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Bill Engvall (L) and Marc Anthony on TNT's "Hawthorne"

Bill Engvall (L) and Marc Anthony on TNT's "Hawthorne"

Credit: TNT

Bill Engvall talks about getting serious for 'HawthoRNe'

Don't look for a Blue Collar Comedy Tour reunion anytime soon

Bill Engvall may be best known as a stand-up kind of guy (he started the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy), but he’s looking to get serious. And on a three episode arc of TNT’s “HawthoRNe” (Tues. 10 p.m. EST), he’s doing exactly that. As Internal Affairs investigator Jimmy Dupree, he’s sniffing around the very bad (but hey, pretty justified) behavior of Det. Nick Renata (Marc Anthony) following an attack on Christina (Jada Pinkett Smith). HitFix spoke to an upbeat Engvall (“If I felt any better I’d be twins,” he joked) about his dramatic future, his Angie Harmon dreams and why there isn’t likely to be a Blue Collar reunion anytime soon.

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<p>Madonna at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008.</p>

Madonna at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008.

Credit: AP Photo

Madonna's 'W.E' playing awards season game with December release

Latest directorial features Abbie Cornish and James D'Arcy

Does Madonna fear anything?  She certainly doesn't fear critics.  The legendary pop icon received mostly negative notices for her directorial debut, "Filth and Wisdom," but similar to her up and down acting career she's not letting critics dictate her cinematic choices.  Madonna's latest directorial effort, "W.E," was acquired by The Weinstein Company earlier this spring and now the studio has announced a release date smack dab in the middle of awards season, Dec. 9.

Featuring an ensemble cast including Abbie Cornish, James D'Arcy, Oscar Isaac and Andrea Riseborough, "W.E" is based on an original screenplay by Madonna and longtime collaborator Alek Keshishian ("Madonna: Truth or Dare").  According to a release from TWC, "W.E" looks at the fabled romance between American Wallis Simpson (Riseborough) and Britain’s King Edward VIII (D'Arcy), who famously gave up the throne to marry the woman he loved.  More than six decades later, the fabled love story enthralls a young woman named Wally Winthrop (Cornish), who thinks she sees in their devotion a stark contrast to her own unhappy marriage – and an example to follow as she searches for the meaning of true love. Considering the differing opinions on Simpson and Edward's love affair on both sides of the pond (and apparent in TWC's Oscar winning "The King's Speech") it's unclear how realistic the former King's love affair and abdication will be handled.

Harvey Weinstein, who is probably one of a few people you could name on one hand to have mastered all aspects of the Oscar game, would not date "W.E" in Dec. unless he saw how the end of year spotlight could help the film at the box office. 

“Madonna beautifully interweaves past and present in 'W.E.'  It’s a very smart film, and a stunning feature directorial debut,”Weinstein noted in the release. “I’m incredibly excited about this movie and I wanted to give it a prominent release date.”

It's also noteworthy that Darren Aronofsky's regular producing partner, Scott Franklin, came on board as an executive producer.  Franklin only has quality projects on his resume.  Something to consider before you assume the Material Girl's involvement means it won't work.

It will be a busy second half of the year for Madonna by all accounts.  Besides "W.E," she's expected to release a new album sometime this fall.

"W.E" opens in limited release in NY and LA on Dec. 9.

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<p>Yeah, keep smiling, dork.</p>

Yeah, keep smiling, dork.

Watch: James Franco, Kalup Linzy in 'Rising' music video

Just, wow

My boyfriend James Franco is in a electronic music duo called Kalup & Franco, with partner Kalup Linzy.

They made a song called "Rising" and posted the "music video" in advance of their EP "Turn It Up," due July 12.

It's useless.


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Credit: EMI

Watch: Coldplay's 'Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall' music video

Partly animated clip takes the graffiti theme to a new degree

The fun part of being in Coldplay is the ability to purchase an abandoned residential building in the middle of nowhere and cover it in paint. Or, at least, that's what the British soft rock band got up to for the music video to "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall."

Frontman Chris Martin has said that the band was inspired by '80s graffiti and tagging in New York as they made their new, as-yet-untitled effort. If you check their promo photos, and the single art for "Waterfall," you'll see they may be beating the theme to death, as they did with the French military motif for last "Viva La Vida."

However, the overwhelming smell of drying paint and spraycan fumes won't overtake your viewing experience of the clip, which features some beautiful stop-motion concept work. The sad part is, the band turns to the wrong decade -- the '90s -- for those parts with the blacklight paint. Whatever. Wait for the end as you watch an entire building structure get covered in color, splashes raining down from the windows as the band "rocks out" in a field.

The fun parts remind me of the best moments from "Strawberry Swing" and cutout-happy "Don't Panic."

Coldplay are working on finishing their fifth full-length, and have already premiered two additional new songs this month for the "Teardrop" EP. No word yet if those songs, "Major Minus" and "Moving to Mars," will be on the full studio set. They headlined Glastonbury over the weekend and will be pulling similar duty at Lollapalooza in Chicago in August.


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Watch: Steven Spielberg evokes 'Black Beauty' and the front lines in 'War Horse' teaser

Watch: Steven Spielberg evokes 'Black Beauty' and the front lines in 'War Horse' teaser

First look at 2012 Oscar contender

Just in time to remind moviegoers that quality films are just around the corner, DreamWorks Studios released the first teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg's "War Horse."

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"Kate Plus 8"

"Kate Plus 8"

Credit: TLC

Quick Look: 'Kate Plus 8' is lacking more than ratings

The original octomom is still around -- but why?

Did you know "Kate Plus 8" was still on the air? Yeah, me neither, but it is (Mon, 10 p.m. EST on TLC). And if you’re not watching, rest assured you’re not the only one. The crown jewel of TLC is looking a lot like a stinky old lump of coal these days, ratings-wise.

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<p>Dia &quot;Ramona Flowers&quot; Frampton of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>
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Dia "Ramona Flowers" Frampton of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' - Finale Performances

The Final Four sing for the Mentors and for America

Things I'm grateful for:

First off, I'm grateful for Ryan McGee's excellent fill-in recapping last Wednesday when I was Elsewhere.

Second off, I'm grateful that tomorrow night's "Voice" finale is only an hour long. I'm perfectly content to watch two hours of "The Voice" tonight, in the first part of the finale, but two hours tomorrow was gonna be too much...

Let's get down to recapping business...

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<p>Tom Petty</p>

Tom Petty

Credit: AP Photo

Tom Petty to Bachmann: 'back down,' plus more music vs. politician fights

Springsteen, Jackson Brown, Foo Fighters: Songs on campaign trails that hit bumps

Tom Petty has penned some pretty iconic songs in the past, but the liberal-leaning artist isn't always keen on letting politicians use his tracks on the campaign trail. In the latest example of artists dissenting to politicians' use of their songs for polling gain, the rocker has told Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to quit using his song "American Girl" at rallies.

Bachmann reportedly played the track during her stops in Iowa this week. There is no word yet if Petty has served a cease-and-desist letter to prevent its further use.

Petty had a similar problem with former president George W. Bush's use of "Won't Back Down" during his campaign in 2000, and a letter was served then. However, the same song was approved for use from  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential run in 2008. Virginia's Jim Webb and New Jersey's Robert Menendez used the track in their Senate races and Eliot Spitzer had it during his gubernatorial run.

A cease-and-desist letter sometimes stops a song's use dead in its tracks; sometimes there is a disconnect between an artist's personal endorsement and copyright holders' and performance rights groups' allowance for a song's usage. Sometimes politicians continue to use songs without securing license for a song use and risk going to court later. Some have even rewritten tunes under the auspices of "parody," a legal use of a melody. And some candidates an continue

Below is a short history of other somewhat recent stand-offs between politician and musicians. In many cases, the fight is against Republican or right wing-leaning candidates. Can you think of some more?


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<p>Shia LaBeouf talks about growing up Witwicky at the Moscow press day for 'Transformers:&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Of&nbsp;The Moon'</p>

Shia LaBeouf talks about growing up Witwicky at the Moscow press day for 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Shia LaBeouf graduates to adulthood in 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon'

Star talks about growing up with Michael Bay

The only time I've interviewed Shia LaBeouf, it was during the publicity push for the second season of "Project: Greenlight," and he was still a dewy-eyed Disney kid, freshly scrubbed and more forthcoming than he should have been.  I instantly liked him, and I've rooted for him as he's carved out a place for himself in pop culture over the last half-decade or so.

Sitting down with him in Moscow for "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon," I was struck by what a different person he is in almost every way now.  I still see the same innate comic timing, that same ability to open up and project, but I also see someone who has lived a lot of very hard adult life in the time between our sit-downs.  LaBeouf has played a lot of young man leading roles, and we've seen him play a lot of milestones onscreen and off.  This movie feels like the close of a chapter in his cinematic development, and I'm very curious to see where he goes from here.

We discussed the way he's grown up with Michael Bay right there, yelling at him and blowing up the background, and we also talked about his new co-star, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and what she brought to the dynamic that's been building for three movies now.

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<p>Nicki Minaj in David Guetta's new video</p>

Nicki Minaj in David Guetta's new video

Watch: David Guetta's video for 'Where Them Girls At' with Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida

Watch girls in bikinis make fools of themselves

Beware of seemingly innocent bubbles floating in the New York sky. They may appear harmless, but touch one or come too close to its orbit and the next thing you know, you’ll be spasticly dancing out of control...perhaps in your skimpy  bikini.

That’s the take away from David Guetta’s video for his global smash “Where Them Girls At” featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj. And, oh yeah, Minaj continues on her trajectory to prove she really is just a monster-eyelashed robot. And the video has a major product placement pact with Renault that practically stops the clip dead.

High atop a building rooftop in New York City, French DJ Guetta is hard at work cranking out beats, while his assistants pour a  mix into funnels that blow bubbles far and wide. Guetta has the best job ever in all of his videos. Looking like he just rolled out of bed and grabbed whatever clothes were on the floor, he throws on his shades, manipulates a few turntables and done.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Cedric the Entertainer takes some guff from the charming Taraji P. Henson during our interview for 'Larry Crowne'</p>

Cedric the Entertainer takes some guff from the charming Taraji P. Henson during our interview for 'Larry Crowne'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Cedric the Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson laugh it up for 'Larry Crowne'

Supporting players gone wild in our unhinged interview

Even before I walked into the room to interview Cedric The Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson together, I could tell it was going to be a wild one.  You could hear laughter all the way down the hall from where they were, and every interviewer who walked out seemed greatly entertained.

Even as I was settling in and they were retouching both of the actors with a bit of make-up, they were constantly taking shots back and forth at each other, and you could sense just how in tune they were.

Personally, I have ridiculous amounts of affection for Henson, who has been a welcome presence in film since I first noticed her in "Hustle & Flow."  There's a warmth to the work she does onscreen that I find really appealing, and in person, she was just as charming.

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HitFix Interview: Pitbull on life on 'Planet Pit'

Rapper talks collaborations and future plans

It’s good to be Pitbull. The Cuban-American rapper is sipping white wine in a all white hotel suite in Los Angeles, flanked by a few members of his posse, as he runs through a string of interviews to promote his new album, “Planet Pit.”

The set, which debuts in the Top 10 on this week’s Billboard 200, is the party project of the summer—chock full of club bangers featuring Pit and his friends, Ne-Yo, Marc Anthony, Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown, Enrique Iglesias and T-Pain.

The massive success of first single, “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, has come quickly on the heels of Pitbull’s raspy raps appearing on a number of the past year’s hottest tunes:  Iglesias’s “I Like It,” Usher’s “DJ’s Got Us Fallin’ In Love” and Jennifer Lopez’s comeback single, “On the Floor.”

Although not dressed in one of his trademark fancy suits, Pitbull, nevertheless, cuts a dashing figure, full of easy charm and swagger, as he talks about the making of the new album and life on Planet Pit in the embedded video in this post.

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