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<p>George Clooney at the Los Angeles premiere of &quot;Argo&quot;</p>

George Clooney at the Los Angeles premiere of "Argo"

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

George Clooney's 'Monuments Men' fills out with Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin

The World War II drama announces a major cast

How many Oscar nominees can you fit into one cast? Okay, Daniel Craig, you'll get there, but in addition to the "Skyfall" actor, director George Clooney has filled out the cast of his World War II drama "The Monuments Men" with Cate Blanchett ("The Aviator"), Bill Murray ("Lost in Translation") and Jean Dujardin ("The Artist"), in addition to John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban.

That's a lot of fire power. But Clooney can wrangle that kind of talent easily. He's one of Hollywood's golden boys, primed to receive an Oscar nomination in his sixth category for producing "Argo" this year. Deadline reports that the film, based on a true story and written by Clooney and partner Grant Heslov, tells of a crew of art historians and museum curators who scrambled to recover renown works of art stolen by the Nazi regime, destined to be destroyed.

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<p>Daniel Craig in &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig in "Skyfall."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Roundup: 'Skyfall' slays global box office

Also: 'Argo' rises to the top, and why Melissa Leo owes Bill Murray

Commercial projections for "Skyfall" suggested it would be the highest-grossing Bond movie ever, and global box office figures this weekend suggest that will be the case. In the UK, the film took in over $32m this weekend -- the biggest opening haul of 2012, and a record for a non-3D feature. Indeed, it sits behind only the final "Harry Potter" instalment in the all-time rankings. Internationally, meanwhile, it opened at #1 in 24 other territories, raking in $77.7m overall. Given much robust figures, it'll be interesting to see if it outperforms estimates when it opens Stateside, where it's expected to gross a little over one-third of US champ "The Avengers"' total.  [Deadline]

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<p>There may not be many light moments in his new film 'Flight,' but Denzel Washington seems to be all smiles when discussing his work in the film.</p>

There may not be many light moments in his new film 'Flight,' but Denzel Washington seems to be all smiles when discussing his work in the film.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Denzel Washington discusses hitting rock bottom in 'Flight'

The actor talks about playing a character who is a complete mess

Denzel Washington has been working for so long now that he's sort of an institution, one of those performers who is both movie star and actor.  I think there is a clear distinction between those two things, and there are movie stars who never really push themselves out of their comfort zones, just as there are great actors who don't possess whatever that particular charisma is that makes someone iconic.  Washington is capable of disappearing into a character, but he's also one of those guys who financiers love because he's been such a reliable box-office sensation over the years.

"Flight," the new film by Robert Zemeckis, calls on both sides of Denzel's personality.  It's the story of a guy who is capable of exceptional things who is also a high-functioning alcoholic and drug abuser, and his character is a hard person to like.  Denzel's charisma helps with that, and he manages to show you how this guy is able to coast on charm even as he burns his life down.  If he wasn't such a movie star, I'm not sure you'd have any sympathy for him, but if he wasn't such a good actor, I don't think that slow crumble of addiction would feel as authentic and unapologetic as it does.  It's the sort of work that reminds you just how good someone can be.

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<p>Abbie and Ryan of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Abbie and Ryan of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Chill Out, Freak'

It's a hot one in Bangladesh with bamboo drama aplenty
It's true in life as on "The Amazing Race" - No matter how down you are, no matter how bad a day or week or month you're having, you should never quit and never give up, because you never know when your personal struggles and failures will come in a Non-Elimination Leg of Life.
 
[Most of the days and weeks and months of my life are Non-Elimination Legs, I must admit. But I'm not really competing for a million dollars in life, so eliminating me would just be petty.]
 
That's just me trying to extrapolate some sort of deep meaning from Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode, because otherwise the lesson is something like, "Just because an option is worded very poorly and complexly doesn't mean that it won't end up being much, much, much easier than the more simply worded option." Brevity of expression does not equate to ease in either life or "The Amazing Race."
 
More after the break...
 
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<p>Morena Baccarin in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Morena Baccarin in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'Q and A'

Carrie and Brody have a long conversation in a series highlight

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I specialize in widescreen agony...

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<p>On &quot;Trem&eacute;,&quot;&nbsp;David (Steve Zahn)&nbsp;pays a visit to Fats Domino.</p>

On "Tremé," David (Steve Zahn) pays a visit to Fats Domino.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Tremé' - 'Careless Love'

Education is on the agenda for Antoine, Janette, Davis and company

A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" — and, in case you missed the news, HBO announced how many episodes there will be in the fourth and final season — coming up just as soon as I misquote Spinal Tap...

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<p>David Morrissey as the Governor on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

David Morrissey as the Governor on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Walk With Me'

Andrea meets David Morrisey as the Governor

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as we get a show of hands...

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<p>Richard (Jack Huston)&nbsp;and Julia (Wrenn Schmidt)&nbsp;on &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Richard (Jack Huston) and Julia (Wrenn Schmidt) on "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Sunday Best'

The show takes a memorable Easter break

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I play the saw...

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<p>David Morrissey of &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;</p>

David Morrissey of "The Walking Dead"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Walking Dead' star David Morrissey discusses The Governor

'State of Play' star joins the cast on Sunday night
[If you know nothing about the character David Morrissey will be playing on AMC's "The Walking Dead" and *want* to know nothing about the character, this interview can be considered very spoiler-y and you probably wanna read it after watching Sunday (October 28) night's episode. The reality, though, is that while the interview goes into some depth on the motivations and psychology of Morrissey's character, it spoils absolutely nothing about what he actually DOES within "The Walking Dead."]
 
In his acclaimed career, David Morrissey is no stranger to playing characters of a political persuasion, whether it's Stephen Collins from "State of Play" or Gordon Brown in "The Deal."
 
Morrissey, who probably would prefer you not think of him as the male lead in "Basic Instinct 2," makes his first appearance on Sunday (October 28) on AMC's "The Walking Dead," playing a character named The Governor, but fans of Robert Kirkman's comic series know that The Governor is not a traditional politician, per se. The Governor is the leader of the Woodbury community and... let's just say that there are some potentially unsavory sides to the character, not that we're necessarily going to see that side immediately on the TV show.
 
I sat down with the "Viva Blackpool" and "Meadowlands" (or "Cape Wrath," if you prefer its superior British title) star three weeks ago to talk about The Governor, who wasn't in either of the first two episodes sent to critics. 
 
Like so many actors playing ostensible villains, Morrissey clearly doesn't interpret The Governor as being a bad guy, or at least not a one-dimensional adversary. In the interview, Morrissey gives his read on The Governor, including several unlikely inspirations for the character. He also discusses his developing Southern accent and his off-screen friendship with "Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln.
 
As I already warned you above, there are spoilers in this interview, but they're character spoilers more than plot spoilers. You can also check out my interviews with Danai Gurira, producers Gale Anne Hurd & Greg Nicotero, and with producers Robert Kirkman & Glenn Mazzara.
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Taylor Swift tops this week's Music Power Rankings

Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake also make the list

1. Taylor Swift: Selling 1 million copies of your album in one week gets you a lot of things, the least of which is No. 1 on Music Power Rankings.

2. Justin Bieber: Biebs’ total YouTube views top 3 billion. If he weren’t Canadian, he would handily win the presidential election.

3. Jason Aldean: The country singer not only lands the No. 1 album in the country, he  sells out Boston’s Fenway Park so quickly a second date is added. Kind of crazy given that most non-country fans have no idea who he is. Like he cares.

4. Lady Gaga: Mama Monster gets 19 species of ferns named after her.  In  response, Lady Gaga decides her fans will now be known as Little Ferns.

5. Adele’s baby: Has he gotten a record deal yet? Can we sign him?

6. Justin Timberlake: He serenaded new wife Jessica Biel with a new song. As long as it wasn’t called “Wedding Bell Blues,” we bet she’s very happy.

7. The Rolling Stones:
They play a club gig for 600 fans in Paris. Within two months, 150,000 people will claim they were there.

8. Arcade Fire: The 2011 Grammy winners for album of the year are back in the studio working on the follow-up to “The Suburbs.” What’s next? “The ExUrbs?”

9. James Brown
: Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger join forces to produce a feature biopic on Brown. They may have to be the hardest working men in show business to actually get this one to the screen.

10. Bruno Mars:
The singer became the latest double threat to both perform and host on “Saturday Night Live,” bringing the show its best rating in months. Imagine if “SNL” had let Lana Del Rey do both...


 

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"The X Factor"

 "The X Factor"

Credit: Fox

Reality TV Roundup: Host kissing on 'Survivor,' divas return to 'Project Runway' and more

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now

Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too. 

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"Brainwashed"

 "Brainwashed"

Credit: Discovery

'Brainwashed' tries to create a real-life 'Manchurian Candidate' assassin

Hypnotist Tom Silver says the show gets into 'scary stuff'

If you've ever seen "The Manchurian Candidate" (either the original or the remake), the premise seems like pure cinema. Under hypnosis, an otherwise upstanding citizen becomes an assassin, killing while in a trance before forgetting the murder ever happened. But is it possible in real life? In "Brainwashed" (Oct. 28, 9:00 p.m. ET on Discovery), researchers decide to find out.

Using Tom Silver, a hypnotist with over 28 years of experience who has put people under on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," "The Doctors," "The Ricki Lake Show," the show put a group of volunteers through a series of increasingly difficult tests to see if any one of them might emerge as a potential killer. And the goal isn't just theory and conjecture -- the show created a scenario in which a hypnotized person would be given a real gun (filled with blanks) and a mark to shoot at close range, fake blood splatter and all.

I spoke to Silver about the show, and while he was unwilling to discuss whether or not the test worked (you'll get no spoilers from me, but you really do need to watch the show), he did talk about implanting memories, using hypnosis for either good or evil and why Taiwan hired him to pull secrets out of imprisoned colonels and generals. 

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