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<p>The eponymous space station of &quot;Elysium,&quot;&nbsp;inspired in part by the work of Syd Mead</p>

The eponymous space station of "Elysium," inspired in part by the work of Syd Mead

Credit: Sony Pictures

On 'Elysium,' Syd Mead and science-fiction production design at the Oscars

It's far too rare that the genre is recognized by the designers branch

I'm pretty well stoked for Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium," which looks to put a bow on the summer spectacle season next month. And with Comic-Con around the corner, I'm reminded of that first screening of "District 9" four years ago and how much of a knock-out the experience was. I'm still shocked it managed to navigate the season and end up with Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations. It's such an anomaly to me for that, even in an expanded Best Picture scenario.

Will "Elysium" be so fortunate? Time will tell. Starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, it certainly has more A-list talent on board to get AMPAS members to take notice. Or it could just be another fantastic entry in sci-fi cinema, which has of late become mired in the same high-gloss franchise-mongering that manages to ruin just about everything. And that would be fine, too.

Over at Wired, Mark Yarm has cranked out a wonderful profile of Blomkamp in advance of the film's release. It's a thorough consideration of the young filmmaker, tracing his relationship with actor Sharlto Copley, his eventual partnership with Peter Jackson and the failed "Halo" project, the complete opposite mentality that went into "District 9" and "Elysium"'s likely place in a socio-political conversation. What caught my eye, though, was the involvement of futurist designer Syd Mead in the project. Sue me, I wasn't aware.

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<p>Lil Wayne in &quot;God Bless Amerika&quot;</p>

Lil Wayne in "God Bless Amerika"

Watch: Lil Wayne's searing, powerful 'God Bless Amerika' video

This isn't the New Orleans tourists are going to

Lil Wayne delivers his most politically-charged video with “God Bless Amerika,” a look at Hollygrove, the devastated New Orleans neighborhood where he grew up.

[More after the jump...]

 

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David Bowie's a scary monster in new video for 'Valentine's Day'

David Bowie's a scary monster in new video for 'Valentine's Day'

His intensity dominates clip about school shooter

David Bowie’s eyes star in the video for the spare, yet artsy video for “Valentine’s Day,” from his current album, “The Next Day.”

As all Bowie devotees know, it looks like he has two different colored eyes— one blue and one brown— when actually, both are blue, but his pupil on his left eyes stays dilated because of a childhood fight. Those eyes are the key to Bowie’s eerily-possessed soul in the clip, directed by Indrani and Markus Klinko.

Close ups of his non-smiling face as he sings about a school shooter-- either of arrows or bullets, your interpretation--add to the intensity of the video.

Bowie appears in an abandoned column-filled building, perhaps the ghost of the school. The only other images are of an ethereal, blurry Bowie roaming the grounds and shadows of Bowie.  Forget about fearing Valentine, Bowie’s the scary monster here.

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'American Dad' leaving Fox for TBS


"American Dad" leaving Fox for TBS

Next season, Season 10, will be "American Dad's" final season on Fox. In late 2014, the Seth MacFarlane comedy will begin airing on TBS.

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Showtime renews 'Ray Donovan' for 2nd season


Showtime renews "Ray Donovan" for 2nd season

The Liev Schreiber fixer drama "is on track to be our biggest season one show ever," says Showtime's president.

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Report: Oprah paying Lindsay Lohan $2 million to talk


Report: Oprah paying Lindsay Lohan $2 million to talk

OWN has been negotiating with Lindsay for four months, according to TMZ.


MTV will reveal VMA nominees via Instagram and Vine videos
MTV has hired a popular stop-motion animation creator to make the videos that will be tweeted out throughout Wednesday.


John Stamos' "Full House" band will reunite on Jimmy Fallon
Jesse and the Rippers will perform on Friday's show.


Fox orders an Andy Richter game show pilot
Contestants will earn "life-changing" amounts of money by climbing a pyramid.


Kristen Wiig goes on Jimmy Fallon as Michael Jordan
Watch Fallon and "Jordan" sing a duet together.


Bryan Cranston: "I had one girlfriend I wanted to kill"
The "Breaking Bad" star tells GQ that he, like his character, has had violent urges.


Watch a clip of Kanye West's failed HBO pilot

It was supposed to be like "Curb Your Enthusiasm."


"Supernatural" bringing back a dead character
"Didn't see this coming."


Toyota unveils a "SpongeBob" SUV

Check out the 2014 Highlander with a Bikini Bottom makeover.


Syfy previews "Ghost Shark"

Could this be the next "Sharknado"?

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<p>Spike Lee, seen here at a recent Las Vegas event, is set to make some sort of announcement next Monday via Twitter.</p>

Spike Lee, seen here at a recent Las Vegas event, is set to make some sort of announcement next Monday via Twitter.

Credit: David Becker/Invision/AP Photo

Spike Lee postpones a major announcement, but hints at a possible retirement

Let's hope we're reading the signs wrong on this one

On July 12, director Spike Lee took a little time out from whatever he's doing in Marrakech to write the following:

@SpikeLee I Want To Thank One And All For The Love And Support You Have Given Me Over The Course Of My Film Life. Monday I Will Be Making Announcement.


I am absolutely overwhelmingly pro-Spike Lee. I have been fascinated by him and by his work since "She's Gotta Have It," and one of the things that made Spike so interesting in those early days was the books he would publish for each film, very frank books about how he got the movies made that also included his screenplays. It may be hard for younger viewers to understand just how big of an impact he had on independent film. And when I say that, I don't just mean African-American indie films. I mean any indie films. Spike was just as crucial as Steven Soderbergh or Jim Jarmusch or Kevin Smith or anyone you want to point to as a symbol of the explosion that took place in the '80s. Honestly, it never occurred to me to think of Spike as a black filmmaker first because he, like many of the guys who helped blow things up at that point, was just a filmmaker with a big voice. Watching how he got his personal material made was inspirational.

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<p>Michael Ealy of &quot;Almost Human&quot;</p>

Michael Ealy of "Almost Human"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human'

Michael Ealy and Karl Urban could lift this about sci-fi familiarity

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Almost Human" (FOX)
Airs:Mondays at 8 p.m. in November
The Pitch: It's "Blade Runner" by way of "Fringe" and then every other sci-fi thing ever.
Quick Response: Let's just say that J.H. Wyman has a wide range of sci-fi influences at work in "Almost Human" and you won't feel like any of them are woven together with any subtlety. But sci-fi pastiche is a storied art, so just because you can look at this futuristic buddy cop drama and precisely isolate which parts of the DNA came from "Total Recall" and which parts came from "Blade Runner" and which parts came from "Aliens" doesn't mean this is exactly theft, per se. It's just heavily inspired by other versions of the near future in which technology has run amuck and it's getting harder and harder to tell people from machines. If nothing else, this is a brighter, flatter, less fatalistic vision than anything that might have been directly imagined by Philip K. Dick. Instead, this comes through the aesthetic filter of Wyman's work on "Fringe," right down to the familiarity of the act-break structure, the tone of the unfolding mythology and, particularly, every single musical cue. I would say that the show probably feels too "Fringe"-y at times, because it has all of the nervous ticks of "Fringe," but without the fun outlandishness and epic scope. Dunno how to explain. This is still relatively ambitious sci-fi on a network TV budget and while "Almost Human" definitely doesn't look like it was made on a cinematic budget, it doesn't look cheap. The effects are reasonably solid and the conception of futuristic urbanity is reasonably, albeit limitedly, realized. Karl Urban is well-cast for particular brand of rugged skepticism. You'd be disappointed in me if I didn't mention that there's absolutely no reason why his character has to be American and that the accent does him no favors but, in the balance, I think Urban absolutely has what it takes to be a very good TV leading man. More proven on the small screen is Michael Ealy, who I think may well end up being the real reason I watch this show. He's playing an android specifically programmed to have human feelings, but there's something very tantalizingly alien about his performance that perhaps perfectly embodies the unease of the Uncanny Valley. He's playing his character just a click "off" and it works well. The pilot seems to rush through several stages in the partnering dynamic, but I think Urban and Ealy have good chemistry. Lili Taylor and Mackenzie Crook have a decent scene or two. Minka Kelly has some dialogue in her first scene and promptly gets forgotten.
Desire To Watch Again: I just can't get excited about anything this derivative, even if Urban and Ealy's relationship/bickering might be slightly fresh. I'm vaguely interested in this world, but not nearly so interested in the Big Mysteries that the pilot thinks I should care about. I'm curious to see how future episodes feel and are paced, but I'm also pretty sure I could check out on this in a hurry. [Full disclosure: There is no drama pilot on any network for fall or midseason that I'm so fully invested in immediately that I'm not prepared to check out on it in a hurry.]

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

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"The Bachelorette"

 "The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelorette': Who will survive the hometown visits?

Nate appears, but will he ruin everything?

It's the hometowns! This could be a potentially fraught episode, as we know that the hometown visit was the one that got Des booted from Sean's season of "The Bachelor." And guess what? Nate, the horrible brother who was so nasty to Sean, is back! Let the crazy begin!

Alas, Nate isn't showing up until later in the episode, like a bad plot twist. Instead, we kick things off on a happy note -- Des visits Zak in Dallas. Initially I thought Zak was a bit of a fruit loop, what with the "do you accept these abs" opening line (which was so groan-worthy I'm shocked she kept him around) and the jumping into pools and such. But as the show has progressed, he's turned out to be an awful lot of fun. More than that, he sincerely seems to adore Des. If his family is anything like Zak, this should be a good time for all. 

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen in &quot;The Hunt.&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen in "The Hunt."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Is Mads Mikkelsen in 'The Hunt' an Oscar outsider to consider?

He's got the reviews and now the celebrity, but can the Danish film get noticed?

I’ve written before that I’ll be surprised if Thomas Vinterberg’s hot-button melodrama “The Hunt” – which was released in New York and Los Angeles on Friday – isn’t selected as Denmark’s representative in this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. I’ll be even more surprised if it isn’t an eventual nominee, but for now, we’re dependent on national committee decisions before we can speculate further. Whatever its fate in that category, however, there’s another where I think it’s worth flagging up the film as a dark horse: Best Actor for Mads Mikkelsen.

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<p>Finn Hudson</p>

Finn Hudson

Credit: Fox

Why 'Glee' should kill off Finn Hudson


Why "Glee" should kill off Finn Hudson
Writers didn't seem to know what to do with Cory Monteith's character last season, and all other options just wouldn't ring true. As Kevin Fallon notes, "'Glee' has never shied away from the fact that there are harsh truths in life that we all must deal with, whether it’s bullying or broken dreams or heartbreak. It would be hard to imagine, then, that the show would balk at directly addressing Monteith's death." PLUS: It would be "culturally valuable" for "Glee" to acknowledge Monteith's death, Matthew Perry weighs in on Monteith's death, and Bravo will re-air "Glee's" "Actor's Studio," which you can watch here.


"Family Feud" to pit "Honey Boo Boo" vs. "Cake Boss"
The two TLC shows will square off at a taping next week.


"The Newsroom's" ratings grow in Season 2
About 2.2 million watched last night's season premiere, compared to 2.1 million for Season 1.


Report: Apple is prepping an ad-skipping TV service -- one that would compensate networks
The Apple service would pay TV networks for lost ad revenue.


Why "The View" hiring Jenny McCarthy is "irresponsible and shameful"
Her anti-vaccine stance shouldn't have gotten her hired because vaccines are a matter of life and death, and "The View" is very influential platform.


Jimmy Fallon is narrowing down 40-50 possible "Tonight Show" logos -- fans will help pick from the Top 3
Fallon also tells his fans at iheartjimmy.com that his favorite show growing up was "Taxi."


Should CBS have yanked last night's "Big Brother" in wake of the George Zimmerman verdict?

The CBS reality show's racism is still happening.


President Obama will likely appear on ESPN's "College Gameday" this season

Tiger Woods is likely going to appear, too, says producer Lee Fitting. "The President has expressed interest and as crazy as it sounds, he might come whenever he can fit in," he says.


"Anger Management" $50 million lawsuit settled

Producer Joe Roth was sued by Blue Star Entertainment claiming it was owed a cut of the FX series.


Happy 40th birthday, Brian Austin Green!

Once a 17-year-old "Beverly Hills 90210" star, Green is now in his 40s.


"Top Chef" is being remade for Telemundo

The Spanish-language "Top Chef: Estrellas" is in the works.


How Aaron Sorkin saved "The Newsroom"

Instead of turning into a mouthpiece of political views, the HBO drama showed the process of journalism -- and how his journalists struggled to get it right. PLUS: What a terrible wig!, and what an unbelievable development!


NFL star DeSean Jackson and Nascar's Joey Logano are headed to Disney XD
They'll appear on "Crash & Bernstein" and "Lab Rats," respectively.


Jerry Seinfeld plans to do 2 six-episode seasons a year of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"
Seinfeld says, though, that the plan could change.


Watch Bill Cosby unveil the best "Cosby Show" sweater
Cosby himself says he didn't have a favorite.


"Under the Dome": Behind the scenes
Filming in April in Wilmington, North Carolina was pretty miserable. PLUS: DVRs boost the premiere to 17.76 million viewers.


DVR viewers could make "The Bridge" FX's biggest-ever debut

Ratings have jumped from 3.04 million to 4.64 million with DVR viewers factored in.


"Doctor Who" taking over Heathrow Airport

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, travelers will be treated to a number of "Who"-related surprises. PLUS: See the TARDIS Transformer.


Read about the real "Orange is the New Black"
Here's an excerpt of teh Piper Kerman novel that inspired the Netflix series.


Check out a very "hardcore" "Breaking Bad" tattoo
"Our fans are committed," says Aaron Paul. PLUS: Dean Norris the summer's most-wanted TV actor.


Whitney Cummings romancing Peter Berg

The comedienne and the "Friday Night Lights" honcho have been together since March.


Cheryl Cole's "X Factor" firing is headed to court

An L.A. judge gave her the greenlight to see the other judges' contracts from her season.


"Rizzoli & Isles" getting syndicated
The TNT series will begin in weekend reruns in fall 2015.


Don't follow "Girl Code"
The MTV show confronting adolescent girls issues does it in the cheapest, most demeaning way.


Jeffrey Tambor wore shorts under his "Good Wife" judge's robe
"Shhhhh," he tweeted.


See the many "cry faces" of "Dexter's" Debra Morgan

From "The Surrender" to the "The Full-On Crumple."


"SNL" hired John Mulaney's sister as a writer

Claire Mulaney, a writer/performer in Chicago, is the younger sister of noted "SNL" writer John Mulaney.


Chris Bauer talks "True Blood"
"It's psycho-emotional, and it's a power struggle," he says of the current season. PLUS: Check out Deborah Ann Woll's photo shoot.


AMC unveils a "Walking Dead" Comic-Con poster
The special poster is from artist Alex Ross.


VH1 catches up with "Saved by the Bell's" Lark Voorhies

She's one of the subjects of the new show "Miss U Much," which visits with famous child stars.


"Devious Maids" star Dania Ramirez is pregnant
"Yes, I'm having TWINS!" she announced on Instagram.

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<p>Stone Temple Pilots, sans Scott Weiland</p>

Stone Temple Pilots, sans Scott Weiland

Stone Temple Pilots and Chester Bennington plot tour and EP

Wait for Scott Weiland's reaction in 3, 2, 1...

We know one person who’s probably not too happy about this: Stone Temple Pilots and the group’s new lead singer, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, will release an EP this fall  and embark on a North American tour in September.

After parting ways with original lead singer, Scott Weiland, earlier this year, STP members Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz recruited Bennington to perform with them at the KROQ Los Angeles’ multi-artist Weenie Roast in May.

STP then filed suit against Weiland demanding that he stop using the STP name and that he stop singing STP songs. Weiland countersued.

But in the meantime, Bennington, who remains in Linkin Park, has been in the studio with the three STP members to record the EP, which will include their first single together and current active rock hit “Out Of Time.”

STP will release the EP this fall on its own label.

The tour, with Filter as the opening act,  kicks off Sept. 4 at the Sands Bethlehem (Pa.) Events Center and runs through Nov. 1 in Biloxi, Miss. The group will play new material, as well as STP’s hits.

STP tour dates

Sept 4 Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Events Center

Sept 6 Sayreville @  Starland Ballroom

Sept 7 Atlantic City, NJ @ House of Blues

Sept 9 Boston, MA @ House of Blues

Sept 10 Huntington, NY @ Paramount

Sept 13 Oklahoma City, OK @ Downtown Airpark (w/ Motley Crue)

Sept 14 Newkirk, OK @ First Council Casino*

Sept 17 Sunrise, FL @ BB & T Center (FLA Panthers Event)

Sept 18 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues

Sept 20 Columbia, SC @ Township Auditorium

Sept 21 Ft Myers, FL Shockwave Festival – Jet Blue Park

Sept 24 Midland, TX @ La Hacienda Event Center

Sept 26 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee

Sept 27 Las Vegas, NV @ Freemont Street Experience*

Nov 1 Biloxi, MS @ Hard Rock Live*

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