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CANNES - Adding the title of "film critic" to his well-strung bow of professional achievements, actor-writer-director-artist-musician-academic-activist-probable-ceramicist James Franco recently spoke up for this year's Cannes opener, Baz Luhrmann's flash-and-sizzle adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," against the predictable armada of critics dismissing it. "These people make their living doing readings and critiques of texts in order to generate theories of varying levels of competency," he wrote for VICE magazine. "Luhrmann’s film is his reading and adaptation of a text – his critique, if you will."
It's official: Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio join "The X Factor"
Simon Cowell said in a statement: "It's taken more than a decade but I'm delighted to finally be on a panel with three girls (I think!)."
"Sing Your Face Off" taps John Barrowman as host, Darrell Hammond and Debbie Gibson as judges
The ABC singing competition will feature contestants like Jon Lovitz, Sebastian Bach and Lisa Rinna.
"Alias" alum Mía Maestro join FX's "The Strain"
She'll play a brilliant biochemist in the drama series from Carlton Cuse.
Some thoughts on the finale of "Rectify," and this entire first season, coming up just as soon as it's time we got into yarn...
Tonight was the performance finale of "Dancing with the Stars" (the results show is Tues. at 9:00 p.m.), and I'll admit I didn't see much reason to watch, at least not closely. Though Zendaya dropped the ball with last week's routine, she's been the one to beat since week one. Long limbed and naturally gifted, she was certain to get to the finale and a lock to win.
One of the pleasures of seeing where the "Fast and the Furious" series has arrived is looking back at where it started and measuring just how far everyone's come.
Paul Walker is never going to be one of those guys who people talk about in the pantheon of great transformative performers, people whose acting transcends, like Daniel Day Lewis or Meryl Streep. Walker is a fairly limited onscreen persona, but if you cast him correctly and surround him with the right sort of actors, he is capable of a certain charm and charisma.
The great mystery of this series is the chemistry that holds it together. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker would have never been my pick for the core duo in a major action franchise, but something about Walker's slightly wooden earnestness set next to Vin Diesel's "What planet is he from?" machismo works, and the franchise has slowly but surely added more and more players to the mix, and every time, it seems to actually make it all stronger.
Like many people, I had a Doors phase.
In particular, I had a Jim Morrison phase that was kicked off when I read Danny Sugarman's "No One Here Gets Out Alive". Morrison's story is about as archetypical a rock and roll story as there is, and Sugarman was a true believer. Over the years, my feelings about them evolved, and now I find that I love what the Doors meant to me more than I actually love The Doors. They had such a brief moment, and at such a key moment in the overall story of rock'n'roll, that it's hard to even apply a critical opinion to them at this point. They are simply The Doors, part of the foundation. My feelings about them now are far less ardent than even when I wrote this piece 11 years ago, but I meant every word at the time.
When I was at Ain't It Cool, one of the strangest overall things that ever fell into my lap was courtesy of Tim Sullivan, who called me one day to ask if I'd like to go visit a rehearsal space in LA where the Doors were warming up for a reunion tour. Because it's a nightmare finding anything on the AICN archives, and I'm not entirely sure the piece is even still online at this point, I thought I'd reprint some of the piece that came out of that encounter.
I'd just like to frame the story by saying that I wrote a piece of criticism near the end of my time dealing with Ray that seemed to offend him greatly, and we never spoke again. That's a shame. No matter what, though, meeting him and getting to know him even a little bit was a genuine honor, and he was a wry, funny, larger than life persona, everything I would have hoped as a young fan.
I hear it a lot: I don't want to waste time watching a new show that might be canceled; if it's a success, I'll try it. On the one hand, I get it: I've been frustrated (and, in some cases, sad) when a show I invested my time and energy into got canceled in the early stages, and in some cases might have preferred not to have seen it. On the other, I'm grateful for even the one season I got of "Freaks and Geeks" and "Terriers," and I know plenty of Bryan Fuller fans who revere "Wonderfalls" even though FOX pulled it after only four episodes.
That said, "Freaks and Geeks" is a classic, and was very clearly one from the first episode. The harder call is making an investment in a show that has potential it hasn't realized yet, and that might not be on the air long enough to figure itself out — or, in the case of a show like FOX's "The Goodwin Games," that will never have that chance.
Ray Manzarek, founding member of The Doors has died. We have posted the AP obit, but it's giving Manzarek short shrift to not get to hear his contributions. The keyboardist was instrumental in crafting the Doors’ sound (especially in his innovation of playing bass parts on the keyboards). After the Doors ended, he went on to produce some incredible work for other artists, including Echo & The Bunnymen and X.
While he is probably best known for his transcendent, instantly recognizable keyboard work on “Light My Fire,” he had several other wonderful moments.
[More after the jump...]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
CBS pulls tonight's tornado-themed "Mike & Molly" in wake of Oklahoma's tornado
A repeat will replace tonight's season finale, which will air at an "appropriate date." "Due to the tragic events this afternoon in Oklahoma, we are pre-empting tonight's season finale of Mike & Molly, which has a related storyline," a CBS spokesperson said.
"666 Park Ave" returns to finish its run on June 22
ABC yanked the freshman drama from its schedule after Dec. 2 broadcast.
Ang Lee won't direct FX's "Tyrant" pilot
The two-time Oscar winner had signed on for the project shortly after winning his 2nd Academy Award in February.
Rena Sofer joins "The Bold and the Beautiful"
She'll play Wyatt's mother.
Amy's Baking Company selling tickets to its grand re-opening
The "Kitchen Nightmares" restaurant is planning a big re-launch for Tuesday.