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<p>'Well, let me tell you something... WE are not paying for the buttons'</p>

'Well, let me tell you something... WE are not paying for the buttons'

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Heroes vs. Villains: Where does Travis Bickle from 'Taxi Driver' fall?

Are we judged by our best action or our worst impulse?

The NCAA basketball tournaments are less than a month away. Because it's obviously never been done before, HitFix is going to host its own tournament, but this battle won't take place between teams on Tobacco Road. We've got something more exciting in mind.  In our competition, the greatest Heroes from the worlds of television and movies will face off versus the greatest Villains. 

The committee is currently mulling over the brackets, but we need your help.  There are six characters who some would consider anti-heroes, but we know then need to part of the battle royale. Do they fall in the Heroes bracket or the Villains bracket?

You decide.  You have 48 hours. Choose wisely.


We've had Alan Sepinwall and Dan Fienberg both offer up anti-heroes for you guys to vote on already, but if you haven't already been following this series, let me catch you up. We're going to ask you guys to spend March helping us eventually whittle things down to the greatest hero vs. villain showdown possible, but before we even get started, we need you to tell us where you'd place six characters.

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<p>Bette Midler is set to perform at the Oscars</p>

Bette Midler is set to perform at the Oscars

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Bette Midler to perform at Academy Awards Ceremony

This will be the first time Midler has sung on the show
The producers of this year's Academy Awards telecast, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, announced that award-winning singer Bette Midler will be performing on the show. In addition to having won Grammys, Emmys, and a Tony, Midler has also been nominated for two Academy Awards.
 
Midler's two Academy Award nominations are for Actress in a Leading Role in "For the Boys" and "The Rose." Midler has not been nominated for a song and the appearance this year will be the first time she will perform on the show.
 
 Zadan and Meron stated, "We are thrilled to have Bette perform on the Oscars for the very first time." They added, “We believe she will make our Oscar telecast an especially moving evening.” 
 
No word was offered in the press release about when during the Oscars Midler will be sing, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility that she will do so during the annual In Memoriam portion of the telecast.
 
Presented at the Dolby Theatre on March 2nd, this year's event will again air on ABC and Ellen DeGeneres is serving as host for the second time.

 

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<p>This isn't a good picture, but you know why FOX made it available.</p>

This isn't a good picture, but you know why FOX made it available.

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Sluggish Olympics coverage tops Tuesday 'American Idol'

'Killer Women' finds a way to drop in young viewers
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
 
After a couple bounce-back nights due to ice-dancing, NBC's Tuesday Winter Olympics coverage took a big drop, but still easily beat a special off-night performance episode of "American Idol."
 
Expect NBC's Sochi telecasts to get a big boost over the next two nights with the female side of the figure skating programming. 
 
There were few other notables on a repeat-filled Tuesday, though ABC's "Killer Women" somehow managed to lose 0.1 from an already impressively low young adult viewership. Also, The CW's encore of the "Star-Crossed" pilot very nearly equaled the audience for Monday's premiere.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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Jada Pinkett Smith will play a villain on Batman prequel 'Gotham'


Jada Pinkett Smith will play a villain on Batman prequel "Gotham"

She's playing Fish Mooney, a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner.


Jimmy Fallon got big numbers on Night 2, beating Letterman and Kimmel combined

Fallon retained 75% of his "Tonight Show" debut numbers in Night 2. PLUS: Fallon interviewed Kristen Wiig as Harry Styles from One Direction.


"Dallas" taking over a Texas gas station to sell cheap gas as "Ewing Energies"
The gas station will sell cheap gas on Monday to promote Season 3, but TNT won't divulge where it'll be located.


Letterman talks "House of Cards" spoilers with Kate Mara
When is it okay to talk about Season 2? PLUS: Kevin Spacey talks to Jon Stewart about going to a whip meeting.


Wendell Pierce goes from "The Michael J. Fox Show" to "Ray Donovan"
"The Wire" alum will recur on the Showtime series as a down-on-his-luck parole officer.


"Fans" of "Game of Thrones" badger Kit Harrington on Jimmy Kimmel
Watch "Hodor" attempt to ask Harrington a question.


Bette Midler will sing at the Oscars for the 1st time

"We believe she will make our Oscar telecast an especially moving evening," say the ceremony's producers.


Matthew McConaughey cast himself as "True Detective's" Rust Cohle
McConaughey was approached to play Woody Harrelson's character, but McConaughey says "I wanted to get in that dude's head... The obsession, the island of a man — I’m always looking for a guy who monologues. It's something really important as I feel I’m going into my better work." PLUS: "The president has seen my boobs," tweets Alexandra Daddario, the internet mocks "True Detective," which line got cut from this week's episode?, and a "True Detective" reading list.


"HIMYM's" Lily and Robin reportedly made out on "Inside the Actor's Studio"
According to Us Weekly, the cast answered questions as their characters.


Stephen Colbert urges his fans to watch Jimmy Fallon ... on Fridays

Colbert said on last night's "Colbert Report": "I want to begin by welcoming my friend Jimmy Fallon to the 11:30 time slot and the brotherhood of shows that includes me, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and the repeat of 'Shahs of Sunset' on Bravo."


KaDee Strickland joins "Secrets & Lies" as Ryan Phillippe's wife
The "Private Practice" alum will star in a drama pilot in which Phillippe's character is accused of murder of a young boy.


Barbara Walters sets the record straight: "I don't have a vibrator!"
"I don't even put my cell phone on vibrate!" Walters said this morning on "The View."

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<p>Jada Pinkett Smith</p>

Jada Pinkett Smith

Credit: AP

FOX's 'Gotham' casts Jada Pinkett Smith as a sadistic gangster

'Matrix Reloaded' veteran will play Fish Mooney in the Batman prequel
Reminding us all what comes from making assumptions, FOX's "Gotham" has cast vicious mobster Fish Mooney and perhaps the gender-ambiguous name should have been a tip-off.
 
Jada Pinkett Smith has landed the key adversarial role as hot-headed gangster and nightclub owner Fish Mooney in "Gotham," the Batman origin story from Warner Bros. TV. And if you expected somebody different to be running the Gotham criminal underground, well that's just because of your own preconceived issues, since Fish isn't a character from within the DC Comics canon.
 
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Cee Lo Green: 'I'm leaving "The Voice'


Cee Lo Green: "I'm leaving "The Voice"
I’m going to continue my relationship with NBC," he tells Ellen on today's pre-taped show. "I have a television show development deal with them as well, and hopefully some other talk show opportunities for later in the year. But yeah, I’m going to miss 'The Voice' too...I’m not coming back, guys.”

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<p>Jared Leto in &quot;Dallas Buyers Club.&quot;</p>

Jared Leto in "Dallas Buyers Club."

Credit: Focus Features

Roundup: Could 'Dallas Buyers Club' win the makeup Oscar on just $250?

Also: An anti-feminist moment in 'Frozen,' and Rob Reiner's Lincoln Center award

"Dallas Buyers Club" is looks likely to win the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar, not least because AMPAS members might feel happier checking that off than "Bad Grandpa" or "The Lone Ranger." If it does, though, it'll surely be the humblest achievement ever to take the award, as Katey Rich learns that makeup artist Robin Mathews' entire budget for the film was just $250: "'The Academy just gasped when they heard that,' Mathews says, with no lack of pride in her voice ... 'We had to take them back and forth from their sickest look to their healthiest look, up to five times in one day ... They maintained that 40-pound weight loss throughout. So when you see them in the film, and they look like they’re 25 pounds heavier and healthier because of the medication, that’s just makeup.'" [Vanity Fair]

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<p>What a bunch of a-holes.</p>

What a bunch of a-holes.

Credit: Marvel Studios

'Guardians Of The Galaxy' trailer promises lots of big weird outer space fun

Marvel's definitely not playing things safe this time, and we love it

It is entirely fine with me if I spend much of 2014 writing articles about a gun-toting space raccoon.

James Gunn's "Guardians Of The Galaxy" is not so much a radical reinvention of what Marvel Studios has been doing so far as it is a very smart way of them broadening their palette. In many ways, this is the same sort of heroic journey that their other characters have been on in film after film, but it takes place in a very different kind of world, and it brings in all sorts of new ideas that should give the entire Marvel movie universe a major shot in the arm.

The funny part of this trailer is that it's essentially the same as the footage that was shown at Comic-Con a mere ten days or so into the shoot. It's a lot slicker now, but everything up through the last big barrage of quick shots is cut the same, and the structure is identical.

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<p>60 years old and lookin' good.</p>

60 years old and lookin' good.

Credit: Rialto Pictures/Toho Studios

New poster and trailer for the re-release of the 1954 'Godzilla' stomp online

All we hear is a scream, but that's enough

Now that my oldest son is getting more cognizant of what it is I do when I travel for business, there are some awkward conversations about why he can't just drop everything and come with me to do something that sounds like fun.

For example, he is currently exasperated with me because he isn't going to be allowed to join me in Austin, TX, for this year's SXSW Film Festival, where Rialto Pictures and Warner/Legendary are going to be presenting a special screening of the original 1954 Ishiro Honda film "Gojira," with director Gareth Edwards appearing afterwards for a Q&A that should also address this summer's remake of the film.

That's not actually technically accurate, though. I wouldn't call the new film a remake because, aside from the presence of the giant monster who breathes atomic fire, the two films really don't have much in common in terms of story. The new film tells its own story, and there's a lot more going on here than just one giant monster destroying things.

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<p>Just a sweet moment between brothers for hero Michael Corleone</p>

Just a sweet moment between brothers for hero Michael Corleone

Credit: MGM

Heroes vs. Villains: Where does Michael Corleone from 'The Godfather' fall?

Vicious killing machine or tragic victim of his family's legacy?
The NCAA basketball tournaments are less than a month away. Because it's obviously never been done before, HitFix is going to host its own tournament, but this battle won't take place between teams on Tobacco Road. We've got something more exciting in mind.  In our competition, the greatest Heroes from the worlds of television and movies will face off versus the greatest Villains.  

The committee is currently mulling over the brackets, but we need your help.  There are six characters who some would consider anti-heroes, but we know then need to part of the battle royale. Do they fall in the Heroes bracket or the Villains bracket? 

You decide.  You have 48 hours. Choose wisely.
 
 
Sepinwall started things off this morning with Walter White. That was a no-brainer. No matter how cool you think Heisenberg was, once he let Jane die and poisoned Brock, he was already way to the "Villain" side of the scale and once he orchestrated a jailhouse massacre, I think the conversation was over. In fact, those of you who called Walter White a "Hero" scare me a little. He's a "Protagonist," but he's not a "Hero."
 
I'm not sure that Michael Corleone is going to be much different. 
 
In fact, Walter White's orchestrated assassination of myriad incarcerated witnesses is pretty much a straight-up homage to Michael's orchestrated decimation of the heads of the other New York crime families in the first "Godfather" movie. And that's after he personally kills Sollozzo and McCluskey at a restaurant. Michael goes on to order the killing of his poor, spineless brother and instigate a number of murders that probably goes into the "countless" range. Oh and he closes the door on Kay. That's pretty evil and sad.
 
But it's not like he *wanted* to do any of this. I mean, Vito and Sonny? They're the venal villains of the Corleone clan. Michael's a war hero with no interest in joining the family business. He just wants to go to Dartmouth and marry Kay and be happy. And even after all of the stuff he does in the first movie, he has a plan to make the Corleone family entirely legitimate, but nooooooo. Every time Michael gets close, somebody else screws things up. As he famously puts it in "Godfather III," just when he thinks he's out, they PULL him back in. Sonny wanted to be a crime lord. Michael just wants to do what's right for his family.
 
So the question, as with many or most anti-heroes, becomes: Do we judge Michael Corleone on the sum of his actions or on the sum of his aspirations? If you go with the former, of course he's a villain. If you go with the latter, he's a tragic hero, laid low by the elusive boundaries of the American Dream. 
 
VOTE NOW, BELOW!
 
See also...
 
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WWE seeking a new home for 'Raw,' 'Smackdown' and 'Total Divas'


WWE seeking a new home for "Raw," "Smackdown" and "Total Divas"

NBCUniversal didn't renew the WWE shows during an exclusive negotiating window that ended over the weekend, but they still have the right to match competing offers.


Fox to FCC: Many "Family Guy" complaints are fake
Fox found complaints coming from "complaint mills" using bogus addresses.


Neve Campbell exits "Guilt by Association"

The "Party of Five" alum had a change of heart about the TNT legal drama pilot.


Stephen Colbert posts the selfie he took on Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" debut

Colbert tweeted: "#watchtcolbert #tivofallon."


Jimmy Fallon has begun going gray, but he doesn't plan to dye his hair

"My grandpa had all white hair, so I think that’s what I’m going to have," says Fallon in a feature about "39 Things You Learn from Hanging Around Fallon." PLUS: Taiwanese animators tackle Fallon's debut.


Aussie "Rake" to stream on Netflix

Starting March 1, Netflix subscribers can watch the original version of the Greg Kinnear series.


"SNL" stars pay tribute to Seth Meyers

Watch a "backstage" video produced by "Saturday Night Live."


"Conan" star Deon Cole is joining Rashida Jones on TBS' "Tribeca"
He'll play a police officer in the police comedy from Steve Carell and his wife Nancy.


Jimmy Kimmel's wife tells all: How he wooed her, why they don't carpool to work together

Molly McNearney also talks to Glamour magazine about how their office romance was revealed to the staff.


Omarosa is running for the L.A. school board

"The Apprentice" star's next act: L.A. Unified School District board member?


"House of Cards" got hacking advice
Activist Gregg Housh advised the Netflix show to make Season 2 more realistic.


From The Onion: Netflix introduces new "Browse Endlessly" plan
What if you could watch Netflix without ever stopping?


"Keeping Up with the Kardashian" stars write a novel

"Rebels: City of Indra" is from Kendall and Kylie Jenner.


"Flowers in the Attic" is bringing back Dylan Bruce

He'll reprise his role of Corrine's husband in the sequel.


What would "Full House" be without Michelle Tanner?
A "Full House" fan has edited Michelle out, and the results are creepy.


Vanilla Ice: Kraft Mac n' Cheese pitchman
Check out the reality star's new commercial.


"The Vampire Diaries" adds 2

"Hellcats" star Heather Hemmens will romance Enzo, while Chris Brochu will bond with Elena.


Sharleen: "The Bachelor's" most revolutionary contestant?
Here's an appreciation of the 29-year-old opera singer.


Introducing the Infinite "Friends" Machine

What if you took the transcribed "Friends" scripts and regurgitated them in a procedural manner?


"HIMYM" is bringing back the 4th wall of MacLaren's Pub
It hasn't been seen since Episode 2, says co-creator Carter Bays. PLUS: Cobie Smulders poses for Esquire.


Check out Chipotle's new Hulu show

Is "Farmed and Dangerous" starring Ray Wise the future of advertiser-produced TV shows?


"Silicon Valley": Mike Judge recalls his experience working in the real Silicon Valley
Here's a behind-the-scenes featurette from the HBO series.


Watch the 1st 12 minutes of Sundance's "The Red Road"
The series about racial tensions in a small town stars Jason Momoa, Lisa Bonet, Tom Sizemore, Martin Henderson and Julianne Nicholson.


Lauren Conrad is selling her Laguna Beach home for $2.8M
Has the former "Laguna Beach" star had enough of Laguna?

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<p>Zhang Yimou</p>

Zhang Yimou

Credit: AP Photo

Zhang Yimou reunites with Sony Classics for 'Coming Home'

Meanwhile, he's readying for a Robert Ludlum adaptation with Universal

There's a lot going on in the world of Zhang Yimou these days. Only last week, it was announced that he'll be directing his first U.S. feature with Universal -- a rare instance of a Chinese director getting to steer an English-language film with an American studio. The project is an adaptation of Robert Ludlum's bestselling thriller, "The Parsifal Mosaic" -- not exactly the first match of director and material that comes to mind, but Zhang has already proven his deftness as a genre stylist, so we'll see. (Just as long as he fares better than his compatriot Chen Kaige did in "Killing Me Softly.")

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