Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner’s Divorce Is Finalized, Officially Ending Their Marriage 

Kevin Costner, left, and Christine Baumgartner arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, March 27, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP)
Kevin Costner, left, and Christine Baumgartner arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, March 27, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP)
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Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner’s Divorce Is Finalized, Officially Ending Their Marriage 

Kevin Costner, left, and Christine Baumgartner arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, March 27, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP)
Kevin Costner, left, and Christine Baumgartner arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, March 27, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP)

A judge has declared that Kevin Costner and his wife of nearly two decades, Christine Baumgartner, are now legally divorced, according to court records filed Tuesday.

The couple's marriage ended, and both became single, on Friday, nine months after she filed for divorce, a judgment entered in Santa Barbara County court showed.

In the first months after their split, Costner and Baumgartner fought in court over child custody and support payments and appeared to be headed for a contentious trial. But they reached a settlement agreement in September that allowed them to avoid it.

The two will have joint custody of their sons, ages 16 and 15, and daughter, age 13. A judge in September ordered Costner to pay about $63,000 per month in child support, after she had sought about $175,000 per month.

Costner, 69, and Baumgartner, 48, a model and handbag designer, began dating in 1998 and married at his Colorado ranch in 2004.

It was the second marriage for Costner, the Oscar and Emmy winning star of TV’s “Yellowstone” and films including “Dances With Wolves,” “The Bodyguard” and “Bull Durham.”



The Real Stars of Cannes May Be the Dogs 

Eddie Peng poses with his dog Xin during an interview for the film "Black Dog" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP)
Eddie Peng poses with his dog Xin during an interview for the film "Black Dog" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP)
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The Real Stars of Cannes May Be the Dogs 

Eddie Peng poses with his dog Xin during an interview for the film "Black Dog" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP)
Eddie Peng poses with his dog Xin during an interview for the film "Black Dog" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP)

It’s been a dog’s life at this year’s Cannes Film Festival — or should that be the Canine Film Festival?

Since the 77th edition’s opening day, human actors have shared the limelight with their canine co-stars on and off the red carpet, kept secure by the perky sniffer dogs that dart around the press ladder and tripods ahead of every premiere.

It all started with Messi, from last year’s Palme d’Or winner “Anatomy of a Fall” and the reigning Palm Dog champion. He was first out when the festival opened last Tuesday, flouting the carpet’s strict black-tie protocols.

Sans the obligatory bow tie or clothes of any sort, the in-demand border collie performed tricks up the famous steps of the Palais des Festivals. In town this year as a correspondent for French television, he’s been spotted up and down Cannes’ famed Croisette, taking selfies with fans.

Riding on Messi’s purely proverbial coattails was Felicity, a Samoyed ambassador for the London-based charity NoToDogMeat, which rescued her from China’s meat trade. Felicity wore a custom-made gold gown for her red-carpet moment, posing for the cameras like a pro — it was, after all, her second year in a row at the festival.

Meanwhile, Demi Moore jetted into town with her tiny chihuahua Pilaf to promote the body-horror film “The Substance.” The teeny pooch was front and center of the photocall. Even after Moore spent six to eight hours in the makeup chair with only her eyes visible, Pilaf always recognized her during filming: “That’s all that counted. My touchstone of reality,” the actor said at the movie’s press conference.

And while Pilaf only made it to Cannes as a plus-one, there were two leading dogs in town to promote their movies.

Swiss comedy “Dog on Trial” premiered in the Un Certain Regard section, directed by and starring Laetitia Dosch. Based on a real case, the French-language film tells the story of a defense lawyer who takes on Cosmos, an aggressive dog facing legal action, as a client.

The titular dog is played by Kodi, a griffon, who Dosch says is really the star of the movie. It was important to her that Kodi had his name on the credits and the film poster and would be by her side in Cannes. A comedy-drama with a feminist outlook, “Dog on Trial” is about exploitation, Dosch says — and she has an offbeat theory as to what women and dogs have in common.

Also competing in Un Certain Regard — which curates a lineup of original and daring films — is another dog-centered drama, “Gou Zhen” (“Black Dog”) from the Chinese director Guan Hu. In it, Taiwanese superstar Eddie Peng plays Lang, who’s charged with removing stray dogs from his hometown on government orders ahead of the Olympic Games. One particular dog has a profound impact on Lang — and, as it turns out, on the actor himself.

Peng built up such a bond with his canine co-star Xin, a Jack Russell-greyhound cross, that he adopted her after filming ended and credits her for changing his outlook on life.

“They act truthfully,” Peng says of dogs, on a stroll around the Cannes harborfront with Xin, who accompanied him to France. “They don’t, you know, they don’t put on the mask. They don’t care about who you are or whether you’re famous or not, how much money you make.”

When he comes home, she jumps up like it’s the happiest moment of her entire life: “I think that’s something that we all need to learn from.”

She’s also changed the way he approaches acting, abandoning much backstory and preparation.

“Animals are just so present, you know. It will be so obvious somehow, if you are overacting,” he says.

Both Kodi and Xin are surely contenders for this year’s Palm Dog, an unofficial award created by journalists recognizing the best chien in show biz. Contest creator Toby Rose is giving nothing away ahead of Friday’s ceremony, but said this year started auspiciously with Palm Dog 2023 winner Messi and “is without doubt set to be a vintage Palm Dog year.”

In Peng’s view, Xin is already a winner. He might be a household name in Asia, but it’s Xin who is getting the lion’s share of the adoration in Cannes. Since the film screened earlier this week, Peng says she’s been recognized on the streets.

“Maybe in the future I don’t need to work anymore,” he says. “I’ll just be the agent with my dog.”


Rapper Sean Kingston Arrested in California after SWAT Raids his Florida Home

Singer Sean Kingston arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. (Reuters)
Singer Sean Kingston arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. (Reuters)
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Rapper Sean Kingston Arrested in California after SWAT Raids his Florida Home

Singer Sean Kingston arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. (Reuters)
Singer Sean Kingston arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, 2011. (Reuters)

Rapper Sean Kingston was arrested in California on fraud charges Thursday, several hours after a SWAT team raided his rented South Florida mansion and carted away a van load of items.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office said Kingston was arrested without incident on a Florida warrant in the area of Fort Irwin, an Army base in the desert about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.

Earlier in the day, Broward detectives arrested his 61-year-old mother, Janice Turner, during the raid of the rapper's 14,000-square foot (1,300-square meter) home in Southwest Ranches, a well-off Fort Lauderdale suburb that is home to many celebrities and professional athletes, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Miami Dolphins star Tyreek Hill.

Broward County prosecutors referred all questions to the sheriff’s office, which has has declined to release specific details about charges, citing an ongoing investigation. After the raid, reporters outside the home could see authorities filling a loading van with goods. The mansion was surrounded by expensive sports cars.

“People love negative energy!” Kingston had posted on Instagram earlier Thursday. “I am good, and so is my mother! ... My lawyers are handling everything as we speak.” The post was later taken down.

Robert Rosenblatt, an attorney representing the rapper and his mother, said, “we are aware of some of the allegations” being made against the two.

“We look forward to addressing these in court and are confident of a successful resolution for Shawn and his mother,” Rosenblatt said in an email.

Florida Department of Corrections records show Kingston is currently on two years' probation for trafficking stolen property. Further information on that conviction could not be found. He will be held in California pending extradition to Florida.

According to federal court records, his mother pleaded guilty in 2006 to bank fraud for stealing over $160,000 and served nearly 1.5 years in prison. She was being held at the Broward jail Thursday night on $160,000 bond.

The Jamaican-American rapper is best known for his 2007 No. 1 single “Beautiful Girls”; another hit, “Take You There”; and his collaboration with Justin Bieber on the song “Eenie Meenie." In 2011 he suffered near-fatal injuries in a personal watercraft accident. Kingston, whose legal name is Kisean Anderson, hasn’t had a major label release in more than a decade.


Saudi Film 'Noura' Screened at Cannes Film Festival

A person walks past the Cannes film festival logo during preparations for the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 13, 2024. The Cannes film festival runs from May 14 until May 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
A person walks past the Cannes film festival logo during preparations for the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 13, 2024. The Cannes film festival runs from May 14 until May 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
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Saudi Film 'Noura' Screened at Cannes Film Festival

A person walks past the Cannes film festival logo during preparations for the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 13, 2024. The Cannes film festival runs from May 14 until May 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
A person walks past the Cannes film festival logo during preparations for the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 13, 2024. The Cannes film festival runs from May 14 until May 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

The Red Sea Fund of the Red Sea Film Foundation screened the Saudi film “Noura” at the Un Certain Regard, “a certain look,” section of the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, making it the first Saudi film to be on the official list of the world's most prestigious film gathering, SPA reported.

Noura was supported by the Red Sea Fund and was filmed entirely in the city of art and history, AlUla, located in the northwest of the Kingdom, with 40% of its crew being Saudis, demonstrating the great support that the film industry enjoys.
The film, which has received international distribution, is scheduled to premiere in Saudi and international theaters on June 20, 2024.


Sony Says Focus is on Creativity, with Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, and not Gadgets

Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Sony Says Focus is on Creativity, with Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, and not Gadgets

Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony says it’s focusing on creativity in movies, animation and video games, rather than old-fashioned gadgetry, The Associated Press reproted.
Its chief executive, Kenichiro Yoshida, outlined the company’s strategy Thursday, saying Sony was helping creative professionals deliver what he called “kando,” or a moving experience.
Yoshida did not speak about reports Tokyo-based Sony and Apollo Global Management are interested in buying Paramount Global.
Yoshida said the company is now emphasizing the creative process itself instead of prized products of the past like the Walkman portable music player and Trinitron color TVs. He said “synergies” are no longer between entertainment and electronics, but determined by intellectual property spanning animation, music, games and films.
“We will continue to support people’s creativity through our technology,” he said in an online briefing.
Sony is adapting to tougher times, with rivals making cheaper but competitive electronics. Critics say venturing into movies, music and other entertainment can be unprofitable.
Starting with its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing in 2018, Sony has invested approximately 1.5 trillion yen ($10 billion) in the last six years to strengthen its content creation.
In 2021 it acquired Crunchyroll, which has more than 13 million paid subscribers and delivers Japanese animation globally. Another was Yoasobi, a Japanese music duo that includes Vocaloid technology, or singing voice synthesizer software, and is attracting global fans.
Sony’s real-time computing technology that records “this moment,” as Yoshida put it, is being used in cameras at sports events because it can capture quickly moving subjects without distortion.
It's also used for news coverage and editing and in 3D video and computer graphics, including hit movies like “Godzilla Minus One,” and games based on human athletes’ movements, according to Yoshida.
Sony recently reported its quarterly profit rose to 189 billion yen ($1.2 billion) from 141 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales for the maker of the PlayStation game machines rose 14% to 3.48 trillion yen ($22 billion).
But for the fiscal year through March, Sony recorded a 3% decline in profit at 970 billion yen ($6.2 billion) due to a weak performance in its financial services segment, which will be partially spun off next year.


‘The Garfield Movie’ Gave Chris Pratt a Reminder of His Lazy Side

 US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)
US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)
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‘The Garfield Movie’ Gave Chris Pratt a Reminder of His Lazy Side

 US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)
US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)

Voicing the iconic lazy, orange cat in "The Garfield Movie" reminded Chris Pratt of himself when he was in his late 20s and early 30s.

"I ate so much all the time, and I was very lazy," he told Reuters.

"I never exercised and I ate a whole bunch, and it was great," the "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor added. "So, now I don't have that any longer, but I do have the sense that I'm constantly pampered. So, depending on the season of my life we're talking about, there are similarities in the characters, but I've yet to be all of them all at once."

Pratt humorously noted that his connection to his character became stronger in several ways leading up to his interview.

"I've become Garfield. Look. I've got orange all around me. I was pampered and pet all morning before this interview and now I'm going to eat a big bowl of lasagna," he said.

The famed 1976 comic strip from cartoonist Jim Davis is going from page to animation. Distributed by Sony Pictures, it arrives in US movie theaters on Friday.

The film follows Garfield, a lethargic and greedy orange cat, as he’s snatched away from his pampered lifestyle and forced to carry out a heist for the sake of his alley cat father Vic, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson.

Pratt is no stranger to voicing animated characters following his experience portraying the Italian plumber Mario in the box office success "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" and voicing the elf Barley Lightfoot in Pixar's "Onward."

For the 44-year-old actor, it was easy to take on the role because Dindal, a well-known animation pioneer known for leading hits like "The Emperor's New Groove," already imagined his voice being used for Garfield, making it an effortless fit.

"Mark Dindal (the director) said 'I've been working on this for a couple of years, and I just hear your voice coming out of his mouth. To me, this is Chris Pratt as a cat,’" Pratt said.

Getting approval from Davis, whose comic strip has been published in over 2,000 newspapers and journals around the world, meant a lot to Pratt.

"Yeah, he's the character's creator, and I just heard recently that he gave a sweet quote and rated me a 10 out of 10 as the voice of Garfield," Pratt said.

"I don't think I'd quite realized how much pressure I'd been feeling to get the sign-off from him, and, so, the fact that he felt that way means a lot to me," he added


Dreamy Cannes Drama 'Parthenope' Embodies Naples' Character, Says Director

FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)
FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)
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Dreamy Cannes Drama 'Parthenope' Embodies Naples' Character, Says Director

FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)
FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)

The heroine of "Parthenope," Paolo Sorrentino's new coming-of-age drama, is the embodiment of the city of Naples and all its mysteries and freedoms, the Italian director said on Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film had its premiere.

Newcomer Celeste Dalla Porta stars as the titular character, a long-haired beauty who enchants the men in her life, with the film following her from her birth in the waters of the Bay of Naples to her last day before retiring as a professor of anthropology.

"Parthenope, in the first part of the film, when she is young, coincides with the city, they are two mysteries," said Sorrentino, a Cannes veteran who has brought seven films to compete for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

Sorrentino was nominated for an Oscar for 2021's "The Hand of God," set in 1980s Naples, and won best foreign language film with 2013's "The Great Beauty."

"In the second part, her view becomes more critical when a more disenchanted phase of her life begins. She is a free and spontaneous woman, who does not judge, exactly like the city."

Naples is sometimes known as Parthenope in reference to the ancient Greek settlement established there, named after a siren who according to legend drowned herself after failing to bewitch Odysseus and whose body washed up on the shores of the city, Reuters reported.

For Dalla Porta, 26, the film not only is an allegory for Naples, but also for her own life.

"Before we started shooting the film I was still in a youthful, carefree phase of my life, where work was still something of a dream and being an actor somewhat an abstract idea," said at a news conference alongside Sorrentino.

"But during the process of making the film, it was as if I had to let go of the little girl in me," she added.


LA Police Probe How ‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Obtained Lethal Ketamine Dose 

A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)
A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)
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LA Police Probe How ‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Obtained Lethal Ketamine Dose 

A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)
A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)

Los Angeles homicide detectives and federal agents are investigating how "Friends" star Matthew Perry obtained the high dose of the powerful prescription drug ketamine that was found in his body and determined to have caused his death, police said.

The disclosure on Tuesday of an ongoing criminal probe by police and two federal agencies came five months after the Los Angeles County medical examiner concluded Perry succumbed to an accidental drug overdose and drowning, with no foul play suspected.

The Dec. 15 autopsy report concluded Perry died from the "acute effects of ketamine," which combined with other factors caused the actor to lose consciousness and slip below the water in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home.

"Based on the medical examiner's findings, the Los Angeles Police Department, with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service, has continued its investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Perry's death," the LAPD said in a statement.

A police spokesperson said detectives from the LAPD's robbery-homicide division were conducting the police inquiry.

Toxicology tests found ketamine, a short-acting anesthetic with hallucinogenic properties, in Perry's body at dangerously high levels well within the range typically associated with general anesthesia used in monitored surgical care, the autopsy said.

Coronary artery disease, the effects of the opioid-addiction medicine buprenorphine - also detected in his system - and drowning were listed as contributing factors in his Oct. 28 death.

Perry, 54, who publicly acknowledged decades of drug and alcohol abuse, including the years he starred as Chandler Bing on the hit 1990s television sitcom "Friends," had been sober for 19 months with no known relapses before his death, according to interviews cited in his autopsy.

Witness interviews in the report said he had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety. But his last known treatment was a week and a half before his death, so the ketamine found in his system by medical examiners would have been introduced since that last infusion, the autopsy said.

"The exact method of intake in Mr. Perry's case is unknown," the report said, adding that trace amounts of ketamine showed up in his stomach. No needle marks were found on his body, it said.

How the actor might have obtained ketamine on his own or who might have supplied it to him were left open questions and, according to an LAPD spokesperson, are the focus of the ongoing investigation.

A DEA spokesperson declined to comment on the investigation, referring media inquiries to the LAPD.


Oscar-Winning Composer of ‘Finding Neverland’ Music, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Dies at Age 71 

Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)
Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)
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Oscar-Winning Composer of ‘Finding Neverland’ Music, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Dies at Age 71 

Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)
Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)

Polish composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, who won a 2005 Oscar for the musical score of “Finding Neverland,” died Tuesday. He was 71.

Kaczmarek’s death was announced by Poland’s Music Foundation which had been informed of his passing by the composer’s wife. Kaczmarek had suffered from MSA, a rare degenerative neurological disorder.

He authored music for movies made in Europe and Hollywood, like the 1995 “Total Eclipse” with Leonardo DiCaprio, and the 2002 “Unfaithful” with Richard Gere and Diane Lane.

Global fame came when he won the Oscar for Best Original Score in the biographic fantasy “Finding Neverland” inspired by the life of J.M. Barrie, with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.

Born in Poland in 1953, Kaczmarek wanted to be a diplomat and studied law, but a brief association with the avant-garde theater of Jerzy Grotowski set him on the musical career.

In 1989, he settled in Los Angeles, but toward the end of his life lived in Krakow in southern Poland.

He is survived by his second wife Aleksandra Twardowska-Kaczmarek and five children.


Movie Review: ‘The Garfield Movie’ Is a Bizarre Animated Tale That’s Not Pur-Fect in Any Way 

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)
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Movie Review: ‘The Garfield Movie’ Is a Bizarre Animated Tale That’s Not Pur-Fect in Any Way 

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)

If you catch the latest Garfield movie, you might not expect to find the famous orange feline at one point running from bad guys on the top of a speeding train. Lasagna eating? Sure. But any sort of cardio?

Then prepare for “The Garfield Movie,” a curious new animated attempt to monetize the comic icon again by giving him an origin story and then asking him to do things a galaxy away from what he does in the funny pages. It's like if Snoopy ran an underground bare-knuckle fight club.

Chris Pratt voices the Monday-hating, self-centered hero and Samuel L. Jackson animates his long-lost father, who abandoned Garfield in an alley one rainy night, leading to lifelong trauma. That may explain his endless appetite, to fill the void of parental neglect. What does “The Garfield Movie” say about that idea? Are you kidding?

“The Garfield Movie,” directed by Mark Dindal, reunites Garfield and his not-so-savory dad — there's no mention of a mom and there are shades of the plots from “Kung Fu Panda 3” and "Chicken Run” — as he gets caught up in a criminal plot to raid a corporate dairy and steal thousands of gallons of milk.

Sorry, what was that? Garfield is perhaps the most indoor cat in history and seeing him dodge massive chopping blades or boulders onscreen is just plain weird. Making it even weirder is that his partner Odie — traditionally a drooling idiot — is remade here as highly competent, perhaps even a savant. This is not canon.

The movie gets mildly amusing as it recreates the kind of vent-crawling, security guard-avoiding heist in the dairy along to the theme from “Mission: Impossible” and that's largely because the gang is being directed by a bull voiced by Ving Rhames, a veteran of that franchise. There are also nods to “Top Gun”: I do my own stunts,” Garfield says. “Me and Tom Cruise.”

The script — by Paul A. Kaplan, Mark Torgove and David Reynolds— grounds the movie firmly in today, with Garfield using food delivery phone apps and Bluetooth, watching Catflix and characters declaring that they are “self-actualized.” There's also some pretty awkward product placement, like for Olive Garden, that may not send the message they wanted.

This is the part when we talk about food abuse. Garfield has a bit of a problem on this front, and the filmmakers more than lean into it. Thousands of pounds of junk food get inhaled by the tabby, but not salad. Heaven is described as an “all-you-can-eat buffet in the sky” and cheese is Garfield's “love language.” It's the laziest kind of writing.

There's a mini “Ted Lasso” reunion when Hannah Waddingham (playing a psychotic gang leader) and Brett Goldstein (as her henchman) appear, while Snoop Dogg has a cameo as the voice of a one-eyed cat and offers a song that runs over the credits.

The animation is pretty great — the backgrounds, at least. Ladders show rust and forests are lush, but then the main characters are a step or two less realized, more cartoonish. Jim Davis, who created Garfield, is an executive producer so he must be OK with all of this, a forgettable, unfunny animated slog. At one point, Garfield says “Bury me in cheese” and that seems a fitting final resting place for this cat's film career.


Election Year Trump Biopic ‘The Apprentice’ Premieres at Cannes 

Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)
Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)
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Election Year Trump Biopic ‘The Apprentice’ Premieres at Cannes 

Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)
Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)

"The Apprentice", Iran-born director Ali Abbasi's much-anticipated drama of a young Donald Trump's ascendancy as a New York real estate mogul, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday.

Part of the pull of the film is its timing, as Trump, now 77, looks to win another term as US president in November.

The film shares its title with the reality show that helped turn Trump into a household name.

Sebastian Stan, who made his name in the Captain America trilogy as the Winter Soldier, morphs into Trump, from his early stages as an upstart working for his father's business to a brazen, self-centered tycoon.

The story focuses on Trump's time under the tutelage of Roy Cohn, a political fixer best known for his involvement in Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist scare campaigns of the 1950s and portrayed by "Succession's" Jeremy Strong.

His three rules for success, which Trump later takes credit for while speaking with the writer of his business advice book "The Art of the Deal", are prescient of his traits in office: deny everything, always be on the attack and never admit defeat.

Abbasi is known for his eclectic film repertoire, including 2022's Cannes entry "Holy Spider" about the killings of sex workers in Iran and "Border", a fantasy love story in Sweden.

Critics were mixed, praising for Stan and Strong while seeing the film's basis in actual events as a limitation.

"Sebastian Stan Plays Donald Trump in a Docudrama That Nails Everything About Him but His Mystery," read the headline for entertainment website Variety, while trade publication IndieWire pointed out that the film "can't get around the fact that Trump is too base and pathological to be of much dramatic interest".