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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

Is 'Real Housewives of Atlanta''s Kenya the queen of denial or did Walter lie?

Kenya's quest for a ring goes awry, but whose fault is it?

Before we get into the issue of The Proposal That Never Was, we might as well address the fact that the world wideness of the Interweb is crackling with the suggestion that the whole relationship between Kenya Moore and Walter Jackson is (gasp!) fake. Quelle horreur! How could a reality TV show present something that isn't 100 percent true? That was, yes, manufactured for our entertainment? I'm having a touch of the vapors, I tell you! Someone fetch me a fan! 

Actually, if this is true, it would be a huge relief. Walter seems so thoroughly bored as Kenya flutters and twirls around him like a psychotic Disney princess that I want to believe she's humiliating herself on national television for a greater goal than a crappy ring and a bad marriage. If she's doing it for money and a book deal like every other woman on these shows? Well, then she's just one of the gang!

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<p>Spike Lee at a New York Knicks game last week, looking suitably festive.</p>

Spike Lee at a New York Knicks game last week, looking suitably festive.

Credit: AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams

Roundup: Spike Lee (surprise!) isn't down with 'Django'

Also: Why 'It's a Wonderful Life' is 'cracked,' and less likely holiday viewing

Well, you wouldn't exactly have expected Spike Lee to be leading the cheers for "Django Unchained." The firebrand filmmaker has previously taken Quentin Tarantino to task over his use of the n-word, and while it's liberally used in QT's new slavery-era Southern western, that's far from the only thing that has Lee riled up -- even though he admits he has no intention of seeing it. "All I'm going to say is that it's disrespectful to my ancestors, to see that film," he told VIBETV. "I can't disrespect my ancestors. I can't do it. Now, that's me, I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself."  He later hit Twitter to add: "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them." Of course, Lee is hardly the only opponent of a film that looks set to generate continued discussion and debate. [The Playlist]

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<p>Robert Forster in &quot;Jackie Brown&quot;</p>

Robert Forster in "Jackie Brown"

Credit: Miramax Films

With 'Django Unchained' on the way we pick Quentin Tarantino's 'Greatest Hits'

The best tracks from his filmography

The moment the guitar on Dick Dale's "Misirlou" struck on the soundtrack of "Pulp Fiction" and those giant titles slowly, methodically crawl up the screen, we knew we were in the hands of a master. And indeed, Quentin Tarantino had already established a unique ear for the songscape of his work two years prior in "Reservoir Dogs."

How about the fact that no one will ever use The Meters' "Cissy Strut" better than he did in "Jackie Brown?" Or how effectively the march of Ennio Morricone's "Rabbia E Tarantella" closes out "Inglourious Basterds?" What about Elle Driver's eerie whistling of Bernard Herrmann's "Twisted Nerve" theme in "Kill Bill" Vol. 2?"

The director's latest, "Django Unchained," takes a whole other step forward, adding four original songs to the usual mix of source music. Elayna Boynton and Anthony Hamilton's "Freedom" gets us going early on while the Morricone-penned "Ancora Qui" slows us down later.

And yet, none of these made our list of the director's "Greatest Hits" to date, showing just how expansive his work infusing music to image has been.

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Top 10 of 2012 - Reality TV by Liane Bonin Starr

Reality TV Top 10 of 2012: The year things got lowbrow and I liked it

Polygamists, conspiracists and rednecks all make the cut this year

This year, like so many years before it, was overflowing with reality TV. But, amidst the usual screaming Housewives and singing competitions, a new niche really took hold in a substantive way. Yes, 2012 was the year of redneck reality, and just as you might expect, it's something you either love or hate. I'll admit that I veer into the love end of the spectrum pretty often (and a few of these shows even made my top ten). Some of these shows do tend toward exploitation, but more often they capture something sorely lacking in so-called reality TV these days; people who don't appear to be acting. It turns out a little reality in our reality TV can be compelling. Go figure.

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<p>&quot;Argo&quot;</p>

"Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Oklahoma critics name 'Argo' the year's best, stick to the book elsewhere

Ben Affleck's film keeps it tight with 'Zero Dark Thirty' in the race for critics' fave

The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle has also chimed in for "Argo" today, giving the film Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay honors. The group was in lock-step with the rest of the season throughout: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anne Hathaway, etc. Check out the full list below and keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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<p>John&nbsp;Hawkes and Helen&nbsp;Hunt in &quot;The Sessions&quot;</p>

John Hawkes and Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Nevada critics go for 'Argo,' John Hawkes, Helen Hunt

Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field clean up the supporting fields for 'Lincoln'

The Nevada Film Critics Society has added one more notch to "Argo"'s tally of Best Picture wins. The group tied Ben Affleck with "Zero Dark Thirty" helmer Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director and went in a relatively unique direction with its Best Actor call, opting for John Hawkes in "The Sessions." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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<p>Kacey Mottet Klein and L&eacute;a Seydoux in &quot;Sister.&quot;</p>

Kacey Mottet Klein and Léa Seydoux in "Sister."

Credit: Adopt Films

A closer look at Oscar's foreign-language shortlist

Few surprises in a strong slate of contenders

I've been saying for some time now that the Academy's cull of the foreign-language field from 71 to nine contenders would be a heartbreaker, and so it was.

Among the standout films eliminated from the competition after yesterday's announcement are: Australia's vivid, perspective-bending WWII tale "Lore," Belgium's wrenching domestic drama "Our Children," Hungary's brutal Berlin Silver Bear winner "Just the Wind," Mexico's disquieting conversation piece (and Cannes Un Certain Regard champ) "After Lucia" and Germany's acclaimed, elegant Stasi-era character study "Barbara." We salute them, and many others: here's hoping they find the international audiences (and, in some cases, distributors) they deserve in spite of this setback.

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<p>Keira Knightley in &quot;Anna Karenina&quot;</p>

Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina"

Credit: Focus Features

'Argo,' 'Lincoln' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' lead Alliance of Women Film Journalists nods

Sean Anders, Sacha Baron Cohen and Gabriele Muccino make the 'Hall of Shame'

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has announced its list of nominees this year, with its own fair share of unique categories. The Best Film nominees were "Argo," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty" (each also cited for Best Director). Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be announced next month. And, as always, keep track of the 2012-2013 film awards season via The Circuit.

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<p>Jessica Chastain in &quot;Zero&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Thirty&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"

Credit: Columbia Pictures

'Zero Dark Thirty' fares well with Women Film Critics Circle

'Lincoln' picks up a pair, 'Killer Joe' held to task

The Women Film Critics Circle has announced its annual…unique…slate of award winners. "Zero Dark Thirty" won three awards while "Lincoln" won two. And they have a bone to pick with "Killer Joe" and "Think Like a Man." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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<p>&quot;The&nbsp;Impossible&quot;</p>

"The Impossible"

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Tell us what you thought of 'The Impossible'

J.A. Bayona's riveting tsunami drama hits theaters this weekend

I've been on board "The Impossible" since way back in August and still believe it to be part and parcel of a great year for movies. It's been getting a lot of buzz lately as it barreled toward release and now, it's out there for you to chew on. When you get a chance to do so, come on back here and tell us what you thought. And again, feel free to rate the film above.

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<p>Megan Fox and Leslie Mann in &quot;This is 40&quot;</p>

Megan Fox and Leslie Mann in "This is 40"

Credit: Universal Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'This is 40'

Judd Apatow's latest hits theaters this weekend

I've been a little dismayed at the critical reaction to Judd Apatow's "This is 40" (one of Drew McWeeny's top 10 films of the year.) It feels like some had the knives out. I'm not a worshiper of the man's work or anything but his latest is, to me, his richest film to date. Perhaps it's about relating to it or not, I don't know. In any case, I'd love to hear your thoughts, so cut loose with your take in the comments section below when/if you get around to seeing the film. And feel free to rate it above.

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Isaac Brekken/AP

Taylor Swift's 'Red' will celebrate Christmas at No. 1 on the Billboard 200

Singer's album will easily command the top spot next week

Taylor Swift’s “Red” will go into the Christmas holiday with a sure lead for the top spot on the Billboard 200 next week.

The album returned to the No. 1 spot last week for the first time since its October release and stayed there this week, despite a charge by Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox.”

However, it looks like there’s no doubt that Swift will remain at No. 1 next week, as “Red” is tracking to sell up to 295,000 copies. That tally gives it more than a 100,000-edge over its nearest competitors. As of Friday,  One Direction’s “Take Me Home,” Mars’ “Jukebox” and “Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head,” the new album from T.I., are all too close to call for the No. 2-4 spots. They are all projected to sell between 150,000 and 175,000 copies.

The picture is a little clearer when we get to No. 5, which looks like it will be Michael Buble’s “Christmas” album, with holiday sales of  up to 160,000 copies.  That album is closely followed by Rod Stewart’s holiday smash, “Merry Christmas Baby,” which will sell up to 135,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double.

A compilation of tunes from “12/12/12: The Concert For Sandy Relief” will bow at No. 7, with up to 110,000 copies. The iTunes-only set features performances from such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and The Who. Not included on the tribute? Kanye West. Billboard tried to get to the bottom of why he is not on the tribute, but everyone they talked to declined comment. A source speculated that it was West’s decision not to be on the collection, although the magazine also posits that the fact that his contribution was 13-minute medley that couldn’t be broken up may have also contributed to the decision.

Rounding out the Top 10 are likely to be Phillip Phillips’ “World From The SIde Of the Moon”  at No. 8, Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” at No. 9 and Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” at No. 10.

 

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