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<p>Michael Shannon is so good at playing intense that I almost don't trust him when he smiles.</p>

Michael Shannon is so good at playing intense that I almost don't trust him when he smiles.

Credit: HitFix

Michael Shannon talks about finding something sympathetic in General Zod for 'Man of Steel'

One of our best character guys discusses his side trip into super powers

I'm not sure what I expected from Michael Shannon's take on General Zod, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't what I got.

That should not come as a shock, though. Michael Shannon has been slowly but surely cementing his reputation as an actor capable of surprising in any role, and the more work of his I see, the more convinced I am that he's one of the great character guys in film at the moment. Anyone who can play the tortured father from "Take Shelter," the shithouse-crazy ex-solder in "Bug," the hilariously irritated cop in "Premium Rush," and General Freakin' Zod, and do so without covering the same emotional ground twice, is a guy worth playing close attention to, whatever he's doing.

The great "Man Of Steel" debate appears to have kicked in, and I'm dumbfounded by some of the reviews I'm reading. I'm on the record as being a pretty passionate fan of the movie now, and I saw it again last night right around the time that review went live, and still feel just as strongly. I disagree with a lot of what I've read, and it's not even about the "like or dislike" of it, but more with the interpretation of what happens in the movie.

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<p>Michael Mann speaks at the hands and footprint ceremony for &quot;The&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Knight Rises&quot; director (and now Legendary&nbsp;Pictures stablemate)&nbsp;Christopher Nolan in 2012.</p>

Michael Mann speaks at the hands and footprint ceremony for "The Dark Knight Rises" director (and now Legendary Pictures stablemate) Christopher Nolan in 2012.

Credit: AP Photo

Production begins on Michael Mann's cyber thriller

The film is scheduled for a 2014 release

I hate that this project doesn't have a title yet so I can give it a proper headline, but anyway, Legendary Pictures announced start of production today on Michael Mann's untitled latest feature. The director hasn't gone back to the feature film well since 2009's "Public Enemies," which was widely dismissed, but I was a fan. There was a detour into television (and some nasty brawls with David Milch, as I hear it) with HBO's short-lived "Luck," but he's getting back on the horse with a Morgan Davis Foehl-scripted cyber-theft thriller starring Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis.

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<p>&quot;This is the End&quot;</p>

"This is the End"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'This is the End'

Seth Rogen and friends face the apocalypse today

Oh yeah, "This is the End" hits theaters today. Well, sneak previews in advance of tomorrow's official release. YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY GO SEE IT. Seriously, I laughed so hard in this movie that my face hurt. But lest you think it's brainless humor, the film is actually very smart about how it pitches its theme, while at the same time sending up Hollywood image and culture. There have been few times this year that I've had this good a time watching a movie. Here's Drew McWeeny's review. So with that endorsement, I'll be waiting here to hear back from you on what you thought. If you're way ahead of me, rifle off your take in the comments section and vote in our poll. The rest of you: GO!

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<p>I could try explaining what's happening in this scene, but it all basically boils down to 'college life' in 'Monsters University'</p>

I could try explaining what's happening in this scene, but it all basically boils down to 'college life' in 'Monsters University'

Credit: Pixar

Review: Pixar delivers a largely familiar 'Monsters University' with a few new twists

Is 'pretty good' what people want from Pixar?

Perhaps we're entering an age of lowered expectations when it comes to Pixar, and perhaps that's not a bad thing.

Pixar deserved the reputation they built for themselves as a storytelling titan during their initial run of titles, and one could make a case that everything through "Toy Story 3" was part of a cycle that is now concluded. The decision to start playing the sequel game on a regular basis, no matter how story-driven, has created a shift in the way they are being treated, and it's hard to deny that it feels like a bit of a disappointment.

I am weary of prequels. I think they are narrative dead ends in the first place, and I don't understand the appeal. When they announced that the follow-up to the sweet and smart "Monsters Inc." was going to be a prequel, I thought it sounded really dreadful. And, honestly, I've barely looked at the marketing materials at this point. Why bother? Pixar movies are as pre-sold to the family audience as anything can be, and I know for a fact that whatever they release, we'll end up seeing.

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John Oliver's 'Daily Show' debut ratings matches Jon Stewart


John Oliver's "Daily Show" debut ratings matches Jon Stewart
About 1.5 million tuned in for Oliver's debut.


Lauren Graham's debut novel is set to become a TV series, produced by Ellen

The "Parenthood" star has closed a deal with Warner Bros. TV and Ellen DeGeneres to transform her New York Times bestseller "Someday, Someday, Maybe" into a TV drama.


Alfonso Ribeiro named host of "Spell-Mageddon"

The former "Fresh Prince" star has landed on ABC Family as host of its spelling bee game show.


Nigel Lythgoe: Maybe "Idol" should bring back Simon, Paula, Randy
"That little team, Randy, Paula and Simon, again are the template for judges forever now," he says. PLUS: Lythgoe blames ratings woes on no longer appealing to families.


Ed Burns joins TNT's "Lost Angels" as Bugsy Siegel; Robert Knepper promoted
Burns will play the legendary mobster on Frank Darabont's TNT drama, while Knepper has been promoted to as series regular.


"Big Bang's" Kunal Nayyar is headed to "Sullivan & Son"
He'll guest as a ladies man on the TBS comedy.


How reaction to "Game of Thrones" deaths compare to other TV show deaths
Turns out there was more outrage over the "Game of Thrones" deaths then deaths on "Mad Men," "Downton Abbey," "Breaking Bad" and "Dexter."


Why did a defense contractor sponsor a "Sesame Street" video on incarceration?

A new web feature went up on the show's website explaining, "What is incarceration?"


Jimmy Fallon films an ad promoting Kings of Leon's new album

Kings of Leon got Fallon to hawk the new album from the "Late Night" set, in a video posted on the band's YouTube page.


"Downton Abbey" creator responds to "Downton Diddy"

"He did his own version and put himself into it," says Julian Fellowes. "I thought that was very enterprising." PLUS: Drag queens spoof "Downton Abbey."


Katee Sackoff loses many Twitter followers over gun safety tweet
After seeing a news report about a 4-year-old shooting and killing his father, the "Longmire" star tweeted: "Please practice gun safety. This is horrible!"


Is Daenerys Targaryen a white savior on "Game of Thrones"?
The season finale raises an uncomfortable question about race. PLUS: Answering burning "GoT" questions.


Chart shows how the phrase "Spoiler Alert" has grown
"Spoiler Alert" never appeared in the NY Times before 2000.


Hank Azaria reads the L.A. Dodgers' starting lineup in his "Simpsons" voices

Watch Apu, Moe and Chief Wiggum present the starting lineup.


Don't compare the NSA's surveillance program to "The Wire"
Why David Simon was wrong to compare his show to what's been going on in the NSA.


Why is History channel embracing conspiracy theories?
From JFK to Nostradamus to UFOs, the former "Hitler Channel" now cares about obsessing over conspiracies.


Shohreh Aghdashloo writes memoir detailing her "24" clashes with Kiefer Sutherland
The Iranian-born actress, who played a terrorist in Season 4, says: "I'm afraid working with him proved to be hard. That young man was pretty angry. At the end of the day, I thought he was angry with himself."


"The Voice" finale will feature Bruno Mars, Nelly, Christina Aguilera
Florida Georgia Line will also perform on next week's finale.


Jeff Probst releases a 2nd children's book

The "Survivor"-inspired "Trial by Fire: Stranded, Book Two" is now available. PLUS: Probst offers 4 tips for success.


Lifetime's "Supermarket Superstar" starring Stacy Keibler debuts July 22

The reality show will pit contestants against each other in pitching their food ideas in hopes of getting their ideas on supermarket shelves.


Judy Blume likes "Girls": "It's crazy, it's sometimes funny, it's sometimes sad"
"The first season was more real, I think," says the author of books for children and teens. "And the second season was a little bit more out there."


"My So-Called Life" cast reunites, sans Claire Danes
Creator Winnie Holzman was joined at the ATX Television Festival by Wilson Cruz, Devon Gummersall and Devon Odessa.


Go record shopping with Fred Armisen

The "Portlandia" star took part in Amoeba Records' "What's in My Bag?"


Shirley Jones will play William Shatner's mom
The "Partridge Family" matriarch has signed on for the live "Hot in Cleveland" episode.


"Pretty Little Liars" returns for Season 3

The cast and creator talk about what's possibly in the trunk.


Brazilian artist recreates the "Friends" apartment with paper
See Bruna Salvador Conforto's accurate recreation of the NYC apartment.


See pics from Kristin Cavallari's wedding
"The Hills" alum married Chicago Bear Jay Cutler on Saturday.


Cartoon Network renews "Teen Titans Go!"

The animated series will be back for Season 2.


"Sam & Cat" gets big ratings for Nick

The spinoff of "iCarly" and "Victorious" was watched by 4.2 million, the best live-action launch on Nickelodeon in three years.


ABC Family's "Twisted" feels too much like "Pretty Little Liars"
There's not much original in the new series, premiering tonight.

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Mumford & Sons, Elvis Costello cover Bruce Springsteen's 'Ghost of Tom Joad'

Mumford & Sons, Elvis Costello cover Bruce Springsteen's 'Ghost of Tom Joad'

Watch: Ed Sheeran and Matisyahu also part of Bono's Agit8 anti-poverty campaign

Mumford & Sons and Elvis Costello turn in a stripped-down version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Ghost Of Tom Joad,” complete with banjo and accordion as part of Agit8, a initiative launched by U2’s Bono meant to pressure governments into taking action against poverty at the upcoming G8 Summit in Northern Ireland.

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>Goo Goo Dolls - 'Magnetic'</p>

Goo Goo Dolls - 'Magnetic'

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Goo Goo Dolls' 'Magnetic'

Will the trio's hit streak continue?

The Goo Goo Dolls’ lead singer and songwriter Johnny Rzeznik has always been a hopeless romantic with a bit of a Byronic twist.

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>Cheer up, Big Willie.</p>

Cheer up, Big Willie.

Credit: Sony Pictures

International box office for 'After Earth' proves there's life after America

Shyamalan's latest tops the charts in UK and multiple other territories

When "After Earth" crashed and burned at the US box office last week -- the latest in a long line of commercial misfires for director M Night Shyamalan, though a comparatively rare one for star Will Smith -- many column inches were spent dissecting, explaining and, in some cases, frankly revelling in its failure. After it dropped a calamitous 61% in its second weekend Stateside, tumbling to seventh place and inching to a total gross of just $46 million, casual box office surveyors eagerly prepared to read the film's last rites.

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<p>You know what 'Star Wars Episode VII' is about? Not this.</p>

You know what 'Star Wars Episode VII' is about? Not this.

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Buzzkill - Why today's big 'Star Wars Episode VII' rumors are complete nonsense

Fans should be excited, but not over fabrications like this

When JJ Abrams was planning "Cloverfield" with Matt Reeves and Drew Goddard, they had the bold idea to shoot a top secret teaser trailer for the film before they even started production on the film. The plan was to release it in front of "Transformers" without anyone knowing what it was. Unfortunately, I broke the story as they were shooting the trailer, and I wrote about the overall plan before they could get the trailer into theaters.

When Abrams was gearing up on the first "Star Trek," I ran a story about how the new film looked to be using time travel as a way to reboot the series in a brand-new timeline, and that it looked like Old Spock would be the one bridge between the two versions. This was early enough in the process that Abrams ended up calling me to ask me to please be careful about how much more I would reveal.

It was a fair call to make. As Abrams has explained recently lately, one of the reasons he has become so heavily invested in locking down the details of what he's working on is because of the experience he had on the version of "Superman" that he wrote for director McG. And who was the one who broke that story? Yep. Me.

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"My Teen Is Pregnant & So Am I"

 "My Teen Is Pregnant & So Am I"

Credit: TLC

Watch: 'My Teen Is Pregnant & So Am I' promises more awkwardness

One mom talks about the family tradition she didn't want to pass along

Some moms pass along their recipes for Meatloaf Surprise, others pass along the joy of teen pregnancy. In this clip from "My Teen Is Pregnant & So Am I," (season premiere tonight at 10:00 p.m. on TLC), we get to tag along on an uncomfortable visit to the gynecologist as 33-year-old Nicole takes her 17-year-old daughter Mariah to be poked and prodded while staring at her balefully. Can't wait to watch the fun baby shower these two will surely be having!

Here's more on Mariah and Nicole as well as the other moms and daughters featured in this season of "My Teen Is Pregnant & So Am I."

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'Duck Dynasty' stars are coming out with a Christmas album


"Duck Dynasty" stars are coming out with a Christmas album

"Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas" drops on Oct. 29.


Jerry Seinfeld & Andy Cohen team for "I Call Shotgun!"

The Thursday AOL event will be used to promote Seinfeld's new season of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."


"Game of Thrones" gets mashed up with "D*ck in a Box"

Inspired by recent events.


Simon Cowell egg-pelter writes essay explaining her actions
"I would like to thank Cowell for not pressing charges," writes Natalie Holt. "As an act of goodwill, I would also be happy to offer to pay his dry cleaning bill or buy him a new shirt, maybe with a few more buttons at the top."


"Vikings" adds 2
"Law & Order's" Linus Roache and "The Hunger Games'" Alexander Ludwig will become series regulars in Season 2.


NBC still has high hopes for John Stamos' sitcom pilot

"I Am Victor" is getting revamped for a possible midseason slot.


Canadian talk show host "Stromboulopoulos" has weak debut on CNN
George Stroumboulopoulos gave CNN its 2nd-worst Sunday ratings in the 10 pm timeslot this year.


DirecTV renews "Rogue"
The Thandie Newton suspense drama will be back for a 2nd season.


WEtv renews "Joan & Melissa" and "Tamar & Vince"

They'll be back for a 4th and 2nd season, respectively.

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"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

 "The Real Housewives of Orange County"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Orange County': Should Tamra choose Vicki or Gretchen?

Tamra finds herself torn between two friends

You can't say "The Real Housewives of Orange County" don't know how to party. Okay, you can say they don't know how to party particularly well, and you can point out that one of them drunkenly pees on the bed while wide awake and fully dressed, but hey, they can certainly stay up until 2 a.m., suck down vodka and wiggle listlessly to dance music. They must be so proud.

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