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Cumberbitches, Watch Out: Ian McKellen’s the New (But Much Older) Sherlock in Mr. Holmes

44 minutes ago

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes tales have had many film and TV iterations, most recently with Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch playing versions of the sleuth. Now we're about to see an aging Holmes, played by Ian McKellen, in Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes, where he'll embark on one last investigation with a much younger sidekick. (Though we're secretly hoping Patrick Stewart shows up as Watson at some point.) »


- Dee Lockett

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Who Was That at the End of the New Avengers Trailer, and Why Should You Be So Excited?

1 hour ago

You may have noticed a mysteeeeeeerious humanoid face at the end of the brand-new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. That ain't no Avenger I ever heard of, you may have thought to yourself. Sure don't look like a Chris to me — Hemsworth or Evans! That's because he's not an Avenger you've seen before in any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks, and not even in any previous Avengers trailers. But his name is Vision (or "the Vision," depending on how formal you wanna get), and he's very important in superhero lore. Here's a basic rundown on him. Vision is a heroic, sentient robot who has trouble understanding what you fleshy humans call fee-lings. He first popped up in Marvel Comics in 1968, within the pages of Avengers No. 57, written and drawn by Marvel legends Roy Thomas and John Buscema, respectively. (The cover, with Vision looking like he's about 70 »


- Abraham Riesman

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Amy Pascal Can’t Move Into Her New Office Because It Smells Like Seth Rogen’s Weed [Updated]

1 hour ago

Seth Rogen will forever be a thorn in Amy Pascal's side. He already cost the former Sony co-chair her job, thanks to The Interview debacle, and now she can't even move into her new office in peace, because guess who it used to belong to? That's right, everyone's favorite potheads, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who apparently smoked so much weed there that they can't get the stench out in time for Pascal's transition to producer. It's not that cleaning people weren't hired; it's just that for some reason, they just keep on taking breaks to eat all the chips.Update: Seth Rogen has a few choices words for THR's report, and one of them is definitely not stench: "I don't know what's more irresponsible: that they would print a story that is completely untrue, or that they would refer to how pot smells as a 'stench.' #myshitssmellsgood. »


- Dee Lockett

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Justified Recap: Why Drink to the Future?

1 hour ago

"The Hunt" ends with a maybe-reconciliation between Raylan and Winona, and the possibility that Boyd might murder his beloved Ava after deviously getting confirmation that she was ratting him out to the U.S. Marshals. These are both huge developments, but the episode takes its sweet time setting them up. It's a slow-building hour, but so confident and patient that the slowness creates a different kind of tension than we're used to seeing on TV.Words and emotions become nearly as excruciating here as torture scenes and bullet wounds in other episodes (though this episode had a bit of the latter). The long conversation between Raylan and Winona in the motel room with the baby crying and crying and crying and crying and crying is one of the more nerve-racking scenes I've watched on TV in a while. It captures the blank, hard reality of being a parent without any fuss: »


- Matt Zoller Seitz

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Do I Really Need to Watch Empire? Your Pressing TV Questions, Answered

1 hour ago

Welcome back to Stay Tuned, Vulture's TV advice column. Each Wednesday, Margaret Lyons answers your questions about your various TV triumphs and woes. Need help? Have a theory? Want a recommendation? Submit a question! You can email staytuned@nymag.com, leave a comment, or tweet @margeincharge with the hashtag #staytuned. Do I really need to watch Empire? —Jaye Yeah, you do.In some way, Empire reminds me of Melrose Place, or maybe even Models Inc.: Once the first scene starts, just give yourself over to the show; buckle up and say, "Here we go." Secret love-children, inappropriate romantic entanglements, horrible dinner parties, impressive outfits — plus it's secretly a musical. It's not Glee or Smash or something, but there are moments on the show where a character is so overcome with emotion that he or she has no choice but to express it in song. Sometimes these songs are good. »


- Margaret Lyons

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The New Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Finally Shows Paul Bettany’s Vision

2 hours ago

There's nothing completely shocking in this third (and supposedly final) Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, unless you missed the part where Tony Stark accidentally creates the villainous Ultron (oops!) or craved some more portentous looks from Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), whose Eastern European accents have yet to be revealed. However, that opening eyeball at the very, very end? That looks to be the first appearance of Paul Bettany as Vision, the android hero that Marvel had previously kept under wraps. »


- Lindsey Weber

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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Trippin’ in Amsterdam

2 hours ago

Why, oh, why do these Real Housewives go on the trips? I know it’s contractually obligated, but haven’t they learned their lesson by now? It’s like you put your hand on a hot burner and it gets seared. Then the next year you are faced with a stove in a different location and think, Oh, the burner can’t be that hot, but it is. It is that hot, and you burn your hand all over again and think, God, why do all these burners have to be so hot? There must be something wrong with the burner. But these women never bother to stop and ask if there is something wrong with them. No, they do not do that. Well, maybe they should.This year, the scalding-hot burner on the Amsterdam vacation is Kim Richards. Ugh, I would rather drink a smoothie of Ryan Seacrest’s »


- Brian Moylan

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Conan O’Brien on Going to Cuba and the State of Late-Night TV

3 hours ago

Late-night TV is a numbers game. It's not about specific moments as much as an overall impression. No one knows that better than Conan O'Brien, who has been a late-night host for over two decades. So, how does he stay relevant in a crowded field as he approaches his 22nd year? Cuba! Tonight, O'Brien will air a special episode of his show that will put him as the first late-night host to be there in 50 years. Earlier this week, O'Brien spoke with John Horn, host of Southern California Public Radio's new arts and entertainment show “The Frame,” about the special, doing comedy in a foreign country, and the ever-changing late-night terrain. (Listen to part of Horn and O'Brien's interview here, and subscribe to “The Frame” at iTunes or Stitcher.)Conan, welcome back from Cuba. Thank you very much, it’s good to be back. So just in terms of the landscape, »


- John Horn

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The Future of Orchestral Music in Two Pieces

3 hours ago

If you’d like a glimpse of the future of symphonic music — or if you just want to know what devilish majesty the New York Philharmonic will shortly unleash — this two-year-old YouTube video from the Proms in London is a good place to start. It shows the world premiere of Thomas Adès’s Totentanz (Dance of Death), which the Philharmonic will perform March 12 through 14. Or you could give Andrew Norman’s equally gob-smacking Play a whirl; that piece, too, is from 2013, but the killer world-premiere recording by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project has just come out, and although only a live performance can do this wild score justice, those are still extremely rare.These two not-yet-senior composers — Adès is English and 44, Norman Californian and 35; both overflow with bravado — have double-handedly resurrected the grand symphonic manner that, like the novel and the painting, has died any number »


- Justin Davidson

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Foxcatcher Finally Gets Recognized: Channing Tatum Nominated for Best Shirtless Performance by MTV

3 hours ago

You can see all of the 2015 MTV Movie Awards nominations here (is it really fair to give Best Onscreen Transformation to Boyhood's leading boy?), but what we're most concerned about are the nominations for Best Shirtless Performance: Zac EfronNeighbors Chris PrattGuardians of the Galaxy  Channing TatumFoxcatcher Ansel ElgortThe Fault in Our Stars Kate Upton, The Other Woman  Zac Efron's pecs really did play a huge role in Neighbors, as did Kate Upton's cleavage in The Other Woman, but we'd be crazy not to point out how purposefully insane-looking Channing Tatum looked in Foxcatcher. Perhaps this is to make up for the fact that Magic Mike Chan lost to Taylor Lautner's bod in Twilight: Breaking Dawn in 2013? There's always Magic Mike Xxl, my friend. This one seems like it's going to Efron (who also won last year for his "work" in That Awkward Moment »


- Lindsey Weber

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Photo Proof That Prince Has Never Been Uncool

3 hours ago

Prince is the epitome of cool, and it's comforting to know that he has always been that way. Proof comes in the form of an old Star Tribune article:And even in high school, Prince was at his Prince-iest: "I knew he wanted to be starting and felt that he should be starting. He was unhappy. And he expressed that many, many times."   »

- Lindsey Weber

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There May Never Be Another Movie Star As Big As Will Smith

4 hours ago

Will Smith's con-man drama Focus opened to a mild $19 million this past weekend, and the fact that this figure was received with such a shrug tells you all you need to know about the industry's diminished expectations not just for Will Smith, but for movie stars in general. Certainly, the 46-year-old Smith has been on a career downswing as of late, but if you swapped him and his co-star Margot Robbie for another set of actors — say, Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart, or Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, just to name two pairs previously attached to the project — would they really have been able to bring in more viewers for an original R-rated drama released at the ass-end of February?This sort of thing used to be the litmus test that separated true-blue movie stars from the merely well-known: Back in the day, audiences were compelled to see »


- Kyle Buchanan

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Mo’Nique Says She Was Supposed to Play Empire’s Cookie First

4 hours ago

The war of words between Mo’Nique and her Precious director Lee Daniels is only getting worse. After the two seemed to have a misunderstanding about comments to The Hollywood Reporter regarding Mo’Nique being "blackballed" by Hollywood, she later accused Daniels of having a problem with her not directly thanking him in her 2010 Oscars speech, as well as with his paying her only $50,000 for her winning role. She also previously noted that Daniels had offered her parts in The Butler and Empire that, for whatever reason, didn't pan out. Mo’Nique now tells Access Hollywood that Daniels offered her the part of Cookie Lyon before Taraji P. Henson. She says Daniels asked her to do a screen test as a "technicality," but after not hearing from the director for four days, she was then told that Fox thought she was "difficult to work with." Empire co-creator Danny Strong has »


- Dee Lockett

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Felicity Huffman on American Crime and Playing an Unlikable Character

4 hours ago

In the current TV landscape, antiheroes are still at the center of many dramas, cable and network alike. This week, ABC rolls out the racially driven American Crime, and show creator/writer/director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) immediately makes clear there are no heroes here. We caught up with one of the leads, Felicity Huffman, at the show’s Los Angeles premiere screening. Huffman plays Barb, a woman who's out for justice for her son’s murder. Huffman talked about the difficulties presented by the material, and about playing Barb with an ice-cold exterior.What was your first reaction when you read John Ridley’s pilot script?I thought it was shocking. I thought it was a pilot and it would never make it to series, so I thought, I’m just signing on for a pilot — that’s great. And I thought I would love to be a part of that. »


- Diane Gordon

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Read an Annotated Excerpt From Adam Rapp’s Novel Know Your Beholder

4 hours ago

Adam Rapp is perhaps best known as a playwright, having earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his 2006 work Red Light Winter. But he's one of these creative polymaths who seems to excel at everything he does--whether its film directing (Winter Passing, with Zooey Deschanel) or screenwriting (he's written for the L Word and In Treatment, among other shows). Now, he's trying his hand at a still relatively new form. Though Rapp has written a handful of Ya books, Know Your Beholder, which tells the story of a shattered rock musician trying to rebuild his life, is his second attempt at a novel in the classic sense. Here is the first chapter, with annotations from Rapp.  Part One: Small-Town Snow I haven’t left my house in almost a month. It’s either Tuesday or Wednesday — most likely Wednesday — and three days ago a foot of snow fell on Pollard, »


- Adam Rapp

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Vince Vaughn Got Photoshopped Into Cheesy Stock Photos Because This Is How You Promote a Movie in 2015

5 hours ago

To promote the release of Unfinished BusinessVince Vaughn and his cast mates were Photoshopped into cheesy stock photos. The first four are below. You can download them here gratis for editorial use, or you can totally print them out for your weekly Vince Vaughn fan club meeting and/or just hang them above your door for morning self-affirmations. The entire set, which reeks pleasantly of the uncanny valley, is available over at Adweek. Sadly, none feature him laughing alone with salad. »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Pretty Little Liars Recap: Arrested Development

5 hours ago

Hey there, Rosewood! I’m back in town from Pawnee and I see these Liars have kept up their usual shenanigans in my absence: accidentally tampering with crime scenes, hookups with vaguely twentysomething-looking chaps (that’s hip British slang, like Colin would use), getting themselves arrested for crimes they swear they didn’t commit. Holler in the comments if I’ve missed any crucial plot developments and read on for the return of the Pretty Little Power Rankings.1. SpencerFinally, someone took my advice and got far, far away from Rosewood. Cannot stress enough how impressed I am by Spencer’s ability to keep her hair looking so on point, not only under so much stress, but in London, land of fog, perpetual drizzle, the worst hair weather on the planet. Girl even has soft, flowing curls after passing out with her hair soaked from the rain! And of course she is amazing at darts. »

- Jessica Goldstein

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Sorry, The Dark Knight, But the Oscars Might Go Back to Five Best Picture Nominees

6 hours ago

In news that will probably shock no one, the Oscars are reportedly contemplating a return to the old five Best Picture nominee system. The Academy increased the field to ten back in 2009 (following controversy over The Dark Knight's snub), but the change hasn't come without its fair share of criticism. Since the switch, the Academy hasn't used all ten nomination slots since 2010 and, this year, only nominated eight — with some considering long shots, like this year's Selma, a pity nomination, at best, to make up for snubs in other categories. There's no expected announcement for any rule change just yet, but the Academy's board of governors is set to meet March 24. »


- Dee Lockett

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Meet the Man Who Is Going to Save You From National-Holiday-Themed Alien-Murder

6 hours ago

Jessie Usher has been cast as the lead in Roland Emmerich's Independence Day 2, the sequel to the 1996 original. Usher, who currently stars on the Lebron James–produced Survivor's Remorse, will reportedly play Will Smith's character's stepson, Dylan Dubrow, from the first film. Liam Hemsworth has also been cast in a lead role (he's rumored to be playing the former president's son-in-law), with Jeff Goldblum confirmed to reprise his role — so maybe, just maybe, there's still hope for a Jurassic World cameo, too. The film is set to open nearly 20 years later on June 24, 2016. »


- Dee Lockett

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

6 hours ago

If the goal of a mid-season premiere is to win back skeptical viewers who are willing to give your series one last shot, "Aftershocks" is a complete failure. It's been nearly three months since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was last on the air, but this was a dive right back into the Marvel deep-end: loads of exposition, plenty of goofy comic-book technobabble, and at least three separate factions vying for power, with no shortage of mysterious wild cards floating around the edges of the story.I have to admire the ambition, if not the execution. As an hour of television, "Aftershocks" left me conflicted. With 32 episodes under its belt, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has officially run out of excuses for being so messy. It's one thing to be mysterious; it's another to be muddled, and this is still a show that reconfigures its plot and characters every few episodes. But frustrating as »


- Scott Meslow

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