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Entertainment

Think you can beat the critic? Make your picks in our Oscar contest
February 17, 2014
The 86th Academy Awards are coming up quickly, and this year Lawrence.com and Liberty Hall have teamed up to bring you an Oscar contest that could win you free passes to movies, concessions and free movie rentals.
Jayhawkers’ brings a legend back to life
Film tells story of how Wilt Chamberlain changed Lawrence on and off court
February 9, 2014
Broad, sweeping biographical films that try to sum up a person’s entire life in two hours rarely ever get it right. That’s why the best thing that happened to Kevin Willmott’s movie “Jayhawkers” was not being able to raise the $12 million dollars they needed.
Locally produced Web series take funny look at gaming culture
February 7, 2014
The Gaming Wildlife Foundation, made up of a handful of Kansas University film and media studies graduates, hopes to take its 15 minutes of fame to full-time work.
Wilt Chamberlain film ‘Jayhawkers’ premiering Feb. 14
January 17, 2014
Kansas University professor Kevin Willmott will premiere his new film “Jayhawkers” at the Lied Center February 14.
Eric Melin’s 10 best movies of 2013
December 22, 2013
2013 was an embarrassment of film riches, and the best movies of the year are all over the place in terms of budget, scope, genre and style.
Hunting for big bucks
November 8, 2013
Steve Campbell is ready to shoot at bevies of wild animals — in downtown Chicago.
Enter our annual scary story contest for young writers
October 9, 2013
The Journal-World’s annual scary story contest is back, and it’s open to students in three categories: elementary school, middle school and high school.
Lied Center to host The Price is Right Live!
September 8, 2013
The Lied Center is inviting audiences to “come on down” and win big prizes at The Price is Right Live! on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. Monday.
Televison history buffs dig Black Jack Battlefield
August 11, 2013
Black Jack Battlefield, the National Historic Landmark just east of Baldwin City, will be featured on an episode of the National Geographic Channel show “Diggers” on Aug. 14.
Sandbar Block Party to celebrate anniversary, new sub shop
August 6, 2013
The fifth annual Sandbar Block Party will celebrate the beach-themed bar’s 24th anniversary and the opening of the new Sandbar Sub Shop location at 745 New Hampshire St. Lawrence-formed indie band Cowboy Indian Bear will perform before the Grammy-nominated The Fabulous Thunderbirds, a Texas-based, blues-rock group formed in 1974. By Nikki Wentling
Tune In Tonight: CNBC doesn’t stand out with ‘Crowd Rules’
May 14, 2013
Call me confused. I’m frequently stumped when a cable network deviates from its original purpose to pursue generic reality shows, readily available elsewhere. The newest CNBC offering is “Crowd Rules” (8 p.m.) a show so unabashedly unoriginal, it just might work. Imagine the set from “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” the music from “The Apprentice” and the general thrust of “Shark Tank” and you’re getting close.
Summer movie preview: Which new franchises will take flight?
May 12, 2013
Nobody ever accused Hollywood of being original, so it’s no wonder that so many sequels and reboots are on deck for 2013. The big question is whether any new franchises will be able to separate themselves from the pack this summer.
Tune In Tonight: ‘Nature’ brings us back to doe
May 8, 2013
According to poll figures I just made up, 73 percent of homeowners are obsessed about keeping squirrels out of their bird feeders and keeping deer from eating their vegetables, flowers and shrubs. Tonight’s “Nature” (7 p.m., PBS) will shed no light on the eternal battle between man and squirrel, but “The Private Life of Deer” is illuminating.
Tune In Tonight: ABC offers ‘new’ Britcom import
May 1, 2013
The television season may be nearing its end, but new “midseason” replacements keep arriving. ABC presents “Family Tools” (7:30 p.m.), a contrived fish-out-of-water tale about a hapless adult son, Jack (Kyle Bornheimer), forced to take over his family’s home improvement business after his father, Tony (J.K. Simmons, “The Closer”), has a heart attack. The good news is that this is not a “Home Improvement” knockoff. The bad news is that the good news stops there.
Tune In Tonight: Knox trial examined on ‘20/20’
April 30, 2013
Is Amanda Knox innocent or guilty? And how many of us really care? For those who haven’t heard, Knox was a American college student studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, when arrested and convicted for the gruesome 2007 murder of a roommate. Her conviction was later overturned by an Italian court, and she’s the subject of an hourlong interview on tonight’s “20/20” (9 p.m., ABC).
Tune In Tonight: Comedy in ‘The Big C’ is sickening
April 29, 2013
The cancer comedy “The Big C” (9 p.m., Showtime) wraps up its final season in four episodes. It’s not hard to see where this is going. The final installments will break out of the show’s half-hour format with longer narratives as the end grows near. I wish I could love or even like this series, which grapples with such sad and profound matters. But it does so with cloying whimsy and precious situations. (And I’m not just talking about casting Gabourey Sidibe.)
Tune In Tonight: ‘Good Wife,’ ‘Vikings’ end their seasons
April 28, 2013
Two acclaimed series wrap up Sunday, and happily for fans, both are assured of a new season. “The Good Wife” (8 p.m., CBS) finishes its fourth season with Zach certain he has evidence of vote rigging. This legal drama, set in Chicago (but shot in New York), has never been at the top of the ratings. But it has given CBS something it doesn’t get from its more popular shows: critical acclaim, prestige and a positive buzz from the chattering class. “NCIS” may get more than 20 million viewers, but cutting edge it is not. CBS has long maintained that it’s not in the business of collecting Emmys, but it’s nice to have at least one show that gets some respect.
Tune In Tonight: Lifetime’s bad girls out for ‘Revenge’
April 27, 2013
Where would the women’s network be without bad girls or femme fatales? Brooke Burns (”Baywatch”) stars as the conniving other woman in “A Sister’s Revenge” (7 p.m. Saturday, Lifetime). Michael Miller (Tim Rozon) has put his wild ways behind him. The former Lothario has settled down with a wife and baby and is focused on running the hottest new restaurant in town.
Tune In Tonight: Can ‘Nashville’ find an audience in time?
April 24, 2013
Despite being the best, or at least the best-reviewed, new show of the season, “Nashville” (9 p.m., ABC) has seen its ratings steadily decline since midseason. Nothing kills a soapy melodrama like asking viewers to return in three weeks to see what happens next, followed by another two-week hiatus.
Tune In Tonight: ‘Hearst’ tells different tale from ‘Kane’
April 23, 2013
As media experiences go, there’s nothing more peculiar — and interesting — than spin control seven decades after the fact. Released in conduction with the 125th anniversary of the Hearst Corp., the documentary “Citizen Hearst” (7 p.m., BIO) has the unenviable task of retelling its subject’s story, a tale many people will associate with the 1941 drama “Citizen Kane,” whose title character was loosely based on Hearst. And that’s only a film generally considered to be the greatest movie ever made.
Tune In Tonight: New thriller appeals to smart crowd
April 22, 2013
What happens when a closed case comes undone? A smart whodunit and a superior psychological thriller, “Rectify” (8 p.m., Sundance) deserves a large audience. It will probably get a smart one. Convicted of rape and murder, Daniel Holden (Aden Young) spent 19 years in prison, most of them on death row awaiting execution. After DNA evidence appears to exonerate him, he returns to his shattered, confused family in the small town of Paulie, Ga., which is filled with friends of the murder victim — who still want him behind bars. Chief among them is Sen. Roland Foulkes (Michael O’Neill), whose prosecution of Holden launched his political career. The local sheriff (J.D. Evermore) doesn’t seem too pleased with Holden’s release either, and most of the scuttlebutt at the coffee shop involves conversations about returning him to prison, evidence be damned.
Tune In Tonight: Watergate special tries too hard
April 21, 2013
Too often, history — particularly recent history — is reduced to nostalgia and show business. So a week after “The ‘80s: The Decade That Made Us” premiered on the National Geographic Channel, I was hesitant about “All the President’s Men Revisited” (7 p.m., Discovery), hosted by Robert Redford. The rewarding documentary just tries to tackle too much in its two-hour running time. I’m not sure if a weeklong or even a monthlong documentary miniseries could have done the subject justice.
Tune In Tonight: Cable shows on Saturday aim higher
April 20, 2013
Are Saturday nights where network shows go to die? NBC’s “Smash” makes the case for that assumption. On the other hand, the competition for cable viewers seems to be heating up. AMC recently announced that when its ambitious Western “Hell on Wheels” returns in August, it wouldn’t air on Sunday nights, like the channel’s other original series do, but on Saturday nights. AMC found that it already had a solid audience for Western movies on Saturday afternoons and evenings, and “Wheels” would appeal to that crowd.
Tune In Tonight: ‘Nature’ finds ‘eels’ beyond our grasp
April 17, 2013
Hard science takes a backseat to poetic meditation on the known and unknowable on the “Nature” (7 p.m., PBS) presentation of “The Mystery of Eels.” The documentary is narrated by artist and author James Prosek (”Trout: An Illustrated History”), whose fascination with eels grew after visiting Ray Turner, the proprietor of Delaware Delicacies near Hancock, N.Y.
Tune In Tonight: Cable’s TBS struggles to stay fresh
April 16, 2013
In the years since the cable channel TBS rebranded itself as a comedy outfit, we’ve seen some great innovations in comedy. But not on TBS. While shows like “Louie” and “Modern Family” have brought some discerning viewers back to TV comedies, TBS has played it relatively straight, airing fairly old-school sitcoms including “The Bill Engvall Show” “My Boys,” “Men at Work” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” Tonight, TBS dials it back decades with the newest variation on “Candid Camera.” “Who Gets the Last Laugh?” (9 p.m.) asks three professional comedians to devise hidden camera pranks to scare and surprise unsuspecting strangers. At the end, a studio audience, aided by host Donald Faison (“Scrubs”), will decide the funniest of the three and award $10,000 to that comic’s favorite charity.
Tune In Tonight: “Defiance” to bring gamer action to TV
April 15, 2013
“Defiance” (8 p.m., Syfy) offers an entertaining twist on the post-apocalyptic thriller. Set in the year 2046, “Defiance” explores the Earth more than 30 years after an alien invasion sparked a violent global war for domination, and 15 years after a treaty established an uneasy truce between battling races of humans, aliens, cyborgs and mutants.
Look familiar? After many TV roles, Lawrence native lands lead in TV series
April 14, 2013
“Modern Family.” “Bones.” “The Mentalist.” These are three of the most popular shows on TV today, and Lawrence native and actress Annie Tedesco has appeared in all of them. Now she’s landed the lead role in the new TV series “Granite Flats.” By Sara Shepherd
Tune In Tonight: Nostalgia the focus of “The 80’s”
April 14, 2013
Rob Lowe narrates “The 80s: The Decade That Made Us” (8 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, National Geographic), a six-part flashback to a formative period. The commentary surrounding the recent death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reminds us of some of the stark choices of the period, a time when leaders in both the United Kingdom and the United States began to enthusiastically extol the virtues of market forces and downplay or demonize the more distributive government actions of previous decades.
Tune In Tonight: Bets placed on babies in new show
April 13, 2013
We share an impulse to find joy in infant behavior. But taken to extremes, such pleasures can become infantile. That, in a nutshell, is both the appeal and the pitfall of the new game show “Bet On Your Baby” (7 p.m. Saturday, ABC). Like the old “Newlywed Game,” where the recently hitched won money and prizes based on correct answers to slightly naughty questions about their spouses, “Bet” asks proud parents to wager on the behavior of their barely toddling children. Can junior be coerced into spinning in a circle seven times in 20 seconds? Are you willing to lose money if he doesn’t?
Trading barbs with Bill Maher
Comedian bringing his liberal sense of humor to Topeka
April 11, 2013
For a comedian like Bill Maher, our fair — red — state has provided plenty of fodder over the years, some of which may work its way into his stand-up routine Saturday night at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. By Sara Shepherd

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