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<p>&quot;Unforgiven,&quot;&nbsp;one of only three westerns to win Best Picture</p>

"Unforgiven," one of only three westerns to win Best Picture

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Clint Eastwood's 'Unforgiven' anniversary marks 20 years of the modern western

Will 'Django Unchained' find Oscar love as the genre forges ahead?

Somewhat quietly, it would appear, Clint Eastwood's western masterwork "Unforgiven" is celebrating its 20th anniversary today.

The film hit theaters on August 7, 1992 and was the last western to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Though to be clear, it's not like it was one in a long line. Only three from the genre have ever taken the prize, with a six-decade drought between 1931's "Cimarron" and 1990's "Dances with Wolves."

Somehow the western didn't spark for the Academy during its heyday. Films generally agreed upon as American classics today like "The Searchers," "Red River," and "The Magnificent Seven" couldn't even manage nominations, to say nothing of Italian triumphs like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Once Upon a Time in the West."

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<p>Oddly, this photo was taken at a barbecue at Sacha Baron Cohen's house when he wasn't playing a character at all.</p>

Oddly, this photo was taken at a barbecue at Sacha Baron Cohen's house when he wasn't playing a character at all.

Credit: Hermann J. Knippertz/dapd

Sacha Baron Cohen sets up a James Bond style comedy with Paramount

The comic actor moves further from his 'Borat' and 'Bruno' background

Sacha Baron Cohen is facing a real turning point in his career, and it will be interesting to see how things progress.

The joy of discovering his early work was due at least in part to the feeling that you were in on a secret.  Watching Ali G or Borat or Bruno interact with real people was amazing because of how seriously people took these insane creations of his.  Even when "Borat" arrived in theaters, there was still a sense that something deranged was happening, something that was amazing to witness.

The one problem with that kind of humor is that a performer can only keep up that kind of ruse as long as he's not famous.  The moment people start to recognize you, it's impossible for you to interact with the real world, and Sacha Baron Cohen is arguably one of the most recognizable comic performers working today.

I thought "The Dictator" was very funny this summer, but for people who wanted more of the "Borat"/"Bruno" school of gotcha comedy, it seemed less exciting than his earlier work.  I think Cohen's got chops as an actor that we've just barely seen demonstrated onscreen, and while he's done nice work in films like "Hugo" and "Sweeney Todd," it still feels like there's more to his talent.

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<p>From Antony and the Johnsons' &quot;Cut the World&quot;</p>

From Antony and the Johnsons' "Cut the World"

Watch: Willem Dafoe, 'Game of Thrones' star feature in bloody Antony & the Johnsons vid

Nabil strikes again

Video director Nabil may have cooled your body temperature in Bon Iver's "Holocene" or ">Kanye West's "Coldest Winter" videos, or heated it up in Frank Ocean's "Novacane" last summer. For Antony & the Johnson's "Cut the World," he may shear your life's blood off entirely.

Willem Dafoe plays boss to "Game of Thrones" actress Carice van Houten (Melisandre!), who plays a willowy and heavy-hearted secretary. But, rather than death by fire, Dafoe only has some brief narration with van Houten before he meets his end in a bloody fashion.

In fact, the clip turns into a whole revolt by secretaries, hinting at lust and revenge through a mass action. Is it commentary on the working class? An extreme play on secretarial, deep longings? A spin on stereotype? A feminsit motion? Whatever it is, I'll remember that final scene in the square for a while to come: the cameo by performance artist and Antony collaborator Marina Abramovi? will stop your heart on its own. Her appearance is reminiscent of the cover shot for Antony and the Johnsons' "Crying Light," of butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno.

It's a curious example, too, of integrating an actual script into a song featuring singing. Dafoe and van Houten have only a scant few lines, appearing mostly in the songwriting gaps, but it works. And bums me out.

"Cut the World" is off of Antony Hegarty and his band's live album of the same name, itself a previously unreleased, erm, cut from the melancholy songwriter's catalog. It arrives on virtual and real shelves tomorrow.


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"Miss Advised"

"Miss Advised"

Credit: Bravo

On 'Miss Advised,' SWFs seek love, act crazy

The season finale promises twist, turns and neuroses galore

Usually, if I really work at it, I can find a logical reason for someone to appear on a reality TV show. There's a big prize, or they think it will advance their career, or they are willing to let someone pose them in front of a cruel three-way mirror so they can get some new clothes. With "Miss Advised" (Mon. 10 p.m. ET), which wraps up its slow spiral into crazy tonight, I'm scratching my head.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 142

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 142

Dan and Alan talk more TCA Press Tour, 'Buffy' finale and 'The Dark Knight Rises


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
Time for our first Monday installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast in a few weeks. 
And this will also be the first of two podcasts this week.
In this episode, Sepinwall and I wrap up TCA Press Tour, discuss this week's "Breaking Bad" and the Season 1 finale of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." And, because people requested it and because we'd both seen the movie, we also discuss "The Dark Knight Rises."
Come back on Wednesday for our reviews of "Animal Practice," "Go On," "Hell on Wheels" and for our answer to any mail y'all happen to provide. 
Good times!
Here's Monday's breakdown:
TCA Press Tour (00:01:00 - 00:34:25)
"Breaking Bad" (00:34:35 - 00:57:40)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (00:57:40 - 01:15:15)
"The Dark Knight Rises" (01:15:20 - 01:33:00)

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 141: Press tour, 'Breaking Bad' & 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 141: Press tour, 'Breaking Bad' & 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Dan and Alan also wrap up their 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' summer re-watch


It's a conclusion-themed Firewall & Iceberg Podcast — the first of two this week — as Dan and I wrap up our discussion of press tour, conclude our review of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" season 1 (and table the idea of moving straight onto season 2) and review the final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy with some "The Dark Knight Rises" commentary. Oh, and we also talk about the best "Breaking Bad" of the season to date.

The line-up: 

TCA Press Tour (00:01:00 - 00:34:25)
"Breaking Bad" (00:34:35 - 00:57:40)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (00:57:40 - 01:15:15)
"The Dark Knight Rises" (01:15:20 - 01:33:00)
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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<p>A reboot of 'Daredevil' lies at the heart of what could become a precedent-setting deal between 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios</p>

A reboot of 'Daredevil' lies at the heart of what could become a precedent-setting deal between 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Will Fox and Marvel make a trade for Daredevil and Galactus?

It's starting to look like the Marvel Universe is getting even bigger

It was bound to happen eventually, and I had a feeling Fox was going to the company that finally made it happen.

Ever since Marvel Studios started making their own movies, fans have been wondering about the possibility of the characters that are currently owned by other studios making crossover appearances into the Marvel Universe that's been built, film by film, over the last few years.

Today, it looks like that's starting to happen, and it's a fairly exciting development in terms of what opportunities it sets up for this second wave of Marvel movies and also for one of the characters that is staying at Fox.  David Slade recently left the "Daredevil" reboot that Fox has been developing, and now it looks like Joe Carnahan may step in with a take that is being described as a "Frank Miller-esque hardcore '70s thriller," which sounds like the exact right approach to the character.  Carnahan hasn't commented officially, but he just Tweeted a very cryptic "DD - MM - 73," so feel free to interpret that as you see fit.

It sounds like it's still premature to say that's a done deal, but time is something that Fox does not have on their side right now.  They have to make a "Daredevil" movie sooner rather than later, or the rights revert to Marvel.  That's something Fox would like to avoid, and since they have a bargaining chip, it looks like they're going to play a lightning round of "Let's Make A Deal" where the real winner will be the audiences.

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<p>Winston Marshall</p>

Winston Marshall

Interview: Mumford & Sons' Winston Marshall talks Gentlemen of the Road fests

Catch one of the three remaining festivals

Planning a festival takes a lot of work. That’s the assessment of Mumford & Sons’ multi-instrumentalist Winston Marshall.

Like Metallica, who launched the Orion Festival in June, and Jay-Z, who is curating Made In America over Labor Day weekend, M&S debuted its own day-long, multi-artist festivals this summer.

Before its first U.S. festival took place this weekend in Portland, Maine, M&S hosted events in Huddersfield, England and in Galway, Ireland. Coming up are stopovers in Bristol, Va. (Aug. 11), Dixon, Ill. (Aug. 18), and Monterey, Calif. (Aug. 25).  Among the acts playing one or more gig alongside M&S, who is headlining each date, are Dawes, Abigail Washburn, Grouplove, Gogol Bordello, Justin Townes Earle and more.

“The biggest thing we learned is that it takes a lot more than four people to put on a festival,” Marshall says, in an interview that took place before the Portland festival. He jokes that the band, which has played a number of festivals, will never take what it puts to put one on for granted. “There’s so many different departments, there’s food, how it looks, so much technical stuff. I could write a thesis on it,” Marshall says.

The group has learned to prioritize. “We had lots of ideas that we thought would be perfect and then you get to the point where you [realize how] expensive it is,” he says. “You have a dream, then clever people watching the costs come down with reality. You have to compromise.”

M&S decided to start the festivals because their experiences had been so enjoyable in playing a number of similar events. “These are small enough that it feels like there’s a community,” Marshall says. “We love playing massive festivals in America... Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella...they’re amazing, but our favorite festivals have been smaller, where you can building up a relationship.”

The idea expanded to selecting cities where the band could keep it all local, from the beer poured to the food served.

When it came to selecting the talent for the four U.S. stopovers, M&S picked many acts that they had already played with at other festivals. “Then there are a couple of them that we haven’t played with but we’re massive fans of,” Marshall says. “I’m a massive Jeff the Brotherhood fan. I’ve met, but not played with, St. Vincent. And Haim, [M&S’s] Ben [Lovett] fucking loves them.”

The group wanted the line-up to feature acts who were  “like-minded, not necessarily like-sounding,” Marshall says. “Jeff the Brotherhood sounds pretty different from Abigail Washburn. They’re a completely different kettle of fish.”

The idea, Marshall says, is to foster such a sense of bonhomie backstage that it spills over onstage. “If all the bands are having a good time, if everyone’s hamming backstage, everyone’s going to be excited about being there.”

Ideally, Marshall says M&S would like to expand to more cities, but that’s on the backburner. “This has been such a massive project, we can’t think into the future,” he says.

According to Rolling Stone, the Portland festival went off without a hitch and was “Portland’s biggest musical event in years,” drawing a sold-out crowd of 15,000. The group spent the weekend in the area, even going out on a boat with local fishermen.  During their festival-closing set, M&S played “Lover’s Eyes,” “I Will Wait,” and “Lover of the Light,” as well as a number of other songs from its next album, “Babel,” which comes out Sept. 25.

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<p>Lady Gaga and her new tattoo</p>

Lady Gaga and her new tattoo

Lady Gaga confirms her album title, but what does it mean?

Hold off on getting the tattoo just yet

Lady Gaga confirmed via Twitter that “ARTPOP” will be the title of her new album and, guess what, Little Monsters? It’s an acronym. It stands for “Artistic Revolution Through the Potential of Pop.” Wait, shouldn’t that really be ARTTPOP? We kid....And we’re not sure if that last part is  official. Someone with the Twitter handle Marc/Lady Gaga tweeted the explanation and Lady Gaga retweeted it.

Seriously, Lady Gaga had already admonishes us via Twitter: “Make sure when writing about my new album/project ARTPOP that you CAPITALIZE the title, ‘it’s all in the details.’”

The fact that it may be an acronym is the only part that even remotely makes the pretentious move of insisting that the album title be written in all caps barely tolerable.  We are Team Gaga, but this is way too precious. If the music is half as precious, which we bet it won’t be, there could be trouble. Hey, at least it’s easier to pronounce than “MDNA...” We're just saying....

As we reported earlier, last week, Gaga tweeted a photo of herself with a new tattoo of the word ARTPOP on the underside of her arm, and, yes, it is all in caps.   Gaga Daily, a fansite devoted to all things LG, posted several days ago that Lady Gaga’s  fourth studio album will comes out before Spring 2013, with the first single arriving before year’s end.

Lady Gaga had other news today: she announced the first dates in her fall Latin America run, which will start in Mexico City on Oct. 26.  The remaining dates are here.


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<p>Zach Galifianakis' animated visage in &quot;Outta My System&quot;</p>

Zach Galifianakis' animated visage in "Outta My System"

Watch: Zach Galifianakis in My Morning Jacket's new video for 'Outta My System'

The wizard will see you now

He doesn’t utter a word and he doesn’t even appear in real life, but Zach Galifianakis threatens to steal the show in My Morning Jacket’s new music video for “Outta My System.”

The James Frost-directed clip for the song, which is a lilting, wistful reflection on growing up and getting the wild living out of your system before settling down...or not, opens with lead singer Jim James walking in very furry boots and his cape (YAY! Long live the cape), walking down a desolate road. He jumps down a rabbit hole and turns into a one-eyed cartoon. The rest of his band, also now Cyclops themselves, show up, they jump into a flying car and go on a colorful, “Yellow Submarine” type journey. Overseeing it all is a cartoon image of Galifianakis as a wizard of sorts, who shoots lightning bolts out of his fingers. Of course, as it has in other clips, the freaky green eye from the cover of "Circuital" makes an appearance.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jessica Chastain is part of the huge ensemble cast of 'Zero Dark Thirty'</p>

Jessica Chastain is part of the huge ensemble cast of 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty' teases the hunt for Bin Laden

Our first look at the film features more mood than footage

Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker" changed her career and redefined her for audiences and studios alike.  It was a great moment for a director who had been working in the margins for a while at that point, and there has been a great deal of attention on her follow-up to that film as a result.

Now, finally, we've got a trailer for "Zero Dark Thirty," which reunites her with "Hurt Locker" screenwriter Mark Boal.  Even before Osama Bin Laden was actually killed, they were hard at work on a story about the hunt for the elusive Al Queda leader, and when he was found and killed, they were deep into pre-production.  They were happy to reconfigure their film, though, since real life was kind enough to give them the perfect third act for the film.

This is a teaser in every sense of the term.  There's very little actual footage here.  It's more mood and little snippets of soundtrack and a couple of quick glimpses of cast.  She's lined up an amazing collection of actors for the film, so I'm hoping there's another trailer soon that shows us more of the cast together.  Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Harold Perrineau, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Duplass, Stephen Dillane and ass-kicker supreme Scott Adkins are all part of the ensemble, and I think Chastain is the only one I was able to actually spot in the trailer.

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<p>Carey Mulligan in &quot;The Great Gatsby.&quot;</p>

Carey Mulligan in "The Great Gatsby."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'Gatsby' release rescheduled for summer 2013

Baz Luhrmann's lavish 3D pic is out of the 2012 Oscar frame

Well, that's disheartening. Every Oscar season has its share of prestige dropouts, and this year's first is a big one: Baz Luhrmann's 3D adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," initially scheduled by Warner Bros. for a Christmas Day release, will now not reach theaters until next summer. (It's the second high-profile title Warners have bumped to 2013, after the all-star "Gangster Squad" was relegated to the January doldrums.)

No precise reason has been given for the shift, with Warner distribution president Dan Fellman simply saying that they want "to ensure this unique film reaches the widest audience possible." You can read that as you will. Perhaps they believe the film has genuinely strong commercial prospects and deserves art-blockbuster positioning. Perhaps, regardless of the film's quality, they're anticipating critical slingshots -- some are inevitable, I'd say, given the scale and eccentricity of the project -- and don't want to subject it to the pressure of a prime awards-bait slot. Perhaps reshoots are on the cards and they simply need more time.

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