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‘Malala’ spotlights universal parent-child bond, director says

Photo provided by 20th Century Fox -- Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai is the subject of a new documentary.

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim first learned of Malala Yousafzai via a 32-minute New York Times documentary, “Class Dismissed: Malala’s Story.” The film by Adam B. Ellick profiled Malala at 11, when she was a girl in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. After the Taliban closed her school, she dared to protest. Her courage impressed Guggenheim, winner of the Academy… Continue reading →

Digital archive site to feature videos honoring life, legacy of New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme

6/12/2008 - New Orleans own, Chef Paul Prudhomme raises a glass of shrimp cocktail to toast to the opening of the Great French Market Seafood and Tomato Festival held at a renovated French Market in New Orleans.  Photo by: Derick Hingle

The Louisiana Digital Media Archive is honoring the life and legacy of Paul Prudhomme by featuring three videos of the famous New Orleans chef on its website. Prudhomme hosted cooking shows for public television, including “Always Cooking,” which was seen on Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The network hosts the archive site with the Louisiana State Archives.… Continue reading →

New Orleans player ‘wins big’ on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Photo provided by Wheel of Fortune -- Kiki Kiefer of New Orleans, will be a contestant on 'Wheel of Fortune' Friday night.

Kiki Kiefer, of New Orleans, brought home a bundle of cash and prizes from “Wheel of Fortune” recently. Just how much is something viewers will learn Friday night, when the syndicated game show airs at 6:30 p.m. on WBRZ, Channel 2 (cable Channel 5 in Baton Rouge and Lafayette) and WVUE, Channel 8 (cable Channel 9) in… Continue reading →

Louisiana Public Broadcasting celebrates 40 years with new app that lets you watch shows anywhere, sometimes before they even air on TV

FILE - This June 18, 2014 file photo shows the app that links to shopping on on the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

As it marks 40 years on the air, Louisiana Public Broadcasting isn’t dwelling on its past. It’s too busy developing its future. In 1975, the network’s viewers accessed programming one way — from the TVs in their living rooms. Now, the choices for watching public television are varied, from streaming Roku, to online sites, to… Continue reading →

Science sells: 'The Martian' lands with $55 million debut at box office

Photo provided by 20TH CENTURY FOX -- Matt Damon stars in director Ridley Scott's latest sci-fi epic, 'The Martian.'

. NEW YORK (AP) — Opening just days after NASA announced findings showing water on Mars, "The Martian" soaked up moviegoers at the box office. Ridley Scott's 3-D space epic touched down in theaters with a robust $55 million over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The results again proved moviegoers' abiding thirst for space adventures, particularly ones… Continue reading →

TV Notes: New Orleans-shot 'Wild' film will air on Syfy Saturday

Photo provided by The Asylum -- Kelly Rutherford and Rob Morrow star in the New Orleans-shot 'Night of the Wild' airing at 8 p.m. Saturday on Syfy.

“When a large meteor crashes into a quiet town, pet dogs become mysteriously aggressive, attacking and killing the residents.” Yes, it’s Saturday night on Syfy. This latest original flick, “Night of the Wild,” is part of the network’s 8th annual “31 Days of Halloween” spook-a-thon with 600-plus hours of creepy programming now through Oct. 31. The… Continue reading →

Review: ‘The Walk’ earns its keep with spectacular third act

Photo provided by Sony Pictures -- Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Philippe Petite in a scene from 'The Walk.'

Can a great third act make a great film? Conventional wisdom would say no. It’s silly to spell out, but beginnings and middles are important, too. But if you’re going to nail one section, the end isn’t a bad place to start. The audience leaves invigorated, and, in a best case scenario, has already forgotten the slog… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Sicario’ a searing, sad portrait of border drug war

Photo provided by Lionsgate -- Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro in a scene from 'Sicario.'

The billion-dollar drug trade along the U.S.-Mexico border is so bloody and lawless, the line between right and wrong has become impossibly blurred. Such is the dilemma in “Sicario,” a grisly, disturbing portrait of the malignance and corruption inherent in the war on drugs. Troubling, sad and deeply compelling, this film succeeds on every level: story,… Continue reading →

‘Sleeping With Other People’: a refreshing look at the romantic comedy

Photo provided by IFC Films -- Alison Brie, left, and Jason Sudeikis in a scene from 'Sleeping with Other People.'

Poor romantic comedies. Even our criticisms of them have grown stale. “They’re not as good as they used to be,” we moan, yearning for some purer time when we didn’t know the time-tested beats, the inevitable outcomes and the dynamics seemed more attuned to How We Date Now. Even the character types have started to become one… Continue reading →

'Hotel Transylvania 2’ sets September box office record with $47.5 million

Photo provided by Columbia Pictures -– Left to right, Dracula (Adam Sandler), Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) in 'Hotel Transylvania 2.'

LOS ANGELES — September has a new box office star in “Hotel Transylvania 2.” The PG-rated animated pic earned a robust $47.5 million in its debut weekend, making it the top September opener of all time, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday. The previous record holder was “Hotel Transylvania” which opened to $42.5 million in 2012. “It… Continue reading →

HAVE RESERVATIONS ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ reunites the Drac Pack for some yucks and more bucks

Photo provided by Columbia Pictures -– Left to right, Dracula (Adam Sandler), Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) in 'Hotel Transylvania 2.'

There was only one reason to make “Hotel Transylvania 2” — $358 million. The computer-animated “Hotel Transylvania 1,” released in 2012, earned $148 million domestically and $210 million internationally. Aimed at young children, the original film brewed a concoction of sanitized monsters, including Dracula, a mummy, a werewolf and the Frankenstein monster, into a slightly… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ has heart, but lacks ambition

Photo provided by Columbia Pictures -– Left to right, Dracula (Adam Sandler), Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) in 'Hotel Transylvania 2.'

There was only one reason to make “Hotel Transylvania 2” — $358 million. The computer-animated “Hotel Transylvania,” released in 2012, earned $148 million domestically and $210 million internationally. Aimed at young children, the original film brewed a concoction of sanitized monsters, including Dracula, a mummy, a werewolf and the Frankenstein monster, into a slightly entertaining… Continue reading →

Raising Cane’s founder Todd Graves goes ‘Fast N’ Loud’ with Cane’s car in two episodes on Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel photo by Jason Elias -- Richard Rawlings, left, and Aaron Kaufman star on Discovery Channel's 'Fast N' Loud.'

Raising Cane’s founder/CEO Todd Graves will appear on two episodes of Discovery Channel’s “Fast N’ Loud” at 8 p.m. Monday and Sept. 28. In Monday’s episode, titled “Big Red Caddy, Part I,” the guys at Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas, Texas, are restoring a 1967 red Cadillac to its original grandeur. In next… Continue reading →

Grant now full-time on ‘NCIS: New Orleans’

CBS photo by SKIP BOLEN --   Lucas Black as Special Agent Christopher LaSalle and Shalita Grant as Sonja Percy help Pride and the rest of the team plan a dangerous undercover operation when a military convoy is attacked and a missile is stolen, on 'NCIS: New Orleans' Tuesday.

Spunky Sonja is back. Shalita Grant, appearing in a recurring role on the first season of “NCIS: New Orleans” as fearless ex-ATF undercover agent Sonja Percy, returns this season as a permanent character and a full-fledged NCIS agent. But Sonja is used to working solo. Now she’ll have to adjust to being part of Dwayne… Continue reading →

’Maze Runner’ sequel out races ‘Black Mass’ at box office

In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Jenny Gabrielle, from left, Dylan OBrien and Rosa Salazar appear in a scene from the film, "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials." (Richard Foreman, Jr./20th Century Fox via AP)

NEW YORK — “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” edged out Johnny Depp’s “Black Mass” at the box office, as the two films split young and old moviegoers in half on the first weekend of the fall movie season. 20th Century Fox’s sequel to “The Maze Runner” earned an estimated $30.3 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.… Continue reading →

Review: Chilling Depp, expert ensemble in ‘Black Mass’

In this image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Billy Bulger, left, and Johnny Depp portrays Whitey Bulger in the Boston-set film, "Black Mass." (Claire Folger/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

Shakespeare had his tortured Hamlet, his ambitious Macbeth, his malevolent Iago, his warring Montagues and Capulets. But what would the Bard have done with the tale of James “Whitey” Bulger, and all the supporting players around him? There was Whitey himself, at first a minor criminal who became one of the most feared crime bosses in history,… Continue reading →

Review: Lily Tomlin a perfect fit in ‘Grandma’

Photo provided by Sony Classics -- Julia Garner, left, as Sage, and Lily Tomlin as Elle in 'Grandma.'

The starring role in “Grandma” was tailor-made for veteran actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin — and it’s ideal. Writer-director Paul Weitz wrote “Grandma” with Tomlin’s voice in mind. His inspiration for the movie came to him during the filming of the 2013 comedy “Admission,” starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. Tomlin had a supporting role… Continue reading →

Review: Latest ‘Maze Runner’ lacks urgency of original

In this image released by 20th Century Fox, a scene is shown from the film, "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials." (Richard Foreman, Jr./20th Century Fox via AP)

LOS ANGELES — Wes Ball’s adaptation of the first book from James Dashner’s “Maze Runner” young adult novels, about a group of teens consigned to a mysterious labyrinth, yielded a feature that proved it could compete for the same audience as the “Hunger Games” and “Divergent” series. The second installment, which reveals some of the reasons behind the… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Everest’ a harrowing spectacle that lacks emotion

Associated Press/Universal Pictures photo by Jasin Boland -- Jake Gyllenhaal, from left, as Scott Fischer, Michael Kelly as Jon Krakauer, and Josh Brolin as Beck Weathers, in the film 'Everest.' The film debuts in IMAX/3D exclusively on Friday, Sept. 18, and opens wider in theaters the following week.

“Everest” is not an easy movie to watch. No entertainment that contains such tragedy should be. The truly breathtaking spectacle and technical achievements can make you feel like you too are on a vertical slope at 29,000 feet. But this awe-inspiring movie is also one that’s laced with dread, little triumph and even less perspective as you… Continue reading →

’Perfect Guy,’ ‘The Visit’ box office stronger than expected

Photo provided by Universal Pictures -- From left, Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) and his sister, Becca (Olivia DeJonge), tell their mom (Kathryn Hahn) that something is odd about their grandparents in 'The Visit.'

LOS ANGELES — “The Perfect Guy” and “The Visit” sailed past modest opening weekend expectations — and budgets — locking in debuts in the mid-$20 million range thanks in part to good timing and robust female turnout. “The Perfect Guy,” a PG-13 rated thriller starring Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy, secured the first place spot with $26.7… Continue reading →

LPB lines up Disney, England and Clapton

Photo provided by PBS -- Amber Rose Revah as Leena Prasad, left, Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph Whelan, Julie Walters as Cynthia Coffin, Nikesh Patel as Aafrin Dalal, and Jemima West as Alice Whelan, star in 'Indian Summers on Masterpeice' starting Sept. 27.

This fall on PBS, it’s a little bit Disney, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, with “American Experience” covering the life of the great storyteller Walt Disney this week; and a Halloween night concert from London as guitar master Eric Clapton celebrates his 70th birthday. Meanwhile, “Masterpiece” debuts two more intriguing British dramas. Locally, Louisiana Public… Continue reading →

Review: A ‘Visit’ worth taking

Photo provided by Universal Pictures –- Nana (Deanna Dunagan), left, asks Becca (Olivia DeJonge) to help her clean the oven in ‘The Visit.’

M. Night Shyamalan, the former boy wonder of horror-mystery-suspense, has a shot at redemption with “The Visit.” Featuring a plot about a disturbing stay by a teen girl and her younger brother at their grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania farm country, “The Visit” may make Shyamalan a box office contender again. It’s been 16 years… Continue reading →

Actress part of special collaboration in ‘Mistress America’

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight -- Greta Gerwig is Brooke and Lola Kirke is Tracy in 'Mistress America.'

In the comedy-drama “Mistress America,” Lola Kirke plays Tracy, a college freshman in New York City who’s searching for her place in the world. College is a letdown for Tracy. She’s bored at school and has little social life. But then Tracy meets Brooke, her future sister-in-law. Brooke is looking for her place in the world,… Continue reading →

Governor’s forum featuring college student panelists to re-air Sunday on LPB

SLU Public Information Office photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, from left, State Rep. John Bel Edwards and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne prepare for the start of a gubernatorial forum Wednesday night at SLU's Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Hammond. U.S. Sen. David Vitter did not participate.

The first statewide televised forum of the Louisiana Gubernatorial race will re-air at 11 a.m. Sunday on WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12). The Wednesday night forum, “Student Gubernatorial Forum: Their Future, Their Questions” took place in Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Hammond. It featured candidates Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, La. State… Continue reading →

‘Mistress America’ makes most of Baumbach, Gerwig partnership

Photo provided by  Fox Searchlight Pictures -- Greta Gerwig, left, as Brooke and Lola Kirke as Tracy in 'Mistress America.'

Writer-director Noah Baumbach has a reputation for making sour comedy-dramas. In 2010’s “Greenberg,” Ben Stiller plays the adrift, misanthropic title character. In 2007’s “Margot at the Wedding,” Nicole Kidman’s habitually cruel Margot is seemingly determined to sabotage her own sister’s wedding. Subsequent Baumbach films made in collaboration with Greta Gerwig, his actress-writer girlfriend, are less dire… Continue reading →

Fall Movie Preview: Must-see movies coming to a theater near you

Photo provided by Warner Bros. -- Joel Edgerton, left, as FBI Agent John Connolly, and Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, star in 'Black Mass.'

The fall movie season, sandwiched between the summer and holiday seasons that fill the multiplexes with potential blockbusters, usually brings films of a more thoughtful, artful nature to theaters. Oscar season commences with Johnny Depp going for career redemption in “Black Mass.” Here, Depp takes on the dramatic role of real-life gangster James “Whitey” Bulger. The… Continue reading →

Review: One shallow ‘Walk’

Photo by FRANK MASI -- Robert Redford, left, as Bill Bryson and Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz, star in 'A Walk in the Woods.'

Veteran actors Robert Redford and Nick Nolte play an odd, old couple in the comedy “A Walk in the Woods.” The movie is amiable, if shallow, entertainment, until it falls off a cliff. Fortunately, the plunge doesn’t come until many miles into the story. Road pictures — stories about travelers, often in cars but also… Continue reading →

Straight Outta Louisiana: Locally-shot movies to watch for this fall

Photo by PATTI PARRET -- Billy Bob Thornton, left, and Sandra Bullock share the screen in the political, satirical drama, 'Our Brand is Crisis.'

The fall movie season also includes a number of high-profile films that were shot in Louisiana. All movies noted were partially or wholly filmed in the New Orleans area. 99 HOMES Starring Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon and Laura Dern Directed by Ramin Bahrani Rated R Charming and ruthless, Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) makes a fortune by repossessing homes. He’s… Continue reading →

WAFB to air Saints game, LSU special Thursday night

Advocate file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Head coach Les Miles signs a replica helmet for a fan during LSU's 2015 Fan Day on campus Aug. 16.

Before Saturday’s opener, the WAFB (Channel 9, cable Channel 7) sports team will preview the LSU Tigers’ 2015 football season with “Pressure Point,” a half-hour special airing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. In a related note, if you’re looking for WAFB 9 News at 6 p.m. Thursday, it’s being shuffled. Due to the New Orleans Saints’ preseason romp… Continue reading →

WBRZ’s LSU Tiger special airs Tuesday night

Associated Press photo by GERALD HEBERT -- LSU quarterback Brandon Harris (6) works out during practice in Baton Rouge Aug. 7.  Behind him is quarterback Brad Kragthorpe (16).

WBRZ will preview the LSU Tigers’ football season during the hour-long “LSU Preseason Special” at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. Sports Director Michael Cauble, Weekend Sports Anchor/Sports Reporter Chris Price and Sports Reporter Seth Lewis will offer the latest news on the team from head coach Les Miles, and what fans can expect on the field this season.… Continue reading →

PBS Katrina documentary ‘Forced Change’ now online, tells story of four survivors who never returned

Photo provided  -- director/producer Rennik Soholt helmed the 'Forced Change' documentary.

In case you missed the PBS “NewsHour Weekend’s” look at the Hurricane Katrina documentary “Forced Change,” it’s available for viewing online. The project, by director/producer and former New Orleanian Rennik Soholt, follows the decade-long journey of four Katrina survivors as they rebuilt their lives away from their beloved hometown after the 2005 storm devastated the… Continue reading →

‘New Orleans, Here & Now’ chronicles residents’ post-Katrina struggles, successes through six short films

Photo illustration provided by MPRM for Rampante -- 'New Orleans, Here & Now' is available for viewing online.

“New Orleans, Here & Now,” a six-part anthology on life in New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, debuted Thursday online. At the helm of the Time Inc./Rampante project were executive producers Louisiana native and actress Patricia Clarkson and “NCIS: New Orleans” star Scott Bakula. The documentary series offers six… Continue reading →

Review: ‘We Are Your Friends’ is predictable fun

Photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures -- Zac Efron plays an aspiring DJ in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Studiocanal's romantic drama, 'We are Your Friends.'

Part electronic dance music tutorial and part love letter to Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, “We Are Your Friends” is a surprisingly accessible and sweet story of a group of friends standing on the cusp of adulthood with big ambition and little direction. Regardless of your taste for pulsing electronic music or actor Zac Efron, both are… Continue reading →

Iconic Broadmoor Theatre fixtures get second life at John Schneider’s Holden studio

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Actor/producer/director John Schneider  watches as the large sign for the old Broadmoor Theatre comes down. He had the sign moved to his Holden studios.

A part of Baton Rouge’s cinema past is getting a second life east of the city. Actor/producer/director John Schneider recently bought and had moved to his Holden studios the iconic sign, seats, wall sconces and popcorn machine from the soon-to-be-demolished Broadmoor Theatre. The Ogden family opened the Broadmoor in 1965 as a one-screen theater,… Continue reading →

‘Compton’ stays straight, again leads box office with $26.8 million

Photo by Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Pictures via AP -- From left, New Orleans actor Jason Mitchell stars as Eazy-E, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, and O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube, in the film, 'Straight Outta Compton.'

NEW YORK (AP) — N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” easily maintained its box-office lead with an estimated $26.8 million in ticket sales over a sleepy late summer weekend at the multiplexes. The film co-stars New Orleans actor Jason Mitchell as N.W.A. member Eazy-E. “Straight Outta Compton,” a much buzzed-about hit, dominated over the… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ a macho shoot-em-up short on plot

In this image released by Twentieth Century Fox, Rupert Friend appears in a scene from, Hitman: Agent 47." (Reiner Bajo/Twentieth Century Fox via AP)

The idea of the high-tech, emotionless super-soldier is so popular in movies, it’s practically a convention. The “Terminator” and “Bourne” franchises, and even last year’s animated “Big Hero 6,” imagine characters programmed to kill and the would-be world destroyers who want to control them. The same formula is at work in “Hitman: Agent 47,” a stylized shoot-em-up… Continue reading →

Baton Rougean Brooke Hoover is lighting up the screen

Photo provided by Lynn Spencer -- Brooke Hoover's web series, 'Pageant Pom Mom,' features her dog Precious.

Brooke Hoover’s first acting gig, a TV commercial, never saw the light of day. No worries — it got her a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card, that first rite of passage for any actor. “It was a commercial for Comcast,” Baton Rouge native Hoover said from her home in New York. “I was… Continue reading →

‘American Ultra’ director shoots for perfection

Photo by ALAN MARKFIELD -- Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Kristen Stewart star in ‘American Ultra.’

On June 19, 2014, director Nima Nourizadeh sent good news and a photo through his Instagram account. The photo of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, stars of the New Orleans area-filmed action-comedy “American Ultra,” was accompanied by the message: “Wrapped the #americanultra shoot and leaving New Orleans. Had such a wicked time shooting this movie…” Watching… Continue reading →

Local actor Michael Papajohn talks big and small roles

Photo provided by MANOS PUBLIC RELATIONS -- Michael Papajohn, left, and Topher Grace appear at the 'American Ultra' premiere at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles.

Local actor Michael Papajohn has more than 100 film and TV credits. Already this summer, he’s appeared in the blockbuster “Jurassic World.” Friday, he’ll have a supporting role in the action-comedy “American Ultra,” as the military character Otis. In the new film, Papajohn shares scenes with principals Jesse Eisenberg, Topher Grace and Connie Britton.… Continue reading →

Review: ‘American Ultra’ is bloody good fun

Photo by ALAN MARKFIELD -- Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Kristen Stewart star in ‘American Ultra.’

“American Ultra” is a crazy rush of cleverly orchestrated madness. A bloody valentine, the New Orleans area-shot action-comedy goes over the top in a gleefully entertaining style. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star as Mike and Phoebe, the young couple at the center of accelerating action. Mike and Phoebe share a small house in a nondescript… Continue reading →