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<p>Miles Teller in <span class="st">Damien Chazelle's &quot;Whiplash.&quot;<br />
</span></p>

Miles Teller in Damien Chazelle's "Whiplash."

'Whiplash,' 'Rich Hill' and 'The Case Against 8' lead 2014 Sundance Film Festival winners

Who gets the big boost out on closing night?

The competition juries and audiences have spoken from Park City. "Whiplash" earned two key awards Saturday night, the U.S. dramatic grand jury prize and the U.S. dramatic audience award. These were impressive wins for director Damien Chazelle and distributor Sony Pictures Classics, who acquired the drama during the festival. Featuring impressive performances by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, the film focuses on a young music student (Teller) who is willing to go above and beyond to make it into a competitive jazz band at one of New York City's most prestigious music schools. It's the rare opening night film to take home the festival's top prize.

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Best and Worst of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: 'Cold in July,' Roger Ebert, 'Boyhood'

Best and Worst of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: 'Cold in July,' Roger Ebert, 'Boyhood'

Plus: 'Young Ones,' 'Infinitely Polar Bear' and the terrible 'Low Down'

PARK CITY - It certainly won't go down as one of the greatest editions of the Sundance Film Festival, but reports of it being a bad or weak festival are completely off base.  There were few highs, few terrible lows (although some).  Instead, there were many good, very good, but not great films.  The festival experimented with mixing up the genres in the dramatic competition and for some longtime media it might have been off putting. Well, if they attended the public screenings they would have found audiences more engaged than usual. It was an experiment for the programmers and gave high profile debuts for movies such as "Life as Beth," "Dear White People" and "Cold in July."  Those are flicks that could have been relegated to the Midnight or NEXT sections in the past.  That's a win in our book.

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<p>&quot;The Overnighters&quot;</p>

"The Overnighters"

Credit: Sundance

Review: 'The Overnighters' is a frontier tale for 2014

Jesse Moss' Sundance doc received some of the Fest's best reviews
[Preamble: I saw "The Overnighters" before touching down in Park City last Sunday, which meant I saw it kinda in a vacuum. When I got to the Festival, I wasn't hugely surprised that "The Overnighters" was the doc I was hearing the most buzz about. At that point, I'd written the intro to the review, the part that precedes the page break. I never finished the review, because Sundance is all about starting reviews that I never finish. It's fun! Anyway, I'm expecting "The Overnighters" to be a big winner at Saturday night's closing awards ceremony, so I'm taking one last stab at the review.]
 
Jesse Moss' "The Overnighters," featured in the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, plays at times like a modern frontier Western. 
 
Like HBO's classic "Deadwood" or AMC's much-admired [by the people who pop up in online comments whenever its renewed] "Hell on Wheels" or Discovery's decent new miniseries "Klondike," it's the story of a migration of desperate men, many of them criminals and reprobates, seeking riches in the unspoiled wilderness. Like most Westerns, there seem to be fortunes to be made, but the brass ring remains just out of reach for most settlers. Like many a Western, there are clashes with the natives, who feel like they're being disenfranchised by the scruffy, dirty, dangerous men pushing in on their land. And, like more than a few Westerns, there's a wacky priest at the heart of the story, trying to save souls in the influx of sinners. 
 
I may be overselling "The Overnighters" with that description. Moss' film is slightly at war with itself, trying to tell two stories, not necessarily arcing either story satisfactorily and then relying on what's presented as a somewhat strange twist in the final act to tie the whole thing up in a bow that either makes the whole movie feel too neat or too messy, depending on how you view it. [A couple critics I've talked to have said that they don't think Moss is trying to use the twist to tie things up or explain them. I think that in terms of authorial intent, they're right. However, I know how the story presented on the screen arcs. Causation is implied, even if it's not intended.]
 
And the more I think back on "The Overnighters," the less I buy the "twist," the less the twist satisfies the arc of the story and the more I wish that Moss could have better focused on one of his two stories. But I still wanted to use the frontier Western analogy, because I'm sure it's part of what Moss is going for and, even if it doesn't always work, it's still a big part of what keeps "The Overnighters" watchable, probably endlessly discussable and, in the end, tantalizing.
 
[More after the break...]
 
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<p>Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick and Jude Swanberg in &quot;Happy Christmas.&quot;</p>

Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick and Jude Swanberg in "Happy Christmas."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Review: Melanie Lynskey and Anna Kendrick delight in warm, authentic 'Happy Christmas'

The latest from prolific writer-director-star Joe Swanberg might be his best

PARK CITY - Some small movies are bigger than others, and few contemporary filmmakers' careers are better suited to that sliding scale than Joe Swanberg, the self-sufficient indie all-rounder who has quietly reeled off 16 feature films since 2005. Until recently, they've been uniformly scrappy in scope and construction, with some more considered than others: the personal, plainly self-reflexive relationship studies (2008's Greta Gerwig-starring "Nights and Weekends" was a standout) rather than the quick-sketch genre exercises.

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<p>Lady Gaga at MusiCares</p>

Lady Gaga at MusiCares

Credit: AP Photo

MusiCares Red Carpet with Lady Gaga, Miguel, Carole King and more

Yoko Ono, Tom Hanks and others honor Person Of The Year honoree

From Lady Gaga to Yoko Ono, the stars turned out to help honor Carole King at Friday (24) night’s MusiCares Person of the Year gala.

The annual  event, put on by The Recording Academy two nights before the Grammy Awards, benefits MusiCare’s Emergency Financial Assistance and Addiction Recovery programs.

Among the artists and celebrities spotted on the red carpet were Sara Bareilles, Ozzy and Sharon Osborne, James Taylor, Ben Folds, Miguel, Aeromith’s Steven Tyler, LeAnn Rimes, Kacey Musgraves, Jackson Browne, Jason Mraz, and, of course, evening’s honoree, Carole King. The event also drew from the political world, with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz  in attendance, as well as  Hollywood royalty Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

 

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<p>Gareth Evans took some time out from making the most badass films being made right now to talk to us about making those uber-badass movies during the Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Gareth Evans took some time out from making the most badass films being made right now to talk to us about making those uber-badass movies during the Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: HitFix

Director Gareth Evans discusses breaking bones and blowing minds with 'The Raid 2'

Watch me as I realize Evans pulled off the impossible for real in his film

PARK CITY - Even before planning for the Sundance Film Festival began at HitFix headquarters in LA, I had challenged director Gareth Evans and the cast of his new film "The Raid 2: Berendal" to a snowball fight in Park City.

After all, for the cast, this is their first time traveling together to a place with snow. Co fight master and co-star Yayan Ruhian had never seen snow in his life when he arrived, and according to Evans, Ruhian's first reaction was to grab two big handfuls of snow and just smash them to his face. His second reaction was to immediately regret his first reaction.

The damnedest thing happened, though. There was no real snow at Sundance this year. The weather's been cold and clear and dry, and so when we finally got to the day where I was scheduled to talk to the cast and the crew of "The Raid 2," we decided to shoot the chats inside the Yarrow Hotel, one of the two hotels that serve as part of the nerve center of Sundance.

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<p>&quot;Frozen&quot;</p>

"Frozen"

Credit: Disney

'Frozen' warms back up to the top album spot next week

Soundtrack fends off three chart newcomers

As the east coast thaws out from its latest Polar Vortex, the soundtrack to “Frozen” is, appropriately enough, poised to return to the top of the Billboard 200 next week, halting Bruce Springsteen’s run at No. 1 with “High Hopes” after one week. The Boss’s 11th No. 1 album will likely drop to No. 8.

It’s a bleak week for sales as no title comes close to the 100,000 mark. “Frozen” looks good for up to 90,000, according to Hits Daily Double, but then sales plummet as the No. 2 title, Beyonce’s “Beyonce,” is slated to sell no more than 50,000, the same number expected for A Great Big World’s “Is There Anybody Out There,” which will likely debut at No. 3.

Two other titles bow in the top 10: the 2014 Grammy Nominees set, at No. 4 (45,000) and Young The Giant’s latest effort, “Mind Over Matter,” at No. 6 (35,000).

Also in the top 10 next week:  the latest installment of “Kidz Bop Kids” will be at No. 5 (35,000), Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” at No. 7 (35,000), Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” at No. 9 (24,000) and Katy Perry’s “Prism” at No. 10 (24,000).

The Grammys, held Sunday night, will have little effect on next week's chart as the survey period ends Sunday at midnight. Look for most artists' Grammy bounce to be reflected in the chart released a week from Wednesday.

 

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Aaron Paul discusses 'Hellion,' 'Better Call Saul' and Corn Pops

Aaron Paul discusses 'Hellion,' 'Better Call Saul' and Corn Pops

Also from Sundance, young star Josh Wiggins discusses this big break
PARK CITY, UTAH. Aaron Paul has been wearing out a groove between Los Angeles and Sundance over the past 10 weeks, making appearances for the Golden Globes and SAG Awards in one location and zipping back and forth for premiere and press on the indie drama "Hellion" in the other.
 
In "Hellion," directed by Kat Candler, Paul plays a widower struggling to keep his family together, particularly rebellious, motocross-loving teen son Jacob (Josh Wiggins).
 
"Hellion" is Wiggins' first credit on any screen bigger than YouTube, which led me to ask Paul about his own first screen role and how his work in that project compared to his Sundance co-star. We also discussed how they kept things estranged on-screen, but warm and convivial off. 
 
Since this is the second time in three Sundances that I've interviewed Paul for a film in which he plays an alcoholic (following 2012's "Smashed"), I asked about different versions of addiction.
 
And, of course, we discussed "Breaking Bad," Jesse Pinkman and Paul's relief at escaping from that character's tortured headspace, but his excitement about returning to a younger, goofier version for the AMC spinoff "Better Call Saul." How soon will Paul be ready to return to that world? He explains.
 
"I love that family so much. Whenever they want me, I'm there, because it would be nice to jump into Jesse again in his lighter days," he says of the prequel.
 
Check out the full interview above.
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<p>&quot;Shark Tank.&quot;</p>

"Shark Tank."

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank' nets ABC Friday win, 'Enlisted' up

'Shark' has highest-rated regular episode ever

Fast National ratings for Friday, January 24, 2014.

ABC won Friday night thanks to the highest-rated regular "Shark Tank" episode ever, while FOX's timeslot swap of "Enlisted" and "Raising Hope" paid dividends for the first-year military comedy without really hurting the veteran show.

For the night, ABC averaged a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, and 7.2 million viewers overall. FOX was second (1.4, 5.1 million), followed by NBC (1.3, 5.4 million), CBS (1.1, 8 million) and the CW (0.3, 772,000).

8 p.m. --
"Bones" won the hour for FOX with a 1.8 rating and 7.4 million viewers, up from last week.  "Dateline NBC" was second (1.4, 7.3 million), followed by an "Undercover Boss" repeat on CBS (1.2, 6.4 million), "Last Man Standing" and "The Neighbors" on ABC (1.1, 5.1 million) and "The Carrie Diaries" on the CW (0.3, 916,000).

9 p.m. -- "Shark Tank" (2.2, 8.1 million) won the hour for ABC with its highest-rated regular episode ever. NBC's "Grimm" (1.5, 5.9 million) was second, followed by a "Hawaii Five-0" repeat on CBS (1.0, 8.1 million). Placed immediately after "Bones," "Enlisted" (1.0, 3.2 million) added more than a million viewers from last week and was up significantly in the demo, while "Raising Hope" (0.8, 2.4 million) actually did slightly better in the demo this week than it did a week ago at 9.  A CW "Supernatural" repeat (0.2, 628,000) was in last place. 

10 p.m. -- "20/20" (1.9, 8.3 million) won the hour for ABC, followed by a "Blue Bloods" repeat on CBS (1.0, 9.7 million). The "Dracula" season finale (1.0, 3.1 million) was up slightly over last week.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
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<p>Guy Lodge, Chris O'Dowd and John Michael McDonagh at the Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Guy Lodge, Chris O'Dowd and John Michael McDonagh at the Sundance Film Festival.

Chris O'Dowd and John Michael McDonagh talk 'Calvary' and finding the darkness in comedy

The Fox Searchlight pickup was one of Sundance's hottest international titles

PARK CITY - John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary" was one of my most anticipated titles heading into Sundance, and with the festival at a close, it's among the films my mind returns to most often.  The Irish writer-director's follow-up to the raucous cop comedy "The Guard" -- also a Park City premiere a few years back -- has a sharper, more complex comic flavor, taking on matters of faith, morality and mortality in the story of a Catholic priest (Brendan Gleeson) threatened with murder by one of his own troubled parishioners.

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<p>Could Motoko Kusanagi finally be on her way to the big-screen, and if so, who in the heck is going to play her?</p>

Could Motoko Kusanagi finally be on her way to the big-screen, and if so, who in the heck is going to play her?

Credit: Production IG

Rupert Sanders reportedly set for 'Ghost In The Shell' movie at Dreamworks

Will this Spielberg pet project finally get off the ground?

I remember the first wave of Hollywood's flirtation with anime, and it was obvious at the time that none of the films that they talked about making were actually going to get made. They would have all been prohibitively expensive and even more prohibitively bizarre, a combination that never ends well for studios.

For a while, Guillermo Del Toro was positively manic about getting "Domu" made as a movie, and I'll admit… I would have loved to have seen that, but I acknowledge that as a commercial proposition, that is insane. "Akira" has gone through the development mill for years with any number of different directors attached, and I've read several radically different scripts for that potential project over that time. James Cameron came very close to making "Battle Angel Alita" instead of "Avatar," and there was a period of time where he transformed an entire floor of the Lightstorm building, allowing his artists to work in the environment from the movie, with the rich people's paradise overhead and the garbage-strewn Earth below.

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Obama takes on 'The West Wing' tradition of 'Big Block of Cheese Day'


Obama takes on "The West Wing" tradition of "Big Block of Cheese Day"

On Wednesday, the Obama administration will copy the Bartlet administration with a day-long open house.


Mitt Romney "Slow Jams The News" with Jimmy Fallon

The former presidential candidate was promoting his "Mitt" documentary on "Late Night." PLUS: Zach Braff was seatmates with Romney on a plane.


Mira Sorvino is headed to BBC America
She'll play two characters stuck in one body in "Intruders."


"American's Next Top Model" finalist joins an ABC comedy pilot

Cycle 11's Analeigh Tipton will play one-half of a young couple. PLUS: ABC orders "Astronaut Wives Club" and three other dramas.


Margaret Cho to star in Tina Fey's Fox comedy pilot
She'll play the college president in the comedy about a female college that's about to accept males.


NBC orders a remake of the Tom Hanks movie "The Money Pit"

The 1986 film also starring Shelley Long got a pickup, as well as "Fifth Wheel."

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