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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Review: Taylor Swift's body count continues on 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

Watch the cute lyric video

Taylor Swift seems so nice in person (and is), but as she’s shown over the course of her short, but extraordinarily successful, career, if you date her and cross her (or she perceives you do), she will come after you in song.

Has there been any pop artist who has chronicled her love life so directly since Alanis Morissette on “Jagged Little Pill?” Certainly not one whose albums consistently have such a high body count.   On “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” a pop stomp that blends Hot Chelle Rae crossed with Pink and Katy Perry, the boy in question has done the push-me/pull-me act one too many times and she’s finally really ready to give him the heave-ho.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Vanessa Redgrave in &quot;Song for Marion.&quot;</p>

Vanessa Redgrave in "Song for Marion."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Could Toronto closer 'Song for Marion' be one to watch?

Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp headline feelgood Weinstein acquisition

If the opening night slot at any major festival is a high-pressure position -- one under which many a film has collapsed -- the closing night is in an even less enviable position: at least everyone bothers to see the opening film. Knowing that many journalists will already have flown the coop by the last day, festival programmers rarely leave something truly tasty to the very end, often handing the slight to something eminently skippable and/or low-profile.

Cannes has particular form in this area -- barely a word was breathed about this year's closer, "Therese D," even if it was the late Claude Miller's final film -- and Toronto tends to take a similar approach, the festival's recent closing selections having included "Stone of Destiny" (no, I don't remember either) and last year's "Page Eight," a dreary Rachel Weisz-starring spy drama that had already premiered on British TV.

Still, there have been notable exceptions to the closing-night curse: Venice picked a winner last year with Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress," just the tonic jaded critics needed after 10 days of heavyweight viewing, and I wonder if Toronto has been a little savvier this year with the selection of "Song for Marion," a feelgood British dramedy that has already been picked up for US distribution by The Weinstein Company.

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<p>Bob Mould with his band</p>

Bob Mould with his band

Credit: Merge

Interview: Bob Mould on new album 'Silver Age,' the Foo Fighters and gay politics

Set arrives at the same time as the reissue of Sugar's 'Copper Blue'

Bob Mould spilled his guts in “See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody,” his autobiography released last year. He tackled some of the deep-seeded source of his “rage,” and the juicy stories behind fronting Husker Du, Sugar and starting his solo sets, all within the trappings of coming out of the closet in the early 1990s.

Now, his new 2012 album “Silver Age” is all guts. The Merge release – out Sept. 4 -- is what Mould calls his “reaction” to his own autobiography, a spontaneous and carnal outpouring of power pop and ferocious rock tracks with the backing of drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats) and bassist Jason Narducy (Split Single, Verbow).
 
It’s his first release with the renowned indie, and comes after years of multiple different label deals with his various acts, from Virgin to Anti- to Ryko to SST. It also arrives on the heels of more “studied” albums including his last studio set “Life and Times,” his DJing and guesting stint with the Foo Fighters, and at about the same time that Merge is dropping the 20th anniversary remastered reissue of “Copper Blue,” Sugar’s 1992 debut. In fact, as he promotes "Silver Age" on the road, he'll also be frequently performing "Copper Blue" in its entirety.
 
Below, we discuss politics, his old Singles Only Records label, DJing, aging, Foo Fighters, rehearsing and evaluating the term “too much information.” Also, check out "The Descent," the first single from "Silver Age."
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<p>Sutton Foster in &quot;Bunheads.&quot;</p>

Sutton Foster in "Bunheads."

Credit: ABC Family

Review: 'Bunheads' - 'No One Takes Khaleesi's Dragons'

Michelle needs coffee, Sasha tries cheerleading and the other girls fight

A review of last night's "Bunheads" coming up just as soon as we Skype with Hugh Jackman...

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<p>Owl City's Adam Young</p>

Owl City's Adam Young

Credit: Republic Records

Exclusive: Listen to Owl City's 'Dreams and Disasters,' the first song on 'Midsummer'

Check out Adam Young setting the car on fire

It was back in April that we premiered the first yield from Owl City's "The Midsummer Station," as mastermind Adam Young combined with Blink-182's Mark Hoppus for rock-heavy song "Dementia." Now we're proud to present, for the first time, this new album's very first track.

"Dreams and Disasters" is an appropriate kick-off to this new set from Owl City, as it's a high-energy, hyper-melodic dance number, like fireworks without the fuse. Or, rather, a car on fire: this mysterious little narrative has a foot heavy on the gas pedal, a sensation that has Young exclaiming "I want to feel alive forever after."

"The Midsummer Station" is out next week on Aug. 21 via Republic Records, and boasts current single "Good Time," a co-lead with "Call Me Maybe" summer jam star Carly Rae Jepsen.

You can pre-order "The Midsummer Station" now via iTunes.

Here is the tracklist for "The Midsummer Station":

1. "Dreams and Disasters"
2. "Shooting Star"
3. "Gold"
4. "Dementia" (featuring Mark Hoppus)
5. "I'm Coming After You"
6. "Speed of Love"
7. "Good Time" (with Carly Rae Jepsen)
8. "Embers"
9. "Silhouette"
10. "Metropolis"
11. "Take It All Away"

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<p>Anna Kendrick seemed very happy with the outcome of her work on the new stop-motion animated film 'ParaNorman' when we spoke.</p>

Anna Kendrick seemed very happy with the outcome of her work on the new stop-motion animated film 'ParaNorman' when we spoke.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: The cast of 'ParaNorman' gets animated as they discuss the movie

Leslie Mann, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Anna Kendrick all talk about the process

As I said in my recent review, "ParaNorman" is an uncommonly beautiful stop-motion film, with some of the best character work I've ever seen in this sort of movie.  Part of that is because of the advances Laika Studios has made in using laser-printers to sculpt the faces, and part of it is because they really worked with their cast to get something special.

I've had several opportunities to interview each of the featured cast members of "ParaNorman," so it was an incredibly relaxed and comfortable press day.  That made it easier to immediately dig into the process that they went through to help bring these characters to life.

Leslie Mann is always fun to interview.  She's always forthcoming and I've never seen her be anything less than full energy, no matter what film we're discussing.  I have a feeling we're going to be having some long conversations soon about "This Is 40," and I wish I'd had a chance to see the new trailer before this interview just so we could cover that as well.  We had plenty to talk about, though, just discussing "ParaNorman."

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<p>Rodriguez performing at the Newport Folk Festival in July</p>

Rodriguez performing at the Newport Folk Festival in July

Credit: AP Photo/Joe Giblin

'Searching for Sugar Man' finally brings an unsung crooner to light back home

The documentary could be in the hunt for an Oscar nomination later this year

Saturday night I shelled out cash to see Sundance hit "Searching for Sugar Man."  Malik Bendjelloul's documentary tells the incredible story of musician Sixto Rodriguez, who crashed and burned with record sales in the States in his time (the early 1970s) but became an inspiration for South Africans fighting Apartheid throughout the decade and into the 1980s.

Of course, the kicker is Rodriguez (his stage name) never knew about his worldwide success (he was also huge in Australia). Many fans had come to believe the myth -- different depending on who's telling the tale -- that he had killed himself on stage in some dramatic fashion.

Rodriguez was re-discovered in the 1990s and actually went to South Africa to perform sold-out concerts, much to the shock and delight of his daughters, who had no idea their father had it in him. But that's where he belonged, on the stage, telling stories through really great music. Indeed, many of the major music figures who worked with Rodriguez -- as the doc points out -- consider him on the top tier of their collaborators.

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<p>Suraj Sharma in &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

Suraj Sharma in "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

NYFF bookends with Lee and Zemeckis for a big 50th annual

'Life of Pi' and 'Flight' will get their close-ups in the Big Apple

In spit-balling the upcoming fall festival circuit recently, I noted that, in my view, the New York Film Festival -- at least as a launching pad for year-end awards hopefuls -- had been underutilized in its time. But things have changed the last few years.

Up until the unveiling of David Fincher's "The Social Network," NYFF had been a stopping-off point for Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Telluride and Toronto holdovers, for the most part. Films like "Good Night, and Good Luck.," "The Queen," "The Darjeeling Limited," "The Class" and "Wild Grass" opened the fest after bowing elsewhere, while closing nighters such as "Caché," "Pan's Labyrinth," "Persepolis," "The Wrestler" and "Broken Embraces" did the same. Ditto a slew of centerpiece screenings.

But that exclusive bow for Fincher's film in 2010 was a turning point. The excitement was probably dampened a bit by the fact that Sony screened the film for press in New York and Los Angeles in the middle of the Toronto Film Festival, looking to get some headway while ultimate Best Picture winner "The King's Speech" was dominating the festival conversation, but it was a good start.

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<p>The official cover art for Taylor Swift's new album &quot;Red.&quot;</p>

The official cover art for Taylor Swift's new album "Red."

Credit: Big Machine

Shocker: Taylor Swift draws from her 'semi-toxic' romances for new album, 'Red'

First single, 'We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together' out now

After going it alone for her last album, “Speak Now,” Taylor Swift has turned to top songwriters and producers for her fourth studio album, “Red,” out Oct. 22.

Both Max Martin, best known for his work with Britney Spears and Pink, and Ed Sheeran, who has written hits for One Direction, as well as has his own solo career, collaborated with Swift on the new set, which she recorded over a two-year period.  Martin co-wrote first single, “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together,” with Swift and Shellback. Swift debuted the stompy, up-tempo pop tune today during a YouTube chat with fans and it is already available on iTunes.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Kris Kristoffersen in &quot;Heaven's Gate.&quot;</p>

Kris Kristoffersen in "Heaven's Gate."

Credit: United Artists

Venice honors Michael Cimino as 'Heaven's Gate' gets another close-up

The festival will premiere a restoration of the director's ill-fated 1980 film

For a film that a lot of critics continue to believe is a disaster of momentous proportions, Michael Cimino's epic flop "Heaven's Gate" has received an awful lot of second chances. The vast period western is one of Hollywood's most enduring cautionary tales: made on the back of Cimino's Oscar triumph with "The Deer Hunter," it fell prey to the director's hubris as it ran catastrophically behind schedule and over budget, ruining United Artists as it grossed not one-twentieth of its then-massive $44 million budget.

Critics may have piled onto the already woebegone film, both in its 219-minute premiere edit (still a feat of restraint compared to the five-and-a-half-hour edit Cimino originally had in mind) and the studio-shredded 149-minute version prepared for general theatrical release, but the rehabilitation has been steady and dedicated over the years. Originally unveiled in Competition at Cannes, it's since been given other illustrious platforms from to recoup its credibility.

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Review: 'The Expendables 2' pumps up the mayhem and delivers real thrills
Credit: Lionsgate

Review: 'The Expendables 2' pumps up the mayhem and delivers real thrills

Second time's the charm for this series

I was no fan of "The Expendables."

In general, I feel like my generation has been made stupid by nostalgia.  We hold on to any terrible piece of crap from our childhoods simply because we recognize it from our childhoods.  I am often startled by the things that people profess love for, and the only explanation for much of it is because recognition has replaced any sort of demand for quality.  With "The Expendables," people seemed willing to excuse a truly awful, uninteresting action nothing simply because of the cast, and I just couldn't hang with it.

I'm also not exactly the biggest Simon West fan in the world.  Just seeing the difference between the scripts for "Tomb Raider" and the film that West eventually released was enough to make me skeptical of his taste as a filmmaker.  I find myself uninspired by his work.  I think he's a competent shooter, and if that's all you need from a director, he's your guy.

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"Hotel Hell"

"Hotel Hell"

Credit: Fox

Gordon Ramsay talks about scratchy towels and being an 'unselfish' boss

The 'Hotel Hell' makeover king says hotel owners are worse than restaurateurs

Gordon Ramsay takes on the task of berating and shaking up clueless hotel owners on "Hotel Hell" tonight (two night season premiere Mon. Aug. 13 at 8:00 p.m. PT, Tues. Aug. 14 at 8:00 p.m. PT; regular series time will be Mondays at 8:00 p.m.) Ramsay will travel to San Diego, California; Couer d’Alene, Idaho; Cambridge, New York; Milford, Pennsylvania; and Winter, Vermont to fix the bad, the bedbug-ridden and the downright stinky. In a conference call with journalists, Ramsay talked about what he likes (comfortable rooms), what he doesn't (scratchy towels) and why we all need to complain more.
 

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