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<p>Some of &quot;When Angles Sing's&quot; singers</p>

Some of "When Angles Sing's" singers

Credit: When Angels Sing

SXSW: 'When Angels Sing' stuns with soundtrack

Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson and Austinites galore

AUSTIN --  The Christmas film "When Angels Sing" boasts Willie Nelson as Santa Claus; Lyle Lovett as a holiday-happy neighbor to Harry Connick, Jr.'s Scrooge, due to his unhappy Christmas past; and Kris Kristofferson as his dad, and his heart if full of the season's joy.

So, of course, the soundtrack is X-mas excellence.

The film -- shot in Austin and premiered at South By Southwest -- is as family-friendly as they come, with Connick's usual charm and easiness oozing from in between the green and red trim. The trademark seems to be Hallmark, though the film has yet to get picked up. The music won't hurt its chances: Family singalongs, a stumble into a church, caroling and a gander through Austin's hot spots (including Salt Lick, nom) provide ample opportunities for originals and Christmas classics.

Lovett has an extended acoustic jam with Kat Edmonson and Nelson gets a solo on "Amazing Grace." Connick refrains from singing in the film until a duet with Nelson on the closing credits. I especially loved the cameos from the Trishas and from Dale Watson, who give this film a particular Austin glaze that could help sell music, if not the film itself.

"Kris and Harry are great," Nelson told me of his co-stars and collaborators before the premiere. "I like good writers, good singers and good people. They don’t get any better than those guys."

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<p>Rainn Wilson as Dwight on &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Rainn Wilson as Dwight on "The Office."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'The Office' - 'The Farm'

An episode designed to send Dwight off to his own show mainly demonstrated why it was a bad idea

A review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as this blog spins off into one about Myles McNutt...

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<p>Antony Starr and Ben Cross in a scene from the &quot;Banshee&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Antony Starr and Ben Cross in a scene from the "Banshee" season finale.

Credit: Cinemax

Review: In the end, Cinemax's 'Banshee' a fun bit of pulp fiction

Crime drama embraced its own ridiculousness as first season went along

"Banshee," the Cinemax crime drama that wraps up its first season tonight at 10, is among the dumbest, most ridiculous, lurid, disgusting shows on all of television.

That is also an enormous part of its charm.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Life of Pi.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Life of Pi."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Cinematography Oscar for 'Pi' an 'insult,' says Christopher Doyle

The master lenser believes the Academy has 'no idea what cinematography is'

By any measure, Christopher Doyle is one of the greatest cinematographers in the business, a painter of light whose career will always be defined by his woozily gorgeous collaborations with Wong Kar-wai ("In the Mood for Love," "2046"), but who has also done remarkable work for such auteurs as Zhang Yimou ("Hero"), Gus van Sant ("Paranoid Park") and Jim Jarmusch ("The Limits of Control").

But while the Australian-born artist has been showered awards by everyone from US critics' groups to the Cannes Film Festival, he has never been nominated by the Academy's cinematographers' branch. And that looks unlikely to change after Doyle's candid, foul-mouthed tirade against the Academy in a recent interview, in which he makes no bones about what he thinks of Claudia Miranda's recent Oscar win for "Life of Pi": "It's a f--king insult to cinematography."

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<p>&quot;Napoleon Crossing the Alps&quot; by Jacques-Louis David</p>

"Napoleon Crossing the Alps" by Jacques-Louis David

20 film and TV directors to consider for the Spielberg/Kubrick 'Napoleon' miniseries

We have a few ideas if Mr. Spielberg says no to the director's chair

A bit of a bombshell on the cineaste set recently when Steven Spielberg announced plans to transform Stanley Kubrick's massive, unfilmed Napoleon biopic into a television miniseries. Last week, Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy humbly suggested seven filmmakers to take up the reins on the project, should Spielberg opt out of directing it himself.

The names McCarthy suggested weren't in and of themselves bad ideas: David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and Peter Weir. No one is going to argue that each and every one of them is talented and up to the challenge. But there was an overly wish-listy quality to the list, not all that reasonable, really.

Not only that, those are some disparate voices that probably wouldn't work in a single boat. A miniseries like this, if farmed out to other talent and not placed on one filmmaker's shoulders, would obviously need to find an organic rhythm across a spectrum of voices.

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<p>I feel like I should be put on a watch list just for putting a photo on this review. Sheeeeesh.</p>

I feel like I should be put on a watch list just for putting a photo on this review. Sheeeeesh.

Credit: Anapurna Pictures

Review: 'Spring Breakers' corrupts Gomez and Hudgens to sad and canny effect

Harmony Korine's new film is crazy like a fox

AUSTIN - Harmony Korine has been a provocateur since the start of his film career, and his new film "Spring Breakers" may be the single most controlled and subversive thing he's made so far. Hypnotic and garish, the film feels like it was assembled from terrible music videos, irritating internet memes, and the worst impulses of a generation of kids raised on gangster culture. It's going to be interesting to see how this one lands, because I think some people will judge it by its surface, while other people will engage with what feels like a deliberate piece of deconstructionist art.

Even the casting of the movie seems to be an attempt to play off the relationship people have with pop culture. Selena Gomez stars as Faith, and there's no way her background as a Disney Channel star was not part of Korine's thought process. Faith is the one good girl in the group, and at the start of the film, we see the things that all of the girls do for release.  For Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Cotty (Rachel Korine), that's drinking and smoking pot and dancing, and for Faith, that's church group and prayer. The four of them are all broke, frustrated that they can't go to spring break in Florida with everyone else, and Faith in particular is dying to get out of their small town, to see the world for the first time.

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<p>Kristen Bell is in for the &quot;Veronica Mars&quot;&nbsp;movie, and the hope is that as many other regulars will be back with her. </p>

Kristen Bell is in for the "Veronica Mars" movie, and the hope is that as many other regulars will be back with her.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Exclusive: 'Veronica Mars' creator Rob Thomas on the Kickstarter movie campaign

What comes next for the campaign? How big can the movie get? And whither Piz?

The "Veronica Mars" movie Kickstarter campaign was an instant, runaway success, raising the $2 million minimum to make the movie in under 12 hours, with the total continuing to climb. (It passed $3 million earlier this evening.) But the process to get to this point took much longer for the show's creator, Rob Thomas. He had all but given up on getting a "Veronica" movie made, even cheaply — "Warner Bros. is typically in the business of making big-budget movies," he explains. "'Small' for them is a $30 million movie, and I understand why the 'Veronica Mars' movie didn't fit into that paradigm" — until his friend, Cotton Mather lead singer Robert Harrison, suggested he try Kickstarter.

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"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'Bring It On'

Elena doesn't care anymore, and that's a problem for Stefan and Damon

When last we saw "The Vampire Diaries" (and man, that seemed so long ago, didn't it?), Elena had lost her brother, burned down her house, and stopped feeling anything (thanks to Damon turning off her emotional switch). Oh, and Catherine stole the vampire cure right out from under everyone's noses, but we can get to that later. The focus of this episode is really on Elena becoming, well, a petulant teenager who doesn't care about anyone or anything. Even better? This forces Damon and Stefan (with, to an extent, Caroline) to play the parts of her worried and often powerless parents. It's not the sexiest of triangles (or, really, sexy at all), but it's definitely interesting. I'm not sure this is an improvement, but it's a nice change of pace to see Elena behave like something other than a sad-eyed velvet painting come to life. 

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Watch: Paramore's new lyric video for 'Still Into You'

Watch: Paramore's new lyric video for 'Still Into You'

A story told by shadow hands

Following “Now,” the first single from its self-titled fourth album,  Paramore has premiered a new tune, “Still Into You.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>On &quot;Community,&quot;&nbsp;Troy (Donald Glover)&nbsp;and Annie (Alison Brie)&nbsp;show Chang's picture around town.</p>

On "Community," Troy (Donald Glover) and Annie (Alison Brie) show Chang's picture around town.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'Advanced Documentary Filmmaking'

Abed makes a film about Jeff's attempts to prove Chang is faking his 'Changnesia'

A quick review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I workshop a blackface Senor Wences bit...

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<p>Mara Marini, Jason Schwartzman and Amy Poehler on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Mara Marini, Jason Schwartzman and Amy Poehler on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Bailout'

Leslie and Ron clash over rescuing a local institution, Ann forces April to be her friend, and Chris tries to parent Tom

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I buy Japanese slime candy and Bulgarian wheatballs...

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Interview: Snoop Dogg on Snoop Lion, 'Reincarnated' and Tupac Shakur

Interview: Snoop Dogg on Snoop Lion, 'Reincarnated' and Tupac Shakur

Plus, he answers Bunny Wailer's issues about his turn to reggae

Snoop Dogg has had a change of heart. In the documentary, “Reincarnated,” about the making of his new reggae-influenced album of the same name, he explains that he felt the need to put positive energy and love into the universe through his music.  “There’s so much negativity and death and destruction that we need to match that with peace, love and happiness, as opposed to matching that negative with a negative,” he tells HitFix.

As the documentary, which opens Friday, chronicles, Snoop Dogg, now known as Snoop Lion, goes to Jamaica to record “Reincarnated” with production duo Major Lazer at the helm. While much of the movie shows him getting stoned with any and everyone, there are also poignant segments that touch upon his path and light the way to his unexpected conversion to Rastafarianism. “I wasn’t expecting nothing but a reggae album, and the spirit called me,” he tells HitFix.

As he records, he meets with Bunny Wailer, helps his cousin through a tragedy that occurs during their trip, and tries to resolve the horrible pain he still feels about his friend Nate Dogg’s death, as well as Tupac Shakur’s murder. He also discovers a sense of connection between the rappers, like Bob Marley, growing up in Trenchtown in Jamaica and his own upbringing in Long Beach, Calif. “It gave me a feeling of, ‘wow, music is the same no matter where you go.’ It made me feel like what we were doing as kids was definitely destiny.”

A few days ago, I interviewed Snoop at Westlake Recording Studios in West Hollywood, Calif. Though he was running about 90 minutes behind, when I did sit down with him (he, of course, was lighting up between interviews), he was very forthcoming about the project and how long he thinks Snoop Lion will be around (will he ever sing “Gin & Juice” again?). He candidly addressed why he will never be able to let go of Tupac’s death, and had a few words for Wailer, who has disavowed Snoop’s reggae career and the intention behind it.

Whether it’s the marijuana or his nature or both, Snoop Dogg is definitely the mellowest person I’ve even interviewed who was vertical.

The album, “Reincarnated,” which also features Drake and Chris Brown,  as well as Snoop’s daughter, Cori B, comes out April 23. He also talks about how being a parent informed his changes.

 

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