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<p>John Lithgow and Harry in &quot;Harry and the Hendersons&quot;</p>

John Lithgow and Harry in "Harry and the Hendersons"

Credit: Universal Pictures

‘Men in Black III’ alien designer Rick Baker on his favorite creature

It's not what you might think

“Men in Black III”’s U.S. release inspired Kris to post a list of legendary effects/makeup artist Rick Baker’s top 10 contributions to cinema earlier this week. With 12 Oscar nominations and seven wins, Baker is perhaps the most well known and revered man working in his field.

As Kris’s article indicates, the creature effects mastermind’s catalogue of work is both varied and prolific. Baker has run the gamut between horror (“The Ring,” “Cursed”), comedy (“Tropic Thunder,” “Ed Wood,” “The Nutty Professor” and, a personal favorite, “Coming to America”), fantasy (“Hellboy,” “Enchanted”) and of course, sci-fi comedy with the distinctive “Men in Black” franchise.

In his interview with Baker, Drew McWeeny mentions the transformation sequence in “An American Werewolf in London” as a moment that forever altered his perception of what is possible in the world of filmmaking. McWeeny is certainly not alone. For many, the thriller remains, if not the most successful, the most beloved on-screen rendering of the shape-shifting beasts.

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 85 -- Special Edition! -- Cannes 2012 dispatch

Oscar Talk: Ep. 85 -- Special Edition! -- Cannes 2012 dispatch

Also: Weinstein's big presence and more

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

It's been about two and a half months since Oscar Talk went on hiatus. When we last left our heroes the 2011 Oscar season had drawn to a close. That season started in earnest with the premiere of "The Artist" at the Cannes Film Festival. This year's fest is nearing its end. What clues has it offered for the upcoming awards season? Anne is there with our own Guy Lodge (I'm in Pittsburgh, so we're kind of scattered). So, on the docket today...

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<p>Video may have killed the radio star, but the biggest hit from The Buggles is a key part of one of the most magical moments in the remarkable 'Take This Waltz,' arriving this week on streaming platforms.</p>

Video may have killed the radio star, but the biggest hit from The Buggles is a key part of one of the most magical moments in the remarkable 'Take This Waltz,' arriving this week on streaming platforms.

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Weekend Watch: 'Men In Black,' 'Take This Waltz,' and new Ghibli Blu-ray

One of the year's best films shows up at home before a theatrical run

You've got a lot of options for what to watch and how, and we want to help you plan your weekend with a new column where we'll highlight three things you can see in theaters, three things you'll find streaming, and three titles new to home video.  Appropriately enough, we call this The Weekend Watch.

It was a long and irritating day of travel to get me from France to Los Angeles, and I've only been home for about six hours, but that's enough time for me to start to get my post-festival bearings again and prepare this week's Weekend Watch.  As always, there are big films and small films and theatrical and video all in the mix, and it's an eclectic buffet that proves that just because it's the beginning of the summer movie season doesn't mean you only have big giant blockbusters as possibilities.  It looks like I'm going to be taking Toshi to see "The Avengers" on Sunday after all, so that's my Memorial Day fireworks celebration, and I'll also be enjoying a birthday celebration with friends tomorrow with friends and family.  Hope you guys are going to use the weekend to see something fun, and that we're able to help steer you towards something you might not expect.

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<p>Linkin Park</p>

Linkin Park

Watch: Linkin Park takes 'Burn It Down' literally in new music video

Performance clip is nicely charged

That is one combustible rehearsal space Linkin Park has got going for itself.

In the video for “Burn It Down,” which premiered on MTV, there are particle clouds, fire bursts and more. The boys have got their own sci-fi weather eco-system going on right there.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Chris Brown and friends</p>

Chris Brown and friends

Watch: Chris Brown shows off his abs in new video for 'Sweet Love'

His love powers include levitation

Remember how when you were little, you used to make a tent by stringing a sheet over two chairs so that you and your friends could play?  Chris Brown is doing the adult version of that in his new video for  “Sweet Love.”

He and his lady play under the sheets and he promises “tonight is the night that I change your life.” Indeed, his lovemaking prowess is apparently so remarkable that he has the power to make women levitate, literally, and even to bring pleasure to ghosts in the back of a limo.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Gael Garcia Bernal in &quot;No.&quot;</p>

Gael Garcia Bernal in "No."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'No' takes top honors in Directors' Fortnight at Cannes

Buzz for the Sony Pictures Classics acquisition keeps building

Well, that was a, uh, no-brainer. As Cannes winds down, its numerous awards start getting doled out -- and the most notable win so far comes for Pablo Larrain's critics' darling "No," which has just taken the Art Cinema Award, the top prize in the festival's Directors' Fortnight sidebar.

The film, a riveting political campaign drama starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was the obvious favorite for the award from its first screening way back on the third day of the festival, where it received rapturous applause and prompted many to ask why it wasn't in a higher-profile strand of the festival. Since then, it's had pretty much a dream festival run: reviews were glowing across the board, while word of mouth spread rapidly from that first screening, inspiring many more Competition-focused critics to give it some column inches.

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<p>&nbsp;Kylie Minogue</p>

 Kylie Minogue

Watch: Kylie Minogue struts her stuff through London in new video for 'Timebomb'

Will she wear that outfit to play for the Queen?

On “Timebomb,” Kylie Minogue sings “Time...time is moving so fast.” Maybe for the rest of us, but not for her. Minogue who spends much of the video in short jean shorts and a cropped motorcycle jacket (and sometimes less) looks amazing. Time has been very, very kind to the Aussie sensation.  In the Christian Larson-directed clip, she strolls through London streets on what looks like a rather chilly day compared to what everyone else is wearing, but she’s Super Kylie: she’s immune to feeling things like temperature.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen fights for his reputation in Thomas Vinterberg's 'The Hunt'</p>

Mads Mikkelsen fights for his reputation in Thomas Vinterberg's 'The Hunt'

Credit: Zentropa International

Review: Vinterberg's 'The Hunt' infuriates in all the right ways

A piercing examination of the aftermath of false accusation impresses deeply

CANNES - Thomas Vinterberg's 1998 film "The Celebration" was a blistering piece about repressed secrets as a form of familial cancer, and it established him as an important voice in Danish film on part with Lars Von Trier.  The films he's made since then have not worked with the same focus, but he's remained an interesting presence with the potential to put it all together again.

And now, with his new film "The Hunt," he's done exactly that.

It's interesting that you could read this as an almost direct inversion of "the Celebration," but I don't think that was by design.  Instead, Vinterberg began his process on this film by reading some disturbing reports on how children are so unclear on the notion of fantasy that they can lie with complete emotional conviction, and how adults, unclear on the way that works, can sometimes believe the unbelievable because of the source.  We tend to paint children in our culture as these pristine moral figures, and when I hear that, it makes me wonder if the people who believe that have ever actually met any children.  I love my kids, and I think they are well on their way to being good people.  But left to their own devices, kids are basically wild animals and morality is something we teach them, not something that is inherent to them.  They are driven by desire and need and powerful waves of emotion that they barely understand.

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<p>Robert Pattinson in &quot;Cosmopolis.&quot;</p>

Robert Pattinson in "Cosmopolis."

Credit: Entertainment One

Review: Robert Pattinson has a devil's haircut on his mind in Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis'

Faithful but flummoxing adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel hits Cannes

CANNES - Eric Packer, the disaffected, boy-billionaire anti-hero of “Cosmopolis,” has an asymmetrical prostate. We’re told this no fewer than three times in David Cronenberg’s highly garrulous but bullet-cold adaptation of Don DeLillo’s compact 2003 novel, and it can’t just be to tease us with the reassuring prospect that there’s something imperfect about Robert Pattinson’s svelte, slicked, immaculately suited physique – nor just to amuse us with the notion that this sleek automaton of a protagonist has a prostate at all.

Rather, the image – though lifted straight from DeLillo’s novel, like pretty much everything in Cronenberg’s exceedingly faithful adaptation thereof – seems principally an assertion of the hand of David Cronenberg. That is, the funny, fevered, corporeally obsessed Cronenberg of old, the Cronenberg who became his own best adjective and has been only intermittently present, if not always to detrimental effect, in his last three or four films. After his intellectually heady but almost perversely restrained psychology drama, “A Dangerous Method,” debuted only months ago to polite critical applause that nonetheless questioned his edge, the hinky, kinky, defiantly unlovable “Cosmopolis” lands in our laps with bristly self-assurance. “You asked for this,” it seems to be saying, one of the few things unspoken amid its torrent of thematically pointed verbiage. “Let’s see if you really want it.”

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<p>Jason Isaacs in &quot;Awake.&quot;</p>

Jason Isaacs in "Awake."

Credit: NBC

'Awake' series finale interview with creator Kyle Killen

What would he have done differently? And what did the finale mean?
I had planned on writing a review of the series finale of "Awake." Then I watched the series finale of "Awake," which was fascinating at times, puzzling at others, and moving at still others. I felt like this was a situation where the best approach was to simply talk to the show's creator, Kyle Killen, about everything that happened, what it meant, and where the show might have gone if the ratings had been good enough to merit a second season. All of that coming up just as soon as I get my high heels fixed…
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<p>Cat Deeley of &quot;So You Think You Can Dance&quot;</p>

Cat Deeley of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 9 Premiere - Dallas and New York Auditions

Cat Deeley, Nigel Lytho and company are back for another season

This is how I celebrate my first "American Idol"-free Thursday of the spring?

Weird, right?

Thursday (May 24) night is the two-hour season premiere of FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" and, in honor of the season-starter, I'm gonna live-blog this sucker. I don't know if this will be a regular thing. In fact, I have my doubts for a few reasons:

1) I already know I probably won't be able to do next week, so I'm not going to get a Lou Gehrig-style streak going. 

2) I actually like "So You Think You Can Dance," but as a viewer. I'm not sure I feel the same way as a recapper. 

3) I don't know a darned thing about how to critique dancing, so I fear that my commentary will be full of empty words like "bendy" and "ab-tastic."

4) I don't know if anybody cares enough to read.

But for the purposes of the premiere? Let's get some live-blogging action going. And if you want more, read and comment and stuff...

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<p>&nbsp;Kelly Clarkson</p>

 Kelly Clarkson

Watch: Kelly Clarkson's new video for 'Dark Side'

What happens when we show our true selves?

We all have those parts of ourselves that we’re too scared to reveal to those we love. In the video for her new single, “Dark Side,” Kelly Clarkson asks if her partner could still love her once he sees that side of her?

Whether it’s the various situations depicted in the clip— body image issues, alcoholism and other addictions, war injuries— or our own different demons, Clarkson’s performance in the clip perfectly captures the vulnerability that comes with showing people our whole selves.

[More after the jump...]

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