<p>Britney Spears has a lot to say on her infectious new album &quot;Femme Fatale.&quot;</p>

Britney Spears has a lot to say on her infectious new album "Femme Fatale."

Credit: Jive Records

Review: Britney Spears returns to the club with the gutsy and infectious 'Femme Fatale'

Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kesha better watch out

Dance fueled pop has made a huge comeback over the past two years and it's hard to remember when the quality of the material itself was so strong.  Spears is no stranger to the dance floor, but has a lot of competition these days with Lady Gaga, Kesha (who contributes to "Femme Fatale" as a songwriter), Rihanna, a revitalized Jennifer Lopez and even remixed Katy Perry dominating the singles charts.  Either taking a gamble or just a reflection of her own tastes, "Fatale" is the most club ready album from a major artist since Madonna's "Confessions on a Dance Floor."

Spears told Rolling Stone said she wanted all kinds of different sounds on her seventh studio album and to play with her voice and that's exactly what she's done with "Femme Fatale."  Working with previous collaborators such as Dr. Luke ("Circus"), Max Martin ("If U Seek Amy") and Bloodshy ("Piece of Me") and new producers such as Will.I.Am and Stargate, Spears has selected songs  (and let's make it clear, she decides what is on the album musically, not handlers) with pop-friendly lyrics, but allowed the music to take some gutsy electronic risks that will even surprise some of her sharpest artistic detractors.

Moreover, she told her fans she was back in "Blackout" and "Circus," but on "Femme Fatale" she's singing that now she's in control -- even if that means escaping to the dance floor.  And who can blame her?  No paparazzi, no managers, no media pressures, no business pressures.  It's almost as freeing as the recording booth.

The album itself contains 12 tracks. There are four additional songs available on the Deluxe Edition.  Strangely, every single one of the extras could easily make any Spears album (and in fact, they are arguably all better than a number of the weaker "Circus" and "Blackout" songs), but if you are going to look at the album thematically (don't laugh), they probably don't fit. Perhaps Spears will pull a Gaga and release them on a second album later this year with a few other new tracks?  We can only speculate.  With that in mind however, here's some thoughts on the individual "Femme Fatale" songs.

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<p>Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez of &quot;Red Riding Hood.&quot;</p>

Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez of "Red Riding Hood."

Watch: A 'Red Riding Hood' interview goes way off course thanks to a thong

Was it only a train wreck in the interviewer's head?

Sometimes an interview just goes terribly wrong.  It's worse when you screw up a 10-20 minutes private sit down with someone, but one bad question or touchy subject in a five min TV interview and, well, the rest of the chat can feel like an hour of hell.  That's sort of what occurred when I sat down to interview "Red Riding Hood" stars Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez last week.  

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<p>Puss in &quot;Puss in Boots.&quot;</p>

Puss in "Puss in Boots."

Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Surprise: Guillermo del Toro and Antonio Banderas' 'Puss in Boots' might be something special

reamWorks Animation's annual preview shows remarkable consistency

LOS ANGELES - Many in the media have been skeptical about DreamWorks Animation's long in the works 'Shrek" spin-off, "Puss in Boots."  A solo movie for a supporting character that stole just part of "Shrek 2"?  The studio, on the other hand, has taken the origin story of the seductive feline swashbuckler much more seriously.  On Friday morning "Boots" stole the show during DreamWorks Animation's now annual yearly preview from its stablemate, the much more anticipated "Kung Fu Panda 2."  Before explaining why buzz will be growing for "Boots," some thoughts on Jack Black's return to animated action.

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<p>&quot;Twilight&quot;&nbsp;director Catherine Hardwicke talks about reinvigorating the new &quot;Red Riding Hood.&quot;</p>

"Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke talks about reinvigorating the new "Red Riding Hood."

Watch: 'Twilight's' Catherine Hardwicke gets Julie Christie to play a sexy grandma in 'Red Riding Hood'

Director happy to create her own world this time around

Checking out the reviews for "Red Riding Hood" so far, it's a bit shocking just how seriously some major critics took Catherine Hardwicke's "Twilight" follow up.  Considering some of the other dredge that's been released s so far in 2011, "Riding Hood" is more entertaining than you'd expect and that's mostly because it doesn't take itself too seriously.  The film has a running gag of a werewolf stenographer for Pete's sake.

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<p>Cameron Diaz will star alongside Colin Firth in &quot;Gambit.&quot;</p>

Cameron Diaz will star alongside Colin Firth in "Gambit."

Credit: AP Photo

Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz's 'Gambit' might give CBS Films its first jewel

Perception is everything for Tiffany Network's film division

The much beleaguered MGM could never seem to get the much rumored sequel to 1999's "The Thomas Crown Affair" off the ground, but CBS Films may have just landed the perfect 2011 model with "Gambit."

Based on the 1966 comedy thriller starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine, the film follows a London art dealer (recent Oscar winner Colin Firth) who enlists a Texas Rodeo Queen (Cameron "don't call it a comeback" Diaz) to help con one of the richest men in England. The project has some major pedigree behind it as the new screenplay is by none other than Joel and Ethan Coen.  Bringing more prestige film acclaim to the party is "The Last Station's" Michael Hoffman who is on board to direct.

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<p>Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer in &quot;Win Win.&quot;</p>

Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer in "Win Win."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: Paul Giamatti takes coaching to comical extremes in 'Win Win' clip

Can high school wrestling be funny? You bet it can

One of the more entertaining films at this year's 2011 Sundance Film Festival was "Win Win." Luckily for audiences, they haven't had to wait long for it to hit theaters as it opens in limited release on March 18.

The third directorial effort from Tom McCarthy, who previously helmed "The Station Agent" and "The Visitor," "Win" is set in a small New Jersey town where local lawyer Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is faced with mounting costs on his law practice while coaching one of the worst high school wrestling teams in the state. Things take a peculiar turn when the estranged grandson of one of his clients, Kyle (newcomer Alex Shaffer), arrives on his family's doorstep after running away from home.  It turns out Kyle is a champion wrestler who had some emotional issues with his mom in the Midwest.  While Kyle tries to figure out how to deal with his mother's addiction recovery, Mike recruits him to the wrestling team and, surprise, things turn around for all parties involved (although there are some surprises along the way).

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<p>Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo and Colin Firth celebrating their acting Oscar wins on Sunday night.</p>

Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo and Colin Firth celebrating their acting Oscar wins on Sunday night.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Oscar Postmortem: Lessons learned from the 2011 Awards Season

Moving the Academy Awards to late Feb or Jan needs to be top priority

Well that was fun, wasn't it?

This year's sad excuse for an Oscar telecast will no doubt go down in Academy Awards history as being one of the most boring ever, but the producers and mismatched hosts certainly didn't have the benefit of either upsets or great speeches occurred during the broadcast.  Oh, apologies, were unexpected wins in cinematography and art direction supposed to be true television drama?  No, but it's not even about upsets at this point.  Part of the fun with awards season is seeing who pulls out a close race at the last minute.  Besides some questions between "Avatar" and "Hurt Locker" winning best picture last year and the race between "Departed," "Babel" and "Little Miss Sunshine" in 2007 that hasn't really been the case.  Will that change in 2012?  We can only hope.  

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<p>Elton John on CTV's &quot;The Marilyn Denis Show&quot; on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.</p>

Elton John on CTV's "The Marilyn Denis Show" on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

Elton John slams Disney over not supporting 'Gnomeo and Juliet' or does he?

Pop legend shows his disdain for the studio but where did his other remarks come from?

After the impressive box office of the Elton John produced "Gnomeo and Juliet" over the past few weeks, it's hard to find anyone in Hollywood who doesn't believe the animated hit couldn't have made more money if it was released under the Disney banner.  Instead, "Gnomeo" was released under the studio's now seldom used Touchtone Pictures label.  In 18 days the 3-D animated film has already grossed $74 million domestically and $101.6 million worldwide.  Considering the family friendly nature of the Disney brand, most industry executives would have expected an even larger bounty if the film had been a "Disney" picture.

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<p>No, that's not our Oscar pool winner, but he did guess Luke Matheny's win for best live action short.</p>

No, that's not our Oscar pool winner, but he did guess Luke Matheny's win for best live action short.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

We have an Oscar Pool Champion

How many did you get right?

Predicting the Academy Awards is never easy and I just don't say that because I personally had a horrible year.  Having only predicted 15 of the 24 categories correctly, I might need to be taken to the back of AMPAS headquarters and given a good scolding by Mr. Tom Hanks and possibly even Oprah.  That being said, our popular Awards Pool had some excellent players in its first year.

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<p>James Franco and Anne Hathaway have had a shaky Oscar debut.</p>

James Franco and Anne Hathaway have had a shaky Oscar debut.

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terril

Live blogging the 2011 Oscars

The good, the bad and the ugly from the 83rd Academy Awards

Yes, it's that time again.  It's the red carpet of all red carpets.  The big kahuna.  The award show that tops all others. 

Sigh, no.  Not the Teen Choice Awards, it's the 83rd Academy Awards!  And none other than best actor nominee James Franco has graced us with his presence by taking time out from the 17 different art installations he's working on, studying for his third graduate degree and his recent addiction to twitpic to co-host the show with the always adorable Anne Hathaway. A new generation is here!

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