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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 101: 'Hell on Wheels,' 'Bones,' Charlie Sheen and more
Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 101: 'Hell on Wheels,' 'Bones,' Charlie Sheen and more

Time for another Dan's Reality Round-Up, a review of PBS' 'Page Eight,' plus ratings talk


Happy Monday, and time for a busy, Dan-centric installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we review "Hell on Wheels," the new season of "Bones," bust out another installment of Dan's Reality Round-Up, talk off the cuff about the Charlie Sheen/FX deal, and lots more.

The line-up: 

"Bones" -- 1:55 - 8:25
"Page Eight" -- 8:30 - 17:00
FX getting into the Charlie Sheen business -- 17:10 - 27:00
"Hell on Wheels" -- 27:05 - 41:40
Recent Ratings Overview -- 41:45 - 53:45
Dan's Reality Roundup -- 53:45 - 01:14:30 
Listener Mail: Women watch football too -- 01:14:35 - 01:19:45
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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at and/or if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
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<p>Charlize Theron in a scene from &quot;Young&nbsp;Adult&quot;</p>

Charlize Theron in a scene from "Young Adult"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Off the Carpet: Building the perfect strategy

As always, studios navigate the tricky waters of expectation this season

It's been quiet. You might say too quiet.

Mid-to-late-October, those thin moments just after the New York Film Festival concludes and a number of the fall festival staples segue to the London Film Festival, it's always a bit of a lull. Call it the calm before the storm if you want, but I don't even really see much of a storm on the horizon. Just some heat lightning, maybe.

The season will show further signs of life this week as both Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" and Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" finally screen for LA-based press. The former has been playing for as long as possible on the outside, building steam and word-of-mouth initially in Minnesota (where the film is set -- first "reviewed" by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a blog entry of less than 200 words accompanied by a whopping four comments) and then adjacent to the Austin Film Festival as one of a few "pop-up" screenings held around the country.

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Credit: Mary Rozzi

Interview: Feist talks new album, metal meeting 'Metals' with Mastodon

As tour kicks off, Leslie Feist pages the Flaming Lips

When it came to writing her latest album “Metals” last winter, Leslie Feist took inspiration from Jonathan Franzen, when he was writing his 2010 novel “Freedom.” The writer whittled down his work space to a minimum, to objects of bare necessity, with only a desk, laptop working solely as a word processor and a “beige, buzzing overhead light. 

“I wanted to do the same thing, so all I had was my laptop, with no internet, a floor tom and one old guitar, an amp and one new guitar. I made like a little altar, with things that were dear to me like a few postcards and couple of books. It was basically modernity-forbidden zone,” Feist told me in our recent interview. She banged out ideas for “Metals” from a “shed” in the backyard of her Toronto home. When it came time to record, she and her backing players set up shop in Big Sur, out of a converted barn where “it took 20 minutes just to get drive down the driveway, to get to the highway.” There was almost no cell reception, and getting online was a hassle.
“You felt so cutoff. It was a bubble and really potent, if not a little irritating. It’d be like, ‘Oh the internet’s down again, I guess we’ll just make a record.”
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<p>Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman, both BIFA-nominated for their performances in &quot;Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman, both BIFA-nominated for their performances in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." 

Credit: Focus Features

'Shame,' 'Tinker, Tailor' and 'Tyrannosaur' lead BIFA nods

'Senna' scores nods for both Best Film and Best Documentary

The British Independent Film Awards are essentially the across-the-pond equivalent of the Spirit Awards, but they seem to grow in profile every year as a slightly hipper alternative to (and bellwether of) the BAFTAs. Though limited to UK indies, their parameters are broad enough to include the bulk of the year's buzzy British titles.

Last year, for example, they were all over "The King's Speech," and took flak in some quarters for honoring such a relatively mainstream title; similarly, one of this year's leading nominees, local box-office phenomenon "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is less independent, both in status and in spirit, than several of its competitors.

But no matter: together with Steve McQueen's "Shame" and Paddy Considine's debut feature "Tyrannosaur," Tomas Alfredson's star-studded John le Carré adaptation leads an exceptionally fine crop of BIFA nominees, one that testifies to a remarkable year for UK cinema. The three films scored seven nods apiece; close behind, with six each, are Lynne Ramsay's London Film Festival champ "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and Ben Wheatley's future cult item "Kill List."

(More analysis, and a full list of nominees, after the jump.)

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<p>Steven&nbsp;Spielberg seems to be all over the place this year.</p>

Steven Spielberg seems to be all over the place this year.

Credit: Andrew Cooper/DreamWorks Pictures

Oscarweb Round-up: More on 2011 as 'the year of The Beard'

Also: In praise of Linda Blair and 'Iron Man 3' takes to North Carolina

Way back on Independence Day I settled on what I anticipated the narrative of the 2011 Oscar season to be: The Year of the Beard. Steven Spielberg is as prolific as ever, and across media, working feverishly both as director ("War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn") and producer ("Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Super 8" among others) on the big screen, while helping to usher things to the small screen, too, like "Falling Skies" and "Terra Nova." And he's hard at work in Virginia right now on next year's "Lincoln." Michael Cieply at the New York Times has caught up with this line of reasoning, it seems, and comes at it from the angle of Spielberg coveting recognition as an artist above a commercial player. [New York Times]

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Album Review: Beach Boys' brilliant 'SMiLE' Sessions box set

Album Review: Beach Boys' brilliant 'SMiLE' Sessions box set

Musical magic and madness 45 years after the fact

Glorious. There. That’s my one-word review of “SMiLE,” the never-released/never-completed Beach Boys album that is finally seeing the light of day 45 years after Brian Wilson and his band mates entered the studio.

Rolling Stone has called “SMiLE,”  “the most famous unfinished album in rock & roll history.”  Still unfinished, Capitol is, nevertheless, releasing the “SMiLE” sessions on Nov. 1. For diehards, a deluxe package includes not just the original tracks, but four CDs of studio outtakes, including 30 different snippets from the recording of “Heroes & Villains.” There are vinyl versions, digital only versions, and even a version that comes with a surf board.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Thompson, Tomson and Tintin in Steven Spielberg's &quot;The Adventures of Tintin:&nbsp;The Secret of the Unicorn.&quot;</p>

Thompson, Tomson and Tintin in Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Oscar Watch: 'The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn' scores overseas

$55.8 million international debut

Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures breathed a big sigh of relief on Sunday.  No, it wasn't because of the results of anything debuting stateside, but of a highly anticipated release dipping its toe into theaters overseas, Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn." 

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<p>Saul (Mandy Patinkin)&nbsp;runs an interrogation in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Saul (Mandy Patinkin) runs an interrogation in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'Blind Spot': Razor's edge

Brody comes face to face with an old foe, and Saul's wife comes home

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I think you're ready for the glue factory...

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<p>Justin and Jennifer of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Justin and Jennifer of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'We Love Your Country Already, It Is Very Spacious'

It's off to Africa for tobacco hauling, sewing and a village overnight
Oh, come on.
No. Seriously. 
We're all fans of "The Amazing Race" here, right? 
I hope so. I recap the show because I'm a fan. I assume you read the recaps because you're a fan. 
So, fan-to-fan... Level with me: Is there anybody out there who is happy with the structural choices made for this season's "Amazing Race"?
Click through, cuz there's gonna be grumbling.
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<p>Shane (Jon Bernthal)&nbsp;under fire on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Shane (Jon Bernthal) under fire on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'Save the Last One': Lori's choice

Shane and Otis try to escape high school alive, while Carl fights to live

A review of tonight's"The Walking Dead" (which AMC unsurprisingly just renewed for a third season) coming up just as soon as my venereal disease saves your life...

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<p>Michael Pitt and William Forsythe in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Michael Pitt and William Forsythe in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire' - 'The Age of Reason': When life gives you lemons...

Back-up plans and prayers are the order of the day as season 2 reaches its mid-point

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I catch your meaning...

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<p>Jonah Hill is &quot;Allen Gregory.&quot;</p>

Jonah Hill is "Allen Gregory."

Credit: FOX

'Allen Gregory' - 'Pilot': Little big man

What did everybody think of FOX's new animated comedy?

I posted my review of FOX's "Allen Gregoryyesterday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched, what did you think? Was Jonah Hill funny as an obnoxious 7-year-old? Were you distracted by his dad's resemblance to "Community" Dean Pelton? And are you going to watch again?

Have at it.

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