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Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Ryan Lochte, Simon Pegg and Sir Patrick Stewart yuk it up

Olympic swimmer follows his 'Peeing in the Pool' skit with star power

Ryan Lochte won us over (or just grossed us out) with his "Peeing in Pools" Funny or Die segment, and he's now followed it up with a performance opposite "Star Trek: The Next Generation" star Sir Patrick Stewart and Simon Pegg of 2009's "Star Trek" reboot. Stewart plays a Dickens-esque ticket scalper and, well, hilarity sort of ensues. While Lochte surely scored gold with his "Peeing in Pools" segment, this one isn't so crystal clear.

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"RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race"

"RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race"

Credit: Logo

Rachel Hunter, Elvira will guest judge 'RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race'

Stars ranging from Beth Ditto to Janice Dickinson are set to appear

Logo has announced 'RuPaul's Drag Race' will be getting a make-over, returning as "RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race" on Mon. Oct 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Not only will the premiere be "Rupersized" (featuring 10 bonus minutes), fan favorites from the original series (Pandora Boxx, Tammie Brown, Nina Flowers, Jujubee, Mimi Imfurst, Manila Luzon, Alexis Mateo, Chad Michaels, Raven, Latrice Royale, Shannel and Yara Sofia Vie) will be competing for a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame and a shot at the grand prize of $100,000.

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<p>&quot;Beautiful Creatures&quot; opens on February 13, 2013.</p>

"Beautiful Creatures" opens on February 13, 2013.

Credit: Warner Brothers/ John Bramley

Set Visit Preview: 'Beautiful Creatures' brings the world of Casters to life

Richard LaGravenese is directing the February 2013 release
NEW ORLEANS - Being up all night in The Big Easy isn't unusual, but this May, I skipped revelry on Bourbon Street and, like many a teenager, I stayed up until 3 a.m. finishing "Beautiful Creatures," the first book in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Caster Chronicles series.
 
The novel -- you can find it in the Young Adult Occult Romance section of your local chain bookstore -- was hard to put down and I've subsequently finished the sequel "Beautiful Darkness" (I'll get to "Beautiful Chaos" at some point), but I was really doing my homework. The following day, I joined two other journalists in crossing the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway to Covington, Louisiana to visit the set of Warner Brothers' feature adaptation of the book, set to hit theaters on February 13, 2013.
 
Garcia and Stohl's Gatlin, South Carolina may be fictional, but on that steamy May day, Covington was doing a terrific job of playing the archetypal Southern town, with humidity and Spanish moss dripping from every surface. 
 
For the uninitiated, "Beautiful Creatures" is the story of fairly ordinary high school student Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), who falls in love with the exotic Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) and discovers that Gatlin is actually a hotbed for supernatural activity, including witches and other... well... beautiful creatures. 
 
While the young ensemble of "Beautiful Creatures," which also features Zoey Deutch (playing Emily Asher) and Thomas Mann (as Ethan's comic relief buddy Link), may be dominated fresh-faced relative unknowns, what should draw viewers beyond fans of the wildly popular genre is a supporting cast that features Oscar winners Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons, Oscar nominee Viola Davis and Emmy winner Margo Martindale. 
 
Those are some heavy hitters and they were drawn, no doubt, by the presence of Oscar nominated writer-director Richard LaGravenese.
 
"I know people are going to compare it to 'Hunger Games' or 'Twilight' or whatever, but those are just big franchises with heightened and/or supernatural themes," says "Shameless" star Emmy Rossum, who plays the bewitching Ridley. "So we definitely fit in that realm, but I think even moreso than the book -- I mean the book was definitely different than those in that the core of it being a love story between star-crossed lovers, very Romeo and Juliet: one's a witch, one's not, and they can't be together, that whole thing. That's totally a universal theme --  But to me, when you've got somebody Richard, who's such an amazing writer to adapt the book, because it's really an adaptation, it's not verbatim the book. A lot of things are changed. Some plot points are changed, some things are explained further than they were in the book or changed, and the world is completely visually created by [cinematographer Philippe Rousselot] and Richard in a very -- going with what we did with Ridley -- a very haute couture, kind of fantastical, magical place, some of which references when you read the script directly from paintings that Richard loves. He's going to visually recreate the world in that way. So I think, visually, we're going to be very different from those films."
 
Rossum, it should be noted, is a big fan of the books and although her Ridley looks very little like Garcia and Stohl's description of the character, trust me when I say that nobody will be disappointed by her interpretation.
 
And Thompson offers reassurance that one needn't be fluent in the world of casters and incubi to enjoy what the "Fisher King" and "Bridges of Madison County" scribe is doing here.
 
"I haven't read the books yet, I will," Thompson says. "But I love the script, I thought the script was funny and witty and very much a kind of intelligently-told very fun story. And the part was one of the most interesting I've been asked to play in a long time."
 
In our day on the "Beautiful Creatures" set, we saw the filming of two scenes and chatted with Deutch, Mann, Ehrenreich and the marvelously gracious Thompson, who swapped in an out of her Southern accent during the interview, and the equally gracious Rossum, who delivered cups of melon water during lunch when we were initially skeptical at the beverage's magical properties. 
 
Stay tuned for those conversations, plus on-set production details -- Spectacular craft service fried chicken and more! -- as we get a little closer to the February 13 premiere.
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<p>Matthew Perry meets his new support group in &quot;Go On.&quot;</p>

Matthew Perry meets his new support group in "Go On."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Go On' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new NBC sitcom?

I posted my review of NBC's "Go Onthis morning. Now it's your turn. What did everybody else think of Matthew Perry's latest comeback vehicle? Better or worse than "Mr. Sunshine" (Yay)? Did you also see the similarities to the "Community" pilot — and, if so, did that bother you in any way? Do you think the show has the ability to make grief into the subject for a sitcom? Did you laugh at anything outside of March Sadness? And will you be watching again when the next episode airs on September 11? 

Have at it.

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"Big Brother"

"Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Danielle is in control, but can she oust Frank?

It's time to fight for the POV, but will it change the game?

Well, Frank is on the block yet again. There's no way he can survive another week, can he? It seems the majority of the house wants Frank out, Danielle is firm in her convictions and as Danielle tearily assures Wil, he is far too beloved to be at risk for going home. But if we know anything about "Big Brother," it's that the Chenbot has to tell us each week there's a shocking twist or a shocking surprise or something shocking so that we'll tune in -- and this week was actually, well, a little shocking. Color me shocked.

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<p>Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner co-star in this weekend's 'The Bourne Legacy'</p>

Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner co-star in this weekend's 'The Bourne Legacy'

Credit: Universal Studios

Review: 'The Bourne Legacy' features nice work but feels like treading water

Good performances still can't rescue the film from complete adequacy

Hollywood is obsessed with franchise building, often disregarding logic and narrative coherence in an effort to keep squeezing cash out of a property long after any natural storytelling momentum has disappeared.

The longer the series wears on, the less the "Bourne" films have anything to do with Robert Ludlum's original novel.  That's fine, of course.  The filmmakers are under no obligation to do straight adaptations, and at this point, it feels like they've created something that stands alone, inspired by Ludlum's ideas but only loosely connected to the world he built.  At this point, Tony and Dan Gilroy are the primary architects of this series, and while the overall action aesthetic of the series has influenced most of the mainstream action movies being made these days, what they're doing narratively is sort of unique, and worth closer examination.

Matt Damon's performance as Jason Bourne was a major part of the appeal of the first three films in the series, and he made even the most implausible parts of the films feel possible.  Losing a movie star for a sequel can be disastrous, but thankfully, Gilroy's laid enough groundwork over the course of the series that the switch they make this time to Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as the new focus of the film feels quite natural.  Cross is part of a parallel program to the one that created Bourne, and he's a generation or two down the line.  Unlike Bourne, Cross is well aware of what he is and how he was created and why, and at the start of the film, he's out in the field, training in the most rugged terrain possible.  This film overlaps with "The Bourne Ultimatum" in terms of chronology, and it is because of Jason Bourne's actions that the people in charge of Aaron Cross and the other members of his program decide that they have no choice but to burn everything to the ground and leave no evidence.

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Watch: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Kevin Hart in MTV VMA promo

Watch: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Kevin Hart in MTV VMA promo

Are KKK jokes ever funny?

It will be Kevin, Kim, and Kanye at MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sept. 6.

Comedian Kevin Hart, who delivered a monologue on last year’s awards show will get full hosting duties this year, and if the little video MTV released on its website today is any indication, he’s courting the controversy with plenty of KKK jokes, which, quite frankly, are never funny... or, at least, these aren't.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Carly Rae Jepsen</p>

Carly Rae Jepsen

Credit: AP Photo

Carly Rae Jepsen fends off Phillip Phillips to set a record atop the Billboard Hot 100

How much longer can 'Call Me Maybe' stay at No. 1?

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” definitely becomes the biggest hit of 2012 as the song spends its ninth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, bypassing Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know’s” eight weeks at the summit. Now we bet Lady Gaga Is really coming after her!

Gotye can still claim some bragging rights: “Somebody,” which is No. 6 this week, passes the 6 million download mark, making it the first song this year to surpass the 6 million tally.

“Maybe,” from Jepsen’s debut album “Kiss,” out Sept. 18,  is one of two tunes from the singer on the Hot 100: her duet with Owl City,” Good Time,” is at No. 14.

Jepsen, a former “Canadian Idol” contestant, is not the only former “Idol” with a big week:  this year’s “American Idol” winner, Phillip Phillips, sees his coronation single, “Home” soar 84-9 following the usage of the song by NBC during the Summer Olympics.

Phillips’ tune is the only new title in the Top 10 this week: Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” rises 5-2, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” blows up one spot to No. 3, Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” falls two spots to No. 4, while Maroon 5’s “Payphone” also slips two places to No. 5.

Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been,” David Guetta’s “Titanium” featuring Sia, and Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” all stay in their same spots at last week: No. 7, No. 8 and No. 10, respectively.

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<p>If Ben Affleck does end up starring in 'Justice League' as well as directing it, I hope he wears this exact same costume.</p>

If Ben Affleck does end up starring in 'Justice League' as well as directing it, I hope he wears this exact same costume.

Credit: Focus Features

Warner Bros reportedly approaches Ben Affleck to direct 'Justice League'

The first possible filmmaker mentioned raises new questions about superhero film

Warner Bros. has got some extreme pressure on them right now to get one film right, and I would argue there are no higher stakes for any film or any studio in town than there are for "Justice League".

We've heard reports about Will Beall, screenwriter of "Gangster Squad," working on a new take on the script, and reports seem to indicate a fair amount of excitement about his take on the material within the studio.  Now it looks like they're approaching a director, and we probably shouldn't be surprised by the name since they've been quite open about their affection for the work of Ben Affleck, with his new film "Argo" preparing to hit the festival circuit prior to its release later this year.

While I'm not sure I get the "only directing films he stars in" thing from the Variety article, since "Gone Baby Gone" was critically acclaimed, kicked off his directing career, and featured nary a shot of his face.  Besides, I have trouble believing that after "Hollywoodland" and "Daredevil," Affleck is in any hurry to put on any superhero costume again.  Still, the notion of Afflect both directing and starring in a "Justice League" film is intriguing.  One of the things I like about Affleck's sensibilities as a director is that he has a very realistic approach to the stories he tells.  "Justice League" could use that, especially since it's going to be a tricky balancing act bringing together Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, The Green lantern, and more for the film.

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<p>Rick Ross</p>

Rick Ross

Credit: AP Photo

Rick Ross has a big bow on the Billboard 200 with 'God Forgives, I Don't'

What are the Bee Gees doing in the top 10 for the first time in 3 decades?

Rick Ross makes his fourth trip to the summit of the Billboard 200 as “God Forgives, I Don’t” bows at No. 1 with sales o f 218,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In this era of overall declining album sales, Ross is one of the few artists who has seen his opening week sales grow increasingly larger.  As Billboard notes, Ross got a hand from Amazon, which priced the title at $5, deeply discounting it, but still pricing it above the $3.99 cut-off SoundScan requires to could as a sale.

The only other debut in the Top 10 belongs to Joss Stone with “The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2,” which sells 24,000. Check out our review here.

Zac Brown Band’s “Uncaged,” which logged two weeks at No. 1, slips to No. 2 with sales of 39,000.  Justin Bieber’s “Believe” soars 6-3, while One Direction’s “Up All Night” jumps 7-4.

Amazon factors into some other albums we see on the chart in the Top 10:The Bee Gees’ “Number Ones” reenters the chart at No. 5 based on a 99 cent promotion by the retailer (SoundScan allows deeply discounted album sales to count more than six weeks after release). The title sells 32,000 copies, up a whopping 3,049% from the previous week.  It also means the Bee Gees are back in the Top 10 for the first time since 1983.

On the bottom half of the Top 10, Nas’s “Life is Good” drops 2-6, “Kidz Bop 22” drops 5-7, Adele’s 21 moves up one spot to No. 8 as does Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” to No. 9.

Overall album sales were 5.24 million units, up 7% from last week, but down 8% compared with the same week in 2011.  Year-to-date sales are down 3%.
 

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<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Credit: AP Photo

Is Britney Spears headed to L.A. Reid's label? Is she jumping RCA's ship?

Superstar reportedly has one album left on her current label deal

Are Britney Spears and her fellow “X Factor” judge L.A. Reid about to make beautiful music together?

According to The Hollywood Reporter,
Spears’ contract with RCA will be up after one more album and among those courting the pop princess is Reid, who is head of Sony's Epic Records.

Also in the picture is Barry Weiss, who now heads Island Def Jam. Weiss is the former head of Jive (which was absorbed into RCA as part of the BMG/Sony merger), who oversaw Spears’ career from the start.

The Reporter piece says both execs are eager to sign Spears for a sum of $3 million-to-$5 million/album.

We contacted RCA, who declined to comment on the story. Weiss told THR that he would “love to be reunited with [Spears].”  While Reid may have proximity on his side and the lure of making shiny new promises to an artist who may be looking for a change, Weiss has an advantage in that he’s proven to Spears what he can do. For that matter, what's to stop "X Factor" judge, creator Simon Cowell from stepping in and trying to sign her to his Sony imprint, Syco? He's certainly done just fine with One Direction and Susan Boyle.

Then again, we’re likely talking a few years from now since Spears still has to fulfill her contract with RCA first, and the landscape can change between now and when negotiations begin in earnest. These are the kinds of stories that make great copy, and get the rumor mill going, but we’ll have to wait  to see how it all shakes out. What is undeniable is that Spears, through all her ups and downs, had remained a viable, worldwide album seller (if not as strong as she was in her heyday) so it’s no surprise that any label would love to see her on its roster.



 

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"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"

"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"

Credit: TLC

Review: 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' is weirdly watchable

A family of rednecks aims for a possibly unreachable goal

Watching "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" (TLC, premieres Wed. 10 p.m. ET) brought up a range of emotions for me, not dissimilar to the roller coaster one goes through while watching a Terence Malick movie or perhaps when reading "Ulysses." Okay, maybe more like watching a NASCAR race or "Hillbilly Handfishin'." But still, "HCHBB" isn't the horrifying, non-stop slow-mo car wreck I expected. Sure, it has moments of nausea-inducing horror, but I was able to watch the whole thing without shrieking, which I'm pretty sure my colleague Dan didn't think was a remote possibility. Stranger still, there is something honestly charming and, yes, poignant about the show. And no, I am not mistaking poignancy for a craving for pork rinds.

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