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<p>All is most assuredly not full of love in Daniel H. Wilson's 'Robopocalypse,' the source of Steven Spielberg's summer 2013 film.</p>

All is most assuredly not full of love in Daniel H. Wilson's 'Robopocalypse,' the source of Steven Spielberg's summer 2013 film.

Credit: Doubleday

Source Material: Daniel Wilson's 'Robopocalypse' could be a bonanza for Spielberg and Goddard

A new column examines what Hollywood's buying and why

With the way Hollywood churns through material these days, we thought it was worth taking a look at the various sources they're pulling from and discussing what they might make from these books, games, TV shows, or whatever else they use.  For today's column, we're looking forward to the summer of 2013, when Steven Spielberg is set to release "Robopocalypse," which is certainly an attention-grabbing title.


Daniel H. Wilson's novel tells the story of what happens when an artificial intelligence named Archos becomes sentient and instigates a full-blown robot versus human war.  The book begins with what seem to be random incidents of machines turning on users, and then it follows the loose structure of something like "World War Z," telling the story of the war from several perspectives, returning to them over the course of the book.  It's sort of cut from the Michael Crichton cloth, ad Wilson is a computer engineer by training, with a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon.  He's the real deal, and his educational background informs his writing in terms of general authenticity.  He definitely followed the career track of Max Brooks, who preceded "Word War Z" with "The Zombie Survival Guide."  For Wilson, his first book, "How To Survive A Robot Uprising," sold to Paramount, and they had Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant write a few drafts.

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<p>Paul Van Dyk</p>

Paul Van Dyk

Interview: Paul Van Dyk on electronic ‘Evolution’ and Madonna’s drug blunder

Check out the video for 'Eternity' featuring Adam Young of Owl City

With 20 years of experience in the electronic music industry, it’s safe to say that Paul Van Dyk is an authority on the subject. Today (April 3), the German producer and DJ released his new studio album “Evolution,” after five years chock full of singles, compilation and remix contributions, work on the “Dark Knight Rises” soundtrack, crafting songs for video games like “Mirror’s Edge” and racking up frequent flyer miles as one of dance music’s biggest festival and circuit jetsetters.

And as an authority, Van Dyk has some strong feelings about current events in the electronic music realm.
Notably, he’s spoken out about Madonna’s “Molly” drug reference from her appearance at the Ultra Music Festival late last month. (Check out video of her comment at the link.)
“Even the beginning of electronic music, we always had to fight against the preconception that everybody who listens to our music is on drugs, and whoever makes our music is on drugs. We’ve been made out to be a drug house rather than a music of substance,” he told me in our interview. “Then Madonna comes along, puts herself on stage and is ruining it by voicing what she did.
“This is such a creative artform, with great artists involved… It is fair to say that Madonna doesn’t do anything without something behind it. Her appearing [at the festival] was a really clear marketing statement, for a younger audience. What’s funny is she doesn’t know too much about what electronic music is. She makes phenomenal pop music, and uses electronic sounds and elements. I just wouldn’t think that she’s an electronic artist.”
When it comes to his own collaborations, Van Dyk said that it’s not of utmost importance that he works with people who “understand what electronic music is. It’s just that they respect what electronic music is all about.” On “Evolution,” he decided to combine powers with Owl City’s Adam Young, for the track “Eternity” that seems very much inspired by young songwriter’s hit “Fireflies.” The two artists had been in touch back-and-forth over the last four years, even as their careers grew in dramatic stature.
“In our music world it’s easy to get and stay in contact. Everybody knows the mailing address of my office. You can talk to your favorite artists on Facebook. Everybody can do it,” he said.
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<p>Zhang Ziyi in Wong Kar-wai's &quot;The Grandmasters,&quot; which reportedly won't be ready in time for Cannes -- or this year's fall festivals.</p>

Zhang Ziyi in Wong Kar-wai's "The Grandmasters," which reportedly won't be ready in time for Cannes -- or this year's fall festivals.

Credit: Wild Bunch

No Cannes (or Venice) premiere for Wong Kar-wai's 'The Grandmasters'

Guessing games aplenty before Cannes lineup is unveiled on April 19

We're still over two weeks from the official announcement of this year's Cannes Film Festival lineup, but speculation over the inclusions is in full swing -- the blogosphere is littered with wish lists, predictions (the most thorough of which is this rundown by critic and betting man Neil Young) and even purported leaks, including this bogus one excavated yesterday by Jeffrey Wells.

As a guessing exercise, that list looked plausible enough in some respects -- at this stage, few are going to bet against David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" or Jacques Audiard's "Rust and Bone" showing up in a Competition, while young Directors' Fortnight and Un Certain Regard graduate Xavier Dolan seems ripe for his first appearance in the big show -- but questionable in others. For starters, as much as we'd welcome some fresh blood in the mix, it seems unlikely-to-impossible that perennial Competition participants Michael Haneke, Ken Loach and Abbas Kiarostami, all of whom have films ready for the taking, are all going to miss out on a berth.

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<p>Judy Davis and Woody Allen in &quot;To Rome with&nbsp;Love&quot;</p>

Judy Davis and Woody Allen in "To Rome with Love"

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

The trailer for Woody Allen's 'To Rome with Love' doesn't appear to promise much

Considering the writer/director's latest from its Italian setting

Probably shouldn't be going there on my honeymoon, but, well, it's relevant and our trip is winding down, so why not?

I'm on the tail end of a nine-day trip to Rome, typing this out from an apartment on Via dei Pettinari, listening to the sounds of joy and inebriation from those walking east across the nearby Ponte Sisto and a night of drinks across the Tiber in the Trastevere. Posters and full-bus adverts for Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" (née "Nero Fiddled"/"The Bop Decameron") have been announcing the film's imminent April arrival all over the city and the trailer dropped today, so I thought I'd give it a look and "work" for a bit.

Allen cranks out a film per year. The law of averages dictates that most of them will stink, and indeed, as of late, most of them do. For every "Midnight in Paris" (which held an impressive stay on the circuit last year and yielded a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the writer/director), we're due a "Scoop" here, a "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" there, etc. I have heard from only one person who has seen "To Rome with Love," and from what I gather, it's back to the junk pile. And the trailer sure does suggest some scattered silliness with little to stimulate the mind.

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<p>Ben Howard</p>

Ben Howard

Interview: Rising British star Ben Howard on Mumford & Sons, album release

Watch the music video to the rising talent's 'The Wolves'

It’s notoriously difficult, at times, for British artists to break in the United States, to garner the same amount of success here than they do in their home country.

“People are always warning you about stuff, about it being extraordinarily hard. But people [in the U.S.] have been amazing,” said Ben Howard.
Of course, the young singer/songwriter has Mumford & Sons on his side, which -- y’know -- helps. He issued his debut album “Every Kingdom” Stateside on Communion, the label and music community founded by Mumfords’ Ben Lovett, nurtured through that band’s fanbase worldwide.
“[Communion] are all big music lovers, and business comes second. When I was talking to other record labels, they were much stricter with stuff, too much of a brand strategy and a business plan. Communion is just making good stuff, and that’s what the music industry needs-- it always needs music fans,” Howard said in our interview. He said that the opportunity to do something of a collaboration with the Mumfords is always up in the air. “A nice thing is everyone keeps their minds open to that sort of thing.”
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<p>Veteran producers Betsy Beers and Shonda Rhimes will have &quot;Scandal,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;Grey's Anatomy&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;Private Practice&quot;&nbsp;all on the air at the same time this spring.</p>

Veteran producers Betsy Beers and Shonda Rhimes will have "Scandal," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" all on the air at the same time this spring.

Credit: ABC

Interview: Shonda Rhimes & Betsy Beers on 'Scandal,' 'Grey's Anatomy' and the state of ShondaLand

From TV rookies to seasoned veterans, the duo creates a Washington, D.C. drama with Kerry Washington
Producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers have had more public years on the job than this one since "Grey's Anatomy" premiered on ABC seven years ago. There was that debut season, obviously, where "Grey's" went from ABC afterthought (it was only supposed to have the post-"Desperate Housewives" timeslot for four weeks before giving way to "Boston Legal") into pop culture sensation. Or there were the various periods of controversy involving Isaiah Washington and/or Katherine Heigl, or various stories that proved divisive among "Grey's" viewership (ghost sex! George and Izzie!).
I'm not sure the partnership has had a busier year than this one, though. "Grey's" is still chugging along, but original stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey aren't under contract for next season, and episodes have to be written not knowing if one or both of Meredith and Derek will be leaving. Spin-off "Private Practice," after years of airing in a protected post-"Grey's" timeslot, will be moved to another night (albeit after the "Dancing with the Stars" results show) starting Tuesday, April 17.
The Thursday at 10 slot, meanwhile, will go this week to "Scandal," the Rhimes-created drama about powerful Washington, D.C. fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), who once was very close to the sitting president before leaving his staff to start up her own crisis management firm. The character's inspired by real-life D.C. crisis expert Judy Smith, who's a producer on the series, which co-stars Henry Ian Cusick and Columbus Short as members of Olivia's large team, Tony Goldwyn as the president and Jeff Perry (Thatcher Grey from "Grey's") as his chief of staff, among others(*).
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Listen: T.I.'s new album gets an 'official' first single, 'Love This Life'

Is this a good direction for TIP's hustle?

T.I. isn't the best singer, but he got a fitting hook and an easy beat for "Love This Life," which his label Grand Hustle/Atlantic is dubbing as the first single from long-awaited album "Trouble Man."

So a centerpiece for "Man" is T.I.'s woman, on whom he spends his energy with "Love This Life."

"You know, you love / Bitch, you know you love this life/ Don't nobody do you like me," T.I. reiterates on the refrain. Because if there's one thing that ladies love, is being told what they like. And to be called bitch.

Beyond some obvious strain between romance and being a hustler, T.I. has dropped a generally likeable, Mars-produced track, his flow bounding after the beat with ease and an accessible drum sample that could take it to top 40 and not just the rap charts.

No insight has been revealed as to when to expect "Trouble Man" except "later this year; there have been some fits and starts in getting an album proper from TIP ever since he left the pokey in late summer last year. He's launched his reality show "T.I & Tiny: The Family Hustle," put out a book last fall, premiered a mixtape on New Year's Day in 2012 and has dropped a few promotional singles with "I'm Flexin'" featuring Big K.R.I.T. as the biggest standout. It didn't track so big with crossover radio, so maybe that's why there's a push with "Love."

T.I. is on tap as producer of Iggy Azalea's forthcoming debut album "The New Classic"; he will also star along side of Kelsey Grammer in Starz series "Boss."

What do you think of "Love This Life?"

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<p>Blake Lively and Benecio Del Toro co-star in 'Savages,' which just got a poster today.</p>

Blake Lively and Benecio Del Toro co-star in 'Savages,' which just got a poster today.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Striking graphic posters for 'Savages,' 'Carrie,' and 'ABCs Of Death' impress

Is a poster 'fan made' when it's made by the actual filmmaker?

I spend more time disappointed by movie posters these days than not.  Sure, I love the sort of secondary posters that Mondo is doing, but those aren't the actual theatrical release one-sheets for the most part.

No, instead, we are treated to an endless sea of photoshopped images and movie star faces, unimaginative art that seems to all look like it was made by the same marketing intern.  It's a real drag, especially for a movie fan who grew up in an age where movie posters became just as much of an art as the films they advertised.

It's always nice when I see a poster that stands out, but to see three posters in the span of 24 hours that all seem to be strong graphic treatments of upcoming movies… well, that's rare like a Bigfoot sighting, and worth a mention.

One thing's for sure… Kim Pierce appears to be very excited about her upcoming remake of "Carrie."

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<p>Lionel Richie</p>

Lionel Richie

Credit: AP Photo

Preview: Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry and more salute Lionel Richie on CBS Special

Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney party all night long

 Every year, the night after the Academy of Country Music Awards CBS takes advantage of having the talent still in town and tapes a themed special that will air a few weeks later.

This year, it was the turn of country’s new goodwill ambassador, Lionel Richie. As you know, last week the R&B/pop superstar released “Tuskegee.” Named after his hometown, the album is a collection of his greatest hits performed by Richie with current and veteran country acts.

The album, which was originally projected to sell less 50,000 copies in its opening week, according to sources, blew out the door and will move around 190,000 copies: enough to land at No. 1 on Wednesday’s Billboard Country Albums chart and at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, right behind Madonna’s “MDNA.” It will be Richie’s highest debuting album in 24 years.

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<p>Katy Perry in &quot;Part of Me 3D&quot;</p>

Katy Perry in "Part of Me 3D"

Watch: Katy Perry reveals her upbringing in 'Part of Me 3D' trailer

When will the concert doc come to your town?

If you are a Katy Perry fan, there’s only one place you’re going to get your fireworking self to on the fourth of July weekend, and that’s to the theater to see “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D.”

The trailer for the concert film appeared today and revealed that the movie will be much more than a straight-ahead performance flick.  In the clip below, she talks about growing up in a “100% Christian” environment. She started singing in church and there was never any other plan. “If you have a dream, you have to go on a journey to fulfill that dream,” she adds in giving the trailer an aspirational and inspirational feel.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Could you cast a modern version of &quot;Cheers&quot;&nbsp;starring only &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;actors?</p>

Could you cast a modern version of "Cheers" starring only "Parks and Recreation" actors?

Credit: NBC

Recast Away: 'Cheers'

Is Pawnee, IN also a place where everybody knows your name?

Okay, so last week, as a goof, I invited first Twitter, and then the commenters here, to see if you could recast "Gilligan's Island" using only actors from the same show. 130+ enthusiastic comments later, it occurred to me that we might be onto something here. So as an experiment, we're going to try this again. Maybe it was just a one-time thing that we'll get bored with quickly, maybe it's something we can keep going for a few weeks before it runs out of steam, or maybe it is something that can just run FOREVER, until we're trying to figure out which actors from "Deadwood" would be best-suited to star in a new version of "My Mother the Car." We'll play it by ear.

For today, I'm going to respond to a Twitter request on that first night to try this game with "Cheers," which remains one of my all-time favorite sitcoms (and which the smart folks at The AV Club have been analyzing weekly for a while.) Wanting to try to recast a sitcom with a sitcom, I again thought of "Community," since Joel McHale seems an easy choice to play Sam, while Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs would, respectively, make a strong Diane and Rebecca. (The hair color's reversed, but I care less about appearance than getting at the essence of the character.) After that, though, things started to get sketchy, until I wound up casting Ken Jeong as Norm because there was nobody better in the main cast.

Then I tried "Parks and Recreation," where I found the opposite to be true: it was simplicity itself to fill all the supporting and even recurring roles with people from the world of Pawnee, but a pain to cast any of the leads. Here's the best I could do, with some explanation, but it's not perfect:

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<p>Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio play... oh, come on, it's 'Titanic.'&nbsp; Do I really need to explain?</p>

Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio play... oh, come on, it's 'Titanic.'  Do I really need to explain?

Credit: Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox

Review: 'Titanic 3D' is technically impressive remaster but to what end?

James Cameron's update is best case scenario for post-conversion

I don't think I ever wrote a review of "Titanic."

I'm not sure, though.  I know I was already contributing reviews to Ain't It Cool in 1997.  I'm pretty sure I sent material to Ain't It Cool as early as 1996.  I know I was writing reviews for newsgroups as early as 1995.  But for some reason, I don't think I ever wrote a review of James Cameron's massive cultural event, which seems strange to me now.

After all, I've been a James Cameron fan since the moment my first screening of "The Terminator" ended in 1984.  And working in Los Angeles, it was impossible not to be aware of and fascinated by the stories of what was happening on the set of "Titanic".  What I found most interesting was that Cameron was getting a reputation as the guy who made the most expensive film of all time every time out, and each time, those big bets seemed to be paying off.  "Terminator 2."  "True Lies."    Giant expensive gambles that managed to shrug off the reports of trouble that plagued them during production.  But at a time when $100 million was still considered a lot of money to spend on a movie, "Titanic" was at least twice that, delayed, a nightmare, the moment he was bound to fail.

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