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Zoe Saldana on her 'Guardians' killer character: 'She needs to be pretty'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Zoe Saldana on her 'Guardians' killer character: 'She needs to be pretty'

Are the Guardians really the 'Rolling Stones' of the Marvel movie universe?

LONDON - Standing in the costume department for Marvel's wild new science-fiction action-comedy adventure space opera whatever you want to call it, "Guardians Of The Galaxy," I was struck by just how singular the designs were for the wardrobe worn by Gamora, a dangerous new character played by Zoe Saldana.

There was a decidedly punk edge to the drawings, but they were also gorgeous, like something you'd see for a runway show. Saldana is stunning in person, ethereal and delicate and yet with this sort of lacerating edge that she seems perfectly capable of laying down verbally. You get the sense she chews on her words and really thinks about what she's saying to you during an interview. I don't think she takes it lightly, and part of what she considers is how her physical appearance is part of the brand she's built as an actress.

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A visit to the otherworldly set of Marvel's massive 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'
Credit: Marvel Studios

A visit to the otherworldly set of Marvel's massive 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

We get a glimpse at the ambition behind Marvel's riskiest movie so far

LONDON -- At this point, I've come to think of the Shepperton lot in England as Marvel's home away from home.

Not long after the presentation that Marvel made at Comic-Con for "Guardians Of The Galaxy," a group of journalists were invited to visit the sets for the film and to talk to the filmmakers and the cast. As part of that group, I found myself somewhat blown away by what we saw and by the conversations we had. That is not always the case, and while I've had plenty of set visits where I walked away feeling optimistic, I've had very few that knocked me out to this degree.

Why? What is it that convinced me that this is a departure for the studio and a very special version of what we know right now as the big action blockbuster?

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<p>Monday&#39;s &quot;Under the Dome&quot;</p>

Monday's "Under the Dome"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Under the Dome' plummets as 'MasterChef' leads FOX to Monday wins

'American Ninja Warrior' tops 'Dome' in the key demo

Fast National ratings for Monday, July 7, 2014.

CBS' "Under the Dome" plummeted nearly 20 percent to a series low in the season's second week, still leading Monday overall, but falling behind a slew of Monday originals in the key demo as FOX eked out wins in all measures.

"MasterChef," "The Bachelorette" and "American Ninja Warrior" all topped "Under the Dome" with young viewers, while "The Bachelorette" closed the gap on "Under the Dome" overall.

Among other Monday notables, the "Beauty and the Beast" season finale got a small overall bump, as did FOX's "24: Live Another Day." ABC's "Mistresses" was down week-to-week.

On to the numbers...

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'My Five Wives' patriarch files for bankruptcy

“My Five Wives” patriarch files for bankruptcy
TLC star Brady Williams, who has five wives and 24 children, is $400,000 in debt.


FX unveils the 1st “Sons of Anarchy’s” final season teaser
Jax rides solo at night in “Hell Awaits."


Larry David says he recently began rewatching “Seinfeld” episodes with his daughter, "and I forgot how funny they were"
"It's funny because I haven't seen an episode in years,” he tells Rolling Stone.


Mindy Kaling: Here's how the rejected animated “Mindy Project” opening looked like
"The amazing artist Henry John did some of the coolest and cutest characterizations of Mindy,” Kaling revealed on Instagram. "Agh!! I wish we could do an episode with these credits!”


Kiefer Sutherland explains to Jimmy Fallon the origins of Jack Bauer’s “24” catchphrase “Damn It!”
“We never meant it to catch on like it did,” says Sutherland, noting that it was initially used as a quick way to move his character on to the next scene.


Subway helping promote “Sharknado 2,” thanks to Jared's cameo
A Subway poster shows Jared Fogle taking a bite out of a shark. PLUS: A "Sharknado" video game is also in the works.


Jimmy Fallon as Neal Young sings Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” with Crosby, Stills and Nash
It was sort of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion.


Report: John Cleese to join Pamela Anderson in the “Baywatch” movie
The Monty Python star will reportedly play a classic British villain, according to the UK’s Independent.


Lisa Rinna to “Real Housewives”?
She’s expected to join the Beverly Hills edition, according to Radar Online.


American remake of Britain's “Broadchurch” will air on British TV
ITV has picked up the UK rights to Fox’s “Gracepoint.”


“Sherlock’s” special will be 90 minutes long
"For some reason, people seem to think the #Sherlock special will be about 7 mins long,” co-creator Mark Gatiss tweeted. "It’s episode 10, my dears. It’ll be 90!"


Check out “Phineas and Ferb” meeting “Star Wars”
Here’s a glimpse of the Disney Channel show with Han Solo and Chewbacca.


Brian Williams weighs in on “The Bachelorette” and Juan Pablo
The NBC Nightly News anchor says he’s finally "up to speed" with what’s going on with Andi Dorfman.


BBC’s “Danger Mouse” reboot will make some male characters female
The cartoon remake calls for more female characters.

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<p>The Bridge</p>

The Bridge

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'The Bridge' finds more consistency in season 2

But is the cop drama set on the El Paso/Juarez border better now that the serial killer arc is done?

For most of its first season, FX's "The Bridge" seemed as caught between two worlds as its two heroes, who worked opposite sides of the El Paso/Juarez border. In one world, the show was stuck adapting the serial killer story from the original Scandinavian "Bron," and not providing a particularly inspired take on an overdone subject. In the other world, "The Bridge" was having a lot of fun looking at the weird culture along that border, and in establishing the bond between Texas cop Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) and her Mexican counterpart Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir). The second show was much more interesting than the first, but the first show kept swallowing the second one whole. 

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10 Big Questions as July 2014 TCA Press Tour Begins

10 Big Questions as July 2014 TCA Press Tour Begins

Who speaks for FOX? Which shows have critical buzz? And should Michael Patrick King be afraid?

Well, it's been a relaxing six weeks since the 2013-14 TV season ended, but the time for tanning on a tropical island is over. [If you follow me on Twitter, you may sense some sarcasm there.]

Tuesday (July 8) morning begins the Summer 2014 installment of the Television Critics Association press tour. 

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Report: Rosie O’Donnell closing in on 'View' deal

Report: Rosie O’Donnell closing in on "View” deal
An announcement of Rosie’s return could be announced as soon as this week, according to TMZ.


Chris Harrison defends how “The Bachelorette” broke the news of Eric Hill’s death
"After watching it all back and seeing how it was edited together, I stand by it even more," he says of Monday’s episode, which saw Harrison breaking the news to Andi Dorfman and her Final 4 bachelors. "There were people within the show that didn't want us to shoot us talking to Andi and the guys and those that didn't want it to be televised at all, but I vehemently disagreed and fought like crazy to shoot it and eventually use it.”


Chris Colfer learned his Twitter was hacked after stepping off a long flight from London to L.A.
 “It sucked,” the “Glee” star tells EW. “Whoever this A-hole was that did this knew that I was going to be on this plane and I couldn’t be reached. So as soon as I landed, my phone just exploded.”


“Orange is the New Black’s” Lorraine Toussaint joins ABC’s “Forever”
She’ll play a police lieutenant on the fall drama.


Columbus Short: ABC “did the right thing” in dumping me from “Scandal”
“I think, at a certain point, when you’re (hearing) a barrage of stories after stories, ABC justifiably would want to distance themselves,” he says.


“America’s Most Wanted’s” John Walsh plans to battle the NRA now that he’s on CNN
Walsh, host of “The Hunt,” says he plans to continue Piers Morgan’s anti-NRA/pro-gun control campaign.


Lifetime orders weekly talk show "Undone With @AmandadeCadenet”
British TV personality Amanda de Cadenet will star in a talk show airing at 10:30 pm weekly this summer.


“True Blood” just lost its most powerful asset
Here’s an appreciation of this week’s casualty.


“Sharknado 2” unveils an extended trailer
“In every generation, there's a cinematic event that changes everything…"


Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara are dating
The “True Blood” star recently raved about the “Modern Family” star in People magazine.


"Pee-wee’s Playhouse” complete series Blu-ray box set is due this fall
All 45 episodes plus bonus features will be available on Oct. 21.


Check out Marge Simpson’s new makeup line
MAC Cosmetics’ 10-piece Marge Simpson makeup collection will be unveiled at Comic-Con. PLUS: "Marijuana Simpson” has become a Twitter sensation.


“Masters of Sex” adds Marin Ireland
The “Homeland” alum will Masters' help in conceiving a child.

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Taylor Swift

7 fascinating points from Taylor Swift's Wall Street Journal op-ed

Why I disagree with her on several issues


Taylor Swift is the voice— or to paraphrase her new pal Lena Dunham’s “Girl’s” character— a voice of her musical generation. That explains why The Wall Street Journal asked her to pen an op-ed piece for its “The Future Of Everything” edition, which heralds the paper’s 125 anniversary.

In her well-thought out, very informed editorial, the 24-year old superstar explains why she is an “enthusiastic optimist,” who believes the music industry is “just coming alive,” despite all evidence to the contrary.

Much of what Swift puts forward is factual: Digital downloads now account for 40% of music revenue, physical sales of CDs for 35% (for as much as every one says CDs are dead, they are still a significant factor..for now), and streaming and subscription make up 21% of revenue.  Music industry revenue was $7 billion in 2013, down from $15 billion in 2003.

Here are the seven most interesting things Swift says in her WSJ piece and why I disagree with her on a number of them.

“There are many (many) people who predict the downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity. I am not one of them”: The facts are irrefutable on that one. While the album is not going away anytime soon, the world is increasingly becoming a singles-driven one. There will always be artists who make albums meant to be heard as a whole, but Apple changed consumer patterns for good with the birth of iTunes. Once iTunes made it possible for buyers to cherry pick singles instead of having to purchase a full album, there was no going back. The key part in Swift’s argument is “as an economic entity.”  It will remain an artistic entity for many artists, but as an economic entity, it will continue to decline.

“Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for”:  Bravo. At some point, whether it’s through an act of Congress or other means (and it’s looking more likely to be through Congress), sufficient royalty rates for songwriters and artists will have to be established for streaming services. Right now, they’re all over the place with no consistent formula. Napster somehow created the idea that it’s okay to steal music and even though many people don’t feel that way anymore, they still have no problem using a streaming service that pays the music’s creators a scandalously small royalty. With streaming on the rise—up 42% over last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan— and downloading and physical sales on the continued decline, this is an issue that needs a quick solution. (It should be noted that while Swift does not give her music away, she is on a number of streaming services, like Spotify, which listeners can use for free.)

“[People] are buying only the [albums] that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren't alone in feeling so alone. It isn't as easy today as it was 20 years ago to have a multiplatinum-selling album, and as artists, that should challenge and motivate us”: Yes and no. What we are increasingly seeing are artists who simply don’t need to be— and shouldn’t be— album artists. They may have a single or two or three or four in them, but their talent isn’t in crafting a full album, it's in crafting hit singles. Swift still has something to say and she says it in album form (even though she has very high digital single sales, as well). Her fans are invested in her, just as Adele’s fans are, and they want to hear what she has to say, every word of it. Not every artist has that much to say.

“Some artists will be like finding "the one." We will cherish every album they put out until they retire…I think the future still holds the possibility for this kind of bond, the one my father has with the Beach Boys and the one my mother has with Carly Simon”: Hmmm. I wonder what’s the last Beach Boys album her father bought? What about her mom and Carly Simon? At some point, most fans, even lifelong ones, stop showing interest in an artist’s new music and just go back to their favorite albums in the artist's catalog. But they do continue to support that artist and show their loyalty when it comes to seeing him/her in concert. And they use the performance of the new material as a chance to go to the bathroom.

“Forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say "shock"; I said ‘surprise’.”  Is this Tay Tay’s little dig at artists like Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga, both of whom continually up the shock value?

“In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me.” And this, my friends, is why Taylor Swift is so successful. In a way that few artists have ever harnessed as well, she understands the power of social media. When her first album came out in 2006, she blogged and had long conversations with fans via MySpace while on her tour bus. Once Twitter came along, there was no stopping her. She understands how to make each show a unique event without overdoing it on the hype. The tour before this, she wrote lyrics  from one of her favorite songs on her arm every night. Brilliant-- for both her and the artist she endorsed. This tour, she had guests. She knows she has to keep fans interested and it can be by simple as small as a few lyrics on her arm… and a strong, good, live show.

“There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs… The only memento "kids these days" want is a selfie”: Fascinating info for marketers. I don’t know anyone under 21 who would even consider asking for an autograph. A selfie shows fans' proximity to the artist in a way that an autograph can’t and feeds into the narcissistic needs to chronicle every moment. Proof of the one-on-one moment that can then be shared with the world is the coin of the realm.

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Sylvester Stallone in 'Reach Me' looks like an overstuffed all-star crowdfunded nightmare
Credit: Millennium Films

Sylvester Stallone in 'Reach Me' looks like an overstuffed all-star crowdfunded nightmare

Thomas Jane and Kyra Sedgwick also star in the 'Crash' of self-help books

"You're a finger painting! Be a masterpiece!"

Stranger words have never been mush-mouthed by Sylvester Stallone. I am genuinely baffled by the trailer for "Reach Me," a strange new film with an eclectic cast and a preposterous premise. It looks like "Crash" for the self-help industry, an idea that makes my skin full-on crawl.

UPDATED: The trailer that was originally attached to this story was not, technically speaking, a trailer. While we were not the first to post it, when we were contacted by the film's producers, we took down our copy. It turns out that this was a sales reel cut solely to help raise money during production. In our original version of this story, we mentioned that this is a Millennium Films release, and while that's true, they did not produce it. Our opinion of the sales reel remains, but until there is an actual finished trailer available, it's not fair to the production to leave it posted.

Writer/director John Herzfeld is also behind the films "15 Minutes" and "2 Days In The Valley," and while it flew completely under my radar, this is yet another example of crowdfunding being used on something that stars some very familiar faces. Evidently, Herzfeld's been trying to make this film for over a dozen years, and he was mid-shoot when money dried up. That's a little surprising since I see the Millennium Films logo on the front of the trailer, and I thought they had bags of money they had to launder… er, invest.

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd confirms new album, 'The Endless River,' coming in October

Check out who is in on the set of previously unreleased material

After David Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson, spilled the beans via Twitter over the weekend, Pink Floyd confirmed today that the British group will, indeed, release new music this October.

The album, “The Endless River,” will be mainly ambient and instrumental music based on recording sessions that took place during the making of Pink Floyd’s last studio album, 1994’s “The Division Bell,” according to a statement released by the band’s label, Columbia Records.

The sessions feature guitarist Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, and keyboardist Rick Wright, who died in 2008. Gilmour is producing the album along with Phil Manzanera, Youth, and recording engineer Andy Jackson.  “The Division Bell,”  which featured  lyrics penned by Samson,  was Wright's last work with the band and the last studio album released by Pink Floyd. Co-founder Syd Barrett quit the band in 1968 (and died in 2006); Roger Waters left the band in 1985 and despite a great deal of acrimony with his band mates, has appeared with them on a handful of occasions for charity.

They are still working on the final album, with more details expected by summer’s end.

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'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Gary Oldman prefers to drop the exposition, thank you
Credit: HitFix

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Gary Oldman prefers to drop the exposition, thank you

And co-stars Keri Russell and Jason Clarke seem to agree

When I sat down to talk with Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Jason Clarke, it was a few days after Oldman's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show to try to put to rest the controversy over comments he made during his recent Playboy interview.

I'm glad it had already fizzled out. I've met Oldman before, in a very odd circumstance involving a film directed by a mutual friend, and I really enjoyed chatting with him then. He's a smart guy with a very specific background during an era of British independent film that I find wildly interesting. I could spend hours talking to him about his early work and the filmmakers he's worked with if he'd indulge me, and it would never occur to me to delve into politically correct language.

When discussing "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes," the exceptional new film by Matt Reeves, one of the things I found interesting is just how spare the film is in terms of typical exposition. The film works with an efficiency that's very similar to the storytelling in the last film Reeves made, "Let Me In," and it's one of the many things that makes "Dawn" feel special among typical summer movie blockbusters.

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<p>Cat Power and Coldplay&#39;s Chris Martin</p>

Cat Power and Coldplay's Chris Martin

Slow dance with yourself on Coldplay and Cat Power's collab 'Wish I Was Here'

For Zach Braff's 'indie' film of the same name

Just like Jon Favreau could loop in Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johanssen into his indie ("indie") movie "Chef," Zach Braff was able to secure some heavy-hitters of his own for his indie flick "Wish I Was Here." The guy can bat at a level that you send a draft of your film to multi-Grammy winner Chris Martin and come out on the other side with a brand new song from Coldplay and Cat Power titled after your movie.

And the tune could leave you swooning.

Led by piano and Chan Marshall's twilit voice, "Wish I Was Here" started out as an idea Martin bumped off his band, with a gap open for a female lead singer, according to NPR. Marshall has been somewhat quiet since 2012's "Sun" and a proceeding tour that was marred by cancellations, frustration and illness. She sounds as strong as ever, very comfortable with Martin's harmonic mumble.

No news if this marks a period of activity for Marshall, but keep in mind that "Wish I Were Here" has been around since Sundance in January.

The soundtrack to "Wish I Were Here" is out on July 15 with the theatrical run starting two days later. Also from the tracklist, check out the new song from the Shins, "So Now What," here.

Hold me close now, Cat Power.

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