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<p>&quot;Rango&quot;&nbsp;is sure to have a nice showing with the Visual Effects Society.</p>

"Rango" is sure to have a nice showing with the Visual Effects Society.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Paramount announces first ever digital streaming program for awards season contenders

The first screeners to go out will be 'Rango,' 'Super 8' and 'Like Crazy'

UPDATE: I've actually just been reminded that last year Fox Searchlight and Focus Features launched a digital sceener program via iTunes. Those were downloads, not streaming, though. Split hairs if you must, but now that the air is clear...

It's a brave new world. And with online streaming capabilities has come the question of reaching voters with those tools. It seems inevitable that this will eventually become standardized, but then again, I always think of guys like Peter Bart, who literally has people print out his emails for him (or at least he did as of a few years ago). Naturally I think this is the way to go. There should be further testing of the waters with critics groups, however.

For now, a step in the right direction. Paramount Pictures sent out a press release today announcing a program for digitally streaming some of its awards contenders. The first awards-giving body to have access will be the Visual Effects Society, and the first films out of the gate will be "Rango," "Super 8" and "Like Crazy." (That amazing CGI in "Like Crazy" will stand out for the VES, just you wait. #sarcasm)

The studio is teaming up with Deluxe Entertainment Services Group to launch the program, and screeners will go out October 14. Check out the full press release below.

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<p>Sacha Baron&nbsp;Cohen and Asa Butterfield star in Martin&nbsp;Scorsese's &quot;Hugo.&quot;</p>

Sacha Baron Cohen and Asa Butterfield star in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Oscarweb Round-up: NYFFers react to 'Hugo'

Also: Someone is dumb enough to sue over disingenuous film marketing and 'Dragon Tattoo' adds yet another viral site

So, Paramount took a risk and dropped an incomplete "Hugo" On the NYFF audience last night. Linked in today's round-up is my colleague Greg Ellwood's aggregation of responses. Even though press attendees were asked not to review the film, naturally, thoughts and comments trickled out throughout the night. And I have to say, I caught a big whiff of politeness from most. The general takeaway seems to be that the film starts out rather stiff and uninspired and eventually becomes an interesting if messy ode to film preservation.

Those of us who didn't attend the fest will have to wait another three weeks or so before Paramount has a complete print to screen. But for now, the film has its 15 minutes. Was it worth it? Probably. After all, no one talking about your film is worse than a few talking about it for a fleeting moment. But the line of the film seems to be set. Not to take too much away from the smallest of reactions, but I'm not sensing a strong Best Picture contender in there. Anyway, let's see what's going on in the Oscarweb today...

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<p>Super-hero-ing is serious business</p>

Super-hero-ing is serious business

Watch: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and more finally assemble for 'The Avengers' Trailer

Marvel's mighty heroes all in one place

The first trailer for Marvel's "The Avengers" finally hit the web this morning and we finally get a look and feel of how the movie, and the concept will come together. It's a pretty amazing feat to merge the story lines of five feature films, all with different writers and directors into one singular vision.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki starts the trailer off with some menacing declarations about man being born to be ruled, then some large scale destruction, followed by some VO from Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) explaining the idea behind the Avengers, calling them a "Group of remarkable people" who would be able to "Fight the battles we never could." As good of an explanation as any, no?

With this many huge characters, we can guess that the film will be somewhat montage-heavy, and the trailer follows suit with flashes of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and some glimpses of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, and a bit of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.

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<p>Martin Short and Jason Segel on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Martin Short and Jason Segel on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Field Trip': Pollstered!

Robin starts dating her therapist, and Martin Short returns as Marshall's boss

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I click past the slide on Ewok anatomy...

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<p>Tim Allen is the &quot;Last Man Standing.&quot;</p>

Tim Allen is the "Last Man Standing."

Credit: ABC

Review: Tim Allen's groan-worthy new 'Last Man Standing'

His ABC sitcom character hates everyone and everything but himself

One of my favorite random "30 Rock" gags of recent vintage is that the show-within-the-show only got on the air as NBC's way of apologizing for having aired "Bitch Hunter," a misogynist action drama starring Will Ferrell as a hero who barks out dialogue like, "Put the mimosas down, bitch!" Each time we'd see a clip of "Bitch Hunter," it would come with a credit listing the various writers and producers, which included eccentric former NBC president Ben Silverman, "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner and (each time) "30 Rock" writer Jack Burditt.

At the time, I just took it as a friendly dig at one of the series' own writers. But having watched two episodes of "Last Man Standing" (it debuts tonight at 8 on ABC), the Burditt-created sitcom in which Tim Allen plays a sexist, homophobic, xenophobic sporting goods executive, I had the following thoughts:

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<p>One of these people may have been taken over by 'The Thing,' and the only way to tell is their reaction to filthy limericks.&nbsp; Who do you trust?&nbsp; WHO?!</p>

One of these people may have been taken over by 'The Thing,' and the only way to tell is their reaction to filthy limericks.  Who do you trust?  WHO?!

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Eric Olsen have some 'Thing' to discuss

We talk to the young stars about working with monsters in the new prequel

This was a tough one for me.

When I don't like a film, I don't blame the actors.  I think actors have a tough gig, and when you're making a name for yourself, you take the work that's offered to you, and you try to do it well.  Most actors have little or no control over the material that they're given to perform, and all they can do is try to find some truth in every scene and do their work as well as possible.

Walking into the press day for the new prequel to John Carpenter's "The Thing," I found myself in the awkward position of really liking the cast and really disliking the movie, and I didn't want to make that the focus of these conversations.  I view it like this… in an interview, I'm giving the filmmakers or the cast a chance to make their case for the work they've done.  In my review, I can respond to that case they've made.  My job is not to make these people uncomfortable or to walk in and attack them over their work.

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<p>Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz in Martin Scorsese's &quot;Hugo.&quot;</p>

Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Martin Scorsese's 'Hugo' gets tempered reaction after New York Film Festival sneak

Trusted sources love the 3-D, but...

The 2011 edition of the New York Film Festival received a fine gift on Monday night when Martin Scorsese's latest film, "Hugo," debuted in a "sneak screening."  The unfinished picture (reports claim there was green screen evident in a number of shots) was introduced by the master filmmaker and New York icon.  

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<p>Seriously... there is nothing better in this entire world than a battle to the death between a zombie and a shark.&nbsp; Nothing.</p>

Seriously... there is nothing better in this entire world than a battle to the death between a zombie and a shark.  Nothing.

Credit: Blue Underground

Full details as Fulci's 'Zombie' restoration rolls out theatrically

See how they restored the film that features the greatest scene in history

At Fantastic Fest, one of the just plain fun highlights for me that had nothing to do with immediate coverage was attending a midnight screening of Lucio Fulci's "Zombie."  I was especially pleased because Eric D. Snider, Portland's greatest bearded hilarious film critic, had never seen the film and agreed to join me for the screening.
I'm not an across-the-board fan of Fulci's.  I think he's got his moments, and any short list of the things he got right has to include "Zombie," if only for one of the greatest things ever captured by a motion picture camera.

Yes, I'm talking about zombie versus shark.

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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' - 'Let the Games Begin'

It's game on when Kyle, Kim and Brandi get into a fight

While the promos for tonight's episode have made it clear that the show will devolve into screaming, shrieking and gangsta finger waggling, we kick things off with a scene of happy domesticity: Lisa making potato salad. She's preparing dinner for her daughter Pandora, Pandora's boyfriend Jason and his parents. The potato salad does look tasty, but I'm not sure I'd want to eat anything at Lisa's house simply because I think it would have a high percentage of Giggy's fur in it. That little critter may have doggy alopecia, but that head is still mighty furry. I just wonder if anything you eat at Lisa's house tastes like you're trying to consume a down pillow inside out. 

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Carson Kressley on "Dancing with the Stars"

 Carson Kressley on "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Movie Night

Ballroom dancing to 'Psycho' and 'Superman' themes isn't easy - or pretty

It's the night we've all been waiting for on "Dancing with the Stars"! Okay, it's the night some people have been waiting for. Cher tweeted that she'd sit in the audience to cheer her son Chaz Bono on if he made it through to this week, so we'll all get to see if her plastic surgery has veered into Joan Rivers territory or if she's (aack!) attempting to age gracefully or, hopefully, something in between. But before we see Cher politely applauding in the audience, it's time to watch some dancing. 

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Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Terra Nova' - 'What Remains'

If we don't know our core characters, how can we miss them when they lose their memory?

It takes a special talent to make a show about people going through a wormhole to dinosaur-infested prehistoric times inside an alternate time stream…and then make it this spectacularly dull. I almost want to applaud the show’s writers for achieving something I didn’t dream was possible. There’s a lot of talent behind the scenes on “Terra Nova” that came from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Had tonight’s plot showed up intact with the crew of the Enterprise standing in for our prehistoric heroes, no one would have blinked an eye. It would have been perfectly of a piece with that show. Here’s the difference: “TNG” would have at least known to tell this episode in its third season, not as its third overall offering.

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<p>&quot;Enlightened&quot;&nbsp;star Laura Dern and creator/director Mike White have a chat.</p>

"Enlightened" star Laura Dern and creator/director Mike White have a chat.

Credit: HBO

'Enlightened' - 'Pilot': It's turtles all the way down!

What did everybody think of the new HBO dramedy?

Okay, I offered my review of HBO's "Enlightenedthis morning. Now it's your turn. What did you think of this collaboration between Laura Dern and Mike White? How do you feel about what we see of Amy Jellicoe both before and after she gains her alleged enlightenment? If you were a fan of Mike White's stint on "The Amazing Race," were you excited to see Victor from that season as one of the corporate lawyers? Glad to have Diane Ladd and Dern playing mother and daughter again? And do any of you plan to watch more than this episode?

Have at it.

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