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"The Vampire Diaries"

"The Vampire Diaries" 

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'Bringing Out the Dead'

Klaus is about to get his comeuppance -- or is he?

 Sorry this recap is a little late, but my dog died unexpectedly this evening. Of course, watching "The Vampire Diaries" makes me really wish there was a magical ring or some vampire blood that worked on the canine set, but this episode does, oddly enough, grapple with some of the very human issues that rarely get tackled on a show about werewolves and vampires and hybrids, oh my -- the end of life and the natural order of things. This show may be one of the more effective in deglamorizing the dark, bloody world of the undead and suggesting that, though finite, being human isn' t so bad after all -- or at least that's what Elena might actually be coming to believe. 

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<p>Josh Fox at a rally against gas drilling in Harrisburg, PA.</p>

Josh Fox at a rally against gas drilling in Harrisburg, PA.

‘Gasland’ director Josh Fox arrested in D.C.

Freedom of speech meets independent documentary film

Indiewire reports that documentary filmmaker Josh Fox was arrested on Wednesday morning at 10:30am in Washington D.C. for unlawful entry after he attempted to record a House Science Committee hearing on fracking.

"Fracking," you ask? No, not the inspired alternate universe cussword from the rebooted "Battlestar Galactica" series (though I would like to see that hearing). Fracking is actually a far more serious matter.

Otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, fracking is a process stimulation procedure that “creates fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The larger fissures allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation and into the wellbore, from where it can be extracted.” Oil companies use the process to breach otherwise impenetrable rock.

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime Television

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'Clothes Off Your Back'

The designers must find muses in Central Park - and get their clothes

Not to bum anyone out, but tonight's recap may be a little frayed around the edges (not unlike those Chanel jackets from a few years back) as my little dog Bacon, a rescue I've had since Denise Richards was married to Charlie Sheen, died unexpectedly earlier this evening following surgery. But fashion waits for no man or beast, so we will soldier on. R.I.P., little friend. 

This week's challenge? The designers must find a muse to inspire a fashion-forward look. They must find this muse in Central Park, which is kind of like looking for inspiration at the airport or a 24 Hour Fitness. But that's not the only challenge awaiting our intrepid designers! There's a twist! They must convince their muse to give them the clothes off their back, then create outfits using said clothes.The budget of $150 can be used to bribe the muse, and whatever's leftover can be used at Mood. The designers groan. I also groan. I mean, come on! What exactly does this have to do with actual design? The toughest part of this challenge is, if you ask me, trying to get someone to give you a decent piece of clothing so you can hand them a white T-shirt in exchange. I think most people would see this as a pretty crappy deal, even if you're a fan of "Project Runway." 

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<p>Whatever they've done to Riddick (Vin Diesel), the side of his head has certainly seen better days.</p>

Whatever they've done to Riddick (Vin Diesel), the side of his head has certainly seen better days.

Credit: Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel's busy posting more 'Riddick' photos on his Facebook page

David Twohy's untitled sequel continues shooting in Canada

That's not the most spoiler-oriented photo of all time, but just seeing Vin Diesel looking like he's back in full Riddick mode makes me happy.

When I saw "Pitch Black" for the first time, USA Films wasn't sure what to do with it.  They were trying to position themselves as a serious studio, making Oscar-worthy films, big and important, and a movie like "Pitch Black" seemed to confuse them a bit in terms of marketing and positioning.  Harry Knowles and I were shown the film in the company's Beverly Hills screening room, with no one else in the theater, and by the end of it, we were both ecstatic.  That first movie is just good old fashioned pulp science fiction without a pretentious bone in its body, a modestly-scaled monster movie that set up a really interesting anti-hero in the form of the big broody Vin Diesel, who was really only known to us at that point as the dude Spielberg ordered written into "Saving Private Ryan" and the voice of "The Iron Giant."

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<p>Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Operation Ann': Riddle me this, Ron Swanson

On Valentine's Day, Leslie plays matchmaker, Ron solves a puzzle and Chris' funk deepens

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I play music from the end of a movie about a monk who killed himself...

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<p>Johnny Keyser offers a reminder of why it's important to wear antiperspirant to &quot;American Idol&quot; auditions</p>
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Johnny Keyser offers a reminder of why it's important to wear antiperspirant to "American Idol" auditions

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' St. Louis Auditions - Live-Blog

What will the Show-Me state show you and America, talent-wise?

This is the final "American Idol" audition stop before Hollywood Week. 

How ready are we? 

Very.

Let's get down to business, eh?

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<p>Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I miss 'Community': Because Shirley and Annie were tough cops

Yvette Nicole Brown and Alison Brie had fun playing against type

Another week has passed without "Community" on NBC's schedule or any hints about when and where it might return.(*) And until that good news comes, it's time once again to look at a clip that sums up something I love about this series.

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<p>Sacha Baron Cohen in &quot;Hugo&quot;</p>

Sacha Baron Cohen in "Hugo"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Hugo' wins big with International 3d Society

Duh

The International 3D Society announced its list of award winners today, and, well, I guess they pretty much did a good job of pointing out all the NON-crappy 3D in theaters this year. Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" won three awards. Check out the full list of winners below.

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Watch: Brad Pitt stumps for 'Moneyball' and woos Jon Stewart on 'Daily Show'

Watch: Brad Pitt stumps for 'Moneyball' and woos Jon Stewart on 'Daily Show'

Oscar nominee has some funny ideas about how to determine winners

Brad Pitt popped in on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" on Wednesday to discuss his performance in "Moneyball" and the resulting Oscar nomination.

In addition to making Stewart swoon (at one point, the host admits that he always had hoped that Pitt would be "kind of a dick," only to discover the handsome millionaire is also doggedly committed to his charitable work in New Orleans), Pitt discusses the rocky road to production that "Moneyball" went through, the Oscar-nominated turn by co-star Jonah Hill and his own work in the film. Pitt also starred in another best picture nominee -- Terrence Malick's divisive "The Tree of Life," but Stewart hilariously dismisses it in order to concentrate on the baseball drama instead.

Stewart suggests that Oscar nominees should skip with the "For your consideration" pleasantries and start slinging mud at rivals, the way politicians do.

Pitt hilariously suggests that the Academy choose the best actor by taking a cue from "hands on a car"-type contests; the Best Actor Oscar would be placed on a table and all five nominees have to keep one hand on it at all times. The last man standing wins.  

It's a relatively lengthy interview that seems to have one throughline -- to remind viewers (and voters) of "Moneyball."

Sandra Bullock took a similar tactic in 2009, hitting a number of late night shows on her way to winning for "The Blind Side." Could the same strategy work for Pitt, who seems to be playing the underdog to "The Artist's" Jean Dujardin and his pal George Clooney, nominated for "The Descendants."

Watch the clip here:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Brad Pitt Extended Interview Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook
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<p>Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber</p>

Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber

Are Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne making beautiful music together?

The rapper and the teen idol hang out in the studio

Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne... it was bound to happen. Bieber, the teen idol that all rappers love to work with, would appear to be collaborating with Weezy for the Bieb’s next studio album.

Believe,” Bieber’s next project following his No. 1 Christmas set “Under the Mistletoe,” also features production work from Timbaland and Sean Garrett, but Bieber, who is updating fans constantly via Twitter, seems especially excited about Lil Wayne.  Wednesday he tweeted “Good time in the studio last night. Back at it tonight... oh yeah...and big bro came through...and when I say big bro I mean @LilTunchi”  Lil Tunchi is Lil Wayne.

It's unclear from the Tweet whether Lil Wayne, who just released his video for “Mirror,” came by to chat, skateboard or actually work on the album.

Anyway, a little after midnight (this kid’s up way too late!), Bieber tweeted again that he was “in the studio writing for #17million strong!!!” It’s a reference to his fan base: Bieber has accumulated more than 17 million Twitter followers.

As Billboard reported, Lil Wayne is just the latest rapper to join the cast of Beliebers:  Bieber’s previously worked with Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Kanye West and Raekwon.
 

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<p>Zachary Quinto in &quot;Margin Call.&quot;</p>

Zachary Quinto in "Margin Call."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

'The Artist,' 'Bridesmaids,' 'Margin Call,' 'Midnight in Paris' and 'A Separation' face 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.)

If we needed any confirmation that the writers' branch is the most creative and open-minded in the Academy, we received it in the form of this year's Best Original Screenplay: in no other category would you find the year's saltiest mainstream comedy nominated alongside a marital drama from Iran. With just two Best Picture nominees in the mix, the writers also found room to nominate a little-seen, little-hyped Sundance baby ignored by the other branches.

This diverse lineup reflects a congested race for the lower slots on the ballot, with the surfeit of WGA ineligibilities doing little to clarify matters. The race remained volatile right up until nomination day, with a plethora of American indies -- "50/50," "Win Win," "Beginners," "Take Shelter" and so on -- all in the conversation at one point or another. The first two were nominated by the Guild, along with former Oscar winner Diablo Cody for "Young Adult," but they were a little too young, too modest and too sour, respectively, for Academy attention. 

The nominees are...

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<p>Elton John and Leon Russell of &quot;The Union&quot;</p>
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Elton John and Leon Russell of "The Union"

Credit: HBO

TV Review: HBO's 'The Union'

Cameron Crowe chronicles Elton John and Leon Russell at work
I'm an unapologetic Cameron Crowe fan. 
 
That's not a big statement or anything. Lots of people are Cameron Crowe fans. But you want me to defend "Elizabethtown"? Oh, I'll defend "Elizabethtown." Happily. Assuming you don't also want a defense of Orlando Bloom *in* "Elizabethtown."
 
And yet somehow, Cameron Crowe released a movie in December that I didn't see in theaters. It seems that "We Bought a Zoo" has done reasonably well without me and I'll gladly catch it on DVD in a few months. 
 
Fortunately, it feels like I've been watching Cameron Crowe documentaries non-stop. I ended up watching Crowe's very fine "Pearl Jam Twenty" twice last year and viewers can start 2012 with Crowe's "The Union," another sturdy documentary elevated by the director's passion for music and the sometimes astounding access that that passion gives him.
 
It's that passion that also sometimes blinds Crowe a tiny bit when it comes to applying focus to what was surely a mountain of footage stemming from the recording sessions for Elton John and Leon Russell's "The Union" album.
 
The result is a documentary that's sometimes a straight-forward making-of piece, sometimes a broader retrospective on two brilliant careers, but sometimes a more introspective look at what happens to two former wild-men of music when age sucks the wildness right out of them and the music is all that remains. 
 
"The Union" doesn't quite gel and you're invariably wishing Crowe could give us more in some scenes and less in others, but it's full of magical and occasionally enlightening moments for fans of both artists and probably for fans of the musical process as well.
 
More after the break...
 
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