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Iconic British Singer and TV Star Cilla Black Dies at 72

3 hours ago

At the top of her game in the UK, Cilla Black, who died today at the age of 72, was the highest-paid woman on television. During her 50-year career, Black, born Priscilla White, had 11 songs in the UK top 10, two consecutive number one hits (“Anyone Who Had a Heart” and “You’re My World,” both 1964) and 19 consecutive hits in the UK top 40. She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and honored with a special BAFTA last year for her lifelong dedication to the arts and entertainment.Black infamously worked as a hat-check girl in Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club and as a coffee server in the Zodiac, earning five shillings and a lunch comprising a bread roll and Heinz tomato soup “laced with the smell of disinfectant.” In 1963, John Lennon introduced her to producer Brian Epstein. She first auditioned for Epstein, and the »


- Greg Cwik

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Dr. Dre Is Releasing His First New Album in 15 Years

4 hours ago

Dr. Dre, the iconic hip-hop producer, has a new album coming out. Really. He’s been teasing an album called Detox, the follow-up to 2001 and his seminal The Chronic, for years. Now we finally have confirmation, via Billboard, that a separate new Dre album will come out this week. It’s called Compton: A Soundtrack, released in tandem with the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Dre didn’t join the recent N.W.A. reunion, leading some to wonder what was up (he had introduced the film’s initial trailer back in February). Turns out he’s just been busy prepping the album. Dre said that the album, which drops on August 7, will be his “grand finale.” "I was leaving the set, coming to the studio and I felt myself just being so inspired by the movie that I started recording an album,” he says in clip below. “And I kept it under wraps. »


- Greg Cwik

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Hannibal Recap: Trust Me, I'm Smiling

5 hours ago

“There are those whose own vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behaviour and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity.” - Katherine Dunn, Geek LoveWill Graham knows exactly where to find Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal wanted it this way. Hannibal and Will have become two halves of one mentally unstable whole, each unable to exist without the other, not unlike Xander being split in two in the Buffy season five episode “The Replacement.” Will may have a happy life with his family while Hannibal spends his remaining days locked up in a bell jar-ish cell, but Will is living a lie. He’s only truly himself when he’s with Hannibal, and it’s that true self that he rejects. Hannibal's »


- Greg Cwik

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Ash vs Evil Dead Will Give the Fans What They Want

21 hours ago

When Ash vs Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell and creator Sam Raimi showed up for yesterday's Starz TV Critics Press Tour session, Campbell was quick to explain how the reason he had to do this show was because fans wouldn't have it any other way, especially considering how he keeps getting asked to appear at conventions some 35 years after the original Evil Dead movie. He also insisted that those fans won't be disappointed with the show, particularly when it comes to the series' requisite gore. Said Campbell, "People ask how much blood there will be. I went blind shooting a scene the other day. That's how much blood there is."Raising expectations further, Campbell added, "Good or bad, you're not gonna see anything like this. Doctor/lawyer/cop shows make me wanna hang myself as a viewer. I think you will find things that will disturb you as much as »


- Diane Gordon

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Fear the Walking Dead: New City, Same Apocalypse

22 hours ago

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead is one of the year's most anticipated new shows, and its showrunners and cast hit the stage at the Summer TV Press Tour to field questions following their first Comic-Con fan frenzy last month. The cast already loves the attention that comes from being related to “the mothership” — as The Walking Dead was repeatedly referred to — and not surprisingly, the cast members are all Andrew Lincoln fanboys and girls. Here’s what we found out.New City, New Characters Fear the Walking Dead, or, as the producers refer to it, Fear, is set in East Los Angeles, because as executive producer Dave Erickson explained, "We wanted an urban backdrop and a direct counterpoint to the original show." But don’t worry — it’s not filled with hipsters like the L.A. of New York Times trend pieces. Instead, the prequel focuses on the Clark »


- Diane Gordon

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Simon Pegg Ranks the Star Wars Movies

23 hours ago

Speaking with MTV, Simon Pegg (looking super trendy with his thick-frame glasses and rolled-up shirt sleeves) was given one minute to rank the six Star Wars films. Though he has only ten seconds to justify each film (he speaks really quickly), Pegg expounds on his decision to rank Revenge as the best of the hated prequels: "It had at least some connection to the first three films, which saved it for me, even though it was another … uh … mess."As for his No. 1, which he calls a "controversial" decision, he says, "In terms of artistry and sheer balls, The Empire Strikes Back would be my favorite." »


- Greg Cwik

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Trainwreck, The End of the Tour, and the Complicated Bond Between Reporter and Subject

1 August 2015 1:12 PM, PDT

Coincidentally, two films currently in theaters are about journalists writing magazine profiles. In one of them, the writer and subject have stimulating and sometimes antagonistic philosophical discussions about the nature of art, fame, and human identity. In the other, the writer and subject have sex, break off their affair for professional reasons, but then (spoiler!) end up falling in love anyway. One of these writers is a man and the other is a woman. Knowing what you do about how Hollywood movies work, I’ll let you take a wild guess which is which.To be fair, these are two ridiculously simplified sketches of two movies I actually like quite a bit: James Ponsoldt’s David Foster Wallace homage The End of the Tour (which opens this weekend in New York) and the Judd Apatow–directed, Amy Schumer–penned Trainwreck. It’s perhaps extra unfair to Trainwreck, which in its »


- Lindsay Zoladz

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Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Episode Two Recap: Rock and Roll and the World

1 August 2015 12:49 PM, PDT

The second episode of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp (or Whas: Fdoc for short) opens not at Camp Firewood, but in … New York City? Specifically, we’re taken to the offices of Rock & Roll World magazine. They’ve hit a slump, and stories about some random DJ named Grandmaster Flash aren’t gonna cut it. They need to shake things up. So, who steps up to the plate? Lindsey (Elizabeth Banks), who was conspicuously absent from Whas’s first episode, and up until now was supposedly a 16-year-old counselor. It turns out she’s a Columbia-educated, 24-year-old journalist in the big city, and she’s got an idea: She’s heard about this camp up in Maine …It’s a solid idea, but can Lindsey really pass for a 16-year-old? Yes, with a single, well-placed hair clip. “This is Rock & Roll World magazine! Are we just gonna cover rock and roll? »


- Brian Feldman

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Ian McShane Joins Game of Thrones Season 6

1 August 2015 11:40 AM, PDT

Ian McShane, best known for his terrifying turn as the foul-mouthed anti-hero of Deadwood, will be returning to HBO, by way of Westeros. According to Entertainment Weekly, McShane and his unsettling eyes have been cast in an undisclosed role for season six of Game of Thrones. McShane, who once had a career as a sexy crooner before trying his hand at playing sociopaths, will have “a relatively small amount of screen-time during the season, yet his character is of key importance.” The 72-year-old actor plays scary men of authority, and homocidal Santa Clauses, better than anyone else. We can't wait to see what he does, and who he kills. »


- Greg Cwik

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Bill Nye Reads Mean Tweets, Responds Seriously

1 August 2015 11:30 AM, PDT

Bill Nye the Science Guy may be beloved by millennials and bow-tie aficionados, but, believe it or not, there are people out there who do not like him. (Mostly people who don't like science.) To promote his movie, a documentary called, aptly, The Bill Nye Film, which is currently accruing funds on Kickstarter, Nye read #MeanTweets about himself. Riffing on Jimmy Kimmel’s popular segment, Nye sifted through the Twitterverse, finding the sharpest barbs.Nye posted the video on his Facebook Friday afternoon. The tweets range from nonsensical (“Listening to tfios because bill nye sucks butthole,” and Nye tries to read “tfios” phonetically) to the suggestion that he is "trippy as fuck." The only meanness that seemed to agitate Nye came from climate-change deniers, one of whom called Al Gore “Algore,” which sounds like a character from Lord of the Rings.   »


- Greg Cwik

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So, Channing Tatum Is Officially Gambit Now

1 August 2015 11:17 AM, PDT

Rumors of Channing Tatum’s departure from Gambit have been greatly exaggerated, it turns out: The Magic Mike Xxl star will definitely, totally, officially portray the Cajun superhero in Rupert Wyatt’s upcoming film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.One thing that needed figuring out was the extent of Tatum’s involvement in the X-Men universe. Fox sees Tatum’s Gambit, a mutant who harnesses kinetic energy, as one of the anchor characters of the X-universe, akin to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, someone who would anchor his own movies and appear in numerous others. It’s a commitment that could theoretically last more than a decade. (Jackman has been portraying Wolverine since 2000, for instance.) Sources say that backend compensation was also a sticking point.  After months of rumors and speculation and he-said-she-said reports, all doubts have finally been assuaged. »


- Greg Cwik

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Roddy Piper’s Anti-Epic Fight Scene in They Live

1 August 2015 10:18 AM, PDT

Nearly an hour into John Carpenter’s They Live (1988), the gum-chewing, ass-kicking Roddy Piper engages Keith David in one of the most ridiculous bouts of fisticuffs in movie history. The fight lasts for six minutes and purportedly serves no purpose; its incomprehensible duration is the joke, and in lieu of a punch line, Carpenter gives us punches. Lots of punches. It is, as philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek puts it, totally irrational, and totally brilliant.WWF legend Piper, who died this week at 61, plays Nada, a transient construction worker whose name we only know from the credits. He wanders into town looking for work, and instead stumbles upon an alien plot to control humanity using consumerism. These aliens are really ugly things with formaldehyde faces, all scarred and piebald like syphilis victims. They hide among the denizens of Los Angeles, working white-collar jobs, controlling the television stations, embedding their »


- Greg Cwik

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Best of Enemies Is the Saddest Film of the Year

1 August 2015 9:33 AM, PDT

You might see a film about William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal’s ten televised debates during the 1968 presidential conventions as an opportunity to bask in eloquent, pointed repartee. You might also enjoy the spectacle of two of the foremost intellectuals of their time coming very close to physically beating the crap out of each other. You might not expect, however, to find yourself weeping — for the state of the republic and the poisoned media landscape, for the decay of the American social contract. Yet here we are. Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s masterful Best of Enemies leaves you with an overwhelming sense of despair. It’s not just a great documentary, it’s a vital one. The setup is simple, and beautiful — so simple and beautiful that I’m shocked nobody’s tried to make this movie until now. In 1968, the struggling ABC network, dead last behind CBS »


- Bilge Ebiri

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Snoop Dogg's Tour of European Legal Trouble Continues

1 August 2015 9:02 AM, PDT

After being detained in Sweden for allegedly looking like he was high last weekend, Snoop Dogg has now had a run-in with Italian customs, according to the Associated Press. The rapper with an affinity for the gonja was stopped by Italian authorities at the Lamezia Terme airport in Calabria Saturday after they found him carrying $422,000 in cash. The authorities then took half of his money under anti-money laundering regulations, which require you to declare if you’re transporting more than $11,000 in cash across EU borders. They will reportedly keep that money until determining how much of a fine to levy against him. This leaves Snoop with a little more than $200,000, which can buy you approximately 50,000 booklets of Zig Zag rolling papers, or around 53 pounds of pot. If things continue in this fashion, Snoop will be hanging out with British authorities this Sunday. »


- Greg Cwik

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Nicki Minaj Allegedly Dumps Meek Mill, Poor Guy

1 August 2015 8:47 AM, PDT

Meek Mill is officially having a worse week than you. He irreparably ruined his cred following his ongoing beef with Drake, which resulted in a bevy of responses in heavy favor of Drake. Now The Daily Beast reports that Meek Mill has been dumped by Nicki Minaj, via tabloid site MediaTakeOut. Talk about getting kicked while you're down.“Nicki reportedly broke it off with Meek last night,” MediaTakeOut says, but “the two plan on fulfilling the rest of the tour obligations together.” The site claims to have spoken with one of Minaj’s best friends. If that’s all true, then Meek Mill may replace Drake as the saddest rapper alive. »


- Greg Cwik

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Pro Wrestler ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper Dies at 61

1 August 2015 4:00 AM, PDT

Pro wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper has died of natural causes at the age of 61, TMZ reports. Piper was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2006, but he told a newspaper last year he was cancer-free. He reportedly died in his sleep on Friday of cardiac arrest. Born Roderick Toombs, Piper grew up on an Indian reservation in Saskatchewan and got into wrestling at a young age, taking his nickname and entrance gimmick from his other hobby, bagpiping. One of the most famous villains in pro-wrestling history — though, like many wrestlers, he spent time on both sides of the heel-face divide — he spent two decades working for World Wrestling Entertainment. The most famous match of his career in the squared circle was undoubtedly the first Wrestlemania, where he squared off against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T for a tag-team fight in Madison Square Garden. Piper last wrestled professionally in 2008 and »


- Nate Jones

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The Creators of UnREAL Have No Shortage of Options for Season 2

31 July 2015 3:54 PM, PDT

Now that we know summer’s darling UnREAL is coming back for a second season, we’ve gotten our thrill of imagining what other reality shows UnREAL could satirize: Real Housewives of New York? Top Shot? The show itself has floated out the possibility of a spinoff show like Royal Renovations, but the showrunners Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro have also considered doing a Bachelorette version. “Part of me just wants to flip the formula and have a female suitor with a bunch of guys,” Noxon told us on the red carpet at the PaleyLive finale event in Beverly Hills Thursday night. “Sarah’s told me, having worked on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, that the dynamic is totally different. It’s very hard to get drama out of the bros. They tend to default a lot more; it’s much harder to coach the bear. Part of me »


- Valentina I. Valentini

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What’s New on Hulu: August 2015

31 July 2015 3:50 PM, PDT

At the beginning of (and throughout) every month, Hulu adds new movies and TV shows to its library. Here is a quick list of several that you might be interested in. Some of these may also have previously been on Netflix, only to have been removed and then added back. Feel free to note anything we've left out in the comments below.The one Hulu wants you to watch: Difficult People (season 1) Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner are terrible to everyone but each other, and also sometimes to each other. That’s the basis for Hulu’s latest original series, executive produced by Amy Poehler. If that list of talent isn’t enough to get you excited for the series, watch Eichner, Klausner, and Poehler’s Vulture Festival panel to get a sense of Difficult People’s alternately caustic and charming vibe. (Available August 5.) For a Sunday Funday: You’re »


- Jackson McHenry

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Candace Cameron Bure on Fuller House and Separating Church and Career

31 July 2015 2:01 PM, PDT

When Candace Cameron Bure appeared alongside former Full House flame Scott Weinger on the finale of ABC’s overlooked sitcom The Neighbors (for which Weinger was a writer), it may have been prophetic. Almost exactly a year later, John Stamos announced to the world that Full House was being spun off into the Netflix series Fuller House, focusing on Bure’s grown-up D.J. Tanner as a pregnant widow with two kids who gets by with the help of Bff Kimmy (Andrea Barber) and sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin). Bure, who took a sabbatical from acting in the early 2000s to raise her own children, has kept anything but a low profile over the ensuing months. In early July, she brought bipartisan controversy back to The View. A few weeks later, she starred in the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel’s adaptation of True Blood author Charlaine Harris’s Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery. »


- Kenny Herzog

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Watch Katherine Heigl Tearfully Come Out As a Lesbian in This Jenny’s Wedding Clip

31 July 2015 12:26 PM, PDT

You might never have thought to pair TV veterans Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as big-screen love interests, and you're not alone: In the new movie Jenny's Wedding (out today), Heigl's family has no idea she's even a lesbian, even though she's been living with Bledel for years. Even though Heigl senses that it's time to come out to her family and come clean about the girlfriend she now wants to marry, to judge from this exclusive clip, it's not going to be easy. Watch as she breaks the news to her mom (Linda Emond), who takes the truth bomb tearfully and, instead of offering support, has only a painful accusation. »


- Kyle Buchanan

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