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Hong Kong superstar Aaron Kwok announces he's a father

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:17:29 UT

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong superstar Aaron Kwok is a dad. Kwok shared the good news with fans on his social media page on Friday. He posted a photo of a newborn baby's hand, held by mom and dad. The caption reads "happiness, delicate, grateful! Us three!" followed by a happy face emoji and a baby emoji. Another photo shows a pair of pink footprints, with the title "Welcome - Little One." Kwok, 51, did not disclose the baby's birthdate or gender. The "Cold War" star married a young model from China in April. Kwok is one of Hong Kong's most recognizable faces. In a career that spans over three decades, he has sold out concert tours, released platinum albums and starred in blockbuster movies.

'Stronger,' new movie about marathon bombing, hits theaters

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 04:18:24 UT

BOSTON (AP) — A new film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman is hitting theaters nationwide. "Stronger" captures Bauman recalibrating his life after losing both legs in the April 2013 bombings near the marathon finish line. Tatiana Maslany plays Bauman's then-girlfriend, Erin Hurley. It's based on Bauman's 2014 memoir of the same name. The movie premiered earlier this month at Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which treated Bauman and dozens of other bombing victims. It also was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Hurley was running and Bauman was cheering her on when the bombs exploded, killing three spectators and injuring more than 260 others.

Key figure in Northern Ireland peace work subject of film

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:02:23 UT

BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. premiere of a documentary about Roman Catholic politician John Hume and his efforts in the Northern Ireland peace process is being held in Boston. A screening of "In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America" is the opening-night film of the Boston Film Festival that starts Friday. Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, the film includes archival footage and interviews with former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former British prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair, and U2 singer Bono. Hume shared the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with moderate Protestant leader David Trimble.

4 detained in probe linked to film on Russian czar's affair

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:29:36 UT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian police have detained four people suspected of an arson attack linked to a movie about the last Russian czar's affair with a ballerina, officials said Thursday. "Matilda," which is set to be released in October, has sparked harsh criticism from hard-line nationalists and some Orthodox believers in Russia, who see it as blasphemy against the emperor, glorified as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. The film loosely follows the story of Nicholas II's infatuation with prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya. Two cars were set on fire last week outside the office of the attorney for the film's director and signs reading "burn for Matilda" were reportedly found near the scene.

Bernie Casey, pro football player turned actor, dies

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:59:27 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bernie Casey, a professional football player turned poet, painter and actor known for parts in films such as "Revenge of the Nerds" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," has died. He was 78. Casey died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a brief illness, his talent agent Erin Connor said. Born in West Virginia in 1939 and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Casey excelled in track and field and football and attended Bowling Green State University on an athletic scholarship. He went on to play wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams before going back to his alma mater to get a master's degree in fine arts. For Casey, the arts always came first.

'Breakfast Club' actor Hall pleads no contest to assault

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:40:22 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Breakfast Club" actor Anthony Michael Hall has pleaded no contest to shoving a neighbor who fell and broke his wrist. The 49-year-old Hall entered the plea in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday to one misdemeanor count of assault likely to produce injury. He was immediately sentenced to 40 hours of community service and three years of informal probation. Prosecutors say Hall and a next-door neighbor in Playa Del Rey got into an argument in September 2016 that ended with Hall pushing the man to the ground. Hall was a staple of early 1980s teen movies including "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles." He more recently appeared in "The Dark Knight" and the TV series "The Dead Zone."

At 82, Judi Dench's mission remains the same: 'To learn'

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:14:02 UT

TORONTO (AP) — Judi Dench is not tired. "I've had one of those pep-up drinks," Dench, beaming as she sits down for a recent interview. "I feel rather sparky." Caffeinated or not, Dench, 82, remains fully energized. As Stephen Frears, the director of her latest film, "Victoria & Abdul," marvels: "She's the biggest female star in Britain" — a statement that takes a moment to realize how true it is. "It's phenomenal at her age." Dench's eyesight had deteriorated in recent years due to macular degeneration, so scripts need to be read to her. But that's done little to slow her down or dim her ferocious, mischievous intelligence. On her right wrist is a tattoo of her personal motto, "Carpe Diem" ("Seize the Day").

Review: 'Stronger' tells a survivor's heart-wrenching story

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:41:28 UT

"Stronger " is about a survivor but it is not a feel-good movie. In 2013, 27-year-old Jeff Bauman went to watch his ex-girlfriend, Erin Hurley, run the Boston Marathon. He was there when the bombs went off and lost both of his legs as a result. An Associated Press photograph of Bauman, bloodied and gravely injured, being wheeled away from the site by a man in a cowboy hat became an instant icon of that terrorist attack. But the attack is not the focus here. It's the story of the aftermath that director David Gordon Green tells in "Stronger," based on Bauman's co-written memoir, and it is raw, ugly and painful to watch at times. There is alcoholism, bitterness, suffering and pain.

Linda Hamilton set to return to 'Terminator' franchise

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:07:40 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Linda Hamilton is returning to the "Terminator" franchise for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." "Terminator" creator James Cameron announced Hamilton's casting at a private event in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, the Hollywood Reporter reported. Paramount Pictures, which is distributing the planned sequel, confirmed the news Wednesday. Cameron is producing the sequel, which "Deadpool" filmmaker Tim Miller is directing. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also set to return. Cameron, who was once married to Hamilton, recently compared Wonder Woman unfavorably to Hamilton's "Terminator" character, Sarah Connor. Cameron called Gal Gadot's superhero an "objectified icon," but said Connor was defined by "pure grit.

Review: 'Kingsman' sequel lacks punch and vibe of first film

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:25:37 UT

In the first film about a secret spy group known as Kingsman, we learned they are well-dressed, courtly and perfectly groomed. But by the second film, there's a decidedly ungentlemanly whiff about them — of desperation. "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" comes three years after the first leg in the Matthew Vaughn-directed franchise — and it bodes poorly for the expected third. This sequel is an overlong, labored affair that lacks the fizz of its predecessor. Even an insane cameo by Elton John — in his full feather and rhinestone glory — can't save it.

Review: 'Battle of the Sexes' serves up a too-timely story

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:08:45 UT

Can an inspirational movie also be a drag? That's the distinct feeling one can't shake walking out of "Battle of the Sexes ," a fictionalized rendering of the 1973 tennis match between 29-year-old Billie Jean King and 55-year-old hustler Bobby Riggs and the circumstances surrounding it. At stake is the opportunity for women in tennis to even get equal pay consideration, the reputation of a player who could have just stayed in her lane and the perceptions of society at large and, perhaps most importantly, the men in power. "I'm going to be the best," says Emma Stone playing Billie Jean. "That way I can really change things.

'Stronger' spawns a friendship for Gyllenhaal and Bauman

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:53:48 UT

TORONTO (AP) — As the cast and makers of "Stronger" collectively rose to take a bow after the film's Toronto International Film Festival premiere, Jake Gyllenhaal realized that Jeff Bauman, whom he plays in the film and who wears prosthetic legs, was still sitting, overwhelmed with emotion. "Jake was like, 'Get up!'" Bauman said. "And I stood up." "As soon as he got up, everyone else stood up," Gyllenhaal said. "I realized: This movie just showed them everything he went through just for that moment. I've never had an experience like that making a movie." "Stronger," directed by David Gordon Green, is the kind of movie that holds as much drama off the screen as on it.

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:27:53 UT

iTunes Movies U.S. charts for week ending September 17, 2017: iTunes Movies US Charts: 1. Baby Driver 2. Transformers: The Last Knight 3. The Mummy (2017) 4. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie 5. Life 6. Wonder Woman (2017) 7. Stephen King's It 8. Baywatch 9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 10. Rough Night iTunes Movies US Charts — Independent: 1. Beatriz At Dinner 2. It Comes At Night 3. The Wilde Wedding 4. The Layover 5. The Grand Budapest Hotel 6. Unlocked 7. The Hero 8. The Limehouse Garden 9. The Lost City of Z 10. What We Do In the Shadows __ (copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.

Leonardo DiCaprio foundation awards $20M in eco-grants

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:02:49 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Leonardo DiCaprio announced Tuesday that his eco-focused foundation has given more than $20 million this year in fresh grants to more than 100 organizations around the world. From lion recovery and mangrove restoration to the defense of indigenous rights and better access to affordable solar energy, the actor announced the grants ahead of his appearance at a climate change conference at Yale University. He planned to use the appearance to urge more immediate steps to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources.

Drug dealer gets 11 years in killing of LA studio exec

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:56:07 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A convicted drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday in California to 11 years in prison in the beating death of a movie studio executive who had been having an affair with his wife. John Lenzie Creech, 45, was convicted in July of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Gavin Smith, a 20th Century Fox distribution executive. Smith's body was found in a shallow desert grave two years after he was reported missing in 2012. A jury rejected first- and second-degree murder charges. Before sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus called Creech "a cold and cruel person." "Mr. Creech has shown no remorse in this case whatsoever," the judge said.