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<p>&quot;Why Don't You Play in Hell?&quot;</p>

"Why Don't You Play in Hell?"

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Review: Sion Sono's 'Why Don't You Play in Hell?' offers carnage in the name of cinema

Aspiring midnight movie is suitably manic but lacks real feeling

VENICE -Some films are born midnight movies, some achieve midnight-movie status, and others have midnight-movie status thrust upon them. It’s the third route that is by far the least reliable or enduring: there’s nothing so antithetical to notion of cult cinema as the idea that it can be calculated and declared (or worse still, self-declared) out loud. From its ungainly, eccentric title downwards, Sion Sono’s manic postmodern bloodbath “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?” falls squarely in that category, weird and woolly and sporadically amusing as it may be.

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<p>Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson in &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' producers talk Coulson, Joss & more

How involved will Joss be? How many comic book characters will appear?
No new show this fall comes with more hype than “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” It’s a spin-off of the global blockbuster “The Avengers.” It’s the first big push into TV for the current incarnation of Marvel. And it’s co-created by a fellow named Joss Whedon, whose prior TV shows — “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Firefly” in particular — have made him like unto a god among certain segments of TV fandom.
Joss will not, however, be the primary showrunner on “S.H.I.E.L.D.” When asked back at press tour how involved he’ll be, Whedon candidly said, "As much as an executive producer can while he's also making a movie ("The Avengers: Age of Ultron")." The day-to-day work will fall to other producers, including TV vet (and former “Angel” producer) Jeffrey Bell, Whedon’s brother Jed Whedon and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen, both of whom worked with Joss on “Dollhouse” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”
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<p>Mia Wasikowska in &quot;Tracks.&quot;</p>

Mia Wasikowska in "Tracks."

Credit: See Saw Films

Review: Mia Wasikowska blazes a subdued trail in lovely, earthy 'Tracks'

John Curran's return to Australia kicks off the Competition on a high note

VENICE - Packing films, as one would sardines, into the snug, air-locked space of even the biggest festival always uncovers unforeseen parallels and commonalities, making happy bedfellows of works that otherwise wouldn’t have much to say to each other. With John Curran’s wonderful Australian adventure “Tracks” having just christened the Competition 24 hours after Alfonso Cuaron’s mindboggling space thriller “Gravity” opened the fest, it seems we have this year’s first pair of Lido buddies: two days in, Venice 2013 is the festival of women fighting the elements.

That’s a glib reading, of course, and one that does a disservice to both films’ subtleties, some of them also shared. With the Outback desert a pretty indomitable (not to mention indomitably pretty) presence from the outset, “Tracks” seems a woman-versus-land story only until it emerges that the land is a reflection of the woman herself.

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<p>Paul McCartney</p>

Paul McCartney

Listen: Paul McCartney's jaunty, new track, 'New'

Superstar's next album, 'New,' arrives Oct. 15

Paul McCartney dropped a new tune, “New,” today that, to the joy of Beatles’ fans, sounds delightfully old.

Produced by Mark Ronson, “New” is a sweet pop slice that slides in at under 3 minutes. “All my life, I never knew what I could be, what I could do, then we were new,” McCartney sings on the jangly, jaunty, horn-laden tune that sounds like it could be a “Revolver” outtake. There’s a glorious Beach Boy-like vocalization that fades out at the end that adds to the track's innocent charm.

McCartney’s 16th solo album, also titled “New,” will come out Oct. 15 in the U.S. and will be his first album of all new material in six years. His last set, 2012’s “Kisses On The Bottom,” was composed of standards, with a few new tracks.

In addition to Ronson, McCartney worked with Adele producer Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns, and George Martin’s son, Giles, according to Rolling Stone.  The album will be 12 songs.

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<p>Demi&aacute;n Bichir and Diane Kruger in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'Vendetta'

Sonya identifies a new prime suspect... who just happens to be a dead man

A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I cheer for pants...

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Will Amanda get back doored?

Is Elissa ready to make a big move, or will McCranda rule again?

It's weeks like this one when I wish I had Time Warner cable. Without a way to watch CBS, I would be spared the sheer frustration of "Big Brother" when monsters embed themselves in the house like nasty, vindictive termites. I guess I could be sanguine about episodes like this one, and remind myself that sometimes bad behavior gets rewarded and even crappy people can have good luck. But that doesn't make me want to toss my remote control into traffic any less. 

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Lisa Kudrow joins 'Scandal'

Lisa Kudrow joins "Scandal"
The former "Friends" star will recur next season, but details of her character are being kept under wraps.

Judge search could delay "Idol's" production

Harry Connick Jr. is the likely choice for the 3rd job, but The Hollywood Reporter said Fox doesn't really want him. Meanwhile, Dr. Luke is begging Sony to let him judge, even offering half of his $12 million proposed salary.

Kris Jenner's show: Not canceled?

Us Weekly, citing a source, claims Fox likes her talk show.

Kyle Chandler would rather not do a "Friday Nights Lights" movie

"I like the ending of the show as much as I like the whole thing in the sense that it was just done so classy, it was just done so well," he says.

Bill Hader would be interested in a Stefon sitcom
"A Stefon sitcom would actually be pretty great," the "SNL" said after Larry King suggested it.

Here's your 1st look at Ziva's "NCIS" goodbye
Is it a happy ending?

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Richard Nixon and Miley Cyrus

 Richard Nixon and Miley Cyrus

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: CulturePop No. 25 - Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Laura Michalchyshyn

We talk with another Emmy nominee, then dish on the VMAs

This may be the longest, most jam-packed edition of CulturePop yet, and Melinda and I would like to think there's a little something for everyone here. First up, we talk to Laura Michalchyshyn, Robert Redford's producing partner and an Emmy nominee for their project, "All the President's Men Revisited," a documentary exploring the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon  We talked about Watergate, Ben Stein's on-camera tears and why all need to be good citizens. Then, we switched gears and Melinda and I talked about pop culture. As much as we've loved talking to Emmy nominees this month, we simply couldn't ignore Miley Cyrus, could we? Thus, we give you our very first supersized CulturePop! Here's the rundown:

1:30 Laura Michalchyshyn talks to us about the focus of the documentary and how it came together

4:15 We discuss what the recent release of more Watergate tapes meant to the doc.

5:55 Laura tells us about talking to the players in the Watergate scandal.

7:00 Laura explains how the doc is a celebration of long form journalism.

7:45 We talk about Robert Redford's influence.

8:40 Have we learned from Watergate? Does what's happening today with Wikileaks mean we're repeating history?

9:00 Laura reveals who declined the invitation to be interviewed (not a shocker).

12:05 Laura shares a Nixon Library anecdote.

12:55 We discuss the moment when Ben Stein breaks down crying in the documentary.

14:15 Extra credit materials on!

15:55 We talk about Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden through the lens of Watergate. 

19:00 Have things changed since Watergate? Yes and no. 

22:00 Being a good citizen -- and why we need to be.

25:10 Watergate as the greatest detective story ever

29:00 The Big 4 meeting -- and how it became a part of the film.

31:00 Her next project (which you may have already seen). 

34:05 After signing off with Laura, we get down to business. Time to talk about Miley Cyrus!

35:20 I know, foam finger was in the original video, but still gross. 

39:00 Is Lady Gaga over? No, but we agree she made a misstep. 

42:30 We discuss "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and why Teresa and Joe's problems may be too much.

47:15 Melinda brings up Paula Deen, and I think neither of us really cares if she comes back to TV or not. 

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Paul Giamatti signs on to play a detective in FX pilot 'Hoke'

Paul Giamatti signs on to play a detective in FX pilot "Hoke"

The comedic drama will have Giamatti playing a "hardboiled and possibly insane" homicide detective in 1985 Miami. It is based on Charles Willeford’s series of novels.

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Harry Connick Jr. on 'Idol's' shortlist

Harry Connick Jr. on "Idol's" shortlist
Could the crooner and "American Idol" veteran take the 3rd judging spot?

Kris Jenner's talk show: Canceled?
Kim Kardashian's mom's six-week talk show tryout won't result in a pickup, according to Radar Online.

"HIMYM's" The Mother never watched the show before auditioning
Cristin Milioti recalls her secretive audition process and says of her character: "She has a unique sense of humor that is very similar to Ted’s. She’s a young woman who suffers from dad humor…that's how she rolls."

Fox tonight will air 9 different promos for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
"MasterChef" will be jam-packed with Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher.

"Nashville" and "Treme" alum joins "Game of Thrones"

Dutch actor Michiel Huisman has been cast in a secretive role.

OWN orders "Crazy.Sexy.Life," a reality show about 4 black women living in Harlem

Is this the reality version of "Girlfriends"?

Ashley Olsen shows up to John Stamos' "Full House" reunion

Stamos celebrated his 50th birthday with the "Full House" cast -- and an Olsen twin showed up, something that never happens.

Watch clips from the James Franco roast

Here are previews of Sarah Silverman and Nick Kroll's sets. PLUS: The 15 best Comedy Central roast sets ever.

Keith Olbermann's ESPN2 debut attracts 319,000

That's better than the 239,000 who tuned in to the timeslot last year.

John Noble coming back to "The Good Wife"
The "Fringe" alum will reprise his character who was murdered last season. PLUS: Julianna Margulies settles lawsuit with her ex-manager.

"The Vampire Diaries" gets a biology prof
Rick Cosnett's role will pit him against Caroline and Elena.

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<p>Robin Thicke and friends at the VMAs.</p>

Robin Thicke and friends at the VMAs.

Credit: AP Photo

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' tops Billboard Hot 100 for 12th week

Which two acts score their first Top 10 hits this week?

Of the 35 weeks so far in 2013, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has been the No. 1 song on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for more than one/third of them.

This week, Thicke’s streak continues as “Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I., spends its 12th week at No. 1, holding off Katy Perry’s “Roar” for at least one more frame. It is only the 14th song to have that long a stint at No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 55-year history.

For the first time during its reign, “Blurred Lines” shows a slight dip in radio listenership, so that may be a sign that the song is losing its stranglehold.  Perry’s “Roar” drops in digital sales after its amazing 550,000 tally last week, but gains in airplay and streaming to stay at No. 2.

Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” remains at No. 3, but she could definitely see a bump after her attention-getting performance at Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV.

Lady Gaga, who opened the VMAs, could also see another rise next week. Regardless, the song continues its upward trajectory this week, as it climbs 6-4, propelled largely by streaming of the video.

All hail Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” as it falls 4-5, but celebrates its 52nd week on the Billboard Hot 100. It is only the second song, following Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” to spend a full year on the Hot 100, according to Billboard.

Rounding out the top 10, Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake falls 5-6, Avicii lands his first top 10 as “Wake Me Up”  soars 11-7. Capitol Cities’ “Safe And Sound” ticks up two to No. 8, while Lana Del Rey also sees her first Top 10 hit with “Summertime Sadness,” featuring Cedric Gervais, as it rises 15-9. Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” drops 7-10.

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<p>Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in &quot;Ender's Game&quot;</p>

Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in "Ender's Game"

Credit: Summit

Set Visit: 'Ender's Game' with Asa Butterfield walks the line of high-tech fun and violence

Why Ender Wiggin doesn't get a girlfriend

Even for a film that stars mostly children, “Ender’s Game” has some different conceptions on what qualifies as “fun.” 

In a lofty, enormous warehouse space in New Orleans, there are plots of sets daisy-chained together in overwhelming greys and blacks and muted lights, literally littered with pieces from a “NASA junkyard.” Childrens’ school desks are outfitted with what could be described as 20th generation iPads, seats squatting close to the ground like a 2nd grade classroom. Lockers and bunks are uniformly monochrome, with few personal effects poking out from the grates. These are also small, the doorframes like those for a Hobbit. The proximity of small set to small set make each space as claustrophobic as the next. Also, these are all to live in outer space, mind you: in the future, in space, the floors have an otherworldy curvature.
It’s a coldly military setup for a soldier academy, where Ender Wiggin, his alleys and enemies will learn to battle the enemy – Formics, aka Buggers, who have engaged with Earth in galactic wars before, each side having won an era. The humans are gearing up for their next war, and are using actual children – starting when they’re 6 years old – as their army and commanders, to think outside of the box in battle so that this conflict will be their last. Winner-take all in a species-on-species contest, with pre-adolescents leading the way.
Fun, right?
“There’s a device… a bone saw, it’s an actual, a real prototype from a university, it’s just a really crazy thing that they use to perform surgery...”
“I’d take the flashgun. That just sounds super gnarly! That’d be way better than paintballing or something…”
“It’s like a flight simulator where it’s all the switches, it’s a joystick and a screen, and they said it’s the closest you can get to an actual fighter plane…"
“The wires… look super fun, but taking the whole ‘I have to do multiple things at the same time,’ having to be in zero gravity, and if I’m in pain I have to look like I’m not in pain…”
Aramis Knight, Nonso Anozie, Suraj Partha and, of course, our Ender (Asa Butterfield) are talking about the props and weaponry in Battle School. As part of their characters’ education, they’re thrust into a zero gravity chamber called the Battle Room with practice guns that can paralyze the members of their various teams. In these scenes in Orson Scott Card’s book, it’s also the breeding ground for serious beefs between students, the wick before a bang.
“It’s sort of like ‘Lord of the Flies’ in space, “ says “Ender’s Game” director Gavin Hood matter-of-factly.
For him and producers like Bob Orci, Linda McDonough and Lynn Hendee, this movie has arrive after 15 years of getting the option, the making-of a beloved sci-fi adaptation with very mature themes and every opportunity to screw it up. For those 15 years, studios have proposed making a very different film than the book: Ender has a love interest, Ender flies actual fighter planes, the ant-like Buggers are presented as “clearly evil” and humans are always good. There are scenes of violence and psychological abuse in “Ender's Game” that would rival some rated R films (thought this will be a PG-13).
“I was in the military, I was drafted when I was 17 years old, and it had a profound affect on me, and when I read Ender’s Game [there was the] feeling that you were very much a number in an organization with strong authority figures that you were not supposed to question, and yet feeling that you wanted to rebel against it,” Hood said.
Some of these authority figures will come from the gruff forms of Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff, Viola Davis as Major Anderson and Ben Kingsley as the mysterious war hero Mazer Rackham. Their physical challenges are few compared to the children’s cast – which also includes “True Grit” star Hailee Steinfeld as Petra – who in addition to going to NASA space camp, they learned judo, akido, sparring, wire work, took military training and learned cadences, were “punished” with pushups and sit-ups. But, hey, they also get to fly down a zip line.
“So often, there are many films and they’re fantastic and they’re fun and they’re wonderful, but it’s like ‘That was great, do you want to get pizza?’ As opposed to a story like ‘Ender’s Game,‘ where kids really talk about it, [questions like] ‘Is that right?,’ ‘Is he too violent?’ and these are important conversations for young people to engage in, in an exciting way,” Hood said. “And if you can deliver that kind of debate and conversation in an exciting, visually powerful way, then I think you’re getting a little more than just spectacle. If we can combine spectacle with a good old-fashioned argument afterwards, then that’s kind of fun.”
That word again.
That’s one you could use for Asa Butterfield’s breakout, in “Hugo,” in which he builds a fantastical, cinematic plot around Ben Kingsley’s Georges Méliès. The two will have another master-and-protégé relationship in “Ender’s Game,” though each disposition will be far from the meek, gentle characters from Scorsese’s 2011 3-D film.
Butterfield’s delicate features are situated in such a way on his crystalline skin that his age is hard to pin down. He’s like anime. Ender’s journey in the book begins around age 6; Butterfield’s going to be playing a solder roughly twice that age and then some, with his tenure taking place over an unspecified time. The Brit learned an American accent for the part, though at time he’ll be a “man” of few words.
“Ender is pretty up there in terms of ideal characters for any 14-, 15 year-old boy. Of course it would still be pretty cool to be James Bond, but this is definitely up there,” Butterfield said on set. He had just finished explaining the tight flash suits, and his training regimen. Perhaps a “Bond” role wouldn’t be so unimaginable. “I wanted to appeal to the massive cult that already follows ‘Ender's Game.”
The cult of “Ender” has developed, in part, because of the realistic scenes depicting empirialism, bullying and fear, being the smallest kid in a group of young boys who want to be grown men, physically and metaphorically. There are scenes of violence that Butterfield’s Ender endures that would easily break your average child.
In terms of adults getting kids to do their violence for them, McDonough saw some similarities to the “Hunger Games” franchise.

“It was exciting for us just in terms of seeing [‘Hunger Games’] marketed so successfully and widely when it deals with issues of violence and younger people because that, historically, has been one of the big challenges, [one of the] reasons why this film hasn't gotten made,” she said. “It's not a family film in the way that an animated DreamWorks movie is. And if we tried to do that, which some people would argue has better box office presence, I think we would betray, fundamentally, the themes of the movie.”
Butterfield’s physical elegance and intelligence will be further revealed in the Mind Games, the virtual reality game the children play in order to learn problem solving skills. Those motion-captured scenes promise some of the most brilliant, more colorful and adventurous visual imagery of the movie, but is also an expression of the more disturbing scenery. Ender plays his Mind Game in from of classmate Alai, and executes an assault in the game so graphic, his comrade is practically forced to ask, “Why did you do that??”
“In the movie, that’s a pretty visceral experience… given that this is PG-13. It’s that moment when that awkwardness from that little act tells you volumes in an unspoken way: [Ender] says ‘That’s what they want from us here. Choose violence, you win. I’m just like my brother Peter,’” Hood explained.
“You probably experience [violence] even more [from] watching the actor, the emotional anguish that he has over those moments of regret and pain and struggling with those two sides of his nature represented by Peter and [his sister] Valentine… violence with a compassion and always torn by which choice he's going to make,” McDonough said.
“In the book, when you read, it's one thing. But when you audition the kids and you hear those little tiny kid voices, it affects how you look at the whole film, the credibility,” Hendee said. “It’s kind of funny.”
"Ender's Game" is in theaters on Nov. 1.
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