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Exclusive: Benh and Ben meet to discuss the incredible journeys of 'Beasts' and 'The Sessions'

Exclusive: Benh and Ben meet to discuss the incredible journeys of 'Beasts' and 'The Sessions'

Two very different directors share their universal experiences in the indie film world

A year ago, Benh Zeitlin and Ben Lewin had never met, but both men were on the verge of traveling on a similar journey.  The two filmmakers found their films "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Zeitlin) and "The Surrogate" (Lewin, and later re-titled "The Sessions") accepted into the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.  Six weeks later, both emerged from the annual indie film showcase with critical accolades and a new home under the wise eyes of noted mini-major Fox Searchlight. Fast forward 11 months and "Beasts" is a projected best picture nominee and "The Sessions" could find stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt nominated in the best actor and best supporting actress race respectively.

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<p>Liam Neeson in &quot;The Grey&quot;</p>

Liam Neeson in "The Grey"

Credit: Open Road Films

Open Road brings Joe Carnahan's 'The Grey' back around for awards consideration

The studio is also re-expanding 'End of Watch' in theaters

Nearly a full year later, Joe Carnahan's "The Grey" is still, to me, one of 2012's best films. There was talk last year of it being released in time for awards consideration, but it didn't happen. And when the January bow happened this year, there was discussion of bringing it back around for consideration by year's end. It looks like that will happen, in some small way.

Open Road Films has announced that the film will be given an exclusive two-week engagement at Laemmle theaters in both Santa Monica and Encino starting this Friday, December 7. Guild and Academy members will be given free entrance to the showings by presenting their membership cards, so obviously the goal is to get them out of the house to see the film on the big screen rather than risk it being lost in the never-ending stack of screeners that accumulates this time of year.

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Thom York's Atoms For Peace confirm album tracklist, cover art and release date

Thom York's Atoms For Peace confirm album tracklist, cover art and release date

'AMOK' now due a month later

Finally, a word directly from Thom Yorke on the future of his Atoms For Peace supercrew: the band has confirmed a new released date, some artwork and a tracklist for album "AMOK."

The full-length debut will be out via XL on Feb. 26, a month after initially reported, with the personnel as expected, featuring Radiohead frontman Yorke, longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco and Flea. The set is only nine tracks long, which is actually unsurprising, considering Radiohead's last effort "The King of Limbs" was only eight.

Stanley Donwood, who has also worked with Yorke & Co. for stretches, is also behind artwork for the album. You can see the cover below.

Atoms For Peace have promised to post new material on their website soon; Yorke said in his statement that Atoms For Peace may play shows next year, and that the project is "ongoing."

"Atoms is a ongoing and open ended project, where it leads i know not for certain... which is what is nice about it."

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<p>Trent Reznor in the trailer for &quot;Sound City&quot;</p>

Trent Reznor in the trailer for "Sound City"

Watch the new trailer for Dave Grohl's 'Sound City' documentary

Film chronicles legendary California studio's rise and fall

If this trailer for “Sound City” doesn’t simultaneously make your pulse race and make you tear up a little, then you might want to go ahead and crawl back into bed and contemplate if your heart is three sizes too small.

As previously reported, the Dave Grohl-directed documentary, which will have its grand coming out party at Sundance in January, lovingly details the Van Nuys, Calif’s studios rise—it’s where Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was recorded along with several other classics— as well as its fall when it failed to keep up with the digital times.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Bruno Mars</p>

Bruno Mars

Credit: NBC

Listen to Bruno Mars' and Green Day's new albums one week early

Both sets are streaming now

Tre,” the third in Green Day’s fall trilogy of albums, doesn’t drop until Dec. 11, but fans can hear the album in its entirety starting today on the band’s website.

Originally slated to come out in January, “Tre” follows “Uno,” which came out in September, and “Dos,” released in November.  The group moved up the album’s release as a treat for the fans after Green Day had to cancel most of the promo activities around the release of the trilogy due to lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s decision to enter rehab.

“Quatro,” a documentary about the making of the trilogy, recently premiered on VH1. A longer version will be released in 2013.

Additionally, Bruno Mars’ sophomore set, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” which includes the hit “Locked Out Of Heaven,” also begins streaming today, a week before its release. Hear it here.  Yesterday, Mars previewed another song from the album, the beautiful “When I Was Your Man.”

We’ll have full reviews of both albums next week.




 

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<p>Charlie Hunnam seems preposterously happy about the work he's been doing lately, and in particular, Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'</p>

Charlie Hunnam seems preposterously happy about the work he's been doing lately, and in particular, Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

Credit: HitFix

Charlie Hunnam gushes about 'Pacific Rim' and writing for the 'Sons Of Anarchy'

The gregarious young star talks about future plans and recent accomplishments

It's funny how someone who was born in 1980 can already have distinct movements in his career, but it's true of Charlie Hunnam.  Like many young stars, when he first got cast, there was a sense that it was a tryout for real stardom.  Certainly he made an impression in "Queer As Folk," and when he was given a shot at American TV, I liked the result.  "Undeclared" isn't quite as great as "Freaks and Geeks," but what is?  It was a lovely funny well-observed college show, and the cast was very strong and very young.  Roles followed in "Cold Mountain" and "Children Of Men" in small parts and "Green Street Hooligans" in a co-starring role that, unfortunately, just didn't connect.  The film has a lot of cool interesting things about it and is sort of a interesting miss, but certainly not the sort of thing that should stop a career cold.

Hunnam, though, disappeared until he showed up in "Sons Of Anarchy," and that's where he was born again hard.  Since then, he did "The Ledge," followed quickly by "Frankie Go Boom," as well as "Deadfall," the movie I sat down with him to discuss in the first place.  It's a small, confident neo noir story of two guys, a girl, a bag of money and some guns, and I'll also have chats with Olivia Wilde and Eric Bana for you this week. 

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<p>&quot;Argo&quot; was the NYFCC's runner-up for Best Picture.</p>

"Argo" was the NYFCC's runner-up for Best Picture.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: Unpicking the NYFCC vote

Also: 'Lore' and 'Sapphires' rule Down Under, and Sundance premieres revealed

The surprise-sprinkled New York Film Critics' Circle vote may have been the biggest news of a stacked precursor day yesterday, but as usual, stories of the voting conflicts behind the scenes are even more interesting than the results themselves. The most detailed report I've read comes from esteemed NYFCC member J. Hoberman, and it's a fascinating read for awards geeks. While the winners list might suggest Best Picture was a close-run thing between "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Lincoln," the latter actually didn't even figure in the final three: "Argo" came in second and "The Master" took the bronze position, though neither film received any kind of consolation prize. Moreover, Steven Spielberg didn't receive a single Best Director vote. Moral of the story: this remains anyone's race, and hurrah for that. [Art Info]

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<p>On &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;Barney (Neil Patrick Harris)&nbsp;shows off his latest invention.</p>

On "How I Met Your Mother," Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) shows off his latest invention.

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Lobster Crawl'

Ted looks after Marvin, while Robin tries to lure Barney back one last time

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I get the naming rights to that lollipop bin...

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: 'Girls Gone Ojai'ld'

Their Zen vacation ends up in a drunken arm wrestling contest

There are times when I just enjoy the hell out of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Sure, these women are silly and vapid, but gosh darn it, after a few glasses of pinot grigio they can be an awful lot of fun. Then there are times like last night, when I think I'd have no qualms about personally water boarding a few of them past the point of drowning. Not all of them. But some of them? Definitely. 

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<p>Bilbo Baggins prepares to sneak away in the dead of night in a scene from 'The Hobbit:&nbsp;An Unexpected Journey'</p>

Bilbo Baggins prepares to sneak away in the dead of night in a scene from 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

Credit: Warner Bros/New Line

Review: Is 'very good' good enough for 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'?

Peter Jackson's return to Middle-Earth frustrates at times, transports at others

Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" is an above-average fantasy film, a dense piece of entertainment that packs more visual wonder into its two-and-three-quarter hour run than seems possible.  It is a very good movie.  I say that upfront because any discussion about what does or doesn't work about the movie is going make some people very angry since they've been waiting to see it since 2003.  If a careful appraisal of the films flaws (and there are many) is upsetting to a fan who wants perfection from what they'll see in theaters later this month, then please just skim down and read the positive things I have to say, then go see it for yourself.

When I reviewed "Fellowship Of The Ring," it is safe to say that I lost my ever-lovin' mind for it.

I remain a huge fan of not only that film, but of every combination of footage consisting of "The 'Lord Of The Rings' Trilogy. The theatrical films, the extended editions, the DVD sets, the Blu-ray editions, an upgrade every time.  I think it is a major accomplishment in the history of fantastic filmmaking, drawing on horror, science-fiction, fantasy, and even historical dramas in terms of how it was crafted and paced and designed and executed.  Peter Jackson tried something that no one else had ever done on that scale, and he pulled it off with aplomb.

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Cassadee Pope of NBC's "The Voice".

Cassadee Pope of NBC's "The Voice".

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Monday - Top 6 Perform

Each contestant performs twice for the right to make it to the Final Four.

We’re down to the final six contestants on “The Voice”, and we’re at the point at which overall fan bases might start determining who stays and who goes from this point on. Those still in the competition have had ample time by now to establish a body of work by which to be judged, and there’s little stylistic overlap between the remaining competitors at this point. Unless a certain singer really goes out of his or her way to show something new tonight, we can make some strong assumptions about who will be in the Final Four.

 
But I’ll share those assumptions at the end of tonight’s final two-hour installment of the season. (The next two Mondays will be one-hour affairs.) With only six left, look for those still standing to make multiple appearances onstage tonight. I’d imagine we’ll see a combination of solo and group numbers to ensure we don’t witness 120 minutes of Christina Milian reading tweets.
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<p>Daniel Craig in &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig in "Skyfall."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Satellite Award noms run the gamut from 'Silver Linings Playbook' to 'Skyfall'

'Les Mis' leads with 10 nods, but misses out in directing and writing races

Amid today's mad rush of awards activity, we almost forgot to mention the Satellite Award nominations. I confess I've never been sure entirely sure what these awards represent -- they're voted for by a group called the International Press Academy, but my knowledge ends there -- but they've been cheerfully going their own way for 17 years now, annually coming up with one of the season's more entertaining, eclectic nomination lists.

This year is no exception. Amid the predictable spread of mentions for the likes of "Lincoln" and "Silver Linings Playbook" -- "Les Mis" leads with 10 nods, though director Tom Hooper was left out -- are wildcard Best Picture nods for "Skyfall" and "The Sessions." More interesting still are crossover nominations for some pretty out-there foreign fare.

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