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<p>I dunno... this all seems really dark for a Hanz &amp;&nbsp;Frank reboot.</p>

I dunno... this all seems really dark for a Hanz & Frank reboot.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Uneven 'Pain & Gain' gives Dwayne Johnson a career-best role

Funny and rude and out of control, is this an evolution of the 'Michael Bay' movie?

Michael Bay is one of the few overtly, blatantly, unapologetically amoral filmmakers working in mainstream Hollywood.

I think a lot of what passes as moral material in mainstream cinema is phony, grafted on without sincerity. When someone learns something about themselves in a movie, more often than not, it's complete bullshit. I have always preferred films that challenge me to have my own reaction to something, that trust me to navigate my own way through a work. I don't mind the big broad strokes of filmmakers working in archetype. I'm all for great bad guys and perfect good guys, as long as it's done well, but I'm equally okay with just watching sociopathic dummies screw up terrible plans.

Good thing, too, because "Pain and Gain" fits that bill exactly. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely deserve credit for writing what feels like a tailor-made Michael Bay movie. Mark Wahlberg stars as Daniel Lugo, a guy who is the perfect customer for the self-help market. He wants to be a success. He wants to be famous. He wants to be a big man in his community. He wants every bit of the American Dream, and he doesn't want to work for it. He expects it. He believes he has a right to it.

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<p>Thor does not look like he's got it easy in 'Thor:&nbsp;The Dark&nbsp;World,' which arrives in theaters this November.</p>

Thor does not look like he's got it easy in 'Thor: The Dark World,' which arrives in theaters this November.

Credit: Marvel Studios

First trailer for 'Thor: The Dark World' promises a return to Asgard and beyond

Old foes, new faces, and the possibility of a broken heart all play into the sequel

Phase Two is in full swing.

While I can't say what I thought of it, I did see "Iron Man 3" over the weekend, and I conducted interviews with the cast of the film and with producer Kevin Fiege and director Shane Black. Now that we've seen three stand-alone adventures for Iron Man, it's about time for the first sequels to the other films that helped introduce the Avengers start to roll in, and it should surprise absolutely no one that the trailer for "Thor: The Dark World" will be on the front of "Iron Man 3" when it arrives in theaters.

Thankfully, it's online now, and it gives us our first taste of what to expect as Alan Taylor ("Game Of Thrones") takes over as director. Chris Hemsworth is back, as are Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Stevenson, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Jaimie Alexander, and Idris Elba. Zachary Levi steps in for the departing Josh Dallas as Fandral, and there's a new bad guy in the form of Christopher Eccleston as Malekith.

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<p>Monday's &quot;The Following&quot;</p>

Monday's "The Following"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The Following' - 'The End Is Near'

In its penultimate episode, 'The Follow' ups the body count
Readers, I have a confession to make. I have been wrong about "The Following" this whole time. Completely wrong. Absolutely wrong. A critic's worst nightmare, the totally inaccurate judgment call. Up until now, I've assumed that when an episode has more content, it means that it's better -- the fast pace tends to elide "The Following"'s major dialogue issues, and the bloody, violent action, as reprehensible as it is, moves the warmed-over, half-dead plot a few staggering steps forward.
 
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"What Would Ryan Lochte Do?"

 "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?"

Credit: E!

'What Would Ryan Lochte Do?' Good question, but don't ask him

The swimmer tries to play the nice guy but even he's not convinced

I was going to review the new E! series "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" last night. But then I thought, well, what would Ryan Lochte do?

With that in mind, I decided to wait until right now. Ryan Lochte, after all, doesn't have to show up to any party on time. Equipped with his own roving Lochterage (the members of whom, apparently, live in their own Lochtenation -- I am not making this stuff up), it seems that the Olympic swimmer might show up fashionably late to everything except a swim meet. 

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<p>Simon Pegg, Craig Robinson, and Sandra Bullock are all part of this week's countdown of the most anticipated movies for Summer 2013</p>

Simon Pegg, Craig Robinson, and Sandra Bullock are all part of this week's countdown of the most anticipated movies for Summer 2013

Credit: Focus Features/Sony Pictures/20th Century Fox

Summer 2013 Most Anticipated #15-11: 'The World's End,' 'This Is The End,' 'The Heat'

Is 'Frances Ha' a black and white version of 'Girls'?

So far, we've had a very healthy mix of movies in the countdown of the 25 most anticipated movies for the Summer of 2013, and there's been some controversy about the ranking of some of these choices.

The thing to remember here is that we've voted on this as a group, and the results surprised us as much as they seem to be surprising you. I never would have expected that the follow-up to "The Avengers" would rank so low, but I think I understand why. Anticipation is based at least in part on the desire to be surprised, to have something new happen. And while sequels are part of the fun of summer, there's also a hope that most movie fans harbor that something new is going to sneak up on them as well.

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<p>Janelle Monae performs at Coachella.</p>

Janelle Monae performs at Coachella.

Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP

Listen: Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu have something to say on 'Q.U.E.E.N'

And you're going to hear them out

Janelle Monae, who’s coming off two very successful performances at Coachalla,  has had it with any of your preconceived notions about her, whether it’s because she’s a woman or because she’s black or which god she does or doesn’t believe in, or for any other reason you want to throw at her. Save your time.

There’s a confidence, swagger and attitude on her new single, "Q.U.E.E.N." that Monae has previously kept hidden, or maybe all her success from the past few years has brought a new boldness, either way, it’s ferocious.

[More after the jump...]

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"The Voice"

 "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

NBC Summer Press Day: Blake Shelton, Adam Levine talk smack, 'The Voice'

Shakira and Usher join the joking around, too

When Shakira, Adam Levine, Usher and Blake Sheldon get together in a room, it doesn't seem to matter if there's a video camera rolling. The group, joined by executive producer Mark Burnett, host Carson Daly and "social media correspondent" Christina Milian, quickly settled into a grove of ribbing one another. When asked about scripted versus unscripted content, Burnett shrugged, "It just matters that it's good," which inspired Daly to start the joking around.

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<p>Halle Berry seems pleased to be suited up once again as Storm for Bryan Singer's 'Days Of Future Past'</p>

Halle Berry seems pleased to be suited up once again as Storm for Bryan Singer's 'Days Of Future Past'

Credit: Bryan Singer

Bryan Singer reveals Halle Berry's new look as Storm for 'Days Of Future Past'

Yep... that's pretty much what we'd expect

One thing seems very clear at this point: Bryan Singer is excited to be back in the world of the X-Men.

Little by little, Singer's been using social media to release sneak peeks behind the scenes as he's been preparing to begin production on "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," the latest chapter in an increasingly odd franchise that features plenty of digressions and a semi-reboot right in the middle of things. When Singer left the series, it was a difficult professional moment for him, and it also left Fox in the lurch unexpectedly. When it happened, I would have bet that there was no chance Singer would ever return to the series.

What makes this return especially exciting is how it looks like he's enjoying himself so much. I feel like Singer has been struggling to define himself more often than not over the course of his career. He made such a huge splash with "The Usual Suspects," and his first "X-Men" may have helped kick off the current new wave of superhero cinema, but he has still managed to evade any particular directorial voice, and it's actually somewhat frustrating. I don't think every filmmaker has to have a particular unique voice, but Singer is a guy who seems to want to be thought of as an auteur of sorts, and it doesn't feel like he's ever really figured out what it is that matters to him about the films he makes.

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"America's Got Talent"

 "America's Got Talent"

Credit: NBC

NBC Summer Press Day: Stern, Klum, Mel B joke about 'America's Got Talent'

Heidi Klum takes center stage, but Howard Stern grabs focus

Though many of the panels at the NBC Summer Press Day have been sedate to the point of sleepy (with the exception of an annoying squeaking chicken for the Sprout kids' network), things became much more lively when the judges of "America's Got Talent" took the stage. When the initial questions were aimed at new judge Heidi Klum, returning judge Howard Stern had no problem making his opinion about that known.

When Klum explained how she was juggling "AGT" with her existing schedule, Stern said, "You're gonna judge, but you're gonna be neglecting your children." When Klum countered that wouldn't be the case, he kept gleefully hammering away. "You're gonna bring the kids while we're doing the show? All, like, ten of them? That's gonna be fun."

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<p>Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara in &quot;Ain't Them Bodies Saints.&quot;</p>

Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara in "Ain't Them Bodies Saints."

Credit: IFC Films

Cannes Critics' Week lineup includes Sundance hit 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

'Tabu' director Miguel Gomes to preside over the feature film jury

The slate for next month's Cannes Film Festival is just about complete: the Official Selection was announced on Thursday, Ari Folman's "The Congress" was announced as the opening film for the Directors' Fortnight section on Friday, and the rest of the fortnight lineup will be revealed tomorrow. Today, meanwhile, came the announcement of the films selected for the Critics' Week sidebar -- a parallel independent strand focusing on new filmmakers.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 178

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 178

Dan and Alan talk 'Rectify,' Amazon pilots and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
It's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
With only one new show premiering this week -- Sundance's exceptional "Rectify" -- this was going to be a short podcast. But then we watched four of the Amazon.com comedy pilots and suddenly it became a long podcast, albeit not as long as last week's. 
 
Funny how that happens.
 
Today's breakdown:
"Rectify" (00:00:50 - 00:14:55)
Amazon pilots including "Zombieland," "Onion News Empire," "Browsers" and "Alpha House" (00:15:00 - 00:43:15)
Listener Mail: Changing episodic structure (00:43:35 - 00:51:05)
Listener Mail: Successful summer dumps (00:51:45 - 00:57:00)
"Suburgatory" finale (00:57:00 - 01:12:35)
"Mad Men" (01:12:40 - 01:36:10)
 

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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Listen: Lana Del Rey's 'Young and Beautiful' from 'The Great Gatsby' in full

Listen: Lana Del Rey's 'Young and Beautiful' from 'The Great Gatsby' in full

Aching track

While some of the music we’ve heard for “The Great Gatsby” sounds like way too much of a stretch, even by Baz Luhrmann’s admittedly broad, genre-busting/time-busting standards, Lana Del Rey’s aching “Young and Beautiful” fits in perfectly.

[More after the jump...]

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