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<p>And now three things that you would not have seen this year without the work of hundreds of gifted visual effects artists.</p>

And now three things that you would not have seen this year without the work of hundreds of gifted visual effects artists.

Credit: Marvel Studios/20th Century Fox/Warner Bros/New Line/MGM

The visual effects community sees red in the wake of Oscar protest and on-air snub

Is Hollywood paying attention? Because real trouble is on the horizon

Dear Hollywood,

You schooled us pretty hard the last time there was a WGAw strike.  You made a pretty convincing case for a Hollywood without writers, and while we'll never admit it to you as a group, you broke us.  You really did.  And it has ruined the industry that I love in a million small ways that you're not even going to notice for a decade or so, and when you do, it may well be too late.  You fought us over money and your right to more of it, and you hurt us enough to make us take a deal that we knew in our hearts was not right.

If you try to do the same thing to the VFX industry, you are going to lose.

I'm not telling you this because I want you to win.  I just don't think you realize that this is not the same situation as when the writers decided to strike.  You are correct.  You can indeed lowball us and force us to do free rewrite after free rewrite and you can screw us on points and offer us insulting archaic math problems instead of real profit participation and we'll smile and ask for more.  But if you start putting FX houses out of business and trying to lowball that side of the business, you may be crippling yourself.

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<p>The National</p>

The National

Credit: 4AD

The National will release a new album in May

Fresh tour dates announced ahead of what may be the indie band's biggest release

The National will be releasing a new album, the follow-up to "High Violet," this spring. The Brooklyn rock band is hitting the road for an extensive tour in June, piggy-backing off their high-profile gig at the Barclay's Center in their homebase, but you can bet there will be some warm-ups (like the one at Ithaca's State Theater) where the band will be previewing new material.

4AD is yet again behind the release of the as-yet-untitled set, which I suppose may be in the running for the band's biggest-selling or highest charting album. 2010's "High Violet" was not only a critical favorite, but also landed the group at No. 3 on The Billboard 200, their best yet. Depending on the date they choose in May, they could contend for the top spot. So I'd recommend shooting for some other week after May 7, which is the date other indie favorites like She & Him and label-group-mates Vampire Weekend are dropping their latest, as is Fall Out Boy (hrm.), Lady Antebellum and Natalie Maines.

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<p>Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for Best Picture at the 85th annual Academy Awards</p>

Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for Best Picture at the 85th annual Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Off the Carpet: A roller coaster season comes to an end

Please step off to your left. We hope you enjoyed the ride.

What can one really say at the end of a season this contentious, this exciting, this tight every step of the way other than: "Gee, that was fun."

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<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Watch: Kanye West takes on Justin Timberlake and the Grammys during show rant

He's got a lot to get off his chest

Because he seemingly can’t help himself, Kanye West opened mouth and inserted foot again on Feb. 23 for the 13,578th time.

[More after the jump...]

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 170: Oscars, 'Golden Boy,' 'Vikings,' 'Red Widow' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss the 'Downton Abbey' finale and answer your mail

The

I'm back from Disney World, and the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast is back with me (and Dan, who did not go to Disney World last week). Lots to discuss (and that's even though neither of us had time to watch HBO's "Parade's End"), including last night's Oscars, CBS' "Golden Boy," ABC's "Red Widow," History's "Vikings," the "Downton Abbey" finale and more. The lineup: 

Oscars (00:02:45 - 00:26:20)
"Golden Boy" (00:26:25 - 00:40:50)
"Red Widow" (00:40:55 - 00:51:50)
"Vikings" (00:51:50 - 01:02:00)
Listener Mail - Watching TV on the road (01:02:20 - 01:08:30)
Listener Mail - NBC's need to experiment (01:08:35 - 01:15:45)
The "Downton Abbey" finale (01:15:55 - 01:36:30)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>&quot;Bottlecap.&quot;&nbsp;All she wants to do is roll her hand in the wind.</p>

"Bottlecap." All she wants to do is roll her hand in the wind.

In case you missed it: Andy Samberg's hilarious Spirit Awards monologue

Was this the best monologue of the weekend?

There is a tremendous amount of debate today about whether Seth McFarlane did a good or bad job in his inaugural turn as Oscar host Sunday night, but no one is arguing over Andy Samberg's hosting performance Saturday afternoon. Samberg was fantastic as this year's Independent Spirit Awards host, but you probably didn't catch his work since IFC broadcast it at 10 PM on Saturday night.  

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 170

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 170

Dan and Alan talk Oscars, 'Vikings,' 'Downton Abbey' and more

The

Sepinwall is back from Disney World, which must mean it's time for the triumphant return of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
Lots to talk about this week, but we start with a long discussion of the Oscars, followed by reviews of "Golden Boy," "Red Widow" and "Vikings" and a few pieces of Listener Mail, culminating in a discussion of the "Downton Abbey" finale, with spoilers.
 
Here's the breakdown:
Oscars (00:02:45 - 00:26:20)
"Golden Boy" (00:26:25 - 00:40:50)
"Red Widow" (00:40:55 - 00:51:50)
"Vikings" (00:51:50 - 01:02:00)
Listener Mail - Watching TV on the road (01:02:20 - 01:08:30)
Listener Mail - NBC's need to experiment (01:08:35 - 01:15:45)
The "Downton Abbey" finale (01:15:55 - 01:36:30)
 

the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>&quot;Arrested Development&quot;&nbsp;stars Will Arnett and Jason Bateman in a scene from one of the upcoming Netflix episodes.</p>

"Arrested Development" stars Will Arnett and Jason Bateman in a scene from one of the upcoming Netflix episodes.

Credit: Netflix

Netflix still 'hopeful' for more 'Arrested Development' seasons

Netflix chief executive tells investors the revival may be too tough to pull off twice

"Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz has made no secret of his desire to use the new Netflix season of his uncanceled comedy to drum up interest (and money) in making the long-discussed "Arrested" movie. So the idea that these might be the only new episodes ever isn't in and of itself a surprise.
What is a surprise is that the CEO of Netflix very bluntly told investors he didn't expect to make more than the episodes that will premiere in May.

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 108 -- Special Edition! -- Wrapping up the 85th annual Academy Awards

Oscar Talk: Ep. 108 -- Special Edition! -- Wrapping up the 85th annual Academy Awards

The curtain drops

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

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<p>Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum at the 85th annual Academy Awards.</p>

Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum at the 85th annual Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Everybody's fine: closing thoughts on an Oscar season of multiple narratives

With eight of nine Best Picture nominees rewarded, it wasn't all about 'Argo'

Hours before last night's Academy Awards ceremony, I was called up by a UK news network that required a last-minute talking head to discuss the evening ahead. In the cab on the way to the studio, the channel's researcher briefed me on the ground we'd cover, before asking, "So what's the big story of the night going to be?"

I reeled off something about "Argo" being the probable Best Picture winner, with a side order of The Vindication of Ben Affleck, but inside I was slightly thrown by the question. What was the big story going to be at the end of a long, circuitous race in which no one film has had everything its own way -- but one which looked ready to test any number of rare precedents, and perhaps create one or two of its own?

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<p>Yeah Yeah Yeahs</p>

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Credit: Interscope

Head to church with Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new single 'Sacrilege'

Gospel choir counters Karen O's neon pink voice

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have lifted the curtain on their very dramatic first single from their new album. "Sacrilege," from "Mosquito," is a dark, saucy rocker with a choir and a show-stopping a capella ending. It's the one for the festivals and arenas, which also makes me hesitant to assume the rest of the effort, due April 16, is anything like it, considering all the psychedelia of that album cover, the mysterium of the album teaser trailer and the YYY's long, happy history of curve ball album cuts.

That drum sound -- the cymbals in particular -- is so delicious and crunchy and in-room. I want that to be applied to Karen O's nuanced, door-busting vocals, and instead it seems to be needlesly buried under a pile-on of effects for the sake of drama. This has a gospel choir, for crying out loud, it needn't push the winning "Watchtower"/"Gimme Shelter" formula into an acid bath, but I see what you did there with all God's angels singing about sacrilege. I feel like I just walked out of the post-Apocalypse.

Dave Sitek produced the whole set, so make sure your speakers are cranked to sample.

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<p>Trent Reznor</p>

Trent Reznor

Credit: Rob Sheridan

Nine Inch Nails relaunching with tour and a crazy new lineup

Members of Jane's Addiction, King Crimson and more join the jaunt

Trent Reznor has always maintained that Nine Inch Nails was never over, just that he had some other interests. Now, we'll hear what the frontman has in mind for his long-lasting industrial/rock project, as they hit the road this summer in a new configuration.

"Nine Inch Nails are touring this year," reads a statement from Reznor, unleashed this morning. His other band How to destroy angels_ with wife Mariqueen Maandig and collaborator Atticus Ross is still going forward with their "Welcome Oblivion" album release next week and spring tour dates, but Reznor will shape-shift for NIN this summer on the road.

The new lineup boasts of Reznor and NIN alumni Alessandro Cortini and Ilan Rubin, plus Eric Avery (Jane's Addiction), Adrian Belew (King Crimson) and Josh Eustois (Telefon Tel Aviv). The addition I'm most curious about is Belew, who at 63 has proven himself over and over again as a frontman, as a flavorful guest guitarist on Nine Inch Nails' records and an able-bodied multi-instrumentalist. On the road he may (or hopefully) will support the band with more than some choice licks.

According to the release, NIN will be playing in arenas, purportedly after HTDA_ is all finished promoting the full-length. No word on an album release.

Here is the full statement from Reznor via Pitchfork:

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