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<p>Tom McCarthy at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Tom McCarthy at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Victoria Will

Interview: Writer/director Tom McCarthy on Wall Street, cinematic economy and ‘Win Win’

The WGA nominee's latest maintains a dim but inarguable presence in awards season

NEW YORK - There’s something oddly perfect about meeting “Win Win” writer/director Tom McCarthy in a small café in Chinatown with Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue” playing in the background. (Though that would feel slightly less charming when transcribing the interview weeks later.)

Firstly, it is the last sort of place one would imagine either McCarthy’s writing partner, Joe Tiboni, or their central protagonist, Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti), to turn up. In fact, McCarthy recalls that Tiboni’s daily, cyclical routine consists of his self-described “triangle of death” from home to Dunkin’ Donuts to work and back again.

Secondly, it's difficult to not enjoy the novelty of speaking to the filmmaker about his restrained, deceptively simple suburban life offering with Gershwin’s exultant, experimental ode to urban chaos as a backdrop.

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' - 'A Day Late, An Apology Short'

Mauricio's birthday bash is derailed by sisterly squabbling

The big birthday bash for Mauricio in Lanai, Hawaii continues, and even though it should be a pretty fabulous trip, Kyle and Kim seem damned and determined to turn it into an unhappy family reunion that only needs an uncooked turkey and a Jell-O wrestling match to qualify as the most miserable outing Mauricio could have hoped for. Good going, guys! 

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<p>Natalie Portman arrives on the red carpet at last year's Golden Globes, prior to winning the award for Best Actress for her performance in &quot;Black Swan&quot;.</p>

Natalie Portman arrives on the red carpet at last year's Golden Globes, prior to winning the award for Best Actress for her performance in "Black Swan".

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal among first announced Golden Globes presenters

Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy will also be hitting the stage

Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Melissa McCarthy and Freida Pinto have all been announced as presenters at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards, which is scheduled to air this coming Sunday on NBC.

The group was announced via the official Twitter account of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization that chooses the winners and nominees at each year's ceremony.

Portman, of course, won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama at last year's show for her performance in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan", which also netted her an Oscar. Gyllenhaal and Kidman were also nominated last year, for their performances in "Love and Other Drugs" and "Rabbit Hole", respectively.

Mirren has been nominated for a total of ten Golden Globes over the course of her career, with her biggest coup coming in 2007, when she took home the statues for both "The Queen" (Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama) and "Elizabeth I" (Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television). Owen won for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture in 2005, for his performance in "Closer".

Among the other presenters, Hayek was nominated in 2003 for her title performace in "Frida", while Banderas has been nominated three different times, most recently for his performance in the 2003 made-for-TV movie "And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself".

Neither McCarthy nor Pinto have ever been nominated for a Golden Globe, though the HFPA's snub of the former this year was considered especially galling considering the Oscar buzz she's been receiving for her winning turn in last year's "Bridesmaids" - not to mention the fact that she won the Best Actress Emmy for "Mike & Molly" back in September. Perhaps giving her a presenter slot is the HFPA's version of a consolation prize?

Stay tuned for further presenter updates as they're announced...

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<p>Miranda Lambert poses backstage after winning Female Vocalist of the Year at November's CMA&nbsp;Awards in Nashville, TN.</p>

Miranda Lambert poses backstage after winning Female Vocalist of the Year at November's CMA Awards in Nashville, TN.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Miranda Lambert headed to 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'

Country star will play an assaulted actress

Miranda Lambert grew up the daughter of private eyes, so it’s no wonder that the girl likes a good who-done-it.

The country superstar will appear on an upcoming episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as an actress who is assaulted by a reality show producer (a you’ll recall, Lambert got her start on talent reality show, “Nashville Star”). The producer will be played by Michael McKean from “This is Spinal Tap.”

NBC has not announced the air date for the episode. TVguide.com broke the news of  Lambert's appearance. Harry Connick Jr., who has signed on for a four-episode arc as the love interest for Mariska Hargitay’s character, Detective Olivia Benson, will also be in the episode, which sounds very special indeed.

Lambert is quite happy about the development. Over the weekend, she tweeted, “Y’all, I’m so freaking excited to be on my favorite show ever!!!”


 

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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'The Bachelor' takes the gals to Sonoma

After some roses are handed out, the rest of the girls have their claws out

Ben's down to just 18 women, which is a lot more ladies to juggle than he'd likely scoop up on match.com or at a church social, so our determined bachelor has his work cut out for him. To test these women, he's dragging them to Sonoma to see if they like his old hometown. I suspect they'd say they liked inner city Detroit or Skid Row if they had to, but best of luck with that litmus test, Ben. 

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<p>Kim Novak in &quot;Vertigo.&quot;</p>

Kim Novak in "Vertigo."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'The Artist' and the 'Vertigo' score: separating theft from tribute

Kim Novak reports a 'rape,' I report an overreaction

Ah, the trumped-up non-controversy. It's a kind of hazing ritual that many a certified Oscar frontrunner has to go through: remember the accusations of child actor neglect levelled at the makers of "Slumdog Millionaire," the supposed military inaccuracies (not to mention poor producer etiquette) of "The Hurt Locker," or even the revelation that a key set in "The King's Speech" had previously housed a gay porn shoot? These mildly tangy stories tend to be forgotten as quickly as they flare up, and rarely do much lasting damage, so it's just as well "The Artist" is getting it over with now.

I'm speaking, of course, of the ludicrous full-page Variety ad taken out against the film by, of all unexpected people, veteran Hitchcock blonde Kim Novak, who may not have made a film in 20 years, but is still gifted with an Oscar ballot -- one she presumably will not be using to vote for the French silent film she has more than a little melodramatically accused of "raping" her "body of work."

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<p>Katee Sackhoff, seen here with her castmates at the eighth season premiere of '24,' is going to bring her passionate SF&nbsp;fanbase with her to the new 'Riddick' movie</p>

Katee Sackhoff, seen here with her castmates at the eighth season premiere of '24,' is going to bring her passionate SF fanbase with her to the new 'Riddick' movie

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Sykes

'Galactica' star Katee Sackhoff joins 'Riddick' cast as new villain rumored

Sounds like David Twohy's about to get this one off the ground and back into space

I don't care if you judge me for it or not:  I am dying to see another Riddick movie.

The original "Pitch Black" was one of those great little B-movie genre surprises, and when Harry and I first saw it, there was still some uncertainty on the part of USA Films about what to do with it.  We programmed the film at the very first Butt-Numb-A-Thon as our "middle of the night wake everyone up" movie, and it was a great screening.  Vin Diesel even ended up flying to Texas just to do a meet-and-greet at 3:30 in the morning.

When Universal made the much-bigger-budget sequel, it seemed to be the kickoff to a larger franchise, building out a SF world in which Riddick was more than just a scary dude, but a lynchpin for an epic adventure.  I have a huge affection for the work of writer/director David Twohy anyway.  I think he's a guy who speaks B-movie fluently, and while some might see that as an insult, I don't.  I think there's something about the high-concept genre movie that can be especially exciting when done right, and Twohy strikes me as a guy who genuinely wants to entertain, and who doesn't have a single film snob bone in his body.  While "The Chronicles Of Riddick" did not succeed wildly at the box-office, I thought it was wild, wicked fun, and had a great "what's next?" ending.

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Continue the discussion at HitFix's brand new message boards

A feature many of you requested is now a reality

A brief bit of business here. HitFix has been in the process of getting a slate of message boards off the ground, and as of today, they're live.

I imagine most of the discussion from those around these parts will be confined to the movies section, and specifically the Oscars and Golden Globes arenas. But HitFix being a unique collective of music, television and movie content, there are naturally other areas, too.

So if you haven't already, sign up for a HitFix account and then feel free to dive in and kick-start the discussion yourselves!

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<p>&nbsp;Kat McPhee</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

 Kat McPhee

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 111

Dan and Alan talk TCA press tour and review 'Rob,' 'Chelsea' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! It's time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, recorded with both Firewall and Iceberg sitting in the same hotel room in Pasadena.
 
WOO!
 
Unfortunately, as always seems to happen when we record in the same place, this podcast is a little quiet. I can't explain why.
 
Also unfortunately, I've got a head cold and there are a handful of times during the podcast that I simply wasn't able to be dainty and ladylike about blowing my nose.
 
Sorry.
 
Anyway, we talk a lot about press tour. And we review a slew of new shows, including comedic abominations "Rob" and "Chelsea" and the less-offensive "The Finder" and "Alcatraz."
 
Lots to talk about...
 
Here's this week's breakdown...
TCA Press Tour (00:00 - 31:15)
"Are You There, Chelsea?" (31:15 - 36:40)
"Rob" (36:45 - 41:50)
"The Finder" (43:10 - 50:20)
"Napoleon Dynamite" (50:20 - 55:40)
"Alcatraz" (55:45 - 01:05:00)

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.] 

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<p>Thom Yorke performs with Radiohead in a surprise appearance at the UK's Glastonbury Park Festival last June.</p>

Thom Yorke performs with Radiohead in a surprise appearance at the UK's Glastonbury Park Festival last June.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Radiohead, The Black Keys and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg headline Coachella 2012

Bon Iver, the Shins, Pulp, Florence + the Machine also on April bill

The Black Keys, Radiohead and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg will headline the 2012 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

As we previously noted, Coachella, held at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., will run two consecutive weekends this year, April 13-15 and April 20-22, with the exact same lineups both weekends.

In addition to The Black Keys, other big names on April 13/20 are Swedish House Mafia, a reconstituted Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Mazzy Star, M83, Cat Power and Frank Ocean.

On April 14/21, the top acts in addition to Radiohead are Bon Iver, the Shins, David Guetta, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Kaskade, Miike Snow, Fiest and St. Vincent

Dr. Dre & Snoop, who are headlining April 15/22, are joined by At the Drive in, Justice, Florence + The Machine, Avicii, Beirut, Girl Talk, Weeknd and the Hives.

As has been Coachella’s way the last few years, one night is headlined by a rapper, last year it was Jay-Z; in  2010 it was Kanye West. The other two nights tend to feature major alternative acts, with some big dance acts and a reunion or two throw in.This year, in addition to Pulp, we have Refused, At The Drive-In, and Mazzy Star in rare outings. Plus, Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum makes a rare west coast appearance. Additionally, a number of up-and-coming rap artists,many of them highlighted in our Hip-Hop's New Class photo gallery, including Azealia Banks, Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky will make their first Coachella appearances.

So what do you think of this year's line-up?  It seems little tame and predictable to us. However, if you're an Anglophile, once again, you'll find plenty of reasons to rejoice, namely, of course, Radiohead, but also Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Madness, Buzzcocks, Squeeze, the Horrors, and more.

Tickets go on sale on Friday. They are available only for the entire weekend at $285. There are no single-day passes.

Check out the poster below for the full lineup.

Follow me on Twitter @HitFixMelinda

The official poster announcing the Coachella 2012 lineup
 

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<p>A scene from &quot;War Horse&quot;</p>

A scene from "War Horse"

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

'War Horse,' Scorsese win with North Texas critics

George Clooney and Viola Davis win top acting honors

The North Texas Film Critics Association (yep) has gotten together to announce this year's list of winners. And it was "War Horse" that came out of top, with Martin Scorsese winning directing honors. No were to be found "The Artist." Check out the full list of winners below.

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<p>Casey Abrams walks the red carpet at last year's &quot;American Idol&quot;&nbsp;finale.</p>

Casey Abrams walks the red carpet at last year's "American Idol" finale.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

UPDATED: 'American Idol's' Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone sign record deals

Who did they sign with and when can we expect new music?

Casey Abrams has signed with Concord Music Group. The “American Idol” season 10 finalist will release his debut album this summer.

Abrams’ linking with Concord Music Group marks the second signing of a contestant from last season to a non-Universal Music Group-owned label. UMG has the first right of refusal on the finalists. So far, UMG has snatched up at least five of the season’s finalists: Pia Toscano and Haley Reinhart  are both on Interscope, while Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina are on Mercury Nashville.

Both McCreery and Alaina have released their albums. We’re still waiting for sets from the others.  James Durbin released his post-”Idol” album, “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster,” via Wind-Up Records in November.  Paul McDonald self-released a single with wife Nikki Reed.

The press release announcing Abrams’ deal highlights his love of such artists as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Oscar Peterson, so we have a feeling that the debut may focus more on Abrams’ jazzy, traditional side.

Please follow me on Twitter @HitFixMelinda

UPDATED: Fellow season 10 finalist Stefano Langone has signed with Hollywood Records

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