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<p>Brandy's &quot;Put It Down&quot; featuring Chris Brown</p>

Brandy's "Put It Down" featuring Chris Brown

Listen: Brandy combines with Chris Brown for 'Put It Down'

Does the R&B icon need him?

The latest R&B/hip-hop star has added liner to Chris Brown's pockets, as Brandy releases her second single from "Two Eleven": "Put It Down."

I love the beat, I love how Brandy is bringing her brand of alto, low-loving vocals back into this salty-sweet pop formula. It lumbers but it bangs.

Breezy, on the other hand, brings as much personality to the mix as an ATM. I've made no qualms with my general distaste of Brown, mostly because I find him to be an abhorrent human being and his creative contributions, lately, as uneven. For every brilliant "Turn Up the Music" there's a pitiless "How I Feel."

I don't think Brandy needs Brown here -- not his name, not his vocals. He gets the co-write, sure, but his guest verse brings nothing to the table, particularly rhyming "Brandy" with "candy" and another stereotypical phone-in about girls and their purses.

The track's sparse as is. Consider in the future getting rid of the dead weight (or deadbeat).

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<p>Alison Brie has tremendous fun in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'</p>

Alison Brie has tremendous fun in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: 'Community' star Alison Brie puts on an accent for '5 Year Engagement'

We talk with the busy actress about her new film and how she prepared for it

It must be a lovely time to be Alison Brie.

No matter what happens with "Community," the show definitely has an audience that loves it and is passionate about it, myself included.  And "Mad Men" returned this year after an unusually long hiatus and appears to have quickly reestablished its place at the center of pop culture.  Now, with "The Five Year Engagement," she's also on thousands of movie screens this weekend.

Lucky us.

She co-stars here as Suzie, sister to Violet (Emily Blunt), one of the leads of the film.  One of the ways Stoller and Jason Segel, the film's star and co-writer, illustrate the frustration of the prolonged engagement in the film is by etching in the details of a separate relationship where things move at a totally different pace.  Suzie ends up with Alex (Chris Pratt), and we see them start a family and start to evolve into real adults, and while they don't have a ton of screen time, they do a good job of showing some real growth as time passes.

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<p>&nbsp;TLC</p>

 TLC

Credit: AP Photo

Will TLC bring Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes back to life on reunion tour?

Two remaining members are booking dates, according to reports

First Tupac, now Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes?

Ten years after her death, Lopes’ bandmates in TLC told TMZ that they are planning a reunion tour and hope to make Lopes’ image and voice a part of the concert.

Lopes “appeared” with remaining members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas once before posthumously, according to MTV, on what was called TLC’s Final Concert at a 2003 radio show. Lopes’ image was projected onto video screens.

TMZ reports that the group has already book five cities on the 2012 tour, with more to be added. While the outlet inferred that she would appear “Tupac” style,  it’s unclear if Watkins and Thomas plan to use old footage of Lopes or create new footage as Digital Domain and AC Concepts with Shakur’s image for Coachella.

More as it develops. We gave our thoughts on the matter here.

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<p>The first official image from &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

The first official image from "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' drowned out by 'OSCAR!' noise at CinemaCon

Does Fox have a contender? The breathless hordes seem to think so.

CinemaCon in Las Vegas is where it's at this week as movie journos and bloggers have descended on Sin City and turned an exhibitors convention into an exasperated "We saw 10 minutes of 'X' movie!" slog. Nevertheless, I kind of wish I was there.

But then I don't know what I could add when everyone is not just covering the same events but coming away with the exact same talking points. Are they distributing memos or something? Anyway, it's no different than Comic-Con, I guess, where "Sucker Punch" looks like it could be an awesome movie for all of 600 seconds.

As it pertains to potential awards contenders, they've shown some much-anticipated footage from Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in 48 frames-per-second, which yielded responses from mixed to overwhelmingly negative (a few champions of the hyper-real look scattered here and there). Today, though, "Oscar" was on everyone's lips after a taste of Ang Lee's "Life of Pi."

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<p>Usher</p>

Usher

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Usher wants to make you 'Scream' on new single

Clunky lyrics weigh down the groove

Usher moves from the dance floor to the bedroom on new single, “Scream.” 

The club thumper is all about pleasing his woman and living in the moment. Although the mood is totally set by the sexy, mid-tempo groove, some of the lyrics definitely go down as his worst. We can live with the trite “Imagine me whisper in your ear that I wanna take off all your clothes,” but “Relax and get on your back if you want to scream” sounds decidedly unromantic and a little creepy, even coming from someone as smooth and undoubtedly skilled as Usher.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Florence Welch looks particularly like the Evil Queen from &quot;Snow White and the Huntsman&quot; in this performance during the first weekend of Coachella earlier this month.</p>

Florence Welch looks particularly like the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Huntsman" in this performance during the first weekend of Coachella earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Listen: Florence + The Machine's new song for 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Group brings just the right amount of menace

Florence + the Machine’s ethereal, dramatic music is the perfect match for “Snow White and the Huntsman,” the second of this year’s two Snow White themed movies...the one that stars Charlize Theron.

On “Breath of Life,” group namesake Florence Welch surrounds her considerable pipes with strings, operatic background singers, chanting, and drums to create an atmospheric theme that conjures up images of doom and danger.  Quite frankly, it sounds like it could have worked just as well in “The Hunger Games.”  You won’t be singing along to it, but it sticks in your mind after only a few listens.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jason Statham is returning for another mission with 'The Expendables 2,' and today, we've got your first look at his character poster for this summer's action film.</p>

Jason Statham is returning for another mission with 'The Expendables 2,' and today, we've got your first look at his character poster for this summer's action film.

Credit: Lionsgate

Check out our exclusive 'Expendables 2' Jason Statham poster premiere

And then find out where you can see the rest of this summer's Dirty Dozen

I haven't seen the new "Expendables 2" trailer that premiered at CinemaCon this week, but it seems like it went over well with the crowd that was there.

No one would be happier to see this movie work than I would.  I want to believe.  I love action movies that don't remotely apologize for what they are and what they do, and if you do an ensemble film like this correctly, it can be tremendous fun.  While I didn't love the first film, the potential of it was potent, and the additions they're making this time absolutely make it worth taking another trip with the Expendables.

What additions?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

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<p>Kim of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Kim of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: One World' - 'Never Say Die'

Troyzan battles, Kat pouts and every goes after a pig
Pre-credit sequence. The Tribe returns. "Now we're in a hopeless situation unless the boys win Immunity," says Muscular Mark Twain, who's prepared to go with the women, rather than being seen to be on Troyzan's side. Kim's a bit surprised that her name has been discussed in a leadership role, sooner than she might have hoped. Troyzan, for his part, feels alone and he repeats, once again, that it's one man against all of the women (and Muscular Mark Twain) and he has to keep winning Immunity. Isn't that exactly where we left the pre-credit sequence last week?
 
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<p>I love MacLaine's sequel idea she pitched, and I&nbsp;love how confused it seems to make Jack Black even more.</p>

I love MacLaine's sequel idea she pitched, and I love how confused it seems to make Jack Black even more.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Shirley MacLaine says Jack Black deserves Oscar for 'Bernie'

An unlikely pair make for a lively interview

Shirley MacLaine's been famous as long as I've been  aware of movies and movie stars, and she has been part of more classics than I can list here today.

She's one of those people who works infrequently enough that when you get a call asking if you want to interview them, you say yes no matter what the film is.  You say yes because you have no idea how many more opportunities there will be to speak to them and tell them how much their work has meant to you.

Thankfully, "Bernie" is more than just an opportunity for me to sit down with a great movie star.  My review will be up later, but it's safe to say I'm wildly enthusiastic about it, and I think both MacLaine and her co-star, Jack Black, give great performances in the movie.  Much of what they do is bouncing off of one another, so it makes perfect sense that they put the two of them together for the interview.

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<p>I'm not going to lie... this is exactly how I felt when I&nbsp;realized Neill Cumpston had sent me a review for this summer's 'The Avengers'</p>

I'm not going to lie... this is exactly how I felt when I realized Neill Cumpston had sent me a review for this summer's 'The Avengers'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

Review: Neill Cumpston returns to review 'The Avengers'

An internet legend returns just in time to review the summer's biggest movie

Who is Neill Cumpston?

That question was asked of me frequently during my time at Ain't It Cool News, and over the years, I've heard other people answer that question with a fair degree of authority, accusing people of secretly writing Cumpston's reviews for AICN.  Peter Travers once claimed to know the "truth" about Neill.  But those people are crazy.  The entire time, I repeatedly explained that I met Neill standing in line at a test screening, and Neill is simply Neill.  He is a far more vocal example of a certain section of fandom than I am, and I love his pure enthusiasm.  I was happy to publish him not because he is famous, but because he is Neill.  If you don't know his work, check out his "Grindhouse" review.  Or his "Return Of The King" review.  Or his "Batman Begins" piece.  He is a work of art.

He's also completely insane, of course.  The way he connects the dots in his writing delights me from a purely anthropological point of view, and his use of profanity is Pulitzer-worthy.  Make no mistake… a Neill Cumpston review is flat-out filthy at times, but always for a purpose.

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<p>Robert Pattinson in &quot;Cosmopolis.&quot;</p>

Robert Pattinson in "Cosmopolis."

Credit: Alfama Films/Prospero Pictures

Cannes Check: David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis'

Continuing our series of Cannes competition previews

The auteur: David Cronenberg (Canadian, 69 years old)

The talent: At this stage in his career, we don't expect an undistinguished cast from a Cronenberg film, and true to form, this one is packed to the rafters with interesting names -- though not ones you'd necessarily expect on one bill. Juliette Binoche (returning to Cannes for the first time since winning Best Actress two years ago), Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Mathieu Amalric and Jay Baruchel are all on board -- as, more improbably, is Somalian rapper K'Naan. (On a side note, this is the director's first feature in 10 years not to star Viggo Mortensen.)

The big attraction, however, is some guy called Robert Pattinson in the lead. It's perhaps the poppiest casting coup of Cronenberg's career, and the best chance yet for the talented British heartthrob to win some admirers beyond the fiercely devoted "Twilight" faithful.

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Mark Foster receives a deep facial at his local salon in the music video for "Houdini".
Mark Foster receives a deep facial at his local salon in the music video for "Houdini".
Credit: Columbia Records

Watch: Foster The People's 'Houdini' video shows the band's sleight of hand

Is it a social commentary on the music business?

After repeated viewings of Foster the People’s video for “Houdini,” we’re not sure if the trio is making a fun video or a much deeper commentary on life in the pop music machine... either way, it works.

The boys are playing live when a lighting rig crashes down on them to disastrous effect putting their concert that night in jeopardy. But never fear, a league of scientists and masterminds put the band back together again, fixing all their wiring and moving parts (leaving the question as to whether they were real to begin with or always a creation). The team of scientists resurrecting them even turns the group into a boy band with dance moves straight out of N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” video. Mystery men in green suits (who, like a green screen in filming won't be visible to those watching)  manipulate their every move.

[More after the jump...]

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