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<p>Ignacio Ferreras's &quot;Arrugas (Wrinkles)&quot; could be a surprise nominee, just as it was a surprise qualifier.</p>

Ignacio Ferreras's "Arrugas (Wrinkles)" could be a surprise nominee, just as it was a surprise qualifier.

Credit: Perro Verde Films

'Rango,' 'Puss in Boots,' 'Tintin' and more fight it out for Best Animated Feature Film

We handicap the field of 18 contenders

This year's race for Best Animated Feature Film is a bit of a full one. After only 15 titles qualified last year (yielding just three nominees), the total number of qualifying films in the hunt this time around is 19, meaning we'll have a set of five contenders when the nominees are announced in January.

And yet, I can barely think of five films worth being included. It's a rather weak year in general for animation (despite two animated contenders popping up in my top 10). I've been pushing through the ones I've missed along the way, as well as those that came from the fringe. So it seems to me a good enough time to really set the field.

An interesting note on this year's field of contenders is the presence of live action filmmakers and outsider animation teams in the mix. And two key entries in that light both come from Paramount: Gore Verbinski's "Rango" and Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin."

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<p>Sleigh Bells' &quot;Reign of Terror&quot;</p>

Sleigh Bells' "Reign of Terror"

Credit: Mom + Pop

Listen: Sleigh Bells unleash single 'Born to Lose'

In advance of the rock act's 2012 'Terror' album

When I first heard "Born to Lose," I thought, "Oh no, you did NOT just throw some synths in there..."

They didn't. But it does sound dreamier.

The New York rock duo keep up with their reputation of prettyprettypretty prettypretty UGLYUGLYUGLY prettyprettypretty sounds on this single, the first from forthcoming album "Reign of Terror."

If you were wondering what those blood-spattered Keds were all about, that would be the album cover. Pretty ugly!

"Reign of Terror" is out on Feb. 14.

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<p>Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor during a photo call for &quot;The Help&quot;&nbsp;in Spain this past October</p>

Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor during a photo call for "The Help" in Spain this past October

Credit: AP Photo/Paul White

Golden Globes: Tate Taylor makes it hard not to root for 'The Help'

The filmmaker discusses his talented cast and friendship with Octavia Spencer

Tate Taylor is living the dream.  The screenwriter and director of "The Help" has seen his surprise blockbuster turn into an awards season darling.  The film's biggest kudos so far came over the past two days as it was nominated for best ensemble at the SAG Awards, best picture - drama at the Golden Globes and three of his actors, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer, received both SAG and Golden Globe acting nominations.  For a Hollywood lifer who spent over a decade trying to land his big break in the business, it sounds like he's still pinching himself.

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Credit: ABC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 107

Dan and Alan talk Golden Globe noms, 'Enlightened' and 'Life and Times of Tim'

The

Happy, sleepy Thursday, Boys & Girls.
 
As promised, it's a bonus mid-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. In this slightly-shorter-than-normal installment, we talk Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award nominations, the recently completed first season of "Enlightened" and the upcoming third season of "The Life and Times of Tim."
 
No sports. Or very little sports, at least.

Today's breakdown:
Golden Globes/SAG Awards breakdown (00:00 - 33:30)
"Enlightened" (33:33 - 41:45)
"The Life and Times of Tim" (41:45 - 49:00)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

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<p>Nicki Minaj in &quot;Super Bass&quot;</p>

Nicki Minaj in "Super Bass"

2011's Year In Music: Top 10 Songs

Make that a Top 50: Listen to Adele, Tom Waits, Kanye and Jay-Z, M83, Colin Stetson, Rihanna...

We are back to that time-honored tradition of compressing more than 300 days of good music into handy lists, this particular chronicle summarizing songs that moves us, make us move, or make us stop. And by us, I mean just me.

I liked that the discovery process this year was aided, in part, by Spotify, in an avoidance of the clunky CPU vampire that is MySpace or taking up bits of hard drive space for full mp3 downloads. My friends were posting what turned them on more and more on Facebook (sometimes unintentionally). Other people's Top 10s were showing up as early as mid-November. I'm not going to pretend I haven't seen some.

Since the delineation between songs and singles is becoming hazier, made squishy by terms like "leak," "preview," "premiere," "teaser," "alternative edits" and other language, I've tried to keep this list equally loose, sometimes going with songs that weren't official radio drops, tracks that arrived in 2010 (but came into their own in 2011) artists that aren't singles artists and songs that I wouldn't even say are representative of the artists that perform them.

They're just songs, folks. I liked them, and I hope there's some you like.

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<p>The Dirty Three</p>

The Dirty Three

Dirty Three releasing first new album in six years; Grinderman finished

What's Nick Cave going to do, and will D3 tour?

Grinderman have apparently called it quits, but all the better, to free up the hands of Warren Ellis: his other, epic band The Dirty Three are releasing their first album since 2005 next year.

"Toward the Low Sun" is dropping via Drag City on Feb. 21, and in March in the U.K. on Bella Union. The trio -- consisting of Nick Cave/Grinderman mainstay Ellis, one of my top five favorite drummers of all time Jim White and Mick Turner -- last released "Cinder" in 2005 on Touch & Go (may it rest in peace).

And speaking of proper RIPs, Bella Union head Simon Raymond used that exact expression as he wrote about Grinderman, in lieu of the new D3 set. Cave himself called the whole thing off.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 107: Golden Globe and SAG nominations, 'Enlightened' & 'The Life & Times of Tim'

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 107: Golden Globe and SAG nominations, 'Enlightened' & 'The Life & Times of Tim'

In a bonus podcast, Dan and Alan talk meaningless awards shows and HBO half-hours

The

Bonus podcast time! We decided to do an extra Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week to talk about the silly awards nominations, the end of "Enlightened," and the surprising but welcome return of "The Life & Times of Tim." Fewer topics than Monday's show, and no sports blather segment, yet we still almost hit an hour. Apparently, we had a lot to say about the HFPA.

The line-up: 

Golden Globes/SAG Awards breakdown (00:00 - 33:30)
"Enlightened" (33:33 - 41:45)
"The Life and Times of Tim" (41:45 - 49:00)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
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"Breaking Bad"

 Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad"

Credit: AP Photo

HitFix Interview: Bryan Cranston talks Golden Globe nomination

'Breaking Bad' star says recognition 'never gets old'

Bryan Cranston has won three Emmys for his meth-making role on "Breaking Bad," and he's just scored some more respect from the foreign press (which previously nominated him for "Malcolm in the Middle") with his third Golden Globes nomination. I talked to the ever-loquacious Cranston about the latest critical kudos for his portrayal of Walter White and why he has no idea what's next for the troubled character.

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<p>Adam Lambert</p>

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert sets date for second post-'AI' album, 'Trespassing'

Listen to the new single, 'Better Than I Know Myself'

It looks like Adam Lambert held out on all his Glamberts! On Wednesday, he tweeted the album cover for new single, “Better Than I Know Myself” and a 30-second snippet of the song, but left out the big news: the release date for his second, post-”American Idol” album, “Trespassing.”

The set will come out March 20 on 19 Entertainment/RCA.  Fans who pre-order the album on Dec. 20, will get an instant, free download of “Better Than I Know Myself,” which goes on sales next Tuesday.  (Even though we're still in 2011, March 20 is starting to look like a major release date: both The Shins and Madonna announce this week that they will also release albums in "late March").

[More after the jump...]

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(from left) Peter Mullan, Emily Watson and Jeremy Irvine in a scene from "War Horse"
(from left) Peter Mullan, Emily Watson and Jeremy Irvine in a scene from "War Horse"
Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Tech Support Interview: Janusz Kaminski on capturing the landscape in 'War Horse'

The film marks the cinematographer's twelfth collaboration with Spielberg

Steven Spielberg has Diane Keaton to thank for opening his eyes to the work of cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. The director happened to see Keaton's TV movie "Wildflower" in 1991 and liked the photography so much, he hired Kaminski to shoot a TV movie for his company, Gregory Hoblit's "Class of '61." From there the two collaborated on 1993's "Schindler's List" and the rest was history.

Kaminski has shot 11 of Spielberg's features since, working almost exclusively with the director. "War Horse" is the latest example of their combined visual eye, a sweeping epic with nods to classic cinema and a fierce reverence for the landscape it captures.

Indeed, the environment is a key element of a cinematographer's arsenal. "An essential part of the job is to tell the story through non-verbal means," Kaminski says. "Placing the actor within their environment is essential not just from the cinematographer's point of view but from the storytelling point of view. So whether a character lives in Manhattan or whether he lives in Montana, it shapes him.

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<p>Elizabeth Banks gets her Gaga on in an important early scene from 'Hunger Games,' starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen</p>

Elizabeth Banks gets her Gaga on in an important early scene from 'Hunger Games,' starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Credit: Lionsgate

UPDATED: See the new poster revealed by the #HungerGames100 Poster Puzzle Hunt

Only one hundred days till Katniss Everdeen hits theaters

One of the ways you know Lionsgate is feeling good about the prospects of "Hunger Games" is by the way they have already promoted Liam Hemsworth to "last-name-only" status in the new trailer for "The Expendables 2."

And I'll say this for Lionsgate… I've been watching companies mount online campaigns for movies for the last fifteen years, and you can tell when a studio is all-in on something.  And right now, there's no one working harder for something that's coming out next year than Lionsgate is for "Hunger Games," and today is a milestone for them, one they've chosen to commemorate with an online Poster Puzzle Hunt that uses Facebook, 100 different websites, and Twitter in one fell swoop.  We've come a long way from when Gordon Paddison and New Line decided to bet big on an Internet presence for "Lord Of The Rings," and when Lionsgate asked if we wanted to play along this morning, we jumped at the chance, if only to see how the whole thing's going to work.

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<p>Ryan Gosling in &quot;The Ides of March.&quot;&nbsp; George Clooney's political thriller received a surprising four nominations including best picture - drama, best director, best screenplay and best actor - drama for Gosling.</p>

Ryan Gosling in "The Ides of March."  George Clooney's political thriller received a surprising four nominations including best picture - drama, best director, best screenplay and best actor - drama for Gosling.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Did the Golden Globes make themselves absolutely irrelevant in this year's Oscar races?

Beware 'The Ides of March'?

No one has ever taken much stock in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's best of the year picks as a reliable precursors to the Academy Awards.  At best, they are a well timed marketing tool that provides awards-centric films a publicity boost at the box office.  And, this year in particular, for small films such as "We Need To Talk About Kevin," "Albert Nobbs," "The Artist" and "My Week With Marilyn" and "Shame," that could be significant.  But after the SAG Awards were announced yesterday, an actual indicator of industry and AMPAS member sentiment, have the Globes ever seemed less relevant?

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