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<p>It's been a long journey from the original Japanese film to the new American reboot, but it looks like Godzilla may finally be scary again next summer.</p>

It's been a long journey from the original Japanese film to the new American reboot, but it looks like Godzilla may finally be scary again next summer.

Credit: Toho Studios

'Godzilla' begins production and Gareth Edwards says hello from the set

Hard to believe the big guy's back in theaters in just over a year

Today, for the first time in a while, there is a Godzilla movie shooting somewhere in the world.

I can't believe it was 2004 when I wrote about the Hollywood premiere of "Godzilla: Final Wars." At the time, Toho was experiencing some kaiju fatigue, and they declared that they were finished. They've actually stuck true to their word in the years since, and as a result, Godzilla has been absent from the bigscreen for the better part of a decade now.

Considering what an important overall cultural icon he is, it's sort of amazing they've been willing to keep him off-screen for this long. Toho considers him one of the most important assets they own as a studio, and the decision to allow Hollywood to take another crack at the character could not have been an easy one for them.

This has been a long and careful process for Legendary Pictures, too. They know how badly things went with the Devlin/Emmerich version, and they seem to understand what some of the most pronounced mistakes were with that film. But knowing what's wrong and fixing what was wrong are two different things, and Legendary has been moving slowly during pre-production on this because they didn't want to screw it up a second time.

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<p>Kacey Musgraves</p>

Kacey Musgraves

Interview: Kacey Musgraves on new album and her It Girl status

Country newcomer on why she won't edit her controversial lyrics

Kacey Musgraves’ breakthrough single, “Merry ‘Go Round” ends with “Jack and Jill went up a hill/Jack burned out on booze and pills/And Mary had a little lamb/Mary just don’t give a damn no more.”

And there’s plenty more where that came from on “Same Trailer, Different Park,” the country singer’s major label debut, out today. Full of fractured fairy tales and broken dreams, “Same Trailer, Different Park” takes the listener through a spellbinding cascade of downwardly mobile characters, each one spiraling further than the next, stuck in dead end jobs and even deader-end relationships.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Chris O'Dowd in &quot;Family Tree.&quot;</p>

Chris O'Dowd in "Family Tree."

Credit: HBO

A glimpse of Christopher Guest's new HBO series 'Family Tree'

Chris O'Dowd stars in this Anglo-American comedy

We don't normally cover small-screen fare here at In Contention, but when the show in question is the creation of Christopher Guest, exceptions should be made. Guest, whose irreverent brand of mock-doc comedy includes such films as "This is Spinal Tap" and "Best in Show," is by no means a newcomer to TV -- among many other achievements, he was on the "Saturday Night Live" team way back when, and recently directed a failed pilot for a US spin on Britain's cult political satire "The Thick of It."

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"Splash"

 "Splash"

Credit: ABC

Do you plan to watch 'Splash'?

Can celebrity diving work for U.S. audiences?
I'm a big fan of reality TV, which I accept as being highly scripted and rarely real in any sense. But even I had to roll my eyes when not one but two celebrity diving programs made the programming slate (Fox's "Stars in Danger: The High Dive" two-hour special in January sunk like a stone in the ratings, bringing in just 3.4 million viewers). Now ABC's foray into celebrity diving, "Splash," is scheduled to air, and the big question is whether or not it will belly flop like its predecessor. 
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<p>'The 20/20 Experience'</p>

'The 20/20 Experience'

Review Round-Up: What are critics saying about Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience?'

Look for Vol. 2 later this year

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” comes out today. Bolstered by non-stop television appearances (including his CW special tonight) it looks like the title will sell at least 500,000 copies in its opening frame, making it the best first week of any album in 2013.

Reviews have ranged from stellar to moderate. In my HitFix review, I  wrote: “At its best, “The 20/20 Experience” feels like its own invention: an exploration into what it means to take the traditional confines of pop and then see how far those boundaries can be pushed...At its worst, “The 20/20 Experience”  feel like sets of unfinished lab experiments stretched far too thin. Every one of the 10 tunes here creeps up to or surpasses the seven-minute mark, often to their own detriment.”

How are other critics seeing it? Here’s what some major outlets have to say about “The 20/20 Experience.”


AP’s Mesfin Fekadu calls “The 20/20 Experiment” “a brilliant piece of work that plays like a musical movement. The 10 tracks (which average seven minutes) weave into one another beautifully as his falsetto glides over each beat. It's an unconventional adventure that makes your bones groove. Seriously.
It's hard to think of another performer who can make a seven-minute track continuously engaging and refreshing, especially at a time when a five-minute song screams "problem" for radio stations and our attention span gets shorter with every tweet or text.

Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz says, “Six-and-a-half years after effectively conquering pop music with a highly sexual, fashionably futuristic album, Justin Timberlake has returned as a more relaxed version of himself, with a brand new palette of musical shades...The propulsive moans and aggressive come-ons of his 2006 smash single "Sexyback," for instance, have been traded for big-band brass, creeping bass and open-hearted professions of love


The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica
is not a fan: “He could have made a cabaret standards album, an acoustic singer-songwriter folk record, a ghastly dance-music immersion, a pseudo-Drake sing-rap hybrid. Any of those would have been more risky and more distinctive than what ended up on “The 20/20 Experience,” an amiable, anodyne album that hopes not to alienate anyone but also doesn’t offer new reasons to commit. It’s an album of largely inconsequential beauty, showing Mr. Timberlake as an artist with no incentive to innovate, making this primarily a paean to brand maintenance.

Vibe’s Clover Hope is similarly not entranced: At its best, 20/20 is a reliable product in a Justin Timberlake assembly line. You’ll find great records—the bedroom soul-trip “Spaceship Coupe” and “Tunnel Vision,” the track you’d say, “This again?” to, if it was released as a lead single instead of “Suit & Tie”—as well as some groan moments: “I can’t wait to get you home and get you in my veins,” a metaphor on “Pusher Love Girl.”


USA Today’s Elysa Gardner
appreciates the tag-team approach:  “Justin Timberlake's first studio album in nearly seven years is a tribute to two of the most important people in his life: Jessica Biel and Timbaland — though not necessarily in that order....The new collection picks up where 2006's FutureSex/LoveSounds left off and, eventually, explores love and sex from the perspective of a more mature chap. Timbaland is the R&B savant with whom Timberlake has teamed on most of his best material since shedding the bubblegum stigma of 'N Sync.

The good news for those who like "The 20/20 Experience" is there's more coming later this year. After Questlove spilled the beans that the new album was only the first half, Timberlake confirmed to reporters, according to Reuters, that a second half would, indeed, come out in 2013.

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'Game of Thrones' star Rose Leslie explains the art of 'You know nothing'

'Game of Thrones' star Rose Leslie explains the art of 'You know nothing'

'Downton Abbey' star also speculates on the fate of Gwen
"Winter is coming" aside, HBO's "Game of Thrones" hasn't become a catchphrase machine, but if the TV series follows the path of the books, that may be about to change, thanks to spunky wildling Ygritte.
 
The character's condescending-yet-affectionate "You know nothing, Jon Snow" is one of the most frequent utterances in George R.R. Martin's "A Storm of Swords," but it's only begun to be heard on the HBO series. 
 
On the red carpet at Monday (March 18) night's "Game of Thrones" season premiere event in Hollywood, I caught up with Rose Leslie, TV's Ygritte, to talk about the fine art of "You know nothing." Leslie also discusses her newly discovered gift for archery and speculates on what her long-absent "Downton Abbey" character has been up to.
 
You can also check out my premiere red carpet interview with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. More interviews from the red carpet still to come!
 
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on Sunday, March 31.
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<p>Ramsay's last film was 2011's &quot;We Need to&nbsp;talk&nbsp;About&nbsp;Kevin&quot;</p>

Ramsay's last film was 2011's "We Need to talk About Kevin"

Credit: AP Photo

Lynne Ramsay quits Natalie Portman western 'Jane Got a Gun' on day one of shooting

Uh-oh...

Chalk this up as some instantly legendary Hollywood news. Lynne Ramsay has no-showed Natalie Portman western "Jane Got a Gun" on day one of shooting out in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As Mike Fleming writes in his exclusive report, directors leaving production is hardly unheard of, but not showing up on the very first day is a bit, uh, unique.

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<p>Mike Leigh</p>

Mike Leigh

Credit: AP Photo/Carlo Allegri

Mike Leigh's Turner biopic finds a home with Sony Classics

The seven-time Oscar nominee's passion project will be released in 2014

Okay, it's insane enough to be thinking of this year's potential Oscar contenders, but here's one gourmet prospect to chalk up for next year. Though still in pre-production, Mike Leigh's long-fostered passion project, a currently untitled biopic of eminent British painter J.M.W. Turner, has been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. (If my headline had you thinking he'd remade "What's Love Got To Do With It," I'll presume you're unfamiliar with Leigh's work.)  

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<p>The late Henry Bromell, who most recently wrote for &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

The late Henry Bromell, who most recently wrote for "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

RIP, Henry Bromell: Writer of 'Homeland,' 'Homicide' & more

Bromell also worked on 'Rubicon,' 'Brotherhood' and 'Chicago Hope,' among others

Henry Bromell, who worked as a writer and producer on some of the most interesting dramas of the last 20 years, has died of a heart attack, as first reported by Deadline. He was 65.

Bromell most recently was part of the "Homeland" writing staff, a murderers' row of former showrunners. Among his credited episodes was season 2's "Q and A,"  featuring the extended interrogation of Nicholas Brody. It was an episode hearkening back to one of Bromell's earliest jobs in television, as a writer/producer on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street."

Over the course of his career, Bromell worked on "Homicide," "Homeland," "I'll Fly Away," "Chicago Hope," "Carnivale," "Brotherhood" and "Rubicon," among others. Sometimes, as on "Homeland," he was part of the staff; other times, like "Rubicon" (where he was brought in after the pilot to replace the creator), he was the man in charge.

Twentieth Century Fox TV and Fox 21, the studios which produce "Homeland," put out a statement saying, "We were lucky to work with Henry on and off for the past 18 years. He was a supremely talented writer and as kind and warm a person as you could ever meet. He will be deeply missed at the studio and on 'Homeland.' Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and children."

UPDATE: Showtime's statement: "We are deeply saddened at the loss of our dear friend Henry Bromell, who has been a part of the Showtime family for over a decade. Henry was an immensely talented and prolific writer, director and showrunner, and his work on 'Brotherhood' and 'Homeland'  was nothing short of brilliant. His passion, warmth, humor and generosity will be greatly missed. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his wife and family."

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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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