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Jean Dujardin and Missi Pyle in "The Artist"
Jean Dujardin and Missi Pyle in "The Artist"
Credit: The Weinstein Company

Oscarweb Round-up: Pitching Chaplins for 'The Artist'

Also: Muppet Walter modeled after Michael Cera and Hamm hearts Wiig

There's a really annoying campaign going on that is nevertheless SO Harvey Weinstein (meaning it will get the job done): Charlie Chaplin's granddaughters are going around waxing on about how they love "The Artist," and The Weinstein Company is happy to bring that message and the messengers to any and all who'll listen. But the thing is, while I get it, I couldn't care less what Chaplin's granddaughters think of "The Artist." I'd rather hear what they thought of, say, "Shame." You know, a film with a conversation that stretches past the concession line? Anyway, all that aside, the cast and crew of the film are also making the rounds and Bret Brevet recently chatted up director Michel Hazanavicius. [Rope of Silicon]

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<p>Ricky Gervais showing off his boogie shoes as British &quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;boss David Brent.</p>

Ricky Gervais showing off his boogie shoes as British "The Office" boss David Brent.

Credit: BBC

Contest: Win a copy of 'The Office: Special Edition' on DVD

It's been a decade since Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant introduced the British original

It's now been 10 years (and a few months) since Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's "The Office" debuted in the UK, and to commemorate the anniversary (and give TV comedy fans a good gift option for the holidays), a new DVD set is coming out today. "The Office: Special Edition" features all 12 episodes, plus the Christmas special that wrapped up that series and its characters, plus a variety of bonus features, some seen on previous DVD sets, some brand new (including the complete version of the original pilot, Gervais and Merchant introducing the season 1 episodes, and interviews with them and fans of the show like Hugh Jackman and Richard Curtis).

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<p>James McAvoy at the world premiere of &quot;X-Men:&nbsp;First Class&quot; last May.</p>

James McAvoy at the world premiere of "X-Men: First Class" last May.

Credit: AP Photo/Pete Kramer

'Arthur Christmas'' James McAvoy says he and Michael Fassbender are keen to do an 'X-Men: First Class' sequel

Plus: Some tidbits on Danny Boyle's new thriller 'Trance'

Want to know a big reason why "Arthur Christmas" should be on your must-see list for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?  Let one of the animated film's leading voices, James McAvoy, explain to you how the "quality" of the script made him jump at the chance to join the project.

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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' - 'The Great Divide'

Taylor and Camille are the latest dueling duo on the show

Before we begin this recap, some food for thought. Have you noticed that Kim's intro makes no sense? "People try to figure me out, but I'm one of a kind." Since when does being an individual make you inscrutable? And really, I wouldn't say Kim's one of a kind in any case. There are plenty of neurotic former child stars floating around Beverly Hills in a mental fog concocted from antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Maybe it's time for a new intro. You know, one written in English. 

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<p>Stephen Lang of &quot;Terra Nova&quot;</p>
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Stephen Lang of "Terra Nova"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Terra Nova' - 'Vs.'

Taylor drops a lot of exposition, but how much of it can we trust?
It’s fairy clear at this point in the game that “Terra Nova” really isn’t interested in big questions concerning the human condition, man’s right to exist, or the ways in which large corporations use technology as a means of control. Those topics are all inherently threaded in the show’s DNA, but usually pushed aside so characters can ask more pressing questions, such as, “When will there be pie?” The joy in reviewing individual episodes of television often lies in teasing out the subtext of a given week. But “Terra Nova” is all surface, so there’s not much meat on the subtextual bone.
 
So with that in mind, I thought I’d take a page from Dan Fienberg’s coverage of “The X Factor” and bring that running diary style over to tonight’s episode, “Vs.” Then again, if this entire episode is in fact an exploration of Pearl Jam’s seminal second album via the prism of dinosaurs, I reserve the right to revert back to my usual prose stylings in this part of the HitFix jungle.
 
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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

Recap: It's the finale of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Rob, Ricki and J.R. make their plays for the mirror ball trophy

It's the big show, as our final three couples dance for the mirror ball. I think it's really between just two couples -- J.R. and Karina vs. Ricki and Derek -- but, like a persistent virus, Rob Kardashian just keeps coming back for some reason, so who knows. He'll probably win the whole thing. Figures. 

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<p>Rooney Mara in &quot;The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.&quot;</p>

Rooney Mara in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

David Fincher plays it cool with Academy on 'Dragon Tattoo'

Could downplaying film's Oscar chances be a canny move?

In our newly revised (and newly two-headed) Contenders section, you may have noticed a slight uptick for one of the year’s last great unknowns, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Kris has placed David Fincher’s remake of the Swedish blockbuster thriller as a dark-horse Best Picture outsider, while Fincher himself cracked the top 10 in my own rejigging of the Best Director category. The film also pops up in a couple of tech categories, while Rooney Mara is waiting to pounce into the Best Actress inner circle.

With the film not yet seen, there’s no telling whether this is that start of greater upward movement, or if we’re just catching some December fever. I’ve been sceptical for some time that the Academy will warm to a nasty pulp remake by a director they seem to admire more than they like, however expertly executed it is, and I remain so.

Certainly, Fincher would discourage us from getting too excited. He’s taking great pains to distance his film from the Oscar race in the advance publicity trail: first, he quipped to Entertainment Weekly last week that his violent genre piece had “too much anal rape” to win over the Academy, and he pretty much repeats that statement in this Total Film interview, where he says he “can’t imagine anyone in their right mind” describing the script as Oscar bait.

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<p>Barney (Neil Patrick Harris)&nbsp;brings supplies to Lily (Alyson Hannigan)&nbsp;and Marshall's (Jason Segel)&nbsp;new house.</p>

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) brings supplies to Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall's (Jason Segel) new house.

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Rebound Girl': My two dads

Lily and Marshall reconsider their living situation, and Ted and Barney talk about having a kid... together

A review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I send my RSVP to your CompuServe account...

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<p>&nbsp;Martin L. Gore (L)&nbsp;and Vince Clarke (R)</p>

 Martin L. Gore (L) and Vince Clarke (R)

Credit: Beatport

Depeche Mode's Martin L. Gore and Vince Clarke reunite for VCMG

Pair plans release of first techno effort later this month

If the creativity they expressed in coming up with their band name is any indication, we’re a little worried about what we may get from Vince Clarke and Martin L. Gore’s reunion effort.

The two original members of Depeche Mode are working together under the new moniker VCMG and plan to release a series of EPs starting Nov. 30. Clarke left Depeche Mode after the British electronic band’s 1981 debut, “Speak and Spell,” and went on to form Yaz with Alison Moyet, and, more recently, Erasure with Andy Bell. Gore, who took over primary song duties following Clarke’s departure, has stayed in Depeche Mode for its entire run, along with fellow founding members vocalist Dave Gahan and keyboardist Andy Fletcher.

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<p>Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and Arthur (James McAvoy) prepare to head out on a big adventure as Christmas Eve slips away in the new Aardman comedy 'Arthur Christmas'</p>

Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and Arthur (James McAvoy) prepare to head out on a big adventure as Christmas Eve slips away in the new Aardman comedy 'Arthur Christmas'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: 'Arthur Christmas' offers up slight but silly family fun

Aardman's latest effort is big on comedy and star voices

One thing that makes the long tradition of movies about Santa Claus so interesting is that there is no one accepted story that defines Claus around the world.  Different countries can't even agree on what the tradition is, so there's certainly no consensus on who Santa is or what he means.  This means that anyone who wants to can play mix-and-match with various Santa stories from different cultures, or they can just ignore them all and create their own, which makes Santa a particularly fertile icon in terms of storytelling.

”Arthur Christmas” is the newest film from the Aardman studios, and as such it comes with lofty expectations attached.  After all, these are the people who created Wallace and Gromit, two of the most durable characters in modern UK cinema, animated or live-action.  To me, this is a group of artists that I respect as much as Pixar, and when I see something new from them, I hope it's going to be something that adds to their reputation.  They've had a rougher time in features than they did in shorts, but overall, they've still got a great track record.

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<p>Nickelback's &quot;Here and Now&quot;</p>

Nickelback's "Here and Now"

Credit: Roadrunner Records

Album Review: Nickelback's 'Here and Now'

Canadian rockers bring the middlebrow rock, you bring the PBR

Nickelback seems to hold a special place in critics’ hearts. Seldom has a band drawn such slings and arrows. It’s as if every time one of their fans buys a Nickelback album— and they’ve bought more than 50 million of them— a critic’s puppy gets kicked and evil edges one step closer to winning.

Please. That’s such wasted energy.There’s always been a space for acts that folks in the flyover states love and that snobs on the coasts hate (I can say that since I’m originally from North Carolina). Or to put it in political language, even though they are from Canada, Nickelback is about as red state a band as ever existed.

On “Here and Now,” out today, Chad Kroeger and the boys do nothing to endear themselves to any of their haters, including those 50,000+ people who signed a petition protesting the band’s halftime performance during Thanksgiving’s Detroit Lions/Green Bay Packers game.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>From &quot;A Trip to the Moon&quot;</p>

From "A Trip to the Moon"

French duo Air and Scorsese's 'Hugo' honoring 'Moon' man Georges Méliès

'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' (A Trip To The Moon) gets a full album

French electronica duo Air are going hand-in-hand with "The Moon."

Director Georges Méliès' "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" ("A Trip to the Moon") was a trailblazing silent film  originally completed in 1902, and one of the first known science fiction flicks, inspiring flimmakers and writers thereafter. A hand-painted reel of the film -- the only one of its kind -- was discovered in 1993 and it was subsequently reworked for a debut on the world stage at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year; Air was commissioned to complete a brand new soundtrack for the 14-minute film it debuted at the fest as well.

Air are expanding on that prompt and are completing an entire album inspired by "La Lune." Astralwerks will release "A Trip to the Moon" on Feb. 7.

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