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Season finale review: 'Parenthood' - 'The Pontiac'

21 minutes ago

A review of the "Parenthood" season finale — and some thoughts on season 5 as a whole — coming up just as soon as we talk about the big tomato in the room... When NBC announced last spring that "Parenthood" would get its first full-season order since season 2 (and only its second one ever), it seemed like a great thing. Finally, the show would have time to properly service all of the great characters in its stable, would be able to pace story arcs better, and just have more room to breathe for all the great glorious messiness that is life in and among the Braverman family. Instead, things felt even more imbalanced and weirdly paced than in the show's shorter seasons. Some major characters got virtually nothing to do (Crosby's arc for the season was about mold, I think), while we suddenly learned an awful lot about Drew Holt and the spell he casts over the ladies. »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Review: Tatiana Maslany keeps dazzling in 'Orphan Black' season 2

1 hour ago

A year ago, "Orphan Black" snuck up on me. Like another female-centric show with "Black" at the end of its title, it had a relatively unknown lead, and seemed an afterthought among its network's original offerings. (At Netflix, "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" consumed all the PR oxygen; for BBC America, it was "Copper.") And like "Orange Is the New Black," it turned out to be a pleasant surprise of large proportions, featuring a star-making performance — really, a series of performances, as con artist Sarah and her many clones — by Tatiana Maslany, a deft balance of sci-fi and character study and comedy, and an eagerness to keep the plot moving as swiftly and efficiently as possible. I look back on that first season and can imagine the equivalent Fox or CW drama waiting until its first season was halfway over before Sarah found out that she, housewife Alison, scientist Cosima, »


- Alan Sepinwall

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'Scandal' recap: The big explosion in the season finale isn't in the church

10 hours ago

Wow. I realize there are only so many ways to bring Fitz and Olivia together and then break them apart, but what's happened in this season finale... well, let's just say no more without saying spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. There's just no way to talk about what happened without them. And maybe with a drink. Just a thought.  It seems Shonda Rhimes has decided to push the reset button for the entire series, because the one thing we could never see happening -- Olivia walking away from Opa, and not with Fitz holding her hand so she can make jam in Vermont -- has happened. We all knew that Papa Pope was up to no good, of course. I just had no idea how many chess moves ahead of everyone he really was.  Initially, it seemed we were taking an entirely different left turn. While the bomb does go off, Jake »


- Liane Bonin Starr

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Kobe Bryant to chronicle NBA comeback with new Showtime documentary

11 hours ago

It's Showtime for Kobe Bryant. The superstar athlete will be the subject of a new documentary on the premium network entitled "Kobe Bryant's Muse," which will take an "in-depth look into the life, inspirations and challenges" of the five-time NBA champion as he attempts to mount a comeback following a series of recent injuries that threatened to end his career. "As a lifelong Boston Celtics fan, never did I imagine I would collaborate with Laker great Kobe Bryant,” said director Gotham Chopra in a statement. “Kobe's quest for greatness transcends rivalries and I'm excited by his and Showtime’s willingness to go down this rabbit hole together.  I’m confident audiences will be intrigued by what comes out the other side." In addition to his current struggles, the film will focus on the various forces that helped shape Bryant's professional career and ultimately led him to become one of »


- Chris Eggertsen

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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Can Elena love both brothers at the same time?

12 hours ago

First off, kudos to Paul Wesley for his directing debut. This was an episode with a lot of feels for Elena and Stefan, so it couldn't have been easy bouncing back and forth behind the camera to check the shot. But let's move on. I'm still reeling a bit from all the dream sequences, visits to the afterlife and, of course, Markos.  Did anyone else feel a little wrecked by Elena's dreams of a perfect life with Stefan? Seeing the two of them happy together brought back bittersweet memories, but the image of them as a normal, married couple with two cute kids underscored how far Elena has been pulled from the life she knew -- and how cuddly Stefan can be when he's not on a killing spree. The dreams may have been a bit cliched -- and I really don't think Elena ever wanted to become a mom »


- Liane Bonin Starr

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Miley Cyrus postpones two more shows as she remains hospitalized

12 hours ago

New York (AP) — Miley Cyrus is postponing more concerts as she remains in a hospital for a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. A representative says the singer won't perform in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday and Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday. Those concerts will be rescheduled. Cyrus suffered from a sinus infection last week during her "Bangerz" tour. Her rep says she had "an extreme allergic reaction" to the antibiotic cephalexin. This week, Cyrus also canceled concerts in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri. She postponed a show in Charlotte, North Carolina, last week because of the flu. The 21-year-old "Wrecking Ball" singer's next scheduled tour date is Monday in Philadelphia. Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.   »


- AP Staff

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Man suing 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' director: I was treated like 'a piece of meat'

12 hours ago

Los Angeles (AP) — A man who claims he was sexually abused by "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer said Thursday that he reported the molestation to authorities at the time, and does not know why charges were never pursued. With his voice occasionally wavering, Michael Egan III described abuse he said he endured beginning when he 15 year old was at that hands of Singer and others. He described being plied with drugs and promises of Hollywood fame while also enduring threats and sexual abuse in Hawaii and Los Angeles over several years. "You were a piece of meat," Egan said of how he and other teenage boys were viewed at the home where he claims Singer abused him. Egan sued Singer in Hawaii on Wednesday and is seeking more than $75,000 on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy. Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith »


- Anthony McCartney, Oskar Garcia (AP)

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The first trailer for Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' struts and sings

12 hours ago

At least no one's going to be in any position to argue with Clint Eastwood about the period detail in "Jersey Boys." The first trailer for Eastwood's big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit jukebox musical that paid tribute to the Four Seasons arrived today, and it looks like he's making a musical version of "Goodfellas." Vincent Piazza and John Lloyd Young, playing Tommy Devito and Frankie Valli, lead a largely unknown ensemble cast, and I'm sure there's going to be a ton of singing in the film. This sort of story has been told a thousand times, so it comes down to the energy and the pleasure of seeing these guys go through their rise and fall. It's a good trailer. Solid. Some fun bits in it. You can tell they're going for the sweetest possible version of the songs, and since that was the big hook of the show, »


- Drew McWeeny

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Steven Spielberg to develop new film from 'Lincoln' screenwriter

12 hours ago

For me, there are two immediately interesting takeaways from the news that Steve Spielberg will be developing the religious drama "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara." The first is that it would mark his third collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner after "Munich" and "Lincoln." The other is that the project would be a co-production between DreamWorks and The Weinstein Company. DreamWorks, quietly celebrating a 20th anniversary this year after being concocted by entertainment magnates Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, saw some interesting Oscar battlefield time opposite Harvey Weinstein back in the Miramax days. Round one went to Weinstein, as "Shakespeare in Love" shocked "Saving Private Ryan" to win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1998. But Spielberg and company won rounds two and three with "American Beauty" topping "The Cider House Rules" in 1999 and "Gladiator" blowing past "Chocolat" in 2000. (DreamWorks also co-produced the 2001 Best Picture winner, »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Box Office: 'Heaven Is For Real' tops 'Captain America' and 'Rio 2' on opening day

12 hours ago

"Heaven is for Real" is a real success at the box-office. The faith-based drama starring Greg Kinnear wowed with a $3.7 million take on 2,400 screens over its opening day Wednesday, good enough for a No. 1 finish over the blockbuster sequels "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Rio 2." The film's long-term prospects are looking promising as well, with audience exit polling resulting in an "A" CinemaScore for the film, which was made for a reported pricetag of only $12 million. Based on the bestselling non-fiction book by Todd Burpo, "Heaven is for Real" centers on a young boy (Connor Corum) who comes back from a near-death experience claiming he experienced Heaven. The film's box-office triumph follows on the success of other recent faith-based films including "God's Not Dead" ($42 million to date), "Son of God" ($62 million) and Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" ($249 million) starring Russell Crowe. Other wide releases this weekend include “Transcendence" starring Johnny Depp, »


- Chris Eggertsen

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7 Pieces of Vital Information We Learned From 'All That'

13 hours ago

For regular viewers of Snick -- the legendary block of Saturday night programming on '90s Nickelodeon -- "All That" was the weekend cornerstone. The sketch series debuted April 16, 1994, and 20 years later it's safe to say we haven't given enough props to the silly, but often very funny show that showcased a broad range of talents (including Kenan Thompson and Jamie Lynn Spears) and some seriously grownup lessons. Here are six takeaways from the show that routinely dished out Vital Information For Our Everyday Lives. (I'm sticking to the early years of the 11-season series since, as a '90s Nick devotee, it's what I re-watched the most.) 1. Embrace your weirdness. Some billionaire will like you for it.  "Earboy" was a pretty wild idea. A kid with gigantic ears (Josh Server) is picked on for his strange features, and he's even friends with a literal Pizza Face and Four-Eyes. »


- Louis Virtel

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Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'One in 8,000'

13 hours ago

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I ask the Louvre for a refund... For a show late into its sixth season, "Parks and Rec" has done a surprisingly good job of avoiding classic sitcom story tropes. Obviously, there have been familiar romantic comedy elements throughout the run, but it's very rare that I look at the individual stories of an episode and think, "Well, I've seen that a few dozen times before," even when done well. "One in 8,000," though, is one of the more familiar sitcom-style episodes the show has done. We have Ben and Leslie trying not to panic over the news that they are having more babies than anticipated, we have Andy trying  to keep their secret until they're ready to announce it, and we have Ron trying to protect Donna from her ex-boyfriend Joe. In this case, I have seen all these stories before, »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 7 Results

13 hours ago

Once again, it's like this: Assuming Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson and Alex "New Hampshire's Own" Preston are safe on Thursday (April 17) night's "American Idol," I don't much care who goes home or who's in the Bottom 3.  There are the three people I care about and the cannon fodder. The big question: How is "American Idol" planning on killing the 30 minutes tonight? For the second straight week, Fox hasn't bothered to announce a guest performer, which either means that the producers decided they were happily able to fill the half-hour without a musical number, or they're having trouble booking guests. I have no evidence to confirm the latter. So... Who knows? On to the recap! 9:00 p.m. Et. Forget what I said about no guests, because... Kevin Bacon! He's introducing the show and trying to remind us that he has a TV show. A TV show on Fox! A TV »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Season finale review: 'Community' - 'Basic Sandwich'

13 hours ago

A review of the "Community" season — and hopefully not series — finale coming up just as soon as I rob your brain... "The point is, this show, Annie, it isn't just their show. This is our show. And it's not over. And the sooner we find that treasure, the sooner the Jeff/Britta pilot falls apart." -Abed When I reviewed "Basic Story" last week, I said I almost felt as if I should wait to write a review until after I had also seen "Basic Sandwich," since "Story" felt less like an episode than an extended prologue. And taken together with "Sandwich," I find myself thinking more highly of "Story," even as I wish both of these concluding episodes had been funnier overall. Though Dan Harmon has done series finale-style episodes before, he used these two to comment on the very nature of sitcom finales, and of the sort of endless »


- Alan Sepinwall

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'Paranormal Activity' creator on how 'The Marked Ones' success reinvigorated the franchise

14 hours ago

(Cbr) For those too scared to be aware, "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" isn’t just another sequel to Oren Peli’s massively successful found-footage horror series. Rather, it’s a spinoff of sorts, one that uses the mythology of its predecessors but tells the story of a different family and their connection to a malevolent force that seems to be growing in strength – and numbers – with each successive film. But despite being deliberately different from its predecessors, the film manages to (partially) right the direction of the franchise, whose fourth installment mostly confused audiences with its storytelling. To commemorate the recent home video release of "The Marked Ones", Peli sat down with Spinoff Online for a brief conversation about the past, present and future of the series. In addition to talking about repairing any damage that might have been done by previous installments, he discussed his ongoing participation in developing the franchise, »


- Todd Gilchrist, Comic Book Resources

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'Arrow's' Colton Haynes joining Dwayne Johnson in 'San Andreas'

16 hours ago

(Cbr) It appears the Mirakuru on "Arrow" has leaked over into Colton Haynes’ professional life, as his career just got a super-strong boost in the form of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Deadline reports that Haynes, who plays Roy Harper on The CW superhero drama, will next be seen opposite Johnson in "San Andreas". Directed by Brad Peyton ("Journey 2: The Mysterious Island"), the film stars Johnson as a former special operative, now a firefighter pilot, who goes in search of his missing daughter after a massive earthquake rocks California. There’s no word on who Haynes is playing in the earthquake thriller, but he’s in good company: "San Andreas" also stars "Watchmen" actress Carla Gugino as Johnson’s estranged ex-wife. »


- Josh Wigler, Comic Book Resources

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'Orphan Black' review: Sarah is on the run - but she's not out of moves

16 hours ago

I wasn't too worried that the second season of "Orphan Black" would stumble at the gate. The first season was too tightly constructed and simply too smart for everything to fall apart, burdened by silly plot twists or the kind of hijinks that have been known to sink big four network series. Yes, Clone Club can rest easy -- the first episode of season two is just as twisty and smart and deadly as we've come to expect. I'd say it's better than "Cats," but you won't appreciate that until you've watched it.  When we left off last season, Kira had been taken, and the question of who took her and why is thornier and more complex than we might expect. Sarah's fierce mother love has seemingly grown with the size of the threat against her, and part of her determination to get back her kid (and Mrs. S) is »


- Liane Bonin Starr

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Review: Beck simmers then rocks at Kcrw taping

16 hours ago

Santa Monica—Sandwiched in between his two Coachella appearances, Beck came in from the dusty desert to play an intimate show for Kcrw’s Apogee Sessions here Wednesday night. The 100-minute performance was twice as long as his Coachella set and certainly under more pleasant, less blustery conditions: the cosy confines of legendary producer/mixer Bob Clearmountain’s studio, which tightly packed in 200 of the public radio station’s supporters. Beck opened with the elegant “The Golden Age” from 2002’s “Sea Change,” before gliding into three songs from his excellent new album (and “Sea Change” sequel of sorts), “Morning Phase”: the Beatle-esque “Blackbird Chain,” mournful “Say Goodbye,” and sorrowful “Don’t Let It Go.” The largely acoustic quartet of tunes allowed Beck to warm up, with his confidence seemingly growing with each song. As he noted, he’d only played the new material a handful of times, and while »


- Melinda Newman

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New teaser for Guillermo del Toro's 'The Strain' is an eye-opener

16 hours ago

(Cbr) FX has debuted a new teaser for "The Strain" that features a look at the cause of the series’ vampire infection: a parasitic capillary worm. Based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, "The Strain" follows Cdc epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his team, sent to investigate a sealed airplane at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The situation snowballs into a battle to protect the entirety of New York City from a new viral vampiric threat. That said, these aren’t vampires based on romantic notions of recent years. “These are not sparkly brooding dudes with fangs and romantic problems,” showrunner Carlton Cuse said in January. “This is a really original re-imagining of vampire lore. There is sex in the show, but the vampires themselves are not having sex. They are not romantic creatures.” Debuting in July, "The Strain" also stars David Bradley, Kevin Durand, »


- Steve Sunu, Comic Book Resources

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What's the one thing 'Frozen's' ending was missing? Mutants!

17 hours ago

(Cbr) With a $1.1 billion global box office and a certified-platinum soundtrack, "Disney‘s" Frozen is more that a blockbuster — it’s a pop-culture phenomenon. However, the folks at How It Should Have Ended found the animated film lacked a certain … something. Namely, an appearance by X-Men. After all, where better than Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters for Elsa to learn more about her powers — and, of course, organize the joint faculty-student chorus? »


- Kevin Melrose, Comic Book Resources

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