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3-D Hit Wreck-It Ralph Knocks One Out, While Flight Soars

4 November 2012 2:00 PM, PST

As the Eastern Seaboard picks up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy and movie theaters turned the power back on, audiences flocked to the movies this weekend, buying $50 million worth of tickets to Disney's 3D Wreck-It Ralph blockbuster. Paramount's Denzel Washington-as-a-gonzo-pilot film Flight also outperformed expectations, nearly recouping its production budget with a $25 million opening weekend. In third place, Ben Affleck's Oscar contender Argo held on with a $10 million-plus haul, while The Man With the Iron Fists ("presented by" Quentin Tarantino and directed by hip hop star RZA) came in fourth with $8.2 million. Enjoy your moment, all, because next weekend 007 (a.k.a. Skyfall) is coming to town, and he means business. »


- Andre Tartar

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Hobbit Tickets Go On Sale This Week

4 November 2012 12:35 PM, PST

Though its December 14th premiere is well over five weeks away, Deadline has learned that advance tickets for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will go on sale online and in select theaters at noon this Wednesday. Tickets for December 8th and 9th Lord of the Rings marathons — that's over nine hours of Middle-earth magic! — will also go on sale at the same time. So, fans, get your elf costumes out and start practicing your Fandango rapid refresh. »


- Andre Tartar

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John Cusack Will Take the Lead in Rush Limbaugh Biopic

4 November 2012 12:32 PM, PST

Conservative talk radio host (and proud, card-carrying blowhard) Rush Limbaugh is either an actor's best dream or worst nightmare. For the comparatively slim John Cusack (who once called the Bush administration "depressing, corrupt, unlawful and tragically absurd") it may be a bit of both. He and director Betty Thomas are wrapping up the script on a biopic, Rush, which they hope to start shooting sometime next year. Limbaugh has lead a colorful life, what with the Viagra-popping, the prescription drug fraud, and the shouting of "slut" and "prostitute" at law school students. We're sure it'll look even more glamorous on the big screen.  »


- Andre Tartar

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Your Sunday Long Reads: Gay Boy Band Fan Fiction, RZA, and Maurice Sendak

4 November 2012 11:00 AM, PST

It's Sunday afternoon, and you have our permission to read about something that isn't Hurricane Sandy or Election 2012 — at least for an hour or so. Below, some of our recommendations: "Slash and Burn" by Amanda Hess (Tomorrow): Why do straight women write gay fan fiction about boy bands? It's fun, for one thing.   "This Movie Is Rated Wu" by Alex Pappademas (GQ): Now that he's completed his Russell Crowe-starring kung-fu movie, The Man with the Iron Fists, our second favorite Wu-Tanger (Rip Odb) is on his way to becoming "an important dude" in Hollywood. "Maurice Sendak" by Emma Brockes (The Believer): A newly published interview with the late children's book author, who "refused to cater to the bullshit of innocence." "A Chat With Ted Leo About 'The Weird Small Business' Of Indie Music" by John Lingan (The Awl): Much like Grizzly Bear, Ted Leo is »


- Andre Tartar,Caroline Bankoff

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Saturday Night Live Recap: Louie Does Lincoln

4 November 2012 9:29 AM, PST

Between the ongoing nightmare of Hurricane Sandy cleanup and Louis C.K. willingness to stare into the abyss in the name of comedy, there was a chance that Saturday Night Live could have gone decidedly somber last night. But two weeks after crafting a talent show around Bruno Mars's few workable skills, it must have been a relief for the SNL writers and cast to be able to explore the comedic space with a talented writer/performer like Louis, and the enthusiasm showed. No-Show of the Night Not that the man doesn't have a billion more important things to do at the moment, but you still might have expected NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg to make a cameo during the cold open addressing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Still, despite no stamp of approval from his antecedent, Fred Armisen did quite a good job covering the greatest hits of Bloomberg's persona: the low-key authoritarianism, »


- Joe Reid

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ABC’s Malibu Country Outperformed the Sandy Benefit

3 November 2012 3:29 PM, PDT

ABC's Reba McEntire-produced and -headlined show about a former country star who shacks up in her double-crossing country singer husband's Los Angeles bachelor pad did quite well last night, dominating the 8:30 p.m. slot. This "comfort-food TV," as our own Matt Zoller Seitz called it, commanded a 2.2 rating, Variety reports, beating out NBC's star-studded "Coming Together" telethon to benefit the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. »


- Andre Tartar

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Is Disney Working on a Boy Meets World Sequel?

3 November 2012 1:49 PM, PDT

Yesterday, after TV Line first reported a possible Boy Meets World sequel from the Disney channel, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the network is in fact talking with the former series' executive producer Michael Jacobs. The concept would focus on Cory and Topanga's daughter, although there's no word yet on whether Ben Savage (Cory) or Danielle Fishel (Topanga) will make a comeback — or Rider Strong (Shawn) for that matter. For nostalgia's sake, Disney, make it happen! »


- Andre Tartar

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New York and New Jersey’s Favorite Sons and Daughters Turned Out for NBC’s Hurricane Sandy Benefit Show

3 November 2012 11:53 AM, PDT

Last night, 30 Rock was the scene of a benefit concert reminiscent of the one that aired after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, netting $50 million for the Red Cross. The Sandy telethon — which, like the Katrina version, was headlined by Lauer and benefitted the Red Cross — brought together an impressive lineup of New York and New Jersey natives. Staten Island-born Christina Aguilera, who opened the evening with "Beautiful," was followed by Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi (whose performance featured footage of his own storm-ravaged Jersey hometown), Steven Tyler (Yonkers), and — of course — Bruce Springsteen, who capped the night off with "Land of Hope and Dreams." (Brooklyn-born Jimmy Fallon and naturalized New Yorker Tina Fey also made non-musical appearances, along with Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg.) The complete two-hour show can be streamed here. »


- Andre Tartar

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Ten Pop Culture Questions Answered by Vulture This Week

3 November 2012 9:00 AM, PDT

Every week, Vulture faces the big, important questions in entertainment, and comes to some creative conclusions. This week, we wondered what exactly is the deal with the new Star Wars movies? Why did Rainn Wilson's Office spinoff die? And how do they make all those gross props on Dexter? In case you missed them, here are the conclusions we came to on these and more pressing questions.Q: What's going on with Star Wars: Episode 7?A: A lot! Lucasfilm announced this week that they'll be putting out new Star Wars movies every two or three years, with Episode 7 arriving first in 2015. Fans of Muppet Babies were thrilled, fans of Star Wars were mixed, and fans of originality at the multiplex were wary. And we have even more questions we're dying to have answered. Q: Does Denzel Washington eff around on movie posters?A: No, he doesn't, and Max »


- Vulture Editors

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RZA on The Man With the Iron Fists, Wu-Tang, and Writing With Eli Roth

3 November 2012 9:00 AM, PDT

RZA's martial arts action-comedy, The Man With the Iron Fists ("presented" by Quentin Tarantino), arrived in theaters this weekend — and the movie is as insane as you'd expect. Among other things, it stars Russell Crow and Lucy Liu, and the soundtrack features the Wu-Tang Clan. We spoke with RZA ahead of the release (and before he'd lined up his next two directing projects) about his love of kung fu, how it influenced Wu-Tang's music, and co-writing a screenplay with Eli Roth.RZA: Did you see it? What did you think? I saw it last night with my boyfriend. I’m proud to say I didn’t close my eyes or turn away for any of the gory scenes.[Laughs] That’s impressive, yo. I knew it was a guy film, so I’m glad when the girls like it too. Lucy Liu and the other women get to kick ass in it. »


- Darla Murray

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Flight, and Nine More Scary Screen Scenes That Will Make You Fear Transportation

2 November 2012 2:15 PM, PDT

Why do we love the movies? Is it because they can instill in us a pants-crapping fear of every sort of vehicle or mode of transportation? Because they can, and the new movie Flight does: That centerpiece sequence where Denzel Washington lands a decimated jetliner isn't exactly going to renew consumer confidence in the airline industry, you know what we're saying? But Flight is just the latest in a long line of screen scenes that will make you never want to get on a (plane, subway, horse) again. Here are several methods of transportation that Hollywood has done its best to ruin for you forever.Car: Final DestinationThe Final Destination series is filled with transpo doom, none more so than this killer sequence from the second film, which will cause you to never, ever tailgate a log-bearing truck again. Schoolbus: The Sweet HereafterThere is a moment in this clip — about »


- Kyle Buchanan,Amanda Dobbins

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Side Effects Trailer: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones Are Pretty, Sad, and Nervous

2 November 2012 1:30 PM, PDT

Here we are at the second to last stop on the Steven Soderbergh farewell (for now) tour. After this and the upcoming Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, Soderbergh is going on a sabbatical. So, what will we have to remember SS by? Side Effects centers on Emily (Rooney Mara), a lawyerless wife who develops anxiety issues when her husband (a fedora-wearing Channing Tatum) returns from prison. (What did he study in prison? Fedora-making!? Seriously, why does he continue to wear them, even after we specifically told him to stop?) Jude Law plays a psychiatrist who gives her some experimental pill and has a light-hearted dance-off with her husband that somehow eventually results in the murdering of somebody. Also, Catherine Zeta-Jones is there, and she wears glasses. It's set to be released on February 8, 2013, making it a perfect Valentine's Day movie for those trying to never have to go to couples »


- Jesse David Fox

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Edelstein on A Late Quartet: Walken, Hoffman, and Keener Play Beautiful Music Together

2 November 2012 1:00 PM, PDT

Soap operas featuring musicians are in a different league than all the rest, if only because musicians’ emotions are apt — at least for the purposes of drama — to be right there on the surface. You can see them channeling their heartbreak, their fear, and sometimes even their rage into the music, pouring themselves into the notes while inside all is roiling chaos. When the music is Beethoven, late Beethoven, the late Beethoven quartets — among the most mysterious and inexhaustible pieces of music ever written — and the quartet members are embodied by the likes of Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and the Ukrainian-Israeli actor Mark Ivanir, what the hell’s not to like? Artless filmmaking, predictability, a heavy hand? Piffle, on the scale of things. Overall, it’s a good movie.The title, A Late Quartet, has two meanings: It refers to both Beethoven’s thrillingly difficult "Opus 131" »


- David Edelstein

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Oscar Futures: Hitchcock, Revealed

2 November 2012 12:45 PM, PDT

Every week between now and January 10, when the nominations are announced, movies and stars will help themselves — or sometimes, hurt themselves — in the Oscar race. Vulture's Oscar Futures will listen for insider gossip, comb the blogs, and out-and-out guess when necessary to track who's up, who's down, and who's currently leading the race for a coveted nomination.Let's check out the chart: »

- Kyle Buchanan

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Seitz: Malibu Country Has a Great One-Two Punch in Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin

2 November 2012 12:15 PM, PDT

The new Reba McEntire sitcom Malibu Country (ABC, Fridays, 8:30 p.m.) is comfort-food TV — a three-camera sitcom created by the EurythmicsDave Stewart, in the same vein as McEntire’s last sitcom, Reba, and featuring some of the same plot points. The star plays Reba Gallagher, a once-promising singer who gave up her career to raise kids while her country icon husband, Bobby (Jeffrey Nordling), conquered Nashville. When news breaks that hubby is having a secret affair with a backup singer during a tour to support his new album, These Vows Are Sacred, Reba appears at a press conference to “support” him (shades of The Good Wife and countless real-life sex scandals), snaps after he accuses her of “embarrassing” him, blasts him as a “moron,” divorces him, and moves into his Malibu, California, love nest with her daughter June (Julette Angelo), son Cash (Justin Prentice), and mom Lillie Mae »


- Matt Zoller Seitz

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The Looper Effect: More Time-Travel Movies On the Way

2 November 2012 12:00 PM, PDT

Hollywood has always been a crazy place, but now things are getting a bit Loop-ier. The success of Rian Johnson’s recent time-travel thriller has forced studios to ponder a future version of themselves and say, “We should do more of those.” Part of the intense interest in all things Looper, of course, has as much to do with what the Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt film cost as what it was about. Looper wasn’t just a time-travel movie, but a $30 million time-travel movie that has grossed $130 million worldwide since its debut almost two months ago. Such modestly-priced profitability has increasingly eluded Hollywood, which now tends to make films very cheaply or with wild abandon.Even before its release, positive buzz was building on Looper, so it was no surprise that when Glimmer, a found-footage spec script by Carter Blanchard hit the market in June, a bidding war erupted, »


- Claude Brodesser-Akner

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‘Little Things’ Video: At Least Three Members of One Direction Can Play the Guitar

2 November 2012 11:15 AM, PDT

So add that to your working list of One Direction Performance Skills, right after "canoe-dancing," "hand-to-heart gesturing," "standing in a single file line and looking confused, but in a cute way," and making girls scream. You can remain unimpressed, or you can choose to see the improvement here: They are playing real live instruments. And Zayn appears to know his way around a mixing board, or at least how to caress it gently, which is surely the secret to producing a One Direction single. Look, they are basically a self-sufficient band at this point. They don't even need your choreography.  »


- Amanda Dobbins

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What Does the Use of a Talking Heads Song Say About a Movie?

2 November 2012 11:00 AM, PDT

The band Talking Heads is no stranger to movie soundtracks. That being said, the use of one of its most popular songs as the title of (and throughout) the new film This Must Be the Place, takes it to another level. But what does it mean? What does any Talking Head song placement — whether in the movie itself, on the soundtrack, or in the trailer — mean? In short: something. We looked at the Talking Heads songs that have gotten the most screentime to figure out what their use says about the films they are used in, other than that the music supervisor has good taste. "This Must Be the Place" says, "Things are nice, but we're a little bit sad about it." Used in: This Must Be the Place; Crazy, Stupid, Love; Wall Street; Lars and the Real GirlHe's Just Not That Into You The song exudes a certain »


- Jesse David Fox

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Saoirse Ronan Added to Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel

2 November 2012 10:30 AM, PDT

Earlier this week, we learned Wes Anderson's next picture, The Grand Budapest Hotel, will be set 85 years ago. Well, hopefully Saoirse Ronan looks good with short hair, because she has been cast as the film's female lead. There are no details yet on her part but maybe it was the one Angela Lansbury was supposed to play, which, if so, probably had the casting description of "Female, 18-88, must be Angela Lansbury or Saoirse Ronan." »


- Jesse David Fox

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Catherine Keener on Making Music With Philip Seymour Hoffman (and Her Biggest Oscar Priority)

2 November 2012 10:15 AM, PDT

Catherine Keener doesn't get to do a whole lot of laughing in her new film A Late Quartet, but in an interview setting, she more than makes up for it: Nearly every sentence she speaks is followed by a throaty cackle. It's all the more impressive, then, that she's been able to play down that inherent cool-chick vibe in a host of character roles over the course of her career, from John Cusack's icy co-worker in Being John Malkovich to the quiet Harper Lee in Capote (both parts earned her Oscar nominations). In A Late Quartet, she's again reunited with her frequent co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman as two members of a string quartet (another member is Christopher Walken) whose long marriage begins to unravel, and she talked to Vulture about both her co-stars and her musical acumen, while confirming a fun bit of Oscar-night trivia.You've worked with Philip Seymour Hoffman »


- Kyle Buchanan

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