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"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance" winners Chehon and Eliana

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' winners Chehon and Eliana talk about the win

Eliana admits her routines with Cyrus had to be

Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Eliana Girard were announced as the winners of "So You Think You Can Dance" last night -- and no one seemed more surprised about this than Chehon and Eliana themselves. The two classically trained ballet dancers were not early favorites. Chehon seemed to be permanently stuck in the shadow of fan favorite Cyrus Spencer, the street dancer with no professional training who was never in the bottom three, while Eliana only seemed able to step into the spotlight once she was unpaired from Cyrus and later danced with all star Alex Wong. The winners spoke to reporters in a conference call about their unexpected wins, Cyrus, and why they think ballet is getting more respect this season.

 

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<p>At the end of 'Kick-Ass,' Christopher Mintz-Plasse made a major turn as a character, and it sounds like there's much more where that came from in 'Kick-Ass 2' next year</p>

At the end of 'Kick-Ass,' Christopher Mintz-Plasse made a major turn as a character, and it sounds like there's much more where that came from in 'Kick-Ass 2' next year

Credit: Lionsgate/MARV Films

Listen: A special Toronto podcast with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and the team behind 'Hellbenders'

A candid conversation with Clancy Brown was a festival highlight

Toronto may be in the rear view at this point, but this podcast I put together from interviews I conducted at the festival is, in my opinion, a great pleasure.  I'm always fairly upfront about how much I enjoy the overall atmosphere of the Midnight Madness screenings at the Ryerson.  I'm a firm believer that if you're going to write about the festival, you need to include those films in that time slot in the public venue.  That's the point.

When I saw that Chris Mintz-Plasse was working in Toronto, he seemed eager to try out something at the festival during his shooting schedule for "Kick-Ass 2."  When I first got to town, I posted that story about the Twitter feed that director Jeff Wadlow was using to reveal images from behind the scenes.  He's continued to post an image a day.  It's exactly the right amount of tease, and so far, he hasn't even remotely hinted at a spoiler.  He's been fairly jovial when discussing paparazzi photo leaks from the set.  It's been fun to observe.  Chris seemed fairly excited about the film, about the just-revealed casting of Jim Carrey in a key role, and about the evolution of his character from frustrated son to Red Mist to broken-hearted son to super villain.  The end of the first film made the biggest promise in regards to where he might be headed, and much of the large supporting cast is used to fill out his own personal team of super villains with a name so filthy, I'm fairly sure I'm not even allowed to print it with a**erisks taken out.

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<p>Ryan Bingham</p>

Ryan Bingham

Credit: Anna Axster

Oscar winner Ryan Bingham talks 'Tomorrowland' and writing a new soundtrack

Country and rock songwriter talks about life after 'Crazy Heart' and 'Weary Kind'

“It’s me, motherf*cker, I’m knocking on the door.” These are words not entirely unexpected from the same guy who took home a Grammy and an Oscar for “The Weary Kind” nearly three years ago. But the lyrics are indicative of at least the confrontational sound coming from “Tomorrowland,” Ryan Bingham’s new record and the first for his own label Axster Bingham Records. (The quoted track’s called “Guess Who’s Knocking.” Should have started with a spoiler alert.) 

The country and rock songwriter said in our interview that he spun a lot of records from the late ‘70s – the Clash, Bowie, Iggy Pop, Jimi Hendrix, Zeppelin – when making the set, out of a friend’s private, secluded home in Malibu. Punk rock records “opened the door, was a really big influence” on the final result, sussed out with co-producer Justin Stanley. He incorporated a lot more electric guitars, for one.
 
The bigger, more robust rock sonics could also be the reaction to Bingham’s own career legacy up until now. His co-writes with T Bone Burnett on the “Crazy Heart” soundtrack put him on the map, but for his more tender material.
 
“I write real personal stuff, and I played a lot of tours kinda stripped down and acoustic. After a while, it’s just hard to get through those songs every night. It’s hard to be that vulnerable,” he said. Over the couple of years that followed “Crazy Heart,” for one, both of his parents passed away.
 
“Now, playing shows with these [songs] are a lot of fun. I get to rock the f*ck out.”
 
And his touring and recorded successes are in tandem with his wife Anna Axster, half the namesake of the label. She helps to manage; she’s also at work creating a  feature film “A Country Called Home,” and Bingham will be writing the music for the movie.
 
“It’s a film about tolerance,” he said. It follows a young girl from a small town to her move to a bigger city, but some “family issues” follow her as she heads back home. Bingham said the story was inspired by his travels across middle America, touring with his wife in “places you wouldn’t visit when you go on a trip. “
 
The film is getting cast right now, and Bingham hopes it starts shooting in the spring. It would be his first original soundtrack since “Crazy Heart.”
 
Bingham will begin touring in support of “Tomorrowland” starting next week on Sept. 25. The album is out today (Sept. 18).
 

 

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Taking questions for 9/21 Oscar Talk

Taking questions for 9/21 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

You know the drill. Offer up your need-to-knows in the comments and we'll try to address a few questions at the end of this week's podcast. We will already be addressing Oscar's date changes, "Trouble with the Curve," "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and foreign language submissions.

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Katey Sagal and Jimmy Smits in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Katey Sagal and Jimmy Smits in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Authority Vested,' wedding bells and prison cells

More great moments from Jimmy Smits in a less sensationalistic installment

After last week's incendiary season premiere it's probably for the best that "Sons of Anarchy" reined things in a bit in episode 2. This was a relatively calm installment -- at least by "Sons" standards -- with no torture, no murder, a single car chase that was more exhilarating than ominous, and a major event in the lives of two characters handled with genuine affection.

The very best moment was simply two guys talking shop in the front seat of a pickup. Sure, they happened to be discussing illegal activities, but it was still a friendly and relaxed chat that demonstrated how strong "Sons" can be when it steps back from hyperactive plotting and lets its characters breathe.

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<p>Lauren Graham, Ray Romano and Miles Heizer on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Lauren Graham, Ray Romano and Miles Heizer on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'Left Field'

Max wants a dog, Jasmine wants a calendar, and Drew gets advice from Hank

A quick review of tonight's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as the doggie Gestapo starts asking me questions...

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<p>Joselyn Rivera of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Joselyn Rivera of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Tuesday - Blind Auditions, Part 5

The coaches salute more pretty people and more people with sob stories
NBC aired three blind auditions during the first week of “The Voice,” but there will be no head-to-head competition between this show and “The X Factor” anytime soon. That means the teams should be roughly half-filled by the end of tonight’s hour. Adam Levine and CeeLo Green both got strong talent last night, so let’s see if Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton can step up their game tonight. Also, let’s pray no one-hit wonders show up to perform said one-hit wonder as their audition song. I’ve had enough of that for an entire season after last night’s Cupid debacle. I shook my head to the left (to the left) and to the right (to the right) far too much after that debacle. My neck is sore.
 
With that in mind, let’s kick off tonight’s running diary. As always, all times are EST. As always, if the prepackaged sob story that accompanies a contestant is too dull, I will probably just insert the artist inside my in-progress spec script for “Revolution”, which debuted to surprisingly strong numbers last night for NBC. Because why not?
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<p>The Killers' &quot;Battle Born&quot;</p>

The Killers' "Battle Born"

Credit: Island

Review: The Killers, 'Battle Born'

What fuses six producers' work together, besides glitter and tears?

The Killers’ last album “Day & Age” was marked by their further embrace of glitter and dance. New “Battle Born,” in a way, is their ignoring the day and age – that is, this current one. 

The Las Vegas quartet has a nostalgia and escapism thing going on in this set, and not just in its lyrics; it has all the Born-to-Run bravado in its anthems while band also ducks down its head and wades unwaveringly into decadent ‘80s power balladry, vocally adept ‘70s arena rock and Depeche Mod-ular synth-pop.
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<p>Kristen Wiig ends up in a hospital gown in a casino in one of those 'hasn't this happened to all of us?' moments from 'Imogene'</p>

Kristen Wiig ends up in a hospital gown in a casino in one of those 'hasn't this happened to all of us?' moments from 'Imogene'

Credit: Lionsgate

Review Round-Up: Kristen Wiig, creepy kids, and Clancy Brown in 'Hellbenders'

We take quick looks at three more of Toronto 2012's titles

It seems hard to believe that I've got to wrap up my Toronto thoughts for this year by Thursday morning, when I switch gears into Fantastic Fest mode, which I'll be covering for the rest of the month.  That means you'll get reviews for "Frankenweenie," "The ABCs Of Death," "Red Dawn," "Paranormal Activity 4," and much, much more.  It also means time's up, and if I'm going to offer up thoughts on Toronto, I'll have a few full length reviews, and a few wrap-ups with quick thoughts about everything else I saw.

You'll hear a lot on this week's special podcast about J.T. Petty's film "Hellbenders,"
and I think it's one of those movies that could easily be oversold to you, but that has a whole lot of charms if you are on its very particular wavelength.  It is truly profane, but in a sweet, puppy dog way.  There's something so eager to shock about the film that it's sort of endearing instead of genuinely offensive.  The premise is a pretty novel high-concept twist on the notion of a team of exorcists, unofficially affiliated with the Catholic Church.  Calling themselves the "Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints," the excommunicated priests must live in a state of constant sin, their souls always tipped over to the dark side, guaranteeing them a trip to Hell as long as no one gives them Last Rites to absolve them.  They do this so that as a last resort, they can invite the demon into their body, then kill themselves so they immediately go to Hell and take the demon along with them.  It's the metaphysical version of being a suicide bomber.  You're going down, but you're taking your enemy with you.

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"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

"So You Think You Can Dance" finale recap: The winners are chosen

It's down to Chehon, Tiffany, Cyrus and Eliana -- but which 2 will make the cut?

 It's down to the final four: Chehon, Eliana, Cyrus and Tiffany. After last week's Moment of Crazypants by Nigel Lythgoe, it seems even more likely that Cyrus will be the winning guy this season. Even if you weren't rooting for Cyrus before Nigel informed the shellshocked dancer that he would not be voting for him, you still might have picked up the phone to give him a pity vote. I'm fairly sure Cyrus will win, but I wonder if this is the win he really wants -- one that might be driven by people feeling sorry for him. Of course, a big pile of money should soothe that wound a little bit. In any case, I'm going to do my best to live blog this, so here we go!

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 149

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 149

Dan and Alan talk 'Treme,' 'Partners' and Emmys

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!
 
After a day off for Rosh Hashanah, it's time for the regular, weekly installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
This week's installment is mostly dedicated to a ton of Emmy predictions blather. It's a lot of the same thing that Sepinwall and I have been doing in his predictions blog posts, only this time... It's with our voices! I'll leave it for you to decide if that's an improvement.
 
We also talk about the new season of HBO's "Treme" and we got a head start on Monday's premiere of CBS' "Partners."
 
Expect two podcasts next week as premieres kick into high gear!
 
Here's today's breakdown:
"Treme" (00:01:10 - 00:19:15)
"Partners" (00:20:00 - 00:29:45)
Emmy Predictions (00:29:50 - 01:23:45)
Listener Mail - First Show Cancelled (01:23:50 - 01:32:30)
 

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 149: Emmys, 'Treme,' 'Partners' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 149: Emmys, 'Treme,' 'Partners' & more

Dan and Alan also predict which show will be canceled first

The

Time for a Firewall & Iceberg Podcast Emmy preview so long, it nearly swallowed up the other segments on "Treme," "Partners," and listener mail. Things are getting busy busy busy around here, so look for two podcasts next week.

The line-up: 

"Treme" (00:01:10 - 00:19:15)
"Partners" (00:20:00 - 00:29:45)
Emmy Predictions (00:29:50 - 01:23:45)
Listener Mail - First Show Cancelled (01:23:50 - 01:32:30)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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