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<p>Alice Englert in &quot;In Fear.&quot;</p>

Alice Englert in "In Fear."

Credit: Sundance Film Festival

Review: Alice Englert gets driven to distraction in nifty British horror pic ‘In Fear’

The rising young star is an asset to this scrappy genre treat

When it comes to Australian actress Alice Englert, it feels a bit like we’re watching a star being born in fast-forward, and not necessarily in the right order. The 18-year-old daughter of Jane Campion – though she’ll make it on her own name and merits, thank you very much – came to critics’ attention at Toronto last year, with her cool turn as a precocious seductress in Sally Potter’s “Ginger and Rosa.” The performance nabbed her a British Independent Film Award, though despite an Oscar-qualifying run, US audiences will only see it in mid-March. By that time, she’ll have already made her mainstream mark as the heroine of Warner’s all-star adaptation of teen-lit phenomenon “Beautiful Creatures.”

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<p>Macklemore and Ryan Lewis</p>

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's 'Thrift Shop' tops the Billboard Hot 100

How high does Justin Timberlake's 'Suit & Tie' jump?

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis bargain hunt their way to No. 1 as “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz tops the Billboard Hot 100.

But that’s not the only big story on the chart this week: Justin Timberlake’s first new single in six years, “Suit & Tie,” somersaults 84-4. It’s his 12th Hot 100 Top 10 as a solo or featured artist and his first since her appeared on Ciara’a “Love Sex Magic” in 2009, according to Billboard.

“Thrift Shop,” which ends Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” six-week run at No. 1,”  attains its pole position through strong digital sales (it solds 431,000 downloads last week compared with “Suit & Tie’s” 315,000), as well as heavy streaming.  In fact, the song set a streaming record, garnering 1.68 million streams last week, topping the previous record-holder Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.”  Airplay is still building for “Thrift,” which rises to No. 14 on Billboard’s Radio Songs chart.

Mars’ “Locked” slips to No. 3, while The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” holds at No. 3. Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” falls 4-5, despite gaining airplay. The song is No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart this week.

Will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout” remains at No. 6, while Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” featuring John Martin stays at No. 7.

Rihanna’s “Diamonds”  slips 5-8, Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” featuring Nicki Minaj slides 8-9 and Phillip Phillips’ “Home” dips 9-10.

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<p>Could this be two captains of the <em>Enterprise</em> in the same shot?</p>

Could this be two captains of the Enterprise in the same shot?

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Did the new 'Star Trek' comic confirm our theory about the bad guy in 'Into Darkness'?

Remember when we half-jokingly mentioned Robert April? Well, we're not laughing now.

When I was at the "Star Trek Into Darkness" press day at the end of last year, I noticed something that I mentioned in the article, a passing reference to "April" on some of the production design artwork.

Keep in mind this was the same day we first learned the official name of Benedict Cumberbatch's character in the film, "John Harrison."  This seemed to confuse people who have been reading every single word about the sequel that has been printed online.  After all, Bob Orci said at one point that the villain in the new movie is a character who appears in canon, which is one reason why many people made the jump to assuming that it was Khan or maybe Gary Mitchell.

Mitchell had to be ruled out early, though, because he made an appearance in the IDW comic tie-in to the Abrams film, and Orci and Kurtman have both said that the comic series is meant to be taken as part of the continuity of the film series.  If that's true, then maybe the half-baked theory I posted after seeing that mention of April isn't that half-baked after all.

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<p>Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Pepperwood'

Nick goes undercover in Jess's class, while Winston and Cece have an awkward morning encounter

A quick review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I have a deaf grocer...

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<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Timberlake returns to stage for Super Bowl concert

Private show is his first in five years

Justin Timberlake will return to the stage for his first concert in five years when he performs at DIRECTV’s Super Saturday night in New Orleans on Feb. 2, the evening before the Super Bowl.

The private party, co-hosed by Mark Cuban’s AXS TV, will benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children, a cause with which Timberlake has long donated his time and money.

The performance follows the release of Timberlake’s new single, “Suit & Tie” from his forthcoming album, “The 20/20 Experience.”

While the concert isn’t open to the public, maybe Cuban’s AXS TV is recording for potential future broadcast.

Can a full tour be on the horizon? Maybe he'll join Beyonce for the big half-time show? 
 

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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Concert Review: Lady Gaga storms Staples Center in Los Angeles

What's the latest on new album, 'Artpop?'

Stepping into Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball, which stopped at Los Angeles’ Staples Center Jan. 20-21, feels like stepping into some utopian ideal.

Everyone is equal, everyone is welcome, and everyone is loved in Momma Monster’s world and she’s going to remind you of that until you believe it.  Oh, and she plays some songs too.

The Jan. 21 show started with the unveiling of an impressive three-story castle from which Gaga emerges. The band members were in various portals, separated from each other for most of the show.  For the next 2 hours and 15 minutes,  Lady Gaga repeatedly stormed the moveable castle, turning it into her own gothic Barbie Dreamhouse as it opened up to reveal interior rooms. The Born This Way Ball is a true spectacular, the likes of which few artists even attempt to accomplish these days.

From the moment she appears in a black corset with black metal contraption on her head, roaring into “Government Hooker,” Lady Gaga was in complete control of the stage and the sold-out, adoring audience.

With her hair/wig swept up in some pink Bridezilla beehive, she stomped and danced her way through “Born This Way, “ “Bloody Mary” “Bad Romance,” and more in the first 30 minutes.

Each song morphed fairly indistinguishably into the next, the beats and singing blending together, punctuated by costume changes, crazy headgear, a dozen dancers in various states of undress, and Lady Gaga preaching and exalting us to jump and respond. “Raise your hands in the air! This is not a f**king funeral,” she screamed as she segued from “Judas” into “Fashion of His Love.” The show started full throttle and never cried uncle. It was a full-on assault, with very little pacing and sense of an arc, just continuous movement forward. If that sounds like a criticism, it’s only a slight one given that it seems downright churlish to complain about a performance that never lets up or dips in its aggressiveness. 

The fast-paced show operated on the conceit that Lady Gaga is an alien who has arrived on earth to learn everything she can about us. As the Manifesto of Mother Monster goes (the manifesto was introduced in the “Born This Way” video), she is from G.O.A.T., a government-owned alien territory.  By the time she is finished with her journey,  she will have earned the right to be our pop star.  “In the meantime I will suck the life out of many of you tonight,” she declared. From time to time, a projected image of a talking face in a suspended cage brought us up to speed on her journey.  She should drop the whole idea. She’s weird enough without the idea that she’s an alien.

When she wasn’t singing —and make no mistake about it, she was singing live, though sometimes her voice was heavily accompanied by enhanced vocal tracks and effects—she was delivering sermonette after sermonette. She talked about her days as a stripper (“there’s no shame in taking off your clothes for money,” she declares) and her rise to fame, and genuinely and profusely thanked the audience for spending their money to see her.

As she lets her freak flag continuously fly, she relentlessly reminded the audience to believe in themselves and not to care what others think.  Every misfit toy—and who hasn’t felt like one at some time or another?—is beautiful in her world and her message was so touchingly delivered and repeated that only the coldest heart of a homecoming queen could fail to be  melted. “Can you be brave enough not to care?,” she screamed at one point, pacing on the outer rim of a catwalk that extended into the arena and surrounded the Monster Pit. “When you stop caring about what other people think, you fly so f**king free.”  Her dedication to embracing and lifting up her fellow outsiders was the most endearing part of the evening.

Not every set piece worked. The meat medley —she comes out hanging like a side of beef for “Americano,” then performs “Poker Face” upended in a meat grinder (huh?) and segues into “Alejandro” while lying on a sofa made of raw sirloin — seemed a bit of a stretch.

But the false moments are few and the gargantuan effort Lady Gaga put in to every one of the 25 numbers was staggering in her commitment and intensity.  One of the most affecting segments was when she finally slowed down long enough to sit at the piano and sing “The Queen,” telling the audience, “I don’t want to be your queen. I want to be your friend. I don’t want you to worship me. I want you to worship you.”  It’s an unassailable message, even if she is delivering it from a multi-million dollar set while slavishly-devoted fans hang on her every word. She continued at the piano for a full-throated rendition of “You & I,” one of the evening’s highlights.

She ended the night with an encore featuring “The Edge of Glory” and a slowed-down “Marry The Night.” For the latter, she gathered up “monsters” from the pit, most of them in some form of costume, and hugged and sang with them. It was the direct opposite of a big finish, but after more than two hours of bombast, it was finally time to slow it down.

The North American leg of the Born This Way Ball, which started in Vancouver on Jan. 11, concludes March 20 in Tulsa, Okla.

In other Lady Gaga news, she continues to work on “ARTPOP” with EDM artist/producer Zedd. He told MTV News  that they have a ways to go before completing the album, her first since “Born This Way” was released in May 2011. 

“It’s hard to find time to work on something together,” he says. “So we’ve been working on it for over a year now. There’s still a lot of work left, so we’re definitely gonna work on this project for the next month.”

He added that while they toured together in Asia, he worked up 10 songs and finished them up until the point where she would add the piano, but he didn’t know if any of those would make the final cut.

 

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<p>Aubrey Plaza and Amy Poehler in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Aubrey Plaza and Amy Poehler in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: 'Parks and Recreation' puts women in garbage

And is trash one subject that brings out April's sincerity?

If there's one thing "Parks and Recreation" has made abundantly clear over five seasons, it's that Leslie Knope can rock any job put in front of her. Tomorrow night's episode, "Women in Garbage," puts that idea to the test as Leslie spends a day (with April) working as a trash collector, all to prove a point to the male-dominated Pawnee government that there should be more civil service jobs open to the women of the town.

In this scene — exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours — we see Leslie and April gearing up for their shift as garbage women, with Leslie approaching the task the way she does everything, and April realizing this is a job she might actually like.

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<p>Adele celebrating her Golden Globe win for best original song earlier this month.</p>

Adele celebrating her Golden Globe win for best original song earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo

Adele to perform Oscar-nominated 'Skyfall' during the 85th Academy Awards telecast

First live performance since birth of her son

Screams of joy could be heard from Adeletes around the world this morning after the Academy announced that Grammy-winning superstar Adele would preform during this year's 85th Academy Awards.

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<p>Kristina (Monica Potter)&nbsp;has reason to smile in the &quot;Parenthood&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Kristina (Monica Potter) has reason to smile in the "Parenthood" season finale.

Credit: NBC

Season finale review: 'Parenthood' - 'Because You're My Sister'

Kristina gets a diagnosis, Sarah makes a choice, and the family officially welcomes Victor

A review of the "Parenthood" season finale coming up just as soon as I compare you to Pinky Tuscadero...

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<p>Jon Hamm will direct the second episode of &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp; season six.</p>

Jon Hamm will direct the second episode of "Mad Men"  season six.

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' season 6 will premiere in April

AMC drama will return with another two-hour season premiere

Don Draper and the rest of "Mad Men" will be back on AMC on Sunday, April 7 at 9 p.m.

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"Cheer Perfection"

 "Cheer Perfection"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive: The mama drama heats up on 'Cheer Perfection'

The tension mounts between Ann and Shannon

Guess what? Crazy, bickering women aren't strictly confined to "The Real Housewives" franchise! They also pop up a-plenty on "Cheer Perfection" (Wed. 10:00 p.m. ET, TLC). In this exclusive clip, the mama drama reaches new heights as Anna and Shannon get into it in the parking lot outside the gym. As they battle to defend their teenaged girls, they oddly sound a lot like five-year-olds. 

If you're not familiar with the show, head coach Alisha chooses the top five athletes from youth silver to return to Chicago so they might compete in duo and trio divisions. Furious that her daughter Torrann wasn’t selected as one of the ‘fab five,’ cheer mom Ann continues to lash out at the other moms in the gym. And since she has unresolved issues with Shannon, she continues to pick fights with her. 

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<p>Amanda Seyfried of &quot;Lovelace&quot;</p>

Amanda Seyfried of "Lovelace"

Credit: Sundance

Sundance Review: 'Lovelace' doesn't go deep enough despite Amanda Seyfried's efforts

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's porn-fueled biopic premieres at Sundance
Under the name Linda Lovelace, Linda Boreman starred in "Deep Throat," the most successful hard-core sex film ever made, as well as a handful of less successful and less legitimate adult ventures. For a brief period in the 1970s, Lovelace was a public figure with a high degree of fame and notoriety.
 
In less than a decade, she had become an aggressive anti-porn advocate, writing multiple books about the evils of the industry that quite literally gave her her name. 
 
For years, Hollywood has tried to tell Lovelace's story, with numerous writers and directors and stars circling and abandoning different projects, perhaps recognizing the difficulties of adequately depicting a woman mostly famous for her aptitude with blowjobs and then her subsequent disgust at said aptitude.
 
It's a tale that finally had its premiere on Tuesday (January 22) night at the Sundance Film Festival with Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's "Lovelace."
 
Screenwriter Andy Bellin has solved many of the contradictions in Lovelace's life by ignoring them entirely. "Lovelace" is a flat and superficially arced film that relies on a little linear trickery to create the illusion of complexities that are sorely lacking. The resulting film is superficial and flat and wastes a transformative, gung-ho performance by leading lady Amanda Seyfried and an amusing supporting cast that seems to be appearing in four or five different movies.
 
When Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" was released in 1962, it drummed up curiosity with the tagline "How did they ever make a movie of 'Lolita'?" I suspect a similar tactic could be used to generate initial interest in "Lovelace" before audiences discover the answer to the question "How did they ever make a movie about Linda Lovelace?" is "As blandly as possible."
 
More after the break...
 
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