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<p>Roger Ebert</p>

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert mattered

The legendary film critic leaves an invaluable legacy

Legendary Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert stepped away from his perch but two days ago. Calling it a "leave of presence," he wrote that he was taking time away from the usual to work on a number of projects, and also noted a recurrence of the cancer that he had already fought off once (which silenced his voice in speech, but certainly not in print). It was as if it was the job that was keeping him here, the work at hand. And so today comes the news: Roger Ebert is dead.

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"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"

 "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"

Credit: NBC

Listen: CulturePop Podcast No. 8 - Leno vs. Fallon, 'Buckwild,' Justin Timberlake and more

We talk about whether reality TV needs to cast more responsibly

We're back at it again for CulturePop, and this week there was a lot to talk about -- some of which happened right before our podcast. How exciting is that? Here's the line-up of the many things we discussed:

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<p>A scene from &quot;The Great Gatsby.&quot;</p>

A scene from "The Great Gatsby."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan up the glamour in latest 'Great Gatsby' trailer

Trailer also features new cuts from Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey and Florence Welch

I was already eager to see Baz Luhrmann's take on "The Great Gatsby" when it was scheduled for a December release last year, so at this point my impatience could hardly be greater. As a die-hard Baz Luhrmann defender -- yes, I liked "Australia" -- I remain more curious about this 3D spectacle than any other summer release, which is not to say I'm necessarily expecting an unqualified success.

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'Great Gatsby' soundtrack tracklist: Jay-Z, Beyonce, Sia, Florence + The Machine

'Great Gatsby' soundtrack tracklist: Jay-Z, Beyonce, Sia, Florence + The Machine

Watch the trailer featuring 'Back to Black' cover and new Lana Del Rey

Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming "Great Gatsby" film adaptation will boast some of the A-list-iest of A-lister actors, and the same goes for its soundtrack. Jay-Z was roped in as executive producer and supervisor on the film's soundtrack, so as you can imagine, he showed up, his wife Beyonce showed up and new songs from big names like Florence + The Machine made the cut.

A new trailer for the film dropped this morning, and it includes Beyonce and Andre 3000 previously confirmed cover of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black"; a fresh track from Lana Del Rey called "Young and Beautiful"; and Florence's new "Over the Love." "Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful," she sings. (Ugh, Lana.)

Bryan Ferry and his Orchestra show up twice, including for one take on Bey and Hov's "Crazy in Love" with Immaculate Noise favorite Emeli Sande taking the lead.

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<p>Rihanna on her 777 Tour</p>

Rihanna on her 777 Tour

Watch: 5 things you don't see in the 'Rihanna 777' teaser for her May 6 TV special

Where's the streaking Australian journalist?

Rihanna gives fans a very short (17 seconds’ worth) teaser of what to expect from her upcoming “Rihanna 777” tour TV special, which airs on Fox on May 6.

The show chronicles her November promotional tour for "Unapologetic,"  during which she performed seven shows in seven countries in seven days, and was, indeed, very unapologetic for keeping folks waiting for hours time and time again.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Beyonce previews new song and challenges her past selves to a dance-off in Pepsi ad

Watch: Beyonce previews new song and challenges her past selves to a dance-off in Pepsi ad

Hear a snippet of 'Grown Woman'

Beyonce is confronted with the ghosts of Beyonce past in a new spot for Pepsi Max. The clip— which previews a new song, “Grown Woman”— could also be a hint at what’s to come on the Mrs. Carter Show world tour.

[More after the jump...]

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Listen: Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus duet on 'Ashtrays and Heartbreak'

Listen: Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus duet on 'Ashtrays and Heartbreak'

Do their voices mesh or clash?

The salvia-smoking, blunt-toking Miley Cyrus is leaving her teen queen image even further in the dust on “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks,” a new song on Snoop Lion’s (aka Snoop Dogg) new album, “Reincarnated.”

The hazy, reggae-influenced track opens with Snoop Lion declared “tonight there’s going to be a lot of smoke in the air,” as he lifts a blunt for those no longer with us. Shortly thereafter, Cyrus comes in with refrain, “Now my buzz is gone/I need to re-up on reality.” She also sings the majority of the chorus (with some vocal assistance from Angela Hunte, according to Billboard).

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Robert Redford and Shia LaBeouf at the Venice Film Festival.</p>

Robert Redford and Shia LaBeouf at the Venice Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Robert Redford and Shia LaBeouf talk 'The Company You Keep' for NYT

The all-star political thriller opens in theaters tomorrow

I confess I haven't thought much about Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" -- which finally opens in theaters tomorrow -- since reviewing it at the Venice Film Festival seven months ago. Though it takes on the potentially incendiary subject matter of the Weather Underground, the film's political ideas are handled as softly as the lighting on its veteran stars' faces -- but as an old-school Hollywood entertainment with a classy, cannily cast ensemble, it mostly delivers the goods. I'd call it Redford's strongest directorial effort since 1994's Oscar-nominated "Quiz Show," though films like "Lions for Lambs" and "The Conspirator" have admittedly set the bar pretty low.

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<p>&quot;Arrested Development&quot;&nbsp;brothers Will Arnett and Jason Bateman will be back on May 26.</p>

"Arrested Development" brothers Will Arnett and Jason Bateman will be back on May 26.

Credit: Netflix

'Arrested Development' to return on May 26 on Netflix

The Bluth family's new adventures finally have a premiere date, and a new (15) episode count

I've viewed this entire process of Netflix making a fourth season of "Arrested Development" with some skepticism, taking the default assumption that Mitch Hurwitz and company are simply staging an elaborate prank on Jeffrey Tambor. I won't believe these new episodes are real, I told myself, until I'm sitting in front of my computer watching them.

I now have a date for when this will allegedly be happening: Sunday, May 26.

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"Nashville"

 "Nashville"

Credit: ABC

'Nashville': The 5 most frustrating things about Gunnar and Scarlett

The cute couple almost works, then doesn't

The pilot for "Nashville" was, hands down, my favorite of the year. The music, the cast, the concept -- all of it seemed poised to be a heady mix of soap,"All About Eve," youthful striving, and middle-aged regret set to a beat. But then, the road became rocky -- and the first characters to falter were Gunnar and Scarlett.

Don't get me wrong. The reason I'm frustrated with these two (and a few others on the show) is that, especially with such strong actors playing these roles, I really want to believe the powers that be can correct course (which I also believe of the show overall). I'm still hooked on "Nashville," but lately I feel as if the show is trying to make me watch "Chicago Fire" instead.

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<p>Tom Hanks, Moonwatcher, and Indiana Jones are just a few of the new friends my kids will be meeting during the First Annual Film Nerd 2.0 Spring Break Film Festival.</p>

Tom Hanks, Moonwatcher, and Indiana Jones are just a few of the new friends my kids will be meeting during the First Annual Film Nerd 2.0 Spring Break Film Festival.

Credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/MGM-UA Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Video

Want to play along with a Film Nerd 2.0 film festival this weekend?

We've got the titles for you now, and we'll dive in on Friday morning

The boys have been asking me lately when they are going to be able to go to a film festival with me. They have this image in their heads of what a festival is like, and I asked them to describe to me what they thought I was doing when I was gone.

More than anything, what our conversations illustrated clearly is that the boys want to participate more in the things that they believe are important to me, and I want them to feel like they have some sense of what it is that I do. We're reaching the end of their two weeks of spring break, and I realized that we could do something special for them here at the house, and that with just a little bit of effort, it could be the sort of thing that they never forget.

To that end, I've decided that this weekend is the First Annual Film Nerd 2.0 Spring Break Mini Film Festival. I'm making badges for them so they feel like they're at a festival, and I'll make them line up outside the office between movies while I change discs so they won't know what's coming next. I plan to keep the line-up a surprise from them until each film begins. In some cases, these are films they've been asking for, and in some cases, they're films I was planning to share, and in every case, they are films that I think will spark some sort of big reaction.

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<p>John Slattery of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

John Slattery of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star John Slattery discusses Roger Sterling's long, strange trip

Slattery also discusses his latest directing experiences
In yesterday's first interview of "Mad Men" week, Jessica Pare taught us about the challenges of promoting a show that you're not allowed to preview at all. Of course, she also talked about Megan's gifts as an actress and about the allure of Dark Don. I still like the interview, even if she wouldn't admit she was in Hawaii.
 
But not all of the "Mad Men" interviews I did focused on the future or on things the actors couldn't talk about.
 
A four-time Emmy nominee, John Slattery saw Roger Sterling go through some changes last season, fighting back from the brink of obsolescence with the help of enlightenment gleaned in one of the great LSD trips ever captured on film/video. Where does Season 6 find Roger in his journey? Well, without spoiling specific details, Slattery was able to give some insight into the character's progression.
 
In addition to acting on "Mad Men," Slattery has also become a key part of the show's directing stable, helming the exceptional "Signal 30" last season, as well as "Blowing Smoke" and "The Rejected." Slattery directed two more episodes this season and we talked about his learning curve behind the camera and the unique challenges of achieving the writer-specific "Mad Men" vision. 
 
Click through for the full interview, which manages to be thoughtful and interesting without spoiling anything at all...
 
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