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<p>One of these is a space beast, and one of these is a CG dog.</p>

One of these is a space beast, and one of these is a CG dog.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Vin Diesel takes 'Riddick' back to his simple, brutal roots

Did you like 'Pitch Black'? Well, I've got good news for you.

One of the words I use frequently when describing things, particularly things I like, is "pulp," and this summer, when I was at the San Diego Comic-Con, I found myself in a conversation with a reader who wasn't sure what I meant by that. It was a reminder that just because I love something or use something as a reference, it's not automatically something that everyone in my audience is going to understand or connect to, and I can't just leave it like that. The point of using a specific term like that is to give you some context for something, and truth be told, "pulp" is something that really doesn't occupy much of a space in modern pop culture. When I use that term to describe some pumped-up slice of 21st-century whiz bang, it's sort of like listening to your granddad describe a "Super Mario Bros." game by making references to Jack Benny's radio show.

My love of pulp developed gradually, as I followed the things I love back through their cultural evolution to the place where they began. Growing up as a film fan who was shaped in some part by "Star Wars" and "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," it seemed inevitable that eventually I would find my way back to what was a huge, significant movement in pop fiction for a good chunk of the start of the 20th century. From the moment I first read one of the original "Doc Savage" stories, I was hooked. What I adore about pulp is the simplicity of it and the way it's all about wringing variations out of a formula. Bad guys and good guys are painted in big broad strokes, essentially unchanging in their natures, and the conflicts they find themselves in are defined by very simple-to-understand stakes. If you've read one "Doc Savage" story, you could argue that you've read every "Doc Savage" story, but the pleasure comes in seeing what is done within that familiar framework each time.

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<p>Dakota Fanning in &quot;Night Moves.&quot;</p>

Dakota Fanning in "Night Moves."

Credit: Maybach Film Productions

Review: Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg make slow, steady 'Night Moves'

Unnerving film may be a thriller, but unmistakably the work of Kelly Reichardt

VENICE - I didn't intend to wait four days to review "Night Moves" -- not least because, in the wake of her last three features, a toothpaste commercial directed by Kelly Reichardt would be high on the year's most-anticipated list -- but the combination of cumulative screenings and the slackening effects of illness kept pushing it unintentionally down the to-do list.

Yet if any film on the Lido this year belongs on the back burner, it's this one. That may be the lousiest compliment I've given a good film all year, but it's a compliment nonetheless; for the more time Reichardt's latest has to let its calculatedly flat terrors work on the brain, the more imposing and guileful an achievement it seems. "Night Moves" is a pretty slow burner while it's on the screen; off it, it's stubbornly inextinguishable, the trick birthday candle of this year's Venice fest.

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<p>Gus (Carlos Pratts)&nbsp;and Marco Ruiz (Demi&aacute;n Bichir)&nbsp;on &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Gus (Carlos Pratts) and Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir) on "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'The Beetle'

The killer goes after Marco's family in a taut hour directed by Keith Gordon

A review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as we discuss this over a ham salad...

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Who will win veto and what will it mean for McCranda?

Amanda sobs and screams about being on the block

I've been thinking a lot about why Amanda has morphed from one of the hamsters I enjoyed the most on "Big Brother" to a villain I am eager to see bounced out on her butt -- and that's on a season that's been peppered with racists, homophobes and the barely literate.

I think Amanda has worn out my initial good will in part because she seems to think she is the only one who deserves to win the game, and any challenge to her house domination isn't just gameplay, but a personal affront. This week, when she isn't crying, she's (to use her words) "pissed, crazy and confused." As previous winner Dan pointed out recently, this isn't the attitude of a winner. It's the attitude of an entitled brat who isn't as smart or as clever as she believes herself to be.

We kick things off, of course, with Amanda crying. She was BLINDSIDED! That never happens in this game! Oh, wait, it happens all the time, usually more than once a season. For some reason, Amanda believed that McCranda would be the first showmance to make it to the end intact, which suggests to me that Amanda is woefully naive, ridiculously optimistic, or thinks bullying really works as a life strategy. 
After Amanda gets over the crying (for a while), she moves on to spewing hate and vengeance. Gina Marie isn't smart enough to come up with her own idea, so she must have been taking orders from Elissa. Gina Marie politely denies this, and then Amanda moves on to her next theory -- that Gina Marie is working with Spencer, Judd and Elissa. Closer, Amanda, but not quite! 
She stomps off to confront Spencer, who lies through his beard. Then, Amanda demands that Spencer, Judd and Andy all tromp up to the HoH room to confront Gina Marie. Because that's ALWAYS good for everyone's game, isn't it? Oddly enough, Amanda ends up going alone.
Amanda proceeds to yell at Gina Marie for being stupid. Elissa sent home Nick and Aaryn, dummy! We were never coming after you! Don't you value my loving attention? Gina Marie makes the perfectly valid point that Aaryn did Amanda's bidding and then was cast aside, and she owes Elissa one. But that makes no sense, Gina Marie! You aren't following orders! I only would have sent you home fifth, maybe!
Finally, Judd and Andy decide to step in so Amanda doesn't actually rip into Gina Marie with her teeth, though I think Gina Marie doesn't need defending. If anyone was going to take down McCranda, Gina Marie is tough enough to take whatever Amanda wants to spit out. 
Amanda isn't done, though. She tells Gina Marie that her devious plot will plant a BIG target on her back! Um, really? From one person, I guess. But no, Amanda assures her that EVERYONE will target her. And if Andy or Spencer win the veto, they'll save McCranda! 
Judd, who has had enough of this crazypants horsecrap, finally asks, "So, you all run the game? Should we all pack our bags?" Amanda yells and Judd walks away and, really, she has no good answer for what is completely obvious -- that she'll be gunning for Judd right after she gets Elissa out of the house. Oh, wait, she's going home, right? RIGHT? 
When no one is appropriately sympathetic or cowed, Amanda goes back to crying. "I don't even want to be in the house anymore!" she whines. Waaaah! I can't be with these people! Oh, please leave! Please? 
"Love you, too," Judd says drily. Oh, well said, Judd. Well said. 
Amanda stomps around. Amanda sulks in the Have Not room, then vomits her angst onto McCrae. "I don't want to be here anymore! I had no idea! How could she not put Elissa up? Is that not insane? Spencer's lying! Don't take him far, he's lying, he's part of this! And so is Judd! She wouldn't put us up unless she had the votes." Amanda isn't wrong, but really, I wish she'd stop spinning.
Still, "Big Brother" is going to try to turn this ridiculous, dysfunctional showmance into friggin' "Romeo and Juliette." McCrae knows it's the end. He's so quietly sad! What he doesn't know is that he's in a messed up relationship with a bully. I don't remember that from Shakespeare, oddly enough. 
But wait! There's more maudlin, teenage love story crap! "What McCrae and I have is completely real. He's a 24-year-old pizza boy from Minnesota. And I love him." Barf. It's okay; she's ready to go. You're not DYING, Amanda. 
Alas, there's a veto competition to suffer through. And before that, Amanda has to put up with Elissa's Joker face walking around the house! Yes, this would be another reason why I don't like Amanda. I am almost entirely positive she was a mean girl in high school, aren't you? She vents all of this to Andy, who feels he needs to tell Amanda whatever she wants to hear. The problem with that, of course, is that Elissa eavesdrops on the conversation. Spencer catches her and walks in on Amanda and Andy's conversation, but Elissa now suspects Andy is playing both sides of the house. Welcome to "Big Brother," Elissa!
Meanwhile, Amanda vacillates between teary and angry, apparently stuck on two of the more annoying steps on the Kubler-Ross scale. America's gonna love that I bleeping tortured Elissa last week, she hoots. Really, Amanda? News to you -- no, we didn't. You lost your cool (to whatever degree you had it), and resorted to playground tactics. That wasn't gameplay. It was just childish and ridiculous. 
Time to pick the players in the veto competition! Gina Marie and McCranda are joined by Elissa, and a houseguest choice, which goes to Amanda … and she chooses Spencer. Andy is so glad he's dodging a bullet yet again! Except not, because he'll be playing, too. 
Judd and Spencer can take off their chicken outfits, by the way. Which is probably a relief for everyone.
Afterward, Amanda tries to reassure Andy that she didn't pick him because she knew he'd have a harder time choosing between her or McCrae to pull off the block. Oh, Amanda. 
It's time for the veto competition! Put on your tutus and head to the backyard! It's Bowlerina, a blend of ballet and bowling. There's spinning and there's bowling, apparently an attempt to make the hamsters vomit if they do it right. Each hamster has to compete against another hamster, so this should be fun. Or miserable. Or both. 
Amanda is up first, and she challenges Elissa. Of course she does!
Elissa looks like a complete idiot in this challenge. Amanda beats her easily. But then, she throws up. Yup, she did it right!
Andy is up next, and he follows Gina Marie's instruction to pick Amanda. And then very obviously throws the match. I can't decide whether Andy is playing the game well or if he's going to go down in flames for trying to make nice with everyone in the house. 
Okay, Gina Marie! She wants to go up against… Amanda. Ha! Gina Marie does a lot of pirouettes, so this should be cake, right? Oh, no. Amanda is going to win this. And yes, Amanda wins. The more she does this, the more practice she gets. Remember how this happened with Rachel, too? Oh, hamsters, if you don't recall history you are doomed to repeat it!
McCrae chooses Spencer, then takes him down. That means the final challenge is… McCrae versus Amanda. Please, oh please, do not let Amanda win another challenge. Although I will say, it's now pretty obvious that her strategy all season was to lose every challenge until she needed to win, which was actually a good game move. 
Poor McCrae feels like he's putting down Old Yeller (his words, not mine), but he wins the game, throws up, and generally looks miserable. Amanda cries. And cries, and cries, and cries.
Amanda may be ready to go home, but that doesn't mean she isn't going to try to control the game even now. She wants Gina Marie to put up Elissa, as she clearly thinks she can manipulate her housemates into sending Elissa home. Funny, but I think the other hamsters do not hate Elissa half as much as Amanda does. 
But Gina Marie doesn't want to put up Elissa, as she did her a solid when she needed it, so she decides to put up… one of her boys. Spencer is scared. What if something crazy happens? I don't blame Spencer for worrying. Pawns always go home! 
Amanda thinks Gina Marie has way too much power for way too small of a mind. She also thinks Gina Marie has a personal vendetta against McCranda because she's jealous. Of McCranda? Really? Again with the mean girl stuff!
Time for the veto meeting. McCrae invites Amanda to explain why he should use the veto on her. She cries. If she had to lose to one person, she's glad that person was McCrae. So she would never ask or expect him to use the veto on her. So, McCrae uses the veto on himself. They look at one another tearfully, as if they're Bonnie and Clyde gunning the getaway car. 
Gina Marie puts up Spencer as a replacement nominee, just as he feared. So, we head into Thursday with Spencer (who just can't seem to get voted off and is the record holder for the most times on the block in a single season -- though that may not last) and Amanda, the real target, in the crosshairs. I would love to think Amanda is going home, but I don't know. Spencer is smart to think everything could change in an instant. It usually does.
Plus, this week is a double eviction episode. Expect whiplash!
Do you think Amanda will get the boot? Do you think alliances will change again? Do you think McCrae was smart to save himself? 
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<p>Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in &quot;Tracks,&quot; a nominee for Best Film at the LFF this year.</p>

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in "Tracks," a nominee for Best Film at the LFF this year.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Tracks,' 'Under the Skin' among nominees for top award at London Film Festival

The UK's biggest film festival revealed its lineup of 234 features today

Ordinarily, if a film festival announced its lineup and I found I'd already seen over 60 of the selections, I'd probably strike it from the to-do list. But it's a testament to the strength and breadth of this year's London Film Festival programme, which was announced this morning, that I'm still excited to dive into it. The LFF remains one of the world's great cherry-picking festivals: only 22 of the 234 features screening over the 12-day fest are world premieres, but it's a comprehensive catch-up of highlights from Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin and Sundance, to name just its biggest suppliers. For any UK readers getting itchy over our Venice, Telluride and upcoming Toronto coverage, this should be your first port of call.

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<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Credit: AP Photo

More proof that Britney Spears' big Sept. 17 announcement is her Las Vegas residency

The countdown clock continues to mark the seconds until the reveal

A few weeks ago we posted about a new countdown clock  on her website that was ticking down the days, minutes, hours and seconds until Britney Spears made some kind of announcement that was sure to shake the earth off its axis.

We speculated that it may be a new single, announcement of a new album, or, finally, confirmation of her long-rumored residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood.

The Las Vegas stint moved to the head of the line today with this little Spears nugget from BreatheHeavy. The fan site devoted to ALL THINGS BRITNEY notes that an email was sent to employees of Planet Hollywood and its parent, Caesars Entertainment, inviting them to “the biggest announcement in Las Vegas Entertainment History” on Sept. 17.   If that bit of hyperbole doesn’t mean Britney’s coming to town, what else could it possibly mean?

The event, believe it or not, runs from 1:30- a.m. -9:30 a.m. Invitees will meet at Planet Hollywood and be shuttled to some secret underground bunker for the announcement. OK, we made up the secret underground bunker part, but apparently, the announcement will take place off site (h/t Idolator).

In the meantime, wouldn’t it be really cool if Sept. 17 were when Spears’ duet with Miley Cyrus surfaced? As a reminder, producer Sean Garrett confirmed the duet with Vibe last week, calling the collaboration for  “Bangerz” “fun, exciting [music].” The only question is will they twerk together in the video?


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Bill Nye on joining 'Dancing with the Stars': 'It will be a personal exploration'

Bill Nye on joining "Dancing with the Stars": "It will be a personal exploration"
"I’ll be fighting decades of bad posture, which may prove my undoing," The Science Guy writes in a blog post. "But of course, I'm a competitive guy; I am in this to win. It will be a personal exploration; whenever we explore we make discoveries (like how to stand up straight at last), and we have an adventure. As unusual as this may seem, I believe we can broaden awareness of the Society and thereby humankind's exploration of the Cosmos one ballroom dance at a time. Here's hoping you'll tune in." PLUS: Jack Osbourne wants to bring attention to MS, there's a "Saved by the Bell" reunion on this season's "Dancing," and Anna Trebunskaya is pregnant and sitting out this season.

Elizabeth Hurley to play The Queen on E!'s "The Royals"
She'll play the devious and conflicted Queen Helena on E!'s drama about a fictional royal family, from the creator of "One Tree Hill."

Jane Lynch honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star

The "Glee" star's ceremony was attended by Ryan Murphy.

Farewell, "Futurama"
Fourteen years after its premiere, the underappreciated Matt Groening and David X. Cohen animated series says goodbye tonight on Comedy Central. PLUS: David X. Cohen looks back, and why "Futurama" was better than "The Simpsons."

"Modern Family" celebrates 100 episodes
Check out the giant 100th-episode cake.

A&E orders a "Nashville" reality show
"Crazy Hearts: Nashville" will follow aspiring country music artists as they strive for stardom in the country music capital.

Teresa Giudice is bringing her attorney to "Real Housewives" reunion taping
The federally indicted Bravo star is limited in what she can say publicly.

W. Kamau Bell returns tonight with a daily "Totally Biased" on FXX
What was his reaction to getting a 130-episode pickup?

FXX debuts in an odd way
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "The League" are on a new night, up against FX's "The Bridge." That's so both comedies won't face tomorrow's NFL game, yet it'll likely confuse viewers who have no idea where FXX is located on their dial.

"The Good Wife" books Jason O'Mara
The Irish actor will play an Irish lawyer who's defended gangsters in Ireland and is now joining Lockhart/Gardner.

Chicago TV station accidentally hangs up on Oprah

"WGN Morning News" was left red-faced when an automated voice cut off the media queen.

NBC orders "Former Fat Girl"
The comedy based on the book "10 Lessons from a Former Fat Girl" is from J.J. Philbin (Regis' daughter) and "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood" honcho Jason Katims.

"The Walking Dead" lifted its no more "The Wire" people policy for Lawrence Gilliard Jr.
Gilliard says producers worried about having too many "Wire" alums, especially with Chad Coleman already on the cast.

Kerry Washington: I'm going to continue not talking about my secret wedding

The "Scandal" star covers next month's Glamour, where she doesn't tell all about her wedding to NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha.

Ex-drug kingpin can relate to "Breaking Bad's" Walter White
Cavario H., who had a crack distribution network in the '80s, says he writers really got Walter's evolution right. PLUS: "Hank" jealous of "Marie" and Michael J. Fox, and watch the "Breaking Bad" rock opera.

Were the James Franco roast's gay jokes actually offensive?
One writer argues that they didn't demean gayness or gay sex.

Watch "Parks and Rec's" Season 5 gag reel
More than 20 minutes of hilarity.

"It's Always Sunny" returns: Promoting Season 9 in Swedish was "really, really hard"
Glenn Howerton says doing a full Swedish episode would be very hard to pull off.

Cinemax will air the UK "Strike Back: Origins" starring Andrew Lincoln

The original "Strike Back" also starred Richard Armitage before changing over its cast.

Why "The League" is the closest thing we have to a new "Seinfeld"
The FXX series returning tonight has a co-creator, Jeff Schaffer, who was a key part of "Seinfeld." PLUS: Seth Rogen helped write a Rafi and Dirty Randy episode.

Report: "Dr. Phil" to address "Bachelor" star Gia Allemand's suicide
Allemand's mom and Jake Pavelka are reportedly appearing on next Tuesday's show.

Why are "Under the Dome" characters so uninteresting?
The CBS series needs to cut back on the dome and invest more in its characters.

Cookie Monster gets tamed by a British actor

Watch the "Sesame Street" star learn an important lesson in waiting.

"The Voice's" Adam Levine launching a Kmart menswear line
Levine's collection will include button-down shirts, cargo jackets and baseball caps.

Simon Cowell films an "X Factor" Israel promo with Bar Rafaeli
Rafaeli is the host of the Israeli version.

What if the "Felicity" theme had subtitles?

"Oooh de oh oh...."

Jeff Probst defends "Survivor" bringing back Redemption Island
"I just like that format," he says.

Anthony Anderson will host NBC's family game show "Wall of Fame"
The trivia show will feature a celebrity wall of fame.

See pics of Mindy Kaling's shorter hairstyle on "The Mindy Project"
Here are some season premiere photos.

"CSI:NY's" AJ Buckley is becoming a dad
He's expecting his first child with his fiancée, an oncology nurse.

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry roars to top of BIllboard Hot 100, toppling Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'

Eninem and Lorde also make Top 10 news

It’s finally ended: “Blurred Lines’” 12-week reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 comes to a stop this week as Katy Perry’s “Roar” ascends to No. 1 following 2 weeks at No. 2. “Roar,” the first single from Oct. 22’s “Prism,” is Perry’s eighth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Robin Thicke’s “Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I. drops to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, while still remaining at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for the 13th week and in the pole position on Billboard’s R&B Songs chart for at 16th week.

Eminem is definitely back as “Berzerk,” the official first single from “MMLP2,” screams onto the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 3, making Eminem’s 15th top 10. The song bows at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rap Songs chart.

Even though Miley Cyrus’s show-stopping VMA performance of “We Can’t Stop,” her hit slips one to No. 3 (the song actually gains in streaming and sales and airplay, but can’t compete with Eminem’s arrival).  Cyrus’s new song, ballad “Wrecking Ball,” could reach the Top 10 next week, as it soars 50-14 this week.

Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake,  rises one to No. 5.

Rounding out the Top 10, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” retreats 4-6, not a great sign, given that she opened the VMA’s with the tune. Streaming on the single falls 29%, although it is still gaining in sales and in airplay.  Avicii’s “ Wake Me Up,” the DJ’s first Top 10 hit, stays at No. 7.

In addition to Eminem, the other newcomer to the top 10 this week is Lorde’s “Royals,” which rises 12-8. The multi-format hit remains atop the Alternative Songs airplay chart for the fourth week and climbs to No. 1 on the Hot Rock Songs chart.

Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” falls 5-9 in its 53rd week on the Hot 100, and Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” falls 9-10.

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<p><span class="tooltip" id="previewtooltip_1912d9d9e01c4f09a1b18563cd0e4419" style="top: -229.8px; left: -15.8px; display: block;">James  Cameron Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n at the TagDF, an event on music, film, gaming and digital  art in Mexico City, in&nbsp;July.<br />

James Cameron Alfonso Cuarón at the TagDF, an event on music, film, gaming and digital art in Mexico City, in July.

Credit: AP Photo

James Cameron on 'Gravity': 'It's the movie I've been hungry to see for an awful long time'

The 'Avatar' director says Alfonso Cuarón's latest is 'the best space film ever done'

By now I imagine the well-worn quotes of glee from James Cameron regarding Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" have made it across your browser, but we might as well point to them, too.

Four years ago Cameron's "Avatar" became the highest grossing film of all time and made a huge impact as an experience, a roller coaster ride of a film. Cynicism has had its way with it since but I still think it's a major accomplishment in filmmaking, just as I do "Gravity."

Cuarón's latest is a full-on ride, as immersive an experience as you could hope for in a movie. It puts you right there with Sandra Bullock, having its way with your equilibrium. So it's high praise when a guy like Cameron calls it "the best space film ever done."

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"Dancing with the Stars" cast

 "Dancing with the Stars" cast

Credit: ABC

Handicapping the new 'Dancing with the Stars' cast

Wanna bet? Find out who we think will get cut first (and last) and why

 "Dancing with the Stars" has announced a new cast for season 17, and it's the usual array of ringers, has-beens, up-and-comers and miscellaneous entertainers. Still, a few of these names might come as a surprise to fans (and others will be altogether new). Here's our thoroughly unscientific guide to who has a shot, why they may not, and how we expect them to perform. 


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W. Kamau Bell

 W. Kamau Bell

Credit: FXX

Interview: 'Totally Biased' W. Kamau Bell talks God, Twitter and rape jokes

The FXX star talks about what he has planned this season

If you missed "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" on FX last season, good news. The show is moving over to FXX for season two (debuts tonight at 11:00 p.m.), and it will no longer be on just once a week -- but nightly. It's a big step for Bell, who has added more writers and tripled his production staff for the supersized gig. But for the guy who made rape jokes a hot button topic when he asked comedian Jim Norton and writer Lindy West to take opposing sides of the issue, coming up with new ideas that make Twitter blow up should be no problem. I talked to Bell during press tour, and here's what he had to say about that pivotal debate, the topic he wants to tackle next, and why he might be just the right guy to do it. 

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<p>Richard Armitage in the original season of &quot;Strike Back.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Richard Armitage in the original season of "Strike Back." 

Credit: Sky

Cinemax to air original UK 'Strike Back' season as 'Strike Back: Origins'

The Richard Armitage/Andrew Lincoln season is finally coming to America

Every time I write about Cinemax's "Strike Back" returning for another season, I always have to include a footnote explaining that the show aired for a year in the UK with an entirely different cast, headed by Richard Armitage and future "The Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln. Armitage's John Porter appears briefly at the start of the Cinemax/Sky co-produced version of the show, but Cinemax has largely treated its episodes as the start of the series, while British audiences know the series predates Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and company.

That situation is about to change, as I'm hearing that Cinemax will be airing the six-episode Armitage season later this fall, on Fridays at 10 after the current Winchester/Stapleton season wraps.

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