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<p>Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl are both outstanding as racing rivals Hunt and Lauda in Ron Howard's new film 'Rush'</p>

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl are both outstanding as racing rivals Hunt and Lauda in Ron Howard's new film 'Rush'

Credit: Universal Studios

Review: Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl both shine in Ron Howard's dynamic racing drama 'Rush'

A true-life sports movie dazzles thanks to the director's energy and a great cast

TORONTO - Ron Howard must be one of the most successful directors to have ever made as many giant films as he has without developing his own signature directorial style, and while one could level that against him as a criticism, I think in some ways, it's the key to his success. He is rarely the star of his movies the way someone like Scorsese is. Instead, Howard seems to reinvent the way he tells a story based entirely on which story he's telling, and in the case of "Rush," that strategy pays off to remarkable effect.

Peter Morgan's script is inelegantly structured, particularly in the first half hour, and at first it feels like they're not sure what story they're telling. Gradually, though, the film settles into a rhythm, and things snap into focus. Once they do, Howard's filmmaking seems to get more and more confident, and by the end of the film, I was shocked to realize just how invested I was in the story of James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), especially considering how little I care about the world of Formula 1 racing.

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Katy Perry

 Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: CulturePop No. 26 - Alec Baldwin, 'Dads,' Katy Perry, 'True Blood'

Melinda suggests a certain someone will one day land in rehab

After a long run of Emmy nominees on the show, Melinda and I decided to, you know, talk to one another. It was a little awkward at first, since we'd kind of forgotten what to do (I'm kidding!), but in the end we managed to plow through some hot topics we're sure you'll appreciate. Also, listen for "The Fox." We planned on talking about it (partly because I can't get the damn thing out of my head), but didn't have time. If you want to to catch the latest really weird, awesomely bad earworm, the video is below. Consider yourselves warned. Here's the rundown! 

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<p>Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks in&nbsp;&quot;Captain&nbsp;Phillips&quot;</p>

Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips"

Credit: Sony Pictures

A newcomer nearly steals 'Captain Phillips' from Best Actor slam dunk Tom Hanks

The story of the movie might just be a surprising supporting performance

Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips" is plainly one of the best films of the year. It's the best work the director has offered to date and it features a detailed, ultimately emotional performance from Tom Hanks that is sure to draw kudos. But the big surprise is that Hanks might not even give the best performance of the film.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson at the &quot;world premiere&quot; of &quot;Under the Skin&quot; in Venice earlier this week.</p>

Scarlett Johansson at the "world premiere" of "Under the Skin" in Venice earlier this week.

Credit: AP Photo

Venice seeks to take action against Telluride's sneak previews

The venerable Euro fest doesn't take kindly to having its world premieres pinched

VENICE - For several years now, the Venice Film Festival has overlapped with not one but two rival North American fests. The "Toronto effect" has been felt since the two festivals started sharing a few days of September calendar space: the exodus of journalists from the Lido in the last couple of days is all too noticeable, though Venice organizers have to accept it, obligingly front-loading their schedule with their highest-profile premieres to as to allow sufficient room for the first wave of buzz and publicity (not to mention reasonable travel time for talent) before the next one at Toronto.

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"True Blood"

 "True Blood"

Credit: HBO

5 reasons why it's time for 'True Blood' to get staked

After seven seasons, it's time for the vampire drama to wrap up

I wish I could say I was surprised to hear that the coming season of "True Blood" will be the show's last, but I can't. I don't think too many fans of the show can, either. After a disappointing sixth season, one that plowed through storylines willy-nilly and made little effort to wrap them up in a way that was either satisfying or logical (do I need to say more than Warlow, people?), it seems that it may really be time to hang it up. But, just in case we find ourselves struggling with Sookie's exit from our lives (or mourning the loss of out weekly dose of Alexander Skarsgård), it may help to remind ourselves why it's time for "True Blood" to get staked.

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'Grey's Anatomy' unveils Season 10 promo

"Grey's Anatomy" unveils Season 10 promo
"The storm isn't over yet."

Hank's "Breaking Bad" partner "Gomie" jokes: "It's hard to be a Mexican on 'Breaking Bad'"

Steven Michael Quezada -- an actor/standup comedian/talk show host/Albuquerque school board member -- says of his character: "Gomez is the verbally abused wife. He takes everything with a grain of salt, though. When Hank has something racially colorful to say, I don't think he says it to anybody else but Gomez, you know what I mean?" PLUS: New Mexico clinic to offer "Breaking Bad" rehab scholarships.

"Big Brother" Aaryn's black prom date comes forward
Mike Miller, who took the racist "Big Brother" star to the prom in 2009, says she's not "prejudiced or hateful."

X-Men won't ever be part of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Rights issues will prevent the show from even using the word "mutant."

Dr. Oz goes undercover -- as a woman

The TV doctor dressed in drag at a shoe store to convince women to choose comfort over fashion.

Jack Osbourne's wife suffers a miscarriage
Osbourne got the news as he's preparing to go on "Dancing with the Stars."

Moscow mayoral candidate's campaign is inspired by "The Wire"
Alexei Navalny, the leading opposition candidate, admits copying many of his ideas from the HBO series. PLUS: Isiah Whitlock Jr. hasn't stopped saying "sheeeeeeeeeit."

"White Collar" recruits Zeljko Ivanek

He'll guest star in one episode.

"The X Factor" gets new sponsors

Pepsi and Chevrolet are out, Honda and Procter are in.

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<p>The gentleman of One Direction as seen at the VMAs</p>

The gentleman of One Direction as seen at the VMAs

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

One Direction's new album, 'Midnight Memories,' comes out Nov. 25

Set includes 'Best Song Ever'

One Direction’s new album, “Midnight Memories,” will be released Nov. 25. The  British boy band spilled the news this morning with a 6-second video that shows band member Harry Styles rearranging pieces of paper with letters on them to spell out “Midnight,” and then you can kind of guess the rest... or another forthcoming video will do that for you, undoubtedly.

“Midnight Memories” follows “Up All Night” and “Take Me Home." Fans can pre-order the album starting Monday, Sept. 9. First single from the album was “Best Song Ever,” which set a Vevo record for the most views in a 24-hour period: 12.3 million.

The news comes while One Direction’s Morgan Spurlock-directed concert film, “One Direction: This Is Us,” continues to do well in theaters. The 3D movie opened in second place in the U.S., grossing $18.4 million in its opening weekend last week.

Next year already looks to be a big year for One Direction, as the five lads will kick off their Where We Are stadium tour in South America. The worldwide tour already includes eight sold out nights in the U.K. and Ireland.

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<p>Artwork for Kanye's Yeezus tour.</p>

Artwork for Kanye's Yeezus tour.

Credit: Island Def Jam Music Group

Kanye West kicks off first solo tour in five years on Oct. 19

Kendrick Lamar will open The Yeezus Tour

Kanye West will kick off his first solo tour in five years Oct. 19 at Seattle’s Key Arena.

The Yeezus Tour, presented by AEG Live, will hit 23 cities before closing Dec. 7 in Houston at the Toyota Center. Kendrick Lamar will be the opening act.

The Yeezus Tour, in support of West’s current album, “Yeezus,” marks West’s first return to the road since the Watch The Throne tour with Jay Z in 2011. His last solo tour was 2008’s “Glow In the Dark” tour.

West released "Yeezus" on June 18, 2013. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with sales of 327,000.

Date   City  Venue    

19 Seattle, WA  KeyArena
20  Vancouver, B.C.  Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
22  San Jose, CA  SAP Center
23  Oakland, CA  Oracle Arena
25  Las Vegas, NV  MGM Grand Garden Arena
26  Los Angeles, CA  Staples Center

1  Salt Lake City, UT  EnergySolutions Arena
3  Denver, CO  Pepsi Center
5  Minneapolis, MN  Target Center
7  Chicago, IL  United Center
10  Detroit, MI  Palace of Auburn Hills
12  Toronto, Ont. Air Canada Centre
14  Montreal, Que. Bell Centre
16  Philadelphia, PA  Wells Fargo Center
17  Boston, MA  TD Garden
19  Brooklyn, NY  Barclays Center
21  Washington, DC  Verizon Center
23  New York, NY  Madison Square Garden
29  Miami, FL  AmericanAirlines Arena
30  Tampa, FL  Tampa Bay Times Forum

1  Atlanta, GA  Philips Arena
6 Dallas, TX  American Airlines Center
7  Houston, TX  Toyota Center



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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: Did Helen or Ken overreact?

It's a four-letter word fest that leaves one designer feeling scared

It's Heidi's sweatshop! Well, not really, but this week we were treated to the challenge we see every season, in which one "lucky" designer gets to hand over their work for Heidi's New Balance active wear collection. What a great prize! It's not money or anything, and the designer's name isn't on the label, but he or she will sleep warm and happy knowing that the design is being worn by lots of people who don't have a clue who made it. Huzzah!

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<p>Daniel Bruhl and Benedict Cumberbatch play real-life WikiLeak cohorts Daniel Berg and Julian Assange in Bill Condon's 'The Fifth Estate'</p>

Daniel Bruhl and Benedict Cumberbatch play real-life WikiLeak cohorts Daniel Berg and Julian Assange in Bill Condon's 'The Fifth Estate'

Credit: Dreamworks

Review: Cumberbatch's Assange anchors muddled 'The Fifth Estate'

Some strong ideas get buried in a film that never quite finds a focus

TORONTO - The strongest, clearest expression of an idea in all of "The Fifth Estate" happens under the opening credits, as we watch the evolution of journalism from Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses to the death of print and the rise of the Internet, and while it's a compelling expression of the idea that how we share important news has changed over time, it also captures one of my issues with the film itself. I don't concur that print is dead and the Internet has replaced it, and I think it will take the perspective of time before we truly digest what is happening right now to news media.

Telling the story of Julian Assange and Wikileaks is premature, I believe. After all, Bradley Manning was just sentenced last month, and Assange is still holed up in an embassy in London, and the full ramifications of everything that leaked by the website are still being digested right now. In time, we'll be able to get a full sense of who Assange is, of what Wikileaks really did, and of the impact of their actions, but at the moment, it all still feels like it is unfolding. Ultimately, it seems that this is not the story of Assange and his website, but rather the story of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, whose book "Inside Wikileaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World's Most Dangerous Website" is one of the two primary source for the movie. This is the story of how a young computer hacker fell under Assange's sway, helped him turn Wikileaks into an international presence, and ultimately ended up disillusioned and frustrated by Assange's agenda.

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother" 

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Will Amanda survive a double eviction?

It's anyone's game with a double eviction episode

It's the 500th episode of "Big Brother," and a double eviction episode. You know, as many times as Spencer has been on the block (a record-breaking seven!), I'm almost rooting for him to win the whole thing, just for kicks. Or at least "Big Brother" should give him a complimentary chair. Really, I'm amazed he's survived this long as a pawn. 

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<p>Benedict Cumberbatch</p>

Benedict Cumberbatch

Credit: AP Photo

BAFTA LA names Benedict Cumberbatch British Artist of the Year

George Clooney, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben KIngsley also receiving honors

The owner of the best name in show business, Benedict Cumberbatch has been a ubiquitous presence this year. Hell, he's a pretty ubiquitous presence simply at the Toronto Film Festival, which opens with his turn as Julian Assange in "The Fifth Estate" tonight. He'll also be at the fest with supporting roles in two very different awards hopefuls: "12 Years a Slave" and "August: Osage County."  

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