Katniss Strikes Back

Katniss Strikes Back

The next installment of the Hunger Games series is sequel gold
Don't tell Hollywood I said this, but chopping the final novel of the Hunger Games trilogy into two films might be the best thing that could have happened to this franchise. I mean, it didn't work for Harry Potter — the first Deathly Hallows film was terrible — and Peter Jackson is already two-thirds of the way (with the final third almost upon us) toward demonstrating that turning the brief Hobbit book into three long films was not artistically warranted.



Hairy Matters

L.A. glam-metal pioneers Mötley Crüe are calling it quits, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
There's no reason Mötley Crüe should still be around, in original form no less, for what the L.A. glam-rock pioneers are calling their "final tour." We're talking about a band whose members somehow survived drug overdoses, prison stints, crippling disease, paparazzi-fodder Hollywood marriages, multiple tours with Ozzy Osbourne and pop culture's collective decision in the early '90s that the entire hair-metal genre the Crüe reigned over, well, sucked.


Celestial Sounds

Star Anna is here for Thanksgiving with songs from the gut
Every time singer-songwriter Star Anna goes on tour she eats at Denny's. There's comfort in familiar cuisine and she appreciates any menu that includes a respectable pun (Moons Over My Hammy is a favorite).


A Love Supreme

Bob Curnow and his Big Band prove jazz isn't dead at their multigenerational shows
Out through the open Big Dipper doors, jazzy harmonies float into the inky night — over the rain-soaked streets, under the street lamps, echoing beneath the train overpass on this Monday night. Once inside the darkened music club, the crowd is surprisingly multigenerational, ranging from high school kids to grandparents in one room.


Shine Bright

Spokane native Vince Littleton adds sparkle to Neil Diamond tribute band Super Diamond
Panties once cascaded onto their stages, but after two decades together, that doesn't happen as often now at Super Diamond shows. Neither do the catfights.


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Growing Up

Seattle director Lynn Shelton delivers another unpredictable story with Laggies
Ten years after high school, 28-year-old Megan Burch (Keira Knightley) is floating through life, unable to settle into a career and new family attachments like her teenage BFFs have. Those pals are planning weddings and baby showers, and Ellie Kemper's inclusion as the bride-to-be in the film's opening setup helps create an expectation that Laggies is going to be another Bridesmaids-like comedy.


Stranger Than Fiction

Jon Stewart tries his hand at directing with the true story Rosewater
Students of recent Iranian history, or pretty much anyone who's turned on a TV newscast in recent years, will be familiar with the absurdity of the country's presidential election in 2009.


Got the Beat

Whiplash features some excellent jazz, but struggles with its message
If recent release Birdman borrowed a cup of energy from its drum score, then Whiplash, about a young jazz drummer at a cutthroat-competitive conservatory, steals a whole quart.


Dare to Dream

Interstellar gives us hope for the future of big movies — and humanity
This is big. It's huge.


Superhero Life

Michael Keaton's bummed-out movie about movies delivers big-time
Michael Keaton is going to win an Oscar for Birdman. OK, got that out of the way.


Night Moves

Jake Gyllenhaal is at his creepiest in Nightcrawler
Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a creepy guy with obvious psychotic tendencies. Just look at that mop of hair, long, hollow face and those big, staring eyes.


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