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An Open Letter to the Jerk at This Week’s Savages Show

31 minutes ago

Dear Sir, I have just received word that you are considering yelling out a comment regarding the appearance of the female musician on stage. On behalf of myself and many other audience members, I would like to offer some words that were recently trademarked by Taylor Swift: “Just … don’t.” I saw you at the Savages show on Wednesday night at Mercury Lounge. Did you have fun? A lot of people around you did not, right after you felt the need to yell at please-evacuate-the-theater volume, “The drummer is so sexxxxxxy!” First of all, I take you to be the kind of person who spends a good 75 percent of the show on your phone, so you couldn’t even bother to look up her name? Her name is Fay Milton. She plays with steady wildness and I think she is one of the best rock drummers in the world right now. »


- Lindsay Zoladz

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Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts to Explore the Beauty and Majesty of the American Wilderness for HBO’s Lewis and Clark

55 minutes ago

Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and Edward Norton decided they wanted to make a miniseries about Lewis and Clark, and now they've gotten HBO to green-light it. Based on Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, the six-hour miniseries will star Casey Affleck as melancholic explorer Meriwether Lewis and Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) as the rough-and-tumble soldier William Clark. No word yet on who's playing Sacagawea; fingers crossed it won't be Rooney Mara. »


- Nate Jones

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Game of Thrones Season 5’s First Trailer Promises a Lot of Changes From the Book

1 hour ago

The first trailer for the next season of Game of Thrones premiered last night after the show's Imax screenings, and wow, book-readers should get ready for a lot of changes. Major characters are missing, people are appearing in parts of Westeros they shouldn't, and most shocking, the entire thing is set to a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes." That song never appeared in the books at all. Watch the trailer below, and then click here to read about the 10 things we learned. »


- Nate Jones

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Here’s Sia’s Predictably Odd Ellen Performance

1 hour ago

Sia was on Ellen today, and in signature style, her performance was elaborate and identity-obfuscating. As usual, tiny dancer Maddie Ziegler was there, but not as per usual, so were a bunch of other tweens in giant white boxes. To all those boring musicians who just stand there and sing a song while plaintively holding a microphone, it is time to step up your game. Lip-synching tweens in boxes has now been done, though, so come up with something else. »


- Margaret Lyons

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Sundance Review: Christopher Abbott Carries the Sublime, Dreamlike James White

1 hour ago

James White begins in a burst of abstraction, with Christopher Abbott’s face coming in and out of focus in extreme close-up, swaying slowly in the warm haze of a nightclub. The throbbing club music battles the gentle songs playing through the young man’s earbuds, blending into a sonic blur. Director Josh Mond’s frame starts off close, too close, then pulls back a bit, then jumps in again — as if trying to find the right distance. But once it settles, the handheld camera never loses its focus on Abbott. It remains fixed on him for the rest of the film, as if it has captured a prime specimen and isn’t about to let go. From that ethereal opening, James White follows its lead as he makes his way back to sit Shiva for his recently deceased, estranged father. He greets some well-wishers, including his dad’s second »


- Bilge Ebiri

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Snapchat to Make a Web Series, With a Spielberg

1 hour ago

New Hollywood royalty takes on a new medium: Sasha Spielberg (Steven's daughter) and Emily Goldwyn (John's daughter) will make Snapchat's first official web series. Literally Can't Even will focus on the misadventures of the two L.A.-based comedians and appear on Snapchat's new "Snap Channel" (the one that pissed off all the teens) as part of "Discover" — the place where they'll likely start to wrap in media partners and advertising deals. If you're wondering whether the web series will disappear just like a regular Snapchat might, the answer is yes: "The episodes will disappear after 24 hours." No reruns for this web series.  If you want a sense of what this Snapchat web series might look like, don't worry — the girls already use other cool, young, and hip social-media platform Vine:  »


- Lindsey Weber

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Project Almanac Is a Good B-Movie That Hits Its Marks

2 hours ago

Frank Sinatra (via Paul Anka) is probably the only person who has ever had too few regrets to mention; the rest of us find solace in fantasies of going back and doing it again. The smart and super-slick teen time-machine picture Project Almanac is the latest incarnation of this would-coulda-shoulda pipe-dream — a movie so knowing that its characters reference Looper, Groundhog Day, and maybe five other films that lay out the pros and cons of rewriting the past. They’ve seen what happens but they never learn!The visual wrinkle in Project Almanac is that it’s shot with one or two video cameras wielded by the characters, which struck me as dumb (as well as nausea-inducing) at the start but proves to be a cool device for our heroes to look at what they’ve just done and go back and do it differently. (Once something’s on video, »


- David Edelstein

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Sundance Review: Michael Fassbender Gets His Clint Eastwood On in Slow West

3 hours ago

As a cigarillo-chomping, preternaturally cool bounty-hunter helping a young Scots boy navigate the American frontier, Michael Fassbender does a pretty mean Clint Eastwood. Slow West, written and directed by musician turned director John Maclean, is no ordinary Western, though Fassbender's Silas Selleck does seem at times like he’s wandered out of our collective dreams of the genre; he’s as much a comment as he is a stand-alone character.Veering between the iconic and the bizarre, Slow West is a surreal, episodic road movie; it owes more to Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man than it does to Death Rides a Horse. Kodi Smit-McPhee plays Jay Cavendish, a young, inexperienced Scots aristocrat in 1870s Colorado pursuing the girl he loves, Rose (Caren Pistorius), who has fled to America with her father. Jay hooks up with Silas during a rather brutal run-in with some soldiers. (The violence in this film is always jarringly, »


- Bilge Ebiri

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James Franco on I Am Michael and His Nixed Gay Love Scene With Danny McBride

3 hours ago

James Franco is no stranger to Sundance, and this past week, he premiered two films at the film festival: True Story, where he stars as an accused murderer who steals the identity of a disgraced journalist (Jonah Hill), and I Am Michael, where he plays real-life figure Michael Glatze, a former gay activist who leaves his boyfriend (Zachary Quinto) behind after declaring himself straight and becoming a pastor. The latter film has gotten audiences talking, especially since it touches on the sort of hot-button issues of sexuality that Franco often seems compelled to. Yesterday, the actor and his I Am Michael director Justin Kelly sat down with Vulture to explain their movie, Franco's homophilia, and the unlikely love scene he almost shared with his Pineapple Express co-star Danny McBride.James, many people won't be surprised to see you in a movie like this, because as a major male movie star, »


- Kyle Buchanan

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10 Things We Learn From Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Trailer [Updated]

3 hours ago

This weekend, we knew some new Game of Thrones footage would be shown at the special Imax screenings of the final two episodes of last season, but we weren't sure what. It appears to have been a full trailer, and this afternoon, HBO dropped it online! Here are ten things we learn (mild spoiler alert):1. One major plot thread is almost definitely cut. Without spoiling too much, George R.R. Martin's book A Dance With Dragons introduces one new claimant to the Iron Throne, with repercussions that could possibly last until the end of the series. Many readers thought it was a bit late in the game to be introducing new players, and it appears the Game of Thrones producers agreed. There's been no casting information for this new character, and judging from one of the lines in the trailer, it appears that in the interests of expediency, their »


- Nate Jones,Jennifer Vineyard

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George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter Is Officially Not Coming in 2015, Sorry

4 hours ago

It looks like the wait for The Winds of Winter will stretch into its fifth year: HarperCollins just confirmed to The Guardian that George R.R. Martin's latest Song of Ice and Fire novel is not on its schedule for 2015. It also hinted that people should really stop asking about it. "These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write," Martin's publisher Jan Johnson said. "Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers." To sate the desire for more Westeros #content, the publisher does plan to release an illustrated compendium of the three Dunk and Egg prequel novellas, and there are also numerous Winds of Winter preview chapters to fill the void. Something tells us that will not be enough. »


- Nate Jones

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The Fall’s Ending Was Horrible

4 hours ago

Here are some nice things I can say abut The Fall: Gillian Anderson is a terrific actress. The show sure knows how to create ominous tension. Hearing people express feminist ideas on TV is always welcome. Jamie Dornan is very good-looking. I'm also happy to call it the staringest show I've ever seen. (Truly, the show is 65 percent pure staring.) But if the season-two finale serves as the series finale, that will be just fine by me, because that episode was awful. All this stress and pontificating for a finale that ended up squarely in Dullsville, with the big reveal simply being an elusive criminal just telling the police everything, for no real reason. Uuuugh. Spoilers from here on out, obviously.Will Stella find Rose in time? How? This was meant to be the guiding tension of the final episode — that and the long-awaited showdown between Paul and Stella. »


- Margaret Lyons

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Watch Julianne Moore Lose It in Maps to the Stars

5 hours ago

By the time we meet fading actress Havana Segrand (played by Julianne Moore) in this exclusive clip from David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, she's already been through the wringer: Havana has been embarrassingly rejected for a remake of her mother's most famous film, and creepy visions of her mom have the loose-screw actress into the arms of self-help guru Stafford Weiss (John Cusack). Luckily, Havana has one time-tested method for coping with all the shit the universe has heaved upon her: She'll cathartically upbraid her assistant, Agatha (Mia Wasikowska), tasking the girl with a ridiculous laundry list of home duties and pills to be procured until Havana finally feels like some semblance of order has been restored in the universe. Here's a little bit of Moore's sublime, Cannes-winning comic performance for you; Focus World will finally release Maps to the Stars in theaters and on demand February 27, just »


- Kyle Buchanan

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Read the First Chapter of David Duchovny’s Debut Novel, Holy Cow

5 hours ago

With his roles in Twin Peaks and The X-Files, among other projects, David Duchovny established himself as a man who's interested in the weirder side of things. That sensibility comes to full flower in his first novel, Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale. The book tells the story of Elsie, a cow who undergoes an existential awakening that causes her, along with Tom, a turkey, and Shalom, a Jewish pig, to light out from the farm where they lived in search of the great, wide, presumably safe world. It's a wild tale, and you can read the first chapter below.  Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself Most people think cows can’t think. Hello. Let me rephrase that, most people think cows can’t think, and have no feelings. Hello, again. I’m a cow, my name is Elsie, yes, I know. And that’s no bull. See? We can think, »


- David Duchovny

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‘Louis C.K. Live at the Comedy Store’ Is Loose With Flashes of Brilliance

6 hours ago

Louis C.K. is such a cultural bellwether that when he's mostly just messing around, as he does in his new on-demand stand-up special Louis C.K. Live at the Comedy Store, the looseness reads as a bit too loose. Don't worry; this is a very funny collection of bits, with two or three brilliant moments. But for better or worse, C.K. has gotten to the point where if he doesn't do something innovative enough to provoke think pieces or troublesome enough to spark arguments, you start measuring him against the giants of stand-up and finding him lacking. His last two specials were masterful, almost good enough to put in the weight class with Chris Rock and the late, still-missed George Carlin, whose specials were so intricately written that they felt like one-man theatrical shows rather than "routines"; they boasted a deft interplay of absurdist boundary-pushing, social commentary, and straight-up clowning. »


- Matt Zoller Seitz

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Archer Recap: Kill Zone

6 hours ago

The Story Pam has to endure her sister’s wedding, which, as you can imagine, would already be as horrible as it sounds — but even more so because her sister Edie is apparently Pam but in bully form, and has also relegated Pam to bridesmaid duty instead of Moh duty. A distraught Pam convinces Archer to be her date to the wedding, but the rehearsal-dinner plans go awry when Barry shows up to kill Archer (because his cyborg girlfriend dumped him). Back at HQ, Lana needs someone to babysit Aj so she can go to survival camp; the only person who’s available is an old flame, so naturally, things get a little weird. The Highlight Reel The night began with an oblivious-but-stealthy Archer trying to make a coffee cocktail amid a blubbering Pam. Pam explained she wasn’t excited to go to her sister’s wedding in Wisconsin without a date, »

- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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What Should We Expect From Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Halftime Special?

7 hours ago

We don't know about you, but we'll be watching the Super Bowl on mute (well, except for the commercials) up until it's time for the Halftime Special. That's when Katy Perry will take the arena stage to do her best career-encompassing performance for an audience of over 100 million people. What will she do? Stick to the typical Katy Perry stuff? Go off-book? Will she focus on singing or dancing? Will she throw shade? Will she sing "Firework"? (That last one, for sure.) We have a slew of educated guesses below.  1. Lenny Kravitz. This isn’t an assumption; it’s reality. It has been confirmed that Lenny will appear during Katy Perry’s big show. But what will he do? Will he wail out to the guitar solo on “Birthday”? (There is no guitar solo on “Birthday,” but there could be one.) Maybe he’ll fill in for Juicy J on »


- Lindsey Weber

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Alex Gibney on Going Clear, His Scientology Documentary That’s the Talk of Sundance

7 hours ago

Debuting to a packed house at Sundance this week, Alex Gibney's upcoming HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief received a standing ovation. Vulture's Bilge Ebiri called it "jaw-dropping" and wrote, "Any way you cut it, this is still spectacular stuff." Gibney spoke with John Horn, host of Southern California Public Radio's new arts and entertainment show “The Frame,” about turning Lawrence Wright's book into a documentary, new details he unearthed about Scientology, and the opposition he's faced from the Church. (Listen to Horn and Gibney's interview here, and subscribe to “The Frame” at iTunes or Stitcher.)Before the movie premiered, the Church was already going on the offensive publicly by taking out full-page newspaper ads condemning the film and its accuracy. What was your reaction to those ads?Great publicity. You can’t buy that, but they could, and we were the beneficiaries.  Do »


- John Horn

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Katy Perry Asks Bruno Mars for Super Bowl Advice, Writes a Super-Cute Email

8 hours ago

Katy Perry is pretty nervous for her Super Bowl Halftime Show debut this weekend, so she's pulling out the big guns to make sure she's prepared. "Let me just make sure it's kosh," she says to Billboard before reading aloud an email she's planning to send to last year's halftime entertainment, Bruno Mars. It's adorable: Hello, exclusive Super Bowl club member! I was wondering if you are in L.A. at all this month and would have tea with a sister who is about to throw up with nervousness re: [football emoji]. I've heard about your process through our managers, but am wondering if you had more insight on important things like, spray tan the night before or three nights before? Jk, or maybe not! Let us guess: He advised her to go with many, many hats.  »


- Lindsey Weber

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The Vampire Diaries Recap: Merge With Me

8 hours ago

“Previously On” is not just a cute pre-show mini-drama wherein we get to listen to the soft intonations of Paul Wesley’s voice. No, “Previously On” is informational. It is crucial. And if you pay attention, it will tell you everything you need to know about the upcoming episode. A line like “I wasn’t there for Caroline” in “Previously On” is tantamount to full-body hugging in a current episode. As is a bloody montage of a cancer patient. Don’t yet see what I mean? Let’s recap.We open on Sheriff Forbes sleeping peacefully in her bed with Caroline curled up in the armchair. But someone is in the house! The cancer patient has traveled hundreds (??) of miles to find Caroline at her home. Turns out Colin is a vampire! Plus 18. Oh good, Elena is talking to herself again. Where was she? Cute apartment, never seen it before. »


- Rebecca Serle

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