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<p>Darren McGavin starred as Carl Kolchak in the original 'Night Stalker' TV&nbsp;series, and when I look at Darren McGavin, I can't help but think 'Johnny Depp'</p>

Darren McGavin starred as Carl Kolchak in the original 'Night Stalker' TV series, and when I look at Darren McGavin, I can't help but think 'Johnny Depp'

Credit: ABC TV/MGM

Johnny Depp and Edgar Wright set to bring Kolchak back for 'The Night Stalker'

Could this be a major monster-driven franchise for Disney?

"The Night Stalker" is one of those "duh" ideas in television history, an idea that is such a natural that it almost seems like an inevitability.  The story of Carl Kolchak, a newspaper reporter who finds himself involved in chasing down the supernatural, the show is a clear precursor of something like "The X-Files," and even thought the series never quite lived up to the promise of the original TV movie, it was one of those shows that got lodged in the consciousness of anyone who saw it when it aired.

Johnny Depp is, of course, starring in this summer's "Dark Shadows," which seems to be taking the somewhat groundbreaking tactic of releasing a giant-budget Tim Burton film without a single poster or trailer.  That's about as cult a cult show as has ever existed, and stepping into the role that Jonathan Frid made creepy is going to be a very interesting role for Depp.  After that, he's headed out west to play Tonto opposite "The Lone Ranger."  So while he's on this particular nostalgia kick, why not throw in Kolchak?

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<p>The Beatles</p>

The Beatles

Got To Get The Beatles into your phone? Now you can

Ringtones from the Fab Four arrive today

Want “All You Need Is Love” as your ringtone when your sweetie calls? What about “Help” when your in-laws call or, of course, the very appropriate “Hello, Goodbye” for all calls?

As of today, you can. After holding out on iTunes for  seven years before finally going digital with most of their albums in late 2010, the Fab Four has now added ringtones to the mix.

The band’s 27 No. 1 hits in the U.S. and U.K. are now available as ringtones for your phone exclusively on iTunes.

Here are your choices.

The Beatles #1 ringtones

 "Love Me Do"
 "Yellow Submarine"
"From Me To You"
 "Eleanor Rigby"
 "She Loves You"
. "Penny Lane"
"I Want To Hold Your Hand"
 "All You Need Is Love"
 "Can't Buy Me Love"
"A Hard Day's Night"
 "Lady Madonna"
 "I Feel Fine"
. "Hey Jude"
"Eight Days a Week"
 "Get Back"
 "Ticket to Ride"
 "The Ballad of John and Yoko"
"Help!"
"Something"
 "Yesterday"
 "Come Together"
 "Day Tripper"
 "Let It Be"
 "We Can Work It Out"
 ""The Long and Winding Road"
 "Paperback Writer"
"Hello Goodbye"
 
 

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<p>A scene from Oscar-nominated animated short &quot;Wild Life&quot;</p>

A scene from Oscar-nominated animated short "Wild Life"

Credit: ShortsHD/Magnolia Pictures

Oscar-nominated shorts make their way to cable

Catch them on demand before Sunday's ceremony

Many of you would really like to see the Oscar-nominated shorts prior to Sunday's telecast but can't make it to one of the theaters currently running the package. Well, better late than never, I guess. I'll let the press release speak for itself:

"Just days after the February 10th theatrical release of The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012, and just in time for the 84th Academy Awards, ShortsHD, the only TV network dedicated exclusively to short movies, today announced the collection of Oscar nominated films will be available to cable subscribers on demand.

"Starting Feb 21st, the best of this year’s nominated shorts are offered in two special packages: Best Animated Short Films and Best Live Action Short Films, in both HD and SD. These films are presented to cable television subscribers by ShortsHD in conjunction with the nation’s leading Movies on Demand (MOD) distributor, iN DEMAND.

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<p>A scene from 1994's &quot;Hoop Dreams.&quot;</p>

A scene from 1994's "Hoop Dreams."

Credit: Fine Line Features

Oscar’s big miss: ‘Hoop Dreams’

A look at one of the Academy's most glaring snubs

Nearly every year there are a number of films that Oscar simply seems to miss. Just recently Steve McQueen addressed some of the reasons he believes that Oscar ignored Michael Fassbender's performance in what was, for me, one of the best films of the year: “Shame.” Certainly Guy, Kris and I have all expressed our support for “Margaret” and our wish that the Academy voters had caught onto its value in time for it to make even a small showing.

Over the years there have been a number of omissions that have inspired either a quiet or riotous outcry from audiences and critics circles. In recent memory “The Dark Knight” and “Dreamgirls” were each considered shocking snubs by many given their momentum in the precursor circuit. In general terms, there are certain categories that tend to yield frustrating nominations and wins due to nonsensical and counterproductive voting practices.

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Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston

 Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston talk about 'a whole lotta' nudity in 'Wanderlust'

Nudism and Alan Alda rule in the new comedy

Get ready for some of the unsexiest nudity of the year in "Wanderlust," Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston's new comedy about suddenly unemployed urban dwellers George and Linda who unexpectedly find themselves at a hippie commune that's not only clothing optional but polyamorous. Their introduction to the clothing optional part is initially through Joe Lo Truglio's full frontal nudity (though, to be honest, the actor wears an impressive prosthetic penis throughout the film). "[Whole Lotta Penis] was the original name of the film," Rudd jokes.

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<p>Anton&nbsp;Furst poses on the badass instrument of his creation:&nbsp;the 1989 Batmobile</p>

Anton Furst poses on the badass instrument of his creation: the 1989 Batmobile

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

My favorite Oscar win: Anton Furst and Peter Young for 'Batman'

On final approach, we look back at some of Oscar’s finer moments

There's a stand-by in Oscar season, if you're one of us who obsesses on guessing below-the-line categories, that I learned never to forget last year: Don't bet against a Tim Burton film in the Best Art Direction category.

Last year it was "Alice in Wonderland" that took the award, when I and a number of others thought "The King's Speech" might grab it in a bit of a sweep scenario for the eventual Best Picture winner. Three years prior, it was this season's expected victor, Dante Ferretti, winning the award for Burton's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Eight years before that, the inarguable work of Rick Heinrichs and his team took it for "Sleepy Hollow."

That run started, though, in 1989, when Anton Furst and Peter Young beat out James Cameron's "The Abyss," Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," Best Picture winner "Driving Miss Daisy" and Edward Zwick's "Glory" for their towering Gothic creations on the year's (and, to that time, the industry's) biggest hit: "Batman."

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<p>Woody Allen and Owen Wilson on the set of &quot;Midnight in Paris.&quot;</p>

Woody Allen and Owen Wilson on the set of "Midnight in Paris."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Terrence Malick square off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.) 

For many Oscar voters and watchers, Best Director appears to be something of a superfluous category: If you directed the best film of the year, the reasoning goes, you must be the best director of the year too. That may be true more often than not, but the Academy doesn't always distinguish between a true visionary and a safe pair of hands guiding well-chosen collaborators.

So it is that, over 83 years of Academy Awards history, the Best Picture and Best Director awards have gone to the same film 75% of the time -- and in recent years, haven't been separated since the 2005 ceremony. Last year, the Academy opted for the safe pair of hands: Tom Hooper, a comparatively untested Brit with a TV background, beat four idiosyncratic American auteurs, to the chagrin of critics everywhere. This year again sees a foreign first-time nominee pitted against a quartet of more established Yanks. (All four of them, moreover, are previous nominees -- the highest proportion in the category since 1993.) Once again, the outsider is favored to triumph, though in this case, it's for a work of more director-centered ingenuity. He's also one of four writer-directors among the nominees, a number last matched in 1995.      

The nominees are...

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<p>Lamorne Morris, Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield in &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Lamorne Morris, Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield in "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' - 'Bully': Hi, this is Nick, leaving a message

A very funny all-around episode

A review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I look like a Gypsy courtesan...

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<p>Erika Christensen and Rosa Salazar in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Erika Christensen and Rosa Salazar in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'Remember Me, I'm the One Who Loves You': New life

Zoe gives birth, Jasmine has a question for Crosby, and Sarah and Mark make plans

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I tell you a story about Lenny Kravitz's stinky feet...

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<p>Andy Serkis on the set of &quot;Rise of the Planet of the Apes.&quot;</p>

Andy Serkis on the set of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Round-up: Calling for a collaborative performance Oscar

Also: Clothing 'Jane Eyre,' and rejecting the idea of 'Oscar bait'

With many grousing that the Academy's technophobia deprived Andy Serkis of an Oscar nod for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," Matt Zoller Seitz makes a case for a compromise honor: a new Oscar category for Best Collaborative Performance, for characters created by heavily altered actors in conjunction with motion-capture artists, animators and makeup wizards. Serkis aside, performances Seitz suggests could have won here include Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly" and Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- though his notion that anti-FX bias cost Pitt the 2008 Best Actor Oscar is an empty one when you consider his competition. Overall, It's an intelligent suggestion, though it would surely hinder the possibility of such performances cracking the main acting races. [Press Play]     

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<p>A whole movie of Daniel Craig beating on people like an ape on meth, with Roger Deakins shooting it.&nbsp; Pinch me, I must be dreaming.</p>

A whole movie of Daniel Craig beating on people like an ape on meth, with Roger Deakins shooting it.  Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

Credit: Sony/EON

First 'Skyfall' videoblog suggests Sam Mendes is a lifelong James Bond fan

Want a quick glimpse of Daniel Craig as 007?

If you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm a little bit excited about "Skyfall."

It's a year where there are some big and significant franchise films coming out, including "The Avengers" and "The Hobbit" and "The Dark Knight Rises," and of all of them, the one that I have to admit has me most worked up and flustered and desperate for information about is "Skyfall."

I like what the Daniel Craig years have brought to the James Bond series, and I think they can do anything right now.  They're not painted into any corners.  They haven't done anything in "Casino Royale" and "Quantum Of Solace" that prevents them from going pretty much anywhere with the storytelling at this point.  There's a lot of groundwork laid in those two films, but to what end?

I think the key here in terms of my excitement is Sam Mendes, who I think is a talented guy whose films don't necessarily fully reflect his skills.  The attitude he's been expressing since coming on-board here, combined with what I've heard about him as a Bond fan in general, has me thinking that the producers picked the right guy to handle the 50th anniversary James Bond movie, and that there's something special in the works for us this year.

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<p>&quot;Suburgatory&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

"Suburgatory"

Credit: ABC

HitFix Interview: Creator Emily Kapnek talks 'Suburgatory'

Alicia Silverstone, ensemble building and other ABC comedy issues
Viewers still have eight more episodes of "Suburgatory" to look forward to this season, but the ABC comedy actually wrapped production on its first season early last week. 
 
Series creator Emily Kapnek and her creative team still have many weeks of post-production ahead of them, but it seemed like a good time to discuss the evolution of what has been one of the pleasant surprises of the 2011-2012 season.
 
"Suburgatory" started as the story of George (Jeremy Sisto) and Tessa (Jane Levy), a father and daughter who flee New York City for what was initially a very, very, very heightened version of the suburbs. 
 
Months later, "Suburgatory" continues to be anchored by Sisto and particularly Levy, but the supporting cast of Chatswin scene stealers has become one of the deepest on TV, drawing terrific performances from co-stars and recurring players like Cheryl Hines, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell, Carly Chaikin, Alan Tudyk, Allie Grant, Maestro Harrell, Rex Lee and Parker Young. Stick around later this season and Alicia Silverstone will reunite with "Clueless" chum Sisto.
 
In our conversation, Kapnek discusses the challenges of making time for the full ensemble, keeping George and Tessa believable, figuring out the right number of "Clueless" in-jokes for Silverstone, why we may not see many more flashbacks and why characters keep dancing by themselves.
 
Click through for the full interview. And no... Not a word about the "Suburgatory" alt-narrative...
 
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