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<p>I hope the sequel is just three solid hours of this and fart sounds.</p>

I hope the sequel is just three solid hours of this and fart sounds.

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Because absolutely no one asked, Johnny Depp signs to make 'Alice In Wonderland 2'

But at least he'll be able to buy another island

One of the worst things about the miserable "Alice In Wonderland" was the way it served as a needless sequel to the original story, casting Alice as a warrior who was part of some ancient prophecy, returning to "Underland" after a long absence. Because of that structure, the notion of a sequel to that film becomes even more narratively useless than normal.

But, hey, at least Johnny Depp can count on another $50 million or so.

I wouldn't care as much if it seemed like Depp was still doing a "one for them, one for me" sort of thing, but it's been a while since he's been that guy. Sure, he helped Bruce Robinson finally get a film made again with "The Rum Diary," but part of that is the debt that he felt like he owed Hunter S. Thompson, who always wanted a film version made from that book. Most of his credits for the last few years have been brutally mainstream, and it's getting harder and harder to remain a fan of the guy's work when they announce a fifth "Pirates" movie or a wildly unwanted "Wonderland" sequel.

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'Glee's" Cory Monteith is dead at 31


'Glee's" Cory Monteith is dead at 31
Vancouver police found Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, dated co-star Lea Michele and who had been struggling with substance abuse problems, dead in his hotel room on Saturday. On Twitter, Mark Salling responded to the news with "no." Monteith's final tweets on Friday were about "Sharknado." PLUS: "Glee" stars react, read a timeline of Monteith's struggles, and here is Monteith's pic from the June 28 "Glee" cast shoot for Season 5.


Jimmy Kimmel weds his co-head writer
Kimmel and his "Jimmy Kimmel Live" colleague, Molly McNearney tied the knot Saturday before a star-studded crowd that included Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. See their official photo.

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<p>Jay-Z</p>

Jay-Z

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Music Power Rankings: Lady Gaga and Jay-Z top the list

Daft Punk, Pearl Jam and Psy also make the list

1. Lady Gaga: "ArtPop" is coming, "ArtPop" is coming! We’ll get Momma Monster’s new album, Nov. 11., but first we’ll get a new single in September. Paws up!!

2. Jay-Z: Yes, it was messy, but his Samsung partnership led the way for a new distribution model AND he still will sell more than half a million albums through traditional retail this week.

3. Daft Punk: In a deal that’s too perfect, the French pair inks a deal with Trojan for “Get Lucky” condoms  Plus, the band plans to work with “Random Access Memories” producer Nile Rodgers on some unfinished Chic material.

4. Pearl JamExpect to get hit with a “Lightning Bolt” in October.

5. Rap Music: The genre pulls off a hat trick for the first time. Thanks to Kanye West, Wale, J. Cole and Mac Miller, rap music had the top 3 spots on the Billboard 200 for three weeks running.

6. Psy: He’s only really known in the U.S. for two hits, “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman,” but the South Korean rapper has joined Rihanna and Justin Bieber as the only three artists to surpass 3 billion views on YouTube. And, as far as we know, he hasn’t urinated in a janitor’s bucket or posted pictures of himself scantily-clad, rolling a joint.

7. Steve Grand: Gay unsigned, pop/country artist’s sweet song/video about unrequited love goes viral, passing the 1 million views mark  on YouTube.

8. “Cups”:
Almost a year after the movie came out and more than six months after the song first debuted on the chart, Anna Kendrick’s “Cups,” from “Pitch Perfect” hits the Top 10. Please do not let this be a trend.

9. Justin Bieber: Footage of the teen star urinating in a janitor’s bucket and cursing out a picture of President Clinton surfaces.  Someone needs to start telling his friends to stop filming his every move. Or here’s an idea: Stop acting like a twerp.

10. Randy Travis: The country music legend remains in the hospital following a heart virus and subsequent stroke. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

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<p>Hugh Jackman didn't stab me even one time during our conversation about 'The Wolverine,' so I'll count that as a victory.</p>

Hugh Jackman didn't stab me even one time during our conversation about 'The Wolverine,' so I'll count that as a victory.

Credit: HitFix

Hugh Jackman talks about playing the character for the sixth time in 'The Wolverine'

Plus find out what he happily stole from Darren Aronofsky

It's not often that my eight-year-old son and my seventy-something-year-old mother are both jealous of me over the same interview, but that pretty much sums up the preposterously broad appeal of Hugh Jackman.

"The Wolverine" marks the sixth time that he has played the character, and he'll do it again next summer for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," and at this point, I'd say he owns the character in terms of public perception. What makes "The Wolverine" work is the way it builds off of even the less successful films in the series to explore the sadness and pain that drive the character at this point.

I stopped in New York for approximately 24 hours on my way back from London, and within an hour of me getting to my hotel, I was sitting across from Jackman, jet-lagged and punchy and not entirely sure what was going on. Even so, as soon as you start talking to the guy, he's so engaged and enthusiastic that you want to respond in kind.

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<p>Ken Watanabe in &quot;Unforgiven&quot;</p>

Ken Watanabe in "Unforgiven"

Credit: Warner Bros.

The Ken Watanabe samurai remake of 'Unforgiven' gets a full trailer and a familiar poster

The film is due out in Japan in September

File this under badass projects that I had no idea were happening. I guess the news of a samurai remake of Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" made the rounds nearly a year ago, and I either glossed over it or missed it completely. Now a few trailers and a poster for the film have surfaced and, well, I'm totally on board.

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"The Bachelorette"

 "The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

Reality TV Roundup: 'Bachelorette,' bath salts, 'Naked,' 'Big Brother'

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now
Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
 
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too. 
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<p>The CW's &quot;Reign&quot;</p>

The CW's "Reign"

Credit: The CW

Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign'

Adelaide Kane shines, but this is still an odd choice for The CW

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Reign" (The CW)
Airs:Thursdays at 9 p.m.
The Pitch:"It's about a teenage Mary Queen of Scots. And she fights crime!" "Sold!" "OK. Now what if she *doesn't* fight crime?" "Does. Not. Compute."
Quick Response: There's just no way to get around it: The CW's "Reign" is weird. It's like one of those raunchy historical epics that Showtime or Starz thrive on. Think "Borgias" or "Tudors." Now remove all of the nudity. And tone the raunchiness down to what you can get away with on The CW (albeit with one scene that's a bit surprising in its kink). And throw in a Baz Luhrmann/"Marie Antoinette" updated soundtrack and semi-modernized sensibility about girl-power. But now remove the aesthetics that a Luhrmann or a Sofia Coppola might bring you and replace it with a much more conservative look, courtesy of "Casper" auteur Brad Silberling. So at that point, it's almost like "Hart of Dixie," if instead of being a doctor leaving NYC for Alabama, Rachel Bilson was a princess leaving a nunnery for France. Only minus the wackiness? But still keeping the swoony love triangle? Look, I'm just trying make this relatable for you so that you can understand why The CW has programmed a hyper-earnest royal teen soap opera set in 1557 after "Vampire Diaries." Yes, I know "TVD" likes to play dress-up and do flashbacks, but come on! Anyway, this whole thing hinges on the casting of Mary Queen of Scots and, in Aussie soap vet Adelaide Kane, at least The CW has a strong leading lady, capable of being feisty when required and looking period-appropriate in corsets and whatnot. I like her a lot. The love triangle is way out-of-synch, because Torrance Coombs' Bash is interesting, while Toby Regbo's Francis is a bland pretty boy. I like all of Mary's giggly, way-anachronistic hand-maidens, who bring a confusingly 2013 touch to the 16th Century French court, especially when they all try on dresses and bat their eyelashes. [All-grown-up Narnia lass Anna Popplewell is probably the standout.] I'm amused by the silliness and audacity of making Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland) a major character, but also making the mystic, who would have been an ancient-for-the-time 50-something, predictably CW-broody. And then you have Anne of Green Gables (Megan Follows) in a key role. So there's that! After the pilot, I don't have a clue what this show is, how it functions for 22 episodes per season or how The CW expects to get people to watch it. If it were awesome, I'd understand what The CW sees in it. But it's not. It's most intriguing for how strangely it fits into its surroundings and the occasional random ways in which it tries to adapt. But other than a strong interest in Kane and vague curiosity about how they intend to play the couple minor mysteries from the pilot, I really don't get "Reign" as a CW show. The CW wanted the fantasy-tinged "The Selection," couldn't get it right on two occasions and so they "Selection"-ized history. Kinda.
Desire To Watch Again: If, say, History were airing "Reign," I might not be inclined to give it more than another episode at the most. Because it's The CW, I have a perverse curiosity that goes beyond the quality of the show.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

 

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<p>Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield are front-and-center in the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's SF&nbsp;masterpiece 'Ender's Game'</p>

Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield are front-and-center in the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's SF masterpiece 'Ender's Game'

Credit: Lionsgate

Lionsgate issues official response to growing 'Ender's Game' author controversy

Does the author's personal opinion affect your interest in the movie?

Last night, a Twitter account called "Phoenix Movie Bears" asked me if I had an opinion about Orson Scott Card and his rabid anti-gay rhetoric. As a group of LBGT movie fans, it is an important question to them, and it looks like they asked the question of a large number of people. Some webmasters wrote back that they will be covering "Ender's Game" because they are interested in it as a movie, and they seemed to accept that without argument. Personally, I have not spent a lot of time on the subject in print because I felt like the most effective way to deal with it was to simply go silent. At this point, publicity is publicity, and "good" or "bad" doesn't really enter into the equation.

But today, Lionsgate sent out an official statement on what is obviously starting to become a problem for them, and it seems like this is as good a moment as any to weigh in. I'm only going to do this once, because I made the decision at the start of the year that I would not be reviewing "Ender's Game" or covering it during production. That hasn't changed. I love the book, and in fact just put it onto my oldest son's Kindle as one of the many science-fiction novels he was given for his birthday. I hope he enjoys it.

When it comes to supporting Card today, though, I'm unable to see my way clear to ignore his nauseating homophobia. And while Lionsgate seems to believe his current attitudes have nothing to do with their film, I'd say that's not true. The book may not reflect his views, but as the author, he's going to benefit from the financial success and high profile of the movie. He is tied to "Ender's Game" on a profound level, and I have a hard time seeing how anyone could claim otherwise.

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<p>The cover of Jay-Z's &quot;Magna Carta Holy Grail&quot;</p>

The cover of Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail"

Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail' reigns on next week's Billboard 200

Two other artists enter the top 10 as well

Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” will top the Billboard 200 by a wide margin next week. Released July 4 to Samsung owners, but only to traditional retailer on July 9, Hova’s latest album will move up to 520,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double. And that’s above and beyond the one million copies distributed through Jay-Z’s one-way deal with Samsung.

He’s one of three artists with new albums debuting within the top 10. After a long absence, Ciara returns with “Body Party,” which looks good for No. 2 with up to 60,000 copies. Skylar Grey, best known for co-writing “Love The Way You Lie” for Eminem and Rihanna, will likely bow at No. 9 with “Don’t Look Down.”

This week’s No. 1 title, J Cole’s “Born Sinner,” drops to No. 3, while Kanye West’s “Yeezus” slides to No. 4. Imagine Dragons’ “Night Vision” is at No. 5. Wale’s former No 1, “The Gifted,” is at No. 6.

Florida Georgia Line’s “Here To The Good Times” is No. 7. Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” is No. 8, and Macklemore &  Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” will likely be at No. 10.

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<p>Sharknado</p>

Sharknado

Credit: Syfy

A 'Sharknado' sequel? Syfy execs have to move past this 'whirlwind day' before deciding


A "Sharknado" sequel? Syfy execs have to move past this "whirlwind day" before deciding

"Everyone — my mom, dad,  wife, my kids have asked me that question," says Syfy programming boss Thomas Vitale. "Everyone at the office and obviously the producers. The truth is that this has all happened so quickly. It’s been such a whirlwind day. We’ve had a lot of meetings, emails. I'm not being coy, (but) that’s obviously being talked about. There may be some kind of announcement coming forth but there’s nothing going to be announced now just because we haven’t had real discussions with the real people we have to talk to about that."
Taiwanese animators unveil "Sharknado 2: Sharphoon"
Syfy: "If we don't have a good title, we're not going to make the movie"
"Sharknado's" original title: "Dark Skies"
The genius of "Sharknado": It was  "80-odd minutes straight of footballs in the groin"
"Sharknado" producers' next project: "3-Headed Shark Attack"
Screenwriter studied real-life weather patterns to write his script
The "nado" part is what makes "Sharknado" special -- people love saying "nay-do"
Visual effects supervisor: "They wanted it to be absurd when you watched it"
L.A. County Fire Dept. says it is prepared for a Sharknado
Before "Sharknado," Syfy had a slew of terrible shark movies
How "Sharknado" explains the federal reserve
"Sharknado" shows how out of touch Washington is
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services cracks a "Sharknado" joke
9 harsh political realities of "Sharknado"
Tara Reid is up for a sequel
Ian Ziering: Maybe this is my "John Travolta 'Pulp Fiction' moment"


"Parks and Rec" won't make a big deal out of Chris Pratt's rock-hard abs

Co-creator Mike Schur says he has already written a "little tiny acknowledgement or nod to the fact that he looks very different to the way he normally looks. I don't think beyond a little joke about it that we'll end up doing anything significant. We're not going to suddenly say that Andy became a fitness nut because that doesn't ring true."


Can Oprah rehabilitate Lindsay Lohan's image?
An OWN reality show either will be good or bad for Lindsay's career.


Why "Honey Boo Boo" is superior to "The Newsroom"

Hank Stuever says one show gives you more to think about -- "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." He adds: "The show you're supposed to pay attention to has nothing to tell you, and the show that’s supposed to rot your brain actually turns it on."


Jay Leno to Eliot Spitzer: "How can you be this stupid?"
The disgraced former New York governor explained his decision to run for New York City Comptroller today on "The Tonight Show." Sitting next to him was "SNL's" Eliot Spitzer -- Bill Hader.


USA teams Greg Grunberg & Diane Farr to play mom and dad for comedy pilot
They're starring in "Divide & Conquer."


Jenny McCarthy has begun dating Donnie Wahlberg
They met when he was a guest on "The Jenny McCarthy Show."


Jane Lynch files for divorce

Lynch separated from her wife of nearly three years in February.


"Parenthood" gives Monica Potter a new hairdo
She got a short bob as her character comes back from chemo.


Janice Dickinson hospitalized
A closing garage dark struck the former "Next Top Model" star in the head yesterday in Beverly Hills.


Simon Cowell and his new "X Factor" judges appear to have good chemistry
The chemistry between Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio and Cowell and Lovato was described as "infectious" during this week's L.A. auditions.


Virginia Madsen joins "Witches of East End"
She'll appear in a multi-episode arc of the Lifetime series.


"Suits" hopes to lure younger viewers by hooking up with a hook-up app
The USA show will be promoted on the casual-dating service Tinder.


Mary-Louise Parker signs on for a Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movie

She'll star in "Christmas in Conway."


How Chuy Bravo became a "Chelsea Lately" sensation
Bravo, who was recently on "Splash," came to L.A. as a teenager.


Alyssa Milano sparks "Charmed" controversy by comparing the set to high school

Holly Marie Combs responded to Milano's "Watch What Happens Live" comments by saying "Charmed" was nothing like high school, while Shannen Doherty chimed in that there was no drama on set.


As he gets Oscar buzz, Michael B. Jordan recalls his "Wire" and "Friday Night Lights" past
With "Fruitvale Station," there's talk of the 25-year-old Jordan getting an Academy Award nomination.


Ex-"Storage Wars" star ordered to pay A&E's legal fees
A judge has ruled that David Hester must pay $122,692 after losing the first round of his rigging lawsuit.


"The Bridge": Finally, a realistic portrayal of autism

With Diane Kruger's character, the FX series "appears to be committed to creating a nuanced protagonist with autism without making it the defining feature of the series, or even the character," says Emily Shire.


The average NYC rent is $3000/month -- which TV characters can afford that?
Could Carrie Bradshaw survive these days in the city?


Katee Sackhoff: A fan once asked me to sign his penis
"It was very weird," the "Longmire" star says of the request.


Food Network hasn't dumped Paula Deen's recipes

About 1400 of Deen's recipes are still on the Food Network website.


"Downton Abbey" hits the beach
Check out the cast at seaside.


See the giant "Doctor Who"-themed corn maze

Complete with a 300-meter-tall Dalek.


Mads Mikkelsen: A "Hannibal" cookbook might be in the works

The Danish actor admits: "Hannibal is a much better cook than I am."


Watch Patton Oswalt's first paid acting gig, at age 19

He got $300 for an educational video about student loans.


LEGOS to hand out "Arrow" action figures at Comic-Con
Hundreds of little Green Arrows will be given away next week.


"Ray Donovan" star Ambyr Childers is pregnant

This will be her 2nd child.


"Scrubs" meets "CHiPs"

Zach Braff and Donald Faison describe their friendship in a picture.


Watch an Olivia Pope makeup tutorial

From a star of "Sh*t White Girls Say."


"Mad Men" costume designer worked more than a year on her new reality show
"I wanted to do a show that combines my passions of film, costume design, and fashion design," Janie Bryant says of "Janie Bryant's Holllywood."


Elisabeth Moss: I'm not a TV snob -- "I totally watch reality TV"

"I love all those 'Housewives' shows," says the "Mad Men" star adding, that she also watches "'Nashville' and I just finished 'Scandal.' So the chances are with any show I've probably seen it."


"The Newsroom" is greatly improved in Season 2

Give Aaron Sorkin another chance, as he's made the show sharper and edgier, says Verne Gay. "What this show needed to do -- and in the first episode, absolutely has done -- is get tougher, leaner and create that sense that the 'newsroom' is a real place, and not a soapbox for McAvoy (as proxy for Sorkin) to occasionally ascend. Sunday's episode is much more about process -- the manifold little things that add up to one very big thing, a nightly TV news broadcast." PLUS: Season 2 has less moralizing, so there's more to like, Season 2 is both really good and really bad just like last year, the new "Newsroom" is a lot more fun to watch, and Olivia Munn is able to overcome the Sorkinese.

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<p>Michael B. Jordan and Melonie Diaz in &quot;Fruitvale Station.&quot;</p>

Michael B. Jordan and Melonie Diaz in "Fruitvale Station."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Review: The train misses a few stops in well-acted but phony 'Fruitvale Station'

Ryan Coogler's debut hints at a powerful story, but where's the rest of it?

This year's annual compromise candidate between Sundance and Cannes's otherwise divergent definitions of a festival film, "Fruitvale Station" is a clean-scrubbed tragedy that aims for a commendable reversal: taking a real-life human subject best known for the way he died, Ryan Coogler's debut feature instead builds its drama around the way he lived. 

At least, it purports to do so. In Coogler's angry but unremittingly adoring portrait, how close you feel to Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old Bay Area proletarian whose life was cut unaccountably short by a brute transit officer on New Year's Day in 2009, may depend on how much truth you see in its tidily condensed life-in-a-day structure. And that, unlike the incontestable video-phone footage of Grant's death that Coogler unspools as early as the prologue, is strictly in the eye of the beholder. It is one thing to present us with an atrocity that we know, and possibly even remember, happened. It is another to make us believe it.

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<p>Arcade Fire</p>

Arcade Fire

Credit: Arcadefire.com

Arcade Fire announces new album release date via Twitter

Apparently, they were just waiting for someone to say something nice

One of Arcade Fire’s twitter followers was definitely in the right place at the right time. Yesterday, one of the co-ed Canadian band’s fans simply tweeted, “@arcadefire you’re my favorite.”  And the band responded with way more than a simple “thanks” (though, being Canadian and, therefore, very polite, they did thank him).

The Montreal-based band spilled the release date for its new album as Oct. 29, and included two photos of a sphere and of the band that are almost suitable for framing or could be part of the album artwork. No word on the title yet.

The album will the the group’s first since 2010’s “The Suburbs,” which snagged album of the year at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
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Arcade Fire had been previewing material over the last year, including a tune called “Crucified Again,” last November.  LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is producing the new set.

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