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12 August TV events we're looking forward to: 'Doctor Who,' 'The Killing,' Emmys

1 hour ago

Reality check: summer is practically over. Time to catch some serious rays and maybe even embark on that little getaway you've been pondering. Or, you know...you could just watch television. Which is so much easier. Stay in bed, is what we're saying. Yes, it's the Golden Age of TV, meaning even in August there are a variety of things worth tuning in for. From Netflix's revival of "The Killing" to the new "Doctor Who" to Starz's "Outlander" adaptation to a pair of wildly-divergent awards shows (one of which made a splash last year thanks to Miley Cyrus's...uh, showstopping performance), here's our list of 12 August TV events you may want to put your vacation plans on hold for. After scrolling through all our picks in the gallery below, let us know which of them you're looking forward to by voting in the poll further down the page. »


- Daniel Fienberg, Louis Virtel, Katie Hasty, Donna Dickens, Dave Lewis

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Chris Evans talks James Spader, gets videobombed by 'Avengers' co-star Sam Jackson

2 hours ago

In the annals of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" video bombs at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, I'm fairly certain that Mark Ruffalo's is still the best. But Samuel L. Jackson definitely gives Ruffalo a run for his money with his blatant (albeit welcome) intrusion into our red carpet interview with Chris Evans: So what does Slj warn Chris not to do? For the answer to that question, and to hear Evans' explanation of what makes James Spader so intimidating in person (hint: "[It] feels like he's looking into your soul"), click on the video above for the full interview. "Avengers: Age of Ultron" hits theaters on May 1, 2015. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Orlando Bloom: Peter Jackson is gonna 'milk' the emotion in final 'Hobbit' battle

3 hours ago

San Diego - Anyone who's seen "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" knows: Peter Jackson enjoys yanking on our heartstrings. A lot. And according to Orlando Bloom (who apparently took a swing at Justin Bieber in Ibiza this morning, in case you haven't been paying attention to the important news), you should expect more of the same from the upcoming "Hobbit" finale "Battle of the Five Armies." "I think there'll be a lot more emotion in this one because you know, there's characters that you know and love who you know they're gonna die!" said Bloom while discussing the film's big final battle at San Diego Comic-Con. "There are certain characters that are gonna go! And other characters that you may not expect. So you know, there's room for a lot of emotional stuff...and Pete's gonna milk that one I'm sure, in the best way." Added »


- Chris Eggertsen

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"Sharknado 2:The Second One" Live-Blog Because Obviously

5 hours ago

It's here! It's finally here! "Sharknado 2" is actually happening!!1! Can the cultural phenomenon about nature's most dangerous disaster strike twice? If today's Twitter trend frenzy is any indication, the answer is a resounding "Heck yes!" But if you need a little encouragement, this handy drinking game should take care of any lingering inhibitions or dignity and allow anyone an enjoyable Sharknado experience! Feel free to snark along in the comments, or even wax Shakespearean on how the "Sharknado" franchise is the most refreshing, honest work to come out of Hollywood in decades. No judgement. Unless you just hate Sharknadoes which means you hate fun, in which case: Let's Do This. 8:58 p.m. Est Being subjected to two...no Three... "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" commercials prior to the start of "Sharknado 2" is our collective penance. But we will preserver.  9:03 p.m Est We open with Kelly Osbourne »


- Donna Dickens

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TV Review: 'Sharknado 2: The Second One' offers more polish, slightly less charm

5 hours ago

I know I've thought it and said it and probably even written it, but there's something vaguely condescending about the notion that the "Sharknado" franchise is somehow review-proof or review-immune or however you'd prefer to view it.  Just because something is designed to be a guilty pleasure doesn't mean that it can't achieve its goals with more or less craft. And just because something isn't necessarily meant to be taken seriously doesn't mean that those aspirations can't be achieved with more or less success. Because the desire to be taken seriously or viewed as legitimate is hardly an argument to be reviewed or acknowledged in the case of utter ineptitude.  For example, look at CBS' "Under the Dome." It has a literary pedigree, some respectable creative auspices, a cast of familiar TV faces, a position of some prominence in CBS' lineup and a reputation as a summertime success, even if »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Dave Bautista on his daily transformation into Drax for 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

5 hours ago

If there is any cast member in "Guardians Of The Galaxy" whose work can be categorized as a genuine surprise, it's Dave Bautista. I've actually spoken to him before this film, when we talked about his work in "The Man With The Iron Fists," and he struck me there as a very thoughtful guy who has this warmth that may not be immediately apparent when his primary job is to beat the hell out of opponents in the wrestling ring. Now that I've seen the finished version of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," I'm prepared to say that Bautista is a serious actor, a genuinely gifted and funny performer who just happens to also be a gigantic dude who looks like he could kill you with his hands. There is a sweetness to him that comes through loud and clear in the movie, and there is also a tremendous comic timing »


- Drew McWeeny

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M. Night Shyamalan says 'Wayward Pines' is nothing like 'Twin Peaks'

6 hours ago

M. Night Shyamalan would like to make one thing perfectly clear: "Wayward Pines" is nothing like "Twin Peaks." "I think when it's all said and done, it has nothing to do with ['Twin Peaks']," said the director when I brought up inevitable comparisons between the two series during our chat at San Diego Comic-Con. "'Twin Peaks' and Tim Burton movies, they're just different tonalities. The world is different. Everyone speaks different. That's just the way it is. And in our...show, 'Wayward Pines,' everyone's acting very odd. You have to watch for ten episodes and you'll understand why they're acting odd. There's a reason. There's a grounded reason." In other words: while "Twin Peaks" might as well take place in an alternate universe, "Wayward Pines" is very much based in reality. So will all our questions be answered by the end of the show? And how about a second season? »


- Chris Eggertsen

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'Twilight' author Stephenie Meyer going 'Down a Dark Hall' with new Ya horror movie

7 hours ago

Stephenie Meyer is heading into horror with her next film project - and Lionsgate is getting on board. The studio has acquired "Down a Dark Hall," a film adaptation of the 1974 Lois Duncan novel that the "Twilight" scribe is producing, it was announced today. The book centers on teenage protagonist Kit Gordy as she enters the exclusive Blackwood Boarding School, only to come up against supernatural forces within its walls that could ultimately destroy her. Director Rodrigo Cortés ("Red Lights") is set to helm the project from a script by his "Buried" screenwriter Chris Sparling, who will work off a previous draft by Michael Goldbach ("Daydream Nation"). Meyer's previous producing credits include the last two "Twilight" installments as well as "The Host," an adaptation of her sci-fi novel of the same name that suffered from withering reviews and lackluster box office when it was released last March. A number of »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Variety jumps into the deep end of crafts coverage and it's about time

7 hours ago

As one person put it to me, "It's nice to have a trade covering, you know, the trades, because we haven't really had that in some time." Indeed, it's fantastic to see our colleagues at Variety dig in and represent the industry as they are with the newly branded "Artisans" initiative, and it's a long, long time coming. It is and has been an underreported element of the business, but I've happily seen that slowly shift in the decade we've been diligently, sometimes obsessively, covering below-the-line here at In Contention. From the word go, we made these artists a priority around here. They have an insight into the process that is always preferable to the soundbyte-prone "stars" of the circuit, and as someone who has always come at this work from that perspective, those chats are typically the most fulfilling to me. As we've forged ahead, we've witnessed other outlets »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Jay Leno Gives Awesome Advice on 'Last Comic Standing'

8 hours ago

Maybe you don't have great memories of Jay Leno as a "Tonight Show" host, but it can't be denied that Jay Leno has always had a passion for standup comedy as both a vocation and a "gig." He loves the format, the grubby clubland culture, and mentoring young talents. And that's really apparent in this clip from "Last Comic Standing" where he talks about why he liked following Richard Pryor onstage. He needs to write another book. I'm serious.  »


- Louis Virtel

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7 Unsettling Thoughts I Had While Watching The New Interstellar Trailer

8 hours ago

During Comic-Con, Paramount showed off a ton of new footage for Christopher Nolan's cautionary space tale "Interstellar." That trailer is finally up for the rest of the world to see and it is appropriately epic with its sweeping vistas showcasing the grandeur of space. But under the beguiling distraction of just how darn pretty interstellar travel is, some pertinent problems lurk. Things like... #1 - Filmmakers sure do love the heartland. We open on the farm from "Signs." Or is this the farm from "Transformers" or maybe even the farm from "Field Of Dreams?" Man, Hollywood has a weird corn field fetish now that I think about it. What is it about mazie that just attracts aliens and disembodied voices and sentient robots to meddle in the affairs of fathers who just want to raise their daughters, dagnabit? #2 - Michael Caine is a lying liar, pants on fire. Oh really Alfred Pennyworth? »


- Donna Dickens

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Jamie Foxx's Mike Tyson biopic moving forward with 'Wolf of Wall Street' writer

10 hours ago

Biopics. They're all the rage. James Brown is about to hit theaters. Richard Pryor is stirring back to life. And now "Iron" Mike Tyson himself will be coming to the big screen, courtesy of Jamie Foxx. Dodgy source, but the Daily Mirror first reported that the actor, who won an Oscar in 2005 for portraying Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford's "Ray," will play the boxing legend in an untitled biopic. Tyson told the outlet that Foxx would in fact play him as a younger man, too, through "this new animation…this new system." So, what, are we talking "Benjamin Button" stuff here? Variety further reported that the project will be penned by "The Wolf of Wall Street" screenwriter Terence Winter. Foxx's manager, Rick Yorn, will produce. There is no studio yet but I imagine someone will bite sooner or later. Obviously Tyson's life is rife with juicy details for the silver screen treatment. »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Toronto's Midnight Madness announces Kevin Smith, 'The Guest,' and a return to '[Rec]'

10 hours ago

Okay, I doubt Charles Bronson will be there, but if anyone could pull it off, Colin Geddes could. There are few things I look forward to with more fervor each year than Toronto's Midnight Madness selection each year. Programmer Colin Geddes is not just a phenomenal ringleader, an instigator of a controlled cinema riot every single night of the festival, but he is also a tremendous friend, the sort of person who is a pleasure to bump into anywhere at any festival in the world. Today, the announcement was made of his line-up, and my first reaction is, "I can vouch for some of those." I really liked "The Guest" when I saw it at Sundance, and I think it's got one of the weirdest performances of the year in the form of Dan Stevens, previously best known for "Downton Abbey." It's from the same team who brought you "You're Next, »


- Drew McWeeny

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ aiming for record $70 Million opening

11 hours ago

(Cbr) It wasn’t long ago that "Guardians of the Galaxy," with a cast of characters most movie-goers had never heard of, was viewed as Marvel Studios’ biggest gamble to date. But as the clock ticks down to its premiere, the future looks bright for director James Gunn’s space adventure. Opening Friday in North America on 4,080 screens — the widest-ever August release — Guardians of the Galaxy" arrives to critical acclaim, with a 93-percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also premieres this weekend in the United Kingdom, Russia, Mexico and Brazil, and has been “tentatively approved for Chinese distribution (although a date hasn’t been announced). Conservative estimates have "Guardians" grossing $65 million in its first weekend at the North American box office, but some industry watchers predict the film could pull closer to $70 million, which would make it the best August opening of all time. "The Bourne Ultimatum" now holds the record with $69.2 million. »


- TJ Dietsch, Comic Book Resources

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Here's Vin Diesel Dubbing 'I Am Groot' in 5 Languages

11 hours ago

If you find Vin Diesel charismatic and effervescent in English, you need to see how he projects that same sensuality into four other languages. In these clips from a "Guardians of the Galaxy" dubbing session, watch as Diesel gets multilingual while announcing "I am Groot." There's a nice buildup to his big moment in each clip. Cherish that suspense. (I left the English one off because we're very familiar with Diesel's American patois.) Portuguese: French: Russian: Spanish: But no Esperanto reading. Damn.  »


- Louis Virtel

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Matthew McConaughey visits alien worlds in the new trailer for 'Interstellar'

11 hours ago

If you followed HitFix's coverage of Comic-Con, then you know we were extremely high on the new trailer presented for Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar." Paramount managed to get the director down to the San Diego convention for the first time ever (he had somehow never bothered despite his involvement in one of the most popular superhero franchises to date), and the result, apparently, was sheer bliss for the attendees in Hall H. Well, today you can see the trailer for yourself (if you didn't already catch it in theaters over the weekend), and find out what all the fuss was about. Happily, amid all the cosmos razzmatazz, the film is clearly focusing on the human element. "We used to look up in the sky and wonder about our place in the stars," Matthew McConaughey's character says. "Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt. »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Colin Firth tells the truth about 'Kingsman' and becoming an action hero: 'It hurt'

11 hours ago

It would give me enormous pleasure to report that Colin Firth, when the cameras were off, was a rude, unpleasant bag of garbage. It would delight me to no end to report that as he walked out onto the balcony where we did our interview about his upcoming film "Kingsman: The Secret Service," he punched an orphan and denied someone their basic human rights. I would love to be able to state, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is a terrible person. But, of course, he's not, and so the ocean of women out there who have harbored decades of longing for this guy get to continue their crushes unabated, and I have to just accept that he really is charming and sharp and funny in person, and it's not all because of Richard Curtis, damn it. There is something truly wonderful about the idea of casting him »


- Drew McWeeny

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Jon Stewart Celebrates 15 Years of Mocking CNN

12 hours ago

The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive Jon Stewart has been mocking CNN for 15 years. I'm not kidding: This anniversary deserves some emotional outpouring. Stewart breezed through a bunch of CNN jokes from his decade and a half on the air, and once you get to the fake segment called "Don Lemon's Zesty News Bowl," you're laughing and weeping. Could it be that Stewart's CNN-ripping jokes are funnier than his Fox News jokes? Insane theory, I know, but let's think about it. »


- Louis Virtel

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Shailene Woodley sees Edward get stabbed in 'Divergent' deleted scene

12 hours ago

"Insurgent" won't be in theaters for months, but meanwhile fans can see Shailene Woodley in a highly-anticipated previously unseen deleled scene from "Divergent." This quick scene, which can be found on the film's upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release, finds Tris (Woodley) and Christina (Zoë Kravitz) awoken in the middle of the night to the sounds of screams after Edward (Ben Lamb) has been mysteriously stabbed in the eye. That Peter guy (Miles Teller) is looking mighty suspicious...  It's a very dark scene -- thematically and visually -- and director Neil Burger was likely forced to cut it for the PG-13 film. Fans of Veronica Roth's book will be happy to see it though, even if it's not being integrated back into the film itself.  Watch the deleted scene below: "Divergent" also stars Theo James, Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Ray Stevenson, Ashley Judd and Ansel Elgort. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer »


- Dave Lewis

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New 'Hateful 8' poster makes Quentin Tarantino's next film official

13 hours ago

This time, Quentin Tarantino isn't messing around. Just days after announcing at Comic Con that "The Hateful 8" will be his next film, a stark and bloody teaser poster for the almost-abandoned western has popped up. Check out this scan from Empire magazine: A western of a decidedly different style than "Django Unchained," "Hateful" centers on a group of stagecoach passengers stranded in a hellacious blizzard. Tension ensues.  The poster also promises that "Hateful" will be shot on film and released in a "Special roadshow engagement" in 70 mm Super CinemaScope, so you should do your best to see it projected on film, not projected digitally. Tarantino is reportedly planning to shoot in early 2015. So far, the announced cast includes Bruce Dern, Samuel L. JacksonMichael Madsen, Kurt Russell, James Remar, Amber Tamblyn, Walton Goggins and Zoe Bell. Look for "The Hateful 8" to be in theaters late 2015.  What do you think of the poster? »


- Dave Lewis

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