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I have about four different drafts of the script for "The Zero Theorem" sitting on my hard-drive right now, and I haven't opened any of them. At this point, a new Terry Gilliam film is such a rare and precious thing that I am reluctant to spoil the experience for myself.
Now it appears a sales reel has made its way online for the film, and it shows quite a bit of what Gilliam is up to without really spoiling anything. My favorite film of his is still "Brazil," and this looks like we're back in that territory, dealing with multiple layers of reality. Christoph Waltz is the star of the film, and it looks like he has thrown himself into the role whole-heartedly. It's a shocking look for him, with no eyebrows and no hair, and I'm excited to see how he fits into the world that Gilliam has created around him.
It seems that every once in a while, I stumble across a local restaurant or social club or fundraising group promising an evening of fun revolving around a murder mystery dinner, which never really seems like all that much fun. I like theater, I like mystery, not so keen on murder though fake ones are fine, and I like dinner, so it should be 75% lovely. But breaking down the fourth wall for theater always makes me a little uneasy. Not the murder part, mind you, but the fact I will be stuck solving a fake crime with very real audience members who I may or may not want to murder before the dinner is over.
As the last real broadcast network left, CBS doesn't need to experiment as much as its competitors. They're all trying to invent new rules for the business, while CBS still manages to make money and find big audiences under the old rules.
Every now and then, though, the good ol' Eye Network will try something different, and the premiere of "Under the Dome" tomorrow night at 10 seems like one of its more intriguing experiments of late.
1. Kanye West: He becomes a dad to North and releases a new album called “Yeezus.” Who knew the baby’s name would make “Yeezus” sound like the sensible choice.
2. J Cole: He moved up the release of “Born Sinner” to June 18 to go head-to-head with Kanye West and will likely come in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. That’s all well and good, but don’t bother us until you’re dating a Kardashian.
3. Taylor Swift: Her fans quickly put the kibosh on an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt that stated “# more boyfriends than t.s.” after T-Swift’s fans raise a ruckus. If A&F keeps making folks mad, we won’t have to worry about their clothes ever again.
4. Rihanna: She surpasses Justin Bieber as most viewed artist on YouTube. At least online viewers know she'll go on on time.
5. Black Sabbath: Heavy metal gods score their first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. Rock and roll horns all around!
6. “The Voice”: The fourth season ends. Quick, we know you can name the four judges, but can you name the winner?
7. Nine Inch Nails: David Lynch signs on to direct the group’s video for “Came Back Haunted.” I’m already having nightmares and I haven’t even seen it.
8. Florida Georgia Line: The country duo’s “Here’s To The Good Times” finally hits No. 1 on the Billboard Country chart, making it the first album in more than a year to hit the top spot without debuting there. Maybe it was just on “Cruise” control.
9. Jay Z: He signs a ground-breaking deal to distribute 1 million copies of “Magna Carta Holy Grail” to Samsung phone owners. He’s definitely writing his own charter.
10. P. Diddy: He inks a national distribution deal with Time Warner Cable for Revolt TV, his music cable network, and announces he will put out less music to concentrate on the venture. Sounds like a win-win for every one.
In the new NBC drama "Crossing Lines" (Sunday at 9 p.m.), character actor William Fichtner plays Carl Hickman, a legendary former NYPD detective, whose career ended with a disability. He now lives in a trailer behind an Amsterdam carnival and has a job picking up trash with a stick, which seems about all he's capable of, physically or emotionally, until French colleague Louis Daniel (Marc Lavoine) recruits him for a new, extra-fancy international crime task force. This group, consisting of cops from France, England, Ireland, Germany and other countries, will investigate crimes that transcend any one jurisdiction, with each member providing both a different cultural perspective and their own unique skill set (the Irish cop specializes in weapons and tactics; the German one has lots of cool gadgets). And all they need to be complete is Carl and his gift for criminal profiling.
UPDATED - Last week, I called out another website for running a rumor that didn't pass what I considered the basic sniff test of whether something is true or false. They stood by their source at the time, and they were upset because of what I wrote.
I would imagine they're going to be very happy to read this update.
The treatment I referred to in this piece is absolutely, completely false. Fan-fiction, and nothing more. The source for this was trusted to me, but I can't blame the source for my mistake. I made a giant rookie error because I was intrigued to see what I thought were the origins of the ideas behind one of my favorite films this summer. I did exactly what I have snarled at others about in the past: I bought it because I wanted to buy it.
I accept full responsibility for running the story and for doing so without putting the treatment through the same sort of screening process that I would expect others to use before writing about something. You, the HitFix readership, deserve and should expect better of me, and after seventeen years of doing this, I should know better as well.
I apologize, and instead of trying to make the mistake disappear, I will leave this here as a reminder that I can't operate on blind faith, even when something comes from someone I trust.
I'll say this for the author of the treatment: he made an astute educated guess about the content of the film based on what wasn't much in the way of officially released materials when he wrote this in December of 2011. Seeing how close he came to the basic shape of things is surprising.
But again... this was my mistake completely. If I am going to ask you to trust my reporting, I can't make this sort of error again. I treated this different than I would treat "breaking news" simply because the film was in theaters already, but that's no excuse. Either you do the legwork so you can publish with confidence, or you don't publish. That simple rule should apply every single time, and I am sorry I let this happen.
James Wan first made a splash with the original "Saw," and for several years afterwards, he struggled to define his voice further. Even if you like "Dead Silence" or "Death Sentence," they didn't connect with pop culture in the same way. He took three years off before he made "Insidious," a movie that made a strong case for Wan and his writing partner Leigh Whannell being much more than "just" the guys who made "Saw."
Now, looking at "The Conjuring" and the previews for "Insidious: Chapter Two," Wan seems to be coming into focus as a guy who can scare the hell out of an audience without leaning on gore, and I suspect "The Conjuring" is going to be one of this summer's biggest word-of-mouth phenomenons. It does not reinvent the wheel, and it's not a movie that suddenly redefines a genre, but it is confident, it is beautifully acted, and when it gets serious about being scary, it is remarkably tense and terrifying.
It’s a hip-hop-alooza on next week’s Billboard 200 with three rap acts debuting in the top 3 slots for the first time since 2006.
As expected, Kanye West’s “Yeezus” will come in at No. 1 with sales of up to 385,000. It’s a great number, to be sure, but estimates had originally been as high as 500,000, so it’s a little less than expected.
Cole’s “Born Sinner” will come in at No. 2, moving up to 305,000 units. Cole moved up his album’s release a week to go head-t0-head with West, and in any other week those numbers would have easily won him the top slot. Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies With the Sound Off” comes in at No. 3, moving up to 105,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double.
The only other act to bow in the top 10 is ex-Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, whose “Talk A Good Game” looks good for No. 4 at 65,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double.
This week’s No. 1, Black Sabbath’s “13,” drops to No. 5, while former No. 1 “Random Access Memories” from Daft Punk lands at No. 6. Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” after rising to No. 3 this week, slides back to No. 7. Three country titles round out the Top 10: Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times” falls 5-8, Hunter Hayes’s self-titled set, re-released as a deluxe album titled “Encore,” zooms to No. 9 and Darius Rucker’s “True Believers” falls to No. 10.
Watch Jon Stewart's Arabic-speaking appearance on Egypt's "Daily Show"
Stewart, who came out as if he was a hostage, spoke a few words of Arabic during tonight's appearance on "Egypt's Jon Stewart" Bassem Youssef satirical news show. He also said he's received such a warm welcome in the Middle East --'"to the point where I wonder if you’re being sarcastic."
Paula Deen fans aren't happy
Some are having a meltdown on Facebook over the Food Network star's firing, others are using the #TeamPaulaDeen hashtag on Twitter to organize a boycott of the Food Network. PLUS: Deen also released a 3rd apology video, this one for Matt Lauer.
Melissa George may star in a Cinemax "Hunted" spinoff
"Sam Hunter" is being developed as a spinoff from "Hunted."
Why are American DVRs inferior to European DVRs?
Unlike American DVRs, European DVRs will automatically record if a sporting event goes past its allotted time.
"Glee's" Matthew Morrison wants to open performing arts schools around the world
"I'm trying to create an accredited school program that would go nationwide and hopefully global eventually," says the actor, who himself is product of a public arts education.
Taran Killam: "There's a lot of shoe space to fill" on "SNL" next season
"I'm just trying to be optimistic about it," says the veteran of three "SNL" seasons. "It's certainly on my mind, and I’m taking the summer to work and develop new material because there’s so much opportunity now. At the same time, there's a sense of mourning" for the cast members who left.
"Hannibal" ends its 1st season with 1.9 million viewers
Despite the disappointing numbers, which came against the NBA Finals, "Hannibal" will be back next season. PLUS: "Hannibal's" greatest accomplishment was letting viewers see Hannibal's side of things, and food secrets of "Hannibal."
Did Rachel Zoe get pregnant as a ratings stunt?
The Bravo star's 2nd pregnancy comes amid ratings woes and problems with her clothing line. So did she get pregnant to save her fashion empire?
British viewers have already become bored of their "Voice" after 2 seasons
The BBC is already looking to overhaul the singing reality show after it was trounced by Simon Cowell's "Britain's Got Talent."
Anna Paquin: We bought 300 copies of the "True Blood" porn parody
It was a wrap party gift for the cast and crew three years ago. PLUS: Meet Rob Kazinsky.
"Hell on Wheels" begins its filming hiatus early due to Calgary floods
The show's hiatus was supposed to begin on Thursday.
CNN's new Sunday shows "Crimes of the Century" and Morgan Spurlock's "Inside Man" aren't special
There's nothing interesting about either show. PLUS: Spurlock hopes to do "real" reality TV.
Can YouTube replace TV?
Google has been trying to transform YouTube into the next generation of television.
Check out Kristen Wiig as Patty Hearst
She's appearing in Comedy Central's "Drunk History."
Jeff Probst: I'm applying my "Jeff Probst Show" interviewing lessons to "Survivor"
Probst says he learned from his failed talk show to listen more, and so he's letting contestants at Tribal Council explain themselves more before clamping down on them.
"Community's" Dan Harmon is an example of how fame can screw somebody up
"Harmon is an understated, nerdy exemplar of how fame messes people up — it forces them to keep two ideas of themselves, their personal and public personae, in sync," says Will Paskin. At some point, she says, his self-conception ought to jibe with reality.
Why did "Real Housewives" star Caroline Manzo write a book?
The "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star has released, "Let Me Tell You Something: Life as a Real Housewife, Tough-Love Mother, and Street-Smart Businesswoman."
Lots of sex and violence in Lifetime's "Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret"
The trial is almost an afterthought in the TV movie, airing Saturday.
Is TV a human right?
A jailed politician in the country of Georgia recently went on a hunger strike for the right to watch television.
OWN got its groove back by focusing on issues affecting black women
In fact, Oprah's network will have two specials on issues that African-American women care about.
Brian Williams hasn't gotten over "Rock Center's" cancelation
Some of his staffers wonder if tonight's final broadcast will mark the end of long-form journalism on TV, outside of "60 Minutes" and a few other shows.
Jenny Lewis could've been a "Buffy" werewolf
Joss Whedon admits he offered the Riley Kiley singer the role.
Presenting the A-hole's Guide to Spoiling TV Shows
Step 1: Tweet "Holly f*cking shit" when something big happens.
How "Mary Tyler Moore" reinvented the sitcom
Instead of relying on punchlines "MTM" got its comedy out of its characters.
Watch Adam Levine's commercial for his new fragrance
"The Voice" star says he hates celebrity scents.
"Revenge's" Nick Wechsler joins Twitter
His tweeting was two years in the making, says Gabriel Mann.
Discovery's "Naked and Afraid" isn't as sexy as its title
The butt-naked reality show should instead be called "Filthy and Exhausted."
Watch the "Batman" theme song recreated with real bat noises
Recreating the '60s TV series.
"Drop Dead Diva" returns from the dead on Sunday
There will be a "natural evolution" due to budget cuts this season, but the Lifetime series shouldn't be too different. PLUS: What else to expect this season.
NBC premieres "Crossing Lines" with William Fichtner and Donald Sutherland
The police procedural boasts an international setting because its makers hail from several countries.
Why was "Mad Men" Season 6 so disappointing?
Instead of change, we saw a lot of recycling from previous seasons. PLUS: Should "Mad Men" actors be appearing in ads during the show?, Kevin Rahm: "Mad Men" negotiation process took 3 to 4 months, Tumblr account mocks "Mad Men," fashion in review, and Vincent Kartheiser is serious about acting.
Jimmy Fallon films a video thank you for his Grammy Award
The "Late Night" host won for best comedy album.
"The Barefoot Contessa" used to advise President Gerald Ford
Ina Garten used to be responsible for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's budget as well as part of the Department of Energy's.
"Devious Maids" seems to rehash "Desperate Housewives" -- with predictable stereotypes
The Lifetime drama from "Desperate" creator Marc Cherry "also began with a mysterious death in a female-dominated world … where nothing is quite as it seems," says June Thomas. But unlike "Desperate," "Devious" is a parade of stereotypes -- "Latina maids who are both devious and pure of heart, and of their Caucasian employers, who are all selfish, utterly detestable, entitled snobs." PLUS: "Devious" is funnier than "Desperate," and being a Lifetime summer series makes the comparisons forgettable.
Melinda is back in town, and we had so much to talk about! Although we both reminisced over our brief encounters with the late James Gandolfini (R.I.P.), we also disagreed about a lot -- including whether or not "Blurred Lines" is a "rape-y" song and whether or not all of the bachelors looking for true love on "The Bachelorette" are full of crap. Listen in. We had a great time, so we hope you will, too. Here's the rundown: