• N. Korea compares Obama to monkey in hacking row

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea compared President Barack Obama to a monkey, and blamed the U.S. on Saturday for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the comedy "The Interview." North Korea has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures but has expressed fury over the comedy depicting an assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures initially called off the release citing threats of terror attacks against U.S. movie theaters. Obama criticized Sony's decision, and the movie has opened this week. On Saturday, the North's powerful National Defense Commission, the country's top governing body led by Kim, said that Obama was behind the release of "The Interview." It described th

  • N. Korea calls Obama 'monkey' in hacking row

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea called President Barack Obama "a monkey" and blamed the U.S. on Saturday for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the comedy "The Interview." North Korea has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures but has expressed fury over the comedy depicting an assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures initially called off the release citing threats of terror attacks against U.S. movie theaters. Obama criticized Sony's decision, and the movie has opened this week. On Saturday, the North's powerful National Defense Commission, the country's top governing body led by Kim, said that Obama was behind the release of "The Interview." It described the mo

  • Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Renowned jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, who led the way on his instrument in the transition between the swing and bebop eras, has died at the age of 91, his family said Friday. DeFranco's family told The Associated Press that the famed musician died Wednesday evening at a Panama City hospital. His wife, Joyce, said he had been in declining health in recent years. The couple lived in Panama City. DeFranco, who began his professional career as a teenager in the late 1930s, made both concert and recording appearances with many of the top singers and musicians of his era, including Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum.

  • Will 'The Interview' change how Hollywood does business?

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Interview" was never supposed to be a paradigm-shifting film. But unusual doesn't even begin to describe the series of events that transpired over the past few weeks, culminating in the truly unprecedented move by a major studio to release a film in theaters and on digital platforms simultaneously. Sony is in uncharted waters now with the film, which earned $1.04 million from 331 locations on Thursday, according to studio estimates, in addition to the untold VOD grosses.

  • 1990s TV star 'Screech' charged in bar stabbing

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on the 1990s TV show "Saved by the Bell," was charged Friday with stabbing a man during a bar fight on Christmas. Diamond, 37, faces charges of felony second-degree recklessly endangering safety charge, disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon. According to the criminal complaint, Diamond told police that he and his fiancee went out to several bars Thursday night in Port Washington, about 30 miles north of Milwaukee. The couple, who lives in Port Washington, got into a tussle with two men and another woman at the Grand Avenue Saloon, the complaint said. Port Washington police say they responded at 11:15 p.m. Thursday to a report of a stabbing at a bar.

  • Las Vegas New Year's Eve prep takes year effort

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A destination devoted to entertaining visitors every single day can't just throw any old party to ring in the New Year. For one night only, about 340,000 people spending some $226 million are expected to crowd the Strip and downtown Fremont Street all looking to be wowed — and for that reason, Las Vegas casino operators, event planners, tourism agencies and more have spent months if not the entire year planning ways to do so. The result? A veritable revelry buffet to choose from, some free, most at a price, quite a bit so exclusive it requires an invite from the hotel-casinos throwing the parties for prized customers.

  • Creator of 'Tail! Spin!' talks about power, truth

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — One had a "wide stance" and another was "hiking the Appalachian Trail." Those were some of the excuses put forward by politicians caught in recent sex scandals. Mario Correa, a political junkie who worked on Capitol Hill in high school and college, has turned them into comedy gold. Correa, a co-host of Entertainment Weekly's daily "News & Notes" program on SiriusXM, stitched together four such sad tales to create "Tail! Spin!" at the Culture Project starring "Saturday Night Live" alumna Rachel Dratch. It closes Jan. 4. The show skewers former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, former U.S. Rep. Andrew Weiner of New York, former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley of Florida and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, wh

  • Texas movie set used by John Wayne fading away

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BRACKETTVILLE, Texas (AP) — Time and Mother Nature are threatening to dismantle the Alamo. Not the original, but the replica 18th-century Spanish mission and Old West movie set John Wayne built for his Oscar-nominated 1960 movie and that for decades was a tourist mecca and film production site. "It's not just something that represents history to a movie set — it is now history for sure," says Rich Curilla, the one-man curator and custodian of the now-closed Alamo Village. Alamo Village, a 400-acre plot of land about 120 miles west of San Antonio, was carved out of a large ranch in the late 1950s for Wayne's directorial debut. Starring Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie and Wayne as Davy Crockett, "The Alamo" had an estimated $1

  • At 89, enigmatic Angela Lansbury is back in the 'Spirit'

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Angela Lansbury has settled in for a six-week run of Noel Coward's comedy "Blithe Spirit" at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. This is the 89-year-old Lansbury's third time around with Coward's 1941 farce, which is propelled by a medium who accidentally conjures the ghost of a writer's precocious wife. Lansbury played the clairvoyant Madame Arcati on Broadway in 2009. She reprised the role last spring on London's West End. Now, she's taking the character on the road for a four-city North American tour that began in Los Angeles Dec. 9, then heads to San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C.

  • Creator of 'Tail! Spin!' talks about power, truth

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — One had a "wide stance" and another was "hiking the Appalachian Trail." Those were some of the excuses put forward by politicians caught in recent sex scandals. Mario Correa, a political junkie who worked on Capitol Hill in high school and college, has turned them into comedy gold. Correa, a co-host of Entertainment Weekly's daily "News & Notes" program on SiriusXM, stitched together four such sad tales to create "Tail! Spin!" at the Culture Project starring "Saturday Night Live" alumna Rachel Dratch. It closes Jan. 4. The show skewers former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, former U.S. Rep. Andrew Weiner of New York, former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley of Florida and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, wh

  • Hundreds watch 'The Interview' in Chicago-area

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Several hundred people in suburban Chicago were among those who watched Sony Pictures' movie "The Interview" on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Movie theaters in Buffalo Grove, Naperville and Woodridge screened the comedy after threats from hackers nearly derailed its release. The Seth Rogen-James Franco film depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony initially called off its release after major theater chains dropped the movie. But company officials changed their minds after President Barack Obama and others criticized the decision. Sony made the movie available online and at about 300 independent theaters.

  • 5 things to know about Alamo Village

    Yesterday

    BRACKETTVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas businessman wants to revive Alamo Village, the movie set built by John Wayne for his epic film about the historic Alamo siege. It's been closed since 2009. Here are five things to know about the 400-acre park's history: — Nearly a half-dozen Alamo-themed TV shows or movies were made there, as well as hundreds of other productions. One was the acclaimed 1989 TV miniseries "Lonesome Dove," where Alamo Village served as a stand-in for San Antonio, Fort Worth and Santa Rosa, New Mexico. A cantina used in the series, which also was a restaurant for tourists, has a saloon bar that came from a San Francisco brothel.

  • 'Christmas Vacation' prank: Clark Griswold exit

    Updated: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    CLARK, N.J. (AP) — At least one "Christmas Vacation" fan was driving on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway Thursday. Someone changed a sign for the highway's exit for Clark and Westfield to read "Clark Griswold." Griswold is the father's character played by Chevy Chase in the Christmas cult classic. State Police spokesman Sgt. Gregory Williams confirms photos of the sign posted on social media are real. Williams says the taped-on Griswold sign at the highway's exit 135 later was removed by the Turnpike Authority.

  • Capacity crowds pack screenings of 'The Interview'

    Updated: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Critics and early viewers agree that "The Interview" is less than a masterpiece. But thanks to threats from hackers that nearly derailed its release, it has become an event. Hundreds of theaters Thursday, from The Edge 8 in Greenville, Alabama, to Michael Moore's Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan, made special holiday arrangements for the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures had initially called off the release after major theater chains dropped the movie that was to have opened on as many as 3,000 screens. But with President Obama among others criticizing the decision, Sony officials changed their minds.

  • Michael Moore's Bijou showing 'The Interview'

    Updated: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michael Moore's Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City is among hundreds of U.S. theaters that made special arrangements to show the movie "The Interview," which drew the ire of the North Korean government. They gave a Christmas debut to the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures earlier cancelled the release after major theater chains dropped the movie. The Traverse City Record-Eagle (http://bit.ly/1wKMvpC ) says "The Interview" was showing twice Thursday. Moore announced the opening Tuesday. In a Facebook post, Moore says it's always important to "stand against bullies and censors.

  • New York showings of 'The Interview' sell out

    Updated: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — "The Interview" opened in several New York City theaters on Christmas to enthusiastic crowds as interested in the world drama the film produced as anything on the screen. "The whole story is like a movie," Nick Ratner said of the swirling controversy as he prepared to watch the film at Cinema Village East in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood Thursday morning. "I am sure someone has already optioned it for a movie." "We are taking a stand for freedom. We want to show the world that Americans will not be told what we can or cannot watch," said the theater's manager, Lee Peterson.

  • Streaming release of 'Interview' test for industry

    Updated: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    ATLANTA (AP) — Sony's "The Interview" has been a hacking target, a punchline and a political lightning rod. Now, with its release online at the same time it debuts in theaters, it has a new role: a test for a new kind of movie release. "The Interview" stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists tasked by the CIA with killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Its Christmas Day release was canceled by Sony after threats of violence by hackers linked to North Korea. But after an outcry, the release was reinstated in some independent theaters and now, through a few online video services.

  • 'Sons of Liberty' tells tale of America's founders

    Updated: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    BOSTON (AP) — Don't let the powdered wigs and oil paintings fool you: Samuel Adams, John Hancock and the other eventual Americans who changed the course of history were a ragtag band of secretive and sometimes mischievous young radicals. Just ask Paul Revere, aka actor Michael Raymond-James, who's part of the cast of "Sons of Liberty," a new miniseries premiering in January on the History Channel. There was more to Revere than his famous ride of April 18, 1775, to warn the colonists the British were coming. "He was so much more involved than that.

  • Sony broadly releases 'The Interview' in reversal of plans

    Updated: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amid a swell of controversy, backlash, confusion and threats, Sony Pictures broadly released "The Interview" online Wednesday — an unprecedented counterstroke against the hackers who spoiled the Christmas opening of the comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "It has always been Sony's intention to have a national platform on which to release this film," Sony Pictures chair and CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement. "We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.

  • Sony statement on the on-demand release of 'The Interview'

    Updated: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony Pictures Entertainment issued the following statement Wednesday on the on-demand release of "The Interview": "It has always been Sony's intention to have a national platform on which to release this film," said Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton. "With that in mind, we reached out to Google, Microsoft and other partners last Wednesday, December 17th, when it became clear our initial release plans were not possible. We are pleased we can now join with our partners to offer the film nationwide today. "We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for 'The Interview.' It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by t