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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels say only they can play their 'Dumb & Dumber' roles
Credit: HitFix

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels say only they can play their 'Dumb & Dumber' roles

And it sounds like they had fun torturing Kathleen Turner

One of the strangest things about "Dumb and Dumber To," and there are plenty, is watching Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey step back into the characters they last played twenty years ago. The film was part of the first big push of Jim Carrey's movie stardom, and it was the announcement of the Farrelly Brothers as comedy filmmakers. Jeff Daniels was, by far, the most experienced part of the puzzle. For all of them, the film was a very special moment.

When I recently sat down with Carrey and Daniels, the main question I had for them was about making something now that somehow honors or lives up to not only the first film, but also the way people feel about that film.

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<p>Claire Danes in Homeland</p>

Claire Danes in Homeland

Credit: Showtime

Showtime renews 'Homeland' & 'The Affair'

Should we be excited or fearful about 'Homeland' continuing?

Showtime has renewed both of its current Sunday dramas, "Homeland" and "The Affair," for new seasons.

Both shows will be back in 2015, "Homeland" with another 12-episode season, and "The Affair" with 10.

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Review: 'The Tribe' uses only sign language to tell a hard and haunting story
Credit: Drafthouse Films

Review: 'The Tribe' uses only sign language to tell a hard and haunting story

Love it or hate it, you'll never forget this one

From the moment the company was formed, Drafthouse Films has been about taking on challenges that are worth the time and effort. After all, the first film they distributed was the brilliant Chris Morris comedy "Four Lions," a movie that dared take a dark comic look at suicide bombers. That's not why the film is great, of course. Anyone can try to offend. There's no skill in that. But Morris made something smart and human and worthwhile, and Drafthouse did their very best to get the film the best possible release.

So when you describe a film as a "hard sell," it may be terrifying to some distributors, but not Drafthouse. If they believe in something, they'll take the chance and they'll do their best. One of the most unusual films they own right now played Cannes, Toronto and Fantastic Fest, and it's playing now at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles, and it is the sort of film that is worth seeing more than once, and it's absolutely worth sharing with other people.

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Starz orders an 'Evil Dead' TV series from Sam Raimi starring Bruce Campbell
Credit: New Line Cinema

Starz orders an 'Evil Dead' TV series from Sam Raimi starring Bruce Campbell

Showtime renews 'Homeland' and 'The Affair'

Starz orders an “Evil Dead” TV series from Sam Raimi starring Bruce Campbell
Raimi will executive produce the TV series based on his 1981 horror film, while Campbell will reprise his role as Ashley 'Ash' J. Williams. “I’m really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans worldwide — it’s going to be everything they have been clamoring for: serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor,” says Campbell.


Showtime renews “Homeland” and “The Affair”
“Homeland” will return for a 10-episode 5th season, while “The Affair” will be back for a 12-episode 2nd season.


Roseanne Barr is headed to “Cristela”
She’ll guest on the ABC comedy as Trent’s estranged wife.


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'The Comeback' returns with more Bravo than Valerie
Credit: HBO

'The Comeback' returns with more Bravo than Valerie

Valerie Cherish is in control, for now

The comeback of "The Comeback" cleverly began exactly the same way as the first season, with a test pattern and an indication that we were seeing raw footage for a show called "The Comeback."

Yet the show that followed was very different. Yes, it's still raw footage from a camera crew -- this time, a group of students Valerie Cherish is using to produce a pilot presentation for her own reality series -- but both Valerie and the series have changed.

Most significantly, Valerie is in control. She's far less insecure and constantly troubled about how she'll appear to others, in part because she's the one controlling her film crew, however amateur they are. This time, if she makes that T with her hands, they really will time out and not use it ("My show, I can cut it"). Or at least, that's the way things appear now.

It's a remarkable change for the character, who's not nearly as desperate, neurotic, or put-upon as she was during season one.

Although she is still worried about her image, there's also a new, uglier edge to Valerie. Early in the episode, she's in bed with her husband reading Paulie G.'s script for an HBO series based on his experiences on Room and Bored. There's information in that scene--Room and Bored didn't get renewed, and neither did Valerie's reality show--but it's most striking because Valerie angrily parrots her husband and calling Paulie G. a slur, and then slips back into her old ways.

"We can't say 'cocksucker' because I had Tyler put back the ceiling camera," she said.  Valerie Cherish has become what she never wanted to be: mean and controlling, and she's also become Jane, the producer who followed her around to capture footage that would ultimately be manipulated by editors in the show's great first-season finale.

Valerie Cherish has also become more savvy, but it's not growth. The end of season one showed Valerie finally embracing the humiliation she feared so much, but what's happened since then has jaded her so much that she's now willing to create drama.

She first realizes she misses a moment to literally make a scene when, in a callback to season one's penultimate episode, she's punched in the stomach--though not quite intentionally--by a host at a restaurant.

Later, she jumps on the opportunity when she senses that she can make a scene at HBO, where they're casting her part in the new dramedy, a casting call she misses because she doesn't even know who her agent is any more. She ends up succumbing to flattery and niceness, and also surprises everyone at HBO with her emotional line reading of a scene (from her own life, so of course it's emotional).

"The Comeback" itself felt weighed down by its references to reality television.
That's because, with the exception of a wasted cameo by RuPaul Charles ("you've got that show!" Val says to him, and then he's ignored), a reference to "Survivor," and an offhand summary of other series, the entire episode only refers to Bravo reality shows.

Yes, Val is initially working to pitch a new reality show to Bravo, and that makes Andy Cohen's cameo plausible, but it's a weird choice to have the characters in this universe only talking about Bravo shows, never mind all the Bravo cameos.

Perhaps the most successful was Val's failed appearance on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," refusing to fight with Lisa Vanderpump because she's still burned by her experiences with her reality show. That interaction is loaded with references (to Kyle Richards, the New York version of "Housewives," the way producers set up meals and plotlines in advance) that are both hilarious and not-so-subtle commentary on the genre.

Still, it almost felt like product placement, especially when "Top Chef"'s Carla Hall showed up so another character could make a throwaway joke/reference to "Top Chef." The first season had plenty of reality TV show references and cameos, but they were more purposeful.

Just has Valerie has gotten a little more craven in her desire for attention and affirmation, it seems like "The Comeback" has, too.

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'Broad City' reveals its Season 2 trailer
Credit: Comedy Central

'Broad City' reveals its Season 2 trailer

Coming soon: The Justice Network

“Broad City” reveals its Season 2 trailer
The 2nd season trailer features twerking, kittens, nudity and Seth Rogen. PLUS: Amy Poehler on why FX didn’t get “Broad City."


“Community” adds Paget Brewster and Keith David as series regulars for Season 6
She’ll play Greendale’s new consultant, while he’ll play a scientist who tries to reinvent himself at the community college.


Coming soon: The Justice Network
Launching in January the new network from NBC, Nat Geo and Discovery "will feature gripping stories of true crime and aim to make communities safer by empowering viewers to take action.”


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<p>Community</p>

Community

Credit: CBS/FOX

'Community' adds Paget Brewster & Keith David to season 6 cast

With Donald Glover, Chevy Chase and Yvette Nicole Brown gone, Greendale needed new blood

With production on "Community" season 6 beginning next week, the comedy is adding two actors to the cast: Paget Brewster and Keith David.

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Q&A: Emma Stone isn't going to tell you what happens at the end of 'Birdman'

Q&A: Emma Stone isn't going to tell you what happens at the end of 'Birdman'

'Cabaret' on Broadway is 'the hardest thing she's ever done'

Ladies and gentlemen, Emma Stone has come out of the "Amazing Spider-Man" fire and survived.

After almost three years of pretty much filming the Sony franchise flicks back to back, she's finally getting to stretch her wings again. The latest reminder of her incredible talent is her performance as Sam, Michael Keaton's big screen daughter in Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman." The drama, centered on a former Hollywood superstar (Riggan Thompson) attempting to revive his career on Broadway, is one of the most acclaimed films of the year. Stone brings an unexpected depth to Sam and she's generated serious Best Supporting Actress buzz for her work. 

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<p>Last Week Tonight with John Oliver</p>

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Credit: HBO

'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' takes a bow at end of season 1

Not just a 'Daily Show' imitator, but its own wonderful thing

When I interviewed John Oliver in the spring about the impending debut of his HBO show "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," he admitted that they still didn't entirely have the formula locked down yet, and were experimenting with different ideas for how to structure the show.

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<p>Packers QB Aaron Rodgers</p>

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Green Bay Packers' rout leads NBC Sunday domination

NFL helps 'The Simpsons' rise for 'Futurama' crossover

Fast National ratings for Sunday, November 9, 2014.

The Green Bay Packers handed the Chicago Bears one of the worst losses in franchise history and helped Sunday Night Football and NBC dominate the primetime competition.

With NBC in control despite the lopsided score, the other networks were mostly within normal ranges on Sunday. 

ABC, for example, saw "Resurrection" drop a little and "Revenge" rise a bit, week to week, while NFL overrun gave a boost to FOX's entire lineup, from "The Simpsons" crossover with "Futurama" through to "Mulaney." [It would be downright silly to suggest that the "Futurama" crossover played much role in the week-to-week bump for "The Simpsons," but others may do so if they choose.]

All ratings are, of course, preliminary and likely to change with NBC, FOX and CBS, preempted 17 minutes in several major markets, all impacted by live football.

On to the numbers...

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Selma
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Oprah convinces Ava DuVernay to screen all of 'Selma' at AFI Fest

And there’s still a secret screening waiting in the wings

For awhile,  Ava DuVernay’s "Middle of Nowhere" follow-up "Selma" looked like Paramount Pictures’s perpetually-teased-never-shown December holdout, a big question mark for Oscar season. The movie only wrapped production over the summer. Post-production was racing towards a release date. Would it be done in time? Fear not: The Martin Luther King Jr. drama will scrap its plans to screen 30 minutes of exclusive footage at the currently-running AFI Festival and let the entire feature out of the gates.

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Song of the Sea
Credit: GKIDS

See the trailer for 'The Secret of Kells' director’s 2015 Best Animated submission

Tomm Moore spins another uniquely Irish tale

"Surprise" is the word most often associated with "The Secret of Kells," Tomm Moore’s directorial debut and 2010’s out-of-nowhere Best Animated Feature contender. With a few short films and the animated series "Skunk Fu!" under its belt, Moore’s Irish animation company, Cartoon Saloon, snuck into the category with mystic lore and 2D-animated whimsy. Moore’s film couldn’t top Pixar’s "Up" but it did grab the attention of animation buffs who eagerly awaited his follow-up. Now it’s here, looking just as gorgeous and meticulously crafted as "Kells."

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