiced by: Angela Lansbury.Fun Fact: Originally named Mrs. Chamomile, but name was changed to Potts because it was easier to rhyme.Chip PottsWho: Son of Mrs. Played by: Nathan Mack. Fun fact: Chip originally had one line of dialogue, but Pierce impressed filmmakers so much they expanded his part and cut out the role of a mute music box.CogsworthWho: The Beast’s gruff but loyal butler, who was transformed into a mantel clock. Potts, a charming teacup who befriends Belle.

BeastWho: A prince transformed into a monstrous creature for his arrogance and has to learn humanity to break the spell.Played by: Dan Stevens.Originally voiced by: Robby Benson.Fun fact: The beast’s real name is Prince Adam.GastonWho: Egotistical hunter who vies for Belle’s hand in marriage and is determined not to let anyone else win her heart.Played by: Luke Evans.Originally voiced by: Richard White.Fun fact: Gaston eats five dozen eggs for breakfast daily.LeFouWho: Gaston’s long-suffering sidekick.


‘Sing’ hits the notes kids like, while ‘Insecure’ and ‘Master of None’ are unexpected gems: DVDs

DVDS out tuesday

In a sense, these are fish-out-of-water stories, but told from different perspectives and with verve. Writer and actress Issa Rae, who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, used elements of her own life for “Insecure,” which is about a black woman who feels somewhat unsure in the mostly white world she works in but is also uncomfortable when she goes back home. “Master” stars Aziz Ansari and the series is loosely inspired by the Indian-American actor-comedian’s own life. ‘Insecure’ and ‘Master of None’HBO’s “Insecure” and Netflix’s “Master of None” are two terrific sitcoms and two reasons why television has become so much more adventurous than film.

It’s essentially time-travel, action, violence and a waste of a good cast, including Michael Fassbinder, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling and Michael Kenneth Williams.‘Miss Sloane’Jessica Chastain plays an unlikable Washington lobbyist in the political thriller “Miss Sloane.” The film from John Madden with a screenplay by Jonathan Perera undercuts itself too often to keep up the tension as Chastain’s character takes an unexpectedly principled stand, but the actress is worth watching throughout. ‘Assassin’s Creed’“Assassin’s Creed,” directed by Justin Kurzel and based on the popular video game, would be baffling if you cared.
“Julieta” is a thoughtful, measured portrait of a woman — if not in crisis — in a sea of uncertainty. We see the younger Julieta taking an unexpected detour for love and then another one because of tragedy. The titular character is played by Adriana Ugarte as a young woman and in Emma Suárez when older. After being introduced to the older Julieta, the story — based on three Alice Munro short stories — takes a chronological journey. Perhaps not one of Almodóvar’s great works but in the upper echelon. All of this impacts the woman she becomes. ‘Julieta’Pedro Almodóvar’s latest movie, “Julieta,” is a melodrama about a middle-aged woman who reminisces about her past as she ponders what to do with her life.
NEW FILMSSingAssassin’s CreedLive by NightMiss SloaneJulietaFire at SeaA Kind of MurderBakery in BrooklynIn Dubious BattleTELEVISIONInsecure: Season OneMaster of None: Season OneWolf Creek: Season One
It’s not a kids’ song. The animated “Sing” is as calculated as you can get, but it works if you’re trying to entertain young kids — although parents might get sugar shock in the process. The story involves a singing contest. Voice talent includes a couple of Oscar winners — Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon — although McConaughey doesn’t sing. The premise is simple — a bunch of cute animals sing jukebox hits. Songs include “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Under Pressure,” “Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing,” and for some reason the umpteenth version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Doesn’t anybody listen to the lyrics?


How ‘Life’ is found on Mars in new space horror film

“They are really trying to solve the problem, but this is a life form that is so adaptive it keeps a step ahead of them.”The filmmakers relied on real scientists to help create the alien.“We wanted the film to feel grounded and real, a science ‘fact-ion’ version of this story,” says Reese, who notes that we are still finding new species on Earth even as we look toward Mars. Calvin, as it turns out, quickly outgrows the cute phase.“We wanted to make it sort of out of the frying pan and into the fire for the astronauts, who aren’t stupid,” says Wernick.
NASA, by the way, has a mission in 2020 that would lead to getting Mars samples, and China may even be digging up the moon next year. Once the crew’s lead scientist (British actor Ariyon Bakare) manages to stimulate it, the cell starts to multiply. “Life” stars Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson as three of the six astronauts on the station where a Mars sample containing an inert single-celled organism is being studied. News is sent to Earth that extraterrestrial life has been discovered, and in a contest an elementary school class names it Calvin.
A geneticist suggested that Calvin could be a weird funguslike creature that seemed capable of rudimentary learning. Later Espinosa took the ideas in the script about how Calvin might develop to his friend, a famed Swedish graffiti painter called Ziggy. “He has a very stark sensibility,” says the Chilean-born, Sweden-based director. He then had the artist work with a scientist on the designs of Calvin.“While the film is a very fun, roller-coaster ride for audiences” Espinosa says, “as a director, I had other things I was interested in.”

Fans of nature documentaries are used to seeing life-and-death struggles between species, sometimes with bone-crunching endings. There is a possibility that we could find life on Mars, and if we did find some evidence, we would send it to the International Space Station.” The new sci-fi action film “Life,” directed by Daniel Espinosa (“Safe House”) and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland” and “Deadpool”), puts that fight for survival on the International Space Station and, unlike most others in the genre, takes care to give it a real-life edge.“What got me so scared,” says Espinosa about the script, “was that it could actually happen tomorrow.


How Jessica Chastain confronted tough decisions of WWII drama ‘Zookeeper’s Wife’

Would you have done what Antonina Zabinski did?She is the title character in “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” the true story of a woman played by Jessica Chastain who sheltered Jews and resistance fighters in the Warsaw Zoo right under the Nazis’ noses during World War II.“That’s the big question of the film: What would you do if something like this happened today?” says Chastain about the film, which opens Friday. She opened her doors to strangers.” “So many of us would immediately jump to, ‘Of course, I would help others.’ But to do that is to trivialize the danger. Antonina sacrificed the safety of her children to be compassionate.
To prepare for the film, Chastain talked with the couples’ daughter, Teresa, who was born during the war.“She told me things that weren’t even in the book about Antonina,” says the actress, who also visited Auschwitz “because though I had studied concentration camps, I wanted to know what it meant to be on the ground.” As the war went on, much of the burden for hiding refugees and members of the Polish underground fell to Antonina after Jan joined the resistance and was captured in the Warsaw uprising of 1944. After the war, the state of Israel honored the Zabinskis for their efforts.

Chastain notes there are many films about World War II and the Holocaust, but most are from a male perspective.“We’ve had many films that focus on the darkness and the violence and murder, but we’ve never had a film that focuses on the light and the goodness in people during the time of war — and the feminine and the compassionate.” The actress credits Caro for that. So getting “The Zookeeper’s Wife” to the screen was a slog. The director was first approached about the project some seven years ago.
The film by Niki Caro is from Diane Ackerman’s book, which is based on the diary of Antonina Zabinski, who, along with her husband, Jan Zabinski (played by Johan Heldenbergh), had been running the zoo before the war.The Zabinskis had until then led a fairly idyllic life caring for their son and the animals. Secretly, though, they began to hide Jews and even smuggled them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. Some of the animals roamed the city until they were shot down.A Nazi zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), took the best of the surviving creatures for his selective-breeding program, but the Zabinskis persuaded the Germans to use the zoo as a pig farm to provide food for Nazi soldiers. When the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, they ruthlessly bombed the city of Warsaw, including the zoo.


How legendary John Dykstra brought ‘Ghost in the Shell’s’ effects to life

well, I don’t know, existence. “It’s anime and the graphic novels. They have a certain caricature quality; the villains are bigger than life, the heroes are bigger than life, and the existential crises are bigger than … Dykstra came in after production was underway to oversee execution of several specific elements and, perhaps also, to lend his keen perspective on visual narrative to the overall project.“The thing about ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is it’s an interpretation of a different storytelling medium,” the 69-year-old Long Beach native points out.
Whatever baggage you bring to the live-action “Ghost in the Shell” movie — that it seems more like “Robocop” than the complex, forward-looking science fiction found in Shirow Masamune’s original manga comics and Mamoru Oshii’s anime features or that star Scarlett Johansson isn’t the least bit Japanese — you have to concede one point: This thing looks amazing.Some of that can be attributed to John Dykstra, the legendary special-effects specialist whose eye-popping career includes the original 1977 “Star Wars,” the first TV iteration of “Battlestar Galactica,” 1979’s first “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” several mid-’90s “Batman” movies and early 21st century “Spider-Mans,” a couple of recent Tarantinos and “X-Men” outings and “Kong: Skull Island,” released earlier this month.
“As a result, the setting for this has to carry the mentality of the conventional blockbuster, and as a result, the environments have to be different from what you’ve seen before but carry the personality that the animes had.”Among the most amazing examples of that are the multistory high holograms throughout “Ghost’s” urban center, which The Major and her crime-fighting Section 9 comrades often run through during chases and escapes. Dykstra, who calls the towering 3-D projections “solograms” (“That’s a fake word for not-really-solid-gram,” he laughs), lent a hand in making them look real. “But it’s not the clear-cut kind of story that more traditional blockbusters pursue,” Dykstra notes.
Weta also made many other aspects of this future when humans and machines are merging like never before, such as the Japanese franchise’s signature assassin geishabots. And with costume designers Kurt and Bart, the team helped create the iconic flesh-colored, form-fitting thermoptic suit worn by Johansson’s character, The Major, a terrorist-fighting cyborg with a human brain. Much of “Ghost’s” futuristic Asian urban setting, which can loosely be described as “Blade Runner” on steroids, was designed and executed by New Zealand’s fabled Weta Workshop, Peter Jackson’s special-effects house adjacent to his studio where most of the movie was shot (along with location work in Hong Kong and Shanghai).


WonderCon, and its colorful costumes, are back in Southern California

On the exhibit floor, comic artwork and merchandise hang in various exhibit booths. A Newport Beach retailer, Toddland, has a booth decorated like the hamburger counter of the Fox animated TV show “Bob’s Burgers.” Indiana artist Terry Huddleston has his pop culture booth festooned with the colorful faces of comic book and video game characters.Fans lined up with a toy in hand to grab a signature from Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on “Star Wars Rebels,” an animated TV show and the founder of HerUniverse, a superhero clothing brand for women.
But here, I feel free.” ANAHEIM >> There’s a fake black dragon draped over Janet Alvarez’s shoulder.Barf from “Spaceballs” is roaming around, and so is a child – with a plastic knife, splattered with play blood in hand and dressed as Chucky, that creepy doll that comes alive in horror movies.After a one-year hiatus in Los Angeles, the popular WonderCon is back in Anaheim through Sunday, and that means fans are out in force for one of the largest comic, science-fiction and pop culture conventions on the West Coast.“It’s hard growing up a nerd,” said Crystal Schaefer, 22, of Riverside.” You get bullied and harassed.

She had on pointed dog ears and was carrying an empty Milk bone box, dressed as Barfolomew, the half-man, half-dog played by John Candy in the 1980s science-fiction spoof “Spaceballs.”“I’m at home,” Schaefer said.A smaller version of San Diego’s Comic-Con, organizers are expecting 60,000-plus to converge on the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend. Here, they’ll geek out on everything nerd – buying toys and the latest comic books, participating in panels, and learning how to expertly play a card game, Magic: The Gathering.
They will see a  premiere of “Class,” a spinoff of the British sci-fi TV show, “Doctor Who,” and get a preview of what’s coming at Warner Bros.“There’s a lot of camaraderie here,” said David Glanzer, a spokesman for WonderCon, in existence since 1987. Glanzer said WonderCon will remain in Anaheim for at least the next couple of years. “I’ve been coming to comic conventions since 1978, and these conventions … have grown considerably.“It’s a place where people with the same common interest and appreciation can come together,” he said.The convention moved to Los Angeles last year because of construction at the Anaheim Convention Center.


‘Rogue One’ tops this week’s list of DVD releases

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is the first one-off story of the epic franchise, and it worked pretty well within its parameters.Directed by Gareth Edwards, it leads into “Episode VI,” the original “Star Wars” movie. The actress — an Oscar nominee for “The Theory of Everything” and known for dramas like “The Invisible Woman” and “Like Crazy” — pulls off the tough-girl role convincingly. Felicity Jones plays Jyn Erso, a tough, independent fighter who leads a motley band. “Rogue” is the story of a Rebel squad that steals the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s planet killer that Luke Skywalker would ultimately destroy in the first film. Like “The Force Awakens,” it has a female as the main protagonist.

As for the plot, well, you know where it’s going.‘Paterson’Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” wanders through its story like an improvised poem, which makes sense since it’s about a bus driver who is a poet.In fact, his poems appear on screen as they are read aloud by the author, Paterson (Adam Driver). And there is a new droid — tall and imposing and voiced by Alan Tudyk — that offers comic relief. Nothing much happens in “Paterson.” Our driver mostly kisses his girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) in the morning and ambles off to work, where he takes in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, while people get on and off his bus.

The rest of the crew includes some pretty interesting actors, including Riz Ahmed and Diego Luna.There is also a lot of cool stuff in the movie — like recreating Peter Cushing who played Grand Moff Tarkin, the Empire’s strongman, in the original film. The actor died in 1994, but thanks to digital technology, he and his character have a substantial speaking role in “Rogue One.” In fact, there are numerous winks and references to “A New Hope” including Darth Vader being voiced once again by the great James Earl Jones.

If you wonder where this is all going, then you probably won’t have patience for this Zen-like approach. Call Jarmusch’s film a portrait of an artist who likes his routines. Paterson, by the way, was the home of William Carlos Williams, a poet who continued to practice medicine. Sometimes he hits a bar. All of this is fodder for his writings.

NEW FILMSRogue One: A Star Wars StoryOffice Christmas PartyPatersonThe Bounce BackDon’t Hang UpDon’t Kill ItBook of LoveWe Don’t Belong HereTELEVISIONDCI Banks: Season 5


‘Archer’ returns as a private eye in a big sleep

What: The eighth season of the animated spy show takes a ’40s noir twist.When: Premieres 10 p.m. Wednesday.Where: FXX.


Meanwhile, he is hired by Mother (Jessica Walter), a mob boss in the ’40s (and his mother in the show’s real world), to keep an eye on a rival, mob boss Len Trexler (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor).For this season, titled “Dreamland,” the series has been shifted over to FXX.All the characters in Archer’s life are back in one form or another. In this scenario, Woodhouse was Archer’s murdered partner, and the PI, a WWII army vet with flashbacks, is out to find the killer. On-and-off girlfriend Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) has morphed into a sultry nightclub singer who does a sizzling version of “Fever.”
Jon Benjamin) is a private eye taking cases from sexy women while irritating the LAPD. As the eighth season of “Archer” begins, the words “O death, where is thy sting?” from “1 Corinthians” are being intoned over the grave of superspy Sterling Archer’s manservant Woodhouse, but Archer himself remains oblivious in a hospital where he has been in a coma for three months.His mind, however, has been transported back to the late 1940s, where Archer (voiced by H. It’s like this faux James Bond has become a faux Philip Marlowe.
As kind of a combination of the sisters in “The Big Sleep,” Charlotte is trying to escape a “quasi-incestuous” relationship. This looks like the best season of “Archer” yet. “Do your worst,” Charlotte says. To take the case, she offers Archer $100,000 and herself.

Like Marlowe, Archer juggles cases, including one from a manic heiress to a publishing fortune, Charlotte Vandertunt (Judy Greer), who asks him to kill her. He’s a little dense sometimes. Archer falls for her immediately, but she shrugs him off with, “I’m going to leave you here between hope and despair,” a classic-sounding noir line, which the private dick doesn’t get. The bartender then grossly enlightens him on what she meant.The series has always moved between clever parody and outright silliness, but this year “Archer” seems to be paying more attention to the plot along with the jokes. The dopey PI almost takes her literally until she informs him it’s part of a scam.


‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Lion,’ ‘Veep’ top this week’s DVD list


Eventually, the women are given a chance but only because a few people believed talent trumped race. Henson plays Katherine Goble, a math prodigy who is finally assigned to a team that calculates launch coordinates. The staff — particularly a lead engineer (Jim Parsons) — are not keen on her or even that she help herself to coffee.Dorothy (Spencer) and Mary (Monáe) also face racial barriers — Dorothy with her immediate boss (Kirsten Dunst) and Mary with Virginia’s Jim Crow laws when she tries to take graduate courses. The country was rewarded when the three make key contributions to the program.

NEW FILMSHidden FiguresLionMonster TrucksThe Bye Bye ManToni ErdmannWalking with the EnemyWorlds ApartBelieveBrimstoneClaire in MotionWar On EveryoneTELEVISIONMars Season 1Silicon Valley: The Complete ThirdTangled: Before Ever AfterTop Gear 23Veep: Season 5

The second part brings us a grown-up Saroo (now played by Dev Patel) who has been adopted by an Australian couple (David Wenham and Nicole Kidman).His life seems to be working out. He moves to Melbourne to study hotel management where he falls in love with an American, Lucy (Rooney Mara). But, of course, we know that his past still tugs at him and that it will eventually obsess him. The first part of the movie finds the young boy navigating this strange world, which Davis conveys smartly through the visuals and editing.

Fortunately, “Hidden Figures” imbues its heroines with more than mathematical skills and the grit to stick it out. The story is a familiar one — in that it’s about those who persevere despite racial injustice — but it’s one that needs to be retold. It allows them to be people, including a sly romance between Katherine and a military officer played by Mahershala Ali, Oscar winner for his supporting role in “Moonlight.”‘Lion’Garth Davis’ “Lion” is based on true story but told in a way that will get viewers to pull out their handkerchiefs. It begins in 1984 Calcutta when a little boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) follows his brother to a train station and accidently boards an out-of-service train that takes him a 1,000 miles away to a city where people speak a different language.

Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book, the Theodore Melfi-directed film tells the story of three African-American women who worked at NASA while the 1960s space race was at a fever pitch.Though they had each proved their worth before, the three toiled at data entry jobs and were denied promotion based on nothing more than race. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe — would perform crucial roles in our nation’s efforts. Nevertheless, the trio — played by Taraji P. “Hidden Figures” is about wrongs being belatedly made right.


How to get Coachella 2017 updates on Instagram Stories, Snapchat

If you’re reading this article on your phone, click this link to add us.We will also be using Instagram’s stories feature, so check our profile throughout the day to see the latest.If you’re new to Instagram Stories, read this helpful guide. Follow us on Instagram by opening the app and searching for socalnewsgroup.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival returns to Indio, CA this weekend and the Southern California News Group will be there to get the whole thing on Snapchat and Instagram.Yes, that means you can finally see all the acts, art and fashion and soak in the “Coachella Vibes” without actually walking around in the desert all day.Follow us on Snapchat by opening the app and searching for ladailynews. If you’re reading this article on your phone, click this link to add us.If you’re new to Snapchat, here’s a handy tutorial with everything you need to know about using the app.


MUSIC Kristin Chenoweth comes to Cerritos for intimate concert

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth’s intimate concert tour will not only present her playful personality and powerful pipes, but also a series of mystery guests to perform with her at each stop – but she keeps her lips zipped of who will join her on stage until show time.The Tony and Emmy Award-winning bubbly blonde is known for inviting her musical theater friends to the stage, including opera singer Renée Fleming and sactor Alan Cumming, to perform fun mash-ups and classic duets. The tour will stop at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 15.
I just want to keep focusing on being the best I can be instead of being famous.”Whether they are “gleeks” (“Glee” buffs) or “Ozians” (“Wicked” fanatics), Chenoweth takes her fan interaction seriously, including bringing up various audience members to sing with her on stage. She is also active on her social media platforms, which she said allows her followers to see the fun and personal side of her life. With all of her success, however, Chenoweth said that she has learned an important lesson about fame:“It’s fleeting and not real,” she said. “What I have learned is that it can easily deceive you.
Chenoweth said she will perform a variety of her favorite Great American Songbook and Broadway tunes she is known for, as well as songs from her latest jazz album “The Art of Elegance.” Her repertoire will include the show tune “Popular” from her Tony Award-nominated role as Glinda in “Wicked” and her personal favorite medley of Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind.”The Oklahoma-born musical theater sensation, who has starred in popular television shows such as Fox’s “Glee” and ABC’s “Pushing Daisies,” received a bachelor’s in musical theater and a masters in opera performance from Oklahoma City University. Chenoweth said one of her OCU professors gave her the greatest advice that she’s carried with her throughout her career:
If you can’t, then you know this business is for you,” said Chenoweth in an email interview.After graduating in 1992, she followed her love for musical theater and moved to New York City after landing a role in the musical production “Animal Crackers” at the Paper Mill Playhouse. She made her Broadway debut in the “Steep Pier” in 1997, before being cast in her 1998 breakout role as Sally in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which earned her a Tony Award for best supporting actress. “(They told me) if you can see yourself doing anything else and being happy, go do that.


Alternative-country rock band Lucero will headline Long Beach Folk Festival

Purchase tickets at The seven-piece band is known for its booze-infused songs and lyrics that talk of whiskey, heartache and hard times delivered by the tender growls of Nichols. Festival officials say more acts will be announced at a later date. Tickets are $25 in advance (goes up to $30 on July 15) and $40 at the door. Lucero, meanwhile, will bring more of a party saloon vibe to the concert.
The fifth annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival is returning to Rainbow Lagoon on Sept. 16 with alternative-country rock band Lucero headlining the day of folk, Americana, bluegrass and roots music.Based in Memphis and led by guitarist-vocalist Ben Nichols, the group has released a dozen albums and has been touring almost nonstop since forming in 1998.Also on the 2017 lineup, which was announced Thursday by festival organizers, are outlaw country singer Billy Joe Shaver, Matthew Logan Vasquez (the former Delta Spirit frontman) and festival veterans The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, Valley Queen, a four-piece band that’s a mix between Fleetwood Mac and My Morning Jacket led by singer Natalie Carol, and the Los Angeles based psychedelic duo Mapache.


Steve Smith: Robby Krieger celebrating the Doors’ 50th anniversary in Pasadena, and more

After opening with The Doors 1967 debut 45, “Break On Through (To The Other Side),” they continued with Willie Dixon’s “Back Door Man,” also from The Doors quadruple-platinum self-titled debut LP. Woman,” “People Are Strange” and of course, an extended “Light My Fire,” that featured solos from each band member (Chen’s included Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun” and Krieger’s included The Beatle’s “Eleanor Rigby” and, delightfully, “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music”) that brought the evening to a close. With the spotlight on Krieger’s magnificently tasty guitar work, they delivered the expected hits, “Touch Me,” “Riders on the Storm,” “L.A.
However, the deeper cuts also resonated with these fans, including “My Eyes have Seen You,” the epic “When the Music’s Over,” the stomping blues of “Maggie McGill” and “Five to One,” “I’ll Never be Untrue” with guest vocalist Daniel Page that only appears in a box set, and “Moonlight Drive,” the first song Krieger ever played with The Doors, that segued into the pure wild and wonderful psychedelic strangeness of “Horse Latitudes.” Krieger’s tour will take him back to Southern California on May 27, when he shares a bill with The Yardbirds, Jo-El Sonnier and the Ragin’ Cajun Doug Kershaw at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park.

After giving tryouts to a number of them, they realized that they had the ideal replacement within the band, drummer Phil Collins. Like Genesis, Krieger, who kicked off his brief 12-date Doors 50th Anniversary Tour last Friday at The Rose concert club in Old Town Pasadena, discovered that he didn’t have to look far to find a singer with many of Morrison’s vocal qualities. Since the death of Jim Morrison in 1971, former Doors guitarist Robby Krieger has performed his band’s classic songs with, among others, The Cult’s Ian Astbury. When Genesis’ frontman Peter Gabriel quit the British progressive rock group in 1975, the remaining members of the band received 400 applications to replace him. It’s his son, Waylon, who first backed his dad in his Robby Krieger Band as a backup guitarist in 1991.
76 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2011, was backed by noted bassist Phil Chen and drummer Ty Dennis, who served as the longtime rhythm section of the various Doors spinoff bands Krieger’s led with The Doors’ late keyboardist Ray Manzarek. Also, I have never seen so many cameras and cell phones recording a club show in my life. For many Doors fans, this was a special show. Seated nearby at The Rose were a mother and daughter who came from Prescott, Ariz., for the gig and next to them were a couple who came from Cincinnati. Integral to this group’s sound is Nathan Willett, leader of Long Beach indy rockers Cold War Kids, whose keyboards are Manzarek inspired. In addition to Waylon’s cool and confident presence behind his “I Spy” shades, the 71-year-old Krieger, ranked No. Indeed, as a veteran of many Rose shows, this concert packed them in far more than at any time I’ve ever seen.


Empire of the Sun brings its beautiful sound and vision to Coachella and L.A.

“Nick started talking about this concept of nature starting to overtake the buildings in the cities in the future, and that sort of developed the whole ‘Two Vines’ concept,” Steele says.Appropriate for its title and themes, much of the new album was recorded in Hawaii, with guest musicians and songwriters that included Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Wendy Melvoin of Prince’s band the Revolution, as well as pianist Henry Hey and bassist Tim Lefebvre who’d played with the late David Bowie on his final two albums, “The Next Day” and “Blackstar,” respectively.
I’m not worthy!’“I grabbed her by the hand and said, ‘Katy, you are worthy!’ She said it was a spiritual experience.” “I remember coming off stage and Katy Perry walked up to me backstage and dropped to the floor and said, ‘I’m not worthy! It’s been six years since Empire of the Sun made its Coachella debut, and though the Australian electronic rock group returns to the desert fest for its third time this year singer-guitarist Luke Steele still sounds jazzed by the reception he and band mate Nick Littlemore earned on the Outdoor Stage in 2011.“That was so wild,” Steele says.
I was there too, and Katy was right: It was magic when Empire of the Sun arrived on stage looking like they’d beamed in from some other dimension, their costumes made of fur and feathers and leather and bone, a troupe of dancers gyrating as Steele and Littlemore and the other players set a course for a musical journey of peace and love and nostalgia for a future yet to come.Empire of the Sun, which will also play the Shrine Expo Hall on Wednesday, April 19, between its Friday sets at Coachella, released its third album, “Two Vines,” in the fall, a record inspired by the idea of nature taking over urbanity in time.
“Nick and I always have a really organic way of working. “I don’t know how he acquired this place but he was growing all of these vegetables and exotic flowers. “It’s funny,” Steele says by phone from Los Angeles where he and Littlemore both now live. We pick up things along the way on our travels and it’s seeping into our consciousness.”The seeds for “Two Vines” were planted while the duo were working on 2013’s “Ice On The Dune,” Steele says.“Nick was in Manhattan and I think he was the only guy in New York, in the East Village, who had a giant backyard,” he says.


Coachella 2017: Everything you need to know about day 1 of the music festival

The weather was gorgeous – as predicted, sunny and not too hot. Here’s a roundup of everything we saw at the festival’s opening day, from an extra 40 acres to pups in pastel:If you fell asleep before Radiohead went on, it was a doozy of a set – starting with sound problems that Thom Yorke blamed on the aliens, followed by more sound problems, followed by a rollicking set, followed by the band playing “Creep.” (Oh yes they did!) See photos from the set. Happy first Friday from the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival!

We met the Instagram famous, multi-colored malti-poos Nugget and Mali, the special animal guests of the festival.Oh, and if you didn’t hear, Lorde played a surprise show at Pappy & Harriet’s.Want more? You can celebrate Couch-ella by watching along at home on YouTube. Even better, get real-time updates without that pesky stream delay by following our team in real time. And don’t forget to follow us if you’re on Snapchat or Instagram.Keep reading for full coverage of Coachella 2017.

We also found the best places to take your next social media profile photo (you’re welcome).This year’s merchandise included all the clothing for your next staycation, such as cozy socks, leggings, and even a bathrobe.If you’ve ever wondered how the Do Lab came to be such a huge part of the Coachella experience, wonder no more.Our music and pop culture reporter gave his thoughts on Friday’s performances from Father John Misty (mellow), The Lemon Twigs (carriers of the power pop glam rock torch) and New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band (an absolute feel-good time). And by the way, Todd Rundgren showed up. Check out these photos of Friday’s bands and their happy fans.

The site of the festival has expanded by 40 acres, which allowed for a crowd capacity of 125,000 people.Check out some of the crowd scenes and…interesting outfits our crew Tweeted out.Our photographers traveled the grounds to capture scenes of festivalgoers enjoying the sunshine. Before the gates even opened, Sunday night headliner Kendrick Lamar caused a stir by dropping a new album two days before his scheduled performance.Even bigger than Kendrick’s highly anticipated Sunday night set is Coachella itself.


Coachella 2017: Art is always more than just music at the festival

Coachella wraps up its first weekend today with anticipated sets from rapper Kendrick Lamar and movie composer Hans Zimmer before its encore starts on Friday. A popular selfie spot is a metal frame holding 2,120 convex and concave mirrors. Art-driven pop icon Lady Gaga headlined Saturday, performing on the main stage in the periphery of the art pieces.Tall, boxy animal shapes that look like piñatas wearing party hats loom over one part of the grounds, while another is populated with colorful stucco gourd-shaped plants.
While last year’s festival featured six pieces, this year “we went for scale and more expansive work,” Lehrer said.Also unlike last year, none of the artwork at Coachella 2017 appears overtly political. In 2016, “Katrina Chairs” suggested communities left stranded by the 2005 hurricane in New Orleans, and “Besame Mucho” aimed to promote cross-border love and acceptance.The festival works with the artists it commissions to develop the pieces, but the goal isn’t to make a political statement, Lehrer said.
While the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has always revolved around music, the festival’s most enduring images — and those most likely to grace fans’ selfies and profile pictures — are the large-scale art installations.This year’s four major art works, including one that’s 75 feet tall and another that takes up more than an acre of the grassy festival grounds at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, are all about architectural scale and visual impact, said Raffi Lehrer, associate art director for the festival.

“Especially in this day and age, everyone’s so inundated with news and politics” that Coachella is intended to be a respite from political conflict, he said.The art on the grounds this year is more whimsical and confectionery, but it remains a key part of the Coachella experience.“I think it’s like the perfect setting for it,” said Alyanna Tekulve, 23, who came from Salt Lake City with her husband, Drew, 25, to the festival’s first weekend.“You’re out here all day, so at least they can have awesome things to look at.”