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<p>Mia Sara charms a unicorn in... er, wait... Kristen Stewart charms the White Hart in a lovely moment from the new fantasy-adventure 'Snow White and the Huntsman'</p>

Mia Sara charms a unicorn in... er, wait... Kristen Stewart charms the White Hart in a lovely moment from the new fantasy-adventure 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Kristen Stewart battles Charlize Theron in surprising 'Snow White'

Strong fairy tale tone and ambitious first-time filmmaker deliver interesting take on oft-told tale

The last time Joe Roth produced an updated take on a classic fantasy story, the result was the numbingly painful "Alice In Wonderland," so when he announced an updated "Snow White," complete with a transformation by the lead character into a sword-wielding warrior, it immediately set me on edge.  After all, if I had to bet on either Tim Burton or a first-time filmmaker named Rupert Sanders to deliver something worthwhile, I would have put my money on Burton.

And I would have been wrong.

The greatest thing "Snow White And The Huntsman" has going for it is that it treats its fairy tale story seriously, and it treats the world it takes place in with a sense of wonder.  While Rupert Sanders seems to be a very big fan of Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson, he manages to make this feel like its own thing.  It is still recognizably the Snow White story, but Evan Daughtery, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini's screenplay expand the story in ways that feel like logical extensions of the text rather than radical reinventions.  The thing that surprised me most is that the film plays as dark as it does.  This is not a film for kids under 13 or so, and it is filled with nightmare imagery that many young viewers could be upset by.  Considering the almost insane levels of darkness in the original Grimm fairy tales, it's appropriate.  I'm just not used to seeing fairy tales treated this way by mainstream Hollywood.

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'American Idol's' Phillip Phillips lands big on Billboard Hot 100
Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

'American Idol's' Phillip Phillips lands big on Billboard Hot 100

Is it enough to bump Gotye out of the top spot?

Phillip Phillips fans are supporting the newly-crowned “American Idol” Season  11 champ in a big way: “Home,” becomes the first coronation single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in the Top 10 in four years.

Bolstered by 278,000 in download sales, the tune bows at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on Billboard’s digital sales chart. The Hot 100 combines radio plays, social media activity, and digital sales. David Cook’s “The Time Of My Life” debuted at No. 8 in 2008, according to Billboard.

Phillips proves no threat to Gotye, whose “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra spends its seventh week at No. 1, giving it honors as the longest-running song at the top in 2012 as it surges past fun’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae. That track spent six frames at the top.

That means that Carly Rae Jepsen has to hang out at No. 2 against with “Call Me Maybe,” though continuing gains in radio play will help make her a real possibility for No. 1 next week. The next six songs also hold steady:  Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa is No. 3, the aforementioned “We Are Young” is No. 4, and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” is No. 5. Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia is No. 6, One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” is No. 7 and the Wanted’s “Glad You Came” is No. 8.

Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” reenters the Hot 100 at No. 9, while Phillips is No. 10.

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John Mayer lands his third No. 1 on the Billboard 200
Credit: Sony Music

John Mayer lands his third No. 1 on the Billboard 200

The album chart is loaded with 'American Idol' titles

John Mayer scores his third No. 1 album this week as “Born and Raised” bows at the top of the Billboard 200.

The set opens with 219,000 units sold. His  2003 chart topper, “Heavier Things,” opened with 317,000 copies, while his last studio album, 2009’s “Battle Studies,” started its chart run with 289,000.

The number is all the more impressive given that Mayer’s ongoing throat issues have left him unable to promote the album other than a few scattered talk show appearances, where he sat in with the house bands, but did not sing.

Three other new title enter the top 10: Slash’s “Apocalyptic Love” bows at No. 4’ MercyMe’s “The Hurt & The Healer” at No. 7 and Sara Bareilles’ EP, “Once Upon Another Time” at No. 8.

Last week’s No. 2 and 3 titles, Adele’s “21” and Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” hold their ground this week.

Elsewhere in the Top 10, One Direction’s “Up All Night” jumps No. 10-5 (on the strength of the band’s U.S. tour starting), while Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee,” the year’s best selling album after “21,” climbs No. 9-6.

“Tuskegee” trades places with “Now That’s What I Call Music 42,” which tumbles three spots to No. 9, while “Up All Night” and Norah Jones’ “Little Broken Hearts’ flip spaces, as her album slides from No. 5-10.

Last week’s chart topper, Adam Lambert’s “Trespassing,” plummets out of the Top 10 to No. 12.  In other “American Idol” contestant activity, newly coronated Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips enters the chart at No. 11 with “Journey to the Finale.”  Season 10 finalist Haley Reinhart enters at No. 17 with “Listen Up!,” while Season 8 winner Kris Allen bows at No. 26 with “Thank Yo Camellia.” This year’s runner-up, Jessica Sanchez, comes in at No. 126 wiht her “Journey To the Finale” album.

Overall sales were up 3% from last week, but down 22% from the same week of 2011.

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<p>Hayden Panettiere of &quot;Nashville&quot;</p>

Hayden Panettiere of "Nashville"

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2012-13: Wednesday Nights

Will 'X Factor' get a Britney Boost? Can 'Nashville' equal 'Revenge'?
[This week, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned.]
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<p>Florence and the Machine's &quot;Spectrum&quot;</p>

Florence and the Machine's "Spectrum"

Watch: Light emanates from Florence's crotch in new F+TM 'Spectrum' video

David LaChapelle-directed clip is long on beauty, short on sense

It’s Florence + the Machine meets “Swan Lake” meets “Metropolis” in the British act’s new video, “Spectrum.”

Directed by famed photographer David LaChapelle and John Byrne, the music clip is, as one might imagine, a visual feast, full of stunning, lush colors and images from F+TM namesake Florence Welch’s bright red hair to the blinding white of the dancers’ costumes to the glittering city scape populated by Egyptian soldiers.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Credit: AP Photo

Police threaten to shut down free Justin Bieber Oslo concert

NBC camera crews are taping show for June 21 network special

As NBC is touting  “Justin Bieber Believe: All Around The World,”  a new special on the teen star that will air on June 21, a drama is playing out as the police are threatening to shut down the shoot.

Bieber is in Oslo today and is slated to perform six songs free tonight at 9:20 pm Norway time at the Opera House. The mini-concert will be part of the one-hour “All Around the World” special, which  will combine performance video and behind-the-scenes footage as cameras follow Bieber around the globe promoting the new album, out June 19, and first single, “Boyfriend.”

The doc trails  Bieber as he travels through seven countries in 12 days, ending with a New York City show. However, today in Oslo, the unruly crowd has police saying they will pull the plug. Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun, have been tweeting to fans all day asking them to calm down. “Norway, please listen to the police,”Bieber tweeted. “ I don’t want anyone getting hurt. I want everything to go to plan, but your safety must come first.”

Bieber was the subject of his own 3D theatrical release, 2011’s “Never Say Never,” which followed him on his 2010 concert tour.

“Justin Bieber Believe: All Around the World” is produced by Ian Stewart with Done and Dusted Productions.

We'll update the situation later.

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<p>Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Alec Baldwin in &quot;Rock of Ages&quot;</p>

Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Alec Baldwin in "Rock of Ages"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Set Visit Preview: 'Rock of Ages' is Tom Cruise singing, Adam Shankman laughing

How to make straight guys rock-out with a gay kiss on the Sunset Strip

Julianne Hough’s character Sherrie in “Rock of Ages” arrives onto the scene in a floral-enhanced dress, with an obscenely cumbersome suitcase in hand while a skinny punk jerk is rattled between policemen and hookers. Skipping alongside ‘80s choppers and liquor ads, Sherrie sings “Just Like Paradize” as her nose points at a rack of girlie mags and cigarettes next to the Roxy. At the edge of her jaunt is one of the film’s fictional focal points, the Bourbon Room, sullied and dank like used chewing gum on the sidewalk. It’s like the opening of “Rock of Ages” is a whiskey-drunk “Wizard of Oz,” with the Sunset Strip as the Yellow Brick Road and the munchkins starring as gum-chewing, crimp-haired, Poison-baiting Lollipop Guild.

Judging from the promos that have arrived from director Adam Shankman’s new creation, there’s going to be a lot of jokes about hair, just as there were in his other film “Hairspray.” But the rebuilt Strip – carved out of a low-rent neighborhood in Miami – boasts some darkness and details: understated, celebrated, a stark contrast to Hough’s bright chirp.
“This whole movie is like meta-paced. Like if you blow on any of the sets they’ll fall down,” said Shankman during a film shoot last year. He’s bringing the jukebox musical to life with what he said is the same budget but half the time as “Hairspray.”
So the set may not be sturdy, but the cash reserves were seemingly saved for casting. Along with Hough, the all-star lineup includes Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Mary J. Blige, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bryan Cranston. But the real spotlights are on the songs, with roses and thorns from the ‘80s from artists like Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi and, of course, Journey.
“I was singing ‘Don't Stop Believin’’ before ‘Glee,’ and there was someone before me too. These songs are timeless,” said Diego Boneta, who plays the romantic orbit around Hough’s Sherrie as would-be-rock-star Drew. “If it wasn't Glee, it would've been someone else.”
It’s Cruise who takes the last lead as Stacee Jaxx, an early-30-something rocker who tries splitting from his longtime band. It’s the 49-year-old “Mission Impossible” action star’s first musical film.
“We put him with Axl Rose's singing guy because I needed the songs to be really rock, I needed the voices to be rock ‘n’ roll, not Broadway,” Shankman recalls about the early “Rock of Ages” rehearsals. “And the guy got him to sing way the f*ck up, and it would have thick, amazing sound to it. Apparently, Tom has in his family, has, like, some opera singers. And so he's genetically predisposed to be able to sing.”
Dancing, at times, was a different matter, particularly since Cruise’s craft needs a little more... motivation.
“You have to be careful what you say, because he listens so much. He really takes what you say and then starts to pull it apart… You don't improv [dance] movement with him,” Shankman said, discussing working with choreographer Mia Michaels (“So You Think You Can Dance”). “There's nothing he does in the movie that wasn't choreographed to the knuckle. He wants to why you're doing, like, a hip roll or something like that. I don't want to f*cking have to tell you why you're doing a hip roll, because there's a piece of music that does it. Tom wants to know why.
“There's nothing bad about that, it's just very challenging to us to have to explain things that are just organic.”
Another challenge to the “Rock of Ages” shoot was the combination of sex and rock ‘n’ roll: not that it’s not a natural, erm, coming-together, but it’s a PG-13 flick. “Sex and humor are the two big choreographic sort of points in this,” Shankman says.
That means Malin Akerman singing the tune of “I Want to Know What Love Is” as she pulls apart the laces to Stacee’s pants with her teeth. It’s world-class pole dancing champions accompanying essentially the rock version of “Be Our Guest.” Drew’s dreams are altered into a New Kids on the Block-style boy band while there’s a gay love story between Baldwin and Brand’s characters. Zeta-Jones’ Patricia Whitmore is essentially the First Lady of Los Angeles circa 1987 (not exactly what audiences grew to love from her role in “Chicago”).
“You have incredibly famous people doing incredibly weird sh*t. And it's all through my filter. And they've all given over to me, and I feel very grateful that they have, because I feel incredibly lucky,” Shankman continues. “I was so stunned when I went to see the [original] play, that the house was full of straight guys rocking out, freaking out and loving a musical. I was like, if I can make a musical for straight guys… are you f*cking kidding me? Then I’d be a rock star.”


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<p>Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in &quot;Rock of Ages&quot;</p>

Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in "Rock of Ages"

Interview: Julianne Hough on 'Rock of Ages' and a Tom Cruise lap dance

Country pop singer reports in from the set of the Broadway-movie conversion

Apart from her country music career, Julianne Hough has built a reputation for showing up in musical films lately, including “Burlesque” with Christina Aguilera and the “Footloose” remake. Of course, the convincing powers of co-starring in a flick with Tom Cruise didn’t hurt to say “yes” to one more, now with cinematic adaptation of Broadway show “Rock of Ages.” 

Hough will hit the stage, the Sunset Strip and the stripper pole for her role as Sherrie in the film, due in theaters June 15, with other co-stars like Paul Giamatti, Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones. But then again, not all of them will get a lap dance from the rising star…
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<p>Hugh Jackman in &quot;Les Mis&eacute;rables&quot;</p>

Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"

Watch: 'Les Miserables' teaser trailer unveiled

Curtain is lifted on Hugh Jackman plus Anne Hathaway's big musical number

Taking beloved stage musical "Les Misérables" to the big screen is no easy feat, but in the new teaser trailer that dropped today, it seems the newest incarnation's filmmakers at least got the scale right. 

Featured in the clip is Professional High School Theater Girl Anne Hathaway singing her character Fantine's money shot "I Dreamed a Dream," as Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean, Amanda Seyfried's pure-faced Cosette, Russel Crowe's militant Javert and others are revealed between sobs. There's even a blink of Samantha Barks, who is making a huge leap from stage to film as Eponine.

Victor Hugo's novel, set in 19th century, elegantly compounded the human condition and challenged the high and low ground of ethics and class loyalty, which made for good stage material and even romance when it was first adapted as plays -- and then as a musical in the 1980s. The music of that show is why the show is so fiercely defended and well-worn, because of its strong feminine arcs around Jean Valjean's hard-scrabble for redemption.

Which brings us back to size. What a stage musical can't do is reveal sweeping landscape aerials and assemble enough bodies to amp a student rebellion to scale. Capturing songs in close, quiet quarters also has the appeal of nixing full-throated stage sound, for much more intimate performances in-studio. Director Tom Hooper -- on whom every eye is fallen after "The King's Speech" -- seems unafraid to let the "Les Mis' actors look like dirt and, hopefully, let them act, fight and die like dirt, too, without the quick costume changes between acts.

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<p>&quot;Seinfeld&quot;&nbsp;was one of the biggest hits of the Warren Littlefield era at NBC.</p>

"Seinfeld" was one of the biggest hits of the Warren Littlefield era at NBC.

Credit: NBC

Book review: Warren Littlefield's 'Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV'

Former NBC president dishes entertainingly on the era of 'Seinfeld,' 'Friends,' 'ER' and more

Warren Littlefield was the first NBC president I knew as a TV critic, but not the first NBC president I knew as a TV viewer, and that unfortunately meant he was always playing catch-up in my eyes.

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<p>You can expect a whole lot more of this in the reshot version of 'G.i. Joe Retaliation' that will open in March 2013.</p>

You can expect a whole lot more of this in the reshot version of 'G.i. Joe Retaliation' that will open in March 2013.

Credit: Paramount

Paramount's decision to move 'G.I Joe Retaliation' could be a no-win for the studio

As their cover story crumbles, a picture of a troubled production emerges

Walk down the aisle of a grocery store, and you'll see products with the "G.I. Joe Retaliation" logo slapped on them.  Hit the right toy store that didn't get the memo, and you'll see "G.I. Joe Retaliation" toys on the shelves.  Drive around LA, and you'll see plenty of outdoor posters for the film.  It looks like Paramount's got their sequel to the live-action "Rise Of Cobra" ready to go and on its way to theaters on June 29th.

That's not true, though.  They've pushed the film to a March 29th, 2013 release, and the reason they gave last week when details started to break was that they wanted to make sure they had time to give the film a good 3D post-conversion.

This week, though, that cover story is starting to collapse, and a very different picture is emerging of a film in trouble, a director being pushed aside, and reshoots designed to radically alter the fate of at least one character.  In an age where even the smallest details on a film seem to be known months ahead of release, I'm not sure how Paramount thought they were going to get away with a cover story as simple as "We like 3D," but it's apparent that they're going to have to contend with months of tough buzz instead, and their decision to move the film could be make or break and worth hundreds of millions of dollars to a studio that can't afford to throw away any money right now.

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<p>Josh Hopkins and Courteney Cox in the &quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Josh Hopkins and Courteney Cox in the "Cougar Town" season finale.

Credit: ABC

Season finale review: 'Cougar Town' - 'My Life/Your World'

Jules and Grayson hit some bumps on their way to a dream wedding

A review of the "Cougar Town" season finale coming up just as soon as I say something bad about leather sandals...

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