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<p>Richard Donner's laugh absolutely fills a room, so it's always nice to earn a few of them during an interview with him.</p>

Richard Donner's laugh absolutely fills a room, so it's always nice to earn a few of them during an interview with him.

Credit: HitFix

Interview: Richard Donner on 'Superman,' Blu-ray, and more

A loose and funny chat with the father of the modern superhero movie

I've been lucky enough to have an ongoing conversation with Richard Donner for the last twenty years, starting with an evening when I was a studio guide for Universal Studios, and he has always been one of those guys who tells it like it is.  I admire that, especially after two decades in Los Angeles.  I am no longer surprised at how completely full of crap people are in this city.  Instead, I am surprised when someone isn't full of crap, especially when they're an iconic member of the creative community.  That almost seems like permission for some people, like being talented gives you the right to be a total phony. 

Not Donner.  He always strikes me as a guy who simply isn't wired that way and who couldn't be phony even if he tried.

The occasion for this conversation was the release on Blu-ray of all five "Superman" feature films, and that's as good a reason as any to sit down with the man again.  After all, his two "Superman" films set the template that people are still following closely with superhero movies, and the "X-Men" franchise that he helped produce, along with his wife Lauren Shuler Donner, helped kick off the new wave of superhero movies.

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<p>You will enjoy Shepard Fairey's 'They Live' poster for Mondo. You will enjoy Shepard Fairey's 'They Live' poster for Mondo. You will enjoy Shepard Fairey's 'They Live' poster for Mondo.&nbsp;</p>

You will enjoy Shepard Fairey's 'They Live' poster for Mondo. You will enjoy Shepard Fairey's 'They Live' poster for Mondo. You will enjoy Shepard Fairey's 'They Live' poster for Mondo. 

Credit: Mondo/Alamo

Mondo premieres brand new 'They Live' poster at special screening

You can check out Shepard Fairey's exclusive new poster here

I think it's safe to say I'm a fan of John Carpenter and his films.

If you're someone who has seen all of his movies already and you crave something new, "The Ward" just arrived on VOD and is available for rental from Netflix as of yesterday.  I reviewed the film when I saw it at last year's Toronto Film Festival, which is the same place where I recorded a special podcast with Scott Weinberg where we talked about all of Carpenter's films.

Tonight, though, I wish I was in Austin for Mondo's "They Live" screening.  I love that film.  I think it's one of John's more underrated movies overall, and it's one of the best satires of the '80s.  And from the '80s.  Both.  The film works just as the surface story about a guy who discovers a conspiracy that involves the whole world, but what really makes it a better-than-average film by John is the way the subtext also works so well.  If there's anything I'm not crazy about, it's the hyper-abrupt ending of the film.  Even so, it's a movie that actually seems better in hindsight, smarter and more prescient with each passing year.

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<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Listen: Britney Spears autotunes her way through Madonna's 'Burning Up'

Updated: Listen to the whole track

They sealed their friendship with a scandalous kiss years ago at the MTV Video Music Awards and now Britney Spears sends another love letter to Madonna with a remake of the Material Girl’s “Burning Up.”  The song, gulp, came out in Spring, 1983, when a young Brit Brit would have danced to it in her diapers, since she was only about 16 months old at the time.

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Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Beyonce kicks it old style with delicious 'Love On Top'

Plus, Bey responds to '4' leaking all over the world wide web

It’s another day, so that means we have another new Beyonce song. She goes back to the ‘80s with the soulful, exuberant, mid-tempo finger snapper, “Love On Top.” It’s deliciously sunny and sweet.

Can’t you hear Shalamar singing this? Even the production feels like it spilled right out of 1985 complete with a thumping bass line, horns and backing vocals. It’s not going to be on radio--unless we have some kind of magical wayback machine-- but it’s a pure delight, plus her voice sounds great.  Put a cherry on top of this one and call it a day... although we want a video. Listen to it here on Idolator before it gets taken down.

Each of the five songs from “4,” officially out June 28, has sounded wildly different from one another. This is one of our favorites so far.

And while we’re discussing “4,” as you know it leaked in full yesterday. Let’s just assume that Beyonce’s team was not happy about this  Sony Music has gone out of its way to stop leaks, issuing cease and desist letters whenever new songs would crop up before they were officially ready to let that happen.

The leaks started with first single, “Run the World (Girls)” a few weeks ago, and most recently on Monday when the Kanye-West produced “Party” featuring Andre 3000 leaked out. It became a game of whack-a-mole with lawyers knocking down one leak only to have it pop up again somewhere else.
Beyonce took to her Facebook page to respond very graciously to the leaks realizing that at this point there’s nothing to be done: “My music was leaked and while this is not how I wanted to present my new songs, I appreciate the positive response from my fans. When I record music I always think about my fans singing every note and dancing to every beat. I make music to make people happy and I appreciate that everyone has been so anxious to hear my new songs.”

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<p>Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan hit the road as Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in 'The Trip'</p>

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan hit the road as Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in 'The Trip'

Credit: IFC Films

Review: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon make 'The Trip' worth taking

Winterbottom continues to prove he can do everything well

When I saw "Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story" at the AFI Fest, it was screened at the Arclight, and I was sitting in the front row.  As a result, when Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan stepped up to do a Q&A afterwards, it felt pretty much like a private show. And the chemistry they have in that movie is something that I found electrifying.  The whole film, by Michael Winterbottom, is entertaining and daring and inventive and silly, sometimes all in one move, and the Brydon/Coogan verbal sparring is one part of why that movie is great.  Not all of it, but certainly a component of why it made my ten best of the year list that year.

With "The Trip," a new Winterbottom movie that is a feature-length version of the BBC series, it's all Brydon and Coogan and that's the point.  It's "My Dinner With Andre" with two performers locked in a  mad passive-aggressive competition for laughs while on a restaurant-based road trip.  It's often riotously funny, and it feels like the larger "joke" about the relationship between Coogan and Brydon is carefully crafted and perceptive.  This is the Coogan I like most, the loutish show business version with occasional flashes of self-awareness, and Brydon is a brilliant foil for him.  Brydon can provoke Coogan as a performer, get a real rise out of him, and that's what "The Trip" is really all about… Rob Brydon driving Steve Coogan absolutely mad.

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<p>Cee Lo Green</p>

Cee Lo Green

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Cee Lo Green's cover of '(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care'

Just try to sit still during the next 1:30

Here’s a day brightener for you: Cee Lo Geen's cover of  “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care.”

The tune, penned by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller,  was first recorded by Elvis Presley in “Jail House Rock.” But later, Buddy Holly covered the song, which makes it fair game for “Rave on Buddy Holly,” the collection of tunes made famous (sort of ) or written by Holly that’s out on June 28. We’ve already posted contributions from The Black Keys and Paul McCartney.

What we like is that the versions we’ve heard so far really do re-interpret the Holly tune with each artist giving the songs their own spin.

Other artists include Florence + the Machine, Kid Rock and Fiona Apple.

“The Voice” judge gives “You’re So Square” a positively island vibe with what we think are steel drums.  Between the finger snaps, the guitar, bongos and Cee Lo’s lighthearted delivery, just try to stay seated. Everyone conga!

Listen here.

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<p>Damon Lindelof has been living the geek dream since wrapping work on his series 'Lost,' and now he's sold a mysterious new pitch to Disney</p>

Damon Lindelof has been living the geek dream since wrapping work on his series 'Lost,' and now he's sold a mysterious new pitch to Disney

Credit: AP Photo/Jason Redmond

Damon Lindelof sells mysterious '1952' pitch to Disney

Plans to keep cards close to the vest, taking page from Abrams playbook

Damon Lindelof, you are no longer the Padawan.  Obviously, you've now graduated to full-blown Mystery Box Jedi.

Who knows what "1952" is?
  Well, Disney executives know, but that's it.  Other than them, Damon Lindelof isn't telling anyone what to expect from what is described as "an original sci-fi family adventure film."

Fine.  I don't need to know a logline to know I'm interested.  Lindelof has been a busy, busy man since "Lost" went off the air a year ago, and whatever he's doing, I'm interested.  I want to see what he cooks up because I just plain like the way he thinks.  I remain a "Lost" fan after the ending of the show, and no matter what I thought of individual choices made along the way, that was a great ride overall, and I begrudge the creators of the show nothing.  They entertained me for six years.  Well-played.  That's all I asked.

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Credit: Columbia

Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' keeps Pitbull on a short leash...again

How's Lady Gaga doing? Where does Coldplay's latest start?

“Rolling in the Deep”  rolls its way to its fifth week atop  the Billboard Hot 100 this week. The biggest hit of Adele’s young career rises in airplay as it continues to gain traction at various formats.

After conquering most pop-leaning charts, it is now, believe it or not, climbing Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, according to Billboard.

The rest of the Top 10 remains fairly static as titles shift a little or hold steady.  Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, AfroJack and Nayer remains at No. 2 (it’s No. 1 in the U.K.) as does Katy Perry’s “E.T.” featuring Kanye West at No. 3.

Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” ambitiously moves 6-4, bumping Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor” featuring Pitbull down one spot to No. 5.

LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock rises 9-6, recapturing its highest mark on the Hot 100 so far.  Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory”  gains one spot to No. 7.

Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough” falls 5-8, Britney Spears’ “Till The World Ends” lives another day, but slides 7-9, while Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” eases into the Top 10, moving 12-10.

The chart’s highest debut is Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” which blasts on the Hot 100 at No. 29. Lil Wayne’s “How To Love” also gets a lot of love, as it  zooms 69-12 on the big chart.

In other noteworthy chart news. “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery’s first chart entry, “I Love You This Big” tumbles 11-35, while runner-up Lauren Alaina’s “Like My Mother Does” plummets 20-60. The good news is that while the falls are due to major dips in single sales, both tracks are gaining at radio.


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<p>Sacha Baron Cohen's got a lot of hair as 'The Dictator'</p>

Sacha Baron Cohen's got a lot of hair as 'The Dictator'

Credit: Paramount

First Look: Sacha Baron Cohen wears a mighty beard as 'The Dictator'

His new character makes his official debut

I am a firm believer in Sacha Baron Cohen.

I think both "Borat" and "Bruno" are impressive character comedies, and the way Cohen builds and inhabits his characters intrigues me.  He is a dedicated, inventive performer, and in a way, it feels like "The Dictator" is one of the most important moments he's had so far.

Up till now, we've been watching him cross over from the small screen to the bigscreen.  Both Borat and Bruno were characters created for "Da Ali G Show," and they had been tested and perfected there.  Both films played as sort of pseudo-documentaries about the characters interacting with people who were often real people, unaware of the joke.  And while I think both films have very different things to say, there is an undeniable similarity between them in style.  The one traditional narrative comedy that Cohen's done, the actual Ali G movie, was sort of painful.  It didn't work as a film, even if there are a few nice moments here and there.

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Credit: Natacha Pisarenko/AP

U2 delays release of new album, will go back into studio in 2012

Is it something else we can blame on 'Spider-Man'

Bad news U2 fans: it looks like we’re still a good year away from a new album from the Irish lads, possibly 18 months.

Blame “Spider-Man” and the never-ending 360 Tour. Both have sucked time away from the recording process that started in 2009 after the release of “No Line on the Horizon.”

After months of working with RedOne, best known for his work with Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, and Danger Mouse, the band finally realized that its hopes of finishing the set in time for a 2011 release were nil, as there was no time when they could get back into the studio. “We just realized that we couldn’t,” bassist Adam Clayton tells Rolling Stone. “To be honest, everyone was a bit gutted. But it was the only sensible decision.”

He adds that the Danger Mouse songs will likely surface on the new album, but the RedOne tracks will not. “We have to focus on what we do best, and the work we did with Danger Mouse came closest to that,” Clayton said. “In the end, the thing we did with RedOne doesn’t feel like the right fit.”  The hope is to now have the album ready by the end of 2012.

By the way, by the time the 360 Tour wraps up 20 dates or so from now (dates postponed from last summer following Bono’s back surgery), it will grossed more than $700 million, making it the highest-earning tour of all time.  And if you’d like to feel older,  2011 marks U2’s 35th anniversary. Gulp.

In related Spidey news, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will have its real opening June 14, we promise. After more delays than we can count, the musical, for which U2’s The Edge and Bono, wrote the tunes, is finally ready to go. For anyone who’s counting, the show has had 177 preview performances, making its preview season much longer than most Broadway shows ever run after opening.

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<p>A scene from last night's &quot;South Park.&quot;</p>

A scene from last night's "South Park."

Credit: Comedy Central

'South Park' - 'You're Getting Old': Getting ready to say goodbye?

Last night's episode played like it could have been the series finale

I haven't been a regular "South Park" viewer in a long time, but I happened to catch last night's mid-season finale - which many people on Twitter said felt like a series finale - and I have some quick thoughts on it and the state of the show coming up just as soon as I save those britches...

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<p>Swearengen (Ian McShane)&nbsp;is not afraid of Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert)&nbsp;on &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Swearengen (Ian McShane) is not afraid of Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) on "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 1, Episode 2: 'Deep Water' (Veterans edition)

Al and Doc go to war over the fate of the little girl

We're now into week 2 of our trip back through the first season of "Deadwood," and the plan remains the same: two essentially identical versions of the same review, but one where it's safe for commenters to discuss events from the entire run of the series, and the other where, for the sake of "Deadwood" newcomers, the comments should only deal with things up through the current episode. This is the former; click here for the newbie-safe version.

My review of "Deep Water" coming up just as soon as I've got you triangulated...

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