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Damon Albarn Sounds Sad On Blur's Moody New Song

11 minutes ago

Three singles from Blur’s comeback LP The Magic Whip have already dropped, and they're all pretty great. Collectively, “Lonesome Street,” “There Are Too Many of Us,” and “Go Out” channel the infectious yet wounded post-Brit-pop punch of Blur’s later, American-influenced albums. But the moody new single “My Terracotta Heart” has a decidedly darker sound. Continuing the slinky-sad sound Damon Albarn first experimented with on Gorillaz’ 2005 modern classic Demon Days (it even has the electronic blips and droning percussion), “My Terracotta Heart” sounds like the album art looks: a nocturnal, neon-steeped ice cream cone, as cool as it is chilly. The Magic Whip comes out April 27. »


- Greg Cwik

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Marvel Unveils Beautiful NYC-Themed Covers in the Wake of DC Moving to California

56 minutes ago

For nearly a century, the superhero-comics industry has been dominated by two New York–based giants: DC Comics and Marvel Comics. But as of this month, there's only one left in the Big Apple. DC pulled up stakes and has moved its offices to California, but Marvel is sticking it out here in NYC. Not coincidentally, they've decided to produce a series of gorgeous New York–themed covers for comics coming out in May — and we're proud to exclusively debut five of them! Each depicts an iconic Marvel superhero in an iconic New York location, and will be released as so-called "variant" covers (i.e., covers only released on a small number of issues printed)."Anyone familiar with the Marvel universe will know New York is an integral part of our characters' lives," Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told us. "Peter Parker is from Queens; Daredevil is from Hell's Kitchen. These »


- Abraham Riesman

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Cristela Creator Writes Poignant Letter About Her Show

1 hour ago

36-year-old Cristela Alonzo was the first Latina to create, produce, write, and star in her own prime-time comedy, ABC's Cristela. The semi-autobiographical, multi-camera sitcom received middling reviews initially, but critics warmed up to it over time. Meanwhile, with her boisterous laugh (which she’ll put to good use in the upcoming Angry Birds movie) and wry take on Latino life, Alonzo brought in around 5 million viewers each week.Still, the show didn’t perform as well as hoped, and is likely being canceled (to the disappointment of many). While sitting on a plane on Friday night (right before the season finale ran), Alonzo wrote a personal, poignant open letter to the supporters of Cristela. Here are the most relevant moments: Hi!  It’s April 17, 2015 and I find myself sitting in the middle seat of a full Southwest flight on my way to Nashville.  Tonight at 8:30/7:30 Pm, ABC will »


- Greg Cwik

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The Gruesome Ways Every Character in Wolf Hall Died in Real Life

1 hour ago

Wolf Hall has so many characters, it's nearly impossible to follow all the action without a few trips to Wikipedia, and once there, it's impossible not to be spoiled. Wolf Hall ends with the biggest execution of 1536, but even the characters who made it out of that year with their heads firmly attached to their necks ended up imprisoned in the Tower of London one way or another. No, the Tudor era was not a safe one for its courtiers — you either died a traitor under King Henry VIII, or you lived long enough to see yourself burned as a heretic under Queen Mary. Who ended up with a one-way ticket to Tower Hill, and who managed to beat the odds and die peacefully in old age? Let's find out!Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)The last, best joke of Wolf Hall is that, for all his machinations, Cromwell eventually met »


- Nate Jones

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Official (Not-Blurry) Batman V Superman Trailer Released

2 hours ago

After sneaking online in a low-quality cell-phone video form, the trailer for Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has now been officially released. In typical Snyder fashion, the trailer is dark and dour, with so much CGI, so much brooding, so much anger. It seems that the citizens of Metropolis didn’t appreciate how Superman pretty much destroyed their entire city in his Demi-God fisticuffs with Michael Shannon, likely killing millions of people in the process.In a display of anger, someone spray paints “False God” on a (CGI) Superman statue. “We’re talking about an alien,” intones one disembodied voice, “Whose very existence challenges our own sense of priority in the universe.” You can also hear Jessie Eisenberg’s Lex Luther saying, “Human beings have a horrible track record of following people with great power,” and Jeremy Irons’s Alfred Pennyworth talking about how some men »


- Greg Cwik

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Stephen Colbert, World's Biggest Star Wars Fan, Interviewed George Lucas and Somehow Didn't Freak Out

2 hours ago

As the world's largest Star Wars fan, Stephen Colbert was undoubtedly thrilled to once again get the chance to hang out with his childhood idol George Lucas on Friday. A bunch of other people were thrilled too, because Colbert wasn't interviewing Lucas in his childhood basement — the two were sharing the stage at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival's Tribeca Talks: Directors series. In an emotional hour-long conversation, the two spoke about the history of Star Wars, the prospects of a Howard the Duck remake, and why Lucas hasn't seen the new Force Awakens trailer yet.There's a reason the dialogue in Star Wars is so bad. As Lucas explained, he wanted the movie to be so easily understandable from its visuals that it was essentially a silent film. Does that mean, Colbert asked, that sound isn't important on film? "Sound is important, »


- Nate Jones

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Tina Fey–Narrated Monkey Kingdom Makes the Wild Familiar

18 hours ago

It’s rarely mentioned today, but Walt Disney, alongside innovating the animated feature film, was also among the pioneers of the feature-length nature documentary. 1953’s Oscar-winning The Living Desert is still one of the pinnacles of the genre — with its beautiful photography and sly editing, not to mention its gently anthropomorphized, playful depiction of animal life in the Arizona Desert. But perhaps its most remarkable quality is its easy translation of geography and science: The Living Desert opens with an elegantly animated sequence explaining how the Sierra Nevada Mountains keep moisture from reaching the desert, and there’s a comforting simplicity to it, as if Uncle Walt and his filmmakers had succeeded in turning science into fairy tale. That’s not meant as a slight: Generations of kids back then probably first learned about the wonders of nature from these films unspooling through 16mm projectors in classrooms around the country. »


- Bilge Ebiri

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Movie Review: The Dead Lands Is a Streamlined, Relentless Action Film

18 hours ago

Toa Fraser's Maori thriller The Dead Lands is a solid entry in the loose subgenre we might call the "ethnographic action film" — earlier examples of which include Mel Gibson's Apocalypto or Zacarias Kunuk's Atanarjuat; The Fast Runner or Kevin Reynolds's Rapa Nui. In these movies, which vary dramatically in tone and quality, basic action tropes are recycled, and in some cases revitalized, as we're immersed in remote, sometimes extinct, native cultures. Primal tales of vengeance or pursuit or loyalty gain mythic power through the sheer novelty of context. That's the idea, anyway. Sometimes, the setting is just a crutch. You won't necessarily learn all that much about Maori culture while watching The Dead Lands, which is set in a pre-colonial stretch of wilderness thick with forests, mountains, and caves — all beautifully shot by Leon Narbey. Fraser himself is a half-Fijian director who works out of New Zealand, »


- Bilge Ebiri

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Furious 7 Made a Billion Dollars in Just 17 Days

18 hours ago

On Friday, Furious 7 became the fastest film to hit $1 billion at the worldwide box office, doing so in just 17 days. It's also Universal's first film to ever reach that benchmark. NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer made the announcement in an effusive blog post on their site, calling it a "significant milestone in our history." As for a Furious 8, Vin Diesel has been hinting hard that it's going to happen, because, well, it's "F8." »


- E. Alex Jung

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It’s Friday: Cry Watching Tracy Chapman Sing ‘Stand by Me’ to David Letterman, or Maybe Just Cry From the Relief of a Work Week Finished

19 hours ago

Tracy Chapman is a national treasure, and if that's a fact you've doubted in the 20-plus years since "Fast Car," her latest performance might challenge you to reconsider. Chapman, making a rare television appearance, performed a heart-stopping rendition of Ben E. King's classic "Stand by Me" Thursday night as a special send-off to David Letterman, who says the song was a childhood favorite. Excuse me while I shed an infinite stream of tears. »


- Dee Lockett

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Daredevil Recap: Black Sky

19 hours ago

This episode, we go on a little trip down psyche lane with Matt Murdock and his old father figure, whom he calls “Stick.” But first, a bloody opener. The shot of the guy running down the stairs was great, as well as the way we see the elevator come up by a single sliver of white light. A man with a katana tortures him for information, and it turns out the guy doing the chopping is blind, was talking to a man in Japan, and is an old friend of Matt’s. They meet when Matt botches an interrogation with Leland Owlsley over what was honestly a terrible plan. Good job following him to his meet-up with Nobu, Matt … but be a little more strategic about your intimidation techniques. “Stick,” as Matt calls him, is an old mentor of his, a man who approached him when he was in a »


- Sulagna Misra

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Tidal CEO to Be Replaced

19 hours ago

Andy Chen, the CEO of Tidal’s parent group Aspiro, acquired by Jay Z in February, is being replaced. The interim successor is former CEO Peter Tonstad, who has been with the company since 2010. In a statement, Tonstad says: I believe in Tidal and what the team is doing to affect the change the music industry needs. We're streamlining the company and refocusing our resources to ensure the platform continues to grow, and listeners can make a connection to their favorite artists. No one else is doing this. At the moment, very few people share his faith. Artists including Mumford & Sons, Steve Albini, and Ben Gibbard have all been publicly critical of Tidal and its high-profile shareholders' plea for $20 a month for "lossless sound." It's the steepest price on the streaming market, and when the wealthiest pop stars in the world ask fans to pay more money for something that, »


- Lauretta Charlton

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Felicity Jones on True Story, Star Wars, and Oscar Season

20 hours ago

In the new, fact-based movie True Story, Jonah Hill plays Michael Finkel, a disgraced New York Times journalist who gets a second shot at the big time when he learns his identity was stolen by accused murderer Christian Longo (James Franco), who posed as Finkel while on the run from authorities. When Longo says he'll explain himself only to the man he impersonated, Finkel soon becomes obsessed with investigating Longo's case, and it falls to Finkel's skeptical girlfriend Jill (Felicity Jones) to intercede and pull him back from the brink. For Jones, True Story is her first role since her Oscar-nominated breakthrough in The Theory of Everything, but there are even bigger parts to come: Jones recently signed on for the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One and will star opposite Tom Hanks in the Dan Brown adaptation Inferno. A few weeks ago, she called up Vulture to talk about how »


- Kyle Buchanan

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Kars4Kids Is on Television. The End Is Nigh.

21 hours ago

The 1-877-Kars-4-Kids ad is legendary, but only because America hates it.Originally introduced in 1999 for radio, your least-favorite jingle made its television debut a few months ago now, but it appears that people are finally starting to reach their breaking point. Maybe it’s because the kids in the ad look like they’re having the out-of-body experience necessary to hear this song more than once in any given time frame? Thoughts that might go through one’s mind when they hear this song on television: Should we call someone for help, preferably not a 1-877 number? Is there a corner I can crawl into and rock back and forth until someone rolls me out on a stretcher? More important: How. Do. I. Make. It. Stop?  You could donate your car and include a note on the dashboard begging for mercy, though apparently, organizations affiliated with Kars4Kids »

- Lauretta Charlton

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12 Years a Slave’s John Ridley Is Secretly Working With Marvel on a New TV Series

22 hours ago

Looks like Marvel has yet another TV series in the works, but this time it involves a big-name collaborator: John Ridley, who won an Oscar for his 12 Years a Slave screenplay. Entertainment Weekly reports that Ridley is working on a mysterious new project with Marvel for ABC. Marvel already has a growing roster of superhero shows on ABC, with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and a reported new S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff. For now, details on the secret project are vague, with EW only confirming that it'll involve an "existing Marvel superhero character or property." We're still holding out hope for that Black Widow spinoff! »


- Dee Lockett

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Watch Rose Byrne and Nick Kroll Freak Out in Jane Krakowski’s Swim Class

22 hours ago

In the new comedy Adult Beginners (out April 24 in theaters and on-demand), Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne play very different siblings — he's a high-flying Manhattan entrepreneur, she's a suburban mom — who are reunited when Kroll's business crumbles and he's forced to move in with her. What initially seems like a less-than-ideal living arrangement may actually pay dividends if these two can work out their long-buried issues, and in this exclusive clip, they attempt to do just that by bringing Byrne's son to a swim class, even though they themselves were never taught to swim. Luckily, swimming teacher Jane Krakowski has a pamphlet for that to give to our sibling duo … as well as some unasked-for, subtle shade. »


- Kyle Buchanan

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Sundance Standout Dope Has a Trailer and It’s Dope

22 hours ago

After the trippy, meta teaser-trailer, now you can watch the official trailer for Rick Famuyiwa's Sundance darling Dope and get a sense of what the heck everyone has been talking about. In his review, our Bilge Ebiri called it "an infectiously entertaining, twisty-turny punk-comedy-thriller" that managed to include film references from Risky Business to Boyz n the Hood and create a blend of pure originality. Plus, there's A$AP Rocky! And Chanel Iman! But really, we suspect you'll be completely charmed by lead actor Shameik Moore, who plays our intrepid hero. Dope comes out in theaters June 19, and here's your reason to get excited. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Why Cristela Deserves to Get a Second Season

22 hours ago

The season-one finale of Cristela Alonzo’s self-titled ABC comedy airs tonight at 8:30, and based on TV-industry buzz, odds are a bit less than 50-50 that the show will make it to season two. If it ends up canceled, it won’t be a tragedy on the order of prematurely killed series like My So-Called Life or Freaks and Geeks. But it will be a damn shame — and a mistake by ABC. Cristela is a funny, family-friendly, sometimes edgy, and almost always entertaining comedy that, based on both its content and its Nielsen performance, deserves to live at least a little longer.  Let’s start with the creative case for the show. I’m not someone who takes much interest in multi-camera comedies, at least not those created after 2000. The noisy jokes, broad characterizations, and obnoxious studio-audience laughter? I loved Lucy and dozens of multi-cam shows that came after it, »


- Josef Adalian

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Matthew McConaughey Fanboyed Out to the Star Wars Trailer, Just Like the Rest of Us

22 hours ago

If you saw the Star Wars trailer (which, of course you did!), then your reaction probably resembled something like Vulture's own Abraham Riesman's shot-for-shot lovefest. Or maybe it looked more like Matthew McConaughey's nonstop sobbing in Interstellar — which some brilliant fan thought to mash up with the trailer to make it look like one of those YouTube reaction videos. A+ work! »


- Dee Lockett

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Child 44 Wastes a Great Cast and Premise

17 April 2015 9:40 AM, PDT

Dear Lord, what happened here? Can one file criminal charges against a film that wastes this good a cast and premise? Child 44, directed by Daniel Espinosa and scripted by Richard Price, is based on Tom Rob Smith’s acclaimed novel, which itself was based on a series of shocking real-life murders in the Soviet Union committed between 1978 and 1990. This fictionalized variation transplants the crimes into the paranoid, industrial hellscape of Stalin’s Ussr, and it comes with loads of historical and sociopolitical context. So much ambition. So little competence. The investigation into “the Ripper of Rostov,” here called “the Wolf of Rostov,” has already inspired one terrific work of art, Chris Gerolmo's 1995 HBO film Citizen X, starring Steven Rea and Donald Sutherland — still one of the best TV movies I’ve ever seen. Engrossing and claustrophobic, Gerolmo's film portrayed the single-minded determination of a forensic investigator (Rea) as »


- Bilge Ebiri

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