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Ali and Cosell were an ideal match for TV

In 1974, Muhammad Ali appeared on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” with Joe Frazier to talk with Howard Cosell about their upcoming heavyweight rematch. Ali’s frequent taunting prompted Frazier to lunge at him and the boxers wrestled on the floor until being separated by their entourage members.

Movie review: ‘Neighbors 2’ flips the script to great success

Two years ago, “Neighbors” writers Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, along with director Nicholas Stoller, reinvented the classic college party movie by pitting the frat guys against the young parents next door. It was a raunchy but sweet rumination on getting older and growing out of party mode, a refreshing take on the college movie formula. With “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” they’ve flipped the script, creating a feminist party classic that’s completely current and doesn’t skimp on any of the wild humor. It’s also even better than its predecessor.

New books on Teddy Roosevelt, in the wilderness and at war

How do you like your Teddy Roosevelt — sliced and diced, or the whole megillah? If big books about America’s larger-than-life 26th president are your thing, there are plenty of door-stopping bios to suit your fancy. But Roosevelt’s multifarious life — he was by turns a politician, writer, hunter, soldier, explorer and amateur scientist — is suitable for a thematic close-up, as displayed in the books under review here.

TV review: ‘American Masters’ looks at Janis Joplin

The upcoming “American Masters” portrait of Janis Joplin, titled “Janis: Little Girl Blue” was produced by Amy Berg, an Oscar nominee who interviews members of Janis Joplin’s first band, Big Brother and the Holding Company; Kris Kristofferson, whose hit “Me and Bobby McGee” was spectacularly covered by Joplin; record mogul Clive Davis; and famed filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, whose “Monterey Pop” from 1968 established Joplin.
 

‘Keanu’ is a real, funny movie

If you watched the trailer for “Keanu” starring Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key of Comedy Central’s beloved series “Key &Peele” _ and wondered “is this a real movie?” you’re not alone. In fact, it’s one of the auto-searches on Google. It’s understandable, as most know “Key &Peele” as a veritable factory of genre-bending viral sketches that engage with the tropes of Hollywood. But yes, “Keanu” is a real movie, a real funny one at that.

Movie Review: New ‘Jungle Book’ delights

Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” said it first, and best: “I don’t want realism. I want magic!” Maybe it’s the Blanche in me who prefers magic to realism in certain types of fairy tales, but I have a hard time loving any movie dominated by ultra-crisp photorealistic animation designed to look real, not animated. That sort of realism often looks and feel misguided, slightly clinical. And it’s a substantial caveat when it comes to Disney’s new live-(ish) action version of “The Jungle Book.”

History gets hip with ‘Hamilton’

Everyone’s talking about it. Whether it be a Broadway geek, a diehard hip-hop fan or just someone who listens to good music of any genre, they all have one thing in common: an obsession with “Hamilton,” a hip-hop musical about the forgotten founding father on the $10 bill. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece is so perfect that one song took him an entire year to write. So what’s the big deal? What makes this musical so different from all the other ones?

All the familiar faces are back in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’

Back in 2002, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” became a bona fide cultural phenomenon, a romantic comedy that mined the cultural specificities of the Greek heritage of unknown writer and star Nia Vardalos. The film picked up an Oscar nomination for Vardalos’ original screenplay, everyone began adding “My Big Fat” in front of various nouns, and we all learned a thing or two about the versatility of Windex. Fourteen years later, Vardalos and gang are back again for another wedding, but this time, it’s to drastically diminished returns.

Movie review: ‘Allegiant’ is more dull than dazzling

Of all the post-apocalyptic young adult trifles, the “Divergent” series has been the sexiest — thanks to the steamy make outs between stars Theo James and Shailene Woodley — but it’s also strangely the most sanitized. In the third installment, “Allegiant” (or rather “The Divergent Series: Allegiant — Part 1”), there’s an attempt to dirty things up a bit, venturing outside the wall that separates Chicago from everything else. But all the toxic rain and tent cities in the world can’t give this film a true sense of earthy viscera. Despite all the brawling, shooting and kissing that goes on, these films are entirely bloodless.