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<p>CBS didn't provide episodic art for last night's &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;which means you get the cast in suits again.</p>

CBS didn't provide episodic art for last night's "How I Met Your Mother," which means you get the cast in suits again.

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Fortress'

Robin tries to sell Barney's apartment, while Lily spends too much time on her new job

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I'm a cricket player who secretly hates his life...

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'Game of Thrones' star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau discusses the Jaime-Brienne bond

'Game of Thrones' star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau discusses the Jaime-Brienne bond

How did Jaime's incarceration last season impact the actor's performance?
HOLLYWOOD - On Monday (March 18) night in Hollywood, HBO threw a gala premiere for the third season of "Game of Thrones," rounding up the largest assemblage of cast members for any event that I can remember.
 
There were dozens of "Game of Thrones" stars ranging from all manner of Starks and Lannisters to a dragon-free Emilia Clarke, somehow whisked in from Broadway for the a quick turnaround, to the very nice young man who plays Hot Pie.
 
At HitFix's corner of the long and winding red carpet, many of the stars missed us or had to rush in for the start of the screening of the March 31 season-opener, but I think we got some fine interviews that will be going up over next few days.
 
Highlight conversations include Rose Leslie discussing the nuanced art of telling somebody they know nothing, George R.R. Martin talking about why it's hard to pick his favorite book and John Bradley explaining why he doesn't want to read ahead to find out how Samwell evolves.
 
We'll start the "Game of Thrones" interview rotation with this quick chat with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who discusses about Jaime Lannister's developing relationship with Gwendoline Christie's Brienne of Tarth, as well as what he learned from playing last season's incarcerated version of Jaime.
 
Check out the interview above [Rose Leslie will be the next to post... Tomorrow morning, I suspect]...
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<p>Kevin Bacon of &quot;The Following&quot;</p>

Kevin Bacon of "The Following"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The Following' - 'Love Hurts'

Joe responds to Ryan's concealing of Claire with more violence against women
A crazy woman writing her own chapter of Joe Carroll's murderous story, several senseless murders, and one love affair gone horribly awry: Just another Monday night with "The Following." As this show goes on I'm increasingly convinced that that 16-episode season is just way too long for a show that is running on some of the same plot devices in order to maintain suspense. 
 
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<p>Tina Fey should take Paul Rudd and that suitcase and take off in search of a better script than 'Admission'</p>

Tina Fey should take Paul Rudd and that suitcase and take off in search of a better script than 'Admission'

Credit: Focus Features

Review: 'Admission' wastes the considerable charms of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd

The director of 'About A Boy' whiffs his latest adaptation of a novel

I haven't read the novel by Jean Hanff Koreltiz that served as the source material for the new film "Admission," but Karen Croner's screenplay is one of those films where the lead characters are ostensibly smart people who do some oddly not-so-smart things for reasons that seem less than genuine. I wouldn't call "Admission" a bad film, but I think it's a muted pleasure at best, even with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd both doing their best to keep things light and charming.

Fey stars as Portia Nathan, who works at Princeton as one of the gatekeepers who help decide who gets into the school and who doesn't. Portia is portrayed as one of those people who has no real life outside of her job as the film begins, and she seems fine with that. Her devotion is one of the reasons she ends up as a candidate to replace her boss (Wallace Shawn), the department head who is about to retire. All she has to do is buckle down for one more admissions season, do her job as well as she always has, and then reap the rewards.

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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

Is 'Dancing with the Stars' back on track or burnt out?

The show lost a step last season, but this line-up has promise
Tonight "Dancing with the Stars" returned following an all-stars season that wasn't exactly sparkling in the ratings. While the show brought in 17 million viewers for the finale, that represented a 15 percent drop from the previous fall's wrap-up. We won't even discuss the 32 percent drop for the season premiere. Although "DWTS" was still a ratings powerhouse, it seemed to be beginning the slow fade we associate with aging shows. After almost seven years, it might be expected that a show would start leaching fans -- or should, if it doesn't find ways to either reinvent itself or get back to what made it great in the first place.
 
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Sarah Paulson of "American Horror Story" at PaleyFest

 Sarah Paulson of "American Horror Story" at PaleyFest

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Sarah Paulson talks 'American Horror Story' at PaleyFest

She's seen her next co-star naked, but 'tried to pretend' she hadn't

As Lana on the second season of "American Horror Story," Sarah Paulson had to take a character from naive idealism to battle-scarred warrior. I spoke to the actress at Paleyfest, and she talked about what it takes to create a tough cookie character who can go head-to-head with not one, but two serial killers. 

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<p>Just how many spy franchises does one man need?</p>

Just how many spy franchises does one man need?

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Is signing Tom Cruise to star in 'Man From UNCLE' an impossible mission?

Guy Ritchie's big-screen version is looking for a lead

When I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago for the "Incredible Burt Wonderstone" press day, part of what we did involved a tour of David Copperfield's private magic museum. In order to get into the museum, you have to go through an outer room that is a reproduction of the men's wear store that his parents owned. Before showing us the secret door that would open the door to the inner warehouse, Copperfield told us that his favorite show as a kid was "The Man From UNCLE," and as soon as he said it, the theme started playing.

To some degree, "The Man From UNCLE" has always been the poor cousin to other spy shows. Norman Felton is the creator of the show, but his work was overshadowed by the publicity around Ian Fleming, who created two characters for the show. Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (who later served as the lead in "The Girl From UNCLE") both came from the back-and-forth between Fleming and Felton, and there was a point where the show was going to be called "Ian Fleming's Solo." The James Bond producers sued to prevent the show from using Fleming's name in the promotions for the show, and his work was just a small part of the overall premise. Producer Sam Rolfe also played a big part in coming up with the details of how UNCLE worked. Once the show went on the air, it was quickly turned into a buddy show, with Robert Vaughn playing Solo and David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin. The series ran for 105 episodes in the mid-to-late '60s, and it was a massive cultural hit.

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The Staves talk debut album, plus band's EXCLUSIVE SXSW photo diary

The Staves talk debut album, plus band's EXCLUSIVE SXSW photo diary

Join the British trio as the drink, eat, and play their way through Austin

On the Staves’ debut album, “Dead & Born & Grown,” the three sisters,  Emily, Jessica, and Camilla Stavely-Taylor, get away with singing about the darkest depths while their angelic harmonies sound like they are soaring to the heavens.

“Oh, I don’t think we sound like angels,” says Jessica Stavely-Taylor. “I think we sound just like us. I think sometimes there’s a downside to sounding [so lovely]. We spend a lot of time writing our music and making sure they sound as good as they can and sometimes people are just like, ‘You sound so sweet!’ The [songs] are not really happy or super chill. We’re talking about serious stuff in them.”

Indeed, on “Tongue Behind My Teeth,” the British trio is dressing down a liar and a cheat. “I’d hurt you if I could,” they sing, in glorious spite. “Oh, I will never belong to anyone,” they declare with an equal mix of independence and sadness on “Snow.”

Of course, there’s plenty of romance as well. On the lulling, gentle “Mexico,” they sing, “Carry me home on your shoulders, lower me on to my bed, show me the night that I dreamed about before” so dreamily that it feels like the invitation comes wrapped in lace and perfect lighting and whispers.

Relying largely on acoustic instruments, the pop-folk trio recalls Simon & Garfunkel or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young with heavy doses of Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling thrown in.

Stavely-Taylor is calling from Austin, where the band had just played one of its two shows at SXSW.  The band chronicled their SXSW experience for us in the exclusive photo gallery below.  The group’s own promotional duties had left little opportunity to see other acts, although they had seen fellow British sister act Haim and Montreal-based Half Moon Run.

Out tomorrow (March 19) in the U.S., the album, and the trio, have already found favor in their native U.K. with the set, produced by the legendary father-and-son duo Glyn and Ethan Johns.

“They work in an old-fashioned way; they both record to tape and they like to record everything as possible,” Stavely-Taylor says. “We recorded it in a pretty old-fashioned way, which is really cool, given it’s an old-fashioned sound.” On the down side, since the album was recorded largely live, any time someone goofed, “you have to redo it every single time.”  On the plus side, Glyn Johns has no shortage of stories about the legends he’s produced. “We’d be sitting there having lunch and Glyn would be name dropping Mick Jagger, Keith Richards or Paul McCartney. It was incredible.”

Stavely-Taylor laughs when she’s asked who the trio would work with if they wanted to turn their sound completely on its ear: “We’re all really big fans of Daft Punk. It would be amazing to have someone like that. Or the Gorillaz or Hot Chip!”

The Staves sent much of the last several months touring in the U.S., playing Sasquatch! Music Festival and Bonnaroo, as well as opening for Bon Iver and The Civil Wars.

As the trio gets ready to embark on its first headlining tour in the U.K. next month, Stavely-Taylor says she and her sisters learned much from both acts. “With The Civil Wars, it was really inspiring to see the two of them holding an audience of thousands captive every night,” she says. “We thought, could we ever pull that off for an hour and a half? We play with a band already, so we won’t be doing it like them. That was really special. Not many bands have it as stripped down as they do.”

Bon Iver was just the reverse: “Bon Iver has a huge show. It’s such an epic sound,” she says. “It makes you think about where you can take your music, the possibilities.”

She also gives both acts high marks for being lovely to their opening act. “We’ve had other bands that haven’t been quite as nice as that,” she says, of course, declining to say whom.

The Staves will headline a U.S. tour in May. After years of playing open mic nights in their English hometown of Watford before they got signed, Stavely-Taylor says they’ve witnessed plenty from the stage, but she’s sure there’s more to come: "I think a guy’s taken his top off, but we haven’t been flashed, so I think there’s a lot that you could do to shock us.”

Check out our exclusive photo gallery of The Staves as they take Austin for SXSW.
 

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 173: 'Bates Motel,' 'Top of the Lake,' 'Veronica Mars' movie & more

Dan and Alan also review HBO's 'Phil Spector' and talk about the 'Girls' season finale

The

Back to roughly standard length for this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, including reviews of a series, a miniseries and a movie all with murder as the backdrop, plus lots of talk about the "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter initiative and the "Girls" season finale. The lineup:

"Top of the Lake" (00:00:50 - 00:13:40)
"Bates Motel" (00:13:40 - 00:27:20)
"Phil Spector" (00:27:20 - 00:39:50)
"Veronica Mars" Kickstarter (00:39:50 - 01:04:20)
"Girls" finale (01:04:55 - 01:24:00)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>Simon Baker, Anna Faris, Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall have got some serious issues to work out in the deconstructionist romantic comedy 'I Give It A Year'</p>

Simon Baker, Anna Faris, Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall have got some serious issues to work out in the deconstructionist romantic comedy 'I Give It A Year'

Credit: Working Title

Review: Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne headline fresh and funny anti-romantic comedy 'I Give It A Year'

Supporting players score big laughs in a sly deconstruction of a genre

AUSTIN - Dan Mazer has built a career based on a very particular type of humor. As a writer/producer, he's been involved in "Da Ali G Show," "Borat," "Bruno," and "The Dictator," and he's helped define Sacha Baron Cohen's public persona in the process. Now with his first feature film as a writer/director, he's turned his attention to the Working Title romantic comedy formula, and "I Give It A Year" manages to parody the structure of those films while playing as an actual one at the same time. No easy feat, that, and I was surprised by how well Mazer manages the balancing act.

Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne) meet, fall in love, and tie the knot all within seven months of meeting one another, and from the very start, their marriage seems like a bad fit. It would be easy to make one of them the bad guy in this film to make it clear whose fault things are, but Mazer instead paints both of them as decent people who simply might not be suited for each other. The weakest element in the film is a structure that involves both of them talking to a marriage counsellor played by the great Olivia Colman, and those scenes play like they're cut in from another movie. The actual day-to-day struggle between Josh and Nat is written well, and it's only gradually that Mazer starts to bring in Chloe (Anna Faris) and Guy (Simon Baker), who seem like far better-suited partners to Josh and Nat.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 173

Dan and Alan talk 'Bates Motel,' 'Veronica Mars,' 'Top of the Lake' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls
 
Time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We went a little short last week, due to a total absence of new programming to review. But this week? Lots of new stuff. We've got reviews of "Top of the Lake" and "Bates Motel," which both premiere tonight. We also review HBO's upcoming Phil Spector movie.
 
We talk for a while about the "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter triumph.
 
And we also discussed the finale of HBO's "Girls."
 
Next week? Lots more new stuff!
 
Here's the breakdown:
"Top of the Lake" (00:00:50 - 00:13:40)
"Bates Motel" (00:13:40 - 00:27:20)
"Phil Spector" (00:27:20 - 00:39:50)
"Veronica Mars" Kickstarter (00:39:50 - 01:04:20)

"Girls" finale (01:04:55 - 01:24:00) 

the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>Eleven-year-old me spent all of Halloween night 1981 trying to explain to the adults in the neighborhood who Snake Plissken is. It did not end well.</p>

Eleven-year-old me spent all of Halloween night 1981 trying to explain to the adults in the neighborhood who Snake Plissken is. It did not end well.

Credit: MGM/UA Home Entertainment

Will Joel Silver finally 'Escape From New York'?

The long-in-development remake gets another shot at life

Even in an age where horror remakes seem to arrive every other week, the work of John Carpenter seems to be particularly picked over. Small wonder, though. Carpenter was a writer before he was a director, and he had a knack for creating films based around smart, easy to understand hooks. And of all of his films, one of the best loglines was for "Escape From New York." Talk about easy. New York is a prison now, and the President's plane crashes on it. One man is sent in to find the President and rescue him, and if he fails, he will die.

It would be accurate to say that the film has been unofficially remade any number of times now, including last year's "Space Jail" with Guy Pearce, or whatever the heck it was called. Neil Marshall's "Doomsday" went so far in its homage as to even use Carpenter's signature font for the film's credits.

There have been several attempts to remake "Escape From New York" in recent years. Ken Nolan, one of the "Black Hawk Down" writers, wrote a fairly faithful version of the movie that almost happened in 2007 with Gerard Butler attached to play Snake Plissken. What Nolan's script tried to do was flesh out the world around New York, while also delving slightly into the back story for Plissken that was suggested with a few key lines in Carpenter's script.

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