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  • Caryn James
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    Catching Up on The Great Oprah Filibuster of 2011

    Twice a year, the Television Critics’ Association has what I consider a dinosaur of a gathering, commonly known as TCA Press Tour, in which networks trot out their new shows and talent. I’m always happy not to be there, especially yesterday when I could sit back and read the very funny tweets from critics trapped in the room during the presentation for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. The headline: in answer to a single question which no one can quite remember, Oprah went on for – someone clocked it – 18 minutes and 15 seconds. This was supposed to be a press conference, not a dramatic monologue, but it ended up inspiring the hashtag #oprahfilibuster.

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  • Spout
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    "Season of the Witch" - Christianity is Evil, But the Devil Could be Worse

    I'm a sucker for bad movies set in the Middle Ages that function as attacks on the Church, then and now. My favorite might be Jacques Demy's "The Pied Piper," which stars Donovan in the title role. Like that film, "Season of the Witch" concerns the Plague and the belief that it's been caused by an unnatural source. There is also a minor link in their references to the Crusades. But the new movie, starring Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman as knights who go AWOL at the end of a hilarious, and surely historically inaccurate, montage of multiple Crusades battles, doesn't mess with the greed and corruption stuff so much as the scapegoating and hypocrisy.

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  • The Playlist
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    Shudder To Think Frontman Craig Wedren Scoring David Wain's 'Wanderlust'

    Shudder To Think frontman Craig Wedren can add yet another film to his repertoire come October. Wedren has been hired by longtime friend David Wain to score his latest comedy opus “Wanderlust”. The Shudder To Think vocalist is far from a stranger to the former member of the comedy troupe "The State," previously working on all of the funnyman's past films not to mention creating the theme songs for both "Reno 911!" and the short lived, yet hysterical, "Stella." The friendship first began in the MTV days, when Wedren composed music for the fan favorite "The State" and the rest, as they say, is history.

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  • Caryn James
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    TV Review: Shameless, Now With U.S. Welfare Fraud

    Can a falling-down drunk, single father of six, who pays his $700 a month bar tab – when he pays it at all – with his fraudulently-gotten disability checks be the hero of a series? Well, sure. It’s not easy. The original British Shameless, about an irresponsible father and his children, all of them resourcefully skirting the law, was about a family with accents that were sometimes hard to decipher, living in Manchester council housing. They were original, surprising, and they were Britain’s problem. The American remake follows the original almost to the letter, but the distance vanishes when the family lives in Chicago and is cheating the U.S. government.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Selects Picks Up 'Mad Bastards'; Roadside Attractions Gets 'The Music Never Stopped'

    As luck would have it, two Sundance bound films have already found homes. When the list of titles were announced for this year's Sundance festivities, those included were a tad underwhelming and we were starting to wonder if it was going to be a lackluster year for the snowy peaks of Park City.Sundance Selects and Roadside Attractions hope that is not the case, as both have acquired films two weeks prior to the kick off of the prestigious film festival.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle' Starts Off Well But Takes The Path of Least Resistance

    Movies tend to to depict jail in one, collective fashion: scummy, bleak, frightening. Juvenile prison, however, is rarely touched upon in cinema. For this writer's money, the only film to represent it at all was the pretty terrible "United States of Leland." Although the inclusion of classes, work, sport, etc. are more or less offered in "big boy" prison, the way juvie implements them make it feel more like a super strict boarding school than a place of punishment. Quite an oddity indeed, so much that it's a wonder why few filmmakers have taken a dip into that world. Leave it to Romania, motherland of broody art house affairs, to set one of their realist dramas in the untapped locale. "If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle," the second feature by Florin Serban and Romania's official entry to the Academy Awards, captures the bizarre summer camp vibe well but fails to conjure up any mystery or surprise in the narrative, ultimately going down the road of predictability.

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  • The Playlist
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    Diego Luna & Lukas Haas Join Mark Wahlberg's 'Contraband'

    With lensing set to begin shortly, the cast of the relatively low budget thriller "Contraband" is taking its final form.

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  • The Playlist
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    Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann To Reprise "Knocked Up" Married Roles For New Judd Apatow Spin-Off

    Think Along The Lines Of 'Get Him To The Greek'Update: Judd Apatow tells HitFix, "It is just a story from Pete and Debbie's current life. People really responded to their characters and problems. I felt like there was a lot of ground I could explore with them....There are some fun details yet to reveal but I will let them come out slowly. It's more fun that way."

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  • The Playlist
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    Carter Burwell Returning To 'Twilight' Franchise To Score 'Breaking Dawn'

    Oscar Winning Joe Wright Regular Dario Marianelli To Score 'Jane Eyre'; Asche & Spencer Work Again With Marc Forster On 'Machine Gun Preacher'Coen Brothers and Spike Jonze regular collaborator Carter Burwell is set to return to the 'Twilight' since working on the first film to perform scoring duties for the final installment of the series, the two parter "Twilight: Breaking Dawn."

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  • The Playlist
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    Details Emerge On Elijah Wood's Appearance In 'The Hobbit'

    As word of Elijah Wood's potential return to the franchise that made him a worldwide star picked up yesterday, it was a bit of a question mark how Frodo would factor at all into the story that doesn't feature him at all. Well, the very well informed and well sourced fansite, The One Ring, have picked up the ball and run with it, revealing that Peter Jackson and co. have found a clever way of bringing the star back and linking "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy with the "The Hobbit." Obviously, if you don't want to know stop reading and yes, there are spoilers ahead.

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