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<p>'Predator' was one of the best movie surprises of the 80's for me</p>

'Predator' was one of the best movie surprises of the 80's for me

Credit: 20th Century Fox

The Vacation Read: What were your best and worst movie surprises?

Our fifth day of vacation has us thinking about the way movies can sneak up on us

At the start of this week, I mentioned the "Robocop" remake in passing as a way to get to a larger conversation about spoilers for things that are in production or in development.

One of the reasons I feel so protective of "Robocop" is because the original is one of the great movie memories of my life.  When the film came out in 1987, I was working at a theater, and the poster for the film was a source of constant amusement for us.  The tag line was "Part Man, Part Machine, All Cop," and that plus the title was a recipe for cheese.  Or so it seemed.

A few days before the film was released, they screened it at midnight for the employees of the theater, and I was a believer by the time the closing credits rolled.  I was won over completely by the film, and I still think it's a sort of a miracle.  The script, the cast, and Paul Verhoeven's work as director… all of them came together in a way that was magic.  I look at it now, and I still can't believe it exists.  It doesn't feel like other films from the '80s, it doesn't really feel like anything else Verhoeven ever made, and looking at the sequels and the TV series that spun off from the film, it's obvious that even the people who made it weren't able to reproduce the film's appeal.  Even if I didn't hate the script for the new movie, I would still be skeptical just because I know how amazing it is that the film worked in the first place.

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<p>Garry Marshall and Louis C.K. in &quot;Louie.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Garry Marshall and Louis C.K. in "Louie." 

Credit: FX

Review: 'Louie' - 'Late Show (Part 1)'

A happy accident at 'The Tonight Show' leads to a huge opportunity

A quick review of last night's "Louie" coming up just as soon as I review a remote control right before murder-suiciding my whole family...

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: Oh My Lord and Taylor

The men feel confident as the women fall apart

This week promises lots of tears. That's all I got from the promo -- crying and panicking. I have no idea what challenge is going to drive our intrepid designers into hysterics, but I'm predicting something big and scary. Maybe designing a frumpy housecoat for Queen Elizabeth or flattering outfits for the stars of "Mike & Molly" or something. Actually, that last challenge would only bother Ven. Yes, I have not forgiven him for being such a jerk last week. May he choke on a carefully constructed fabric rose, and soon. 

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Britney and Danielle fight to stay in the house

Ian and Frank argue while Dan gloats over his power move

It's Thursday, so someone's packing their bags and heading home from the "Big Brother" house. But who? It looks like Britney, but I can't rule out one last power quack from Brit. And I still have to wonder -- was everyone really snowed by Dan's fake funeral? I mean, once the weepiness was over and clearer heads prevailed, they had to realize Dan was snowing them, right? Oh, why do I bother? As many crafty power moves have gone on in this game, I'd argue there's been an equal amount of suckerdom. 

Britney, Ian and Shane are blindsided by Jenn's decision to rescue Dan -- and Frank's decision to backdoor Britney. Britney wants to know if Danielle knew this was coming. Sweet little Danielle plays dumb. She isn't in cahoots with Dan! Or anything! Danielle doesn't make eye contact, but Britney doesn't seem to notice the tell. Britney should not play poker, ever. 

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Watch: Taylor Swift's cute, quirky video for 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'
Credit: Big Machine

Watch: Taylor Swift's cute, quirky video for 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

Woodland creatures cavort in the single-shot clip

Taylor Swift surrounds herself with a true animal collective in the video for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” which debuted today. Watch it here.

The music clip is a single shot as Swift goes through several costume changes and different sets. She starts in her bedroom and moves through into a foyer when her boyfriend, the one she’s never, ever getting back together with again, knocks on her door

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<p>Zac Efron in &quot;At Any Price.&quot;</p>

Zac Efron in "At Any Price."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Review: Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron defeat the dream in smart, muscular 'At Any Price'

Boos greeted Ramin Bahrani's unsubtle but gutsy film at first Venice screening

VENICE - "God, that was a lot of America," I heard an Italian critic remark to his companion as they slouched out of "At Any Price" at the Venice Film Festival earlier this evening. His tone did not convey great delight at this perceived abundance; perhaps he was among the few but unignorable critics heard lustily booing as the credits rolled on Bahrani's classically involving and unexpectedly robust drama of heartland morality spread thin amid the cornfields of Southern Iowa .

He wasn't wrong, however. America is an almost punitively dominant presence in "At Any Price": we're treated to a complete rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," sung in an assortment of isolated, unlovely voices, midway through the film, while the Red, White and Blue itself is a pronounced presence in many a composition, furling and flapping above characters' heads like a veritable reproach.

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<p>Clint Eastwood</p>

Clint Eastwood

Credit: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Clint Eastwood to serve as 'mystery guest speaker' for Republican National Convention

What could it mean for his Oscar season hopes?

It had been rumored that the "mystery guest speaker" at the on-going Republican National Convention (which I've avoided like the plague, save for the inevitable Twitter eruptions over this or that nonsensical speech) would be Clint Eastwood. And today, CNN confirmed it.

My question is: why now?

Yeah, Eastwood backed Romney publicly earlier this month, just like he bumped his head and came out for Sarah Palin in 2008. He's long been considered more libertarian than conservative, though. And I've always liked that his work as a director has never seemed agenda-driven (even if I don't like a number of the films). Indeed, sometimes the art would paint a fuzzier portrait of the artist's political leanings. But I guess in the world of "mystery guest speakers" for such a thing, he makes sense.

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Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo/Amy Sancetta

Academy changes original song rules again

Plus: Best Art Direction becomes Best Production Design

They just keep going back and forth on this. It really is time to let the category die its deserved death, but in any case, I'll just let the press release convey the news:

"The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has approved additional rules for the 85th Academy Awards. The most significant changes affect the Original Song category, in which there will now be five nominees.

"During the nominations process, all voting members of the Music Branch will receive a Reminder List of works submitted in the category and a DVD copy of the song clips. Members will be asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.

"Additionally, upon the recommendation from the Designers Branch (formerly the Art Directors Branch), the Art Direction award will be known as the Production Design award.

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One Direction sets November 13 release date for 'Take Me Home'
Credit: Columbia Records

One Direction sets November 13 release date for 'Take Me Home'

Check out the cover art

One Direction gave fans the big news that the British boy band would have a new album out in November, less than eight months after the release of “Up All Night.”

Now we have more details to share: “Take Me Home” will come out Nov. 13. For the project, the band worked with a number of collaborators from “Up All Night,” including Ed Sheeran and McFly’s Tom Fletcher. New partners include Dr. Luke, Shellback and Toby Gad.

First single, “Live While We’re Young,” will premiere on radio on Sept. 24 and will be available for purchase on Oct. 1.

We haven’t heard any music, but you have to admit, the cover art is adorable and very swoon-worthy if you’re a 13-year old girl.

The official cover art for One Direction's Take Me Home

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Watch: 2 Chainz and Kanye West bite into a 'Birthday Cake' in new video

Watch: 2 Chainz and Kanye West bite into a 'Birthday Cake' in new video

Miles and miles of booty await you

It would seem inconceivable, but “Birthday Cake” by 2 Chainz featuring Kanye West makes Sir Mix-a-Lot’s video for “Baby Got Back,” which similarly focuses on a woman’s behind, look tasteful.

[More after the jump...]

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Brandy works it on cover art for new album, 'Two Eleven'

Brandy works it on cover art for new album, 'Two Eleven'

Is she auditioning for '50 Shades of Grey?'

Brandy, you’re a fine girl. And it certainly shows in the artwork for your new album, “Two Eleven,” released today.

The standard and deluxe covers feature the same image of Brandy, who looks like a leather-clad glamazon with mile-long legs, a very toned belly, a ponytail that could serve as a whip, and an expression that tells us she is means all business.

The album includes “Put It Down”featuring Chris Brown, as well as new single, “Wildest Dreams. Among her collaborators on the album are TImbaland, Sean Garrett, Breyon Prescott, Danja, Jim Jonsin and Frank Ocean

“Two Eleven” comes out Ten Sixteen  (Oct 16). The album, by the way, takes its name from Brandy's birthday, Feb. 11.
Standard version:


Deluxe version:



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<p>Dave Eggers's artwork for the 39th annual Telluride Film&nbsp;Festival</p>

Dave Eggers's artwork for the 39th annual Telluride Film Festival

Credit: Telluride Film Festival

'Frances Ha,' 'Hyde Park on Hudson' and more set for 39th Telluride Film Festival

Marion Cotillard, Roger Corman and Mads Mikkelsen will get tributes

MONTROSE, Colo. - I've just landed at the airport and gotten a look at the fresh-off-the-presses release announcing the line-up for the 39th annual Telluride Film Festival. As I await the shuttle into Telluride for my fourth-straight SHOW, and as many of my Los Angeles brethren board the charter flight into Montrose here, let's dig in and see what's in store.

As is custom, Telluride withholds its line-up until the day before the festival really kicks off, but in the weeks leading up to the fest, people are talking and titles start to trickle out. A number of films have been expected presentations for a while now. Some respect the festival's wishes and keep mum about it online. Others don't.

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