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It's probably not fair to say Tom Hanks has experienced a comeback over the past year. He's always been here. His side job as a movie and TV producer has just stolen some of his free time over the past decade or so. 2013 is a watershed for Hanks, however, with acclaimed performances in two Oscar contenders, "Captain Phillips" and "Saving Mr. Banks," now on his resume. "Phillips" has already earned over $100 million domestic, "Banks" is expected to be a major holiday hit and he could earn Academy Award nominations for both films. So on second thought, maybe it's a pseudo comeback.
One of the most upsetting moments in Lucy Walker's new documentary "The Crash Reel" features Kevin Pearce, a world-class snowboarder who was waylaid on his way to the Olympics by a traumatic brain injury, talking to his parents about how he plans to return to snowboarding. This is on the heels of two full years of therapy that have obviously not restored him to anything like peak condition. Pearce seems completely set on going back to competition, and nothing his parents say seems to be eating to him. He's simply incapable of accepting the idea that his brain damage is permanent.
The subject of just how we've approached the health of players involved in full-contact sports is currently undergoing a culture-wide re-examination, and while sports fans might have to cope with some uncomfortable changes to the games that they love, it sounds like those changes have to happen.
There were few people more skeptical out the casting of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher than I was. I wrote about it several times during the production of the film, but when the film finally came out, I found myself won over by Christopher McQuarrie's excellent script and smart, sleek direction. It is a really good old-school action movie, and while Cruise isn't the Jack Reacher I see when I read the books, he's got an intensity that makes up for the physicality.
So when I read that Cruise and McQuarrie, who are currently gearing up for "Mission: Impossible 5," are now set to develop a sequel to "Jack Reacher," I am actually excited by the news. I'm a little baffled by the choice of book, though, and this time, my issue has nothing to do with Cruise and whether or not he's the same size as Reacher.
From Michael Fassbender to Shailene Woodley to Keira Knightley to Ryan Reynolds, Sundance's 2014 Premieres slate (full list here) is certainly a star-studded one, and you can take your first glimpse at a number of the selected films - including Gregg Araki's "White Bird in a Blizzard," David Wain's "They Came Together" and William H. Macy's "Rudderless" - in the gallery below.
The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 16-26 in Park City, Utah.
As I wrote in yesterday's LAFCA voting live-blog, GKIDS' beguiling French creature feature "Ernest and Celestine" is making strides in the animated Oscar race. Yesterday's win from the LA crowd, pipping early critics' favorite "The Wind Rises" to the post, was an unexpected coup. It did well, too, in the Annie Award nominations, where it joined "Frozen" as the only films to score nods for directing and writing, in addition to the top prize. Add to that the news that the film's English-language version -- featuring the voices of Forest Whitaker and Nick Offerman, among others -- has secured a shiny premiere slot at the Sundance Film Festival, and it's clearly a viable contender.
People are so focused on the barrage of sequels and reboots coming in 2015 that it feels like they're overlooking some films that they're going to see sooner. One of the movies that I'm personally flipping out about is "Jupiter Ascending," the new science-fiction action film from Andy and Lana Wachowski.
While I'm a fan of all their films so far, I'm well aware of just how fanboys view them after "Speed Racer" and "Cloud Atlas." It's a shame, since there was a point where "a new sci-fi action movie from the guys who made 'The Matrix'" would have broken the Internet with the release of a new trailer.
I've been doing my best to stay quiet about everything I know about this film. I can say this, though… they're still not really showing you everything that's going on in the film, and they're not really telling you some of the coolest things about these characters. Channing Tatum's character Caine is, as we hear in the trailer, a hunter, but it's more than just training. He is genetically designed to be a hunter, and as such, he's got more than just human DNA bouncing around inside him. His ears, which you just glimpse a bit in the trailer, are the first clue that he's not exactly what he appears to be, and he's not the only modified character. I would love to see what Stinger looks like and who's playing him, but I don't think we even get a glimpse of him here.
NBC will mount another live musical next year -- it's getting swamped with offers
NBC Entertainment boss Robert Greenblatt says he and "The Sound of Music Live" producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who will return for next year's musical, are already "circling a couple of titles." Greenblatt adds: "All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us. Rights holders of musicals have said, 'Please do one of our shows.' We're excited to try it again."
"The Bachelor" wedding invites: Sean Lowe "will marry his best friend" Catherine Giudice
The invitation also states that Catherine "completely adores" Sean.
Ian Ziering: I did "Sharknado" to keep my top-notch health insurance for my 2 babies
"I was really apprehensive," Ziering said of the script, "but as an actor I get my insurance from the Screen Actor's Guild by union, and you have to make so much every year to get that type 1 insurance."
Key & Peele attempt to break the world record for impressions
Most impressions in one minute.
"The Vampire Diaries'" Nina Dobrev: "I had a chunky face" as a kid, and I was bullied
"I had a couple of awkward stages," she says.
Bette Milder to play Mae West in an HBO movie
"The Exorcist's" William Friedkin will direct a biopic on the classic film star.
What other shows should try musical episodes?
"Psych" is doing, but what about "Survivor" and "Duck Dynasty"?
Fake "Simpsons" movies get real posters
Check out posters from MTV and designer Old Red Jalopy.
Fox casting for Batman's Bruce Wayne as a kid
He'll be part of the "Gotham" series focusing on a younger Commissioner Gordon.
"Amazing Race" champs talk about their 2nd-place finishes
Says Amy of Jason & Amy: "We definitely did not want to break the record of most second-place finishes!"
Watch a video history of "SNL's" Bill Brasky
The "Saturday Night Live" sketch returned this weekend after a 15-year hiatus.
What if TMZ covered "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"?
"Rudolph's ex: I hope that sleigh crashes. You cheating bastard!!"
How former MTV VJ Kennedy ended up on the Fox Business Channel
She was recruited by John Stossel, her mentor.
"The Sing-Off" returns: What other shows can learn from this "important show"
It's no "American Idol" or "The Voice," but "The Sing-Off's" nerdy preoccupation with a capella is brilliant.
Josh Holloway poses shirtless in "Intelligence" poster
Check out his Vitruvian man tribute.
The American Film Institute has named their Top 10 TV shows of 2013 - and cable/Netflix dramas emerged as the big winners.
Ed Sheeran, who received a best new artist nod during Friday night’s Grammy Nominations Live! Concert, said the highlight of the year (before the nod, of course) was doing the end credit song, "I See Fire," for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
“I’m just a massive geek and being involved in that was fun,” he said backstage. “I got to hang out with [director] Peter Jackson and go to the premiere.” Jackson called him while Sheeran was at a wedding in Ibiza.
Sheeran also received a nomination for album of the year for his work with Taylor Swift on her album, “Red.”
Things are going pretty well for Miguel in the R&B and pop worlds, but that doesn’t mean he wants to stop there. It turns out that the singer has a goal that extends beyond both of those genres.
When asked what it was like to play with country superstar Keith Urban during the Grammy Nominations Live! Concert Friday night, Miguel revealed that his interest in country is much more than fleeting.
“One of my goals, it still is, is to write a song that crosses over from whatever genre you want to put my music in, into country music,” Miguel said. “I feel like country music is that genre for the greatest written songs so if I’ve ever written a song that kind of even made it country radio, it would be a huge testament to my abilities.”
Miguel, who received two Grammy nominations Friday night, went on to talk about how healthy the country genre is: “The artists thrive and the music thrives because of the community and because of the honesty,” he said. “They write songs about cars and they sound incredible. There’s not too many people who can do that, you know what I’m saying?”
Yes, we do, Miguel. Yes, we do.
"The Goldbergs" will do a "Goonies"-themed episode
"'The Goonies' is my favorite movie of all time," says creator Adam Goldberg. "It's the reason I'm a writer. I've seen it a billion times. I would reenact it. I wrote Goonies scripts as a kid. I collect props and memorabilia."
A Festivus pole made from empty beer cans is going up in Florida capitol's rotunda
Gov. Rick Scott approved the request from an atheist Florida resident who is making the "Seinfeld" holiday pole in response to the capitol's Christmas nativity scene. PLUS: Wisconsin's capitol has a Festivus pole on display.
"Community" unveils movie-like trailer for Season 5
Check out "Mr. Winger." PLUS: See the "Community" poster for Season 5.
A&E orders a magician reality show
On "Don't Trust Andrew Mayne," illusionist Andrew Mayne will help people get back at their enemies by teaching them magic lessons.
American Film Institute's Top 10 TVs shows of 2013 include "Scandal" and "Breaking Bad"
"Homeland" is out this year, while "Orange is the New Black" is in.
CBS orders "The Dovekeepers," a miniseries from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey
The four-hour miniseries is based on the 2011 bestseller, and will be set in ancient Israel.
Watch History channel's "The Vikings" Season 2 promo
Set to Lorde's" Glory and Gore."