Philip Martin

Columnist: Philip Martin

Jennifer Christman

Weekend Editor, Columnist: Jennifer Christman

A photo of Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Last Jedi


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MOVIE REVIEW: Episode VIII gives Star Wars fans what they want — but has the Empire already won?

The original Star Wars concept, closely hewn to Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" archetypal story pattern, was always built around myths and totems: Vader's mask, Luke's light saber, the Falcon, the Force, the Death Star, the Jedi Knights themselves.

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Project's director covers childhood

It might seem like filmmaker Sean Baker burst from nowhere when his previous film, Tangerine, screened to an adoring audience at Sundance back in 2015. The film, about a transgender sex worker and her friend searching for her pimp, became notable for several things, including the infectious energy of the filmmaking, but primarily, the main talking point was that it was shot entirely on a handful of iPhones, the 5s models.



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Home Movies

Detroit, directed by Kathryn Bigelow


The Greatest Showman, PG In the 19th century, P.T. Barnum (1Hugh Jackman) parlays a natural talent for publicity and promotion into a show business career that culminates in the creation of The Greatest Show on Earth. With Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya; directed by Michael Gracey. Opens Wednesday

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Sometimes the strongest individuals are the ones who resist the urge to fight. That was the message of Munro Leaf's 1936 delightful children's classic Ferdinand, where a large, fearsome bull prefers sniffing flowers to butting his heads with other cattle in the pen.

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Nothing beats Coco for 3rd week

LOS ANGELES -- In advance of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VIII -- The Last Jedi opening today, the weekend's box office remained virtually unchanged, with Disney's Coco maintaining the top spot for the third weekend in a row.

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Documentaries explore wild women of rock

Documentaries on Ohio-born singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless and '90s grunge group L7 are streaming now at Amazon Prime Video, and if you like independent-minded, rowdy rock 'n' roll, then these stories are certainly worth exploring.

Super Quiz: International lakes

1. The largest North American freshwater lake by surface

Helpful Hints

DEAR HELOISE: I'd like to urge everyone who owns a pet and a computer to hide their cords in a long tube designed to hold wires, or to somehow get those cords off the floor. We recently had an accident here where our cat bit down on a cord and got a nasty shock. It knocked out power to my computer, and the cat was knocked out for a minute or two. She's OK now, but this could have been much worse. Our pets don't know about the dangers of chewing on an electrical cord, so it's up to the owners to protect them from being electrocuted.

Horoscopes by Holiday

Happy birthday. Your unsinkable attitude is what will make this a remarkable year. Setbacks will happen, and you'll keep bobbing back up and moving forward. Gorgeous additions to your environment happen in early 2018. A twist in your professional world will allow for a fresh approach to finance.

On Christianity

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I get upset at all the mail we get this time of year from charities and agencies asking for money. I just throw most of them in the trash. I know we could give more than we do, but how can I know who really needs money and will use it wisely?

After buying Lucasfilm, The Force is strong in Disney

The lobby of Lucasfilm Ltd.'s headquarters at San Francisco's Presidio is tastefully decorated with Craftsman-style lamps and leather chairs. There's a statue of special effects pioneer Willis O'Brien posing with King Kong in the back, and a full-size R2-D2 up front.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Terrible 2003 film 'The Room' gets fresh, rewarding salute in James Franco’s 'The Disaster Artist'

If Edward D. Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space is a lousy movie about space aliens, Tommy Wiseau's 2003 head-scratching oddity The Room appears to have been made by one.

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Last Flag Flying

With full apologies to Robert Frost: Something there is that doesn't love a road movie.