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Must-see reunions: Directors and actors who need to work together again

Must-see reunions: Directors and actors who need to work together again

We'd love to see more of these collaborations, please

In a couple of months Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight." It's an interesting project, as you know, in that it reunites the director with actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for the third time in a unique series of films that keeps catching back up with the characters to see where they are in their lives (four if you want to count their brief reunion in 2001's "Waking Life").

The film gave us an idea: What other filmmaker/actor collaborations have worked so well in the past that we'd like to see them team up again? Sometimes sparks really fly on such a combination and it can leave you yearning for more. While everything from conflicting schedules to outright estrangement can sometimes get in the way, it doesn't mean filmgoers aren't eager to see lightning strike again.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Ted&quot;</p>

A scene from "Ted"

Credit: Universal Pictures

'Django' and 'Ted' lead MTV Movie Awards nominations as 'Twilight' nearly shut out

Oscar winner 'Argo' gets a single nod for Ben Affleck's performance

There was a time, I think, maybe, when the MTV Movie Awards were kinda neat. But when you're talking about an organization that didn't want it even whispered that it was celebrating its 30th anniversary (lest the kiddies think it's old school), well, you get "Best Shirtless Performance."

Ironically enough, that new category this year is the one place that perennial MTV Movie Awards favorite, "The Twilight Saga," was chalked up this year. The Razzie-dominating vampire tragedy was shut-out otherwise. Gasp! Is the honeymoon over?

The nominations were led by Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" and Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" with seven each. Not far behind was David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" with six and, rounding out the Movie of the Year line-up, "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises" with four and five respectively.

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<p>Five &quot;American Idol&quot; women</p>

Five "American Idol" women

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Las Vegas Round Part 1: Top 10 Girls Perform

A three-night onslaught of 'Idol' begins with 10 performances from Vegas

I'm not sure if FOX is trying to confuse me or trying to confuse my cable listings. On-air, FOX has been saying that tonight features performance by the Top 10 "Idol" Ladies. In my listings and on FOX's press site, though, it just says "10 Semifinalists Perform." 

There's a big difference between those two things. 

Click through and follow along and we'll see what the truth ends up being...

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<p>George Clooney at the 85th annual Academy Awards.</p>

George Clooney at the 85th annual Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Production begins on George Clooney's 'The Monuments Men'

Could he be back at the Oscars next year?

As Kris noted last week in our gallery of potential 2013 Oscar contenders, the next awards season could be a(nother) big one for George Clooney -- whose Best Picture win for "Argo" last week put him in an elite club of individuals to have won Oscars for acting and one other discipline.

With his regular producing partner Grant Heslov, Clooney will be looking to score a second straight Best Picture win -- a feat last achieved by David O. Selznick in 1941 -- and has two shots at bat. The first, the eagerly awaited adaptation of stage sensation "August: Osage County," is simply a producing gig for the star. The second, WWII thriller "The Monuments Men," features more Clooney for your buck: it's his first project as director, co-writer and star since "The Ides of March" in 2011. 

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<p>This makes me all the happy.</p>

This makes me all the happy.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Kevin Feige and Shane Black on making 'Iron Man 3' photo-real and building a better story

We talk to two of the primary architects of Tony Stark's fate in the new sequel

As much as I like his work, I've never had the opportunity to sit down with Shane Black to talk about film. I'm hoping that closer to the release of "Iron Man 3," we might find time for an actual interview, but I'll admit, part of the reason I was happy to do this particular round table was because Black was going to be part of it.

Kevin Feige, on the other hand, I feel fairly comfortable with after all the years of covering Marvel movies.  Having the two of them paired seemed like a nice way of making sure the conversation would be an easy one, and we dove right in when the two of them sat down, with people peppering Black with joking questions about the giant stuffed bunny rabbit glimpsed in the trailer and geeky questions about the use of the term "gauntlet" in some of the footage we saw.

Once we settled in, we asked Black about something that Robert Downey Jr. mentioned in his interview, that Black had been part of the "Iron Man" series before this thanks to Favreau and Downey reaching out to him on the first and second films.  "I don't think I contributed anything too terribly important," he said, "although Robert's been kind enough to cite it as being helpful."  It sounds like Black and Favreau had a great working relationship on this film, and that Black knows how easy it would have been for that to have been weird and uncomfortable with Favreau having previously called the shots on the series.  "Instead, he was the nicest guy in the world and was extremely beneficial… he's great."

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<p>Josh Ritter</p>

Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter talks heartache, rebirth and new album 'The Beast In Its Tracks'

Singer-Songwriter holds nothing back on seventh album

When Josh Ritter’s marriage broke up, the singer-songwriter did what came naturally: he wrote about it.

But in the depths of his pain, the emotions were too raw to produce anything redeemable. “When the feelings ran highest, it was also the hardest time to write anything down. It wasn’t so much like a kind of telling about anything,” he says.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Steven&nbsp;Spielberg arriving at the Oscars in February</p>

Steven Spielberg arriving at the Oscars in February

Credit: AP Photo

From 'Lincoln' to Cannes to 'Napoleon,' Steven Spielberg is everywhere lately

The celebrated filmmaker is putting the pedal to the metal post-Oscars

Barely a week after his film "Lincoln" only managed two Oscars from 12 nominations and deferred to "Argo" on Best Picture honors, Steven Spielberg seems as ubiquitous as ever. Fresh off the Academy Awards he was announced as head of the jury for this year's Cannes Film Festival and he received a nice love letter in the New York Times last week pitting him as a sort of Godfather to Hollywood filmmakers.

"I think, for Steven, sometimes it’s the most fun to weigh in on someone else’s work when there are no consequences," "Jurassic Park" screenwriter and "Premium Rush" director David Koepp said in the piece. "He is free to just talk about the creative part."

But it doesn't end there. Recently Spielberg revealed that he is developing Stanley Kubrick's long-gestating and eventually abandoned Napoleon project as a mini-series. It was 12 years ago that Spielberg's vision of another long-gestating Kubrick project, "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence," landed to mixed reaction in 2001. I've written before about my own initial complex reaction that then grew to adoration, respect and, eventually, reverence over the years. I now consider it one of Spielberg's best films. There are those, however, who didn't quite get there, and so this news might be unsettling for them.

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<p>It pretty much looked exactly like this when we sat down with Robert Downey Jr. to discuss his role in 'Iron Man 3'</p>

It pretty much looked exactly like this when we sat down with Robert Downey Jr. to discuss his role in 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr. hints at the future of Iron Man and working with Shane Black again

A fast and loose chat with Downey about the latest chapter in the mega-franchise

I've interviewed Robert Downey Jr. enough times now to know that the way it works is you give him a little question and you sit back and let that brain of his spin. The reason I can't imagine anyone else playing the Tony Stark we've seen in the Marvel movies so far is because that character is so closely tied to the qualities I've seen in the real Downey off-screen. In some weird way, the "Iron Man" films will eventually serve as a highly stylized form of autobiography, telling the story of Downey's enormous promise, his rocky years of self-destruction, and his eventual metamorphosis into the blockbuster-friendly charm machine that he's become.

We had twenty minutes with him.  There were four or five of us around the table.  When he strolled in, he had with him "The Box," his omnipresent collection of various vitamins and health supplements, and he looked healthy and happy.  We jumped right in, asking him if he had any hesitations or worries about playing the character for the fourth time.  "This is… the grab bag wish list of things we've always wanted to do and haven't had the chance," he said.  He had his own expectations for the sequel, and they were hefty, to say the least.  "[This] was supposed to answer all the questions for the audience, cure all my uncomfortable moments in the past playing this character, and get in every idea that fell by the wayside in the last three movies. Then we shot the movie and I feel like there’s still a number of other things we have to do."

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<p>I'm getting the feeling there's not much time for this in 'Iron Man 3'</p>

I'm getting the feeling there's not much time for this in 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr, Kevin Feige and Shane Black host an early peek at 'Iron Man 3'

Plus the brand-new trailer for the film makes its debut online

I have carefully constructed my life so that I do not have to brave the horrors of Los Angeles morning rush hour traffic very often, and on the rare occasions I am willing to do so, it had better be for something worthwhile.

For example, if someone were to offer me a chance to sit down on a late January morning with Robert Downey Jr, Shane Black, and Kevin Feige to talk about "Iron Man 3," that would be worth it.  I don't often do roundtables, but in a situation like this one, I know everyone else at the table and I know all three of the people we'll be interviewing, and I have a pretty good idea that it's going to be a relaxed and informative conversation.

The morning began with them taking us over to a screening room and showing us the Super Bowl spot (keep in mind this was a few weeks early), and then they tried to show us the new trailer for the film.

"Which new trailer?" you ask.  Well, that would be this new trailer...

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills': Should newly sober Kim be on the show?

Is the former child star too fragile for reality TV roughhousing?

During last night's episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," we got to experience what the very rich can do when they're in Paris. They can take cooking classes which may or may not involve sad little duck carcasses. They can shop in high end stores, take Segway tours of the city, jog by the Siene and basically have an indulgent, lovely holiday that's boring as hell to watch if you're not, say, getting an expensive purse, too. The lifestyles of the rich and boring weren't all that was on display, however. We also got to see Kim fall apart, which is becoming a regular feature of the show. It's also one that's getting more and more uncomfortable to see.

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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelor': Was AshLee telling the truth about Sean or not?

On 'The Women Tell All,' did one rejected woman reveal too much?

I usually look forward to The Women Tell All installment of "The Bachelor," though I'm not quite sure why. As much as ABC hypes the crap out of it, and as many times as Chris Harrison promises the most exciting/most stunning/most whatever moment ever, it's usually just some warmed over clips, some testy moments and much ado about not very much at all. As heated as things get during the season, by the time the women and the bachelor are trapped on a soundstage together for this episode, most of the fire has died down to a low simmer of resentment. The most hated woman is lightly chastised, then dismissed. The rejected flames get weepy, but say they're over it. Well, most of them do, anyway.

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<p>Monday's &quot;The Following&quot;</p>

Monday's "The Following"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The Following' - 'Let Me Go'

Carroll tries to get a new home, while Emma and Joey make creepy new friends
So, Joe Carroll is really good at the game he's playing.
 
I am not typically hung up on issues of plausibility in television, but this seems to me to be a particularly convoluted episode of "The Following" -- if also one that became again truly scary, from time to time. Joe's reach, and the power of his cult, apparently knows no bounds. In "Let Me Go" they manage to coerce the prison warden of a maximum security prison into releasing Joe, who shifts from uniformed prisoner to suited murderer in the span of a few moments. He makes short work of his lawyer Olivia, killing her in her own car after she transports him to safety, before running into a mall, rendezvousing with two of his compatriots, and escaping off the roof in a helicopter.
 
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