Tavis Smiley, who was recently called out by PBS over "troubling allegations" about his conduct, staunchly defended his behavior and his integrity Monday and upbraided the network that suspended the distribution of his show.
If expectations for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" were inordinately (and perhaps unfairly) high, thank "The Force Awakens," which had a huge donut hole in the shape of Luke Skywalker at its center. Yet even with Luke integrated into the story, the film feels like a significant letdown, one that does far less than its predecessor to stoke enthusiasm for the next leg in the trilogy.
Amazon wins the weird-TV Olympics with "Jean-Claude Van Johnson," a surreal flight of comic fancy starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, which begins with lots of manic energy and pretty quickly runs out of gas. Think of it as the scripted version of a reality-TV show about a washed-up star, albeit one who secretly gets his kicks as a super-spy.
Grading on the "Baywatch"-deflated scale of 2017 The Rock reboot roles, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" turns out to be surprisingly fun, infusing the premise with a "The Breakfast Club" twist while accentuating the comedy. For those seeking a yuletide movie-going alternative to awards bait and "Star Wars," this game-inspired offering is worth giving a spin.