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<p>Sawyer gets his mack on in 'LaFleur,' this week's episode of 'Lost'</p>

Sawyer gets his mack on in 'LaFleur,' this week's episode of 'Lost'

Credit: Mario Perez/ABC

Recap: 'Lost' #508 'LaFleur' Sawyer and the skippers land, but when?

Who's LaFleur, who does he love, and who did he kill?

Did I mention how much I loved the end of last week's episode?

"Do you recognize him?"
"Yes.  That's the man who killed me."

Now... about this week's episode...

... GIANT STATUE! HOLY CRAP!

I think it's now safe to assume that anyone who thought Sawyer was going to be the subject of the four-toed giant statue was wrong.  The statue is waaa aaaaay back in time in the Island's history.  And after just a glimpse of it, they're launched forward in time again, and they land sometime in the early days of the Dharma Initiative's struggle with the Others.  And this time, when they land, they land in a way that makes them feel like maybe John Locke pulled off what he was trying to pull off.  Maybe he put the needle back in the groove, because everyone's headache goes away, and there are no more flashes.

Now that the writers aren't bound to one structure that's the same each time, they are free to play with time in all new ways, and this time, the episode revolves around jumps either "Three Years Later" or "Three Years Earlier," each time as punctuation to whatever we've just seen.  And it really works.  It pays off that jump in chronology each time, and it sets up a sense of where the story's going, but not how it's going to get there.  The introduction of LaFleur is pretty wonderful.  Sawyer just took back ownership of a significant piece of the show's mythology.  He's not just a survivor.  He's a guy who knows how to live along the way.  He's just as driven by his feelings about the Island as Locke ever was.  He's just not as vocal about his crazy.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Axl Rose</p>

Axl Rose

Credit: Beth Keiser/AP

Guns N' Roses plan U.S. stadium tour

Could be huge despite average sales for 'Chinese Democracy'

Guns 'N Roses-or Axl  Rose and some other dudes, as it were-are planning a summer stadium tour, according to Rolling Stone.

And the band's manager, Irving Azoff, isn't denying it...or confirming it. "Axl has been basically quiet, keeping out of the limelight for almost 15 years. People think they know him but they only really only know what has been said about him by questionable people," Azoff says. "He is a good guy and often misunderstood - he is a professional who has worked very hard to build and maintain a high creative standard for Guns n' Roses, which I support. We have some exciting things in the works this year for Gn'R, I'm looking forward to it."

Rose himself didn't rule out a tour when he told Billboard last month, that there were no plans at that point, but "Management and our promoters are really excited with the offers coming in both here and worldwide."

"Chinese Democracy" has hardly been a barnburner (it has sold around 560,000 copies since its release four months ago), but that's not really the point. People remain fascinated by the enigmatic Rose and by the "Appetite for Destruction" material, 22 years after its release.

There could be some great stadium shows this summer: U2 is expected to play stadiums. Bruce Springsteen also has some stadiums on his upcoming tour, all in Europe so far.

 

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<p>Michael Jackson</p>

Michael Jackson

Credit: Danny Moloshok/ AP

Michael Jackson London shows start July 9

So says Fox's Roger Friedman. Ten arena shows planned

Fox411's Roger Friedman says he has the goods in advance on Michael Jackson's London shows , which are supposed to be announced on Thursday.

The concerts will start July 9 and 10th at London's O2 Arena-that's the same venue where Prince played 21 sold-out shows a few years ago. Friedman says Usher is then booked for two show after that, but then Jackson will come back and play at least eight more shows that month for a total of 10 shows in the first round. He doesn't mention if more shows will be added should demand be warranted.

Thursday's press conference will start at 11 a.m. EST and will be webast on www.michaeljackson.com, according to Friedman.


Concert promoter AEG Live sources tell Friedman that tickets will be priced "within reach." Of what, Friedman doesn't say.

Oddly, we at Hitfix had a group dinner on Monday night and completely separately from any knowledge of this development, we talked about how a Michael Jackson tour would do. I maintain that he still has a career outside of the U.S., but not much of one within our borders. There are just too many battle scars from his court fights here and a lingering taint from the child molestation charges, which were never proved. However, in much of the rest of the world, he remains a superstar.

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<p>Scott MacIntyre</p>

Scott MacIntyre

Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 36 - Three singers advance and the Wild Card is set

We all knew Lil Rounds was advancing, but who joined her? And will the Wild Card bring Tatiana Del Toro back?

 

8:00 p.m. ET Oh, America. What have you done?

8:01 p.m. We're only 59 minutes away from learning who's coming back tomorrow for the Wild Card show. ANOOP!

8:01 p.m. Is it just me, or have the crowds been more enthusiastic toward Simon this year? Randy's solo booing stands out more than usual.

8:02 p.m. Ryan asks Paula to compare this year's group to past groups at this stage. In true Paula fashion, she ducks the shoe and replies, "I think we have an amazing start for the Top 12 going on."

8:04 p.m. "Hot -n- Cold" may be the worst Group Sing ever. It's a silly song, but the singers have all been instructed to deliver ever line with a silly smile. The song is especially emasculating for the men, who look like they're playing extras in a modern-dress adaptation of "Grease." A modern day adaptation of "Grease"? That's ridiculous. Exactly.

8:06 p.m. The cameraman just pulled almost out of the theater. Is he trying to escape? I don't blame you.

[More after the break...]

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Michael Sohn/AP

First, Tyler mows down the Jonas Bros., now it's Taylor's turn

JoBros come in No. 3 behind Swift and God

This isn't the Jonas Bros.' week. First, their movie "The 3D Concert Experience" cedes first place in the box office to Tyler Perry's "Medea Goes to Jail." Now, the soundtrack to the movie, which all of us clever pundits were sure would come in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, comes in at No. 3 behind Taylor Swift (maybe this is her final act of revenge for being dumped by Joe Jonas) and metal group Lamb of God's "Wrath."

Not only that, but Swift's album, in a very rare move at this stage in the game, sold more this week then it did last week. It increased 18% in sales to 73,000 units, according to Billboard . "Fearless" is now only one week away from spending the most weeks at No. 1

The last CD to spend so many weeks at No. 1 was Santana's "Supernatural" in 1999-2000. It spent 12 weeks at the summit. "Fearless" has now hit 11 weeks at No. 1 and we're betting it now surpasses "Supernatural" before it is done. Why is "Fearless" continuing its march, you may ask? The main reason is that "Love Story," which was the first single released to country radio last fall in advance of the album's release, is now reaching the peak of its crossover onto the pop charts, meaning that Top 40 listeners, who previously dismissed Swift as some country sensation, are still discovering her.

"Slumdog Millionaire" continues as the little movie and soundtrack that could. Following the film's eight Oscar wins, the CD soars from No. 22 to No. 4 with a 109% increase in sales. "Jai Ho," indeed.

There's also good news for Lady Gaga, who's album "Fame jumps from No. 10 to No. 7. At the rate she's going, she may be that rare creature that hits the top of the album chart months after the album's initial release.

Next week, U2 has a lock on coming in at No. 1 (we swear we're right, this time) It's just a matter of what the number will be. God knows, the Irish boys are doing everything but going door to door to promote the "No Line on the Horizon": five straight nights on Letterman, Friday morning on "Good Morning America," playing the Grammys, etc. The band's last studio album, ‘How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,'' sold more than 800,000 its first week in 2004. Those days are gone, my friend, and aren't coming back, but I predict somewhere around 400,000 for the first week with a fairly steep drop off and then it will pick back up when the next single comes out and the band announces its summer tour-which is going to include stadiums.

 

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<p>Buster Keaton loved to cast big guys to tower over him in his films</p>

Buster Keaton loved to cast big guys to tower over him in his films

Credit: Kino International

Motion/Captured Must-See: 'College'

This Buster Keaton comedy is an education

One thing you'll notice about my list is that there's a fair amount of comedy on it.  I know awards shows don't spend a lot of love of comedy, and critics in general treat it as a lesser genre.  But great film comedy is a science, and it's one I love to analyze.

And if you're going to talk about comedy and formula, you have to go back to the silent masters, where so much of what is still in practice first began.  And for me, any discussion of silent comedy has to start with the great Buster Keaton.

One of the first film geek conversations I ever had with Harry Knowles was Keaton vs. Chaplin.  He's a Chaplin man, through-and-through, and I'm not surprised.  It's the sentiment, which I think is absolutely part of Chaplin's style, and something he was great at.  Me?  I'm in the bag for Keaton's particular brand of straight-faced downtrodden.  Several of his films go well beyond good comedy into pure film art, but most of his filmography is made up of simple sturdy programmers, simple set-ups with room to riff built in.

[more after the jump]

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<p>The opening night of Britney Spears' "Circus Tour" got mixed reviews at best, but fans didn't seem to care.</p>

The opening night of Britney Spears' "Circus Tour" got mixed reviews at best, but fans didn't seem to care.

Credit: AP Photo/Peter Kramer

Reviews for Britney Spears' 'Circus' tour roll in

UPDATE: More Reviews added: New York Post, Reuters

The reviews are in: Britney is back.

The comeback road that started with the Dec. 2 release of her chart-topping "Circus" CD is now in full effect. She'd shown she could reclaim her pole position on both the album and singles chart; the question that remained was if she could deliver the goods live.


Hitfix rounded up reviews from a number of outlets to provide a broad picture of opening night of "The Circus starring Britney Spears." One theme (and it ain't the big top) emerges over and over: Spears is such an unexceptional performer to begin with-on her best days-that she doesn't have to do that much to razzle dazzle folks into believing she's back in fighting form. The two-hour show, divided into four acts, draws uniformly high marks for the theatrics, costumes and just the sheer extravaganza of it all.

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<p>Lil Rounds of 'American Idol'</p>

Lil Rounds of 'American Idol'

Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 36 - Group Three performs

Lil Rounds is the story of the night, but who will join her in the Top 12?

The season's first "American Idol" semi-final group seemed packed with stars and several very good singers didn't make it through. The second group was pretty top-to-bottom average, but that meant some solid singers were sent packing.

On Tuesday (March 3), "American Idol" unleashed a motley Group Three that contained some really rough performances. Were there any diamonds in the rough?

Recap after the bump...

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<p>John Travolta chases the perfect scream in Brian De Palma's 'Blow Out'</p>

John Travolta chases the perfect scream in Brian De Palma's 'Blow Out'

Credit: MGM Home Video/Orion

Motion/Captured Must-See: 'Blow Out'

Brian De Palma and John Travolta at their best

I love Brian De Palma.

However, ours is not an unconditional love.  Some things test the definition and the committment of our love.  I've seen "Mission To Mars."  I've seen "Redacted."  But when our love is perfect... well... I've seen "Phantom of the Paradise," too.

Our love can all be traced to a theatrical viewing of "Blow Out" in 1981, when I had no idea who he was.  I walked into the theater unaware, and I walked out a fan for life.

The film opens with a truly hilarious movie-within-the-movie called "Coed Frenzy."  Oh, god, how I wish De Palma had really made "Coed Frenzy," because it looks like the sleaziest film ever made.  And at the end of this five minutes of uber-slasher footage, De Palma pops the balloon with a joke.  But that joke has two punchlines, and the other one's not delivered until the closing frames of the film, where it's finally deployed to devastating effect.  John Travolta and Nancy Allen both give winning movie-star performances, at their very best here, and John Lithgow contributes maximum creep as a shady politico aide.  And although the general style and subject of the film fit neatly with the overall arc of De Palma's career, there's a reason "Blow Out" is the first of his films to end up on this list.  This is the most streamlined and simple of his thrillers, the one I'd recommend to anybody.  It's smart.  It's confident.

And that ending.  Man... that ending.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Jimmy Fallon of 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'</p>

Jimmy Fallon of 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Credit: Dana Edelson/NBC

First Look: 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

It wouldn't be fair to review Jimmy Fallon after one night, but how did the premiere go?

When Conan O'Brien ended his run on "Late Night" a couple weeks back, the retrospective appreciation for the new "Tonight Show" host usually revolved around a common theme: When Conan started, everybody thought he stunk. So every critic seemed to want to run a blurb or two from their original reviews where they talked about how awkward and painfully unfunny O'Brien seemed at the time. 

I don't think I saw a single blurbed review from a critic who immediately got it right, so the competition was to see which first reaction was the most extreme, the most out-of-touch, the most ridiculously square.

With that in mind, new "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon probably doesn't want to see a single positive review for his Tuesday (March 3) morning debut. There's no "Toldja!" that can be thrown back in the face of a critic with the nerve to praise the "Saturday Night Live" veteran if Fallon ultimately succeeds wildly. 

On the basis of one episode, it wouldn't even be really fair to call something like this a review. 

But how did Jimmy Fallon's first night go? 

More after the break...

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<p>Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman in happier days</p>

Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman in happier days

Credit: Time, Inc.

The Afternoon Read (3.03.09) Zack Snyder's 'golden rules,' more Malick details, and Pixar struggles with villainy

Plus Phil Hartman's 'SNL' audition and 'Tron 2.0' details

It's one of those days where I didn't get out of bed on time and then with my family leaving tomorrow and the roof leaking in one spot because of the solar water heater and me having to make certain phone calls by a certain time and... well, let's just say it took a while to get my traction.  And then when I did open the browser and start looking around, at first it looked like a whole lot of nothing going on out there.

But then by the time I really got into it, I found a small avalanche worth of things to post.  So by the time I get all of this written up and linked, I'm guessing this is an Afternoon Read.  So be it.  At least there's a lot that's worth discussing.

I'm interviewing Zack Snyder this afternoon, a real interview at length instead of the abbreviated video piece you can see on my interview page right now.  I'm glad to have a second shot at him, because I feel like we just barely scratched the surface in our first talk.  I'm glad I read about his "golden rules" before our conversation, since I'm hoping to make this next talk about the nuts-and-bolts of how you go about building out an entire world on film.

Have you seen the new "Public Enemies" poster?

Or how about the new "Terminator: Salvation" trailer?

How about that Vanity Fair photo gallery from their comedy issue?

[more after the jump]

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<p>Hayden Panettiere and Justin Baldoni in 'Heroes'</p>

Hayden Panettiere and Justin Baldoni in 'Heroes'

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

'Heroes' Recap: 'Exposed'

As the mysterious "Rebel" orchestrates events from behind the scenes, The Hunter sees opportunity in a prophetic painting.

Tonight's episode, entitled "Exposed," nominally referred to the leaked footage of superpowered detainment procedures going on under the American public's nose. But the title also referred to several plot points this week, as at least one thing came fully to light in each of the episode's three narrative arcs: Nathan's incompetence, Samson’s ability, and Aquaman's abs.

Let's learn about all three after the spoiler-filled break, shall we?

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