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<p>Bruce Willis has certainly played soldier before, as in 'Tears Of The&nbsp;Sun,' but if he ends up signed on for 'G.I. Joe 2,' that's good news for fans</p>

Bruce Willis has certainly played soldier before, as in 'Tears Of The Sun,' but if he ends up signed on for 'G.I. Joe 2,' that's good news for fans

Credit: Revolution Studios

The Afternoon Read: Bruce Willis close to suiting up for 'G.I. Joe 2'

Plus has the battle for 'World War Z' already been lost?

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Bruce Willis in "G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation"?  Well, that's one way to grab some headlines.  Word is that Willis is likely to step into the role of Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe, which would mean this film's cast is pretty much a wall of macho man-meat at this point.  Dwayne Johnson is bigger than ever before to play Roadblock, and Ray Stevenson's onboard as Firefly, meaning this is largely a reboot even though Paramount's treating it like a sequel.  Willis and Johnson would be a big step up from Channing Tatum and one of the nine zillion Wayans, and it sounds to me like Jon M. Chu is doing everything he can to make his film rock.

Speaking of Paramount projects, some days, it's interesting just to watch something that starts small ripple its way around the Internet, picking up steam as it goes, until it finally erupts into something much larger than would have seemed possible from the way it started.  I'm sure when Paramount put together their official synopsis for their upcoming "World War Z," they probably read it over a few times and felt good about how it sounded.  It reads for maximum excitement, but the problem is, it doesn't really sound like it's describing "World War Z" at all.  Here's what Paramount sent out:

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Mary Murphy of "So You Think You Can Dance"

 Mary Murphy of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

Interview: 'So You Think You Can Dance' judge Mary Murphy talks about her dance with death

Murphy reveals her "greatest regret" of the season

 On "So You Think You Can Dance," ballroom expert Mary Murphy is known for her ear-splitting shrieks, soaring whooos and generally being the most excited person on the judges' panel. But after a bout with thyroid cancer, Murphy was decidedly low key when she returned to the show, giving all of us a chance to feel a little sad about the lack of Hot Tamale train action during a season when it seemed the most worthy. During a conversation at the Fox TCA after-party, I asked Murphy how she was doing, how she felt about changes to the structure of the top 20 and what she'd love to do for the finale -- but, unfortunately, won't be able to.

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Radiohead releasing double-disc 'King of Limbs' remix album

'TKOL RMX 1234567' includes contributions from Caribou, Four Tet, Jamie xx

Radiohead are giving "The King of Limbs" and extra, erm, leg of life.

The British band has been releasing 12" singles all summer of remixed tracks from their latest album, with contributions from artists like Caribou and Four Tet. Now, all of those reduxes are being compiled into a 19-track, double-disc and download package, "TLOL RMX 1234567."

Radiohead chose their collaborators out of a crew of "electronic artists and producers who have been exciting and inspiring the members of the band." That would be you, Jamie xx, SBTRKT, Jacques Greene, Modeselektor...


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<p>Scotty McCreery in &quot;I Love You This Big&quot;</p>

Scotty McCreery in "I Love You This Big"

Watch: 'American Idol's' Scotty McCreery loves you this big in new music video

You should see the one that got away

Scotty McCreery lets his friends do the heavy lifting in his video for “I Love You This Big”...literally.

His band plugs in monitors and gets the whole stage set up  going in the “American Idol” winner’s video for his first post-”Idol” single as he dreamily stares into space singing about how his heart starts pounding “when I look into your eyes.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Stephen Daldry's &quot;Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.&quot;</p>

Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."

Credit: Warner Bros.

First Look: Tom Hanks in Stephen Daldry's 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

Oscar player hits theaters in Nov.

A strong resume can be both a blessing and a curse.  For director Stephen Daldry it's been just the latter.  Unless, of course, he lives under the pressure of having every two of his three films nominated for the Academy Award for best picture and personally being nominated in the best director category for all of them.  Something tells us that with the constant stream of good source material at his hands, he doesn't.

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<p>&quot;Watch the Throne&quot;</p>

"Watch the Throne"

Album Review: Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch the Throne'

Is this shine just shy of gold?

Kanye West shouldn’t have started hyping “Watch the Throne” last year. Undoubtedly, the full-length collaboration with Jay-Z wouldn’t have gone unnoticed all these months, but we could have at least overlooked misstep H.A.M. in January; more would have been made of near-perfect “Otis.”

And expectations could have been curbed and formed more precisely. This album is a capsule and not a grand statement, which one would assume from hip-hop’s royalty and from an album that may as well have been named “Watch This Space.” West and Jay-Z are only seven years apart in age, but a generation apart in the history of hip-hop. Hov’s strengths are in his narrative and sparring, Ye’s in his brand of swagger and navigation around a beat/sample. They can interchange, bump off of each other’s language, and that is “Throne’s” strength.
Its divorce is in the potential for a conversation and not just a pair of talking heads. This is a long-form project of almost unprecedented proportions and yet it feels downscaled.
That’s not to say it’s a bad album. It’s quite good, one of the best hip-hop albums to come out this year.
Take for instance “Made in America.” The theme is men and women of color getting their slice of American Pie, whether as a martyr or a trailblazer or an entertainer. But it feels cheapened with Frank Ocean’s repeated refrain “sweet baby Jesus” and Kanye’s digression on blogging, like the song needed catch-phrases to cut Hov’s verse on rags-to-riches for the American Black Man.
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Emma Stone and Viola Davis of "The Help"

 Emma Stone and Viola Davis of "The Help"

Credit: Dreamworks

Watch: Viola Davis, Emma Stone talk up 'The Help'

The two stars weren't afraid to tackle racism in new film

 After seeing "The Help" (and watching Viola Davis' amazing performance), I was pretty excited to meet the Oscar nominee. What I didn't expect, though, was to find that the actress, wearing a fitted red dress and a chic bob, looked absolutely stunning. In both "Doubt" and "The Help," Davis is the epitome of middle-aged frumpiness, and let's face it, no one looks good in a dowdy housecleaner's uniform. But Davis looked a good twenty years younger than her character in person, which just made her performance as Abileen that much more remarkable. Weighed down by decades of holding her tongue, veiled (and not so veiled) insults by employers and the death of her son, Abileen is old before her time. Davis, of course, is  nothing of the sort.

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<p>Viola Davis stars in 'The Help,' adapted from the best-selling novel, along with Emma Stone</p>

Viola Davis stars in 'The Help,' adapted from the best-selling novel, along with Emma Stone

Credit: Walt Disney Company

Review: 'The Help' makes the most of ensemble including Emma Stone, Viola Davis

Uplifting story of a personal turning point in race relations avoids genre traps

One of the most frustrating habits of well-meaning Hollywood over the years has been the tendency to create movies about how white people have heroically helped one minority after another.  If you only know the history of race relations from movies, it would seem that most major changes in the condition of how we live together have resulted from noble, selfless white folks who have decided to take mercy on the "lesser" races.  That disturbing cultural lie is the reason I have a problem with a number of films. like "Cry Freedom" or "Mississippi Burning," movies that contain good work on important subjects, but that are hobbled by this need to have a white face at the center of things.

For Tate Taylor, the screenwriter and director of "The Help," this history of dishonesty is working against him before the film even begins, and I'm happy to admit that I walked in, arms crossed, ready to dismiss the movie.  I didn't read Kathryn Stockett's novel, but I'm aware of how big a hit it was, and I expected something that was all feel-good surfaces and white guilt.  Instead, Taylor deserves real credit for what he's done, avoiding many of the easy traps of the genre, and I walked away impressed by just how solid and sincere "The Help" really is.  This is a case where the dynamic between the white and black characters informs the premise of the film, and they gain strength and courage from each other.  This is no one-way transaction.  Instead, it's a cross-class portrait of Southern women of a certain era, and the dawning of new respect between them, and it packs a heck of a punch.

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<p>Blake Shelton</p>

Blake Shelton

Credit: AP Photo

Blake Shelton dances his way onto the 'Footloose' soundtrack

Zac Brown, Victoria Justice, Cee-Lo and Smashing Pumpkins also on set

Blake Shelton, whose “Red River Blue” debuted atop the Billboard 200 last month, will channel his inner Kenny Loggins for a remake of the title track to “Footloose.”

The soundtrack for the Paramount Pictures reboot of the 1984 film, which stars Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid and newcomer Kenny Wormald, features four new versions of songs from the original. In addition to “Footloose,” teen queen Victoria Justice and country newcomer Hunter Hayes remake “Almost Paradise” (first recorded by Loverboy’s Mike Reno and Heart’s Ann Wilson), Jana Kramer puts her spin on “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” (Deniece Williams) and Ella Mae Bowen takes on “Holding Out For A Hero” (Bonnie Tyler).

Out Sept. 27, the soundtrack includes new music from Cee Lo Green, Zac Brown and Big & Rich, among others.  It has a lot to live up to: the original soundtrack topped the Billboard charts and contained three Top 10 hits.  The first single from the new iteration, “Fake I.D.” from Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson dropped to No. 51 on this week’s Billboard Country Songs chart.

The movie opens Oct. 14.

“FOOTLOOSE” Soundtrack track listing:

1. Footloose – Blake Shelton
2. Where The River Goes – Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band
3. Little Lovin’ – Lissie
4. Holding Out For A Hero – Ella Mae Bowen
5. Let’s Hear It For The Boy – Jana Kramer
6. So Sorry Mama – Whitney Duncan
7. Fake I.D. – Big & Rich feat. Gretchen Wilson
8. Almost Paradise – Victoria Justice & Hunter Hayes
9. Walkin’ Blues – Cee Lo Green feat. Kenny Wayne Shepherd
10. Window Paine – The Smashing Pumpkins
11. Suicide Eyes – A Thousand Horses
12. Dance The Night Away – David Banner

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Bryce Dallas Howard

 Bryce Dallas Howard

Credit: Dreamworks

Watch: Bryce Dallas Howard gets mean for 'The Help'

The adorable actress gets bitchy as Emma Stone's adversary

Before I saw "The Help," i mostly thought of Bryce Dallas Howard as a blood-sucking vampire, M. Night Shyamalan's muse or Ron Howard's little girl. But I'll have a hard time shaking my latest recollection of her as Hilly, a sweetly vicious, adamantly racist Southern belle. Still, sitting down for an interview, the very pregnant star seemed to be the antithesis of her character. Thank God. 

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<p>Carey Mulligan discuss her new thriller &quot;Drive&quot;&nbsp;at San Diego's Comic-Con 2012.</p>

Carey Mulligan discuss her new thriller "Drive" at San Diego's Comic-Con 2012.

Carey Mulligan on the power of quiet love with Ryan Gosling in 'Drive'

A deep conversation on the art of acting at, um, Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO - Comic-Con is not necessarily the first "festival" that springs to mind when thinking of British ingenue Carey Mulligan.  An Oscar nominee for her sparkling turn in "An Education," Mulligan career has seemed more suited for the red carpets of Cannes, Toronto, Venice and Park City.  And yet, last month, Mulligan and a few of her co-horts found their way to Comic-Con's massive Hall H where they pitched the new thriller "Drive" to the pop culture festival's more genre-friendly audience. 

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The judges of "Top Chef" are about to get two new additions

 The judges of "Top Chef" are about to get two new additions

Credit: Bravo

'Top Chef' hits Texas, adds Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson for season nine

New season promises to add some bam

They say everything's bigger in Texas, and that might be part of the reason the latest season of "Top Chef" will be heading to the Lonestar State. The series will head to three cities during the season -- Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. But forget location -- the changes at the judges' table are the really big deal. 

While Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons will all be returning, they'll be joined by "king of bam" Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson. The Atlanta, Georgia chef behind Five & Ten, Acheson made his mark with viewers as a contestant on "Top Chef Masters," where he was notable for being the wry wit in a sea of earnestness. While I'm not too sure about Emeril (I remember those toothpaste commercials and I still shudder), I can't wait for another serving of Hugh. “Top Chef: Texas” will air later this fall.

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