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<p>Kim Novak in &quot;Vertigo.&quot;</p>

Kim Novak in "Vertigo."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'The Artist' and the 'Vertigo' score: separating theft from tribute

Kim Novak reports a 'rape,' I report an overreaction

Ah, the trumped-up non-controversy. It's a kind of hazing ritual that many a certified Oscar frontrunner has to go through: remember the accusations of child actor neglect levelled at the makers of "Slumdog Millionaire," the supposed military inaccuracies (not to mention poor producer etiquette) of "The Hurt Locker," or even the revelation that a key set in "The King's Speech" had previously housed a gay porn shoot? These mildly tangy stories tend to be forgotten as quickly as they flare up, and rarely do much lasting damage, so it's just as well "The Artist" is getting it over with now.

I'm speaking, of course, of the ludicrous full-page Variety ad taken out against the film by, of all unexpected people, veteran Hitchcock blonde Kim Novak, who may not have made a film in 20 years, but is still gifted with an Oscar ballot -- one she presumably will not be using to vote for the French silent film she has more than a little melodramatically accused of "raping" her "body of work."

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<p>Katee Sackhoff, seen here with her castmates at the eighth season premiere of '24,' is going to bring her passionate SF&nbsp;fanbase with her to the new 'Riddick' movie</p>

Katee Sackhoff, seen here with her castmates at the eighth season premiere of '24,' is going to bring her passionate SF fanbase with her to the new 'Riddick' movie

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Sykes

'Galactica' star Katee Sackhoff joins 'Riddick' cast as new villain rumored

Sounds like David Twohy's about to get this one off the ground and back into space

I don't care if you judge me for it or not:  I am dying to see another Riddick movie.

The original "Pitch Black" was one of those great little B-movie genre surprises, and when Harry and I first saw it, there was still some uncertainty on the part of USA Films about what to do with it.  We programmed the film at the very first Butt-Numb-A-Thon as our "middle of the night wake everyone up" movie, and it was a great screening.  Vin Diesel even ended up flying to Texas just to do a meet-and-greet at 3:30 in the morning.

When Universal made the much-bigger-budget sequel, it seemed to be the kickoff to a larger franchise, building out a SF world in which Riddick was more than just a scary dude, but a lynchpin for an epic adventure.  I have a huge affection for the work of writer/director David Twohy anyway.  I think he's a guy who speaks B-movie fluently, and while some might see that as an insult, I don't.  I think there's something about the high-concept genre movie that can be especially exciting when done right, and Twohy strikes me as a guy who genuinely wants to entertain, and who doesn't have a single film snob bone in his body.  While "The Chronicles Of Riddick" did not succeed wildly at the box-office, I thought it was wild, wicked fun, and had a great "what's next?" ending.

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Continue the discussion at HitFix's brand new message boards

A feature many of you requested is now a reality

A brief bit of business here. HitFix has been in the process of getting a slate of message boards off the ground, and as of today, they're live.

I imagine most of the discussion from those around these parts will be confined to the movies section, and specifically the Oscars and Golden Globes arenas. But HitFix being a unique collective of music, television and movie content, there are naturally other areas, too.

So if you haven't already, sign up for a HitFix account and then feel free to dive in and kick-start the discussion yourselves!

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<p>&nbsp;Kat McPhee</p>
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 Kat McPhee

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 111

Dan and Alan talk TCA press tour and review 'Rob,' 'Chelsea' and more


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! It's time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, recorded with both Firewall and Iceberg sitting in the same hotel room in Pasadena.
Unfortunately, as always seems to happen when we record in the same place, this podcast is a little quiet. I can't explain why.
Also unfortunately, I've got a head cold and there are a handful of times during the podcast that I simply wasn't able to be dainty and ladylike about blowing my nose.
Anyway, we talk a lot about press tour. And we review a slew of new shows, including comedic abominations "Rob" and "Chelsea" and the less-offensive "The Finder" and "Alcatraz."
Lots to talk about...
Here's this week's breakdown...
TCA Press Tour (00:00 - 31:15)
"Are You There, Chelsea?" (31:15 - 36:40)
"Rob" (36:45 - 41:50)
"The Finder" (43:10 - 50:20)
"Napoleon Dynamite" (50:20 - 55:40)
"Alcatraz" (55:45 - 01:05:00)

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>Thom Yorke performs with Radiohead in a surprise appearance at the UK's Glastonbury Park Festival last June.</p>

Thom Yorke performs with Radiohead in a surprise appearance at the UK's Glastonbury Park Festival last June.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Radiohead, The Black Keys and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg headline Coachella 2012

Bon Iver, the Shins, Pulp, Florence + the Machine also on April bill

The Black Keys, Radiohead and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg will headline the 2012 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

As we previously noted, Coachella, held at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., will run two consecutive weekends this year, April 13-15 and April 20-22, with the exact same lineups both weekends.

In addition to The Black Keys, other big names on April 13/20 are Swedish House Mafia, a reconstituted Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Mazzy Star, M83, Cat Power and Frank Ocean.

On April 14/21, the top acts in addition to Radiohead are Bon Iver, the Shins, David Guetta, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Kaskade, Miike Snow, Fiest and St. Vincent

Dr. Dre & Snoop, who are headlining April 15/22, are joined by At the Drive in, Justice, Florence + The Machine, Avicii, Beirut, Girl Talk, Weeknd and the Hives.

As has been Coachella’s way the last few years, one night is headlined by a rapper, last year it was Jay-Z; in  2010 it was Kanye West. The other two nights tend to feature major alternative acts, with some big dance acts and a reunion or two throw in.This year, in addition to Pulp, we have Refused, At The Drive-In, and Mazzy Star in rare outings. Plus, Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum makes a rare west coast appearance. Additionally, a number of up-and-coming rap artists,many of them highlighted in our Hip-Hop's New Class photo gallery, including Azealia Banks, Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky will make their first Coachella appearances.

So what do you think of this year's line-up?  It seems little tame and predictable to us. However, if you're an Anglophile, once again, you'll find plenty of reasons to rejoice, namely, of course, Radiohead, but also Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Madness, Buzzcocks, Squeeze, the Horrors, and more.

Tickets go on sale on Friday. They are available only for the entire weekend at $285. There are no single-day passes.

Check out the poster below for the full lineup.

Follow me on Twitter @HitFixMelinda

The official poster announcing the Coachella 2012 lineup

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<p>A scene from &quot;War Horse&quot;</p>

A scene from "War Horse"

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

'War Horse,' Scorsese win with North Texas critics

George Clooney and Viola Davis win top acting honors

The North Texas Film Critics Association (yep) has gotten together to announce this year's list of winners. And it was "War Horse" that came out of top, with Martin Scorsese winning directing honors. No were to be found "The Artist." Check out the full list of winners below.

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<p>Casey Abrams walks the red carpet at last year's &quot;American Idol&quot;&nbsp;finale.</p>

Casey Abrams walks the red carpet at last year's "American Idol" finale.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

UPDATED: 'American Idol's' Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone sign record deals

Who did they sign with and when can we expect new music?

Casey Abrams has signed with Concord Music Group. The “American Idol” season 10 finalist will release his debut album this summer.

Abrams’ linking with Concord Music Group marks the second signing of a contestant from last season to a non-Universal Music Group-owned label. UMG has the first right of refusal on the finalists. So far, UMG has snatched up at least five of the season’s finalists: Pia Toscano and Haley Reinhart  are both on Interscope, while Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina are on Mercury Nashville.

Both McCreery and Alaina have released their albums. We’re still waiting for sets from the others.  James Durbin released his post-”Idol” album, “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster,” via Wind-Up Records in November.  Paul McDonald self-released a single with wife Nikki Reed.

The press release announcing Abrams’ deal highlights his love of such artists as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Oscar Peterson, so we have a feeling that the debut may focus more on Abrams’ jazzy, traditional side.

Please follow me on Twitter @HitFixMelinda

UPDATED: Fellow season 10 finalist Stefano Langone has signed with Hollywood Records

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<p>Emmanuel Lubezki's lensing of &quot;The Tree of Life&quot; has dominated the cinematography conversation this year.</p>

Emmanuel Lubezki's lensing of "The Tree of Life" has dominated the cinematography conversation this year.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

DPs indulge in some mutual appreciation

Top lensers share their 2011 favorites, as ASC announces tomorrow

We've reached that point in the season where one has to actually keep a diary to remember which precursor announcements are landing on which days -- as far as the guilds go, the actors, producers, writers, art directors and now the directors have all had their say, while the American Society of Cinematographers will join their ranks tomorrow.

I'd like to say I'm anticipating a surprise or two, but Best Cinematography is rapidly starting to feel like the most cemented of the craft categories. At least three of the five slots are spoken for, with a couple of ubiquitous titles jostling to fill the other two. The odds don't favor an exotic and/or pulpy interloper like "House of Flying Daggers" or "The Black Dahlia" making things a little more interesting this year.

"The Tree of Life," "Hugo" and "The Artist" all seem comfortably locked in for nominations from both the Guild and the Academy, with the eventual winner likely coming from that trio. A week ago, I might have said the same for "War Horse," but Steven Spielberg's lavish WWI epic is performing so dismally with the guilds thus far that I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it missed the cut tomorrow. Still, Janusz Kaminski is an industry favorite and the film's rampant (if peculiarly lit) pictorialism is catnip in this department: I'm not going to bet against it just yet.

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Mike Patton scoring Derek Cianfrance's 'Pines' and promises new Tomahawk album
Credit: Jay Blakesberg

Mike Patton scoring Derek Cianfrance's 'Pines' and promises new Tomahawk album

Ryan Gosling trading cars for motorcycles in 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

Ryan Gosling proved his bad-ass mettle with four wheels in "Drive." Now imagine Hollywood's boyfriend doing the same, only with motorcycles. And with a prospectively and equally bad-ass soundtrack, composed by Mike Patton.

The Faith No More/Tomahawk/Mr. Bungle frontman is on tap to score Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond the Pines," which stars the director's "Blue Valentine" heartbreaker Gosling.

Not much is known beyond Patton's participation, though he's proven to keep good company on top of his experience scoring flicks like Italian film "A Solitude of Prime Numbers" (2010) and Jason Statham-starring "Crank 2: High Voltage" (2009).

"The Place Beyond the Pines" synopsis is worded thusly: "A motorcycle stunt rider considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician." It co-stars Eva Mendes and (apparently...) the world's sexiest man Bradley Cooper (...whatever). While the premise sounds a little familiar, doubtless the score won't. 

"The Place Beyond the Pines" is also among In Contention's top 10 most anticipated films of 2012, due date pending.

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<p>Paul McCartney's &quot;Kisses on the Bottom&quot;</p>

Paul McCartney's "Kisses on the Bottom"

Paul McCartney reveals album title and track listing: 'Kisses on the Bottom'

The Beatle gets a little cheeky

Paul McCartney is really getting cheeky with the title of his new album,  “Kisses on the Bottom.”

Before you get all skeeved out (What? Too late?), the title comes from a line in Fats Wallers’ 1935 hit, “I’m Gonna Sit Write Down and Write Myself A Letter,” in which he describes that he’s going to close the letter with “a lot of kisses on the bottom.”  Yeah, it’s still a little gross.

Anyway, as we’ve previously reported, the McCartney album, out Feb. 7, includes standards that McCartney grew up listening to as well as two new originals, “My Valentine” and “Only Our Hearts.”

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<p>Andrew Bird's &quot;Break It Yourself&quot;</p>

Andrew Bird's "Break It Yourself"

Watch: Andrew Bird's new album artwork, tracklist and promo take flight

Will 'Break It Yourself' have more guitar?

"Go ahead say something dumb, boy, there's no shame" sings Andrew Bird on an unnamed guitar tune. It's a perfectly pleasant phrase on its own. Bird's just full of 'em.

The clip of the tune is available in a newly released promo video for the bard's forthcoming album, "Break It Yourself," his 12th solo set.

The Mom + Pop artist has also lifted the veil on the set's tracklist, below, as well as its grainy, mysterious cover art, as seen on the left.

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<p>John Hillerman, Madeline Kahn, Cybill Shepherd,&nbsp;Burt Reynolds, and Eilieen Brennan would like to remind you all not to drink and drive.</p>

John Hillerman, Madeline Kahn, Cybill Shepherd, Burt Reynolds, and Eilieen Brennan would like to remind you all not to drink and drive.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Peter Bogdanovich screens new cut of 'At Long Last Love' and tells story behind it

We were there for what turned out to be a night of many surprises

When I was much younger and starting to actively get interested in film, there were a few key books that helped ignite that interest and validate it.  First, there was a copy of the Pauline Kael book "For Keeps," a sampler from her other published books of film criticism, that I must have read cover to cover a good four or five times.  Her book taught me to dig deeper into a movie, and to be able to articulate why I love something even when no one else does.

The Danny Peary "Cult Movies" books also were important to me because they suggested that the world of film outside of the mainstream might actually be more interesting or rewarding.  Peary's descriptions of these films have stayed with me so vividly that even this last year, when I finally checked one more title off the list, it was his book that was forefront in my mind as I sat down to watch.

There was another book that made an equally large impression on me, but for different reasons.  In 1978, Harry Medved, Randy Dreyfuss, and Michael Medved wrote "The Fifty Worst Films Of All Time (And How They Got That Way)," and what I didn't know at the time was that Harry Medved was 17 when he wrote it, while Dreyfuss was 19.  Makes sense, because the book is written with an insistent attitude that seemed very persuasive to nine-year-old me, but that I have found more grating each time I've gone back to it over the years.

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