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"The Glee Project"

"The Glee Project"

Credit: Oxygen

HitFix Interview: 'Glee Project''s Ali, Aylin, Abraham and Shanna talk challenges, stinky meat

It wasn't all fun and games during season two

"The Glee Project" wraps up tonight as finalists Ali, Aylin and Blake do their best to win over "Glee" mastermind Ryan Murphy in the season two finale. The good news is that they'll be joined by all their eliminated castmates for the final video assignment, in which the GleePros go to prom. I had a chance to talk to a few finalists and a few of those returning for the finale during TCAs. Ali, Shanna, Aylin and Abraham were happy to talk about some low points (think meat dress), high points (almost everything else) and why they all became besties instead of rivals.

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<p>Green Day</p>

Green Day

Green Day go disco on new single 'Kill the DJ'

'Uno!' single takes aim at radio in more ways than one

Have Green Day gone disco?

The have always made an effort to reinvent their sound every few years, with varying degrees of success. But, their latest single -- the aptly titled "Kill the DJ" -- may be their biggest stylistic departure yet. 

A steady four-on-the-floor beat and angular post-punk guitars anchor this ditty about planning the cold-blooded murder of a poor ol' disc jockey (even with corporate terrestrial radio largely becoming a thing of the past, it seems like people still want to hang the DJ). There's certainly some "Sandanista!"-era Clash inspiration in there, but whereas the Clash were experimenting with then-new sounds from allover the music world, Green Day seems to be simply mining the past, and it ends up sounding more like an all-male take on The Ting Tings. 


Hear the song here:



It's another stylistic left turn for the Bay Area punk-poppers, and even with the incessant dance beat and clean guitars, it's still recognizably Green Day, mostly due to singer Billie Joe Armstrong's patented nasal whine. But just who is this version of Green Day for? Have they jumped on the dance-rock revival bandwagon a decade or so too late? Will longtime fans more used to their punkier tunes be turned off? Will Katy Perry fans give it a listen? It will be interesting to see how fans respond. 

"Kill the DJ" was one of the new songs the trio unveiled at a secret show at L.A.'s small venue The Echoplex to 600 or so hardcore fans. They're releasing three full-length albums over the next few months, with "Uno!" arriving first on September 25. "Duo!" and "Tre!" will follow. 

What do you think of "Kill the DJ"? Give it a grade at the top and sound off in the comments section.

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<p>Holliday&nbsp;Grainger and Jeremy&nbsp;Irvine in &quot;Great Expectations&quot;</p>

Holliday Grainger and Jeremy Irvine in "Great Expectations"

Credit: BBC Films

Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes dig into 'Great Expectations' in international trailer

Jeremy Irvine and Holliday Grainger also star in the upcoming TIFF player

When I got married in March, we chose, as many couples do, to offer up readings meant to shed light on our feelings for one another. Mine was a brief but potent (to me) excerpt from Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations." It was the final line, in fact, which has a long story of its own (Dickens offered up three versions and settled on one that carries a delicious sort of ambiguity).

It's my favorite book ever since I cheated and read the Cliff's Notes in the 9th grade (of course I've read it in full since). I love what it says about connectivity, about love, about passion and obsession and about finding one's way in the world. And like many, I always felt there was little to add to David Lean's cinematic interpretation from 1946. Nevertheless, I must say I even enjoyed Alfonso Cuarón's embattled modernization in 1998. (That film's poster hangs framed on my kitchen wall in Los Angeles.)

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<p>The crazy part? This is an actual photo of Carnahan during a recent pitch meeting at Fox.&nbsp; That's how into this movie he was.</p>

The crazy part? This is an actual photo of Carnahan during a recent pitch meeting at Fox.  That's how into this movie he was.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Joe Carnahan appears to be done with 'Daredevil' reboot

A few Tweets make it look like the director is moving on

And just like that, the promise of Joe Carnahan's gritty '70s-based take on "Daredevil" appears to be a thing of the past.

Word recently leaked about a proposed deal between Fox and Marvel that would have extended the life of the "Daredevil" option for Fox in exchange for them allowing Marvel to use some of the characters that are included in the various rights packages that Fox has under option, specifically Galactus, who is still bundled in with the "Fantastic Four" property.

It appears that will no longer be the case.

If you check out Carnahan's Twitter timeline, you can see the conversations he's been having for the last few days, and it certainly seemed like Daredevil was on his mind.  At one point, he told a fan "DD fans would be very pleased if they saw the things I've seen of late.  Very, VERY pleased…"  He also discussed some of his own feelings about how to portray the character.  "You have to deal with the fact that he IS blind," he told one person who brought up the idea of Daredevil's other senses being supercharged to such a degree that his blindness didn't matter.  "He can't be super-charged and seeing 'sound' through walls. That's bulls**t."

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Review: Taylor Swift's body count continues on 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

Watch the cute lyric video

Taylor Swift seems so nice in person (and is), but as she’s shown over the course of her short, but extraordinarily successful, career, if you date her and cross her (or she perceives you do), she will come after you in song.

Has there been any pop artist who has chronicled her love life so directly since Alanis Morissette on “Jagged Little Pill?” Certainly not one whose albums consistently have such a high body count.   On “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” a pop stomp that blends Hot Chelle Rae crossed with Pink and Katy Perry, the boy in question has done the push-me/pull-me act one too many times and she’s finally really ready to give him the heave-ho.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Vanessa Redgrave in &quot;Song for Marion.&quot;</p>

Vanessa Redgrave in "Song for Marion."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Could Toronto closer 'Song for Marion' be one to watch?

Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp headline feelgood Weinstein acquisition

If the opening night slot at any major festival is a high-pressure position -- one under which many a film has collapsed -- the closing night is in an even less enviable position: at least everyone bothers to see the opening film. Knowing that many journalists will already have flown the coop by the last day, festival programmers rarely leave something truly tasty to the very end, often handing the slight to something eminently skippable and/or low-profile.

Cannes has particular form in this area -- barely a word was breathed about this year's closer, "Therese D," even if it was the late Claude Miller's final film -- and Toronto tends to take a similar approach, the festival's recent closing selections having included "Stone of Destiny" (no, I don't remember either) and last year's "Page Eight," a dreary Rachel Weisz-starring spy drama that had already premiered on British TV.

Still, there have been notable exceptions to the closing-night curse: Venice picked a winner last year with Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress," just the tonic jaded critics needed after 10 days of heavyweight viewing, and I wonder if Toronto has been a little savvier this year with the selection of "Song for Marion," a feelgood British dramedy that has already been picked up for US distribution by The Weinstein Company.

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<p>Bob Mould with his band</p>

Bob Mould with his band

Credit: Merge

Interview: Bob Mould on new album 'Silver Age,' the Foo Fighters and gay politics

Set arrives at the same time as the reissue of Sugar's 'Copper Blue'

Bob Mould spilled his guts in “See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody,” his autobiography released last year. He tackled some of the deep-seeded source of his “rage,” and the juicy stories behind fronting Husker Du, Sugar and starting his solo sets, all within the trappings of coming out of the closet in the early 1990s.

Now, his new 2012 album “Silver Age” is all guts. The Merge release – out Sept. 4 -- is what Mould calls his “reaction” to his own autobiography, a spontaneous and carnal outpouring of power pop and ferocious rock tracks with the backing of drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats) and bassist Jason Narducy (Split Single, Verbow).
 
It’s his first release with the renowned indie, and comes after years of multiple different label deals with his various acts, from Virgin to Anti- to Ryko to SST. It also arrives on the heels of more “studied” albums including his last studio set “Life and Times,” his DJing and guesting stint with the Foo Fighters, and at about the same time that Merge is dropping the 20th anniversary remastered reissue of “Copper Blue,” Sugar’s 1992 debut. In fact, as he promotes "Silver Age" on the road, he'll also be frequently performing "Copper Blue" in its entirety.
 
Below, we discuss politics, his old Singles Only Records label, DJing, aging, Foo Fighters, rehearsing and evaluating the term “too much information.” Also, check out "The Descent," the first single from "Silver Age."
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<p>Sutton Foster in &quot;Bunheads.&quot;</p>

Sutton Foster in "Bunheads."

Credit: ABC Family

Review: 'Bunheads' - 'No One Takes Khaleesi's Dragons'

Michelle needs coffee, Sasha tries cheerleading and the other girls fight

A review of last night's "Bunheads" coming up just as soon as we Skype with Hugh Jackman...

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<p>Owl City's Adam Young</p>

Owl City's Adam Young

Credit: Republic Records

Exclusive: Listen to Owl City's 'Dreams and Disasters,' the first song on 'Midsummer'

Check out Adam Young setting the car on fire

It was back in April that we premiered the first yield from Owl City's "The Midsummer Station," as mastermind Adam Young combined with Blink-182's Mark Hoppus for rock-heavy song "Dementia." Now we're proud to present, for the first time, this new album's very first track.

"Dreams and Disasters" is an appropriate kick-off to this new set from Owl City, as it's a high-energy, hyper-melodic dance number, like fireworks without the fuse. Or, rather, a car on fire: this mysterious little narrative has a foot heavy on the gas pedal, a sensation that has Young exclaiming "I want to feel alive forever after."

"The Midsummer Station" is out next week on Aug. 21 via Republic Records, and boasts current single "Good Time," a co-lead with "Call Me Maybe" summer jam star Carly Rae Jepsen.

You can pre-order "The Midsummer Station" now via iTunes.

Here is the tracklist for "The Midsummer Station":

1. "Dreams and Disasters"
2. "Shooting Star"
3. "Gold"
4. "Dementia" (featuring Mark Hoppus)
5. "I'm Coming After You"
6. "Speed of Love"
7. "Good Time" (with Carly Rae Jepsen)
8. "Embers"
9. "Silhouette"
10. "Metropolis"
11. "Take It All Away"

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<p>Anna Kendrick seemed very happy with the outcome of her work on the new stop-motion animated film 'ParaNorman' when we spoke.</p>

Anna Kendrick seemed very happy with the outcome of her work on the new stop-motion animated film 'ParaNorman' when we spoke.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: The cast of 'ParaNorman' gets animated as they discuss the movie

Leslie Mann, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Anna Kendrick all talk about the process

As I said in my recent review, "ParaNorman" is an uncommonly beautiful stop-motion film, with some of the best character work I've ever seen in this sort of movie.  Part of that is because of the advances Laika Studios has made in using laser-printers to sculpt the faces, and part of it is because they really worked with their cast to get something special.

I've had several opportunities to interview each of the featured cast members of "ParaNorman," so it was an incredibly relaxed and comfortable press day.  That made it easier to immediately dig into the process that they went through to help bring these characters to life.

Leslie Mann is always fun to interview.  She's always forthcoming and I've never seen her be anything less than full energy, no matter what film we're discussing.  I have a feeling we're going to be having some long conversations soon about "This Is 40," and I wish I'd had a chance to see the new trailer before this interview just so we could cover that as well.  We had plenty to talk about, though, just discussing "ParaNorman."

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<p>Rodriguez performing at the Newport Folk Festival in July</p>

Rodriguez performing at the Newport Folk Festival in July

Credit: AP Photo/Joe Giblin

'Searching for Sugar Man' finally brings an unsung crooner to light back home

The documentary could be in the hunt for an Oscar nomination later this year

Saturday night I shelled out cash to see Sundance hit "Searching for Sugar Man."  Malik Bendjelloul's documentary tells the incredible story of musician Sixto Rodriguez, who crashed and burned with record sales in the States in his time (the early 1970s) but became an inspiration for South Africans fighting Apartheid throughout the decade and into the 1980s.

Of course, the kicker is Rodriguez (his stage name) never knew about his worldwide success (he was also huge in Australia). Many fans had come to believe the myth -- different depending on who's telling the tale -- that he had killed himself on stage in some dramatic fashion.

Rodriguez was re-discovered in the 1990s and actually went to South Africa to perform sold-out concerts, much to the shock and delight of his daughters, who had no idea their father had it in him. But that's where he belonged, on the stage, telling stories through really great music. Indeed, many of the major music figures who worked with Rodriguez -- as the doc points out -- consider him on the top tier of their collaborators.

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<p>Suraj Sharma in &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

Suraj Sharma in "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

NYFF bookends with Lee and Zemeckis for a big 50th annual

'Life of Pi' and 'Flight' will get their close-ups in the Big Apple

In spit-balling the upcoming fall festival circuit recently, I noted that, in my view, the New York Film Festival -- at least as a launching pad for year-end awards hopefuls -- had been underutilized in its time. But things have changed the last few years.

Up until the unveiling of David Fincher's "The Social Network," NYFF had been a stopping-off point for Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Telluride and Toronto holdovers, for the most part. Films like "Good Night, and Good Luck.," "The Queen," "The Darjeeling Limited," "The Class" and "Wild Grass" opened the fest after bowing elsewhere, while closing nighters such as "Caché," "Pan's Labyrinth," "Persepolis," "The Wrestler" and "Broken Embraces" did the same. Ditto a slew of centerpiece screenings.

But that exclusive bow for Fincher's film in 2010 was a turning point. The excitement was probably dampened a bit by the fact that Sony screened the film for press in New York and Los Angeles in the middle of the Toronto Film Festival, looking to get some headway while ultimate Best Picture winner "The King's Speech" was dominating the festival conversation, but it was a good start.

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