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<p>&nbsp;Lil Wayne</p>

 Lil Wayne

Credit: AP Photo

Lil Wayne set to release 'I Am Not A Human Being 2'

Cash Money's Birdman spills on Nicki Minaj and other acts

Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” has been out for less than six months, but expect the rapper to drop another album within months.

“I Am Not A Human Being 2” will come out “real soon, according to Cash Money’s Birdman (aka Bryan Williams), who shared the news with Complex.

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<p>Jeff Cronenweth received a second consecutive Oscar nomination for David Fincher's &quot;The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.&quot;</p>

Jeff Cronenweth received a second consecutive Oscar nomination for David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Cinematography

'The Artist,' 'Dragon Tattoo,' 'Hugo,' 'The Tree of Life' and 'War Horse' square off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

As is often the case, the cinematographers' branch didn't exactly search far and wide for contenders in this category, settling instead on a quartet of high-profile Best Picture nominees, plus one major December release (and guild nomination hog) that surely came close to cracking the top race. Four of the men selected, moreover, are previous nominees, in keeping with this year's unofficial theme of sticking with the familiar.

The scramble for the fifth slot on the ballot was, presumably, a tight one: moodily lensed by Hoyte van Hoytema, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" was a surprise ASC nominee that seemed to be building late momentum in the final stages of voting, but wound up ceding its spot to more postcard-pretty work from a two-time Oscar champ who had been frozen out of the guild list. Oh, well. 

The nominees are...

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<p>A scene from&nbsp;&quot;Harry&nbsp;Potter and the&nbsp;Deathly Hallows:&nbsp;Part 2&quot;</p>

A scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tech Support Interview: Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan on a decade of designing 'Harry Potter'

The production designer and set decorator have been nominated for the fourth time on the series

On Tuesday, Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan respectively earned the ninth and fifth Oscar nominations of their careers for serving as the production designer and set decorator of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” They shared a win for "The English Patient" in 1996 and this year's mention is the fourth they have earned for the Harry Potter series, making the Best Art Direction category the place where the franchise (which wrapped itself up in 2011) has seen its greatest Oscar success.

The world of the boy wizard has been the duo's driving professional task for quite a while. Indeed, Craig (who also won Oscars for “Gandhi” and “Dangerous Liaisons”) is one of the few consistent department heads on the series going back to 2001. He interviewed with "The Sorcerer's Stone" and "The Chamber of Secrets" director Chris Columbus about the first movie over a decade ago. When he was offered the job, he says he jumped at it and never looked back. McMillan was shortly thereafter called by Craig and agreed to hop on board.

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<p>Liam Neeson in &quot;The Grey.&quot;</p>

Liam Neeson in "The Grey."

Credit: Open Road

Would ‘The Grey’ have been in the Oscar hunt if it had a qualifying run?

If the film does well, Open Road may re-release it come October

Director Joe Carnahan emerged as an up-and-comer with the release of 2002’s “Narc,” (the follow-up to his directorial debut “Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane”). The director began his career at the tail end of the “indie heyday” of the 1990s when driven artists really could carve a path to the studios out of the festival circuit with a no-budget film featuring actors with light resumes and zero notoriety.

After a notoriously rocky start in the world of big budget event films (having quit before being fired from “Mission: Impossible III”), Carnahan began to create a name for himself as a helmer of B-to-B+ level light-hearted actioners such as “Smokin’ Aces” and “The A-Team.” With tomorrow’s release of “The Grey,” however, the director will introduce audiences to a new dimension of both his psyche and work, one that might have made an impact on the current Oscar season had it hit theaters when originally anticipated.

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<p>&quot;Luck&quot;&nbsp;producers David Milch and Michael Mann.</p>

"Luck" producers David Milch and Michael Mann.

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Luck' producers David Milch and Michael Mann

How did the two dramatic heavyweights work together on horseracing series?
When I heard a couple of years ago that David Milch, Michael Mann and Dustin Hoffman had teamed up to write, direct and star in an HBO drama about the world of horseracing — the finished product, "Luck," debuts Sunday night at 9 — my initial reaction was that I was almost as eager to see a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the making of such a show as I was to see the show itself.
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<p>A scene from &quot;Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

Credit: Focus Features

Round-up: Cracking the code of 'Tinker, Tailor'

Also: Mary J. Blige's Oscar sulk, and a gold watch for Uggie

Judging from the reactions of readers and colleagues alike, it seems a lot of people have trouble untangling the proudly knotty, restlessly non-linear espionage narrative of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" -- "It's my favorite film of the year that I didn't understand at all," one friend quite sincerely admitted to me. Some have even speculated that the film might have done better in the Oscar race if voters had found it easier to follow. Being acquainted with both John Le Carré's novel and the previous TV adaptation thereof, it's with no great sense of superiority that I say I found the film clear enough, but I was still fascinated by the estimable David Bordwell's thorough breakdown of just what's going on in the film, decoding both its structure and imagery. [David Bordwell

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<p>Guest stars Timothy Dalton and Linda Hamilton both played pivotal roles in &quot;Chuck&quot;&nbsp;season 4.</p>

Guest stars Timothy Dalton and Linda Hamilton both played pivotal roles in "Chuck" season 4.

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' vs. the Retrospective Interview, Part 4

Timothy Dalton and Linda Hamilton join in the fun, and Chuck and Sarah get hitched and
"Chuck" airs its series finale Friday night at 8 on NBC, and it's time for the penultimate installment of our 5-part retrospective interview with creators Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz, to discuss the show's fourth season.
 
Schwartz actually only cameos at the beginning of this one, as he had to leave early to attend a meeting for another show he works on. After he left, Fedak and I took a ride to the empty stage on the Warner Bros. lot that used to house the Buy More set, to get one last look at a place where so many crazy things (including shootouts, sexy entrances and the inaugural Jeffster! performance) had happened over the life of the series.
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<p>&quot;Grabbers&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

"Grabbers"

Credit: Sundance

Sundance Review: 'Grabbers'

Midnight creature featured needed to be better... or worse
Over the years, I've found that in the wacky world of Sundance Midnight Movies, there's a strange and counter-intuitive logic of quality.
 
"Good" always means "good." But sometimes "bad" means "good" and sometimes it just means "bad," an evaluation that has to be made on a case-by-case and person-by-person basis, because one man's crap is another man's camp.
 
Yes, quality is fungible when it comes to Midnight movies, but one thing I know for sure: There's absolutely nothing worse for a Midnight movie than being "OK."
 
In an ideal world, Jon Wright's "Grabbers" could stand to be a lot better, but I'd just as soon see it be a lot worse. In its current form, "Grabbers" is just plain average.
 
And where's the fun in that?
 
Full review of "Grabbers" after the break...
 
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<p>Clarke Peters is joined by newcomers Jules Brown and Toni Lysaith in the newest Spike Lee joint, 'Red Hook Summer'</p>

Clarke Peters is joined by newcomers Jules Brown and Toni Lysaith in the newest Spike Lee joint, 'Red Hook Summer'

Credit: 40 Acres And A Mule

Review: 'Red Hook Summer' will feel pleasantly familiar to Spike Lee's fans

Controversial director's latest is shaggy and uneven but filled with heart and joy

Even when I don't love a Spike Lee movie, I'm always happy to go see a new Spike Lee movie, and hope springs eternal.

I didn't make it to the premiere of "Red Hook Summer" at the Eccles, and when I saw some truly venomous reactions to the film appear on Twitter afterwards, I got worried.  There are Lee films that I adore without reservation, like "Do The Right Thing" or "The 25th Hour" or "He Got Game," and there are Lee films where I enjoy them but recognize they're uneven like "Clockers" or "Bamboozled" or "Mo Better Blues."  But there are also some Spike Lee movies that I think just plain don't work on any level, movies I don't think I'll ever see again like "Girl 6" or "She Hate Me" or even "Summer Of Sam."  The last few years, since "Miracle At St. Anna," it's felt like Spike was in retreat to some degree, focusing on things like sports documentaries or the wildly entertaining PBS production of "Passing Strange."  I walked into "Red Hook Summer" with no idea which Spike Lee I'd be seeing.

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<p>Paul Simon with Miriam Makeba</p>

Paul Simon with Miriam Makeba

Review: Joe Berlinger's 'Under African Skies' on 25 years of 'Graceland'

Sundance Film Fest flick digs into Paul Simon's fun and conflicted 1986 album

It would be unlike the industry to let a groundbreaking album’s 25th anniversary come and go without some sort of fanfare. Last year was that arbitrary and round number of years for Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and it proved to be as good an opportunity as any for a reunion. 

It’s a commercial cycle that’s been played out over and over. The added bonus to this revisit is what Simon called a “covert political point of view,” the substance of “Graceland” between the music’s exotic voicings and the lyrics booklet.
 
The term “exotic” is a good place to start. “Graceland” exposed Americans to native musics of Africa – like those from South Africa, the continent’s various kingdoms, the Zulu tribes – more than any other had so far in the history of Western pop music. For many audiences, the women's vocals on “I Know What I Know” or the accordion opening “Boy in the Bubble” truly was the exotic “other.” The album was also a literal and creative integration of black with white, with one of the best-known American songwriters collaborating with black South Africans during a time of strict international sanctions and restrictions due to apartheid.
 
Joe Berlinger’s film “Under African Skies” addresses the many shades-in-between in the making of Simon’s “Graceland.” It persuasively refutes those who would say the album was an outright rip and co-opting of black Africans’ creation. It also addresses the songwriter's’s clumsy fielding of the UN and the anti-apartheid ANC’s cultural boycott: South Africans couldn’t record with foreigners or tour outside of their country and Americans couldn’t come to visit. Or, rather, shouldn’t.
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<p>Josh Radnor talks &quot;Liberal Arts&quot;&nbsp;during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Josh Radnor talks "Liberal Arts" during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Josh Radnor brings 'Liberal Arts' to Sundance and talks 'HIMYM' future

A refreshingly candid interview with the talented filmmaker

PARK CITY - Two years ago filmmaker and actor Josh Radnor arrived at the Sundance Film Festival with his debut feature "Happythankyoumoreplease."  The dramatic competition dramedy was a crowd pleaser and was quickly acquired by an upstart distribution division of Hannover House before the end of the fest.  Unfortunately, the story stopped being a happy one after that. Hannover House turned out to be a financial mess and "thankyou" didn't hit theaters until over a year after it debuted at the festival after Anchor Bay came in to give it a defacto release.  Radnor, who most recognize as Ted on "How I Met Your Mother," is being much more discerning regarding his second feature, "Liberal Arts."

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"Top Chef"

 "Top Chef"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef' - 'Block Party'

It's a block party challenge that forces friends to face off against one another

Before we begin our new episode, we see Charlize Theron go back into the stew room to thank the chefs. I don't know that we've seen that before, have we? As Grayson notes, she was a fan before, but now she's even more of a fan. And who can blame her? Very gracious, that Charlize! But we don't have much time to moon over Oscar winners and their good manners, because it's time for our Quickfire Challenge. Our six remaining chefs, who must all be exhausted beyond repair, trudge into the kitchen to see Padma, Emeril and Cat Cora waiting for them. Cat's tough, but hey, she's an Iron Chef, so it's not like she's not justified in being picky.

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