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

David Mazouz and Kiefer Sutherland in "Touch."

Credit: FOX

Review: Kiefer Sutherland and son look for patterns in FOX's 'Touch'

Drama gets off to good start, but can 'Heroes' creator Tim Kring make it work long-term?

In the new FOX drama "Touch," Kiefer Sutherland plays a single dad whose son Jake — diagnosed for much of his life as severely autistic — is revealed to have a special, near-superhuman ability to identify and manipulate the patterns in the universe that appear to most of us to be a series of isolated, random events.

And if I were to look at the premiere episode of "Touch" the way everyone other than Jake views the world — and the way that FOX is treating it, by airing it after "American Idol" tomorrow night at 9, separated by almost two months from when the rest of the series will air on Mondays at 9 starting March 19 — then it's an interesting, emotionally manipulative but still effective hour of television.
But my job asks me to look at TV shows the way Jake looks at everything. There are almost always patterns and connections to spot, whether how some piece of a pilot episode may be tough to duplicate week after week, or how one writer may repeat the same tricks over and over from show to show.
And in that case, knowing what I know about "Touch" creator Tim Kring — and seeing the many commonalities between this show and his work on NBC's "Heroes" — makes me much less optimistic about the new series' future than I might be if I couldn't recognize the order lurking within the chaos.
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<p>&quot;Rango&quot; sidles back into theaters for a one week limited engagement. </p>

"Rango" sidles back into theaters for a one week limited engagement.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Paramount is bringing Oscar nominee ‘Rango’ back into theaters

One more week to get to know the town of Dirt

With “The Adventures of Tintin” out of the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar race, Gore Verbinski’s “Rango” can breathe a bit as it feels like the field’s frontrunner. In any event, it’s the standout as far as I’m concerned.

In light of its nomination this morning, Paramount was quick to announce that the studio will re-release the film for a one-week limited engagement at the Arclight Hollywood beginning this Friday, January 27th.

A Spaghetti Western animated comedy about a chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) who is unleashed from his enclosed glass terrarium only to find himself the (unqualified) leader and hero of the town of Dirt, it is one of the films that is markedly filled with homage this season. It feels like a film lovers' film to some degree, though its charms have also reached into the hearts of the audience at large.

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Adam Lambert reveals cover art for 'Trespassing'

Adam Lambert reveals cover art for 'Trespassing'

Does the cover make you want to cross the line?

The release of Adam Lambert’s sophomore set, “Trespassing,” is still two months away, but the “American Idol” runner up revealed the album cover via Twitter late Monday night.

Lambert also divulged that he has a major hand in all facets of “Trespassing”: he is the album’s executive producer and creative director. He made a special shout out to Lee Cherry, his art director and photographer.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence and Tom&nbsp;Sherak deliver the news to the world at this morning's nominations announcement.</p>

Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Sherak deliver the news to the world at this morning's nominations announcement.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

The Lists: Top 10 things we learned about the Academy today

What can we glean from the Oscar nominations about this group of people?

It's been a busy morning. The nominees are out. About a thousand different variations of "it's humbling and exciting" are coming through from the various contenders. And all eyes are fixing on February 26. But as we transition into phase two of the 2011-2012 film awards season, it's worth it to pause and consider what we might have learned today.

Each and every year, the eventual slate of Oscar nominations reflects a number of key things about the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Often they solidify already agreed-upon truths, but sometimes other things are illuminated. It's silly, of course, to be overly reductive and chalk the Academy up as a singular entity. It's a wide-ranging group with a bunch of different perspectives bouncing around within its ranks, but nevertheless, when they get together to tap the year's excellence in this and that, it's an eye-opening experience.

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<p>Norah Jones</p>

Norah Jones

Credit: AP Photo

Norah Jones and Danger Mouse pair for new set, 'Little Broken Hearts'

Pair co-write Jones' fifth studio album following 'Rome' connection

Norah Jones and Danger Mouse have collaborated on the Grammy winner’s next set, “Little Broken Hearts.”

The exact release date has yet to be firmed: Jones’ label, Blue Note, will only narrow the time table down to Spring. However, when we talked to Jones in December about the Little Wilies, she hinted that the release may be in May.

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Sandra Bullock in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Sandra Bullock in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Credit: Warner Bros.

Analysis: Oscar continues to surprise in big and small ways

From 'Extremely Loud's' comeback to surprising omissions

Somewhere in the offices of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Oscar is fixing himself a stiff drink and thinking to himself, "You thought you knew it all. You thought I couldn't surprise you. How wrong you were."

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<p>Morgan introduces the most famous Jeffster!&nbsp;performance of all time in the &quot;Chuck&quot;&nbsp;season 2 finale.</p>

Morgan introduces the most famous Jeffster! performance of all time in the "Chuck" season 2 finale.

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' vs. the Retrospective Interview, Part 2

With money, time and inspiration, the series delivers its strongest season
The "Chuck" series finale — for real this time — airs Friday night at 8 on NBC, and we're spending this week preparing for the end with a 5-part interview I did with the show's creators, Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz. Yesterday, we talked about the show's origins and the truncated first season. Today, it's time to discuss what everyone considers to be the show's creative peak: season two, when they had a full-season order practically from the start (though even that caused problems), when they had their full budget and full cast, and when they started to hit the jackpot with guest stars.
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<p>Gary Oldman, an Oscar nominee at last</p>

Gary Oldman, an Oscar nominee at last

Credit: Focus Features

'Hugo' leads with 11 Oscar nominations, 'War Horse' in, 'Dragon Tattoo' out

Fassbender, Woodley and Brooks duplicate SAG snubs while 'Extremely Loud' pops up in nine-film Best Picture category

The nominees are in and the surprises are few and far between, in my opinion (though others seem to be picking their jaws up off the floor this morning). As I mentioned yesterday, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" caught fire with voters down the stretch and was very much on their lips. The film turned up in the nine-film Best Picture category today, despite being critically disassembled, and that was pretty much the only eyebrow-raiser of the major categories. The film only showed up in one other category: Best Supporting Actor for Max Von Sydow.

"Hugo" led the way with a whopping 11 nominations while "The Artist" wasn't far behind with 10. But what's interesting is that there is a big gap between those two films and the next tier, as "Moneyball" and "War Horse" (which made it into the Best Picture field and was clearly popular throughout, despite its paltry guild showing) landed six each. "The Descendants," meanwhile, landed five (and Shailene Woodley was indeed snubbed, following suit with the indications of SAG last month), as did "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which was snubbed in the Best Picture field after a really strong guild showing.

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<p>&quot;Slavery By Another Name&quot;</p>
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"Slavery By Another Name"

Credit: Sundance

Sundance Review: 'Slavery By Another Name'

Post-Reconstruction doc is more informative than artistic
Adapting literary works of fiction for narrative movies and television is always a challenge, but in many ways, adapting literary non-fiction works as documentaries is even more complicated. 
Much of the authorship in documentary filmmaking comes from an almost journalistic approach to storytelling and more than a few popular non-fictiom tomes have been poorly adapted as documentaries because with a preponderance of research already done and on the page, the directors have been unable to transfer that research to the new medium in a fresh way.
In "Slavery By Another Name," playing in the US Documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival, director Sam Pollard struggles with how to make Douglas A. Blackmon's Pulitzer Prize-winning book into something cinematic. At every turn, you can sense and appreciate Pollard's efforts, but he's still too reliant on talking head historians in general, and Blackmon's own insights in specific, to really open "Slavery By Another Name" up as a film.
Intellectually, "Slavery By Another Name" is sturdy and well-researched stuff and it will play well when it airs on PBS next month and it should play well in the future in classrooms, but as a film festival entry, it isn't nearly confident enough in its artistry. There's no harm in a dry history lesson, but Pollard may have hoped to achieve more than that.
More after the break...
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<p>&quot;Love Free or Die&quot;</p>
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"Love Free or Die"

Credit: Sundance

Sundance Review: 'Love Free or Die'

With Bishop Gene Robinson at the forefront, faith and gay rights are on the agenda
Macky Alston's "Love Free or Die," playing in the US Documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival, begins as a portrait of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Church.
Even if "Love Free or Die" had been content to just remain focused on "the most controversial Christian in the world," it would have had a solid story to tell. Despite facing death threats and opposition within his own church, Robinson is a sensitive, funny and altogether inspirational subject.
The thing that elevates "Love Free or Die" -- which I will eventually type as "Love Free or Die Hard" in this review -- is that in its final act, the documentary leaves Robinson almost entirely and, without belaboring its point, it becomes the story of change, a moving look at how even a rigid church with centuries of entrenched methodology can begin a slow shift towards inclusiveness and equality. 
"Love Free or Die" is the latest in one of Sundance's most enduring genres, one represented by dozens of films each year: The preaching-to-the-choir documentary. But by underplaying its undeniably emotional high points and smartly avoiding the demonization of opposition points of view, "Love Free or Die" could plausibly play to audiences outside of the choir.
Click through for more...
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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' - 'The Real Wedding of Beverly Hills'

It's a ridiculously big wedding for the season finale

Oh, yay, it's time for Pandora's wedding. Sorry, I just can't get excited about a person/character I don't care about having a ridiculously expensive wedding. It's a bit like being dragged to the nuptials of a second cousin you never particularly liked and having to make tepid small talk with complete strangers until you can run to your car without offending anyone. I know, I know, some people love weddings, any weddings, but when the main players are exceedingly dull rich kids, it's hard not to think that there are starving people somewhere who'd be happy to eat not only the leftovers, but possibly the flower arrangements. 

Pandy wants more diamonds on her dress! Pandy wants everything pink! Pandy wants bubblegum pink labels on all the wine bottles! Pandy wants Mommy to wear a tiara! Glad she likes everything the color of Pepto Bismol. Unfortunately, I am even less excited about Paul's colonoscopy. At least a minute is dedicated to Paul passing gas after the procedure. Oh, I'm sorry, passing AIR. All I can say is both of these storylines make me want to sick up a bit. 

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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

Recap: The catfighting begins in earnest on 'The Bachelor'

One girl complains to Ben about another - and it might cost her a rose

Catfight in Park City, Utah! Or at least it looks that way from the promo. We’re getting tears, insults and death threats, which means “The Bachelor” has just hit its stride. It’s hard to believe these girls are willing to take one another out over a dork like Ben, but anything is possible when you lock a bunch of women in a suite without phone, Internet, fashion magazines or basic cable.

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