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<p>Edward Norton (left) in &quot;Moonrise Kingdom.&quot;</p>

Edward Norton (left) in "Moonrise Kingdom."

Credit: Focus Features

Cannes Check: Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'

We kick off our series of Competition previews with the festival opener

I'm not sure I'm ready for it, but yesterday's full lineup announcement brought home the fact that this year's Cannes Film Festival is less than a month away. It scarcely feels like a year ago that the likes of "The Artist," "The Tree of Life" and "Drive" entered our lives, but here we are, ready to welcome next batch of potential crossover hits, treasured obscurities and inevitable disappointments.

With that, welcome to our Cannes Check series, in which I'll individually preview each of the 22 titles in Competition. (Much as I'd love to give similar treatment to Un Certain Regard and other festival strands, I am but one man.) Same as last year, I'll be covering one film a day, in alphabetical order of the director's surname. Tidily enough, that means we're kicking off with the film that itself will be raising the curtain on this year's festival -- Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom."

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<p>Even the publicity photos for this week's &quot;Awake&quot;&nbsp;focus too much on the guest stars at the expense of Jason isaacs.</p>

Even the publicity photos for this week's "Awake" focus too much on the guest stars at the expense of Jason isaacs.

Credit: NBC

'Awake' - 'Nightswimming': He made me a mixtape!

The series' first real dud focuses too much on the guest stars

A quick review of last night's "Awake" coming up just as soon as I have a cassette player...

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<p>On &quot;30 Rock,&quot;&nbsp;Liz (Tina Fey)&nbsp;has something to smile about.</p>
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On "30 Rock," Liz (Tina Fey) has something to smile about.

Credit: NBC

'30 Rock' - 'Murphy Brown Lied to Us': KouchTown breakdown

Liz and Jack's interests collide in the funniest episode in ages

A review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I make out with Paz de la Huerta at a children's museum...

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<p>Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale in &quot;Veep.&quot;</p>

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale in "Veep."

Credit: HBO

Review: Julia Louis-Drefyus in HBO's 'Veep'

'Seinfeld' alum shines in new political satire from 'Thick of It' creator Armando Iannucci
Many jobs are what you make of them. When you become Vice President of the United States, though, the job is what the President lets you make of it. Sometimes, the VP gets invested with tremendous power, as President Bush the younger did with Dick Cheney; other times, the VP is marginalized as quickly as possible, as President Bush the elder did with Dan Quayle.
Selina Meyer, the heroine (of sorts) of the new HBO comedy "Veep"  (Sunday at 10 p.m.), desperately wants to be a Cheney, but is instead more of a Quayle.
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Real Housewives of Atlanta

Kim Zolciak on 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'

Credit: Wilford Harewood/Bravo

Recap: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' season four reunion, part 2

Less chaotic second hour tackles Peter, Marlo and Africa

Yikes. After the epic brawls on Part One of the three-part reunion, this follow-up hour felt like a bunch of childish whining, even before Marlo came out to embarrass herself all over again.

But Andy did finally raise the Africa controversy, with sadly predictable results.

This entire episode was upstaged by Sheree's bombshell announcement this week that she won't be returning for season five. After tonight, it seems like that's for the best.

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<p>Jason Schwartzman takes marriage very seriously in an exclusive clip from Wes Anderson's upcoming 'Moonrise Kingdom'</p>

Jason Schwartzman takes marriage very seriously in an exclusive clip from Wes Anderson's upcoming 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Credit: Focus Features

Watch: Exclusive 'Moonrise Kingdom' clip has Jason Schwartzman talking marriage

Wes Anderson's new film looks like fun and familiar territory

Yep.  That sure does look like a Wes Anderson movie.

The entire line-up for Cannes that's been announced so far has me damn near giddy, and as soon as they announced that the opening night film was going to be Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," I made sure to book my travel so I'd be there for the kickoff.

I read about half this script, then stopped.  Not because it was bad, but because of the exact opposite.  I was having so much fun with it that I decided I'd rather just see it play out than read it and ruin it for myself.  The worlds that Wes Anderson creates in his films are so specific and visual and all-encompassing that it's impossible to really "read" one of his films ahead of time.  You have to see how the actors choose to inhabit the characters, and you have to see the details that he packs his frame with, and you have to hear the soundtracks he puts together.

I don't get it when people complain about the heightened reality that Anderson creates in his movies.  It seems to me that if you don't like directors with a strong signature style, you just should skip their films, not complain that they are so specific.  Anderson's absolutely got a signature that you can see as soon as something begins, and ever since "Bottle Rocket," he has been refining that style a little bit more with every movie.

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<p>Bradley Whitford and Amy Poehler in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Bradley Whitford and Amy Poehler in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Live Ammo': Ships in bottles

Bradley Whitford guest stars as the show returns from a brief hiatus

"Parks and Recreation" is back after its brief spring hiatus, and I have a review of tonight's episode coming up just as soon as I bounce some business ideas off Russell Simmons on Twitter...

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence is set to return as Katniss Everdeen in 'Catching Fire,' and now it looks like Francis Lawrence will be calling the shots on the film.</p>

Jennifer Lawrence is set to return as Katniss Everdeen in 'Catching Fire,' and now it looks like Francis Lawrence will be calling the shots on the film.

Credit: Lionsgate

Francis Lawrence reportedly offered director's chair for 'Hunger Games' sequel

Can he make the November 2013 deadline?

Francis Lawrence has emerged as the favorite to replace Gary Ross as the director of "Catching Fire," the highly-anticipated sequel to "The Hunger Games," and according to a report just published in The Hollywood Reporter, he'll get his official offer to helm the movie this afternoon.

This has been a lightning-fast process, primarily because Lionsgate can't afford to waste any time.  They have a specific timetable they have to meet if they plan to have Jennifer Lawrence done with shooting in time for her to make the jump to the sequel to "X-Men: First Class" that she is also committed to, and it sounds like Lionsgate ended up meeting with Lawrence and with Bennett Miller today.

As with the "Twilight" films, it seems like the studio is casting a wide net for what they're looking for in a director on this series, and none of the picks are what I would call typical action directors.  While Lawrence made "Constantine" and "I Am Legend," his most recent film was "Water For Elephants," and in conversation with him, he's always seemed like a guy who had a pretty broad range of interests in terms of what he'd like to make.

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<p>Abed (Danny Pudi)&nbsp;and Annie (Alison Brie)&nbsp;spend a &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;afternoon in the Dreamatorium.</p>

Abed (Danny Pudi) and Annie (Alison Brie) spend a "Community" afternoon in the Dreamatorium.

Credit: AP Photo/NBC

'Community' - 'Virtual Systems Analysis': I have a Dreamatorium

Annie and Abed spend an afternoon together in an experimental episode

A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I cry during "About a Boy: The Soundtrack"...

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<p>Levon Helm in 2010</p>

Levon Helm in 2010

Credit: AP Photo

Levon Helm: Listen to the late legend

Check out some clips of the songwriter and consumate working musician

The thing I've heard most this week when talking about the imminent passing of Levon Helm is that the lifelong musician was still playing shows even a few short weeks before he was hospitalized in New York. As he battled his last against cancer, the Midnight Rambler was still rambling in Woodstock, N.Y., as a host, a part of the whole in addition to being a centerpiece.

You could say similar things about The Band, whose communal strength in the '60s in '70s was in its individuals, and the group's ability to be its own centerpiece or to play well with others. Backing Bob Dylan or -- in its earliest incarnation, Ronnie Hawkins -- the Band stepped out with brilliant "Music from Pink House" and went on to define, reform and inform roots-based rock music of the era from within the band and through those they worked with outside of it. Despite the loss in gravitational pull that brought Helm and other Band members together with Robbie Robertson, the group's legacy was firm by time they broke up in 1976.

That bust confirmed at least a couple of things: one, it put "The Last Waltz" firmly into the living curricula of any music lover and, two, it was a proven moment that Helm would continue to be a lasting, working musician, solo or in a group.

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<p>Joshua Ledet of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>
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Joshua Ledet of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 7 Results - Down to Six?

LMFAO and Kris Allen perform before this week's elimination

The Judges' Save is off the table, so we know that somebody's going home on Thursday night.

Smart money says that Elise Testone is doomed. One could also make an easy argument for Hollie Cavanagh's ouster. But that's why the play the games on the field, to use the sports cliche. Will America throw a curveball for the second straight week?

And, for the record, I'm using a picture of Joshua Ledet not because I'm completely confident he's safe or because I loved his rendition of my favorite song ever, but because that's a fantastic red jacket and it deserves a few more minutes of recognition. 

Click through for the full live-blog...

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<p>Daniel Craig takes aim on an end-of-the-year release for the 50th anniversary James Bond film 'Skyfall'</p>

Daniel Craig takes aim on an end-of-the-year release for the 50th anniversary James Bond film 'Skyfall'

Credit: Sony/EON

Bond Bits: '007 Legends,' new 'Skyfall' video and Fleming goes e-book

Short version: it's a great time to be a James Bond fan

I'm going to have the next "James Bond Declassified" for you tomorrow, covering "Thunderball," and in the meantime, I thought there were enough bits and pieces of James Bond news bouncing around out there that it was worth rounding them up in one place.

First and foremost, have you been reading Greg Ellwood's reports from the set of "Skyfall"?  He just went to London, and it sounds like it was a great trip to Pinewood to see what Daniel Craig and crew are up to.  If you'd like to get as close as possible to a set visit without leaving your house, there's a new video blog up featuring Sam Mendes and the Shanghai setting for some of the new film.

This seems to be the most active any James Bond film campaign has ever been in terms of offering up looks at the making of the film while they're still working.  It's even unusual for a big film to allow people to write about a set visit a week after they were there.  Normally those things are held for months.  It signals a sort of confidence on the part of EON and Sony that the public is hungry for the return of Daniel Craig, and I think it's also due in part to this being the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first Bond film, "Dr. No."

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