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Zoe Saldana is a happy underdog with a secret in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'
Credit: HitFix

Zoe Saldana is a happy underdog with a secret in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

And, yes, she thinks Gamora is pretty

When I visited the set of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," one of the things that struck me about my conversation with Zoe Saldana was how concerned she was with Gamora's aesthetic impact. More specifically, she really wanted her to be pretty.

Seems, then, a natural place to start when discussing the finished film with the busiest woman in science-fiction. Saldana's been working for a while, but with "Avatar," "Star Trek," and now "Guardians," she's cornered the market on a certain kind of character. She can be violent and deadly and powerful, but she is also always deeply empathetic, able to open that up and really project a feeling of nurturing and understanding.

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Legendary sets up a possible 'Avengers' style crossover for King Kong and Godzilla
Credit: Universal/Legendary/Warner Bros

Legendary sets up a possible 'Avengers' style crossover for King Kong and Godzilla

Could they stop by 'Jurassic World' on their way to 'Skull Island'?

While I wouldn't exactly call it a shock, it is a thrill to see Legendary come out strong and stake their claim on "Godzilla 2." The real treat of them going back for a second film is going to be seeing how Toho lets them play with the other toys in the toy box.

One of the things that became clear as they showed their "secret" Monarch footage today is that they have big plans for the Godzilla series. Gareth Edwards has a very dry British wit, and that was on full display when he did his taped message for the audience from San Francisco where he's supposedly supervising the rebuilding of the city. He talked about how he needed to take a break from the pressure of working on high-profile properties that fanboys will have opinions about, a lovely nod to his impending "Star Wars" adventure, and then was interrupted by Godzilla, who was on Alcatraz island, unhappy to be caged in by the military.

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Daniel Radcliffe took photos at Comic Con as Spider-Man and nobody knew it was him

Daniel Radcliffe took photos at Comic Con as Spider-Man and nobody knew it was him

'Horns' star talks about 'never saying never' to 'Harry Potter' and more

SAN DIEGO — After years of false starts, Daniel Radcliffe finally made it to Comic-Con. The "Harry Potter" star was never able to physically make it to the massive pop culture festival while shooting the iconic film series because their production always conflicted with the convention's July dates. The 25-year-old actor doesn't necessarily have more free time on his hand these days, but he made his inaugural visit to talk about his upcoming fantasy thriller "Horns."

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Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael Madsen, Keith David join a Comedy Central series

Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael Madsen, Keith David join a Comedy Central series
"Big Time In Hollywood, FL” will have Gooding playing a fictionalized version of himself, Madsen as a P.I. and  David as a federal agent.

“New Girl” nabs “Veep’s” Reid Scott
He’ll be the guy whom Zooey Deschanel and Jessica Biel battle over.

John Oliver responds to the Thailand government's threats against him
“Let’s burn some more bridges,” he said on “Last Week Tonight.”

Dunkin Donuts to sell Shark Week donuts
Check out special donuts made to look like a life preserver.

George R.R. Martin to “South Park” creators: "I am not obsessed with weenies”
“I’ve been told that my character on 'South Park' is obsessed about weenies,” he said at Comic-Con. “I have to deny this as a scurrilous rumor. I have nothing against weenies. Weenies are fine, but I am not obsessed with weenies. I am definitely on the boobies side of the equation… Boobies, not weenies.” PLUS: Martin weighs in again on that controversial “Game of Thrones” scene, watch this year’s “GoT” Comic-Con panel Part 1 and Part 2, Maisie Williams wore a Spider-Man mask, Bradley Cooper didn’t like one aspect of the finale, and why did “GoT” cut the most feminist plotline from next season?

Meet Seth Meyers’ “Awesome” new cast members: Amy Poehler, Will Forte, Maya Rudolph
All three are lending their voices to Season 2 of “The Awesomes,” the Hulu animated series from the “Late Night host."

David Duchovny: By promoting Russian beer, I’m not promoting the Russian government
"I am proud of my Russian, Ukrainian, Scottish and Polish heritage as I am proud of my American heritage,” he says. "But being proud of one's ancestry is not a political statement on any current government or public policies."

Comedy Central announces an improv show based on viewer tweets
Paul Scheer will the six-episode “CC: Social Scene” in which comics perform sketches based on Twitter suggestions.

What would “Seinfeld” and other sitcoms be like with the jokes removed?
Here are “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory” with no jokes, all plot.

“True Blood’s” big reveal, explained
"We didn’t really want to create a whole new Big Bad for this season.,” says Angela Robinson, who wrote last night’s episode.

Showtime to air a David Bowie documentary
“David Bowie: Five Years” premieres on Friday.

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Peter Jackson promises the biggest of big finishes in 'Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies' teaser
Credit: Warner Bros/New Line

Peter Jackson promises the biggest of big finishes in 'Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies' teaser

Could Peter Jackson stick the biggest landing of his life?

"Will you follow me one last time?"

It was interesting how different my reaction to Saturday's panel for "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" was to the reaction Greg Ellwood had. I agree with him that Cate Blanchett was positively radiant and that Stephen Colbert couldn't have been funnier in his unbridled nerd enthusiasm for all things Tolkien. I think everyone on the panel was great. I love these people, no doubt about it. And as I've written, I think the "Hobbit" films so far are good at what they're doing and getting better, while still not as great as the work he did on "Lord Of The Rings."

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<p>Richard Linklater at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival</p>

Richard Linklater at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival

Credit: Getty Images

Why 'Boyhood' is a different story on the Oscar front for IFC Films

'We're going to be David to Goliath...and we know that.'

Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" added more screens this weekend and currently finds itself in 107 theaters nationwide. With a per-screen average of around $16,000, the weekend gross was north of $1.7 million, bringing the overall tally to over $4.1 million to date. As it continues to find its audience, the film is obviously a long play for IFC Films, and the prospect of awards recognition lurks, as ever, just over the horizon.

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Jay Leno returns to NBC as a 'Last Comic Standing' mentor

Jay Leno returns to NBC as a “Last Comic Standing” mentor
The former “Tonight Show” host shows up on this week’s episode.

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Hunter Hayes

Hunter Hayes is ready to commit in new video, 'Tattoo'

He's ready to take the ultimate step

After taking on bullying on “Invisible,” Hunter Hayes returns to affairs of the heart in the video for his new uptempo track, “Tattoo.”

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CBS moves 'Extant' to a later timeslot after weeks of ratings declines

CBS moves “Extant” to a later timeslot after weeks of ratings declines
Starting this week, the Halle Berry drama will be shown at 10 pm Wednesdays after “Criminal Minds” repeats. PLUS: Michelle Obama confirmed to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti that Malia secretly worked on “Extant."

Freddie Prinze Jr. hated working on “24” with Kiefer Sutherland
"I did '24,' it was terrible,” he tells ABC News. "I hated every moment of it. Kiefer was the most unprofessional dude in the world. That's not me talking trash, I'd say it to his face, I think everyone that's worked with him has said that… "I just wanted to quit the business after that. So, I just sort of stopped."

“Orphan Black’s” Tatiana Maslany was also moved to tears at Comic-Con
A fan credited Maslany with helping her come out, which made the actress emotional.

Guillermo del Toro explains last night’s “The Strain” “WTF?” moment
“It’s the thing that tells you these are not sexy vampires,” he says. “Don’t expect any ‘action.’”

Rob Lowe is the "king" of Shark Week
Watch Lowe’s bonkers “So Sharkey” promo.

A Homer Simpson Hologram appeared at Comic-Con
Watch a virtual Homer walk on stage. PLUS: British TV apologizes over Krusty the Clown saying “bastard."

The Situation ordered to anger management in plea deal over assault on his brother
The former “Jersey Shore” star will have to complete 12 weeks of anger management.

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Album Review: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' 'Hypnotic Eye' sees all

Petty still won't back down

Earlier this year, Tom Petty started telling interviewers, including HitFix, that “Hypnotic Eye,” out Tuesday (29), would be a rock record that harkened back to the early days of the Heartbreakers. He stayed true to his word.

There’s a rawness to “Eye’s” 11 tracks that captures rock and roll’s primal nature. It’s a blast to listen to and it sure sounds like it was fun to make.

The Heartbreakers, bolstered by guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench, are one of the finest, tightest bands in the history of rock. Not only is the musicianship and camaraderie almost unmatched, the Heartbreakers have never remotely felt the need to chase fads or trends. They are straight up, unapologetic rock and roll and on their 13th album as a well-oiled unit, they sound reliably cohesive.

Not only does the album herald back to old Heartbreakers, it recalls the ‘60s and ‘70s rock that has so informed Petty’s music: the jangly guitars and harmonies of “Red River” are redolent of The Byrds, while rollicking “Fault Lines” begins with a Doors/“Break On Through” urgency and first single, “U Get Me High, starts with a Rolling Stones woozy swagger.

Opening track, driving “American Dream Plan B,” sets the tone for the album. Petty, singing in a pinched monotone (even more so than normal), vows to fight for his dream until he gets it right, even if in 2014 that dream is woefully out of reach. Blending acoustic and electric guitars, the song is a strong salvo that sets up the disillusionment that runs through many of the other tunes. That flip side of “American Dream Plan B” is the Allman Bros.-like “Forgotten Man,” where the protagonist knows he’s in a losing battle. That alienation grows en masse on album closer, "Shadow People."

At 63, Petty has lost none of his edginess.  If anything, he’s got more to rail against—he just picks his battles a little more judiciously.

While the songs are all primarily mid-to-uptempo rock tunes, Petty sprinkles other touches throughout:  he adds a slight samba feel to “Sins of My Youth” that helps take the sting out of such lyrics as “You said you loved me, wish you’d like me more.” Bluesy horns and Tench’s juke-joint piano playing give “Burnt Out Town” a swampy feel.  To be sure, we’ve never heard anything musically from Petty like the lighthearted, soft-shoe feel of “Full Grown Boy”on a Heartbreakers’ record (though the love tune wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Traveling Wilburys set.)

There’s a loose aggressiveness  to the album that never veers into sloppiness, instead it’s the feel of a well-oiled machine: all the parts know how to work together, especially when they stretch out on the pleasing Campbell-led jam on “All You Can Carry”— a song literally about Petty grabbing what he could as his house burned down and figuratively about the baggage we need to leave behind.

“Hypnotic Eye,” recorded in Petty’s Malibu home studio, is solid and sturdy if hardly groundbreaking. As enjoyable as it is— and and it is very enjoyable— there’s nothing on here that sounds like it could become a new classic, along such staples as “I Won’t Back Down,” “American Girl” or  “Don’t Do Me Like That.” However, it’s also clear that Petty is far from coasting, especially when his “Hypnotic Eye” sees all and has so much to say.


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'Glee’s' Lea Michele: I’m headed to 'Sons of Anarchy'

“Glee’s” Lea Michele: I’m headed to “Sons of Anarchy”
"I'll be appearing on an episode of my favorite show @SonsofAnarchy!,” Michele tweeted this morning. She didn't reveal what she will be playing. UPDATE: Kurt Sutter responds: "I'm working on the dance number right now!" UPDATE 2: Michele will play a truck stop waitress who connects with Gemma.

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USA picks up Carlton Cuse’s 'Colony' alien drama pilot

USA picks up Carlton Cuse’s “Colony” alien drama pilot
The pilot from Cuse and Ryan Condal revolves a family trying to survive after an alien invasion wiped everybody else out.

Sarah Palin launches the “Sarah Palin Channel” on the web
The $10/month subscription channel "is a news channel that really is a lot more than news,” the former vice presidential candidate promises.

Have we reached retro TV overload?
So many classic TV shows are available these days, as The NY Times notes: "All this retro TV is too much of a good thing, or, more correctly, too much of a thing that wasn’t really as good as memory makes it seem. It’s fine to pay respect to the shows of yore, to acknowledge and admire them for delineating and expanding the form and so on. But to actually watch 50-year-old shows all day? I’d rather rip out my eyeballs."

“Orange is the New Black” adds a “Fringe” alum
Blair Brown is joining the Season 3 cast in a role that’s being kept under wraps.

“Sons of Anarchy” creator teared up at Comic-Con
Watch Kurt Sutter get emotional after exec producer Paris Barclay expressed his and the cast’s appreciation for him.

“The Good Wife” is bringing back Mike Colter
He’ll reprise his role as troublemaker Lemond Bishop next season.

ABC refused to air a “Sin City” trailer where Eva Green “appears to be naked”
The racy trailer shows Green in a sheer, white nightgown.

President Obama’s former press secretary to visit Letterman
Jay Carney, who stepped down as White House press secretary last month, will be Dave’s guest on Wednesday.

David Duchovny is starring in a Russian beer ad
In the ad for Russian-made beer Siberian Crown, Duchovny contemplates his life if he had been born in Russia.

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