Productivity and business

Star Apps: 'The One I Love'

Whereas most moviemakers are happy to dissect every aspect of an new release, actor Mark Duplass and director Charlie McDowell are taking a more hush-hush approach about "The One I Love." "It's a romantic comedy with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss," says the director. "They go for a couple's retreat through their therapist to see if they can save their relationship." You can't blame this discretion, considering that "The One I Love" has more twists and turns than your average film, not to mention a major surprise ending. But … Read more

Star Apps: James C. Burns

In his new film "Coldwater," James C. Burns plays abusive Colonel Frank Reichert, who unabashedly orders troubled teenagers around in a sadistic juvenile correctional facility. Best known as the voice of stern Army officer Sergeant Frank Woods in the Call of Duty video games, the actor and former pro athlete is surprisingly funny and personable. I chatted with Burns about "Coldwater" (which opens August 15), how his dislike for children pushed him into acting, being typecast, managing his two Twitter accounts, and his favorite apps.

How did you enter acting? There was a Wheaties commercial shooting … Read more

Star Apps: Taylor Kitsch

For Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch, playing hockey offers a great escape, and so does playing a diverse range of characters. Kitsch is best known for his roles in "Friday Night Lights," "Savages," "John Carter," and "Battleship." In his new film, "The Grand Seduction," he plays urbane Dr. Paul Lewis, a reluctant suburbanite won over by the townsfolk of a small fishing village, who want to land a lucrative business contract.

The role of Dr. Paul Lewis, an eccentric doctor with a penchant for cricket, is not your typical action hero … Read more

Star Apps: The Glitch Mob

Electronic trio the Glitch Mob's sophomore album, "Love Death Immortality," lives up to its epic title. The 10-track recording's grand, encompassing sound was honed onstage at some of the biggest worldwide venues over the past couple years, and the themes explored -- captured in the title -- are universal. In contrast to the group's debut album, "Drink the Sea," "Love Death Immortality" is richer, with real instrumentation, and more robust, with strong female guest voices. The band's live show is equally massive, with spectacular interactive concert visuals that the musicians … Read more

Star Apps: Mobb Deep

Mobb Deep is one of the most successful rap acts, with millions of records sold, including tracks like "Survival of the Fittest,'" "Shook Ones Part II," and "Quiet Storm RMX." But the duo's unity has been tested numerous times, including a feud that spilled over onto Twitter and caused a brief split back in 2012. Prodigy and Havoc have patched things up and reunited for the 20th anniversary of breakout album "Juvenile Hell" (1993) and the upcoming release of their first studio album in eight years, "The Infamous Mobb Deep,&… Read more

Star Apps: Kraak & Smaak

Dutch DJ trio Kraak & Smaak are best known in the US for singles like 2008's "Squeeze Me" and 2010's "Dynamite." A soulful house track, "The Future Is Yours," leads off "Chrome Waves" (perhaps my favorite party album of 2013) and has already topped US college radio charts. Kraak & Smaak returned to SXSW this week for three shows.

Are you excited to return to SXSW? What will you be doing there? It's great to be back again. We missed the US a lot! We will do three showcases … Read more

Star Apps: Gary Numan

Gary Numan is well aware that most Americans know him only for his "Cars" single. It's his only US hit, charting at No. 9 back in 1980. But when people call the electro pioneer a one-hit wonder, it drives me crazy. If "Down in the Park," "Are 'Friends' Electric?" "Me! I Disconnect From You," and "You Are in My Vision" (with Tubeway Army), "I Die: You Die," and "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" didn't chart in the US, it's not for lack of … Read more

Star Apps: 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' cast

DreamWorks' "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is based on the "Peabody's Improbable History" segment that appeared in the classic "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" cartoon. The movie follows dog father Mr. Peabody and his biped boy Sherman in a race through time to repair a hole in the universe that jeopardizes the entire space-time continuum. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" features the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, and Allison Janney; state-of-the-art CG animation and 3D; a great score by Danny Elfman; and a smart storyline that should charm children and parents … Read more

Star Apps: Big Ang

As the debris settled from the explosive "Mob Wives: New Blood" season finale, which aired on VH1 February 27, viewers were left wondering who'd return next season. But if this photo on the show's Facebook page is any indication, all five wives, including series peacekeeper Big Ang will be back for season five. Angela Raiola is Brooklyn born, a single mother of two, and a former Mafia moll, and she also appears on spin-off "Miami Monkey." Bing Ang talked to me about the shows, the drama, representing Italians, glorifying the Mob, and her favorite … Read more

Star Apps: Jonathan Kite

Actor Jonathan Kite is a far cry from Oleg, the bawdy Ukrainian cook he plays on CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls." He's US-born, more travel-crazed than sex-crazed, and doesn't deliver bawdy one-liners in his daily life. Kite also lends his voice to animated series "Black Dynamite" on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and after making stand-up comedy a weekend hobby, has become sought after for his impressions of Vince Vaughn, Tom Hanks, Seth Rogen, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey Jr.

How do you account for the success of "2 Broke Girls"? I … Read more