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<p>Clive Owen and Jason Statham play a lightning round of Quien Es Mas Macho? in 'Killer Elite'</p>

Clive Owen and Jason Statham play a lightning round of Quien Es Mas Macho? in 'Killer Elite'

Credit: Open Road Films

Review: Jason Statham butts heads with Clive Owen in semi-successful 'Killer Elite'

'Based On A True Story' action movie stretches crediblity, but breaks bones with style

The only way you could make a Jason Statham movie more preposterously macho would be to add Clive Owen as the bad guy, right?  Well, if that sounds like heaven to you, prepare yourself for the battle of the glowering English thugs that is Gary McKendry's fitfully successful new action movie "Killer Elite."  It's not connected in any way to the James Caan/Robert Duvall movie "The Killer Elite" that Sam Peckinpah made, but it's exactly the sort of story that I could see Peckinpah getting interested in.  Guys and their complicated moral codes, the way loyalty drives people to extremes, the cost of violence over the course of a lifetime… all of these themes are present in the film written by McKendry and Matt Sherring based on the novel "The Feather Men" by Ranulph Fiennes.

The book was a nonfiction account of a vigilante group in England in the '60s that solved crimes that the police ignored.  There was a particular crime that they spent 14 years trying to solve, and that crime is the lynchpin that McKendry built his movie around.  I'm not sure how much of the book is true or not true, but I'm going to guess that the film has largely fictionalized things while trying to also use that whole "based on a true story" thing has part of the hook of the film.  Too much of this is too thematically constructed, too neat and perfect and planned out, and that's fine when it's a drama.  As a "true story," though, "Killer Elite" stretches credibility pretty far, and it's one of those movies where I'm not completely sure I can recommend it.

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<p>Ryan Gosling gives good smart in George Clooney's new film 'The Ides Of March'</p>

Ryan Gosling gives good smart in George Clooney's new film 'The Ides Of March'

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Review: Clooney's 'Ides Of March' is smart conversation-starter

Film doesn't work dramatically as a whole, but still packs a punch

It will not come as a shock to any moderately-aware adult living in America that modern politics is a shell game for the corrupt, but even if you already know the ideas that fuel George Clooney's latest film as a director, "Ides Of March," there is a certain amount of dramatic pleasure to be taken from watching the exact moment where someone's idealism flickers out and dies forever.  While the film's script has some issues, and there are a few choices that I found distracting, overall, this is a solid adult drama that benefits enormously from a strong and compelling cast.

Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) is the assistant campaign manager for Governor Michael Morris (George Clooney), a tough-talking Democratic Presidential candidate still mired in primary season.  Steven and his superior, the much-more-jaded Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman), are both confident that they've got a winning candidate in Morris, but for Stephen it goes deeper than that.  Paul's a killer, the sort of campaign manager who puts victory above everything else, while Stephen actually still feels like he needs to believe in the person he's working for, and in Morris, he feels like he finally has that Presidential idea, a good man with good ideas.  Their opponent in the primaries, Sentator Pullman (Michael Mantell), is a faceless obstacle to them, represented mainly by his campaign manager, Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti).  Duffy admires Stephen and the way he works a room, and he makes no secret of the fact that he'd love to hire Stephen away.

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<p>Avril Lavigne</p>

Avril Lavigne

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Avril Lavigne emotes in new video for 'Wish You Were Here'

Can the song revive 'Goodbye Lullaby?'

Avril Lavigne’s “Goodbye Lullaby” album has failed to resonate with a pop audience so far, but maybe the video for latest single, “Wish You Were Here” can help revive the project.

As the title implies, the mid-tempo ballad, written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback,  features Lavigne lamenting that her beloved isn’t around. She expresses her dismay by rolling around on a dirty floor in what looks like an abandoned room, save a perfect Gerbera daisy, a bathtub and a lighter.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Joe Jonas</p>

Joe Jonas

Listen: Joe Jonas's new song, 'Just In Love'

He's got it bad and that's not good

Who says getting mad is a bad thing? Not Joe Jonas. As he sings in his new up-tempo, rhythmic new single, “Just In Love”: “Love is even more wild when you’re angry.”  We hope that purity ring is off and tucked deep inside a drawer where it can’t witness what’s going on.

The tune, which debuted on Ryan Seacrest’s website at midnight, is the second single from “Fast Life,” Jonas’s Oct. 11 solo album debut. It’s different from anything that he and his brothers released during their heyday.  A synthesized keyboard line and heavy synth drum beat propels the beat-heavy track, during which Jonas is trying to convince his lady that they can work out whatever issues they have because he loves her.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya share a not-entirely-normal post-coital cuddle in Almodovar's new film 'The Skin I Live In'</p>

Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya share a not-entirely-normal post-coital cuddle in Almodovar's new film 'The Skin I Live In'

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Review: Antonio Banderas does very bad things in Almodovar's 'The Skin I Live In'

Crazy revenge film is most outrageous Almodovar in years

When I was first introduced to the work of Pedro Almodovar, I was in college, and the only local arthouse theater booked a one-week run of "Matador."  This was well before he had become internationally respectable, before he turned into one of the masters of melodrama, when he was still this slightly crazy Spanish indie upstart making sex-soaked movies about death and madness.  "Matador" also marked the first time I saw Antonio Banderas in something, and the two of them seemed to be in tune with one another.  I love when filmmakers and actors have ongoing creative relationships because you see all sorts of interesting things happen over the course of time.  Little wonder, then, that "The Skin I Live In" marks a return to the early crazy grindhouse sensibilities of Almodovar since it is his first collaboration with Banderas in over a decade.

This is a hard film to discuss without spoilers, but I'm going to do my best to not ruin things.  After all, when I walked in and sat down, I knew nothing beyond having seen a few still images, and with a film like this, built around a mid-movie paradigm shift, it is incredibly easy to ruin the experience for someone else with one or two careless word choices.  Based on a novel by Thierry Jonquet, this is a mad scientist film wrapped in a disturbing exploration of gender politics, and it unfolds with an overheated intensity that I found both darkly hilarious and occasionally even moving.

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<p>Skylar Grey</p>

Skylar Grey

Interview: Skylar Grey goes 'Invisible' in video, talks Eminem, Marilyn Manson collabs

Is this Wisconsin-native, hip-hop songwriter a superhero?

Songwriter Skylar Grey’s Interscope debut is titled “Invisible,” and so it is in more ways than one.

Superheroes, for one, have exhibited such a superpowers. Grey shows off her Spider-man side in the newly minted music video for the album’s title track, below.

“I discovered that my insecurities and my flaws were things that I actually need to embrace, and I let them become my superpowers,” Grey said in a statement.

But in my interview with the rising star, she spoke of invisibility as more of an unknowable, which is sort of the general impression of the album at this point. “Expectations are an evil thing,” as she said coolly.

Grey has stepped out as a prominently featured vocalist on several hip-hop hits, including on Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor” with Eminem and on Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said.” Additionally, she was the songwriting power behind one of Slim Shady’s biggest hits of all time, “Love the Way You Lie” (which guested Rihanna on vocals).

But on the flip side, her performance at Lollapalooza was equally dark but much more rock, like an industrial Nelly Furtado. It was a showcase of her hook-writing abilities but also of personality, cultivated from more than a half-dozen years of navigating a tricky industry in turmoil.

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<p>Robert Pattinson at the 2011 Golden Globes.</p>

Robert Pattinson at the 2011 Golden Globes.

Credit: AP Photo

Whew: Golden Globes show saved for at least 2012

NBC, HFPA and Dick Clark Productions make deal while legal case rages on

The legal dispute between the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions over negotiating the rights to the Golden Globes is still being battled in a Los Angeles courtroom, but cooler heads have prevailed for at least 2012.  All three parties announced this morning that the 69th Golden Globes will air as scheduled on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 at 5 PM PST/8PM EST. 

Dick Clark Productions will continue to produce the telecast as well as an official hour long NBC pre-show (that should be fun) from 4-5 PM PST/ 7-8 PM EST. 

The announcement also clearly noted the HFPA will co-produce the show along with Dick Clark Productions.  It is assumed the legal case will have been settled by then which means one party may be much happier than the other.

The nominees for this season's Globes will be announced bright and early at 8 AM EST on Thurs., Dec. 15. 

No word yet on whether the Globes will have a host this year. Ricky Gervais received mixed notices after his two-year run, but has publicly stated he's not that interested in returning. 

 

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<p>&quot;Battlestar Galactica&quot;&nbsp;may have taken place in a galaxy far, far away, but it was one of the TV&nbsp;shows most heavily inspired by 9/11.</p>

"Battlestar Galactica" may have taken place in a galaxy far, far away, but it was one of the TV shows most heavily inspired by 9/11.

Credit: Sci Fi

How TV reflected 9/11

Series as diverse as 'West Wing,' 'Rescue Me' and 'Battlestar Galactica' all told memorable post-9/11 tales

Like most of you, I spent the long, strange, tragic day that was September 11, 2001 glued to the TV set, rifling from channel to channel, hoping against hope that some channel, somewhere would offer a piece of good news - or even some kind of explanation for the day's tragedies that would help make sense of all the carnage.

Instead, what I got was a kind of uniform confusion. Every talking head on every channel was having the same reactions, at roughly the same time. (If you watch one of the many YouTube montages of the second plane hitting the South Tower, the reaction time between the explosion and each anchorman declaring that we're under attack is nearly identical from clip to clip.) And whenever emotion or the latest piece of bad news seemed to overwhelm the men and women on-screen, they turned to pop culture to help focus their thoughts, talking about how much these terrible images on our screens resembled something out of a disaster movie.

But if this was life imitating art in horrific fashion, art found ways to respond in kind. And no artistic medium was better positioned to respond to 9/11 than television, whether through news reports, fundraising specials, or even scripted dramas like "The West Wing" and "Rescue Me" and science fiction series like "Battlestar Galactica."

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<p>Jimmy Fallon and Eddie Vedder</p>
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Jimmy Fallon and Eddie Vedder

Credit: NBC

Listen: Pearl Jam's new song, 'Ole'

Group debuts tune on 'Jimmy Fallon'

Pearl Jam debuted a new song, “Ole,” on “Jimmy Fallon” Thursday night as part of its two-night stint on the late-night talk show. The band then immediately made the song available as a free download on its website.

The 2:33 little punk nugget is all about the attitude and not about the lyrics, which are rather inane.  Although that’s the point, as Vedder sings “I ain’t got words for what goes on/I ain’t got words for all that’s wrong.”  It’s more about Matt Cameron’s thrashing, Mike McCready’s screeching guitar and Vedder’s slightly unhinged vocal

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jere Burns and Bruce Campbell in the &quot;Burn Notice&quot;&nbsp;mid-season finale.</p>

Jere Burns and Bruce Campbell in the "Burn Notice" mid-season finale.

Credit: USA

'Burn Notice' - 'Dead to Rights': Head games

Larry returns for the mid-season finale, but is he the real threat?

A quick review of the "Burn Notice" mid-season finale coming up just as soon as I show you my body mic...

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<p>Can any drama episode beat &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;The Suitcase&quot;&nbsp;for the Emmy?</p>

Can any drama episode beat "Mad Men" and "The Suitcase" for the Emmy?

Credit: AMC

Emmys '11 Predictions: Outstanding Comedy & Drama Writing

'That's what the money is for!' and a farewell to Michael Scott

The 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards are on September 18th, and it's time once again for Fienberg and I to discuss whom we think should and will win(*) some of the major categories. Next up is yet another twofer: Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.

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<p>The poster for Bobcast Goldthwait's new film 'God Bless America.'</p>

The poster for Bobcast Goldthwait's new film 'God Bless America.'

Exclusive: Check out the poster for Bobcat Goldthwait's new film 'God Bless America'

The black comedy premieres Friday night at the Toronto Film Festival

TORONTO - One of the films that I've most enjoyed discovering since moving to HitFix was at the Sundance Film Festival a few years ago, when Bobcat Goldthwait's "World's Greatest Dad" knocked me flat.  It's as dark as dark comedy gets, and it features one of the very best Robin Williams performances in recent memory.

Because of that, it's probably accurate to say that there are few films I am more excited for at this year's Toronto festival than Goldthwait's newest movie, "God Bless America."  I know very little, and that's the way I'd like to keep it.  Right now, I've read a short synopsis, I've seen about three images, and today, we're going to premiere the poster for the movie exclusively here at Motion/Captured.

If you aren't familiar with the film yet, it sounds like Goldthwait is once again working at pitch black, and that excites me.  There are very few people making smart comedies for adults these days, and what I love about the work he's doing these days is that Goldthwait means it.  He's making crazy funny movies, but he's deadly serious about it.

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