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Cheesa, Jamar, Juliet on 'The Voice'

Cheesa, Jamar Rogers and Juliet Simms represent Team Cee-Lo on 'The Voice'

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' quarterfinals - Team Adam and Team Cee-Lo

Who got America's save for the semi-finals, and who did the coaches cut?

With Tony Lucca, Jamar and Juliet looking locked and loaded for next week's semi-finals, there's not much suspense to these second week of quarter-finals results.

The only real questions: Did America save Juliet or Jamar on Team Cee-Lo? And will Adam side with "power" vocals and save Katrina or "quirky" vocals and save Mathai?

Let's get right to it...

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<p>Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy are two of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers in John Hillcoat's 'Lawless,' set to head to Cannes in May before its US&nbsp;debut in August.</p>

Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy are two of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers in John Hillcoat's 'Lawless,' set to head to Cannes in May before its US debut in August.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

First 'Lawless' trailer makes great use of Oldman, Hardy, Pearce, and LaBeouf

Has John Hillcoat actually made a film that could be described as fun?

I was starting to think John Hillcoat was allergic to fun.

While I admire Hillcoat's commitment to the grim aesthetic he's pursued over his last few films, "The Proposition" and especially "The Road" are punishing experiences for a viewer.  Hillcoat seems to take some sort of pleasure in emotionally demolishing his audience, and he's seemed somewhat unwilling to even let in a little bit of light.

Now that we've got a trailer for "Lawless," his new film, I am more excited than I already was about seeing it at Cannes next month.  This looks like a blast, and it may well end up being the most commercial thing he's ever done as a filmmaker.

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<p>Iron Man and Captain America teaming up is just the first step of the truly wonderful 'The Avengers'</p>

Iron Man and Captain America teaming up is just the first step of the truly wonderful 'The Avengers'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

Review: 'Avengers' assembles the best Marvel movie so far

Joss Whedon's sure hand as a writer/director elevates the material tremendously

I've seen the film twice now, and I'm going to do my best to avoid pointless hyperbole in reviewing this. 

Short version:  it's tremendous entertainment, confident and complete in a way that none of the Marvel movies so far have been, and I say that as someone who likes the Marvel movies in general.  The company makes an incremental leap forward with this movie, and they've set the bar fairly high for themselves in the future.  I am pleased and impressed and feel like this more than pays off any emotional investment I made in the movies as they were being released.

When discussing "The Avengers" as a film, though, there are several ways to approach it.  You can look at it as a further evolution of what Joss Whedon does as a writer and director.  You can review it based on its place in the Marvel canon overall.  You can analyze how it fits into the overall genre of superhero films.  I think the only way to place it in the correct context is to approach it from all of those directions, because the film seems to occupy a unique place in pop culture, and considering how big a commercial product it is, there's something sort of revolutionary about its very existence.

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<p>Naya Rivera and Lea Michele of &quot;Glee&quot;</p>
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Naya Rivera and Lea Michele of "Glee"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - 'Dance With Somebody'

Houston? We have a problem. Again.
Well, those good times lasted exactly a week. So, par for the course with “Glee.”
 
After scoring its second strong episode based around an album, not an artist, with “Saturday Night Glee-ver” (a spiritual sequel to last season’s excellent “Rumours”), the show went back to less successful areas with its Whitney Houston tribute installment “Dance With Somebody.” It’s not that these “concept” episodes, for lack of a better term, are inherently a bad idea. In stronger, more capable hands, delving into the back catalog of a single artist is a perfectly good way to structure an episode of a musical. But “Glee” almost never understands the difference between “using those songs to bring out actual emotional notes in its characters” and “simply restaging the music videos just for the hell of it.”
 
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<p>Travis tries to give Laurie some advice on &quot;Cougar Town.&quot;</p>

Travis tries to give Laurie some advice on "Cougar Town."

Credit: ABC

'Cougar Town' - 'Money Becomes King': Fifty-fifty vs. 100%

Jules and Grayson go to couples counseling, Laurie starts a business and Andy pranks Bobby

A quick review of tonight's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I find enough courage to pull a tab off the "Drummer Wanted" poster...

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<p>Eva Mendes on the set of &quot;Holy Motors.&quot;</p>

Eva Mendes on the set of "Holy Motors."

Credit: Les Films du Losange

Cannes Check: Leos Carax's 'Holy Motors'

Continuing our series of Cannes competition previews

The auteur: Leos Carax (French, 51 years old)

The talent: There are a couple of eclectic ensembles to be found in this year's Cannes lineup, but surely none weirder than this one. That weatherbeaten French character actor (and longtime Carax associate) Denis Lavant ("Beau Travail") takes the lead role here is hardly a surprise. Gallic veterans Michel Piccoli (most recently seen in "We Have a Pope") and Edith Scob ("Summer Hours") also make sense. But who would have expected them to share the bill with Eva Mendes and, wait for it, Australian pop pixie Kylie Minogue? The mind reels.

Carax wrote the script on his own. Below the line, Bruno Dumont's favorite DP Yves Cape (who hit a career high with Claire Denis on "White Material") is one of two cinematographers on the project; the other, Caroline Champetier, recently won a Cesar for "Of Gods and Men." Editor Nelly Quettier (who also has some Claire Denis credits on her CV) has worked with Carax since 1986's "The Night is Young"; production designer Florian Sanson is a relative newcomer, but recently did some impressive work on "Black Venus." The score, apparently, is by British semi-novelty band The Divine Comedy, because, well, obviously

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<p>Beach Boys at the 2012 Grammys</p>

Beach Boys at the 2012 Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

UPDATE: Listen to all of Beach Boys 'That's Why God Made the Radio?'

Watch the reunited group's video promo: new album out on June 5

The Beach Boys have promised a new album this summer, and will make good on that promise on June 5.

The band has posted a new promo video in support of the as-yet-untitled set, featuring much of what will be the album's first single "That's Why God Made the Radio."

But will this mash note to radio prove moot? Pop radio's elders have stacked their harmonies like old times, yes, but the melody and style may still make it an uphill battle for any commercial play, particularly when A/C radio is so loath on new adds.

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Nas sets release date for 'Life is Good'; first new album in four years
Credit: Island Def Jam

Nas sets release date for 'Life is Good'; first new album in four years

Video for current single, 'The Don,' debuts on Friday, April 27

Rapper Nas returns with his first album in four years, “Life is Good,” on July 17.

Second track, “The Don,” which was produced by Da Internz, Salaam Remi and the late Heavy D, is at radio now, while fans heard an earlier track, “Nasty,” last summer.  A third track, “Daughters,” (not the John Mayer song, we’re sure), goes for sale on iTunes on May 1. The video for “The Don”  premieres on MTV and Vevo on Friday, April 27.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Cee Lo with Goodie Mobb on &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>
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Cee Lo with Goodie Mobb on "The Voice"


Credit: NBC

Watch: Cee Lo and reunited Goodie Mob debut 'Fight to Win' on 'The Voice'

First song in eight years from formerly hip-hop group

Who replaced Goodie Mob with the Black Eyed Peas?

Below is the performance of new song "Fight to Win" from the reunited group on "The Voice" last night, led by show host and man-about-town Cee Lo Green. It's the Atlanta crew's first new song in eight years, and will be featured in NBA promo spots (on top of, undoubtedly, many election year rallies). The track is likely to be included in the quartet's next album, "Age Against the Machine," release TBA.

I'm not saying the hip-hop group was never pop, but I don't know exactly what to call this except three minutes of Cee Lo yelling a chorus.

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<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Bieber writes new 'Believe' song about his paternity lawsuit

No word on if song about Mariah Yeager makes the cut

If Taylor Swift can write songs about relationships  she had with famous men, why can’t Justin Bieber write a song about a relationship he did not have with a now infamous woman?

Bieber, who, heretofore, has been almost preternaturally mature, is lashing out at Mariah Yeater, whom you will recall accused him last November of fathering her child. He maintained that the two never met. She filed legal action and then withdrew the suit.

Over the weekend, Bieber opened up what seemed to be a completely closed chapter in his life by tweeting about Yeater: “Dear Mariah Yeeter (sic)...we have never met...so from my heart, I just wanted to say...” (and then the link to Sasha Baron Cohen’s Borat character taunting “You will never get this...”  (Although at the end of Borat's speech, the person does break into the animal’s cage and “get this...” hmmm).

Then, as reported by Billboard, Monday night Bieber confirmed to reporters in London that he has written a song about Yeater for “Believe,” which comes out June 19.  “There’s a song about that girl --Mariah Yeater--that said she was gonna have my baby....There are songs about things I’m going through. I wrote songs about different situations.”

However, the BBC reports that Bieber has recorded 40 songs for “Believe,” so no word on whether Yeater's tune  will make the cut and go down in recorded history.

And speaking of Swift, she is one of his collaborators on “Believe,” as well as Drake, Kanye West, and Ludacris.



 

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<p>John&nbsp;Cusack as Edgar Allan&nbsp;Poe in &quot;The Raven&quot;</p>

John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe in "The Raven"

Credit: Relativity Media

‘The Raven,’ the death impulse and harmony

‘There is nothing more fascinating in the world than a beautiful woman dying.’

This weekend “The Raven,” director James McTeigue’s imagined version of horror master Edgar Allan Poe’s final days, makes its way into theaters. A predictable thriller with uneven attempts to elevate itself beyond the confines of a formula while still satisfying the demands of the middle ground, I cannot say that I wholeheartedly recommend it.

However, I find the film's subject matter and the ideas that inspire it to be somewhat intrinsically intriguing. I do not believe that "The Raven" captures Poe's tone or essence; it is a bit too shallow for that, lacking the density of those who really wish to engage with his work. There are moments in the film that were awkward to the point of being nearly painful to behold and others that felt like they struck the balance between naturalism and suspense/fantasy. But it is what "The Raven" points to in the broader context of the genre that has been, and is, of interest to me.

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<p>Jack White, &quot;Blunderbuss&quot;</p>

Jack White, "Blunderbuss"

Credit: Third Man/Warner Bros.

Review: Jack White's solo debut 'Blunderbuss'

What it sounds like to fight

It’s a struggle to evaluate Jack White’s album output independent of what he’s done with his storied music career thus far. His former flame The White Stripes have now dissolved, evidently from bandmate/ex-wife Meg White’s reluctance of the lifestyle. He continues playing in on- and off-again brotherhood in the Raconteurs, and barks back at The Kills’ Alison Mosshart in Dead Weather. Aside from his bands, he’s built a Nashville-based vinyl/singles mini-empire and produced for a bevy of new and veteran artists – from Loretta Lynn to the Black Belles, Wanda Jackson to another ex-, Karen Elson. Of his contemporaries in influence and confluence of skill, White champions more women than most, and to electrifying effect.

One could even say that White’s output has been dependent or at least informed by whom he’s working with -- or against. White explained in the guitarist doc “It Might Get Loud” that he opts to play difficult guitars he has to fight.
 
White in solo debut “Blunderbuss,” however, opts more for piano/Wurlitzer (played by Brooke Waggoner) than guitar to fill in spaces or take the lead on lines. So, instead, he has-it-out in his lyrics and with his voice. White battles an invisible “other” in many circumstances, most frequently the lovers that burn him or whom he likes to burn in his songs. And it’s worth noting that he sings like a woman some of the time.
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