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As 'Ted' arrives in theaters, we pick our 25 favorite R-rated comedies

As 'Ted' arrives in theaters, we pick our 25 favorite R-rated comedies

From Mel Brooks to Judd Apatow, there's something special about the R-rated comedy

The R-rated comedy.  Even now, in 2012, it is something we notice.  It is hard fought, and when it works, it is transcendent.  There is something liberating about the R when you're talking about a comedy, something even more dangerous than with a drama, because in comedy, we can cut right to the darkest, weakest, sickest, saddest places and parts of ourselves, and we can make ourselves ridiculous.

In doing so, we would argue there is something healing, something that brings people together.  There is a reason for the #1 pick we made here,  the top of the list, the film we collectively picked as the best R-rated comedy of all time, and there is a story to go with it.

Although the film was made in 1975, it retains an urgent, contemporary feel because of just how gleefully it shattered taboo.  We haven't really gotten any more collectively sane about race or race language in this country, but we like to think we have.  Those moments when we are forced to admit that we're still not really doing it right are the hardest ones for us, and in Los Angeles, that was most of the early 90s.  There were any number of incidents that took place here that underlined the way race was still a potent and combustible force in our culture.  Rodney King in particular was a name that was a hot button flash card in Los Angeles culture.  If you lived here, you had the Rodney King conversation.  Not just once, either, but constantly for weeks or months.  It was ongoing.  And when the riots happened, I lived here in LA.  It was a scary time.  Things never felt more strained.  The OJ trial, the ongoing Michael Jackson tragedy/freak show, the Rampart scandal… on and on and on, different things that posed different difficult situational questions about how we felt about ourselves and each other.  It felt like it was impossible to get away from it.

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Blur set to debut two new tracks via Twitter on July 2

British group penned the songs for Aug. 12 Hyde Park gig

Blur will debut two songs via Twitter, we presume not 140 characters at a time, on July 2.

The British band wrote the new tracks, “Under the Westway” and “The Puritan,”  for its upcoming Hyde Park show on Aug. 12, which will close the London Olympics.

Fans can go to @blurofficial at 6:15 p.m. British Standard Time (that would be 1:15 p.m. EDT and 10:15 a.m. PDT, we think...) on July 2 to hear and watch the band play the songs, as well as listen to an interview--all beaming from an undisclosed London rooftop. Immediately following the performances, the songs will be available for download. A limited edition 7-inch single will come out Aug. 6.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Rick Ross and Meek Mill handle raw meat in 'So Sophisticated' video
Credit: Def Jam Recordings

Watch: Rick Ross and Meek Mill handle raw meat in 'So Sophisticated' video

Check out what else they get their hands on

Sophistication means different things to different people. For rapper Rick Ross, according to the video for “So Sophisticated,” it means hanging out with Meek Mill near his two Maybachs, giving a shout-out to the prison population, spending time in an abattoir with a sharp knife, rapping in a semi-undressed state,  name dropping the late, great Walter Payton, shilling Ciroc, and talking about women’s lady parts with words we can’t print. Different strokes...

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Cheila Lima and Ciomara Morais in &quot;All is Well.&quot;</p>

Cheila Lima and Ciomara Morais in "All is Well."

Credit: LX Filmes

Portuguese immigrant drama 'All is Well' wins big at LA Film Fest

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' picks up yet another trophy

The Los Angeles Film Festival, like many of its kind that are heavier on gathering highlights from previous fests than securing enviable premieres, is more valuable to locals than it is to international observers -- which is largely why I didn't realize it had been going on until it wrapped yesterday, with an unveiling of Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike." I'd been distracted by the overlapping event in Edinburgh, after all. I doubt there's a day on the calendar when a film festival isn't unfurling somewhere.

Anyway, the LAFF largely came to my attention when I read a report on the festival's award winners, announced yesterday.  Some of the choices were to be expected: having already taken multiple prizes at Cannes and Sundance, Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" scored yet again, picking up the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, a further indication of the film's broad reach. Wherever it goes, it's not just critics singing the post-Katrina film's praises: regular moviegoers are knocked sideways by it too. That's a powerful combination, and one that has to be considered when weighing up the film's Oscar chances: early bird or otherwise, we have a genuine contender here.

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Watch: Maroon 5's new video for 'One More Night' featuring Minka Kelly
Credit: A&M/Octone Records

Watch: Maroon 5's new video for 'One More Night' featuring Minka Kelly

The tale of a man and his goldfish

Love is a battlefield. At least for Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. In the group’s new video for “One More Night, “ he and his baby mama can’t live with each other but can’t live apart.  Or at least she feels that way.

Even though Levine is singing about not being able to do this anymore, it turns out it’s his wife, who has leaving on her mind. And when your wife is played by "Friday Night Lights'" Minka Kelly, that’s a pretty big loss. And the "FNL" connection doesn't end there: "FNL" developer Peter Berg directed the video.

[More after the jump...]

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Jennifer Lawrence and AMPAS president Tom Sherak announce the Best Picture nominees for last year's Oscars
Jennifer Lawrence and AMPAS president Tom Sherak announce the Best Picture nominees for last year's Oscars
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Academy Board of Governors to meet and discuss potential rule changes

Can we hope for some Best Picture amendments?

How did you feel about the Best Picture scenario last year? As in, the rule change -- implemented last June -- that set us up for a final slate of anywhere from five to 10 nominees, depending on what number of contenders managed 5% of the Academy's #1 votes? Because now might be the time to voice those concerns, in case anyone who matters might be reading.

I realized the window on rules and eligibility changes was swiftly closing (as typically we get an announcement in mid-June), so I shot off an email to Academy brass pulse-taker Steve Pond at The Wrap. He tells me the committees from each branch meet and recommended rule changes to the Board of Governors following the Oscars each year and that the board will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the recent recommendations and perhaps enact some actual changes. The delay, he reckons, could have something to do with figuring out how to implement online voting, which could impact some of the procedures.

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<p>Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, and John Travolta co-star in Oliver Stone's new film 'Savages'</p>

Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, and John Travolta co-star in Oliver Stone's new film 'Savages'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Our exclusive look at Oliver Stone in action on the set of 'Savages'

What does his cast have to say about working with this behind-the-scenes wild man?

It's nice timing that a Blu-ray of "Born On The Fourth Of July" would show up at my house this morning, since Oliver Stone is on my mind right now.

There was a time when I would have named Oliver Stone on my very short list of the world's most exciting filmmakers every single year, but it's been a while since that was true, and that has seemed mainly to be a matter of him not connecting with the right piece of material, or him not making the most of the material he's had.  Even so, I've always been interested in what he's up to, and the films of his that I love, I love with an almost unreserved intensity.

One of the films we discussed when I recently sat down with Stone was "Scarface," which he wrote for director Brian De Palma.  The film is notorious for its excesses, of course, and Al Pacino's performance has become the stuff of legend.  It is a perfect example of a sort of manic coke aesthetic that was developing throughout the '80s.  By the time Stone started directing his own films instead of writing for other directors, he was running hot, cranking out these amazing overheated pieces of underworld pulp, exploring the ugly dirty parts of being a soldier, exposing the soft white underbelly of our financial world or war journalism.  He turned out a series of big movies about big ideas, movies that were expensive studio films but wildly political, defiantly opinionated.

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<p>Jennifer Lopez recently launched her latest tour in Panama</p>

Jennifer Lopez recently launched her latest tour in Panama

Credit: Arnulfo Franco/AP

When will Jennifer Lopez's 'Dance Again...The Hits' bounce into stores?

Summer set includes career-spanning DV

Jennifer Lopez will shimmy her way back into record stores with “Dance Again...The Hits,” out July 24 on Epic Records.

The CD/DVD collection spans her entire career including her latest tracks, ?“Dance Again” featuring Pitbull and “Goin’ In” featuring Flo Rida.  The deluxe edition includes three bonus tracks: “All I Have,” “Que Hiciste,” and Let’s Get Loud.”

The "American Idol" judge starts a summer tour with Enrique Iglesias July 14. She performed in Brazil on June 23.

1.   Dance Again featuring Pitbull
2.   Goin' In featuring Flo Rida
3.   I'm Into You featuring Lil Wayne
4.   On The Floor featuring Pitbull?
5.   Love Don't Cost A Thing?
6.   If You Had My Love?
7.   Waiting For Tonight?
8.   Get Right featuring Fabolous?
9.   Jenny From The Block (Track Masters Remix featuring Styles P. & Jadakiss)?
10. I'm Real (Remix featuring Ja Rule)?
11. Do It Well?
12. Ain't It Funny (Remix featuring Ja Rule & Caddillac Tah)?
13. Feelin' So Good (Remix featuring Big Pun & Fat Joe)
14. All I Have featuring LL Cool J
15. Que Hiciste
16. Let's Get Loud

1.   Dance Again featuring Pitbull?
2.   On The Floor featuring Pitbull
3.   Love Don't Cost A Thing
4.   If You Had My Love
5.   Waiting For Tonight?
6.   Get Right?
7.   Jenny From The Block
8.   I'm Real (Remix featuring Ja Rule)?
9.   Do It Well?
10. Ain't It Funny (Remix featuring Ja Rule & Caddillac Tah)
11. Feelin' So Good (Remix featuring Big Pun & Fat Joe)

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 136
Credit: FX

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 136

Dan and Alan talk 'Anger Management,' 'Louie,' 'Episodes' and more
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
Time for a comedy-filled installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast
This week's podcast includes reviews of BBC America's "Twenty Twelve," FX's "Anger Management" and "Louie," plus Showtime's "Weeds" and "Episodes."
You get no points for correctly guessing which show we liked most.
Due to the 4th of July holiday and a paucity of new programming, we won't be podcasting next week, but we'll have a couple jam-packed weeks after that, with Comic-Con and TCA Press Tour and whatnot. So... Whee!
Here's today's breakdown:
"Twenty Twelve" (00:01:20 - 00:07:45)
"Anger Management" (00:07:50 - 00:21:30)
"Louie" (00:22:00 - 00:32:00)
"Weeds" (00:32:00 - 00:40:05)
"Episodes" (00:40:10 - 00:53:00)
Listener Mail - Comedies ready for The Leap (00:53:20 - 01:02:20)
Listener Mail - Wives of Anti-heroes (01:02:25 - 01:12:45)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (01:12:45 - 01:25:00)
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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 136: 'Louie,' 'Anger Management,' 'Episodes' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 136: 'Louie,' 'Anger Management,' 'Episodes' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'Twenty Twelve,' 'Weeds' and the latest 'Buffy' season 1 episode


It's a comedy-heavy week at the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as we review the return of "Louie," Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management" comeback, BBC America's "Twenty Twelve," and the return of Showtime's "Weeds" and "Episodes." We also hit another episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" season 1, and finally dip back into the mailbag after several weeks away.

The line-up: 

"Twenty Twelve" (00:01:20 - 00:07:45)
"Anger Management" (00:07:50 - 00:21:30)
"Louie" (00:22:00 - 00:32:00)
"Weeds" (00:32:00 - 00:40:05)
"Episodes" (00:40:10 - 00:53:00)
Listener Mail - Comedies ready for The Leap (00:53:20 - 01:02:20)
Listener Mail - Wives of Anti-heroes (01:02:25 - 01:12:45)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (01:12:45 - 01:25:00)
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>Far East Movement</p>

Far East Movement

Interview: Far East Movement on ‘Dirty Bass,’ Justin Bieber’s ‘humbleness’

New music video and... another 'G6'

A group with a No. 1 hit song is a tough act to follow, particularly if you’re in that group. Far East Movement earned the top spot with their song “Like a G6” in 2010, and made some headway on radio, too, with “Rocketeer.” Now the hip-hop-loving dance quartet is back with their album “Dirty Bass,” with the hope to achieve some of the same widespread success. Cameos from artists like Tyga, Cassie and freakishly popular Justin Bieber should, y’know, help. 

“Right after ‘G6’ we kept staying on the road and we’d see the crowds and thought, ‘This is crazy.’ But we went into the studio, we didn’t want to think about how we did off the last album, and let’s totally reinvent,” Far East Movement’s Kev Nish said of their newly released album. “That’s what the Beastie Boys would do. We played around with our visuals. When we were touring with Rihanna or [Lil] Wayne, we’d duck right back off stage or on the bus or the backstage and take that energy from the crowd and work it into new ideas.”
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<p>&nbsp;The cover of Linkin Park's &quot;Living Things&quot; album</p>

 The cover of Linkin Park's "Living Things" album

Album Review: Linkin Park's 'Living Things' breathes life into band

SoCal rock group adds some fresh elements to its thrash

On their last two albums— 2007’s “Minutes To Midnight” and 2010’s “A Thousand Suns”— the members of Linkin Park were feeling their oats a little, bucking the musical conventions that had made them a multi-platinum act, but now felt confining instead of defining.

For “Living Things,” out Tuesday (26), the Los Angeles band took a breath, regrouped, and returns with an album that pulls in all the elements that made millions of rock/rap fans love them initially, but they manage to shake it up plenty in fresh and sometimes surprising ways.

The angry young men on 2000’s “Hybrid Theory” may all now well be on the far side of 30, but  they’ve still found plenty to get their dander up. Whether it’s betrayal or loss, as on opening track, “Lost in the Echo” or on the mindbendingly vitriolic “Lies Greed Misery,” there’s always some blistering screed they need to get off their collective chest that has been festering. 

For fans of the Linkin Park template —Chester Bennington sings and then usually starts to scream his lungs out, before or after Mike Shinoda has rapped and some keyboards have tinkered around— that is still intact to great effect, as on “Burn It Down,” the album’s wildly successful first single. 

However, then comes something like the aforementioned “Lies Greed Misery,” which sounds like an unholy alliance between Erasure, Kanye West, Skrillex and M.I.A. before it explodes wide open as Bennington repeatedly screams “You did it to yourself”  at a level that will peel paint off the walls. “Castle of Glass” begins with a genial chugging that sounds downright countrified, as the band sings “I’m only a crack in this castle of glass” with a lulling resignation.

Linkin Park’s appeal to its followers, or this fan at least, is the catharsis its songs often provide. I was a recent transplant to Los Angeles from New York when Linkin Park broke through with “Hybrid Theory.” I remember playing songs like “Crawling” or “In The End” in my car and they matched every bit of anxiety and angst that comes with starting over. There has always been something about Linkin Park’s music from that day on that has always tapped into an underlying, hidden hurt and rage that feels left over from adolescence.  It scabs over, but never heals.

As producer Rick Rubin, who worked with the band for the third time, explained at a Q&A and listening party for the band last week, they write piecemeal. He compared them more to programmers than a traditional band: each member brings in his part and they songs are  Frankensteined together. For Linkin Park’s detractors, that means the songs sound disjointed with disparate elements coming out of nowhere and shape shift with seemingly no rhyme or reason, but given how much pop radio now throws in a rap on almost every pop song, in some ways it sounds like everyone else finally caught up with Linkin Park’s way of doing things.

One of the constants that holds “Living Things” together is Rob Bourdon’s drumming. He bring a military-like rat-a-tat to such songs as on “In My Remains” or “Until It Breaks,” especially when it feels like all the parts could come unhinged at any minute unless tied down.

Two of the tracks weigh in under two minutes each and all 12 songs amount to less than 38 minutes, but there’s a density and a thrash to the songs that make any stretching or filler not only unnecessary but undesirable. By the time the album wraps with the echo-y, throbbing “Powerless” (also the end title for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”), you’ll be ready for a little breather.

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