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Review: In 'Get Out,' the two-faced horrors of racism

"Do they know I'm black?" Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) asks his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) as they get ready to leave their city apartment for a weekend at her parents' rural estate. "No," she replies. "Should they?"

"It seems like something you might want to mention," he sighs. "I don't want to get chased off the lawn with a shotgun."

It's a joke but it's also foreshadowing — and just a hint of the frights to come. In Peele's directorial debut, the former "Key and Peele" star has —as he often did on that satirical sketch series — turned inside out even supposedly progressive assumptions about race. But Peele has largely left comedy behind in a more chilling portrait of the racism that lurks beneath smiling white faces and defensive, paper-thin protestations like, "But I voted for Obama!" and "Isn't Tiger Woods amazing?"

Those are the kinds of things that Rose's father, Dean (an excellent Bradley Whitford), says as he and his wife, Missy (Catherine Keener), heartily welcomes his daughter's boyfriend. "How long has this thang been going on?" Dean asks with forced emphasis on "thang."

But the warm welcome is only skin deep. A deeply bizarre atmosphere takes hold at the house, where all the hired help is black. They are a spooky, robotic bunch, with dead eyes and zombie-like demeanors that would have stood out even in "The Stepford Wives." Something clearly is off, though Peele takes his time letting the mystery thicken.

"Get Out," produced by Jason Blum's low-budget horror studio Blumhouse Productions, is serious, even sober in its horror. But its archness has moments of creepy levity. When Chris is given a tour of the house, Dean points out the sealed door to the basement. "Black mold," he says.

Things get even stranger when Chris meets some of the family friends, who all appear oddly frozen in time somehow. Some ogle him with lust, feeling his biceps. The most paranoid (and funny) character in the movie is Chris' friend, Rod (a terrific Lil Rel Howery), a TSA agent who — dubious from the start — grows increasingly concerned with every update from Chris.

Eventually, the truth comes out, things turn bloody and, as you'd expect, we get a look at that basement.

It's long been a lamentable joke that in horror films — never the most inclusive of genres — the black dude is always the first to go. In this way, "Get Out" is radical and refreshing in its perspective. The movie is entirely from Chris's point of view; his fears are ours.

Peele originally conceived his long-planned film as an Obama-era horror, one that revealed the hidden racism that the country had supposedly overcome. "Get Out" instead comes out at a time where few still hold any belief in a post-racial America. The dark forces unleashed in "Get Out" came out of hiding long ago.

"Get Out," a Universal Pictures release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references." Running time: 103 minutes. Three stars out of four.


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Review: 'Contemporary Color' is a hypnotic concert film

those baton and saber twirling staples of small town parades and high school football games. The musicians, including the likes of St. Vincent, Lucius, Ad-Rock, Zola Jesus and Nelly Furtado, composed original songs that the color guard teams then used to choreograph a corresponding routine. The unique spectacle, which took place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, is chronicled with experimental verve in the documentary "Contemporary Color ," from filmmaking brothers Bill and Turner Ross.

Narrative is of little consequence in "Contemporary Color." The Ross brothers show some interest in the excitable high school students from various parts of the country who have devoted most of the free time of their young lives to their color guard teams. This strange, high profile gig will also be the last time many are performing together. But the audience doesn't get to know any individual well enough for that to have any sort of emotional impact.

Maybe it'll remind some of their long lost high school passions, but the most remarkable thing about these youngsters is what happens when they're on the stage moving in tandem in an eye-popping swirl of sequins and flags. You forget that just a minute ago they were giggly and emotional and inarticulate in that way that most normal people are when a camera is pointed at them.

The Ross bros. employ various techniques to keep the sights stimulating, dreamily overlaying images and sounds in hypnotically retro fashion. They were right to keep "Contemporary Color" on the experimental side, but the film isn't immune from dragging some. After a handful of performances, they do start to blend together a bit. Perhaps that's because they have the unenviable task of documenting the entire show for an audience who will be watching it separated by a screen, making it that much more difficult to convey the actual energy of a live performance.

Off stage, too, the film can't help but stumble onto the high/low divide between the color guard art that they're purportedly celebrating and the fact that many of the students and coaches participating simply haven't heard of some of the indie musicians they've been paired up with. The film isn't out to mock anyone, nor is Byrne, who seems genuinely delighted by the color guard troupes. And yet I couldn't help but feel a slight queasiness watching three grown men standing in the hall of a high school having to tell the camera that they had not heard of the act How to Dress Well.

The Ross brothers have established themselves as distinct and lovely voices in the documentary world. Their three previous features, "45365," ''Tchoupitoulas" and "Western" are lyrical and humanistic. "Contemporary Color," constrained by an established story, exists outside of that. They put their own spin on the concert film, but I'm not entirely convinced that "Contemporary Color," despite its earnest intentions, will hold the attention of anyone who wasn't already interested.

"Contemporary Color," an Oscilloscope Laboratories release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "brief strong language." Running time: 107 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.


MPAA Definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.


Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:

Box Office Top 20: 'Lego Batman,' 'Fifty Shades' stay on top

Holdovers "The Lego Batman Movie" and "Fifty Shades Darker" led the North American box office for a second week, while Matt Damon's "The Great Wall" — a hit in China, where it was made — struggled in its domestic debut.

Warner Bros.' "The Lego Batman Movie" was No.1 again, selling $42.7 million in tickets over the four-day holiday weekend, according to final figures Tuesday from comScore. Universal's "Fifty Shades Darker," which led overseas business, earned $22.7 million Friday through Monday.

But Universal's critically panned action epic "The Great Wall," the most expensive film ever made in China with a budget of $150 million, failed to make as much of an impact as it did on the other side of the world. After racking up $171 million in China earlier this year, the North American bow of director Zhang Yimou's film netted $21.5 million. New releases "Fist Fight," the Fox comedy starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day ($14.1 million), and Gore Verbinski's "A Cure for Wellness" ($5 million) also struggled.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Monday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Tuesday by comScore:

1. "The Lego Batman Movie," Warner Bros., $42,744,131, 4,088 locations, $10,456 average, $107,310,445, 2 weeks.

2. "Fifty Shades Darker," Universal, $22,683,970, 3,714 locations, $6,108 average, $91,380,425, 2 weeks.

3. "The Great Wall," Universal, $21,508,490, 3,325 locations, $6,469 average, $21,508,490, 1 week.

4. "John Wick: Chapter Two," Lionsgate, $18,981,463, 3,113 locations, $6,097 average, $61,173,546, 2 weeks.

5. "Fist Fight," Warner Bros., $14,121,149, 3,185 locations, $4,434 average, $14,121,149, 1 week.

6. "Hidden Figures," 20th Century Fox, $9,010,782, 2,217 locations, $4,064 average, $144,502,612, 9 weeks.

7. "Split," Universal, $8,488,990, 2,445 locations, $3,472 average, $125,054,520, 5 weeks.

8. "A Dog's Purpose," Universal, $7,472,185, 2,400 locations, $3,113 average, $52,587,695, 4 weeks.

9. "La La Land," Lionsgate, $5,640,915, 1,587 locations, $3,554 average, $134,644,981, 11 weeks.

10. "Lion," The Weinstein Company, $5,144,385, 1,542 locations, $3,336 average, $37,399,868, 13 weeks.

11. "A Cure For Wellness," 20th Century Fox, $5,004,463, 2,704 locations, $1,851 average, $5,004,463, 1 week.

12. "Rings," Paramount, $2,729,286, 1,560 locations, $1,750 average, $26,152,504, 3 weeks.

13. "Moana," Disney, $1,457,717, 424 locations, $3,438 average, $244,912,679, 13 weeks.

14. "I Am Not Your Negro," Magnolia Pictures, $1,258,942, 260 locations, $4,842 average, $3,493,364, 3 weeks.

15. "Everybody Loves Somebody," Lionsgate, $1,067,515, 333 locations, $3,206 average, $1,067,515, 1 week.

16. "Sing," Universal, $1,046,055, 561 locations, $1,865 average, $266,977,160, 9 weeks.

17. "Fences," Paramount, $1,032,350, 560 locations, $1,843 average, $55,379,319, 10 weeks.

18. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," Disney, $996,014, 435 locations, $2,290 average, $528,807,482, 10 weeks.

19. "2017 Oscar Shorts," Magnolia Pictures, $783,978, 270 locations, $2,904 average, $1,824,225, 2 weeks.

20. "Moonlight," A24, $671,582, 455 locations, $1,476 average, $21,294,977, 18 weeks.


Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

Sword breaks off Civil War memorial; vandalism suspected

A sword has broken off again from a memorial depicting the famed 54th Massachusetts Civil War regiment, featured in the Denzel Washington movie "Glory."

Boston police are investigating after the damage was reported Tuesday. They suspect vandalism.

National Park Service spokesman Sean Hennessey tells the Boston Globe it's happened frequently enough that there are fiberglass replacement swords on hand.

The memorial is by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It depicts the free black men who formed a regiment led by Robert Gould Shaw, the son of a white abolitionist family.

The regiment was made famous by its 1863 attack on Fort Wagner in South Carolina and was popularized in the 1989 movie.

The statue is a popular tourist stop across from the Statehouse. Someone splashed it with paint in 2012. Someone else ripped off the sword in 2015.

Ex-Minnesota Orchestra maestro Stanislaw Skrowaczewski dies

Former longtime Minnesota Orchestra music director Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who conducted major orchestras in England, Japan and other countries, died Tuesday after suffering a second stroke earlier this month, the orchestra said. He was 93.

Skrowaczewski's family told Minnesota Orchestra president Kevin Smith that he died at a suburban Minneapolis hospital, according to an orchestra spokeswoman. An earlier stroke last fall ended Skrowaczewski's decades of conducting.

Skrowaczewski's last concerts were with the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2016, conducting works by Anton Bruckner, his specialty.

Skrowaczewski, pronounced skroh-vah-chehf-skee, led the Minnesota Orchestra for 19 years, starting in 1960, but served on its artistic staff for 56 years. During his tenure as music director, Skrowaczewski was instrumental in the creation of Orchestra Hall, the orchestra's home in downtown Minneapolis that opened in 1974. He also was a champion of new music, a celebrated composer and an advocate for the orchestra's union musicians during a 16-month lockout.

"It is hard to express all that Maestro Skrowaczewski has meant to the Minnesota Orchestra," the orchestra said in a post on its Facebook page. "Although he traveled the world conducting major orchestras until just last year, he continued to make Minnesota his home across the decades."

In a statement, Skowaczewski's management company, Intermusica of London, said he "commanded a rare position on the musical scene worldwide as both a renowned conductor and highly regarded composer." The company noted he collaborated with Shostakovich, Lutoslawski, Penderecki and Andrzej Panufnik.

The native of Poland began studying the piano and violin at age 4. He composed his first symphonic work at 7 and gave his first public recital at 11. He won the International Competition for Conductors in Rome in 1956.

Other posts include with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, England, from 1984 to 1991, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo from 2007 to 2010.

He also suffered a stroke in November 2016, which forced him to cancel upcoming appearances with the Dallas Symphony and other orchestras.

A memorial service to celebrate Skrowaczewski's legacy is scheduled for March 28 at Orchestra Hall.


Follow Jeff Baenen on Twitter at . His work can be found at

The top 10 books on Apple's iBooks-US

iBooks US Bestseller List - Paid Books

1. Eerything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - 9780553496666 - (Random House Children's Books)

2. Burn by Helen Hardt - No ISBN Available - (Waterhouse Press)

3. The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney - 9780425285053 - (Random House Publishing Group)

4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - 9780698138636 - (Penguin Publishing Group)

5. Fifty Shades Freed by E L James - 9781612130613 - (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

6. Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner - 9780698411432 - (Penguin Publishing Group)

7. Park Avenue Prince by Louise Bay - 9781910747421 - (Louise Bay)

8. Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman - 9780345541444 - (Random House Publishing Group)

9. Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb - 9781250123145 - (St. Martin's Press)

10. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James - 9781612130293 - (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

(copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.


Judge orders R&B singer Chris Brown to stay away from ex

A judge has ordered R&B singer Chris Brown to stay away from his ex-girlfriend after she accused him of physically abusing and threatening her.

The Grammy winner was ordered to stay 100 yards away from Karrueche Tran and not attempt to contact her after she wrote in court filings that Brown had repeatedly threatened her since December.

Tran also accused the singer of punching her in the stomach and pushing her down stairs a few years ago. Her filing does not offer any additional specifics or note if she reported the events to police. It states that no one was present at the time.

The order, which was issued Friday, also calls for Brown to surrender any firearms he has until a March 9 hearing on the restraining order.

An email message sent to Brown's attorney Mark Geragos was not immediately returned.

Brown and Tran dated after the singer pleaded guilty to felony assault for an attack on Rihanna in 2009 just hours before the Grammy Awards.

A judge ended Brown's probation in 2015, after several missteps that included punching a man outside a Washington hotel and stints in rehab.

The singer also underwent domestic violence and anger management counseling.

A facility that treated Brown wrote in a 2014 letter to the judge overseeing his probation in the Rihanna case that the singer was being treated for bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and past substance abuse.

Brown's career faltered after the Rihanna attack and eventually rebounded and his album "F.A.M.E" won a Grammy Award in 2012.

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

iTunes Movies US Charts:

1. Arrival

2. Doctor Strange (2016)

3. The Edge of Seventeen

4. Trolls

5. Allied

6. The Accountant (2016)

7. Hacksaw Ridge

8. John Wick

9. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

10. The Girl On the Train (2016)

iTunes Movies US Charts - Independent:

1. Moonlight

2. Manchester By the Sea

3. Loving

4. Captain Fantastic

5. Black Swan

6. XX

7. The Dressmaker

8. Embrace

9. Don't Hang Up

10. Priceless


(copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.

Shooting gets underway for Han Solo 'Star Wars' film

Alden Ehrenreich has taken control of the Millennium Falcon. The Han Solo "Star Wars" spinoff has begun production.

The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that shooting began at London's Pinewood Studios on Monday. To kick off the untitled Han Solo movie, the studio released a photo of the cast at the controls of the Millennium Falcon.

Ehrenreich plays a younger version of Harrison Ford's iconic smuggler and is seated amid cast members including Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover, who plays Lando Calrissian.

The film is directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who helmed "The Lego Movie." In a statement they said, "We can't think of anything funny to say, because we just feel really moved, and really lucky."

Disney will release the film in May 2018.

Review: 'The Inkblots' documents history of Rorschach test

A bear. A bat. A butterfly.

Images seen in Rorschach inkblots reveal the viewer's unconscious mind, including any serious mental disorders. Or do they? Is the Rorschach test a brilliant diagnostic tool, or a glorified parlor trick?

"The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing" raises these questions and lands in the middle. Author Damion Searls concludes, after much throat-clearing, that patients, in partnership with gifted psychologists, may uncover fascinating areas to explore through the Rorschach. But using the results in parental custody lawsuits or other high-stakes arenas, he writes, is fraught with problems.

For instance, what precisely are we testing when we ask people what they see in inkblots? Surprisingly, we don't know. The test's theoretical underpinnings have never been worked out. That hasn't stopped its runaway success.

The 10 cards, printed with symmetrical forms, remain the same as when Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach first published them in 1921 to accompany his book "Psychodiagnostics." Rorschach's influences included a children's game called klexography, psychoanalysis trailblazers Freud and Jung, and observations of his asylum patients' interpretations of the set of images.

"Rorschach did not conceive of the blots as a 'test' at all: he called it an experiment, a nonjudgmental and open-ended investigation into people's ways of seeing," Searls writes.

Rorschach resisted initial pressure to use his inkblots in schools as an aptitude test. He wrote that the thought of an aspiring student barred from university study because of his work made him feel "a bit like I can't breathe." A systematic collection of test results in a large sample would be required, he wrote, and a solid theoretical basis would need to be established.

Rorschach died tragically at age 37 of peritonitis from a burst appendix a year after publishing "Psychodiagnostics." The inkblots, freed from their creator's control, billowed in popularity as others adapted them to various uses over the decades.

In 1945, a psychiatrist administered the test to Nazi prisoners awaiting judgment in the Nuremberg Trials. In the Sixties, the test peaked at a million uses a year in the United States.

As new data technology emerged in the late 1980s, a new computer program made interpretations based on patient responses to the inkblots. In 2008, Japanese researchers used an MRI to track real-time brain activity of subjects viewing inkblots, finding original and standard answers arise in different parts of the brain.

Pop culture has found the test images irresistible. Andy Warhol made his own series of giant inkblots and titled each of the paintings "Rorschach." Jay Z put one of Warhol's works on the cover of his book "Decoded." Advertisers have used inkblots to sell perfume, investment advice and mobile phones.

Searls, a literary translator of French and German, wades out of his depth when he tries to assess these popularized inkblots as cultural metaphors. The chapter "The Rorschach Test Is Not a Rorschach Test" fails to build a convincing case. But it includes a fun passage where Searls reveals a psychologist tested him with the inkblots and told him he was a little obsessive.

So, there you go: the Rorschach works.

In the end, Searls' obsession with details — gleaned in part from an unpublished archive of source material — grows a bit tiresome. Some readers will find more than they want to know about Rorschach's short life and the subsequent professional feuds over his work's clinical validity and competing scoring systems.

"The Inkblots" is an exhaustive — sometimes exhausting — inspection of a misunderstood psychological test and its inventor. It is impressive to have on the shelf and not always a bear to read. Or is that a butterfly?

Tom Hanks' debut book is due in October

Tom Hanks is putting his love of vintage typewriters to good use — his collection of short stories will be published in October.

The Oscar-winning actor's first book, "UNCOMMON TYPE: Some Stories," features 17 stories, each in some way involving a different typewriter. It's due out Oct. 24 from Alfred A. Knopf, the publisher said Tuesday.

Among the stories written by Hanks, who owns over 100 typewriters, is one about an immigrant arriving in New York City, another about a bowler who becomes a celebrity and another about an eccentric billionaire.

Hanks said in a statement that he began work on the stories in 2015: "I wrote in hotels during press tours. I wrote on vacation. I wrote on planes, at home, and in the office."

'I Liked My Life' an impressive debut by Abby Fabiaschi

The novel "I Liked My Life" begins with Madeline, its main character, assessing a potential new wife for her husband, Brady. It's immediately clear she's dead and speaking from a sort of limbo afterlife.

Within a dozen pages, readers learn that Maddy killed herself by jumping off a building, leaving no note, no explanation, nothing that offers any solace to her husband and teenage daughter, Eve.

Sharing their points of view in individual chapters, Brady reveals himself as a self-absorbed and tuned-out husband, Eve questions every aspect of her behavior toward her mom and both try desperately to make their way through their grief and back to each other.

It's also an insightful examination of marriage and love and friendship and life.

First-time novelist Abby Fabiaschi unwinds a tale wholly compelling, altogether believable and, at times, so heartbreaking it's hard to believe she isn't already an established author. She demonstrates excellent timing and perfect control over the complicated narrative and never allows it to drift toward maudlin. She leaves readers a trail not of breadcrumbs, but gold coins that are irresistible.

And the ending, while perhaps a bit neat and tidy, is entirely unexpected. All in all, "I Liked My Life" is an impossible-to-put-down and impressive debut.

Hungary's Berlin film fest winner Enyedi to adapt novel

The Hungarian director whose "On Body and Soul" won the top award at the Berlin Film Festival says her next project is an adaptation of "The Story of My Wife," a 1942 novel by Hungarian writer and poet Milan Fust.

Director Ildiko Enyedi also said Tuesday that she welcomed the national film fund's support for her work and that of a wide range of Hungarian directors and writers, some of whose films have recently won prizes at international festivals. "Son of Saul" by Laszlo Nemes won the Oscar last year for best foreign-language film.

"I see an intelligent and wise strategy on part of the Film Fund in that they are motivated primarily by professional aspects to help the films," Enyedi said. "The creators are able to bring mature works to the table and that is very significant."

"On Body And Soul," a love story about two slaughterhouse workers who connect in shared dreams, is Enyedi's first feature film since 1999. It won the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear award on Saturday.

Enyedi has been critical of the cultural policies and perceived democratic shortfalls of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government. She said that while her opinions had not changed, she regretted if they distracted from the success of the film.

"We've made a beautiful film for everyone ... and I wish we could enjoy what we have put so much work into," Enyedi said. "I don't think it's up to any culture policy to declare what is good or not."

Enyedi's film won several other prizes in Berlin, including one from the Ecumenical Jury she said was particularly meaningful.

"It means that we achieved our goal of reaching many different kinds of people," Enyedi said. "My mother is Lutheran, my father was Jewish, my husband is Catholic ... and our children are ecumenical in their very existence."

Enyedi, 61, won the Golden Camera award in Cannes with her 1989 debut film, "My 20th Century."

Artists seek $1.25 million for Bowie memorial in London

Artists and activists want to create a permanent memorial to David Bowie in the London neighborhood where he was born.

Plans were unveiled Tuesday for a three-story-tall lightning bolt sculpture , inspired by the cover of Bowie's album "Aladdin Sane." The proposal is to install it across from the Brixton Underground station, beside a mural of Bowie as Aladdin Sane.

Charlie Waterhouse, one of the artists behind the idea, says it's meant to be "startling, stupid and utterly joyous in equal measure."

Activists are launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise 1 million pounds ($1.25 million) to build the artwork. The project has local government support.

Bowie was born David Jones on Jan. 8, 1947, in Brixton. He died on Jan. 10, 2016 at age 69.

'Refugees' is timely, timeless in telling of human stories

Viet Thanh Nguyen's new book, "The Refugees," is both timely, given the current debate about refugees in America, and timeless in its exploration of universal human struggles.

This gorgeous collection of short stories recalls Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies," but with Vietnam as the loose center around which the richly drawn characters orbit. There's Liem, a newly arrived refugee whose "habit of forgetting was too deeply ingrained, as if he passed his life perpetually walking backward through a desert, sweeping away his footprints." There are longtime residents Mr. and Mrs. Khahn, distant from their American-raised children, as well as those who stayed behind, like Phuong, wistful for a different future. And there's Claire, an American transplant with no familial ties to the southeast Asian nation who explains to her incredulous father that she has a "Vietnamese soul."

Nguyen convincingly takes on the voices and lives of these myriad characters, whose stories highlight not only the unique horrors that drive people to become refugees, but also the universal experiences that affirm their humanity — from the transformation of a 13-year-old "brave enough to say what I had suspected for a while, that my mother wasn't always right" to the heartbreak and turmoil of a woman losing her husband to the fog of dementia.

Nguyen won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his 2015 novel "The Sympathizer." The writing in "The Refugees" is resonant and evocative, abounding with delightful descriptions: "tears of rust streaking the walls," ''a countertop with black veins in the grouting," ''a white Toyota Land Cruiser speckled with measles of rust."

Above all, the mark of a good short story is a reader's investment in the characters within pages of meeting them — and sadness at having to let them go shortly thereafter. This reader felt that over and over in "The Refugees." It is a must-read.

Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx target of racial slur in Croatia

Croatian police have filed disorderly conduct charges against two people who allegedly used a racial slur to insult Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx in a restaurant.

Police said they acted after receiving reports Sunday of "particularly arrogant and rude" insults made against restaurant guests, including "one of the guests on racial grounds."

The police statement did not name Foxx as the target, but the actor briefly posted comments about the incident on his Instagram profile before deleting them.

Foxx mentioned an offensive racial term among the examples of the vulgar language used.

Police said they are investigating whether to pursue other charges against the men.

Croatia, like other European countries, has seen a rise in far-right sentiments.

Foxx was in Dubrovnik, a resort on the Adriatic Sea, filming Robin Hood: Origins, in which he plays Little John. The Lionsgate retelling of English folklore stars Taron Egerton as the titular thief. Otto Bathurst is directing the action film, also starring Tim Minchin, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan and Ben Mendelsohn.

A day after the alleged racial slur, Foxx said on his Instagram profile he has his "mind blown" by the beauty of Dubrovnik.

"I'm out here in Croatia, it's crazy," he said.

Tom Hank's debut book is due in October

Tom Hanks is putting his love of vintage typewriters to good use — his collection of short stories will be published in October.

The Oscar-winning actor's first book, "UNCOMMON TYPE: Some Stories," features 17 stories, each in some way involving a different typewriter. It's due out Oct. 24 from Alfred A. Knopf, the publisher said Tuesday.

Among the stories written by Hanks, who owns over 100 typewriters, is one about an immigrant arriving in New York City, another about a bowler who becomes a celebrity and another about an eccentric billionaire.

Hanks said in a statement that he began work on the stories in 2015: "I wrote in hotels during press tours. I wrote on vacation. I wrote on planes, at home, and in the office."

Soccer star Abby Wambach gets engaged to Christian writer

Melton posted a photo of two hands flashing diamond rings on Facebook Saturday with the note, "Abby and I decided to hold hands forever. Love Wins."

Wambach posted the same photo on Instagram on Sunday . She writes in the caption: "Happy."

Wambach announced last year that she was getting divorced from Sarah Huffman after three years of marriage.

Melton wrote on her Momastery blog in August that she was separating from her husband.

In addition to her blog, Melton has written a pair of best-selling memoirs.

Soulja Boy says boxing match with Chris Brown is off

It looks like the highly anticipated boxing showdown between singer Chris Brown and rapper Soulja Boy could be off.

Both hip-hop stars announced last month that they signed on for a three-round bout to be televised on pay-per-view and promoted by Floyd Mayweather.

On Monday, Soulja Boy said on Twitter that Brown's manager called his manager Sunday to tell him the fight is off and Brown wouldn't be signing his contract.

Brown hasn't responded on social media, but announced over the weekend that he will be going on tour beginning March 31.

Representatives for Brown and Mayweather didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The feud between the artists stems from Soulja Boy's liking of an Instagram picture posted by Brown's ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran.

The daily commute's a killer in Mackintosh's 'I See You'

Zoe Walker's troubles creep beyond the financial woes on her desk, an overbearing boss, two aimless children who don't get along with her boyfriend and a boyfriend who's jealous of her ex-husband. Now she's dealing with a possible murderer on her trail in Clare Mackintosh's newest thriller, "I See You."

Zoe's commute is routine. She knows exactly where to stand on the Tube platform in London, just where to lean during the ride and which carriage positions her nearest the station exit once she's arrived. It's during this daily trip home from work one evening when Zoe discovers her picture is being used to advertise what appears to be a dating website in the back of a newspaper. Unable to trace the source, she attempts to brush it off. Each day, a new woman's photo appears in the ad, which seems odd but harmless, until one of them is assaulted and another is murdered. Someone is attacking the women in the ads, and the only thing the victims have in common is their daily commute on the subway.

Zoe shares narration with the police officer working the case and the killer, providing readers a 360-degree view of the crimes. While free of too many tangled side plots vying for attention, Mackintosh allots her characters the perfect amount of back story, allowing them to carry their own weight throughout the investigation. She also casts enough extras to keep readers guessing who could be behind these attacks.

With a theatrical ending, readers may find themselves wanting to reread this one, plugging in their newfound knowledge of the killer's identity into each twisted scene. It's easy to lock your doors, but what do you do if it's the person beside you on the train who's out for blood?



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