Ask the expert

AJ Christensen, a visualization research programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, was part of a special-effects team at Double Negative that won last year's Academy Award for special effects for its work on "Interstellar." Christensen, who lives in Champaign, weighs in with staff writer Melissa Merli

Richard J. Leskosky: Impact of Oscar voting changes unclear

Every year when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the Academy Award nominees, you hear complaints about which films, actors, directors or writers were ignored by the Academy.

Trophy time: Oscar predictions

Since 2007, staff writer Tim Mitchell has predicted who will win at the Oscars. The 88th Academy Awards show is tonight from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Here is Mitchell's forecast this year:

Reluctant Townie: The best movies I Redboxed in 2015

I will not be watching the Oscars this year. Not because I'm boycotting it for any political reason (#OscarsSoWhite isn't news to anyone, is it?), but because #OscarsSoBoring and I haven't watched a telecast since "Gladiator" beat out "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" for best picture in 2001.

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events in the area

Music scene

'Second to None' concert at Krannert

The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra is partnering with the Champaign County Farm Bureau for its "Second to None" concert Saturday at Krannert Center, with pianist Anton Nel and agricultural broadcaster Max Armstrong joining Maestro Stephen Alltop and the orchestra.

Ask 'Mimi,' Feb. 28, 2016

Have you heard that Dick Van Dyke is "feeling the Bern"?

Yes. The Danville native and all-round entertainer has been making the rounds of talk shows and other events, promoting his book "Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging," and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. I didn't know Van Dyke was a political animal!

#OscarsSoWhite but, says '16 Ebertfest guest, maybe not racist

Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Association, describes himself as a 50-year-old black man from Los Angeles who's a big fan of "The Joy Luck Club."

That surprises some people: The 1993 movie based on the best-selling novel by Amy Tan is about four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco.

Chuck Koplinski: Tangled plot ties up talented cast in 'Triple 9'

If you've ever found yourself caught up in a game of three-card monte, you'll have some idea of what sitting through John Hillcoat's "Triple 9" is like.

Frank's Faves: Some winners deserve to win

And the award for best picture goes to ... occasionally, the best picture.