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<p>Immediately after this photo was taken, Paul&nbsp;Giamatti's beard attained sentience, tore free from his face, and ate director Don Coscarelli.</p>

Immediately after this photo was taken, Paul Giamatti's beard attained sentience, tore free from his face, and ate director Don Coscarelli.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Paul Giamatti and Don Coscarelli conspire to bring 'John Dies At The End' to screen

We sit down with one of the great character actors working and an iconic horror director

The first time I heard Paul Giamatti talk about Don Coscarelli was on the set of "Shoot 'Em Up." 

At the time, Giamatti had just recently started talking to Coscarelli about starring in "Bubba Nosferatu," the sequel to "Bubba Ho-Tep," and as soon as I steered the conversation to the idea of the sequel, Giamatti lit up.  He told me about his first exposure to "Phantasm" when he was in his early teens, and by the end of the conversation, I realized that Giamatti was a full-blown horror nerd, and I liked him much more as a result.

No doubt he's a great actor, but there's something special about monster kids, people who grew up mainlining "Famous Monsters" and Saturday afternoon creature features and Godzilla movies, and there's a shared language that exists when we meet.  Giamatti stayed attached to "Bubba Nosferatu" even after Bruce Campbell decided he wasn't willing to star in it, and so it should come as little surprise that he jumped at a chance to finally work with Coscarelli as both producer and actor on the new film "John Dies At The End."

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<p>Kiefer Sutherland in &quot;Touch.&quot;</p>

Kiefer Sutherland in "Touch."

Credit: FOX

'Touch' - 'Pilot': I just called to say I love you

What did everybody think of the new FOX drama?

I posted my review of FOX's "Touch" yesterday. Now it's your turn. How did you feel about Kiefer Sutherland in a slightly un-Bauer-ish role? Did you like the clockwork plot, or did it strike you as contrived? Did you feel moved or manipulated by the big closing moments? Did you enjoy the Kring-ian moments or did it feel too much like "Heroes" for you? Did you believe the way things turned out (particularly involving the Chris Rock fan)? And are you looking forward to seeing more episodes starting in March?

Have at it.

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"American Idol"

 "American Idol"

Credit: Fox

Recap: 'American ldol' finds fresh talent in Aspen

At first the judges can't agree on one singer, though

It's time for auditions in Colorado, which should be a little snowy but will not feature an airplane hangar. Darn it! I just hope we get to see Steven ski. That would be worth it. 

8:00 p.m. EST Finally, "American Idol" is getting away from it all. By going to Colorado. I'm not sure how everyone in Colorado feels about this designation, as Ryan has made an entire state sound like a remote corner of nowhere, but okay. 

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<p>Jessie J arrives on the &quot;VH1 Divas&quot;&nbsp;red carpet in December.</p>

Jessie J arrives on the "VH1 Divas" red carpet in December.

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Sykes

Adele sets fire to the Billboard Hot 100; Jessie J achieves a first

Kelly Clarkson soars back into the Top 10

Adele scores a nice double win this week as “Set Fire To The RainR21; captures the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 while her album, “21,” logs another week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

“Fire” is the third chart topper from “21,” and it pushes Rihanna’s “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris,  down to No. 2, ending its 10-week run at No. 1.

Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” hangs at No. 3 for another week, while David Guetta’s “Turn Me On” featuring Nicki Minaj soars 10-4. It’s the second biggest leap in the top 10, following Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” which leaps 21-8. The song is her second straight Top 10 hit from "Stronger," following "Mr. Know It All," which peaked at No. 10. Clarkson last achieved consecutive top 10s  with her 2004 album, "Breakaway," which spawned four back-to-back top 10s.

Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” inches up one spot to No. 5, , Bruno Mars “It Will Rain” falls two spots to No. 6 and LFMAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” slides two places as well to No. 7.

Rounding out the top 10: Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris” falls two to No. 9, and Jessie J notches her first Top 10 hit, as “Domino” moves 15-10.


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Watch: Evanescence's new video for 'My Heart Is Broken'
Credit: Wind-Up Records

Watch: Evanescence's new video for 'My Heart Is Broken'

Despite being held captive, Amy Lee looks radiant

“My Heart Is Broken,” the new single from Evanescence's self-titled album was inspired by victims of human trafficking. However if that notion is to be gleaned from the video, its inclusion is very subtle.

In the new clip, lead singer Amy Lee is clad in an evening gown and she has incredible magic fingers  with balls that spew white light.  She can gaze into the white light and she can even use her finger tips to  swirl around in the darkness an leave cool trails in the dark, like the sparklers we used to light on the Fourth of July.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>&nbsp;Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson in &quot;Midnight in Paris.&quot; &nbsp;Woody Allen's latest received four Oscar nominations Tuesday including best picture.</p>

 Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson in "Midnight in Paris."  Woody Allen's latest received four Oscar nominations Tuesday including best picture.

Credit: Sony Classics

Sony Classics' Michael Barker talks 'Midnight in Paris' and 'A Separation's' Oscar nom haul

An the indie vet turns the tables on this pundit

PARK CITY - Tuesday was a good day for Sony Pictures Classics co-president and co-founder  Michael Barker.  Classics scored eight Academy Award nominations including four for Woody Allen's best picture player "Midnight in Paris" and found itself with three of the foreign language nominees: "A Separation," "Footnoote" and "In Darkness." The now legendary independent film distributor also secured distribution rights to the romantic dramedy "Celeste & Jesse" starring Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones and HitFix favorite Elijah Wood.  And yet, when Barker called me to discuss his company's impressive Oscar haul he immediately turned the tables and wanted to know what films I liked at the festival.  So, if Classics ends up securing "Keep The Lights On" or "Safety Not Guaranteed," I'll happily take credit for pushing them over the top for a sale.  The Oscars were top of mind though and Barker admitted that he was once again surprised by some of the selections.

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<p>Marion Cotillard, Alison Pill, Owen Wilson and Woody Allen on the set of &quot;Midnight in Paris.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Marion Cotillard, Alison Pill, Owen Wilson and Woody Allen on the set of "Midnight in Paris." 

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

The Long Shot: Fade away and radiate

Do this year's nominees reflect an industry afraid to look forward?

Amid the geeky cascade of trivia, facts and figures that always follows they unveiling of the Oscar nominations, one stat -- courtesy of our friend Chad Hartigan -- stood out to me: the average age of this year's Best Director nominees, at 61, is the highest it's been in the history of the awards. Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick and Alexander Payne -- a quartet of well-seasoned American auteurs who, by the time of the awards, will all be over the age of 50 -- have all been to this particular dance before. The lone foreigner and first-time nominee, Michel Hazanavicius, may be the upstart of the pack, but at 44, he's hardly wet behind the ears.

So, the movies the Academy liked most this year happened to be directed by a bunch of middle-to-three-quarter aged men. Big deal. That says more about industry hierarchy than the preferences of the Academy, right? In any case, last year saw a thirtysomething man win the prize; the year before, a woman. If "The King's Speech" had been successfully helmed by Selena Gomez, they'd probably have handed her the Oscar too. 

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Listen: Another new Van Halen track, 'Blood And Fire'
Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Another new Van Halen track, 'Blood And Fire'

How does it compare with 'Tattoo?'

We’ve already gotten to hear “Tattoo,” the underwhelming first single from Van Halen’s new album, “A Different Kind of Truth,” out Feb. 7.

Now, Rolling Stone is previewing 90 seconds of a new Van Halen track, “Blood and Fire.” It’s much more melodic than “Tattoo.” We don’t know if it’s based on an older song as well —“Tattoo” has remnants of a 1977 track, “Down In Flames — but it sounds like something straight out the ‘80s.  Rolling Stone readers (and major hardcore VH fans) have commented that this is built around one of Eddie’s unreleased instrumentral tracks called “Ripley.” If so, we’re wondering if any of the songs were brand new compositions  

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Red Hot Chili Peppers get funky in new video for 'Look Around'

Watch: Red Hot Chili Peppers get funky in new video for 'Look Around'

How do they spend their down time?

Wonder what goes on behind closed doors for members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers?  They get their funk on in various and sundry ways. In the new video for “Look Around,” which premiered on Spinner today, we get an inside look at their leisure pursuits as each hangs out in his own room.

Anthony Kiedis hangs out with a lady friend, who comes in through the refrigerator, a kid and a dog.  Flea and a female friend dance then get down to even sillier pursuits as they strip down to their undies. Silly string is involved.  Chad Smith goes visit Kieidis and a little too jubilantly fixes a clogged toilet.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Mary Elizabeth Winstead talks getting 'Smashed' at Sundance

Alcoholic dramedy is a career highlight for the 'Scott Pilgrim' star
With movies like "Sky High," "Death Proof" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," Mary Elizabeth Winstead secured her status as a fanboy favorite years ago. 
The 27-year-old actress' career may be on the verge of a big shift in the aftermath of her new dramedy "Smashed," which premiered earlier this week at the Sundance Film Festival.
In "Smashed," Winstead plays Kate, a fun-loving woman with a particular love for alcohol, imbibed at any hour of the day. After hitting bottom multiple times, Kate decides to sober up, only to discover that working The Steps isn't nearly as easy or as enjoyable as her former life.
Although the supporting cast for "Smashed" includes Emmy winners Aaron Paul and Megan Mullally, newly minted Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer and the incomparable Nick Offerman, the movie belongs to Winstead, who's in practically every shot and gets to mine both pathos and a surprising amount of comedy, all while dodging any sort of Hollywood It Girl glamour. 
It's a role Winstead actively pursued and when the cast and crew of "Smashed" came to the front of the theater for a post-showing Q&A, she was visibly moved, brushing away tears.
In an interview the next morning, Winstead discussed her emotional Sundance experience and the most challenging role of her career.
Check it out...
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<p>Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in cinematic remixing master Quentin Tarantino's &quot;Inglourious Basterds.&quot;</p>

Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in cinematic remixing master Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Everything old is new again, and again

Repurposed scores and visual motifs are the order of the day, and also yesterday

One good sting deserves another. There has been a fair amount of discussion recently about “The Artist”’s score. Guy addressed the “controversy” surrounding the film in his piece on that full page Variety ad that Kim Novak took out accusing Michel Hazanavicius of “rape” (referring to the director's use of Bernard Herrmann's love theme from “Vertigo”). But a story on NPR’s “All Things Considered” about the art of the modern movie trailer reminded me of just how common, and in many cases effective, re-purposing is.

The reporter points to the use of a particular section of the score from the (not so widely seen) 2003 drama “The Life of David Gale” in trailers for “The Iron Lady,” “Munich,” “Milk” and, interestingly enough, “The Artist.”

“It works every time," John Long, co-founder of Buddha Jones, an LA-based trailer production house said in the interview. "Sometimes in the back of your mind you know, 'I'm not going to use that cue. That cue's been used to death,'" Lee Harry, Long's partner added. "But I want to evoke a feeling. And this piece does it perfectly."

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"David Blaine: What Is Magic?"

 "David Blaine: What Is Magic?"

Credit: TLC

Watch: David Blaine catches a bullet in his mouth for new TLC special

Twenty people have died doing this stunt, but Blaine does it anyway

David Blaine is technically a magician, but mostly he seems to like trying to get himself killed. Whether it's burying himself alive, sticking himself into a block of ice, or his latest trick of catching a bullet in his mouth, he appears to be more interested in proving he can survive insane feats of endurance than conning us into believing he can float (though he does that, too). As part of his new TLC special, "David Blaine: What Is Magic?" (Thurs. Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. ET), Blaine finds out exactly how many people have died doing the same trick (about 20) and then proceeds to do it anyway. In the video below, see exactly how many people it takes to shoot a magician in the mouth (a lot). Devoted fans will be happy to know Blaine also does his more traditional street magic and card tricks in the special, which will be part of a series of specials for the network. As long as he survives this bullet trick, of course. 

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