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<p>&quot;Life of Pi,&quot; the last film to win the Best Cinematography and Visual Effects combo.</p>

"Life of Pi," the last film to win the Best Cinematography and Visual Effects combo.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Roundup: Are the cinematography and visual effects Oscars getting too close?

Also: Variety's 10 Actors to Watch, and the complex effects of 'Noah'
As mentioned in a roundup earlier this week, Emmanuel Lubezki is the runaway favorite to win his first (and overdue) Best Cinematography Oscar for "Gravity." Many would agree that seems a just outcome, but Lubezki fan Nathaniel Rogers has some reservations. Pointing out that it'd almost certainly be the fifth year in a row that one film wins for cinematography and visual effects -- following "Avatar," "Inception," "Hugo" and "Life of Pi" -- Rogers believes this signals the "collapse" of the former category. Lubezki would be a deserving winner, he writes, but "I worry for the craft that it's come to this, that your film has to push the visual effects envelope and you have to be 3D for your DP to be considered Oscar-worthy." Is he right to be concerned? [The Film Experience]
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"Top Chef"

"Top Chef"

Credit: Bravo

'Top Chef' recap: Is giving bad food to volunteers still a good deed?

It's a food truck challenge to feed Habitat for Humanity workers

Things are heating up (that's funny, because New Orleans is hotter than an armpit most of the time!) on "Top Chef: New Orleans," as front runners are emerging, dark horses have reared their heads and whinnied and the lesser-thans are being picked off like teenagers in a cheap horror movie. While not all of the food looks entirely edible (and hey, with gumbo, it never really looks great, does it?), some of it sounds delicious, and that's enough for me. Until someone invents Taste-o-Vision, this, and the snarky comments of our judges, will have to do.

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Jimmy Kimmel and Kanye West make nice after Twitter "rap feud"


Jimmy Kimmel and Kanye West make nice after Twitter "rap feud"
The nearly 25-minute interview included a Kimmel apology and a Kanye rant that lasted more than eight minutes.


Richard Belzer is leaving "SVU"
Munch will no longer be a series regular after turning in his retirement papers.


Study: Viewers prefer TV shows with diverse casts
UCLA researchers studied 1,000 shows, and found that shows with the most diversity had higher ratings.


Michele Bachmann responds to Miley Cyrus' "SNL" sketch
"I've never done twerking in my life, and I don't intend to take it up," said the Minnesota congresswoman says of Miley impersonating her.


ESPN pulling out of "League of Denial" brought a lot of attention to the "Frontline" documentary
Had ESPN not pulled out, the "Frontline" probably would've had a much-smaller audience.


Craig Robinson detained briefly drug possession in the Bahamas
"The Office" alum was ordered to pay a fine after he authorities found him with ecstasy and marijuana.


Is "Modern Family" still "modern"?

After 100 episodes, the ABC sitcom feels very traditional. PLUS: "Modern Family" boss recalls all the ways the show could've gone wrong, and what would the show be like on cable?


Seattle police calls Stephen Colbert "rife with errors"
The Seattle PD "objected" to this week's segment on marijuana legalization.


"South Park's" George Zimmerman episode was one of its best "Controversy" episodes
"World War Zimmerman" used "World War Z" to skewer Zimmerman.


Rebel Wilson: I've received no U.S. weightloss offers
Despite rumors, the "Super Fun Night" star says she's concentrating on her TV show.


Jimmy Kimmel does a special musician edition of "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets"

Watch a special edition featuring John Legend, Darius Rucker and Demi Lovato.


Kris & Bruce Jenner have actually separated for nearly a year
Did E! cameras already film their split?


Food Network orders more "Mystery Diners"
The undercover restaurant reality show has received a 26-episode pickup.


Is "Coven" too straightforward for the "American Horror Story" franchise?
Normally, "AHS" thrives on being chaotic. Not this season. PLUS: This season feels like a tropical vacation compared to last year, "AHS" is "ambitious, bitchy, frisky, entertaining as all-get-out," how "AHS" comes up with those creepy promos, and Kathy Bates on joining "AHS."


Chris Hardwick's Comedy Central late-night show gets a premiere date
"@midnight" premieres Oct. 21.


"The Six Million Dollar Man" will get a 6th season, via comic book

"The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 6" picks up where the TV show left off in 1978.

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<p>Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in &quot;The Fifth Estate.&quot;</p>

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in "The Fifth Estate."

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Julian Assange writes Benedict Cumberbatch, ironically helps publicize 'The Fifth Estate'

Or perhaps that's what he meant to do?

It’s safe to say that reviews for Bill Condon’s WikiLeaks thriller “The Fifth Estate” were not quite what DreamWorks was hoping for when it opened the Toronto Film Festival last month. It was no embarrassment, and a number of critics had kind words for Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Julian Assange, but the middling response meant any opening-night buzz was swiftly subsumed by the prestige films that followed. (In contrast, “Gravity” opened Venice and was still a talking point by the festival’s close.)

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<p>Tim Olstad of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Tim Olstad of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - The Four-Chair Challenge Round #3

Simon and Paulina face tough decisions

Last week, we were introduced to the 4-Chair Challenge on "The X Factor" and unless you're Ashly Williams or an Ashly Williams fan, the format worked out reasonably well for you. 

With the Girls and the Geriatrics out of the way, let's see which acts we're putting on the spot tonight...

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CBS ends "We Are Men," pushes "Mike & Molly's" return for November


CBS ends "We Are Men," pushes "Mike & Molly's" return for November

"Men" has been canceled after two episodes, and it will be replaced by "2 Broke Girls."


Kate Walsh joins FX's "Fargo"
She'll play a "trophy wife-type" and mother in the Coen brothers remake.


"Breaking Bad" auction nets nearly $1 million
Walter White's tighty whiteys went for $9,900.

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"Nashville"

"Nashville"

Credit: ABC

'Nashville' recap: 'I Don't Want to Talk About It Now'

Juliette and Rayna aren't making Edgehill happy

The suds keep on a-comin' on "Nashville," as befits a primetime soap chock full of ego-driven (or, in Deacon's case, horribly emotionally scarred) musicians with skeletons in the closet. This week's episode had some good music (always a plus), some repetitive story lines and possibly the exit of Coleman Carlisle (the always excellent Robert Wisdom), which makes for a lot of highs and lows. Kind of like a country song, isn't it?

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"American Horror Story: Coven"

"American Horror Story: Coven"

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story: Coven' recap: Does 'Bitchcraft' cast a spell?

It's a shaky start to the edgy series

"American Horror Story" is back (with crazy strong ratings, too), and this time with the word "Coven" tagged onto the end. Thus, we're getting a crazy mash-up of witches, voodoo, insensitive portrayals of slavery and whatever other random stuff Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (or their assistants) stumbled across on the old Interwebs.  Better, we're also getting grade A talent. Kathy Bates ("Misery") and Angela Bassett ("What's Love Got to Do with It") join Jessica Lange and other "AHS" pros to stir the witches' cauldron. But I will say, judging from the first episode, we're off to a shaky start. Not shaky-scary, just… shaky.

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<p>Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Robert Rodriguez</p>

Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Robert Rodriguez

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Alexa Vega and Danny Trejo talk 'Machete Kills' and Latino heros

Former 'Spy Kid' Vega explains what it takes to be a Robert Rodriguez babe

AUSTIN - No matter how you say the name -- and in "Machete Kills," it's said a lot -- Danny Trejo's role of Machete in Robert Rodriguez' movies makes a very distinct impression.

In an interview with HitFix during the promotion of "Kills" at Fantastic Fest, Trejo, co-star Alexa Vega and Rodriguez talked about the image and place in modern cinema Machete holds. Audiences "identify" with the ex-Federale, unstoppable hero because "he's not flying, not wearing tights. He's just a guy," Trejo said. He said he looks like a guy you ask "if you need help moving."

But Trejo's portrayal is also one of the few roles that puts an older Latino in the lead protagonist seat. "I think it's important to have another one of those," Rodriguez said of making the sequel, "whether people wanted it or not."

"In my neigborhood [growing up], when we used to see a hero, it was like, 'Damn... he's pretty.' Not all guys look like that," Trejo said. "I mean... I'm not pretty."

Vega -- who helped lead Rodriguez' successful "Spy Kids" movies -- comforted her co-star, though her character KillJoy in the film is among the cast of Rodriguez' "babes," a stand-in for prettiness (even when its villainous, too).

To be a babe in a pulpy Rodriguez film, according to Vega, "takes serious..."

"Cajones!" Trejo chimed in.

"Attitude," Vega concluded, saying it took a good amount of confidence and comfort with herself to walk onto the "Machete Kills" set with assless chaps and metal bras. She was also comforted that, for the women in Rodriguez' films, "you know it's gonna come out looking great."

Trejo sees a great amount of strength in all of Rodriguez' characters, including the babes. "There's nobody weak. Doesn't matter what role they have, it's a strong persona. It's not stereotypical."

Coming from working with Rodriguez as a young girl in "Spy Kids," Vega said "it took a lot of convincing" to land this role as a sexy, 25-year-old brothel-occupying assassin. "That outfit helped me pull it off."

Watch the complete interview above. "Machete Kills" hits theaters wide on Friday (Oct. 11).

 

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<p>Wednesday's &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'One Armed Dude and Three Moms'

A Redemption Island Duel stirs more tension for Brad
Pre-credit sequence. John arrives on Redemption Island and greets his wife. "Candice. It's me," he introduces himself. He's such a courteous man! "What are you doing here?" she asks, either confused or annoyed. John is shell-shocked that Brad lied to him, but Candice isn't shocked that Brad was lied to. "I knew you were going to be too trusting with people," Candice tells him. She loves how gullible her husband is, but she knows this bodes ill for his "Survivor" performance.
 
Us & Them, premiering on FOX at midseason. Back at camp, the Returnees agree that John wasn't a good liar and Brad gloats about his achievement. He thinks that in past seasons, the five guys would have stayed together, but in a Loved Ones season, "This isn't Us versus Them, this is Some against Others." That's confusing. Caleb thinks he may be in trouble, because he no longer has a Loved One on the other side. 
 
A third pre-credit sequence? Don't they know I need time to write? At Redemption Island, Candice arrives flipping Brad off. "I was really upset," Candice tells Jeff Probst about seeing her husband again. She wanted somebody she hated to be sent to Redemption Island. "Somebody like Brad Culpepper," she adds. Interestingly, Brad greets this without a smirk. Does the bully dislike being bulled? CREDITS!
 
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<p>Sarah Paulson and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from Steve McQueen's &quot;12 Years A Slave.&quot;</p>

Sarah Paulson and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: Sarah Paulson questions Chiwetel Ejiofor in '12 Years a Slave' clip

'American Horror Story' actress the film's unheralded performance

The cast of Steve McQueen's acclaimed new drama "12 Years a Slave" is something of a wonder. Whether it's the remarkable work of Chiwetel Ejiofor as kidnapped freeman Solomon Northup or Michael Fassbender as the shockingly inhumane plantation owner Edwin Epps or Best Supporting Actress contender Lupita Nyong'o, the film features some of the most riveting performances of the year. What has gone slightly unheralded, however, are the fantastic smaller turns by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and Alfre Woodard. And, the always wonderful Ms. Sarah Paulson.

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<p>If we're going to start the awards talk, can I&nbsp;nominate Jennifer Lawrence for 'best dress' for 'American Hustle'?</p>

If we're going to start the awards talk, can I nominate Jennifer Lawrence for 'best dress' for 'American Hustle'?

Credit: Columbia Pictures

New 'American Hustle' trailer features a very different Christian Bale

Forget about awards... this looks likes fun

Now that David O. Russell has successfully revived his career and transformed himself into a "serious" Oscar-contender filmmaker, can we stop focusing only on the awards potential of his movies and get back to just enjoying what he does?

Admittedly, it is amazing that the guy who couldn't quite manage to finish the film "Nailed" has managed such a huge rebound. After all, there is no greater sin to the people who fund movies than wasting the budget of a film on something that never gets released and which has no way whatsoever to recoup the investment. For Russell, who already had a less-than-perfect reputation thanks to incidents around earlier films, including the infamous George Clooney scrap on the set of "Three Kings," to not just manage to recover from "Nailed," but manage to turn out a run of movies like "The Fighter," "Silver Linings Playbook," and now "American Hustle," seems like perhaps the single greatest recovery we've seen a filmmaker pull off.

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