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‘Ant-Man’ inches past ‘Pixels’ to take first place spot

This photo provided by Disney shows Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in a scene from Marvel's "Ant-Man." (Zade Rosenthal/Disney/Marvel via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Ant-Man” crept past new opener “Pixels” to claim the top spot at the box office this weekend by an ant-sized margin. The Disney and Marvel superhero pic brought in $24.8 million over the weekend, bringing its domestic total to $106.1 million according to Rentrak estimates Sunday. “Pixels,” meanwhile, just barely missed first place… Continue reading →

Review: Boxing drama ‘Southpaw’ punches new life into familiar scenario

Associated Press photo by Scott Garfield/The Weinstein Co. -- Jake Gyllenhaal plays Billy Hope in 'Southpaw,' which releases Friday.

Boxing drama “Southpaw” doesn’t spare the pain. Physical pain, frequent and stinging, is all over the screen, especially on actor Jake Gyllenhaal’s bloody face. Emotional pain shows up, too, in Gyllenhaal’s expression and those of the supporting characters. In “Southpaw,” Gyllenhaal’s Billy “The Great” Hope falls from the top of the… Continue reading →

Review: Disappointing ‘Pixels’ falls apart before it begins

Photo provided by Sony Pictures -- Josh Gad as Ludlow is chased by Pac-Man in Columbia Pictures' 'Pixels,' opening in theaters Friday.

The most believable element in “Pixels” is that alien video-game creatures could attack our planet. The core concept is clever — space aliens misunderstand a recording of old video games as a declaration of war, and send digital monsters based on those games to Earth as their army. But its execution in the hands of director-producer… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Towns’ is modest, middle-of-the-road teen drama

This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox shows, Cara Delevingne, right, as Margo, and Nat Wolff as Quentin, in a scene from the film, "Paper Towns." (Michael Tackett/Twentieth Century Fox via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Based on an earlier teen fave novel by “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green, “Paper Towns” is a mild coming-of-ager about dawning awareness and life lessons learned among a small group of Florida high school seniors. Part mystery story, part road movie and part pre-prom graduation romp, the film is most interesting… Continue reading →

Ian McKellen plays ‘Mr. Holmes’ in twilight

Photo by GILES KEYTE -- Hattie Morahan, left, and Ian McKellen are featured in a scene from ‘Mr. Holmes.’

Ian McKellen, the veteran British thespian who’s received 50 international awards during a 50-plus-year career, makes “Mr. Holmes” worth a look. In this new take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional British detective, Sherlock Holmes, McKellen portrays the master sleuth in 1947. Holmes, in the twilight of his life, confronts tragic errors of judgment he made… Continue reading →

’Ant-Man’ debuts with $58M; ‘Trainwreck’ opens with $30.2M

Photo by Zade Rosenthal – Paul Rudd surfaces as the title character in 'Ant-Man.’ The movie topped the box office in its opening weekend, earning $57.2 million.

NEW YORK (AP) — Marvel’s “Ant-Man” punched above its weight at the weekend box office, debuting with an estimated $58 million, while Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” also opened strongly with $30.2 million. The result for “Ant-Man” didn’t match some of Marvel’s better known and brawnier properties. But “Ant-Man” — a relatively inexpensive superhero movie with a $130 million… Continue reading →

Film Society to screen sports drama ‘Southpaw’

Photo by SCOTT GARFIELD -- Rachel McAdams, left, and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the boxing drama 'Southpaw.'

The Louisiana Film Society, Louisiana International Film Festival and the Weinstein Company are presenting a free pre-release screening of the drama “Southpaw.” The screening is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, at Cinemark Perkins Rowe. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “The Replacement Killers”), “Southpaw” features Jake Gyllenhaal as boxing champ Billy “The Great”… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Ant-Man’ marches onto the big screen, earns place among heroes

Photo by Zade Rosenthal – Paul Rudd surfaces as the title character in 'Ant-Man.’ The movie topped the box office in its opening weekend, earning $57.2 million.

As movie superheroes go, it took years for Ant-Man to surface. This summer, Marvel Studios, following its gigantic success with Iron Man, Spider-Man and others, finally gets to the tiny but amazingly effective Ant-Man. Ant-Man is an original member of Marvel Comics’ superhero collective, The Avengers. In “Ant-Man,” starring Paul Rudd as… Continue reading →

BR-shot ‘Scream’ renewed for 2nd season

Photo provided by MTV -- The iconic ghostface mask from the 'Scream' movies got a stylized makeover for the MTV series.

The new Baton Rouge-shot MTV series “Scream” will live on for a second season. The network made the announcement at last week’s San Diego Comic-Con. “Scream,” based on the popular slasher films of the same name from the 1990s and 2000s starring Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, features an ensemble cast including Willa Fitzgerald,… Continue reading →

Review: While ‘Minions’ falls into usual trappings, prequel still delights

Photo provided by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment -- From left, minions Kevin, Bob and Stuart are the principal characters in the new film 'Minions,' opening Friday.

Following two delightful “Despicable Me” movies about evil genius Gru and his horde of goggles-wearing little servants, the minions, Gru’s supporting characters star in the “Despicable Me” prequel “Minions.” Perhaps reflecting the size and appearance of the prequel’s principal characters — minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob — “Minions” is less inventive… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Self/less’ immortal, and it feels so dumb

Gramercy Pictures photo by ALAN MARKFIELD -- Matthew Goode, left, as Albright, is confronted by Ryan Reynolds as Young Damian in Gramercy Pictures' 'Self/less,' opening Friday.

“Self/less,” if you couldn’t tell from the preposterous title, is a deeply silly movie that takes itself very, very seriously. The premise is interesting enough: A dying man (Ben Kingsley) undergoes a procedure to save his mind by ditching his failing body for a shiny new model (Ryan Reynolds, you could do worse). But, the lofty… Continue reading →

Winehouse remembered, grieved in ‘Amy’

Photo provided by A24 Films -- Amy Winehouse

Like its subject, “Amy” doesn’t follow a conventional path. A moving, unavoidably sad documentary about British soul, jazz and pop star Amy Winehouse, “Amy” has neither a narrator nor the carefully framed, talking-head interviews that are staples of the genre. Instead, Asif Kapadia tells Winehouse’s story through a vast collection of audio clips and nonprofessional and… Continue reading →

Review: Lotsa grinding, little plot in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Warner Bros. Pictures photo by CLAUDETTE BARIUS -- All eyes are on Stephen 'Twitch' Boss as Malik, in 'Magic Mike XXL,' which opened in theaters Wednesday.

There’s an early scene in “Magic Mike XXL” that hints at what this much ballyhooed sequel woulda, coulda, shoulda been. Mike Lane, played by the well nigh irresistible Channing Tatum, is alone in his furniture workshop. As he saws, measures and sands, the beat of the music he’s listening to starts to transport him. He can’t stop… Continue reading →

Review: Arnold (but little else) is back in ‘Terminator’

This photo provided by Paramount Pictures shows, Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, as the Terminator and J.K. Simmons as Detective O'Brien, in "Terminator Genisys," from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. (Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures via AP)

Thirty-one years and counting, and the Terminators keep rolling off the assembly line like new iPhones, upgraded with shape-shifting abilities, rebooted Sarah Conner assassination levels and, one presumes, better selfie cameras. “Terminator Genisys,” directed by Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”), is the fifth entry in the series begun by James Cameron and a naked money grab… Continue reading →

Review: An ‘Overnight’to remember

The Orchard photo by John Guleserian -- From left, Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling and Jason Schwartzman share a scene in 'The Overnight.'

Thirty-something couple Alex and Emily and their young son R.J. have been Los Angeles residents for two weeks. They moved to L.A. for Emily’s job, which means it’s the unemployed Alex who takes R.J. to the park to play. In the park, R.J. befriends the son of L.A. couple Kurt and Charlotte. When Kurt sees the… Continue reading →

New MTV series 'Scream,' shot in Baton Rouge, explores lives and emotions between the slayings; see the trailer here

Photo provided by MTV -- Nina Patterson, played by Bella Thorne, takes a late-night dip in a scene from the new series 'Scream.'

“You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series,” Noah Foster quips to his classmates in the trailer for the new “Scream.” Tell that to MTV. Noah is John Karna’s character in the network’s new series, based on the popular slasher films of the 1990s and 2000s starring Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, and helmed… Continue reading →

Investigation Discovery to feature Addis case

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  From left, Monique O. Kitts, of Livingston, and Karl Michael Howard, of Roswell, Ga., are escorted out of court by Deputy Daryl Williams and Det.  Maj. Bryan Doucet of the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office at the West Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse, after sentencing in March.

The Investigation Discovery series “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” will feature the 2010 homicide case of Addis businessman Corey Kitts at 9 p.m. Sunday. Monique O. Kitts and her children discovered Corey Kitts’ bullet-riddled body in their home on the morning of July 9, 2010. He had been shot three times. Kitts’ wife and Karl Michael… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Max,’ about a kid, his dog and those gun smugglers

This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows,  Josh Wiggins as Justin Wincott, Dejon LaQuake as Chuy and Mia Xitlati as Carmen with Max in Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' family drama "Max," a Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures release. (Kent Smith/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

It’s officially summer. What better time for a heartwarming caper movie about a troubled but noble Texas teen, his troubled but noble dog, and those crazy mean gun smugglers they tangle with? Yes, we said crazy mean gun smugglers. Mexican cartels, too. If that doesn’t sound like normal PG-rated fare to you, well, you’re right, there’s nothing… Continue reading →

Review: Overstuffed plot spoils irreverent, silly ‘Ted 2’

Photo provided by Universal Pictures -- Mark Wahlberg , from left, the character Ted, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, and Amanda Seyfried share a scene in 'Ted 2.'

“Ted 2” asks a question that we never needed, or particularly wanted, to know the answer to: Is Ted, the magical, foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear, a person in the eyes of the law? While it’s unfair to judge a comedy simply for a ridiculous premise, here, it also happens to be the unlikely killer of the… Continue reading →

Review: Film on teens confronting terminal illness can’t always connect

Photo by ANNE MARIE FOX -- Olivia Cooke plays Rachel, Thomas Mann is Greg and R.J. Cyler is cast as Earl in 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.'

In “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Pittsburgh high school senior Greg thinks he’s got it all figured out. He glides by all of the social groups or, as he calls them, the nations that populate his school. Simultaneously, he’s a member of none of these groups. Greg prides himself on keeping his distance. Greg… Continue reading →

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon embraces chance to helm ‘Me and Earl’

Photo by ANNE MARIE FOX -- Producer Jeremy Dawson, left, confers with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, center, on the set.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s earned two Emmy nominations for the New Orleans-set “American Horror Story: Coven.” His first feature film, 2014’s well-received, Shreveport-shot “The Town That Dreaded Sundown,” is in the horror vein, too. Gomez-Rejon, a native of Laredo, Texas who’s based in Los Angeles, very much enjoyed directing those 12 episodes of “American Horror Story.” He… Continue reading →

Celebrity chefs, LSU alums Jay Ducote, Jesse Romero are rivals -- but root for each other too

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Longtime friends Jay Ducote, left, and Jesse Romero are putting Baton Rouge in the spotlight as they take ther cooking skills to national television. Ducote is vying to become Food TV's 'Food Network Star' and Romero is competing on Fox TV's 'MasterChef.'

It’s a friendly rivalry that’s been simmering for almost 30 years. Jay Ducote, 33, and Jesse Romero, 29, are currently both competing in big-time cooking shows — Ducote on Food Network’s “Food Network Star” and Romero on Fox’s “MasterChef” — but they’ve known each other a lot longer than that. Their mothers,… Continue reading →

For N.O. couple, ‘Love Can’t Weight’

Photo provided by ABC -- Tiffany Kasunich: Before

The weight-loss story of New Orleans couple Cain Myers and Tiffany Kasunich will unfold on Tuesday night’s episode of ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss: Love Can’t Weight.” The current season of “Extreme Weight Loss” will include three “Love Can’t Weight” episodes in which hosts and trainers Chris and Heidi Powell help three overweight couples get in shape… Continue reading →

Review: Geeks go gangster in fresh, lively ‘Dope’

Open Road Films photo by Rachel Morrison -- Shameik Moore stars as Malcolm in the new film, 'Dope.'

“Dope” hooks you fast and strong. The coy, over-the-top Sundance hit from writer-director Rick Famuyiwa about a couple of geeks who get entangled in gangster culture is a fresh and slightly rebellious take on the series of escalating events story. Our hero, Malcolm (Shameik Moore), is introduced in his senior year of high school. His… Continue reading →

Review: Pixar’s poignant production ‘Inside Out’ worth applauding

Photo by Disney-Pixar --  From left, bottom row, 11-year-old Riley's emotions -- Sadness, Anger, Disgust. Joy and, top, Fear -- experience a crisis in 'Inside Out.'

“Inside Out” has the cute characters, lively and deep storytelling, technical marvels and beautiful production values audiences expect from Pixar Animation Studios. The movie is also an especially poignant entry in the Pixar catalog. Humor, while not entirely absent, takes a backseat to dramatic, escalating crisis. Co-directed by Oscar-winning Pixar veteran Pete Docter… Continue reading →

Review: Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson subject of bittersweet biopic

Photo by FRANCOIS DUHAMEL -- Paul Dana, center, plays Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson in 'Love & Mercy.'

“Love & Mercy,” a biopic about Brian Wilson, casts two actors as the musical genius behind The Beach Boys. Off-putting as the unusual approach may be, it works. Beautiful and heartbreaking, “Love & Mercy” earns its place alongside the best biopics, including Oscar winners “Ray” and “Capote.” Paul Dano (“12 Years a Slave,” “Little Miss Sunshine”)… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge’s Jay Ducote, of BiteandBooze.com and ‘Food Network Star,’ teaches puppets the fine points of drinking alcohol on GeekNation.com show

Photo provided by Free Booze Friday -- Jay Ducote poses with his puppet costars from 'Free Booze Friday

Jay Ducote now has a deal for more than one show. Video production company tommysTV teamed up with Ducote, of BiteandBooze.com and “Food Network Star,” signed a deal with GeekNation.com for their series “Free Booze Friday.” The show features Ducote as a bartender serving drinks and educating patrons about alcohol.… Continue reading →

Comedian Tony King makes the jump from radio to TV with his own nationally syndicated late-night show

Photo provided by  KASHANNA BRADFORD -- Longtime radio host 'Tony King has made his transition to television with the 'Tony King Live' variety show.

Whether he’s auditioning for “Magic Mike XXL” in a comedy skit, skyping with a celebrity guest or dishing on the news of the day, Tony King maintains the same goal for his late-night show. “We just wanna have fun,” the host of the nationally syndicated and locally produced “Tony King Live!” said prior to a recent show… Continue reading →

’Jurassic World’ bites off biggest global bow in history

Photo by Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment –- The Indominus rex threatens dinosaurs and humans in ‘Jurassic World.’

LOS ANGELES — Dinosaurs are anything but extinct at the box office. “Jurassic World,” the fourth film in the series, became the highest global opener of all time with a staggering $511.8 million in its first days in theaters. It also devoured a number of domestic box office records with a $204.6 million take, according to… Continue reading →

Review: Hugely entertaining ‘Jurassic World,’ partially filmed in Baton Rouge, roars onto screen

Photo by Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment -- Owen (Chris Pratt) attempts to keep theme park attractions at bay in ‘Jurassic World.'

As a character in the new “Jurassic Park” sequel says, the public wants bigger, louder entertainment. For island theme park and resort Jurassic World, bigger and louder also means more teeth and a bigger appetite. “Jurassic World,” shot in Hawaii, Southern California, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, serves moviegoers bigger, louder, closer encounters with hungry prehistoric… Continue reading →

Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Spy’ tops with $30 million; ‘Entourage’ lags

Photo by LARRY HORRICKS -- Melissa McCarthy in 'Spy.'

NEW YORK — Melissa McCarthy notched her first No. 1 box-office debut as a leading lady with the $30 million opening of the espionage comedy “Spy,” leaving the guys of “Entourage” in the dust. The result added to the string of success of McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig, who first united on the 2011 hit “Bridesmaids.” While… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Entourage’ needs less excess, more emotion

Warner Bros. Pictures photo by CLAUDETTE BARIUS -- Perrey Reeves, left, as Mrs. Ari, and Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold, share a scene in Warner Bros. Pictures,' Home Box Office's and RatPac-Dune Entertainment's comedy 'Entourage.'

Like the HBO show, “Entourage” delights in Hollywood excess. This is a world where you might land your helicopter on someone’s lawn to crash a business meeting, or take a little yacht to meet up with your buddy on his bigger yacht. It’s a land of celebrities, wealth and topless women. This is the Hollywood… Continue reading →

Review: Melissa McCarthy stars in spy spoof

Photo by LARRY HORRICKS -- Allison Janney, left, Melissa McCarthy, in 'Spy.'

Following the funny business they made in “The Heat” and “Bridesmaids,” Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig are at it again. McCarthy, having respectively co-starred and a played supporting role in those films, takes the lead and runs with it in “Spy.” Alongside the several funny supporting performances in the movie, McCarthy emerges unquestionably… Continue reading →

Create Louisiana, Film Society and Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities create filmmaking grant

Associated Press file photo by Jaap Buitendijk/Fox Searchlight -- Steve McQueen directs during filming of the New Orleans-area shot '12 Years a Slave.'

The New Orleans Film Society, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Create Louisiana have established the 2016 Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant. The $50,000 grant will provide funding to a Louisiana production team for the making of a short film. Applications will open in August and be available at www.createlouisiana.com. More details, including grant… Continue reading →

Review: Say goodbye, not hello, to Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’

This photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows, Bradley Cooper, left, and Alec Baldwin, in a scene from Columbia Pictures' "Aloha." The movie releases in U.S. theaters on May 29, 2015. (Neal Preston/Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP)

Cameron Crowe loves a good failure story, and specifically what happens after a disastrous fall from the top. If Crowe were a character in his own film, the fiasco of “Aloha,” and nearly all of his post-“Almost Famous” movies, would provide the perfect intro. Unfortunately, “Aloha” is not part of some larger redemption narrative for Crowe (at… Continue reading →

Review: Dwayne comes to the rescue, but he forgot the script

HOLD FOR STORY - This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, Carla Gugino as Emma, in a scene from the action thriller, "San Andreas." The movie releases in theaters on May 29, 2015.  (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

It’s sure been a rough year for Hollywood. First there was the stinging Sony hacking scandal. And now we have the humbling image of the Hollywood letters themselves toppling to the ground, as most of California is pulverized by an earthquake — make that earthquakes, plural — in “San Andreas.” If those letters toppling sounds like a… Continue reading →

Separating earthquake fact from fiction in ‘San Andreas’

Warner Bros. Pictures photo by JASIN BOLAND -- Paul Giamatti as Lawrence and Archie Panjabi as Serena seek a safer spot as earthquakes rock San Francisco in the new film, 'San Andreas.'

The San Andreas Fault awakens, unleashing back-to-back jolts that leave a trail of misery from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Skyscrapers crumble. Fires erupt. The letters of the Hollywood sign topple. Tsunami waves swamp the Golden Gate Bridge. Hollywood’s favorite geologic bad guy is back in “San Andreas” — a fantastical… Continue reading →

Business is picking up: ‘American Pickers’ hit Texas, Louisiana, looking for underappreciated collectibles

Photo by Zachary Maxwell Stertz -- Mike Wolfe shows a vintage cigarette machine brought home from a pick.

Louisiana and Texas were ripe for the picking, or in this case, the pickers, when Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz headed south in their white Antique Archaeology van recently. The stars of History’s “American Pickers,” the pair’s mission is to comb the country in search of antiques, vintage memorabilia and other oddities; wheel and deal and… Continue reading →

Business is picking up ‘American Pickers’ scour Texas and Louisiana, looking for underappreciated collectibles

Photo by Zachary Maxwell Stertz -- Mike Wolfe shows a vintage cigarette machine brought home from a pick.

Louisiana and Texas were ripe for the picking, or in this case, the pickers, when Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz headed south in their white Antique Archaeology van recently. The stars of History’s “American Pickers,” the pair’s mission is to comb the country in search of antiques, vintage memorabilia and other oddities; wheel and deal and eventually… Continue reading →

Review: Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ confusing

Photo provided by Disney -- From left, George Clooney, as Frank Walker, Britt Robertson as Casey, and Raffey Cassidy as Athena, share the screen in a scene from Disney's 'Tomorrowland.'

The inspiration for “Tomorrowland,” a George Clooney-starring sci fi-adventure that never truly takes flight, came in the form of a box of models, blueprints, photos and letters in the Walt Disney archives. The archival material is related to the Disney company’s creations for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Specifically the “It’s a Small World”… Continue reading →

Juno Temple sinks herself into ‘Madding’ role

Photo by ALEX BAILEY -- Juno Temple as Fanny in 'Far From the Madding Crowd.'

In the new film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel of Victorian England, “Far From the Madding Crowd,” the fates of two of the story’s major female characters couldn’t be more different. Carey Mulligan plays Bathsheba Everdene, an ardently independent young woman who inherits her uncle’s estate. Bathsheba is a rare one in her time —… Continue reading →