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Rocky movie high, Colorado

Telluride Film Festival poster art by Laurent Durieux

Telluride Film Festival

Telluride Film Festival poster art by Laurent Durieux

I'm just about one month away from departing for heaven. More accurately, as close as I wish to get to the pearly gates for a while.

The Telluride Film Festival, high in the San Juan mountain range of southwest Colorado, is where I love going for summer vacation, currently nine of the past 10 years. If it sounds crazy that an overworked movie critic would choose to spend down time at a film festival, it's nice to meet you.

Telluride gives me an early glimpse at, or at least get the buzz about, many of the movies that will be awards season players next spring. Movies that premiered at Telluride in recent years include the best picture Academy Award winners Birdman, 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Artist, The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire -- six of the past seven Oscar champs. Not to mention major award players like Gravity and The Imitation Game. …

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'Full House' fans: You need to be following the cast on Instagram

There are too many people in this promo photo of "Full House." And most of them are back for Netflix's "Fuller House." Thank god.

Warner Bros.

There are too many people in this promo photo of "Full House." And most of them are back for Netflix's "Fuller House." Thank god.

Have mercy! The cast of our favorite childhood show is back together again shooting Fuller House for Netflix. This time around, DJ Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) is a widow with two children, and a third on the way. And because we're out of original ideas, she just can't handle it on her own so she enlists her best friend Kimmy Gibler (Andrea Barber) and sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) to help. The show will air sometime in 2016 and we're counting down the days until we can watch the 13-episode season in one sitting (with all the appropriate snacks, obvs).

The best news of all is that most of the original cast is back. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have yet to commit, but we hope this is just a marketing ploy to keep us interested. I mean, they have the best lines of the show (look above). All three guys are back: Danny (Bob Saget), Joey (Dave Coulier) and Uncle Jesse (John Stamos). Uncle Jesse's wife, Becky (Lori Loughlin), and kids, Nicky and Alex (Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit) will also be making appearances. I'm most excited to see Scott Weinger, DJ's first love, Steve, back on TV. (He's the voice of Aladdin, and many many other animated characters.)

 …

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'The Wiz' eases on down that bumpy road

Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige join 'The Wiz Live!'

Nina Prommer/AP; Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige join 'The Wiz Live!'

NBC has a novel idea for its third live musical broadcast, after the previous one fell flat as a Pan-cake: Hire people who can actually sing, in a musical containing more than one song the audience knows.

Oscar nominated everywoman Oueen Latifah and R&B diva Mary J. Blige are joining the cast of The Wiz Live!, premiering Dec. 3 on the peacock network, who apparently doesn't think we'll know it's happening LIVE by then, and believes exclamation points are good marketing tools.

The announcement follows earlier news confirming Stephanie Mills - the original Dorothy Gale in the Broadway hit - has aged into and will portray Auntie Em. No word yet on who's playing Dorothy in NBC's version but since Diana Ross did the movie at age 33, let's start a rumor that it's the same-aged Beyonce.

Queen is signed to play the titular Wiz, the mysterious woman behing the curtain who will be tough to not pay attention to. MJB is set to play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West and leader of the baddest flying monkeys ever. …

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Shows you should be watching: 'Mr. Robot' on the USA Network

Rami Malek plays Elliot Anderson, an awkward vigilante hacker who captures our hearts, on the USA Network's "Mr. Robot."

USA Network

Rami Malek plays Elliot Anderson, an awkward vigilante hacker who captures our hearts, on the USA Network's "Mr. Robot."

Hey, have you heard about this? There are shows on TV now that you watch one episode at a time — once a week, specifically — and you watch the whole season over a few months, instead of, oh say, a weekend. Yes, you don't have binge-watch a television series. You can savor each moment and take the time to discuss the episodes with other viewers.

Right now, I'm engrossed in an original show on the USA Network, Mr. Robot. USA has had a string of hit summer shows, such as Burn Notice (2007-2013), White Collar (2009-2014) and Psych (2006-2014) and current shows Suits and Royal Pains. But this Mr. Robot is no basic cable summer series.

Mr. Robot stars Rami Malek as morphine-addicted cyber vigilante Elliot Anderson. He's got a social anxiety disorder, so his way of connecting to people is to hack into their tech lives. But he's not Facebook stalking his ex. In the opening scene of the series, Elliot uses his incredible computer hacking skills to bust a coffee-shop child pornography ring. After he confronts the bad guy, he walks out of the coffee shop and throws on his hood with so much swagger I was like:

 …

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Lots 'o smiles at Big Stone Gap

First poster art of Big Stong Gap, due Oct. 9

Picturehouse

First poster art of Big Stong Gap, due Oct. 9

First poster art released today for Big Stone Gap, based on Adriana Trigiani's novel of Appalachian eccentrics, starring St. Petersburg's own Patrick Wilson and other Wilson family members including his father, legendary WTVT Ch. 13 news anchor John Wilson, and brothers Paul Wilson and current WTVT anchorman Mark Wilson.

For good measure, Big Stone Gap co-stars Patrick Wilson's wife Dagmara Dominczyk as Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor, who drops the town by for a visit.

The Wilson family's interest in Big Stone Gap stems from the fact that the elder Wilson began his broadcasting career there, at a tiny AM radio station. You can read all about in Times pop culture critic Jay Cridlin's 2014 profile here.

One thing we notice about the poster is that almost everyone seems so happy. Patrick Wilson is grinning at Ashley Judd, who smiling coy next to Jenna Elfman, who looks really pleased to be working in movies again. In the upper left corner John Benjamin Hickey has that just-heard-a-good-joke expression while next to him Whoopi Goldberg has the Cheshire thing going on. …

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The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 12: Oops, I Did It Again

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth celebrate their engagement by tap dancing on Nick's heart.

ABC

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth celebrate their engagement by tap dancing on Nick's heart.

In the end, it all came down to pictures. 

Nick went small. He bought a silver frame, you know, the kind that holds two pictures facing one another. On the left, he put a production photo of his first one-on-one date with Kaitlyn and on the right he wrote a poem like the kind you get in a high school prom invitation. 

Shawn B. gave Kaitlyn a jar full of selfies they’d taken at every stage in their ridiculous journey, each one a bit crinkled from being pushed down through the circular opening of their “memory jar.”

Forgive the far too generous analogy, but it was the difference between landing Justin Timberlake and settling with Kevin Federline. JT was smooth and said and did all the things you liked but you were never quite sure if it was you he was in love with because fame and success are also real motivators in his life. On the other hand, K-Fed seemed to be all about you because without you no one cared about him, so he tried hard even if it came off much more awkward.

When it was time to give out the final rose Monday night, it was Shawn B. who got to propose to our Bachelorette -- just like she had alluded to in that mistaken Snapchat she sent of them in bed a few weeks back. …

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Important: How to make your own reality TV fantasy league

Big Brother ducks, trophies for a fantasy league well-played.

Big Brother ducks, trophies for a fantasy league well-played.

In these days of high-quality drama available to every television viewer, those of us truly sick people who still watch reality TV need to stick together - especially those who watch that genre's lowest common denominator, Big Brother.

Four years ago, envious of everyone else's fantasy football and baseball leagues, four friends decided to start a Big Brother Fantasy League.

Joining me and my husband, Scott, in this crazy endeavor were Amy, one of Scott's college friends who manages an astrology website for moms in Nyack, New York, and one of my long-time friends, Jeffrey, a marketing manager in Atlanta. Making it even more fun was the fact that Amy and Jeffrey had never met.

Scott, being in some 19 fantasy football and baseball leagues, schooled us in fantasy rules. We learned about "reverse snake" drafts. We debated rules and points. We decided every player would put in $25; winner takes all. And in true Dr. Will fashion, you are free to spend your winnings on Jet Skis and plastic surgery - whatever you please. It's Big Brother, after all. …

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Lisbeth Salander returns in a new book, like it or not

Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Columbia Pictures

Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

We're still catching our breath after Go Set a Watchman, but coming right up is another book whose publication is bound to cause controversy -- and sell a lot of copies.

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz will be published in the United States by Random House on Sept. 1, and although it's been as closely guarded as Watchman, a few details about its plot have now been revealed by its British publisher, McLehose Press.

According to Publishers Weekly, in Spider's Web punk hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist have fallen out of touch until Blomkvist is contacted by a scientist whose work in artifical intelligence has put his life in danger. The scientist has been working with Salander, who is trying to hack the U.S. National Security Agency, and who is also being pursued by “ruthless cyber gangsters who call themselves the Spiders.”

Spider's Web will be the fourth book in the Millennium series created by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, who wrote The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest before dying in 2004 at age 50. …

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Lone Gunmen are in 'X-Files' revival because apparently nobody ever dies

Would you believe the only archive photo we could find of the Gunmen was of them saving a fainting Scully?

Fox

Would you believe the only archive photo we could find of the Gunmen was of them saving a fainting Scully?

Forget everything you thought you knew happened in The X-Files because none of it matters anymore.

Depsite big, ugly Season 9 deaths and a sappy funeral at Arlington, the Lone Gunmen are apparently alive again for the six-episode revival in January. Of course this follows news that villain the Cigarette Smoking Man is also returning, despite being blown up in the series finale (after having cancer and also being thrown down a flight of stairs, so, you know, he probably has nine lives).

How many more dead characters can the show cram into six episodes? Alex Krycek? Deep Throat? Albert Hosteen?

Thirteen years after the show went off the air, the sky's probably the limit, especially as The X-Files was never really a show for continuity to begin with. Fresh off a binge watch of all nine seasons, I'm pretty sure even Chris Carter can't keep up with all of the show's mythology. The revival is probably going to have to play fast and loose anyway, given that the IMPENDING ALIEN COLONIZATION was supposed to have taken place in 2012. …

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Shows you should be watching: Another Period

Looking for summer brain candy? "Another Period" is just the right flavor.

Comedy Central

Looking for summer brain candy? "Another Period" is just the right flavor.

Natasha Leggero, co-creator of the Comedy Central series Another Period, describes it best: It's Keeping Up With the Kardashians meets Downton Abbey, a satirical mashup of the luxe overconsumption, naked social climbing and general bad behavior of the early 20th century and the early 21st.

Shrewdly scheduled in the time slot right after Inside Amy Schumer, this spoofy, star-studded show is perfect summer brain candy: lots of pretty colors, nothing that's good for you. Set about a century ago, the escapades of the Bellacourt family, obscenely rich denizens of Newport, R.I., and their long-suffering household staff are played with ridiculous, rude gusto.

Leggero is a standup comic as well as a TV and voice actor (Brickleberry); co-creator Riki Lindhome is a familiar face as well, perhaps best known as the tall half of Garfunkel and Oates.They play the despicable, beautifully dressed Bellacourt sisters, Lillian Schmemmerhorn-Fish and Beatrice Downsy. Both are eager to shed their dull husbands (who are having an affair with each other), Lillian because she just gets bored and horny easily, Beatrice because she's madly in love with their dim-witted brother, Frederick (Jason Ritter). …

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Recap: The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 11: On to the next one

Jared, who will be the pushover on Bachelor in Paradise, in his natural state during Men Tell All.

ABC

Jared, who will be the pushover on Bachelor in Paradise, in his natural state during Men Tell All.

And now for the good news. We’re two weeks out from Bachelor in Paradise’s second season premiere!

During the borefest Men Tell All episode of The Bachelorette Monday night, Chris Harrison revealed the full season two trailer and some of the cast. 

We’d all known for weeks that #TeamBritt captain, Jonathan, had been cast in the most watchable incarnation of The Bachelor franchise since Bachelor Pad. Now, we’ve got an idea of who else will be hooking up with the castoffs this season. 

Some takeaways from the trailer and the two hours we can't get back: …

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Shows you should be watching: Guilty pleasures edition

Sam and Dean take on Cupid and one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in season five of 'Supernatural.'

CW

Sam and Dean take on Cupid and one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in season five of 'Supernatural.'

You know the shows. The ones so outlandish and sometimes cringe-worthy. The ones with cheesy, predictable plot lines and characters you love to hate. The ones that suck you in and create an addiction you just can't shake. Binging TV can be a guilty pleasure itself, but adding these shows to your binge list makes for the perfect sick day on the couch, rainy Sunday afternoon or even a Friday night in with pizza. You do you. Times staff writers/binge TV "experts" Chelsea Tatham and Brittany Volk picked out some of their favorites. …

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Tampa 'Big Brother' contestant on the chopping block

Big Brother's chopping block this week had nice guy James and his camo visor, left, and Tampa's Jeff Weldon, who ended up being viewed as too strong of a player to stay.

CBS

Big Brother's chopping block this week had nice guy James and his camo visor, left, and Tampa's Jeff Weldon, who ended up being viewed as too strong of a player to stay.

Are you a terrible person to hate-watch a reality show? As someone who judges the hamsters on Big Brother every summer I have to admit, yes, probably so. And I'm OK with that.  But what kind of person volunteers to be on a reality show?

I'm thinking of Jeff Weldon, the Tampa salesman who has been on not one, but two of the most popular reality shows going, The Amazing Race and this summer he volunteered to be locked in a house for three months as a contestant on Big Brother. It's become a mini career for him to be watched by the world as he navigates a difficult social situation

But on Thursday, poor Jeff was tossed out of the house, and the front door was locked behind him.

The reason appears to be that he's too good at this. Or rather, not smart enough to hide that he can win competitions and win friendships.  As my personal pick to win this season, poker player Vanessa Rousso said, "He can sell ice to Eskimos." …

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Caitlyn Jenner wows at ESPYs

Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the 2015 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Getty Images

Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the 2015 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Caitlyn Jenner showed up to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs Wednesday night in a flowing white gown in a classically draped shape. 

Jenner skipped the red carpet, instead giving the world a look at the ruched Atelier Versace gown when she went on stage.

"Picking out this outfit. Okay girls, I get it," Jenner, 65, said. "Fashion police, go easy on me. I'm new at this."

Read more about Jenner's award here. 

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Idris Elba boards 'Enterprise' as official cast member of 'Star Trek Beyond'

Idris Elba joins the cast of "Star Trek Beyond."

Associated Press

Idris Elba joins the cast of "Star Trek Beyond."

A video touting a new philanthropic effort by the cast of the upcoming Star Trek Beyond movie ends with a surprise.

After Trek stars like Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, John Cho and Karl Urban explain how donations could lead to a walk-on role in the new film, Idris Elba joins them on the bridge of the famous starship. 

Pine, who plays Capt. James T. Kirk in the new version of Star Trek films, says, "Idris, glad you could join us."

Elba, known for his starring role on the BBC show Luther and for portraying South African President Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, shows off some break-dancing skills at the end of the video. 

Star Trek Beyond is expected in theaters on July 8, 2016.

 

 

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