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Doug Jones is the busiest film star that most people would never recognize

Rick Bentley
McClatchy Newspapers

Doug Jones has an impressive acting resume. He has had memorable roles on "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," "Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer," "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy."

He played three roles in this summer's comic book-inspired action film "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." You can see that work Tuesday when the film is released on DVD.

And yet, Jones can walk down most streets and never get recognized. That's because the 48-year-old Indianapolis native tends to get cast in roles that put him under tons of makeup and costuming. He's a thin 6-feet-4-inches tall, which allows for lots of character possibilities with the help of makeup and costumes. Toss on some extra padding and he can be bulkier and menacing. Use his lanky frame as is and he can play a thin, slippery character.

In "Hellboy II," Jones reprises his role as the gilled hero Abe Sapien. He also appears in the film, under loads of makeup, as The Chamberlain and The Angel of Death.

As far as Jones is concerned, he would play as many roles as "Hellboy II" director Guillermo del Toro wanted him to play.

"He tells me what he wants me to play and I say OK. When you have a genius like him, who has very calculated decision about who he wants to play what he wants, you don't question it," Jones says during an interview for the theatrical release of "Hellboy II."

Being one of the actors the director turns to has come at a price. All of the costumes and makeup have been uncomfortable to wear. And each has taken a minimum of five hours to apply.

The toughest role in "Hellboy II" was as The Angel of Death. The challenge was dealing with the 40-pounds of mechanics he had to wear on his back to make the Angel's wings move.

Jones tried to put up with the pain but eventually had to ask for a cable to be attached to hold up the machinery and take the load off his body. That cable was painted out during the final edits of the movie.

Such is the life Jones has accepted by being Hollywood's most active man behind the mask.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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9

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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