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<p>Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel of '500 Days of Summer'</p>

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel of '500 Days of Summer'

Credit: Fox Searchlight

HitFix Interview: '500 Days of Summer' screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

'Summer' scribes discuss their not-so-romantic comedy, breaking into Hollywood and 'The Pink Panther 2'

If your idea of a perfect relationship movie is a romantic comedy in which the perky ingenue -- think Kate Hudson, Katherine Heigl or, heaven help us, Jessica Alba -- has a hilariously contrived meet-cute with a square-jawed hunk -- think James Marsden, Eric Dane or, if you've behaved very poorly, Dane Cook -- and they bicker for 45 minutes, make out for five minutes, bicker for 15 minutes and then consummate their passions in a grand, rhapsodic climax, you may want to skip Fox Searchlight's "500 Days of Summer." 

Actually, scratch that.

Directed by Marc Webb, "500 Days of Summer" may be the most optimistically romantic movie you'll see this year. 

It may also be the most sardonically bittersweet and depressing love story making its way to your local cinema this summer 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel star as Tom and Summer, an ill-fated couple whose love flows and ebbs in non-linear fashion through Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber's script, which makes a mockery of the conventions that Hollywood has foisted upon us in the genre. 

This is Neustadter and Weber's second produced screenplay of 2009, but if you missed a little film called "The Pink Panther 2," you can pretend it's their first.

Although I have at least one killer story dating back to our shared undergrad experience involving Neustadter and famously mustachioed President Chester Arthur, that incident never came up when HitFix chatted with the screenwriters about the semi-autobiographical (for Neustadter) film, which first earned rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in January. 

[Interview after the break...]

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<p>Randi of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</p>

Randi of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Week 6 Results

Cat Deeley bids farewell to two more of her babies as 'SYTYCD' cuts to eight

Okay, not to get all Cat about it, but this is one Thursday I'm kinda dreading. This top ten is so good and likable I just know this is going to smart, no matter who gets sent home. I look to Debbie Allen to say just the right thing to make it all not suck, but tonight may even be beyond her considerable sweet talking skills.

[Recap of Thursday (July 16) night's "So You Think You Can Dance," spoilers included, after the break...]

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<p>Ronnie of 'Big Brother 11'</p>

Ronnie of 'Big Brother 11'

Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother 11' eliminates its first houseguest

In which Braden says bad things, Jordan says bad words, one guinea pig goes home and a new clique rises

You know what show didn't get a single Emmy nomination this morning? This morning at 5:40 a.m. PT? Many many hours and many many cans of new Zero Carb Blueberry Rock Star ago? That's right. "Big Brother." That doesn't mean, though, that the early start to my Thursday (July 16) morning won't add extra enjoyment to the season's first elimination episode. It just means that if Julie Chen doesn't cut to the chase and evict somebody, I may get punchy in a hurry.

[Recap and results after the break...]

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<p>Scarlett Johansson is The Black Widow in next summer's 'Iron Man 2'</p>

Scarlett Johansson is The Black Widow in next summer's 'Iron Man 2'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Iron Man 2' images land in Entertainment Weekly

Comic-Con preview issue reveals Johansson as Black Widow

One day, HitFix will be so big that we will command movie stars to appear at the HitFix studios for photo shoots that we will run as exclusives, but until that day, we are stuck with the sloppy seconds from outlets like Vanity Fair or Entertainment Weekly, and that's just the way it is.

Thankfully, with Comic-Con happening next week, Entertainment Weekly decided to court the nerds a bit, and the result is an "Iron Man 2" cover along with a preview inside that includes new photos and, yes, our first look at Scarlett Johansson as Natasha aka The Black Widow.  She's a spy, but our introduction to her comes when she's hired to replace Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow), who has been promoted to CEO of Stark Industries.

I like the look of this film, and the world they're building out from the first one.  I like the tech that Mickey Rourke's character Vanko aka Whiplash is using.  Electrified bullwhips?  A crazy drunk Russian who talks to his cockatoo and teams up with Sam Rockwell?  Oh, please, yes.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Nicolas Cage ladles on the crazy in the Alex Proyas apocalyptic thriller 'Knowing'</p>

Nicolas Cage ladles on the crazy in the Alex Proyas apocalyptic thriller 'Knowing'

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Movie Diary: 'Knowing,' 'Thirst,' and 'Watchmen Director's Cut'

Plus Ray Harryhausen on BluRay

Welcome to The Movie Diary.

Tuesday and Wednesday sort of blurred together for me, with one film spilling from one day to the next, so I'm going to put them together as one big entry.  And, no, it's not me trying to get out of doing one... it's just that sometimes, especially when you're watching something longer, days do end up blending, so it makes sense to write them up like this.


One of the reasons I sat this one out theatrically is because my managers, Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone, are the executive producers of the film, and I've been aware of "Knowing" since the first draft sold years ago.  I've read any number of drafts over the years, and I've always liked the core idea even if I thought some of the execution was off in some of the drafts.  Alex Proyas is a near-perfect choice for the film as director.  He can orchestrate feelings of apocalyptic doom with panache, and the major set pieces here are admirably chaotic, some of the most traumatic disaster footage I've ever seen in a big-budget film.  If Irwin Allen saw just how bloodthirsty Proyas is in those sequences, he would tapdance his way right out of the grave.  I like that the film doesn't flinch away from the extremity of the scenario, and eventually, it builds to a climax that is unexpectedly dark while offering a surprisingly moving coda.  If you get all twitchy at any religious symbolism, then "Knowing" probably isn't for you, but I thought it delivered as a thriller and as a surreal SF vision of the end of the world.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner take the act on the road in 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home'</p>

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner take the act on the road in 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home'

Credit: Paramount Home Video

My BluRay Shelf: 'Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home' not quite what I remembered

Wrap-up of the unofficial 'trilogy' deserves its place in fans' hearts

So here's a practical question for you:  how do you explain time travel to a four-year-old?

I spent so much time fretting while we were watching "Wrath of Khan," thinking about how to put Spock's death in the proper context, that it never occurred to me that I might end up engaged in a conversation about quantum physics with someone who believes werewolves live in our pool.  The conversations are the entire point of watching something with Toshi, though, so I don't try to dodge it when I'm not sure how to explain something.  It's good practice.  After all, if we can't discuss something like this, how am I ever going to explain the important things to him later, when it counts.

And then to complicate things, I told him there was time travel in JJ's "Star Trek."

"What you say?!"  That's a big one for him right now.  He says it like you just called him an asshole.  "Not in the theater 'Star Trek.'  You know, what you and me saw?  Just us in the theater?"

"Yes.  That's why Old Spock and Young Spock talked.  Old Spock went back in time so he could talk to himself."

"No way.  You're crazy."

"It's like if you went back in time to see yourself as a baby."

"I'm not a baby.  I'm a kid."

"I know that.  But what if we went in your room right now, and in the crib... instead of your brother, what if it was you when you were a baby?"

Mind.  Blown.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Emmy host and nominee Neil Patrick Harris</p>

Emmy host and nominee Neil Patrick Harris

Credit: CBS

Analysis: The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards nominations

Emmy voters jettisoned some old favorites -- Bye, Jeremy Piven -- and welcomed some fresh blood

You'll excuse me if this analysis piece took slightly longer to write than usual. I had my "Emmy voters keep nominating the same stupid stuff" column almost entirely pre-written, but then I had to pause, reevaluate my main thesis and change to "Emmy voters keep nominating much of the same old stuff, but this year's nominations included a number of pleasant surprises."

[Analysis after the break...]

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<p>Katherine Heigl</p>

Katherine Heigl

Credit: AP

My Emmy nomination prediction wrap-up

After weeks of predictions and gallery making, nominees will be announced on Thursday, July 16


We're only nine hours from the nomination announcement for the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be unveiled at 5:40 a.m. PT (a much more reasonable 8:40 a.m. ET) tomorrow morning.

Rather than attending the announcement live, where the only advantage is reporting on which nominees have the most publicists in the room, I'll be sitting on my couch with an IV line running directly between a main artery and my main man Mr. Coffee, preparing to analyze the nominations as they come in, or as caffeine permits. 

So check back here when you wake up tomorrow morning, when you roll out of bed well-rested and alert and peppy. Check back here and marvel at all of the typos that slip through when I attempt to write before the sun has risen over the mountains to my East. [Yes, there are mountains. Yes, I can see the sunrise over them if I happen to be awake. No, I prefer not to.]

Of course, I've already spent the past month handicapping the eight major acting categories, running down between 10 and 20 candidates for each six-person nomination field. In theory, I laid out the galleries in order of their nomination likelihood. 

Here are those eight categories and those eight galleries and the Top Six names listed (by me) in each category. Perhaps I'll come back tomorrow and see how I did. 

It's my hunch that I'm most wrong on the supporting comedy categories... I made these galleries a few weeks back and I already don't know what I was thinking...


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Jean Smart, Holland Taylor, Kristin Chenoweth, Tracey Ullman, Nicollette Sheridan, Elizabeth Perkins


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Jeremy Piven, Neil Patrick Harris, Rainn Wilson, Jon Cryer, John Krasinski, Jack McBrayer


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama: Marcia Gay Harden, Katherine Heigl, Dianne Wiest, Rachel Griffiths, Candice Bergen, Alison Pill


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama: John Mahoney, William Shatner, William Hurt, Jeremy Davies, Michael Emmerson, Justin Chambers


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy: Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Tony Shalhoub, Charlie Sheen, Jim Parsons, David Duchovny 


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy: Tina Fey, Toni Collette, Mary-Louise Parker, America Ferrera, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Christina Applegate


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama: Glenn Close, Kyra Sedgwick, Holly Hunter, Mariska Hargitay, January Jones, Jally Field


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama: Jon Hamm, Hugh Laurie, Bryan Cranston, James Spader, Gabriel Byrne, Kiefer Sutherland


Check HitFix tomorrow morning (early) for all of your Emmy nomination news and information.


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<p>Evan Kasprzak of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</p>

Evan Kasprzak of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Top 10 Performance

Even with new partners, Melissa, Brandon, Janette and Ade shinwe

Whoo-hoo, it's the top ten and things are crazy on "SYTYCD." The good news is that Debbie Allen is back on the judges' panel, and hallelujah for that, because I love me some smart and sassy Debbie Allen commentary. Let me just say that the great thing about her is that she manages to be absolutely honest but still say slightly soul crushing things in a way that doesn't sound so bad, which is just the right tone for this show (and Mia Michaels, something to think about, just saying).

[Full recap of Wednesday (July 15) night's "So You Think You Can Dance" after the break...]

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<p>Steven Tyler of Aerosmith performs at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Wednesday, June 10, 2009, in Maryland Heights, Mo.</p>

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith performs at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Wednesday, June 10, 2009, in Maryland Heights, Mo.

Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Man Down! Three out of five Aerosmith members miss gigs

Band returns to road today after two weeks of postponed shows


Sheesh! The tour is barely a month old and three out of five members of Aerosmith have already missed concert dates because of injury or minor (thankfully)  surgery. These guys may need to connect with Springsteen's trainer to whip them into shape.

The body count starts with guitarist Brad Whitford, who missed the opening dates of the tour because of unspecified recent surgery.  Filling in has been Bobby Schneck, who's played with the likes of Green Day and Slash.

Then, because there's no show if he's not healthy, Aerosmith postposed two weeks of dates, July 1-13, after vocalist Steven Tyler  hurt his leg during a June 28 show at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Now comes word that Tom Hamilton will be off the tour for several dates as he recuperates from surgery. David Hull will fill in for the bassist. The good news is that Whitford rejoins the band tonight as it resumes its tour after the unplanned two-week hiatus in  Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta.

No update yet on when the postponed dates will be rescheduled.


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<p>Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs performs during the Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Friday, June 12, 2009.</p>

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs performs during the Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Friday, June 12, 2009.

Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin

Yeah Yeah Yeahs say yes to Monolith Music Festival

We bet it was the gorgeous Red Rocks setting that sealed the deal


Because fans of indie-leaning  alternative  acts (in spirit if not actual label affiliation) must not be feeling the recession at all, another music festival is coming your way Sept. 12-13.

The Monolith Festival takes place at Red Rocks, the gorgeous natural amphitheater in Colorado made famous by a slew of live concerts taped there, most notably U2's "Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky."

On the bill are Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Mars Volta, Girl Talk, Of Montreal, Method Man and Redman, M. Ward, Phoenix, Passion Pit, Wale, OK Go, Chromeo and MSTRKRFT.

If the two days aren't enough for you, a kick-off party will be held Sept. 11 with the Cool Kids, Chromeo, Hot Tub and more. But it's only open to VIP ticket holders, media and winners of the Southern Comfort ticket promotion. Speaking of sponsors,  Monolith is sponsored by Esurance.

Single day tickets are $52; two-day passes are $95. VIP passes are $210. Below is the full line-up.

Saturday, September 12

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Girl Talk
Of Montreal
M. Ward
The Walkmen
Ida Maria
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Frightened Rabbit
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
Hollywood Holt + Million $ Mano
These United States
Cymbals Eat Guitars
The Antlers
Cotton Jones
Gregory Alan Isakov
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
The Answering Machine
Roadside Graves
Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Speakeasy Tiger
Avi Buffalo
Wendy Darling
Boulder Acoustic Society
Caitlin Rose
Sunday, September 13

The Mars Volta
Method Man & Redman
The Dandy Warhols
The Glitch Mob
Passion Pit
The Thermals
Harlem Shakes
The Grates
Deer Tick
The Twilight Sad
The Features
Bad Veins
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Beats Antique
French Horn Rebellion
The Pirate Signal
Neon Indian
The Knew
A Shoreline Dream
The Royal Bangs
Red Wire Black Wire
Jim McTurnan & the Kids That Killed the Man
Rachel Goodrich


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<p>Julian Casablancas and Alec Ounsworth</p>

Julian Casablancas and Alec Ounsworth

Members of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, The Strokes prep solo efforts

Would that be the sound of one hand clapping?


The Strokes founding member Julian Casablancas is prepping his first solo album, "Phrazes for the Young" (yes, you read that correctly; it's no typo.)

Casablancas recorded the eight-song CD, slated to come out this fall on Cult Records/RCA, in L.A., N.Y. and Nebraska (what has Bright Eyes started?) with producers Jason Lader and Mike Mogis.  A tour will follow.

The Strokes, who caused all kinds of commotion when they emerged from the New York rock scene as some kind of saviors of garage rock. After its well-received debut, 2001's "Is This It," which NME named best album, the hoopla died down a little.  The band has been on an "unofficial hiatus" since 2006, although Casablancas told Rolling Stone earlier this year that he and guitarist Nick Valensi were writing material for a new Strokes album. That album would now seem to be taking a back seat to "Phrazes."  

Casablancas is not the only one traveling solo. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah frontman Alec Ounsworth will also put out his own CD this fall. "Mo Beauty" comes out Oct. 20 on Anti- Records. Ounsworth recorded the CD in New Orleans with producer Steve Berlin.  One song, "Holy, Holy, Holy Moses," was written specifically for the Crescent City, but we're more intrigued by a song titled "When You've No Eyes."  

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