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<p>Which Secret Big-Time Movie Star will be hanging with &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;stars Amy Poehler and Adam Scott tonight?</p>

Which Secret Big-Time Movie Star will be hanging with "Parks and Recreation" stars Amy Poehler and Adam Scott tonight?

Credit: NBC

Preview: The 'Parks and Recreation' 'secret big-time movie star' revealed

Who will be stopping by Pawnee tonight?

Ads for tonight's "Parks and Recreation" - or, to be specific, ads for NBC's Thursday night comedies that include "Parks and Rec" - have hinted at, quote, "the arrival of a secret big-time movie star" whose face is not revealed and whose name is not mentioned. I've seen tonight's episode, and can say three things upfront: 1)It's extremely funny, and one of the best overall episodes so far about Leslie's campaign for city council; 2)The Secret Big-Time Movie Star in question is used very well; and 3)Knowing the identity of the Secret Big-Time Movie Star doesn't seem like something that would ordinarily be treated as a spoiler — especially not by the spoiler-loving NBC promo department — particularly since he appears on-camera within the first 5 seconds of the episode.

Still, if you want to know who it is, and get a very brief sense of who he's playing and what the episode is about, click on through. If not, we'll see you tonight at 8:30...

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<p>Saoirse Ronan in&nbsp;&quot;Hanna&quot;</p>

Saoirse Ronan in "Hanna"

Credit: Focus Features

'Hanna,' 'Pirates' among Cinema Audio Society surprises, 'Transformers' snubbed

'War Horse' gets ignored by yet another guild

And now, as they say, for something completely different.

The guild nominations these last few weeks have been rank and file, the usual mish-mash of the same titles reflecting a bit of group think and perfunctory nominations. That ends today, though, as the Cinema Audio Society's crop of selections for excellence in sound mixing includes some eyebrow-raising, refreshingly singular choices.

First and foremost, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was snubbed, and I'm shocked by that. The sound mixers carried the franchise's last two films to nominations with both the CAS and the sound branch of the Academy, but stopped things dead in their tracks today by ignoring the year's best work in the field. Will it still be able to grab a mention from the smaller group within AMPAS? Maybe, but this is a blow.

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"Top Chef"

 "Top Chef"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef' - 'Fit for an Evil Queen'

One chef forgets an ingredient - but at what cost?

There's no rest for the wicked, as the chefs must pack up and head back to San Antonio for their next challenge. But for this one, they'll want to be at least a little wicked, as that's pretty much the theme. I suspect that means Lindsay and Sarah will do exceptionally well, because these girls cannot stop being catty little monsters to poor Beverly. 

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Review: Bruce Springsteen's new single, 'We Take Care Of Our Own'
Credit: Columbia Records

Review: Bruce Springsteen's new single, 'We Take Care Of Our Own'

UPDATED: New album out March 6

For his whole career, Bruce Springsteen has wrestled with the notion of what it means to be an American. Many of his songs deal with a sense of place, whether it be his home state of New Jersey or, in a larger context, the United States.

On “We Take Care Of Our Own,” the first single from his March 6 release, "Wrecking Ball," Springsteen's questions have become only more urgent as he sees America turning from a country that used to stand for “wherever the flag is flown/we take care of our own” to one where “I’ve been stumbling on good hearts turned to stone/the road to good intention has gone dry as a bone.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Chris New and Tom Cullen in &quot;Weekend.&quot;</p>

Chris New and Tom Cullen in "Weekend."

Credit: Sundance Selects

'Weekend' triumphs with Gay and Lesbian Critics Association

Other awards for Meryl Streep, Michael Fassbender and 'The Muppets'

You could say that Andrew Haigh's shimmery boy-meets-boy romance "Weekend" was always going to be readily embraced by the Gay & Lesbian Critics' Association. Still, given that they already have a separate category for LGBT-themed fare, the fact that the film additionally took Film of the Year -- ahead of such season heavyweights as "The Artist" and "The Descendants" -- is pretty special. (Okay, I'm just glad of all and any recognition for my favorite film of 2011.)

Oscar-shortlisted AIDS doc "We Were Here" took an equivalent brace of awards in the documentary field. Funnily enough, however, the Performance of the Year award went to the one nominee whose character has no LGBT qualifications: Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady." Other winners, meanwhile, include the natural pairing of Michael Fassbender and the Muppets. Roth reported on the nominees last week; full list of winners after the jump.  

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Rihanna's 'We Found Love' loves the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100
Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Rihanna's 'We Found Love' loves the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100

Which two acts zoom 15 places into the Top 10?

Rihanna’s “Love” story with the Hot 100 continues as “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris spends its 10th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The tune, which got the “Glee” treatment Tuesday night, is the singer’s longest lasting chart topper and, according to Billboard, it is the first song to spend 10 weeks at No. 1 since Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” in 2006-2007.

Rihanna fends off a strong challenge from Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain,” which leaps 4-2, pushing last week’s No. 2, LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” down to No. 5.

Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” jumps 5-3 and Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” rounds out the top 5, falling 4-3.

Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” stays at No. 6, though we’ll see if the new acoustic version of the song can propel it back up the chart next week. Similarly, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris” stays at No. 7.

Rap also dominates at No. 8 and No. 9: Tyga’s “Rack City” skyrockets 23-8 to mark his first Top 10 hit, while Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa’s “Young, Wild & Free” featuring Bruno Mars moves back into the Top 10, rising 11-9.

Like Tyga, David Guetta’s “Turn Me On” featuring Nicki Minaj leaps 15 spots from 25-10, giving Guetta his fourth Top 10.

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Has 'American Idol' done more harm than good?
Credit: AP Photo/Danny Moloshok

Has 'American Idol' done more harm than good?

As Season 11 kicks off, we reflect on the sea change the show brought

As Season 11  of “American Idol” launches tonight, it’s clear  “AI” has forever changed the landscape of how we discover new artists. The biggest question is has it done more harm than good?

When “American Idol” bowed in 2002, it was touted by its detractors (and even some of its proponents) as nothing more than a glorified karaoke contest, a complaint that still is valid today, even though performers can now original songs.

Plus, the big brass ring for the winner was a major label contract: now, anyone who makes it to the final 10 or final 13 (depending upon the year) will be scouted by the majors.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; judges</p>
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The "American Idol" judges

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 11 Premiere Live-Blog - Savannah Auditions

Ryan, Randy, Steven and J-Lo begin their quest for a new singing star

Welcome, dear friends, to another season of "American Idol." It's time, once again, to search for the best young singer in our great nation, or at least the best young singer in our great nation who doesn't have a current recording contract and wasn't discovered in 10 previous seasons of "American Idol," didn't audition of "The Voice," didn't audition for "X Factor" and doesn't prefer to sing in the sort of ensemble that might be better suited for "The Sing-Off." 

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"American Restoration"

 "American Restoration"

Credit: History Channel

HitFix Interview: Rick Dale of 'American Restoration' talks about making grown men cry

The fix-it mastermind says second season will hold more challenges

Rick Dale, the main man behind the History Channel's "American Restoration" (Wed. at 10 p.m.) is clearly a pro at fixing almost anything -- but he can't do anything to stop the waterworks from some of his clients. "There's crying [this season]," he admitted during a recent phone interview. "Even from me. It's so emotional, and I'm very passionate about what I do. These people bring in a piece of their lives, and we're bringing their memories back to life."  

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<p>AIR at New York's Museum of Modern Art</p>
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AIR at New York's Museum of Modern Art


Credit: EMI

AIR talks 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' with New York film fans

What did the French composers have to say about their Méliès landmark material?

For fans of the French electronic duo AIR, a trip to the moon is fairly routine.

 “All our music from the last 15 years has been inspired by the moon,” said one-half of the pair Nicolas Godin at New York’s Museum of Modern Art last night (Jan. 17).
 
His partner Jean-Benoit Dunckel concluded, that in this latest case: “People are going to be tired of it… but we had no choice.”
 
He’s referring to AIR’s new album and soundtrack experience “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” (“A Trip to the Moon”) out via Astralwerks on Feb. 7. Originally conceived as a 15-minute modernist score and “narrative structure” to the Georges Méliès’ 1902 film of the same name, the themes are expanded into a full, standalone album, informed by the craggy lands, creepy moon creatures and strong-headed space explorers of that trailblazing silent film.
 
AIR was approached to participate after almost two decades of work had gone into restoring an original, hand-painted reel of the film; as documented in Martin Scorsese’s recent “Hugo” (and the book that yielded it) Méliès’ did a knock-up job in nearly destroying all of his works himself, but eight months ago at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, “La Lune” made a return to the big screen, more than a century after it was created.
 
And AIR only had one month before its premiere to create its soundtrack.
 
The result is in the film and on the full-length album: 11 playful, daunting and sometimes psychedelic tracks include guest contributions from Victoria Legrand from Beach House and Au Revoir Simone. In the film, those voices help to build tension or to bring a human element to the otherwise spacey instrumental landscapes.
 
When it comes to this particular space journey, human nature is a problem, said the duo. While Méliès’ original vision of “La Lune” was a comedy – what was then considered to be a “blockbuster” feature-length film– the musical duo brought conflict and drama to the soundtrack due to the “colonialism” in the film. Dunckel said he “felt sorry for the moon,” with the rocket in his eye. Godin said “La Lune” even makes him sad, because the space travelers’ “colonial mentality” reminded him of Conquistadors, as they came and eliminated the moon men and even took one captive.
 
Check out a clip from the film and exclusive tracks on Air’s website.
 
A bridge between what Godin called “funny and darkness”: that’s why he incorporated in some braying farm animals into the score as the astronomers sat bickering over their trip, “always doing some stupid noise.” Au Revoir’s contribution was a nod to Roman Polansky’s “Rosemary’s Baby,” while the bickering sounds at the film’s beginning hearkens back to “Planet of the Apes.” Both are films, notably, about invasion.
 
I had a chance to ask the duo about their desire working specifically in soundtracks, considering they previously released their score to Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides” (2000). Godin described the music in “La Lune” as the dialogue (considering it was a silent film), and that it didn’t serve the same function as a traditional Hollywood soundtrack.
 
But furthermore, their joy in crafting this particular music was that there were no cooks in the kitchen lengthening or shortening scenes, that the final edit was in front of them, with no possibility or their hard-fought conceptions would be wasted due to post-production.
 
“It was from 1902, there was no chance it would be longer or shorter. I said ‘Look, you can give me the sh*ttiest cut of the movie you want but I want one thing. I want the final edit,” Godin said. “So we knew what we were going to do will stay forever.”

 

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Credit: AP Photo

Adele makes it sweet 16 on the Billboard 200 with '21'

Both David Crowder Band and Snow Patrol debut high

Adele’s “21” turns Sweet 16 as the title spends its 16th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Her tally gives the unsinkable album that longest weeks at No. 1 since the “Titanic” soundtrack which ruled for that long a period in 1997-1998.  In the SoundScan era, which began in 1991, only five albums have spent 16 weeks or more at No. 1 and the album to beat remains the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard,” which logged 20 weeks at the top. So in order to set the record, “21” needs to spend, somewhat poetically, 21 weeks at No. 1.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Bullhead&quot;</p>

A scene from "Bullhead"

Credit: Drafthouse Films

'Bullhead,' 'Pina,' 'A Separation' included on foreign language shortlist

France's 'Declaration of War' and Mexico's 'Miss Bala' snubbed

The biggest surprise about the nine-film shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is, well, how unsurprising it is. Seven of the titles I predicted yesterday are on it; the two films I didn't, Morocco's "Omar Killed Me" and Taiwan's "Warriors of the Rainbow," are the kind of could-have-been-anything choices that we know to expect (or not to expect, as it were) by now. Presumed frontrunner "A Separation" naturally made the cut and festival favorites "Pina" and "Bullhead" are present and correct -- as is the semi-obligatory annual Holocaust drama, in the shape of Agnieszka Holland's "In Darkness." Check, check, check.

The general predictability of the list makes it harder than usual to speculate what three films may have been rescued by the executive committee. There's nothing as outwardly subversive as "Dogtooth" or "Confessions" in the group, which suggests to me that the committee may have had their hands full saving consensus critical favorites: if they really did have to come to the rescue of a film like "A Separation," as has been rumored, that narrows the window for a truly "difficult" film like "The Turin Horse" to slide in.

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