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<p>Daniel Craig and his very subtly placed Omega watch in &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig and his very subtly placed Omega watch in "Skyfall."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Roundup: The selling of 'Skyfall'

Also: GKIDS starts the campaign, and are pundits overestimating 'Lincoln?'

On the one hand, it's totally unseemly and self-serving to put one's own article at the top of the daily roundup. On the other hand -- well, there is no other hand, but I'm doing it anyway. With "Skyfall" hitting UK screens on Friday, I donned my Guardian columnist hat to look into at the film's layered, long-haul promotional campaign, which combines stripped-down marketing materials -- posters focusing chiefly on the 007 brand, scarcely mentioning the A-list names involved -- with a relentless assault of brand placements and tie-ins, ranging from Heineken to Tom Ford to the Queen. (You tell me she isn't a brand.) The approach has box office pundits expecting the biggest-ever global gross for a Bond effort -- will it pay off with audiences? [The Guardian]  

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<p>Krysten Ritter in the title role from &quot;Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.&quot;</p>

Krysten Ritter in the title role from "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23."

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's 'Don't Trust the B' returns for season 2

Interesting pieces, but the odd couple sitcom still hasn't progressed

Comedies often take longer to find themselves than dramas. You can look at “Parks and Recreation,” “New Girl,” or ABC’s “Happy Endings,” which begins its third season tonight at 9, as just three recent examples of sitcoms that didn’t fully understand their strengths and weaknesses until late in their first seasons or early in their second, and are now three of the funniest shows around.

So even though I wasn’t wild about the first season of ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23,” which returns tonight at 9:30 after “Happy Endings,” there was enough interesting raw material there that I had hope for a similar leap forward in season 2. Instead, it’s the same uneven show, full of ideas that seem funny in concept but only occasionally get there in execution.
 
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<p>Pepper Potts seems less than confident about the future of Iron Man in what should be a very exciting 'Iron Man 3'</p>

Pepper Potts seems less than confident about the future of Iron Man in what should be a very exciting 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney

First trailer for 'Iron Man 3' knocks Tony Stark down and introduces the Mandarin

Marvel promises to make Stark work for it in the latest sequel in the series

"Heroes… there is no such thing."

Grammatically, that's a bit of a nightmare, but the sentiment seems clear.  Ben Kingsley's Mandarin makes his debut for the non-Comic Con crowd in the first trailer for "Iron Man 3," and as much as it looks like an Iron Man movie and a Marvel movie, it also truly looks like a Shane Black movie.

And that is a very good thing, indeed.

One of the things you have to do in an ongoing series about a superhero, especially one who positively lives and breathes ego the way Tony Stark does, is find new and organic ways to knock him down and take away that confidence.  Watching my wife's face tonight when I showed her the trailer, it's obvious that her investment in Pepper Potts and Tony as a couple is so strong that seeing the two of them thrown when his house explodes had her automatically upset and involved. 

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Daniel Craig promises 'Skyfall' is 'a classic Bond movie'

Daniel Craig promises 'Skyfall' is 'a classic Bond movie'

What aspect of 007 has made the stunts more fun for Craig?
NEW YORK, NY - When Daniel Craig took over James Bond's 00-designation and his Walther PPK, it represented a rebirth for the franchise, one that some viewers were initially cautious about.
 
"'Casino [Royale]' was about sort of beginning again, sort of wiping the slate clean. I felt very strongly that we had to kind of push out all of the old to try and get something new, which kind of some people didn't like so much," Craig recalled when I spoke with him last week in New York City. "And I thought that was the only way, as did the producers. And we have." 
 
That Martin Campbell-directed film ended up being one of the most successful and well-received James Bond films in a franchise history that recently celebrated its 50th birthday. With the newest Bond installment, "Skyfall," Craig and director Sam Mendes were able to continue to build on the "Casino Royale" blank slate, while also looking back.
 
"And now that we've come to this point, It's possible to hopefully make a classic Bond movie," Craig says. "And I think Sam's done an incredibly good job at that. And we've got all the elements of all Bond movies, but something very modern as well. There's emotion, there's violence, there's action. There's all the things you need in a Bond movie, beautiful girls. It's all there."
 
Was it always the intent to do a circumspect classic Bond for the 50th anniversary?
 
"That wasn't self-conscious in any way," Craig says. "Sam, as he talked with everybody, [art director] Dennis Gassner and [cinematographer] Roger Deakins included, wanted to set out to make a movie that had great style. And those early Bonds were very much about that. They were very much about a style, and a look and a feel. So we were kind of nodding to it, were kind of respectfully nodding to it, and hopefully just bringing some of the kind of the gags in, but, again, not trying not to make them self-conscious, just to make them part of the plot."
 
In "Skyfall," Bond has his most formidable adversary in years in Javier Bardem Silva. He's matched with a pair of pleasing and capable Bond Girls, played by Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe. And from Shanghai to Istanbul to London, he's traveling the world as only master-cinematographer Deakins could depict. And perhaps the only thing as exciting as the film itself is the indication doesn't sound like he's ready to leave Bond behind.
 
"I think hopefully there's lots more to discover about him, and to play around with," he notes. "I never made it a secret, I've always sort of gone back to the Flemings and sort of looked at those, and sort of tried to mine those for ideas. And it's kind of plenty to do there." 
 
At the "Skyfall" junket, I also spoke with Bardem, Marlohe & Harris and Dame Judi Dench, so stay tuned for those interviews in the weeks to come.
 
For now, check out the full Craig conversation above.
 
"Skyfall" opens in the UK and around much of the world this Friday (October 26) and on November 9 in the United States.
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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 155: 'Happy Endings,' 'Don't Trust the B,' 'Mockingbird Lane' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 155: 'Happy Endings,' 'Don't Trust the B,' 'Mockingbird Lane' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss 'Homeland,' reality TV and answer your mail

The

After some recent scheduling weirdness, it's back to Monday for the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as Dan and I talk about ABC's returning comedies, NBC's busted pilot theater, reality TV, "Homeland," and more.

The line-up: 

"Happy Endings" (00:01:45 - 00:12:00)
"Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" (00:12:00 - 00:24:25)
"Mockingbird Lane" (00:24:30 - 00:39:15)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:39:20 - 00:52:30)
Listener Mail - Token Diversity (00:52: 48 - 00:59:20)
Listener Mail - Girls vs. Boys (00:59:25 - 01:04:20)
"Homeland" (01:05:00 - 01:20:45)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: It's a shortened show but there's still drama

One celeb gets rushed to the hospital while another stumbles

Tonight’s episode is just one hour long, so that means “Dancing with the Stars” couldn’t possibly shove all the dancing we need to see into just one episode. So, we see half of the dances and just one of the group freestyles. Team A dances to "Call Me Maybe" tonight, team B to "Gangnam Style" tomorrow night. So, as Tom and Brooke repeatedly tell us, we need to vote both nights. And watch both nights. Because ratings are slipping, yo. 

As an aside, I want to mention that I love the way Tom says "Gangnam Style," sort of as if he's swallowed a bug. 

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<p>Nicole Nelson of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Nicole Nelson of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Monday - The Battles Continue, Part 3

Presidential Debate reduces Monday's Battle to an hour
Last week’s rapid progression through the Battle Rounds was appreciated, but baffling. Why was the show in such a rush to reduce the field to forty contestants when it had a full three hours this week in order to wrap things up? Well, the answer is tonight’s presidential debate, which cuts “The Voice” in half for this one instance. That makes the remaining twelve slots make sense: the show can lock down six per night this week, then start the Knockout Rounds next week. (Unless they drag this out within an inch of its life. Which is possible, but I’m trying to be an optimist here.)
 
With only two steals remaining, those won’t be as omnipresent as they have been over the past two weeks. But both Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera are in a position to land a strong singer in this final week via this season’s twist. Adam Levine and CeeLo Green have both used up their two steals, and might find some strong talent pitted against their squad down the line.
 
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<p>I could explain what's going on here, but honestly, it's more fun to just leave it up to your imagination.</p>

I could explain what's going on here, but honestly, it's more fun to just leave it up to your imagination.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Judd Apatow's 'This Is 40' is online right now

Of course, it's the script and not the film, but it's still pretty cool

I'm going to be curious to see how much "This Is 40" resembles the screenplay that Universal just posted online in PDF format this weekend.

If you do decide to read the script, released as part of Universal's awards push for the film, it's interesting how strongly the voices of his actors are already embedded in the script.  I can clearly hear Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Albert Brooks, Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy, and even Maude and Iris Apatow in the characters that Judd's written for them.  And while I like the script quite a bit, it's telling that the sequence I saw them shoot when I visited the set does not appear to be in that script anywhere.  Then again the photo I put on this article comes word-for-word from the script, and on the page, it feels like the sort of thing you'll swear was improvised.  That's sort of the magic of the Apatow process.

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Watch: Nicki Minaj's new video for 'Come On A Cone'
Credit: Young Money Entertainment

Watch: Nicki Minaj's new video for 'Come On A Cone'

New clip sets up Nov. 19's 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" re-release

Reasons to be grateful today: When Nicki Minaj raps  the phrase “Come On a Cone,” the title to her new song, she really does mean a cone, as in an ice cream cone because her jewelry (i.e. ice) is so cold “it should come on a cone”.  Given how profane the lyrics are in the end, it could have gone in a completely different direction...

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Eddie Izzard and Jerry O'Connell of &quot;Mockingbird Lane&quot;</p>

Eddie Izzard and Jerry O'Connell of "Mockingbird Lane"

Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 155

Dan and Alan talk 'Mockingbird Lane,' 'Happy Endings,' 'Homeland' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
This was going to be a slow week on The Firewall & Iceberg, with only ABC's "Happy Endings" and "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" and NBC's "Mockingbird Lane" to review. But then we added Dan's Reality Roundup, a couple questions from readers and a "Homeland" segment and suddenly there we were at 80-ish minutes, same as usual. 
 
Today's Breakdown:
"Happy Endings" (00:01:45 - 00:12:00)
"Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" (00:12:00 - 00:24:25)
"Mockingbird Lane" (00:24:30 - 00:39:15)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:39:20 - 00:52:30)
Listener Mail - Token Diversity (00:52: 48 - 00:59:20)
Listener Mail - Girls vs. Boys (00:59:25 - 01:04:20)
"Homeland" (01:05:00 - 01:20:45)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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"Private Practice"

 "Private Practice"

Credit: ABC

'Private Practice' is ending but will anyone notice?

Shonda Rhimes announces the end, but there's better soap to be had

Exactly no one was surprised on Friday when Shonda Rhimes announced that "Private Practice" would be riding off into the syndication sunset after episode 613. Fading ratings were already a tip-off (the debut episode raked in 14 million, while these days the show rarely cracks the 6 million mark), but the nail in the coffin was likely delivered when the star of the show, Kate Walsh (Addison), announced she was walking after 13 episodes. Rhimes claimed that making the decision came after some debate, but I can't imagine why. 

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<p>Dave Matthews Band</p>

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket and Train sign on for John Denver tribute set

Edward Sharpe, Brandi Carlile, and Lucinda Williams get into the spirit

Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, Train and Brandi Carlile are among the artists paying tribute to John Denver on “John Denver: The Music Is You.”

The album, out in February on Matthews’ ATO Records,  also features Sharon Van Etten, Kathleen Edwards, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, all interpreting songs made famous by Denver, who died 15 years ago and remains best known for such hits as “Tale Me Home, Country Roads,” “Annie’s Song,”  and “Rocking Mountain High,” which, according to the developing set list, no one has claimed yet. We suggest  Zac Brown Band.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to environmental initiatives in Denver’s name.

Track Listing for John Denver: The Music Is You

“Take Me To Tomorrow” by Dave Matthews
“Leaving, on a Jet Plane” by My Morning Jacket
“Sunshine On My Shoulders” by Train
“Wooden Indian” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
“Some Days are Diamonds” by Amos Lee
(Song selection TBA) by Lucinda Williams
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by Brandi Carlile
“Back Home Again” by Old Crow Medicine Show
“Darcy Farrow” by Josh Ritter and Barnstar
“All of My Memories” by Kathleen Edwards
“Prisoners” by J Mascis and Sharon Van Etten
“Annie's Song” by Brett Dennen and Milow
“Looking For Space” by Evan Dando
“Eagle and the Hawk” by Blind Pilot
 “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado” by Mary Chapin Carpenter

“Take Me To Tomorrow” by Dave Matthews
“Leaving, on a Jet Plane” by My Morning Jacket
“Sunshine On My Shoulders” by Train
“Wooden Indian” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
“Some Days are Diamonds” by Amos Lee
(Song selection TBA) by Lucinda Williams
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by Brandi Carlile
“Back Home Again” by Old Crow Medicine Show
“Darcy Farrow” by Josh Ritter and Barnstar
“All of My Memories” by Kathleen Edwards
“Prisoners” by J Mascis and Sharon Van Etten
“Annie's Song” by Brett Dennen and Milow
“Looking For Space” by Evan Dando
“Eagle and the Hawk” by Blind Pilot
 “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado” by Mary Chapin Carpenter




 

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