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<p>Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins made an absolute meal out of the script that Ruth Prawer Jhabvala wrote for 'The Remains Of The Day'</p>

Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins made an absolute meal out of the script that Ruth Prawer Jhabvala wrote for 'The Remains Of The Day'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Remembering the Oscar-winning screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

We look back at the work of a great writer who stayed out of the limelight

There are very few pieces of art that I consider flawless. If anything, flaws are part of what makes art fascinating. Once in a long while, though, I see something or read something that I consider a perfect execution of an idea, and one of the examples I'd give would be "The Remains Of The Day," the 1993 film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Adapted from the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, the film is exquisitely crafted, and that script is remarkable for the way it communicates volumes of material with a single gesture. Anthony Hopkins is one of those guys who can ham it up when you ask him to, but the challenge of this script was to keep almost everything internal, and Hopkins rose to the challenge with what I would argue is one of the finest examples of film acting I've ever seen. Yes, it helps when you have Hopkins and Thompson at the top of their game, but that script is something else. You could teach an entire class on adaptation just by taking that film and comparing it to the source material.

Oddly, that's the one time she was nominated for an Oscar without winning. She took home the award for both "A Room With A View" and "Howard's End," although she didn't show up to accept either award. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen her interviewed or really learned much of anything about her. She was simply a constant presence in the world of highbrown period films for adults, a name you would see on a poster that automatically suggested a certain kind of polished, contemplative drama.

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Watch: Daft Punk launches video series on making-of 'Random Access Memories'

Watch: Daft Punk launches video series on making-of 'Random Access Memories'

First collaborator to bat: Giorgio Moroder

The members of Daft Punk like to hold onto their relative anonymity, yet want to promote the hell out of their next studio effort "Random Access Memories." So now they've launched a video channel to feature the album's various collaborators. Problem solved.

Up first to bat: legendary dance producer, label founder and studio-starter Giorgio Moroder, who regales viewers with tales on the come-uppance of dance music, working with disco queen Donna Summer and mentions he's working on a little "rap" with Daft Punk on "Memories."

And like Daft Punk itself, the clip has a high production value, and is nicely educational! Pencils down.

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<p>&nbsp;Thandie Newton</p>

 Thandie Newton

Credit: DirecTV

Watch: Thandie Newton talks about raw 'Rogue' sex scenes

The star reveals what drew her to her first lead role on TV

Sometimes technical difficulties aren't such a bad thing. Thandie Newton and I had just started discussing her new DirecTV drama, Rogue (her first spin as the lead in a TV series), and the clock was ticking. I had so many questions and so little time, I babbled out my first question more than asked it (and managed to call "Missing" and "Red Widow" movies instead of TV shows). But then, the camera guy called for the interview to stop. Something had gone wrong with his camera, so we needed to wait. And wait.

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<p>You'd smile like that, too, if you knew your movie was going to destroy audiences this summer.</p>

You'd smile like that, too, if you knew your movie was going to destroy audiences this summer.

Credit: HitFix

James Wan talks about redefining himself after 'Saw' with 'The Conjuring'

A genre filmmaker reinvents himself and we talk about how he did it

One thing's certain: it's hard to forget James Wan after you meet him.

For example, I've never heard anyone who worked with him have a bad word to say about the guy. That's genuinely unusual in this business, and you can't overrate the impression it makes on people. For another thing, you almost can't believe how wildly "Crocodile Dundee" he gets when he speaks. I think that's what I love about Australian accents in general... you can't go too big when imitating them, because they are big accents to begin with.

The last time I spoke to him, he was joined by his writing partner Leigh Wannell at the Magic Castle, part of the press day for "Insidious," and he seemed happy with the reactions he was getting for that one. One of the things we discussed in this new interview is how he's finally become more than just "the director of 'Saw,'" and how hard it is to be defined by the success of your first film no matter what else you do.

I think Wan won't have to worry about that after "The Conjuring" is released in July. It feels like he figured something out a few years ago and refocused himself, and the result has been a new energy to his filmmaking. During the WonderCon panel, as the clips were playing, I watched him watching the crowd, and every time they jumped or reacted or anytime someone tried to break the nervous tension in the room, Wan looked delighted. He genuinely loves the emotional experience of scaring the holy hell out of people, and he's more in touch with that skill set now than ever before.

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Watch: The-Dream's 'Slow It Down' video makes a major case for slow songs

Watch: The-Dream's 'Slow It Down' video makes a major case for slow songs

New music clip ends in a cliffhanger

The-Dream’s “Slow It Down” offers up the absolutely most ludicrous Winnie The Pooh reference we’ve ever heard in a song (courtesy of guest Fabolous), but that’s just one of the questions we have with the new clip.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Pam and Winnie of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Pam and Winnie of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Pam & Winnie talk 'The Amazing Race'

Animals, teamwork exercises and toilet talk with the departed duo
Hippos and rhinos and donkeys, oh my.
 
It took a wide assortment of exotic animals to doom Winnie Sung and Pam Chien on Sunday night's "The Amazing Race," but the quotable duo admits without hesitation that they have nobody to blame but themselves.
 
After emerging as one of the season's stronger teams, winning one Leg and picking up a pair of second place finishes, Pam and Winnie struggled with an African Detour on Sunday. First they couldn't find operational donkeys for the "Brawn" side of the Detour. Then, when they switched over to the safari animal-spotting "Brains" Detour, they were unable to spot an ostrich and confused a hippo for a rhino. In a tight Leg, this was enough to do them in.
 
In this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview, the friends discuss their animal difficulties, their teamwork-building exercises and the pressures of racing against other teams.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Thrift Shop' tops the Billboard Hot 100... again

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Thrift Shop' tops the Billboard Hot 100... again

Imagine Dragons and Ariana Grande also celebrate a great week

Thrift Shop” continues its run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 as the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis track, featuring Wanz, spends its sixth week at the top. Also making news in the top 10 are Imagine Dragons and Nickelodeon’s Ariana Grande.

“Thrift Shop” reclaimed the top spot last week after being pushed out of the pole position by Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” which drops 2-4 this week.

“Shake” switches places with Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” which rises 4-2. Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” featuring Jay-Z holds at No. 3. Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason” featuring fun’s Nate Ruess climbs 6-5, swapping places with Rihanna’s “Stay,” featuring Mikky Ekko, according to Billboard.

Imagine Dragons' alternative hit “Radioactive” finally becomes a pop hit as the song leaps 15-7, giving the rock group its first Top 10.  Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” slides 7-8, pushing Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment,” featuring Christina Aguilera down one to No. 9.

Grande, whose “The Way,” featuring Mac Miller, leapt  to the top of the iTunes singles chart last week, makes a similarly grand entrance onto the Billboard Hot 100, bowing at No. 10. That gives the “Victorious” actress the first Top 10 entrance for a female lead artist in five years. The last one was Yael Naim’s “New Soul” in February 2008. 






 

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<p>Sam Neill and Ariana Richards in an iconic shot from &quot;Jurassic Park&quot;</p>

Sam Neill and Ariana Richards in an iconic shot from "Jurassic Park"

Credit: Universal Pictures

20 years on 'Jurassic Park' is still quintessential Spielberg spectacle

The film's upcoming 3D release reminds why it is one of his greatest achievements

To tell you the truth, I wasn't all that interested in seeing "Jurassic Park" in the summer of 1993. The movie that had me riled? "Last Action Hero." No, seriously. (And I'm a pretty big apologist for that Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner to this very day.) So I didn't even see Steven Spielberg's dinosaur spectacle in the theater when it was released.

Of course awareness was high. You couldn't escape it. TV commercials, toy stores, fast food tie-ins, it was everywhere. And in short order, it became the second-highest grossing film of all time, behind "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," giving Spielberg the one-two punch atop the domestic chart. This was before "Star Wars" saw a re-release four years later, which would take George Lucas' space epic past both Spielberg films, before "Titanic" would come along later and blow everything out of the water.

But back to "Jurassic Park," I caught up with it on VHS. And of course, I fell in love with it. For those in my generation, it was a pretty undeniable element. For my part, I gave that tape a workout, watching it countless times over the years. And when a chance came to see it projected on 35mm in film school, I leapt at the opportunity.

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<p>Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Mads Mikkelsen in &quot;Hannibal.&quot;</p>

Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Mads Mikkelsen in "Hannibal."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'Hannibal' a riveting 'Silence of the Lambs' prequel

Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne shine in Bryan Fuller's take on Hannibal Lecter

Earlier this year, as we welcomed FOX's "The Following" and A&E's "Bates Motel" to a blood-soaked TV landscape that already included "Criminal Minds," "Dexter," "Luther"  and other shows that at least dabble in the serial killer arts, I wondered if perhaps I was simply tired of the whole genre. We were a couple of decades removed from "Silence of the Lambs," and it seemed like every single trope of serial killer fiction had been explored, made into cliche, and  rendered unpleasant.

Then I watched NBC's creepy, haunting, smart, utterly gorgeous new series "Hannibal" — yet another Hannibal Lecter project, no less — and realized that it's not the genre that had gotten tired, but the execution of it. I went into "Hannibal" (it debuts tomorrow night at 10) dreading it and came away five episodes later thrilled by it.

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<p>Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman are both back and together in Asgard in some of the first footage from 'Thor:&nbsp;The Dark World'</p>

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman are both back and together in Asgard in some of the first footage from 'Thor: The Dark World'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel unleashes a flood of concept art and new footage with 'Phase Two' featurette

Want to see shots from 'Thor 2,' 'Ant-Man' test footage, and some new 'Guardians' designs?

When I wrote about my always-evolving feelings towards spoilers last week, I got several e-mails from people asking if that means I'll never write about a movie during production again.

Of course not.

It just means that I am trying to be more conscious of what I say about something while it's being made, and I want to try to safeguard your experience with a film. I don't want to be the reason someone has to scrap an idea again, and I've put my foot in it enough times that I'm trying to figure out how to do my job better.

Now, when a studio decides to release a big sneak peek like Marvel did with the Phase One box set they put out, I consider that fair game. I would still warn that if you don't want to know anything, don't look at the gallery we've attached below, but if you don't mind being teased a bit, I think this is a great job of showing us enough to get fans talking but not enough to ruin anything they've got coming between now and "The Avengers 2."

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15 films we might consider seeing in 3D

15 films we might consider seeing in 3D

With 'Jurassic Park 3D' on the way, we wade into sacrilegious waters

Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" is getting the 3D treatment this weekend on the occasion of the film's 20th anniversary. We'll circle back later this week with some thoughts on the film and the conversion, but with it in mind, the HitFix team started pondering what other films we might consider seeing converted to 3D.

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<p>Timothy Olyphant, Jim Beaver and Erica Tazel in the &quot;Decoy&quot;&nbsp;episode of &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Timothy Olyphant, Jim Beaver and Erica Tazel in the "Decoy" episode of "Justified."

Credit: FX

'Justified' producer Graham Yost looks back on the mysteries of season 4

Who was Drew Thompson originally going to be? What happened to Johnny?

Graham Yost and the team from "Justified" just concluded a season unlike any of the three previous ones. (My finale review is here.) Season 4 was built around a mystery, dealt more than ever before with Raylan's background as a son of Harlan, beefed up the role of several supporting characters and had several notable changes of direction as it was being made.

I talked with Yost about the Drew Thompson mystery, why we never got to see Adam Arkin reprise his role as Detroit mob boss Theo Tonin, why everybody loved "Decoy" so much, and a lot more.

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