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Ewan McGregor compares his 'Jack the Giant Slayer' character to Hong Kong Phooey

Ewan McGregor compares his 'Jack the Giant Slayer' character to Hong Kong Phooey

And Stanley Tucci talks about villainy
RICHMOND, ENGLAND - File under "When perfectly fine questions go bad," but not really.
In "Jack the Giant Slayer," the characters played by Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci bump heads several times. 
At one point in their climactic showdown, Tucci's weaselly Roderick looks at McGregor's noble Elmont and sneers, "You thought you were the hero of this story? Don't you know that we ALL think that?"
I liked that line, so when I sat down with McGregor and Tucci at Hampton Court Palace outside of London, I decided to start the interview by asking how each of their characters would explain that they're the real heroes of "Jack the Giant Slayer."
Ultimately, both men gave very good answers, but both answers began with, "I don't think my character *would* say that."
An interview that begins with a long and semi-awkward pause actually became a lot of fun, especially when McGregor describes the unlikely inspirations for his character, including "a Cockney Errol Flynn."
You can also check out my interviews with director Bryan Singer and "Jack the Giant Slayer" stars Nicholas Hoult & Eleanor Tomlinson, as well as this video of me singing in front of Hampton Court Palace
"Jack the Giant Slayer" opens on Friday, March 1.
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<p>David Bowie</p>

David Bowie

Listen to David Bowie's new album, 'The Next Day' in its entirety

First album in 10 years is streaming on iTunes

David Bowie’s “The Next Day” doesn’t come out until March 12, but people can stream the album starting today exclusively on iTunes Store until release day.

Bowie ended a 10-year hiatus in January, surprising fans by dropping a video to a new song, “Where Are We Now,” out of the blue, on his 66th birthday on Jan. 8.  The tune was followed this week by a second song and video for the much edgier “The Stars (Are Out Tonight).”

Bowie’s long-time collaborator Tony Visconti produced the album.

Click here to go to iTunes.

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<p>Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie in &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie in "Community."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'An Alternative History of the German Invasion'

The study group battles the German exchange students for study room supremacy

A quick review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I take a provisional Lactaid...

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<p>Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in &quot;The Spectacular Now.&quot;</p>

Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in "The Spectacular Now."

Credit: A24

A24 sets summer releases for 'Spectacular Now' and 'The Bling Ring'

The new distributor is building a youthful slate

Independent distributor A24 may be less than a year old, but they're already building a clear brand image -- if it's stylish, name-heavy and young-skewing, they're interested.

Though they've been making their presence felt with high-profile festival purchases since last fall, but they're only just beginning to venture out into the real world. Roman Coppola's critically panned "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III," starring Charlie Sheen and Bill Murray, was their first theatrical release three weeks ago -- it's left them much room for improvement.

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<p>The Turbanator!&nbsp;</p>

The Turbanator! 

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Sudden Death, Part 4 - 10 More Guys Perform

The Turbanator leads the final group of 'Idol' semifinalists

I hated the way "American Idol" handled Hollywood Week this year, with the pointless gender splitting and subsequent elongation of an already dull slog.

But I've liked the Sudden Death approach to the Top 40. Let America actually see some full performances before they get to vote. Yes, it allows the judges to put an additional early imprint on contestants who are favorites due to talent -- Angela Miller, Curtis Finch Jr. etc -- and also contestants who are favorites due to narrative or personality -- Charlie Askew, Zoanette Johnson, etc. But I think it may make the electorate a bit more  informed when voting begins next week. Maybe.

The first week of Sudden Death, we saw the highs of the first group of girls and the lows of the first group of boys. And last night, we got a pretty representative group, with a few standouts, a few weak performances and whatever you want to say about Zoanette. 

How would the last group of men do? Click through...

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A goat that sounds like a person

 A goat that sounds like a person

Listen: CulturePop Podcast No. 3 - Elton John, Jack the Giant Slayer and goats

We have some opinions about Anne Hathaway, too

It's time for CulturePop #3, and here's the rundown:

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Thirty Seconds To Mars launches new tune 'Up In The Air' in space

Thirty Seconds To Mars launches new tune 'Up In The Air' in space

New single will travel on SpaceX cargo mission

Thirty Seconds To Mars is launching its new single, “Up In The Air,” literally.

On Friday (March 1), the Jared Leto-led band will be in Florida to watch the launch of SpaceX’s cargo mission to the International Space Station. The capsule will carry 1,200 pounds of cargo and a copy of the group’s new tune. 

On March 18, the band will travel to Houston to NASA’s Mission Control, to conduct a Q&A with Tom Marshburn, an astronaut on the flight, which will be broadcast live on the band’s website.  The song will premiere later that day and be for sale on March 19.

“Up In The Air” is the single from the band’s fourth studio album, which will come out later this year. It is the follow-up to 2009's  “This Is War.”  “Artifact,” a documentary about the making of “This Is War,” will screen at SXSW on March 13. The film won the People’s Choice documentary award at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

 photo 30seconds_640_zps2a9c8ad7.jpg

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean sign on for Tim McGraw salute

Superstar salute will tape April 7, air this summer

Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Ne-Yo are among the first artists to sign on to salute Tim McGraw during “ACM Presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night.”

The show will tape April 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the night after the April 7 Academy Of Country Music Awards. It will air later this summer.

Taping a television special the night after the Academy of Country Music Awards has become standard practice for the past four years: previous honorees include Lionel Richie, Brooks & Dunn, and George Strait.

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<p>From &quot;Ingenue&quot;</p>

From "Ingenue"

Watch: Thom Yorke returns to dancing for 'Ingenue' by Atoms For Peace

Partners make for the best paranoid rock dancing

"Ingenue" is among one of the more paranoid songs of the jittery nine on "AMOK," Atoms For Peace's debut. For the music video, Thom Yorke shakes out his legs and arms again for another dance-centric clip, this time with a partner.

The Radiohead frontman and pro dancer Fukiko Takase are dressed alike, seem to communicate with each other, and sometimes mirror each other's actions while, at others, simply react. It's actually really beautiful and plotted carefully, making the crunchy, weird synth line the second most memorable thing about it.

It was directed by Garth Jennings and choreographed by Wayne McGregor, who also set Yorke to dancing in Radiohead's "Lotus Flower," the vid to launch a thousand gifs. The arm dance around the 4-minute mark in this new one only solidifies Yorke' status as a King of Limbs.

Atoms For Peace is Yorke's "supergroup" with Flea, Nigel Godrich and others. "AMOK" arrived this week.

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<p>The&nbsp;National frontman Matt&nbsp;Berninger</p>

The National frontman Matt Berninger

Credit: AP Photo

The National documentary 'Mistaken for Strangers' to open Tribeca fest

The 12th annual festival runs April 17-28

Lots of festival news this week. Next up, the Tribeca Film Festival has announced its opening night premiere for the 12th annual edition of the fest: Tom Berninger's documentary "Mistaken for Strangers," which chronicles Brooklyn-based band The National on tour.

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<p>Telluride, Colorado</p>

Telluride, Colorado

Credit: AP Photo

Telluride announces 40th anniversary festival celebration and creation of new venue

650-seat Werner Herzog Theatre pays tribute to fest's most famous regular

This September I'll be off to the mountains of Colorado for my fifth trip to the Telluride Film Festival. It's been a delightful excursion to start every season over that spread, though even in that short amount of time the crunch of other outlets descending on the space for an early look at potential awards players has been felt (and even I started going at a time when that escalation was already on the rise).

Excitement will be as high as ever this year as the festival celebrates its 40th anniversary with an extra day added to the long Labor Day weekend festivities. Not only that, but a new venue has been announced bearing the name of the fest's most famous regular, director Werner Herzog.

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<p>Tom Petty</p>

Tom Petty

Credit: AP Photo

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers visit venues big and small this summer

Schedule includes multiple dates at New York's Beacon Theater

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have already secured a headlining gig at this June’s Bonnaroo. Now we’re finding out what the band is doing for the rest of its summer vacation.

The sextet’s six-week tour will include, in addition to B-roo, appearances at The Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala.;  the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del.; and Milwaukee’s Summerfest.

The band’s mixing it up this summer: in addition to the festival gigs, and a handful of arena shows, the Heartbreakers will play five nights at New York’s Beacon Theater,  May 20-26, and six nights at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theater, spanning June 3-11.

The Heartbreakers are in the midst of recording their first album since 2010’s “Mojo.” The new set will come out next year in Reprise Records.

The tour schedule is below. For more information, go to

May 16:  Ford Center, Evansville, Ind.
May 17-19: Hangout Music Festival, Gulf Shores, Ala.
May 20, 21,23,25, 26: Beacon Theater, New York
June 3,4,6,8, 9, 11: Fonda Theater, Los Angeles
June 15: Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, Ind.
June 13-16: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Manchester, Tenn.
June 18: Budweiser Gardens, London, Ont.
June 20: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Penn.

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