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‘Four’ banks on One Direction’s maturing performing chops

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ONE DIRECTION. Is pop music’s famous quintet immune to bad publicity?

Will the recent controversies involving One Direction—from weed-smoking to plagiarism—put a dent on the famous quintet’s chart-topping feats? When “Midnight Memories,” the group’s third studio recording, was released in November last year, 1D became the first band in the history of the Billboard 200 to have its first three albums debut at No. 1. Will “Four,” the latest album of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik, follow suit?

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Is social media boon or bane?

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tom

Is social media boon or bane? We asked some celebrities if maintaining an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networking sites is more helpful than destructive. Their takes on the contentious topic:

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‘Mockingjay’ sells the sizzle, not the steak

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LAWRENCE AND HUTCHERSON. Will Peeta and Katniss’ “manufactured” romance survive?

The penultimate installment of “The Hunger Games” saga goes deeper into politics and dark propaganda—but, while that gives the franchise’s avid followers more thematic “meat” to chew on, it also leaves them feeling short-changed about “Mockingjay, Part 1’s” utter lack of edge-of-your-seat action sequences—which were its predecessors’ strongest suit!

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Twisted surprises from Daniel Radcliffe, Shailene Woodley

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RADCLIFFE AND WOODLEY. “Palatable” implausibilities.

Daniel Radcliffe and Shailene Woodley topbill twisted screen dramas, with varying degrees of success: While Radcliffe’s “Horns” is getting good feedback for its inventiveness, thematic grit and originality, Woodley’s “White Bird In A Blizzard” is dissed by some critics for mangling its “Gone Girl”-style shock tactics.

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‘Divalicious’ lineup packs a mighty vocal wallop

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nostalgia

Bette Midler pays reverential homage to girl groups, from the ’30s (The Andrews Sisters) to the ’90s (TLC), in her 25th album, “It’s The Girls” (which opens at No. 3, her highest debut on the Billboard 200 to date)—with special focus on the ravishing harmonies of Motown’s bevy of singing beauties.

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