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Joe Cocker Dies at 70

10 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Singer Joe Cocker has died at the age of 70, the Yorkshire Post reports. The Sheffield-born singer died at his home in Colorado, where he had been quietly battling lung cancer for years. In the U.S., Cocker was most famous for his cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," as well as the shambling dance steps that inspired a Saturday Night Live parody from John Belushi. Cocker also had top-ten hits with "The Letter," "You Are So Beautiful," and "Up Where We Belong," a duet from the film An Officer and a Gentleman that won an Oscar for Best Original Song.  »


- Nate Jones

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China Box Office: ‘Bullets’ Shoots Down Competition

33 minutes ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hong Kong – Jiang Wen’s “Gone With The Bullets” topped the Chinese box office with a powerful $54.3 million opening.

That was enough to make the satirical comedy one of the biggest films anywhere in the world this week, but the scale of its victory was not as large as many industry watchers had anticipated.

Last minute anxieties about passing censorship and a smattering of mixed reviews may have held back the score for “Bullets,” which no longer seems a shoo-in to be the biggest Chinese-language film of the year.

But its performance was enough to ease aside Chinese romantic comedy “Fleet of Time,” which had held top spot for the past two weeks. “Fleet” slipped 56% to a score of $15.9 million over the seven days to Sunday. That gave “Fleet” a 17 day total of $88.9 million.

And it eclipsed “The Crossing, Part I” the first instalment of John Woo’s two-part epic »


- Patrick Frater

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3 Reasons Security Experts Are Unconvinced North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

33 minutes ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The U.S. government accused North Korea of carrying out vicious hacks against Sony Pictures Entertainment on Friday. But several cyber-security experts and hackers are unconvinced there’s evidence to indict Kim Jong-un’s regime.

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are confident the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is responsible for the breach, which resulted in gigabytes worth of leaked private data and the shelving of Seth Rogen and James Franco‘s assassination comedy “The Interview.”

See photos: Sony Hack Attack Timeline: From First Cyberbreach and Leaks to ‘The Interview »


- Travis Reilly

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Will anti-Putin sentiment help Russia's 'Leviathan' win Foreign Film race at Oscars?'

1 hour ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

"Leviathan" isn't about Russian president Vladimir Putin, per se, but it's impossible to miss the portrait of him prominently displayed in the office of the film's principal villain: Vadim (Roman Madyanov), the mayor of a seaside town who tries to strong-arm a local man out of his home. A corrupt Russian leader trying to force his way onto land that doesn't belong to him – sound familiar? But the film was selected anyway by Russia's Oscar nomination committee to represent the country in the Best Foreign Language Film race. Can it win? -Break- Nine semi-finalists for Foreign Film at Oscars: 'Ida,' 'Force Majeure,' 'Wild Tales,' ... Perhaps more surprising than "Leviathan's" Oscar selection is the fact that the film was made on Russia's dime, receiving a large portion of its funding from Russia's ministry of culture. But while its stinging critique of its nation's politicians, legal »


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Exclusive: 'Birdman' composer says Oscar Dq doesn’t make mathematical sense

1 hour ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

As drummer Antonio Sanchez explained to us earlier this season, he wasn’t just a composer hired to fill the silence on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s "Birdman." He was like an additional writer, laying down early percussion tracks to inspire Iñárritu, supplying the director with music to play on set, then re-recording his original demos to fit the shot and edited footage. Sanchez’s Golden Globe-nominated original score was the beating heart of "Birdman," but the Academy doesn’t see it that way. Earlier today, reports came through that Sanchez and Iñárritu lost their bid with the Academy’s music branch to have "Birdman" compete in the Best Original Score category. After the initial move to disqualify the improvised, drum-centric score on grounds that it didn’t fill enough of the film’s runtime, protest from Team "Birdman" resulted in a consistent decision. Why?  We jumped on the phone with »


- Matt Patches

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Ringless Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy Reunite in Aspen Days Before Celebrating Christmas

1 hour ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

If there's one event that can bring exes together, it has to be the Christmas season. Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy followed their long-running winter tradition by heading to Aspen, Colo., over the weekend where they appeared to be on nothing but good terms. Dressed perfectly for the cold, snowy weather, the twosome went shopping together at Boogies for about 45 minutes. They then grabbed coffee and pastries at Paradise Bakery in the city. "They seemed very cordial," an eyewitness told E! News. "Friends are with them. Kate's brother is there too. Overall, it looks very friendly and not romantic." To make things more clear, Hudson has Not been wearing her engagement ring »


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‘Better Call Saul’ Teaser Goodman Gets Caught Up in the Cash, Winning in (Video)

1 hour ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Saul Goodman is seeking atonement in the new teaser trailer for AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”

Well, that’s not entirely correct: It is actually James M. McGill — what Goodman used to be known as — who makes that declaration in the 30-second snippet for the upcoming “Breaking Bad” prequel. And, also, he doesn’t really care about the humanity aspect of the atonement — he just wants the money and the courtroom “W.”

Also Read: Bill Cosby’s NBC Sitcom Is Dead: 10 Other TV Dads Who Adopted a New Family (Photos)

At one point during the short-yet-footage-filled teaser, Goodman/McGill is dumped in the desert, »


- Tony Maglio

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Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden Are Engaged

1 hour ago | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

It's official! After months of dodging engagement rumors, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden are officially set to wed. "It happened a few nights ago," a Madden pal tells People about the proposal. "All of Benji's friends are aware and happy for him." Spending quality time with the actress's family in Florida earlier this year, the rocker, 35, went the traditional route when asking for his future wife's hand in marriage. "Her mom is a fan of him as well and gave her blessing," says the pal. Related: Benji Madden: I'm Really Happy Right Now"Since she started dating Benji, Cameron »


- Melody Chiu, @chiumelo

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Jackie Chan’s Son Formally Charged With Drug Offenses

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hong Kong — Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee Chan has been formally charged with drug offenses in China, including sheltering other drug users. He faces a possible three years in jail.

He was arrested in Beijing in August in the company of Taiwanese actor Kai Ko Chen-tung. Police later found over 100 grams of marijuana at Chan’s apartment.

The charges were announced on Monday by the Supreme People’s Procurator. But it did not disclose a date for a court hearing.

Chinese courts have conviction rates of over 95%, which means a prison sentence and a criminal record are near certainties. Chan (aka Chan Jo-ming, aka Fong Cho-ming), who has struggled to build a career as an actor and musician, has already been held in police custody for more than four months.

Under President Xi Jinping China has been attempting to clean up society through crackdowns on corruption, pornography, use of prostitutes and drug use. »


- Patrick Frater

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Iggy Azalea Sounds Off on Twitter (Again) After will.i.am and Lupe Fiasco Defend the Rapper—See the Tweets!

1 hour ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Iggy Azalea continues to be a topic of conversation on Twitter. The Aussie rapper has been involved in an ongoing (and nasty!) feud with Azealia Banks, and was even targeted in an anonymous tweet that threatened to release still images from an alleged sex tape unless she publicly apologizes to Banks and the protesters of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. But more than a few big names in the industry have come to Iggy's defense when it comes to debating whether or not she deserves to be a hip-hop figure. One of them is Black Eyed Peas member and music producer will.i.am, who tweeted the following: Meanwhile, Lupe Fiasco got into his own little back-and-forth with a fan on Twitter when defending »


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Dana Bash to Fill in on ‘State of the Union’ Following Candy Crowley’s Exit

1 hour ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash will be the first substitute anchor this coming Sunday on “State of the Union” following Candy Crowley’s final show, an individual familiar with CNN’s plans told TheWrap.

“Candy, you can cut through the spin and talking points and translate political speak into real deal English like no one else in our business,” Bash said to Candy Crowley in a special montage that aired Sunday during Crowley’s final show. “You’re my mentor, my friend, and we are all going to miss you.”

Also Read: CNN’s Candy Crowley Gets Touching Sendoff From Top Competitors, »


- Jordan Chariton

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What About The Interview? James Franco Takes on a New Identity in First Trailer for True Story

2 hours ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Just because The Interview's release date has been cancelled doesn't mean you'll never be able to see James Franco on the big screen again. Just a few days after Sony pulled the release of the actor's latest flick, fans are being treated to the very first trailer for Franco's upcoming project True Story. The mystery thriller examines the relationship between disgraced journalist Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) and Christian Longo (Franco) who just so happens to be a FBI Most Wanted List murderer. In an extra plot twist, Longo apparently lived outside the United States under Finkel's name. The reason is enough to give any moviegoer the creeps. "I followed your whole »


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Indianapolis TV Station Buys CW Affiliation After Losing CBS to Tribune

2 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Indianapolis’ Wish-tv took a hit in August with the loss of its longtime CBS affiliation agreement to Tribune-owned rival Wttv-tv amid hardball renewal negotiations with the Eye network.

Now Wish has had to take the step of buying the rights to a CW affiliation from the same station that snatched away its CBS deal.

Wttv will switch from CW to CBS programming on Jan. 1. Wttv had planned to move CW’s programing to its digital subchannel, until the sale to Wish transpired.

The move is better for CW, which is on a roll with buzzy new shows such as “The Flash” (pictured), as Wish has strong coverage in the nation’s 26th largest market. Wish is owned by Media General, which is in the midst of a mega-merger with Lin TV. The loss of CBS affiliation in Indianapolis, an NFL market, forced a revise of the merger pricetag due to »


- Cynthia Littleton

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10 possible reactions to Pee-wee Herman's rumored Netflix comeback

2 hours ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Do you love Pee-wee Herman? Yes? Well get excited: a new movie featuring Paul Reubens' famed '80s character is reportedly in the works at Netflix. A deal for the Judd Apatow-produced project seems to have been brewing for awhile, with Reubens telling the A.V. Club in November that “we now have such an amazing company involved, and that’s the really big announcement that hasn’t been made yet." Oh, boy. So what does this mean for fans of the flamboyant man-child? Total Batshit Excitement, of course. Who cares if you're 32 years old? Go ahead and bounce off the walls - Pee-wee himself would encourage it. In fact, here are ten possible ways to celebrate the bow-tied eccentric's (likely) comeback: 1. Ride your bike with abandon Please wear a helmet, though. 2. Make your best surprise face Mugging unabashedly is a Pee-wee specialty. 3. Express your excitement to Cher If you can find Cher. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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SAG-aftra Fills Board Seat Vacated by Stephen Collins

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

SAG-aftra has appointed stuntman Conrad Palmisano to fill the national board seat vacated by Stephen Collins.

Collins resigned from the union board in October after reports that he had molested underage girls emerged on TMZ. He was elected to the slot last year for a four-year term.

The “7th Heaven” star recently admitted to inappropriate contact with three underage girls between 1973 and 1994. The surfacing of the allegations led Collins to lose roles in “Ted 2″ and ABC’s “Scandal.” Legal experts have said it was unlikely Collins would be prosecuted for the decades-old encounters.

Palmisano was appointed Nov. 17 by the Los Angeles local board to serve the rest of Collins’ term. Jeff Austin was appointed to fill the late Sumi Haru’s national board seat, and Ron Ostrow was appointed to fill her local board seat.

The news was first reported by Deadline.com.

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- Dave McNary

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Star Trek 3 Brings Fast and Furious Director Justin Lin on Board

2 hours ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

The Enterprise may be even faster and more furious on its next voyage.  Justin Lin, helmer of three of the Fast & Furious films, is said to have gotten the nod to direct the third installment of the Star Trek franchise. J.J. Abrams rebooted the cult-classic storyline and directed the first two films and will remain as a producer on the third. Deadline was first to report Lin's ascension to the controls after the exit of Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci, who like Abrams is still a producer. The short list of Orci's replacements reportedly included Edgar Wright, who's no longer making Ant-Man, but Lin certainly knows from action and billion-dollar blockbusters. He directed the »


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Oakland Raiders Lineman Donates Game Check to 4-Year-Old with Heart Condition

2 hours ago | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Christmas came a little early this year for Ava Urrea - a 4-year-old Oakland Raiders fan born with a heart defect. Ava - who's already undergone 14 surgeries for hypoplastic left heart syndrome - got to spend some time with her favorite team this week thanks to NFL insider Jay Glazer's Touchdown Dreams program. The Raiders flew Ava and her family from Las Vegas to Alameda, California, where Glazer tells Fox Sports she was able to tour the team facility and eat lunch with the players. The team even appointed Ava captain for the day and presented her with signed helmets, »


- Michael Miller

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Joseph Sargent, Director of 'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,' Dies at 89

2 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Joseph Sargent, who directed The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and MacArthur for the big screen and captured three Emmys for his telefilm work, died Monday at his home in Malibu from the lung disease Copd, publicist Dick Guttman announced. He was 89.  Sargent worked behind the network camera until he was 84 — his last project was the 2008 CBS/Hallmark telefilm Sweet Nothing in My Ear, starring Jeff Daniels and Marlee Matlin in the story of a deaf couple struggling to decide whether to give their deaf son a cochlear implant.   He also recently directed Jessica Lange

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- Mike Barnes

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Congressman Offers to Screen ‘The Interview’ in Capitol Facilities

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“The Interview” is gaining supporters.

In a letter sent on Monday to Sony CEO Michael Lynton, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) offered to screen the film in Capitol facilities. Sherman, also chairman of the Entertainment Industries Caucus, wrote that threats from North Korea should not stop Americans from seeing any movie. “We have a responsibility to stand up against these attempts at intimidation,” he wrote.

“Screening ‘The Interview’ will demonstrate the U.S. Congress’s support of the freedom of speech. This is about our right to live without fear, and knowing that our values will not be compromised by the idle threats of a despotic regime. Good or bad, Americans should not be deprived of the opportunity to see this movie.”

He continued, “It is now the responsibility of the U.S. government to allocate the necessary resources to ensure moviegoers’ safety. We must help Sony Pictures, movie theater owners, »


- Shelli Weinstein

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Sony Hack: Congressman Offers to Screen 'The Interview' at the Capitol

2 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Calls to screen The Interview despite threats from the hackers who attacked Sony Pictures are growing and now include members of Congress. Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) wrote an open letter to Sony Pictures CEO and co-chairman Michael Lynton that offered the U.S. Capitol building as a screening venue. Sherman hoped the screening would first show that Congress was in support of the freedom of speech but also educate members about issues surrounding The Interview, as he felt "it's important for Congress to know, and see, what we are talking about." Sherman's letter also copied in Chris

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- Abid Rahman

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