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Outlander Recap: My Cousin Jamie

10 hours ago

A handsome, if dinged up, pocket-watch lies on the leaves. Before it can explain itself, we return to Lallybroch, where a greasy-haired stranger, surrounded by other even rougher looking strangers, has a gun pointed at Jamie. Claire doesn’t know what to do; luckily Jenny does. Put your gun down, she tells the stranger. This is my cousin Jamie. Cousin? Claire and Jamie play along and the stranger apologizes for being hasty. The stranger identifies himself as [Gibberish McGibberish]. Ian hobbles in with a fake smile and gives McGibberish a sword that he had repaired for the man. Oh good, another lethal weapon, just what the doctor ordered. McGibberish is pleased. Once our heroes gather in the kitchen, we learn that the interloper and his compatriots are members of the Watch – which, in the manner of the mob, provides protection from the redcoats and enemy clans in exchange for extortionate fees »

- Ester Bloom

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Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe on Why Claire Falls in Love With Jamie, and the Emotional Toll of Playing Rape Scenes

10 hours ago

Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe has a "slight theory" about why period shows are so popular at the moment. "We know everything about everyone in our own time period right now," she says. "We have so much reality TV, we're so saturated with social media, and we're so open about our lives." But with period pieces, there's still room for mystery and discovery. As her heroine Claire keeps rediscovering, sometimes that sense of mystery can be both a blessing and a curse — her accidental time travel, back to 1743 Scotland, introduced her to new love Jamie, but it's also put her in constant danger. She's been almost raped at least three times, twice by her husband's ancestor, Black Jack Randall. Of course, once Claire gets to a semi-safe place at Lallybroch, it's Jamie who's in jeopardy, and Claire who comes to the rescue. Balfe chatted with Vulture about Claire's near-rapes, why »


- Jennifer Vineyard

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The Nightmare Trailer Is Terrifying

16 hours ago

Rodney Ascher’s The Nightmare looks like a very scary documentary. As you can see in this trailer, via Indiewire, the oneiric film examines the ambiguous cause, and petrifying effect, of night terrors and sleep paralysis. Ascher’s previous film, Room 237, collated a bunch of conspiracy theories regarding the “real meaning” of Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining, using the theories (which vary in eccentricity) to show how a film can provoke such varied responses in different people. In The Nightmare, Ascher uses horror film techniques to emulate the visceral sensation of sleep paralysis, with terrifying results. »


- Greg Cwik

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Nancy Cartwright Sculpted a Bart Simpson Statue

17 hours ago

On Friday, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson for over 25 years, unveiled a statue of El Barto across the street from the News Corp building in New York City. 57-year-old Cartwright, who has only taken one sculpting class, says the statue took her around 20 hours, Gothamist reports. Cartwright won an Emmy in 1992 for her voice performance as Bart at the apex of Bartmania. Now everybody, do the Bartman. »


- Greg Cwik

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Foxcatcher Director Makes Some Toilet Paper Ads

18 hours ago

Bennett Miller, who nabbed a Best Director Oscar nomination for his work on Foxcatcher, is trying his hand at something a little less severe: toilet paper. Miller recently helmed a trio of Quilted Northern commercials, which feature no actual actors (sorry, Channing Tatum fans), but rather a toy alligator, a rabbit figurine, and a photo of "great-grandpa Thaddeus." (The Hollywood Reporter reports that the campaign is the brainchild of New York-based ad agency Droga5, in case you're interested.) It's too bad they couldn’t work Steve Carrell’s fake nose into the commercial somehow. »


- Greg Cwik

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Walking Dead's Chad Coleman Freaks Out On NYC Subway

19 hours ago

Chad Coleman, known for his roles in The Wire and, more recently, The Walking Dead, lost his shit on a New York City subway this week, and the whole thing was captured on video. (It happens to the best of us, Chad.) TMZ spoke with Coleman, who clarified that a man and woman on the train were trying to ascertain whether they knew Coleman, and the man said something along the lines of, "No, we don’t know that n*****." Coleman was understandably upset. He explained that his subsequent shouting about "humanitarians" and "the fucking truth" stemmed from the problems in Baltimore. It's not clear if it would have been more effective of him to just go along with the rest of his Wire co-stars and post about it on social media. »


- Greg Cwik

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Jack Black's High School Movie Is So Jack Black

19 hours ago

He may have added some weight and earned a few accolades along the way, but Jack Black is still essentially the same wild and crazy guy now as he was in high school. We have proof, via Hitflix: this video, which Black shot with Brett Morgan as a school project in the 1980s, has all of Black’s signature moves, from his howling singing to the kinetic kicks and random bursts of violent movement. It's a bizarre must-watch. »


- Greg Cwik

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David Lynch's Coffee Is for Humans

20 hours ago

David Lynch fans are trying to regain their composure after the life-altering news — well, really more of a tease, but a pretty indisputable tease — that the Criterion Collection will be releasing Lynch’s masterpiece Mulholland Drive on Blu-ray. Until the day the Blu-ray officially drops (and what a beautiful day that will be), you can watch the new commercial for David Lynch’s signature coffee on repeat to get your Lynch fix.The commercial wasn’t actually directed by Lynch, sadly, but it does have that undeniable Lynch feel. His coffee, the commercial attests, isn’t for robots — it’s for people. (Sorry, robots.) Lynch previously advertised his coffee by having a strange conversation with Barbie dolls. Really. But that’s not all! Lynch fans are seemingly getting some consolation after the Twin Peaks-Showtime debacle: you can listen to a gorgeous new reworking of an old song by frequent Lynch consort Angelo Badalementi, »


- Greg Cwik

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Josh Trank Leaves Star Wars Film

22 hours ago

Josh Trank, whose upcoming Fantastic Four reboot opens July 30, has left the standalone Star Wars film he was slated to direct. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 31-year-old director “made a personal decision” to leave. Trank earned recognition for his clever work on sci-fi found-footage film Chronicle in 2012, but sources suggested that the pressure of a big-budget blockbuster got to him.Rumors of trouble during the Fantastic Four shoot have persisted. Producers Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker allegedly held the production together, though Trank is still credited as having directed the film, including all of the re-shoots, as per Director’s Guild rules. Trank’s work on Fantastic Four was “erratic” and the director became at times “very isolated,” according to THR’s sources. Trank spurred speculation about the future of his new film when he ditched the Star Wars Celebration Day panel on which he was supposed to have »


- Greg Cwik

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Has 800 Super People In it, But Adding One Loki Was Just Too Much

1 May 2015 3:08 PM, PDT

There's a lot going on in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Tons of the Hulk, you know, Hulking out. A cute Archie reference. Uh, Vision! But, sadly, one character beloved by Marvel fans doesn't make an appearance — despite what Idris Elba said when he spoiled his own cameo in the sequel. Sorry, no Loki this go-around. There's plenty of his — spoiler! — scepter and flashes of Asgard, but Thor's evil bro (remember, he's adopted) is nowhere to be seen in Age of Ultron. Turns out, that wasn't always the plan. Speaking to MTV, director Joss Whedon confirmed that Tom Hiddleston did film some scenes for the film, but ultimately they got cut because the Marvel Cinematic Universe is way too overpopulated: "We did shoot something, but it didn’t play. The movie has so much. It’s so filled. We didn’t want it to feel overstuffed. I really wanted to »


- Dee Lockett

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Conan Writes a Touching Tribute to the Off-Kilter and Revolutionary Comedy of David Letterman

1 May 2015 2:47 PM, PDT

David Letterman is leaving the Late Show, have you heard? And while he's getting nostalgic musical guests for last hurrahs, he's also going to be getting a ton of tributes. One such tribute came in the form of an essay written by Conan O'Brien in Entertainment Weekly, in which he describes Letterman's comedy as a "revolution" and "stunning." He goes on to describe the first time he watched Letterman, which was on his morning one (called simply The David Letterman Show), which was "subversive" and "untamed" — especially for a morning show. Then came the late-night show, which reinvented the format, moving it from comforting to "surreal and off-kilter." He writes:So let's keep it simple: Not one single writer/performer in the last 35 years has had Dave’s seismic impact on comedy. Every day, I read that a new comic has ‘changed the game,’ and admittedly there is an absurd abundance »


- E. Alex Jung

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Bold Mexican Crime Epic Days of Grace Demands Your Attention

1 May 2015 2:32 PM, PDT

The Mexican crime epic Days of Grace comes with an opening title informing us that it won an award back in 2011. 2011! Why has it taken so long for a film this assured, this bloody and intense, to come to the U.S.? Maybe it’s the soccer angle: Director Everardo Gout’s time-hopping debut feature uses a succession of three World Cups as a structuring element; another opening title tells us that “days of grace” refers to the period every four years when, thanks to the World Cup, crime in Mexico declines precipitously. Or maybe it’s that the film, unlike so much genre fare nowadays, demands that we pay attention. This isn’t one of those crime flicks where you can switch your brain off. In Days of Grace, both God and the devil are in the details.The story is loosely based on three different kidnapping cases in »


- Bilge Ebiri

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NBC Orders Chicago Fire Spinoff, Sexy Medical Drama, and Tattoo Mystery Procedural to Series

1 May 2015 2:30 PM, PDT

NBC isn’t wasting any time putting together the pieces of its lineup for next season: The network has just green-lit three drama series, including Dick Wolf’s Chicago Med and a conspiracy thriller from producer Greg Berlanti. The pickups come a full ten days before Peacock executives are set to unveil their new schedule to advertisers and the media as part of the annual TV upfronts process. NBC is confirming its orders a bit earlier than most networks, in part so producers can lock in top writers and also, perhaps, to give NBC’s marketing machine a head start on promoting the shows to viewers already overwhelmed with programming options. Here are the three shows NBC has ordered to series so far:Chicago Med: A spinoff from Wolf’s established hits Chicago Fire and Chicago Pd set in what NBC calls the “pulse-pounding pandemonium of the emergency room.” So, basically: ER, »


- Josef Adalian

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Far From Men Proves Yet Again That Viggo Mortensen Is an International Treasure

1 May 2015 2:09 PM, PDT

Viggo Mortensen has become the unlikeliest of movie stars. Ever since hitting the jackpot with the Lord of the Rings movies (after what seemed like half a lifetime of supporting roles in mainstream fare), he’s carved out the career other stars merely boast about wanting to have – avoiding big studio gigs and taking on small, arty fare, often using his own leverage and bankability to get these little passion projects made. Half the time, the multilingual actor doesn’t even perform in English; earlier this year, Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja had him speaking Spanish and Danish.Now, in Far From Men, Mortensen plays a French schoolteacher in the Algerian countryside in 1954. Daru is the kind of unassuming, quiet character immediately made interesting by the fact that Mortensen is portraying him: There’s a haunted quality to the actor’s presence — to the way he moves, to the way he »


- Bilge Ebiri

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Two More Women — a Cosby Show Actress and a Writer — Accuse Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault

1 May 2015 1:48 PM, PDT

A week after the last string of sexual-assault allegations against Bill Cosby, two more women have come forward with claims that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted them. At a press conference called by Gloria Allred on Friday, former Cosby Show actress Lili Bernard said Cosby assaulted her in the early '90s, during what he claimed would be a "mentoring session" for her role on the show. "After he had won my complete trust and adoration, he drugged me and raped me," she said, adding that the comedian later threatened her, "You’re dead, Bernard. You don’t exist. I never want to see your face again." The alleged rape apparently took place in New Jersey, which has no statute of limitations on sexual assault; Allred claims she and Bernard reported the incident to police in Atlantic City on Thursday. Bernard was joined at the press conference by writer Sammie Mays, »


- Nate Jones

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If Mark Ruffalo Hulks Out, Please Calm Him With Lovemaking

1 May 2015 1:32 PM, PDT

The plus side of having the Hulk on your team is that he's a total rage-monster. The problem with having the Hulk on your team ... is that he's a total rage-monster. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Widow manages to soothe Bruce Banner's savage beast by giving him what she calls a lullaby, though really, what she’s doing is stroking and soothing him in a suggestive manner to calm him down. And at this week’s New York premiere of Age of Ultron hosted by the Cinema Society and Audi, two of the film’s stars also suggested they’d need tactile treatment if either of them started letting out their inner Hulk.“I’d just need a cuddle, I think,” offered Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays the lightning-fast Quicksilver in the film. “That would stop me, that would calm me down."What of the man who plays the Hulk himself, »


- Jennifer Vineyard

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Matt LeBlanc Still Remembers the Words to the Hand-Twin Song From Friends

1 May 2015 1:30 PM, PDT

Matt LeBlanc does a real solid for Friends fans on the The Graham Norton Show. In addition to looking swole alongside Rebel Wilson and Kit Harington, he indulges Norton when the host asks him to sing some Joey classics, namely the hand-twin song and the little ditty from Freud! The Musical. LeBlanc has a surprisingly good memory, and is a pretty good sport about it. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Disclosure Just Made Your New Summer Banger

1 May 2015 1:29 PM, PDT

Between all the remixes, Mary J. Blige collaborations, and the year-late U.S. chart dominance of "Latch," it's easy to forget the British brother duo Disclosure haven't put out new music since 2013. And while they've handed most of the "Latch" limelight over to Sam Smith in the last year, they're about to snatch it right back. Disclosure has premiered a new song on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show this afternoon called "Bang That," and it certainly lives up to its title. Structured around a sample of 313 Bass Mechanics' "Pass Out," it's as energetic and rooted in deep house as their debut album Settle. And while, according to the band, it's not a single from the new album they've been working on, it's a damn fine preview of what's to come. Add this to your summer banger playlist and shake that till you pass out. »


- Dee Lockett

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Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Legally Admit That ‘Uptown Funk’ Sounds a Lot Like a 1979 Funk Classic

1 May 2015 1:26 PM, PDT

Hot damn, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars just got Petty'd. Besides sounding like every other song in the universe, it turns out that "Uptown Funk" also sounds very similar to one specific song: the Gap Band's "Oops Upside Your Head." Now, after a settlement, the five writers of "Oops" — singer Charlie Wilson; his brothers and bandmates Robert and Ronnie Wilson; keyboard player Rudolph Taylor; and the song's producer, Lonnie Simmons — have been granted a 17 percent share of the "Uptown Funk" publishing royalties. Experts say the move is proof that the "Blurred Lines" decision has the music industry scrambling, with publishers rushing to hand out songwriting credits at the slightest hint of similarities. Don't believe me? Just watch: »


- Nate Jones

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Far From the Madding Crowd Doesn’t Make Much Sense Unless You’ve Read the Book

1 May 2015 1:22 PM, PDT

It’s difficult to imagine what a person who has never read Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd will make of the new adaptation directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Imagine someone reading a page of the novel to you, skipping two, reading two lines on a third, then jumping four chapters ahead. The connecting material is missing, which means, for example, that the rich, middle-aged bachelor Boldwood (Michael Sheen) proposes marriage to the headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) when you’re not even sure that they’ve been properly introduced. Were the lapses in the script (by David Nicholls), or was the finished film hacked by a couple of hours? Either way, a short movie can feel longer than a long one if nothing you see is prepared for, if you’re constantly saying, “Huh? What? Where did that come from?”The novel is a masterpiece, but not an »


- David Edelstein

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