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<p>Bruce Dern and Leonard Maltin at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January.</p>

Bruce Dern and Leonard Maltin at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January.

Credit: AP Photo

Santa Barbara fest extends schedule in honor of 30th annual event

Also announces 'Wave' summer film festival

In honor of its upcoming 30th anniversary, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has extended its calendar by one day, just one of a number of ways the annual event will be celebrating as it enters its third decade.

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'Bates Motel' earns a 3rd season

“Bates Motel” earns a 3rd season
A&E has picked up “Bates” for a 10-episode Season 3.


Samuel L. Jackson films cameo for “Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Jackson says he reprised Nick Fury in the season finale.


“Conan” coming to Comic-Con
Conan O’Brien will broadcast an entire week of shows from Comic-Con in San Diego, starting July 8.


TCM will celebrate Mickey Rooney’s life on with a 13-episode marathon on Sunday
Turner Classic Movies will kick off the marathon honoring Rooney, who died yesterday at 93, with “Broadway to Hollywood."


“The Bachelor” creator marries a Miss America, with Chris Harrison officiating
Mike Fleiss, 49, married 26-year-old former Miss America Laura Kaeppeler on Sunday.

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<p>Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith are both expected back for the sequel to &#39;Karate Kid&#39;</p>

Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith are both expected back for the sequel to 'Karate Kid'

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Crazies' director Breck Eisner signs to direct Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith in 'Karate Kid' sequel

Took 'em long enough

My children reached a major milestone in their life recently, when I screened the new film "Chinese Zodiac" for them on Blu-ray. The film isn't one of Jackie Chan's best, but it has several fun set pieces, and the closing credits are like a giant overview of Jackie's whole career, along with footage of his stunts going wrong, a long-time tradition for his movies.

They have now both declared Jackie Chan The Coolest Person Alive and they're desperate to see more of his movies. I get it, because I know so many movie fans who have had that same lightning bolt moment with Jackie Chan movies over the years. You see him do something that defies logic and safety and the rules of physics, and next thing you know, you're in Chinatown trying to find an import Blu-ray of the uncut "Drunken Master 2."

What really blew their minds, though, was when I told them that "Chinese Zodiac" was not the first film they've seen him in. Toshi told me I was crazy and refused to believe me until I brought out the Blu-ray for the remake of "The Karate Kid," a movie that they both watched four or five times after it arrived at the house. They really enjoyed the film, but for some reason, they never connected the Jackie Chan who plays Mr. Miyagi in that film with the Jackie Chan from "Chinese Zodiac." Once Toshi finally got his head around it, he was even more impressed.

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<p>Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore of &quot;Bates Motel&quot;</p>

Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore of "Bates Motel"

Credit: A&E

A&E renews 'Bates Motel' for Season 3

'Psycho' prequel will get 10 more episodes in 2015

A&E is checking into The Bates Motel for a third season of... um... "Bates Motel."

The network formally announced on Monday (April 7) that "Bates Motel" will begin production this fall on a new run of 10 episodes. Presumably, they'll premiere in early 2015, following in the footsteps of the first two "Bates" seasons.

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<p>RZA</p>

RZA

Credit: HitFix

RZA on Wu-Tang's $5 million-plus secret album, and why 'Tomorrow' won't be easy

Preparation on 'A Better Tomorrow' is 'a stumbling block'

LOS ANGELES - RZA may be out and about promoting his film "Brick Mansions" co-starring the late Paul Walker, but it's clear that the rapper/director/actor/producer is also in full-promo mode for the couple of projects Wu-Tang Clan has in the hopper.

Most recently, RZA announced that the hip-hop group had spent the last six years secretly recording the album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," of which only a single copy will be released, and to the highest bidder. The album will be encased in original silver-and-nickel box designed by artist Yahya and is intended -- in RZA's words -- as a work of art; whoever ends up purchasing it can do with it whatever he or she wants, whether hold it in a private collection or release it somehow for public consumption or otherwise. Curious fans will hopefully be able to listen to "Shaolin" like they would view a touring piece of art or artifacts: in museums and galleries, and for a price.

In the meantime, the MC admitted the Wu's 20th anniversary album "A Better Tomorrow" has undergone a number of delays, and it's currently (and very tentatively) slated for release this summer. RZA's mentioned in other reports that the participation of Raekwon among other members has been dodgy.

But, yes, the whole crew is present and accounted for on "Once Upon a Time..." RZA told me in our video interview, though recording it was a vastly different experience than laying down "A Better Tomorrow."

Below is an abridged transcription of RZA's response to what Wu-Tang Clan's participation was like for "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," and what he hopes to achieve with its rare release:

I think the secrecy of that project allowed it to be fulfilled. I think the openness of "A Better Tomorrow" is gonna be a stumbling block. Which is weird, but it is part of the dynamic of my crew.

Most people, if you offer them medicine, they won't take it. You gotta put it in their food. And "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" was like the medicine was put into the food. "A Better Tomorrow is like, "Yo, you need this" and "Nah, I don't need it." That's the analogy I will give it.

I will say "A Better Tomorrow" isn't only for us, it's for the people, for the world... that's what that concept is. "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" is a dream of a fan. People always ask me "How did it feel to make 'The Man with the Iron Fists,' to have Gordon Liu in your movie and T-Kwan [Thomas Chow Wai Kwan] and Quentin Tarantino all around you?' I'm fan of these people. That's the greatest feeling, [as] a fan to finally realize his dream and to meet the people he admired become his peers.

"Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" is that story ... more than anything, it ain't that people gotta raise money. The price of something is because of the rarity of it. But the idea of music being art, of music being a work of art, and a piece of art... people are responding more to the artistic value of it more than the number value.

Of course the number value is gonna be whatever. I've sold an album for $5 million before. I sold "Bobby Digital," I had a $5 million budget. "Wu-Tang Forever" is nothing new, getting a lot of money. It's about now appreciating art for what it is. That's what's been missing. We've become entitled.

Here we have a movie, "Brick Mansions." It took years to make, and for actors, you're talking 60 to 70 days schedule, some away from your families. Guys risking their lives jumping of roof. Millions of dollars spent, thousands of hours... and a person now gets to enjoy all this for $10 to $12. Why try to get it for free? If you keep getting it for free, how can we make another one? You don't want music, then say that. And we'll stop. That's something I'm really adamant about, fans of music and film will realize that as they legally consume, it's gonna bring back the output.

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<p>If I were the director of &#39;X-Men: Days Of Future Past,&#39; I can&#39;t imagine this would make me happy.</p>

If I were the director of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past,' I can't imagine this would make me happy.

Credit: Carl's Jr.

Why is our first view of Quicksilver from 'X-Men' in a Carl's Jr. TV commercial?

This feels like a huge tactical mistake

We must be getting close to the release of "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" if the fast-food tie-in commercials are already airing.

Here's what I don't understand. Quicksilver, played in Bryan Singer's movie by Evan Peters, is one of the main new characters in the series, and he plays a key role in securing Magneto's escape from an impossible prison in the film. We've seen photos of Peters in his costume from the film, but he hasn't featured in any significant way in the trailers so far.

That means that our visual introduction to Quicksilver in motion comes in the form of 30 seconds of him eating an X-tra Bacon, Egg & Cheese biscuit. If they were hoping to make him seem interesting or intimidating or cool, this is pretty much the opposite of the way they should have handled things.

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'Game of Thrones' returns to its best-ever ratings, 'Silicon Valley' has a strong debut

“Game of Thrones” returns to its best-ever ratings, “Silicon Valley” has a strong debut
About 6.6 million watched the Season 4 premiere, the most-watched program since “The Sopranos” finale in 2007 and up dramatically from the 4.4 million who watched the Season 3 premiere. “Silicon Valley” debuted to 2 million viewers, while “Veep” had the same ratings as last year’s season premiere. PLUS: AMC’s “Turn” debuts to 2.1 million.

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<p>Awwww. Sonny from &quot;Treme&quot; has a crush.</p>

Awwww. Sonny from "Treme" has a crush.

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' premiere is HBO's top program since the 'Sopranos' finale

'Shameless' has its biggest finale yet for Showtime

Don't stop believing in the ratings power of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Sunday (April 6) night's Season 4 premiere attracted HBO's biggest audience since the series finale of a little show called "The Sopranos." 

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George Strait
Credit: CBS

George Strait on beating Blake, Luke and Taylor for ACM entertainer of the year

Watch as Kacey Musgraves declares her love for King George

The King of Country, George Strait, made a rare trip back to the press room after winning Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday (7) night.

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The Band Perry
Credit: CBS

Why The Band Perry 'made a mess' at the ACMs with 'Chainsaw'

What's the latest on the sibling trio's new album?

The Band Perry “came, we saw, we confetti’d them all,” with “Chainsaw,” the rollicking tune the sibling trio performed to open the Academy of Country Music Awards, Sunday night (April 7).  And they also took home the award for Vocal Group of the Year.

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Jason Aldean
Credit: CBS

Check out why Jason Aldean calls Miranda Lambert 'a firecracker' at the ACM Awards

Plus, the reigning male vocalist reveals details on his new album

Jason Aldean declared himself “the most shocked person in the room,” when he won male vocalist of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards here in Las Vegas Sunday night.

Unfortunately, you can’t hear the questions, but Aldean’s second answer addressed how many of his songs don’t showcase the strength of his vocals, he loves digging deep every now and then, like on “Night Train” or “Going Where the Lonely Go” and “Are The Good Times Really Over” the Merle Haggard tunes he tackled on “Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard,” out last week.

Hitfix asked Aldean about his rise to stadium act: He’s got five stadium dates on his upcoming tour, making him an elite act of any genre who can fill such a giant venue. He admits he’s still a little surprised himself:  “I just passed Garth Brooks in the hall way and I’m like, ‘that was the guy doing that stuff’. I never thought we’d be in a position to do that.”

The good news is Aldean is very close to wrapping up his new album, his follow up to 2012’s “Night Train.” “I actually go in to finish the vocals on it this week. I think we’ll have a new single coming off of it end of June, first of July and then the album dropping later this fall.”

Aldean closes out by going back to the stadium question and how he’s packed the line-up with hot artists, including  longtime friend Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr. Check out below what he has to say about his buddy.

 

 

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Syfy teams with “Sharknado” producers for zombie drama 'Z Nation'

Syfy teams with “Sharknado” producers for zombie drama “Z Nation"
Syfy is promising this new zombie drama will "take viewers where no zombie has gone before."


Neil Patrick Harris on replacing Letterman: “It would be an asinine amount of work”
The former “How I Met Your Mother” star said this morning he hasn’t been approached about “The Late Show” job.


Stephen Colbert could be No. 1 as Letterman’s replacement, says his former warm-up man
Pete Dominick, who warmed up “The Colbert Report’s” audiences for six years, weighs in: "Can Colbert drop the character and still succeed? Of course. Hosting the 'Report' has always been far more difficult than a late night network-style talk show. But can he just be himself and be a success? Inside his slick suits, Colbert possesses every weapon and trick a comedian can utilize. As long as it’s the same guy in the same suits, Colbert will more than hold his own on CBS.” PLUS: Taiwanese animators tackle the Colbert-to-“Late Show” rumors.


Nat Geo to televise an attempt to break the free-diving record
A swimmer will attempt to dive down to 350 feet.


Xbox hands shows to Sarah Silverman, Seth Green and Michael Cera
While Cera and Silverman make a sketch comedy show, Green will do another stop-motion animated show similar to his Adult Chicken.


Pete Townshend wrote a song he’ll perform for “The Americans”
The Who star worked with the show’s composer on his first song for television. "It Must Be Done” will premiere on the April 30 episode.


Why “Game of Thrones’” Daenerys Targaryen is like President George W. Bush
"Her approach to foreign policy and making war, as laid out in this episode, is Bushian to a tee,” argues Zack Beauchamp. PLUS: Why Sansa Stark is the strongest “GoT” character, why there should be nudity in every episode, Angry Birds does “GoT,” meet the new “GoT” stars, including Pedro Pascal as Oberyn, and listen to a Dave Koz jazz version of the “GoT” theme.


Barbara Walters tells "View"-ers: “You’re not free of me yet”
This morning on “The View,” Walters addressed her retirement date announcement and emphasized that she’ll still be involved with the show, at least behind the scenes.


“Shameless” and “House of Lies” each end the season on a finale high
About 2.83 million and 1.4 million watched both Showtime shows, respectively, through all airings.


“Covert Affairs” recruits “Felicity” alum Amy Jo Johnson
She’ll play a National Counter Terrorism Center investigator.


“Veep” has become a master class in cursing
Unlike other shows, says Kevin Fallon, “on ‘Veep,' cursing is actually a tool for comedy, and one that’s harder to use properly than you might think.”

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