PARIS - Coming up with a new twist for a horror film without going down some very disgusting roads hasn't been that easy in the 21st Century. It's one reason franchises like "Saw," "Paranormal Activity" and "The Purge" have hit such a cord with viewers and spawned a ton of sequels. One film that's trying to add a new twist to the supernatural thriller (with more than a touch of horror thrown in) is the Dowdle brothers' "As Above/So Below" which arrives in theaters on Friday.
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[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, FXX is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.]
And then there were only two.
Day 8 of FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon takes us from "The Regina Monologues" to "The Italian Bob," or from early in Season 15 through to early in Season 17.
Honestly, I think that some of these are mighty funny installments for a show that went past its 350th episode in this period, but there's no question that a fair amount of repetitiveness had set in here and an impressive number of plots feel either cribbed from earlier shows, or at least siblings to earlier plots. I mean... Homer gets an RV again! Sideshow Bob tries to kill Bart a couple times! The Simpsons go to... Italy and England and China!
Perhaps that's why we're now just down to me and Sepinwall and Katie Hasty giving recommendations. But don't worry, we offered five up good episodes and I added two episodes that you can skip, though I suspect most viewers will be skipping closer to 30 or 40 or 50 episodes.
Check out our recommendations for Day 8 and chime in with your own favorites...
A few quick thoughts on tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I blame my orthodics...
Stop asking if Tony Soprano lived or died!: David Chase has always held off on giving a definitive answer
That’s why Matt Zoller Seitz wasn’t buying the Vox article earlier today claiming that “The Sopranos” creator did indeed give a definitive answer: "The point is, since 2007 Chase has never straightforwardly explained precisely what he meant to do with the end of 'The Sopranos,' despite having been asked about it in interviews and public appearances," says Seitz. "There have been moments where he seemed to be on the verge of spelling it out for us. He always caught himself and pulled back. But that never stopped people from seizing on certain words or phrases in order to crow, 'See, I toldja! Tony died! David Chase said so!’"
NBC rejected a request to post a suicide prevention number following Robin Williams Emmy tribute
"Collectively we decided to celebrate the life of Robin Williams, not his death or, more to the point, the way he died,” says an NBC spokesperson.
Fox developing insomnia drama “Nod”
Based on the book by Adrian Barnes, “Nod” will explore the world of an "inter-somnial” couple — he can’t stop sleeping while she’s always awake.
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David Chase says his comment on Tony Soprano’s fate was “misconstrued”
“The Sopranos” creator released a statement via his publicist to Vulture responding to his supposed revelation to Vox: "A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying, 'Tony Soprano is not dead,' is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true. As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, 'Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.' To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.’"
Weezer frontman’s life inspires a Fox comedy pilot
Rivers Cuomo is teaming with “Psych” creator Steve Franks on “DeTour,” about a 30-something rock star who walks away from the spotlight at the height of his fame. Cuomo took a sabbatical from his rock career in the mid-90s to attend Harvard.
A release date has been set for the police thriller "Triple Nine" from director John Hillcoat ("Lawless," "The Proposition"), which stars a slew of Oscar winners and nominees.
FX orders a clown comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, which he co-created with Louis CK
“Baskets” will follow a guy who works at a rodeo who dreams of becoming a clown.
“COPs” crew member was killed by police fire
Bryce Dion, 38, worked as an assistant cameraman on “COPs” and other TV series.
“Chelsea Lately” exits with more than 1 million viewers
Chelsea Handler had her best ratings last night in 2 1/2 years.
“Tyrant” ends its 1st season down from its debut
The FX series lost 28% of its premiere viewership.
“Sherlock” co-creator will be back on “Game of Thrones”
Mark Gatiss reprise his role as Tycho Nestoris, head of the Iron Bank.
See the “American Horror Story” cast in the “Freak Show” poster
Says Ryan Murphy: "It feels like a Douglas Sirk movie; it's very 1952 presentational and then the horror is an unexpected jab. As opposed to last year, which was crazy camera work and comedy. This year feels different.” PLUS: Watch the latest teaser.
VENICE - Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act Of Killing" was an incredibly uncomfortable watch for many reasons. Not least its close alignment - narratively, if not morally - with Indonesian death squad veterans, as they re-enacted the atrocities they had committed in the style of their favorite films. "The Look Of Silence", styled as a companion piece rather than a sequel, redresses the balance. This time, the surviving family members of Ramli, one of the the victims, are the focus, and the style is appropriately restrained.
During the MTV VMAs on Sunday, Miley Cyrus used her platform to raise awareness of homeless youth, but attentions also turned in on her awards show guest this week.
The pop star, in lieu of delivering an acceptance speech for her Video Of The Year win for "Wrecking Ball," sent up her new friend Jesse to speak about his experience of living homeless. Cyrus directed fans to her website to learn more about Los Angeles non-profit My Friend's Place and to learn more about the plight of poverty and homelessness in America.
But Jesse -- identified Jesse Helt, 22, this week -- actually has a warrant out for his arrest in his homestate Oregon, for violating probation. According to the Associated Press, he'd previously been arrested (as a juvenile) for criminal mischief, criminal trespass and burglary in 2010. Court documents said he'd broken into an apartment of a man "who had been selling what Helt believed to be bad marijuana."
His mother, Linda, said that Cyrus had given Helt money to fly home to visit her; she said that Helt was welcome home at any time, and that he'd moved to L.A. to "make it on his own." He intended to pursue a career in modeling.
This has immediately led to concerns that Miley Cyrus' homeless date wasn't homeless enough. Or was selected because he was good for cameras. Or wasn't vetted to be "representative" of homelessness.
People who are homeless have lived very hard lives. Jesse included.— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2014
Does looking down upon the homeless help people excuse their inaction?— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2014
The media never fails to disappoint. You've chosen to go after Jesse instead of covering the issue of youth homelessness :(— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2014
Rewinding a little, Cyrus' move to hand over precious media time on Sunday is what audiences were calling her' "Sacheen Littlefeather moment," mirroring what Marlon Brando did for his Best Actor acceptance speech in 1973. He sent Sacheen Littlefeather -- a spokesperson chosen by Native Americans involved in the American Indian Movement -- to deliver a long speech he had written about the poor and underrepresented culture of Native Americans in Hollywood. (It was a move that then caused the Academy to ban proxies from accepting awards on people's behalf at the Academy Awards, which is why now presenters accept for non-present winners.)
Miley Cyrus made waves at the VMAs last year for her twerking with Robin Thicke; she's spent the year trolling awards and entertaining at concerts, the nature of which you could file under "rebellious" since establishing her post-Hannah Montana persona.
This current move in the great Miley Cyrus re-branding is the most illustrative and widely covered example of Cyrus' charitable works. She has been an activist and donated time and effort to other causes, from Haiti relief to HIV/AIDS research to Rock the Vote to PETA support.
Which would explain, in part, why Cyrus' camp reacted with vitriol toward those who would call her VMAs move a "stunt." Representatives told Mashable that MTV didn't even know what Cyrus had planned.
That could also be why homelessness' moment in the sun turned into another moment in the sun for her, as she stood awkwardly and stagey in-frame of the honorees platform. Cuts to Cyrus crying profusely certainly added drama to Jesse's statements, but also fed skepticism. This, from the young woman whose orbit is around her own image, to the degree that merchandise is manufactured to match that long, unruly tongue.
Of course people would side-eye that moment. It's a damned shame it diminishes her motive: to make good come out of her fame, for a cause that affects more that a million and a half young people in America. Perhaps of the millions of people who watched the VMAs, many hadn't given a second thought to those who suffer unwantedly from homelessness.
(And guess what? Some homeless are criminals. Some are recovered criminals. Or mentally ill. Or abused. Or addicts. Or recovering addicts. Or victims of poor Child Protective Services or broken homes. Some are down on their luck. And many want and need help. Understand those needs more at My Friend's Place.)
Miley Cyrus spent the last year trying to convince people to lighten up, to have fun with her brand of pop, to expect wild things to come from her mouth/Twitter/Instagram/concert. The careful Miley Cyrus business is a multi-million dollar business -- maybe the backlash came from the notion that the brand hadn't vetted and prepared for the moment when Cyrus actually tried stepping back from the mic?
FX has given a series order to "Baskets," a new comedy from the creative all-star team of Zach Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel.
But don't get too invested in "Baskets," because its premiere is a mighty long way away.
“Glee” final season details revealed: Rachel Berry is the new Mr. Schuester
Returning to Ohio, Lea Michele’s character will attempt to resurrect the glee club that was eliminated after Sue Sylvester banished all the arts at school. Meanwhile, Blaine, Sam and Mr. Schue will have surprising new gigs.
Cinemax’s “The Knick” to get an HBO showcase
The first three episodes of the Steven Soderbergh series will be shown on Cinemax's sibling network on Labor Day.
BET suspends “106 & Park” producer, apologizes to Beyonce and Jay Z over Blue Ivy hair joke
On Monday's show, guest host Karrueche Tran said: "I really did wake up like this, because my parents never comb my hair."
New book details Katie Couric-Diane Sawyer rivalry
In “The News Sorority,” Couric, according to The Daily Beast, "comes across as brash, striving, and self-absorbed, Diane Sawyer is a Machiavellian, often-inscrutable workaholic, and Christiane Amanpour has an off-putting moral superiority.”
Watch Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert sing “The Obvious Song” in 1993
Second City has begun posting its archives to YouTube.