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Greta Gerwig in "Frances Ha."
Greta Gerwig in "Frances Ha."
Credit: IFC Films

Roundup: Greta Gerwig waxes philosophical on awards season

Also: What 'Gravity' and '12 Years a Slave' have in common, and J.Law vs. K.Stew

When yesterday's Gotham Award nominations were announced, many noted with some surprise that the very good, very independent and very Gotham-centric "Frances Ha" was left off the list entirely. One of those was Nathaniel Rogers, who wound up accidentally breaking the news to the film's star and co-writer Greta Gerwig. Unsurprisingly, she's not that bothered -- about this, or awards in general. "I think if you're in the film business long enough they eventually get around to you somehow. Or at least when you die a picture of you goes up onscreen ... I also think filmmakers who I love -- sometimes the movies they get recognized for aren't as good as some of their other movies. 'Oh, we sat on it when it was fascinating in the 80s or something, so now we're going to do it!'" [The Film Experience]

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<p>&quot;Rush&quot;</p>

"Rush"

Credit: Universal Pictures

Tech Support: What films headline this year's race for Best Sound Editing?

And are there any animated films that could slide in this time around?

Last February’s Academy Awards ceremony produced a nice handful of surprises, but none was more jaw-dropping than the wacky turn of events than when “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall” tied for the Best Sound Editing Oscar. I found the moment quite appropriate, actually, as not only were they both deserving victors (in different ways) but they demonstrated different sorts of films that tend to be honored in this category.

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<p>Jonathan Rhys Meyers of &quot;Dracula&quot;</p>

Jonathan Rhys Meyers of "Dracula"

Credit: NBC

TV Review: NBC's 'Dracula' is a toothless reimagining

"Lacks bite" and "Sucks" would also have been acceptable
[This review is way the heck too long, but I'm writing it on the behalf of Young Daniel, who dressed up as Dracula every Halloween for around 10 years.]
 
NBC doesn't really know how to explain what "Dracula" is, which explains why they're doing it so poorly. 
 
"The legend takes new life," reads the primary tagline that you might have seen on billboards, buses and on-air promos for the drama, which premieres on Friday (October 25) night.
 
The tagline across the show's official website takes a different approach and goes with "Jonathan Rhys Myers is America's Original Vampire."
 
It's much easier to quantify why the latter approach is frustratingly off-base. First of all, NBC should probably know the star of its show spells his last name "Meyers." And that he's Irish. And that he's playing Carpathian in "Dracula." And "Dracula" is based on a book by an author who also happens to be Irish. And "Dracula" was published in 1897, when we all know that Abraham Lincoln was slaying American vampires more than 50 years earlier.  And there are four or five other shows on TV featuring vampires who are a good deal more American. Heck, it's even a stretch to call NBC's "Dracula" an American series, given that it's an international co-production filmed far away on The Continent. So yeah, there's really no aspect of that tag line that is  accurate. It's a bit astounding. I don't even know what about that banner sentence could possibly be a valuable lure for audiences. 
 
"Jonathan Rhys Myers is America's Original Vampire" is only in that one place, though. [UPDATE: And NBC has corrected the "Myers" typo. This is the largest amount of tangible change I've ever enacted in my time as a critic.]
 
"The legend takes new life," however, is everywhere.
 
And I hate to harp on this, but "Dracula" isn't a legend.
 
There are legends that exist surrounding Vlad III of Wallachia and the Order of the Dragon and whatnot, but those legends mostly require that you care an awful lot about power struggles within the Ottoman Empire and a certain amount of military viciousness, but would probably bore you to tears if you yearn for even rumors of resurrection or post-mortem bloodsucking. 
 
Vlad the Impaler was perhaps a horrifying monster of a certain sort, but the concept of Count Dracula and vampirism and all that good stuff? That's not a legend. That's a piece of fiction that Bram Stoker created. Bram Stoker also created Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker and the idea of Mina as a timeless love for Count Dracula. He created Lucy and Renfield and he created Abraham Van Helsing as well. There is no "legendary" basis for any of that. It's all from a work of credited literature that happens to have moved into the public domain worldwide in 1962 (it was apparently always in the public domain in the United States, if you like irrelevant footnotes). That's why F.W. Murnau's 1922 "Nosferatu," which has many characters and plotpoints in common with "Dracula," but failed to acquire acquire rights to the novel, couldn't actually use the "Dracula" name or any of the names from the book, but why NBC's "Dracula," which shares almost no meaningful connection to Stoker's novel at all, is able to take character names from the novel without taking anything else.
 
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"Scandal"

 "Scandal"

Credit: ABC

'Scandal' recap: Is Command in trouble?

Fitz gets some new competition from Lisa Kudrow

I've never minded the procedural aspect of "Scandal." Usually it feels like a fluid part of the show, a way to give a stand alone element to the complicated and endlessly twisty storyline of Fitz and Olivia's on-again, off-again, (rinse, repeat) relationship. With Jake back in the picture and Command coming under greater scrutiny, I didn't need a great case for Olivia and her Scooby gang. But this week I kept checking my channel guide to make sure I wasn't watching "Law & Order" reruns. 

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<p>'Squeal like a Penguin for me!'</p>

'Squeal like a Penguin for me!'

Credit: WB Games Montreal/Eidos

Launch trailer for 'Batman: Arkham Origins' lands every punch it throws

It may be a prequel, but it looks like it's building off the earlier games

One of the highlights of my day was getting an e-mail from GameFly telling me that they've just shipped "Batman: Arkham Origins," which means it should be in my mailbox tomorrow, just in time for the weekend. This makes me positively giddy.

After all, both "Arkham Asylum" and "Arkham City" turned out to be fairly great Batman games, and what made them so great was the way they used the various game mechanics to genuinely make you feel like you're Batman. It may be one of my favorite hand to hand combat systems in any game ever, and there was a special satisfaction that came from mastering all the various moves and combos and little by little learning how to beat holy hell out of a room full of bad guys.

Likewise, I'm not always the biggest fan of stealth games, but that's a huge part of being Batman, and the games made it very satisfying and challenging to incorporate stealth into everything. The environments for the two games were well-designed, and the villains you face in the games were great, really outrageous versions of many of the best-known members of his massive rogue's gallery. The Joker has been a major player in both of the first two games, and with "Batman: Arkham Origins" serving as a prequel of sorts, it's a safe bet we'll get more Joker this time as well.

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"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries': Are Elena and Stefan fanning the flames?

Will Bonnie's big secret finally be revealed?

A 2,000 year old witch and an amnesia curse may be a long way to go to make Elena and Stefan fall in love again, but really, who cares? The scenes in which Elena tries to jog Stefan's memory as to who he (and the two of them together) used to be are sweet, sad and capture the best and worst of their relationship more effectively than the old movie montages people slap together for their wedding receptions. Of course, all the sweet stuff between them kinda goes to hell pretty quick, but whatever. At least we had Paris.  

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<p>Michael Fassbender proves to be one of the worst lawyers in movie history in Ridley Scott's new film 'The Counselor,' from an original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy.</p>

Michael Fassbender proves to be one of the worst lawyers in movie history in Ridley Scott's new film 'The Counselor,' from an original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: Ridley Scott's 'Counselor' makes slick but miserable use of Fassbender

Cormac McCarthy's prose doesn't make the jump to the screen

There are many writers, great writers, who excel in one form but not in another. Vince Gilligan will not be remembered ultimately as the writer of "Wilder Napalm" and "Home Fries," but rather as the brain behind "Breaking Bad." David Chase probably doesn't have to worry about "Not Fade Away" eclipsing "The Sopranos" as his crowning accomplishment. Those guys have television in their DNA. They understand how to use that form, that storytelling rhythm, to maximum effect, and with their voices turned to something as fundamentally different in style as a 100-minute movie, they seem constricted.

Cormac McCarthy is a hell of a writer. Anything I say about him comes with the obvious caveat that he is freakin' Cormac McCarthy. His books almost feel like fights you've been in when you think back on them. They are tussles, these dense collections of horrible and ugly that illustrate a fairly dark world view, daring the reader to go full-on into McCarthy's various hellscapes. At Toronto, I saw James Franco's film adaptation of "Child Of God," and I'll say this for him: he is unflinching in trying to wrestle McCarthy's exact prose up onto the screen, and that includes a lot of things that audiences really might not expect to end up confronting, or want to. And while he hasn't always gone dark, "Blood Meridian" and "No County For Old Men" are both about as grim as you can get, unless you consider "The Road," which makes jet-black look white.

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Aasif Mandvi's 'Daily Show' interview gets GOP official fired


Aasif Mandvi's "Daily Show" interview gets GOP official fired

According to the Buncombe County Republican chairman, Don Yelton made "offensive, uniformed and unacceptable" comments on Wednesday's "Daily Show," including blasting "lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything."


E! got scooped on its Kim Kardashian-Kanye West exclusive proposal video
The co-founder of YouTube posted the engagement video before E!


Ken Jennings reunites with the woman who ended his "Jeopardy!" winning streak
Kathy Zerg beat Jennings in 2004 after he appeared in 75 episodes.


Tony Shalhoub OK after car crash outside Paramount Studios
The actor was rear-ended this afternoon.


CW doing another period drama, this one set in 1930s Hollywood

"Players" centers on a Midwestern woman who ends up in Hollywood's starmaking machine after coming to town to avenge hers sister's death.


NASA helps create a "Space Racers" cartoon for kids

NASA hopes to educate children about space using a show about five "talented young spaceships."


Kathryn Hahn reunites with Adam Scott for "Greatest Event in Television History"

She'll be part of the next installment, which has yet to be revealed.


"Dr. Phil" is losing ground to "Ellen" and "Live"

"Live With Kelly & Michael" and "Ellen" are close to surpassing the No. 1 Dr. Phil show.


"Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" vs. "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood"
Which of the two pairs does the most "double-dipping" of actors, Shonda Rhimes or Jason Katims?


"Grey's Anatomy" got permission to use tonight's superglue procedure
Jamie Arliss, whose life was saved when medical superglue was injected into a tumor in her heart, gave the show permission to use her story. PLUS: Is there hope for Callie and Arizona?


"Survivor's" Brad Culpepper: "I'm not misogynistic, I'm not sexist, I'm not racist"
"I'm not any of the things that were said," says this week's ousted "Survivor" contestant.


That "Homeland" twist wasn't so bad
"Were fans fooled?" says Verne Gay. "Sure, but that seems hardly the worst offense here - the greater one being an offense against logic. But at least the show has shed the shackles that threatened to tie it down, and in a way, already have." PLUS: 7 ways to fix "Homeland."


Lesbians are all over TV -- what about gay men?

"On television, women longing for other women may be hot," says Willa Paskin, "but men longing for other men is still decidedly not. TV’s gay men hardly ever get any action, and you will rarely see a bisexual guy falling for another man, and certainly never in a story line that could be described as swoony." PLUS: Are lesbians really having a TV moment?


"The Crazy Ones" books Adriana Lima
She'll play herself days before appearing on CBS' Victoria's Secret special.


Danielle Fishel fights back after being called a "fat cougar"

Fishel didn't take kindly to comments calling her fat in her wedding gown. PLUS: William Daniels reads Mr. Feeny's best "Boy Meets World" quotes.


How "Family Guy" will welcome back Cleveland
The "He's Bla-ack" will come with some conflict.


See the young Samantha Jones with the young Carrie Bradshaw

Lindsey Gort talks about her new "Carrie Diaries" role.


Which shows are experiencing the sophomore slump?

"The Mindy Project" is struggling, "Revolution" is seeing all-time lows, while "Chicago Fire" and "Nashville" are doing well.


Why did Adam DeVine come up with "Adam DeVine's House Party"?

The Comedy Central show, premiering tonight, aims to showcase standup comedians off the stage.


"Breaking Bad's" Vince Gilligan talks about his lifelong relationship with books

At a Los Angeles Public Library event, Gilligan remembers growing up and spending lots of time in the library. PLUS: Check out early 2000s Aaron Paul.


Seth Meyers' "Late Night" hires the daughter of Anna Wintour

The Vogue boss' daughter, Bee Shaffer, will work as a segment producer for Meyers. PLUS: Vogue publishes Meyers' wedding photos.


"Without a Trace's" Marianne Jean-Baptiste joins NBC's "Believe"

She'll recur on the midseason drama.


Amy Poehler: How I'm prepping for the Golden Globes

Poehler jokes to Ellen about going on a juice diet. PLUS: Ellen shows Poehler a bunch of scary pranks.


See how TV kids have aged
From "Mad Men's" Kiernan Shipka to "Game of Thrones'" Maisie Williams.


Starz developing a bank robber drama set in the '70s
"Most Wanted" revolves around a bank robber on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list.


"Mad Men" makeup artist: We have to shave Jon Hamm sometimes 2 to 3 times a day
Hamm's beard grows fast during the long hours they work.


Americans can buy the official "Downton Abbey" wine before the British
The "Downton" official Bordeaux collection makes its American debut on Nov. 1, weeks before its UK debut.


Watch TBS' "Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host" teaser
Staring D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black.


MTV's O.C. nursing reality show premieres tonight, with controversy

"Scrubbing In," a show about traveling nurses," has led to some outrage in the local Orange County nursing community.


Check out "The Woody Allen Show"
In 1965, Woody Allen filmed a TV special in Britain.

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<p>Peyton List of &quot;The Tomorrow People&quot;</p>

Peyton List of "The Tomorrow People"

Credit: The CW

Ratings Analysis: World Series rises, 'Tomorrow People' dips and more

Also 'S.H.I.E.L.D.,' 'CSI' and 'Super Fun Night' ratings
Final Nationals are in for Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals and FOX is feeling pleased with the results.
 
Final figures are also in the rest of Wednesday (October 23) night's ratings, including some slightly discouraging figures for "The Tomorrow People," the disappearance of this morning's "Super Fun Night" bump and more. 
 
Click through for the full numbers...
 
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"American Blackout"

 "American Blackout"

Credit: Nat Geo

Exclusive: Watch this scary scene from 'American Blackout'

Guess who Americans want to be with in a blackout? Not Miley Cyrus

Remember how scary "Contagion" was, and how you didn't eat pork for a few months after you saw it (if you ever ate the stuff at all)? Yeah, well, here's another movie to make you neurotic. National Geographic Channel and Kelton released today results from a new survey gauging the nation’s preparedness for impending disasters. Guess what? We're not prepared! And to really drive that point home, Nat Geo has made "American Blackout" (Sun. Oct. 27 at 9:00 p.m.), a truly terrifying two-hour movie that walks us through what might actually happen if the lights went out. In this HitFix exclusive clip, get a glimpse of just how quickly civilization starts melting down. Then get better locks for your doors and windows. 

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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Listen: Lady Gaga thinks you're scum on fiesty leaked track, 'Swine'

Heavy EDM tune fits perfectly in her wheelhouse

Lady Gaga would like to make one thing perfectly clear, she doesn’t think a lot of you. On “Swine,” she sings “I know, I know you want me/you’re just a pig inside a human body... squealer, squealer, squealer, you’re so disgusting.”

The track, which leaked today, is the highest energy tune we’ve heard so far from Lady Gaga in advance of “ArtPop’s” Nov. 11 release. More importantly, it does what Lady Gaga does so well: it combines her quirkiness with a shape-shifting, catchy melody. It is a hardcore EDM track, buttressed by an insistent fuzzy beat, but it’s also Irresistibly poppy. It comes on the heels of "Do What U Want," her R&B/pop duet with R. Kelly, which was officially released late Sunday night. "Swine" is getting taken down left and right, but you can hear it here for the time being.

Opening with vocal hiccups before swelling into a strong vocal performance by Gaga, the track is a full-on dance track, especially the middle breakdown that is so Lady Gaga you can already see her choreographed dance in your head for that part.

It might not be radio’s cup of tea although she’s managed to get things on radio that don’t sound like anything else before and this may be another one (though this would take a fair amount of editing for time and to highlight the poppier edge). It’s no “Bad Romance,”  but it’s one of the more aggressive, bold tracks we’re heard from her recently.

While the version below, most likely taken from Gaga's performance of the track at the ITunes Festival in London, sounds fairly different, we don't know what that final "ArtPop" version sounds like.

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<p>Kings of Leon</p>

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon set dates for 2014 Mechanical Bull run

Tour kicks off in Atlanta

Kings of Leon, whose new album, “Mechanical Bull,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, will kick off a tour in support of the album Feb. 5, 2014 at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Gary Clark Jr. will open the shows.

Hopefully the tour will go better than the group's last outing in 2011: the North American leg ended after lead singer Caleb Followill left the stage, telling the audience he had to go "vomit" and "drink a beer," in that order. The band canceled the rest of its U.S. tour that year, but completed some international dates.

As HitFix's recent interview with Jared Followill revealed, the band seems to be in a much better place now.

Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 for the outing.


Kings of Leon tour dates:

February 5 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
February 7 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
February 9 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center (on sale Nov 2)
February 11 Auburn, MI The Palace At Auburn Hills
February 14 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
February 15 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena (on sale Nov 2)
February 18 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center (on sale Nov 2)
February 19 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
February 21 Washington DC Verizon Center
February 23 London, ON Budweiser Gardens (on sale Nov 2)
February 24 Montreal, QC Bell Centre (on sale Nov 2)
February 26 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre (on sale Nov 2)
February 28 Boston, MA TD Garden
March 5 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
March 6 Minneapolis, MN Target Center (on sale Nov 2)
March 8 Chicago, IL United Center (on sale Nov 2)

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