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Category: Johnny Depp

Are Oscarologists crazy to snub Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter?

October 19, 2010 |  2:26 pm

Since Disney has decided to invest heavily in an Oscar campaign for "Alice in Wonderland," that will probably mean loud tub-thumping ahead for Johnny Depp, who has never won an Oscar. He was nominated for three lead performances: "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003), "Finding Neverland" (2004), "Sweeney Todd" (2007).

Now he'd be nommed for a comedic, cartoonish role, a type seldom appreciated by Oscar voters. But, alas, Al Pacino got nommed as Big Boy Caprice in "Dick Tracy" (1990) and Heath Ledger even won, as the Joker in "The Dark Knight" (2008). Right now Depp competes as the Mad Hatter in the lead race where he'll certainly be nommed at the Golden Globes where there are separate categories for comedy/musical roles, but Disney may be wise to push him down to supporting at the Oscars -- that's where Pacino and Ledger did well. Meantime, Depp doesn't even appear as a possibility on the current lists of potential rivals at AwardsDaily or InContention. But I think he could be a serious contender if placed in supporting.

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Poll: Who'll win the Golden Globe for best comedy/musical actor?

January 15, 2010 | 11:09 am

Personally, I think Daniel Day-Lewis will win the Golden Globe for best musical-comedy actor even though "Nine" is being pooh-poohed by movie-goers and many film critics. Globe voters are, simply put, crazy about songfests when nominated in those separate categories they have just for comedies/musicals.

Golden globes robert downey jr joseph gordon levitt news 2

Recent champs in this lead-actor race include Johnny Depp and Joaquin Phoenix, but "Sweeney Todd" and "Walk the Line" were successful tuners. So Day-Lewis is vulnerable, not only because "Nine" flopped, but because many film critics blame Day-Lewis' scowling performance bereft of winking charm. However, many members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. liked his performance and are blinded by superstars in general.

Robert Downey Jr. has a socko chance to win considering his recent career rebound (thank you, "Iron Man") and his surprisingly successful "Sherlock Holmes" ($169 million U.S. box office), but his role doesn't have actorly pretention, that overused word gravitas.

Michael Stuhlbarg certainly displays that in "A Serious Man," but it's not nominated for best picture, which is surprising considering it's a Coen brothers' flick. Maybe voters don't like it all that much?

Matt Damon gives a full-bodied performance, literally, in "The Informant!" but a few Golden Globe voters told me that HFPA members didn't like the flick. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is adorable in "(500) Days of Summer," but that film is a light comedy, which some voters might confuse with lightweight. Hmmm … so who will win, do you think? Also vote in our polls for best drama film, lead drama actor, lead drama actress, best comedy/musical film and  lead comedy/musical actress.

Photos: "Sherlock Holmes" (Warner Bros.), "Nine" (Weinstein Co.), "(500) Days of Summer" (Fox Searchlight

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Comic-Con goes mad for Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland,' but will Oscar?

July 24, 2009 |  1:42 pm

Comic-Con Alice in Wonderland Johnny Depp Tim Burton news

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have been whipping up lots of early excitement at Comic-Con for "Alice in Wonderland," but we wonder: how will it do at the Oscars?

Forget the Comic-Con hoopla for a sec. Get back to Oscar reality. Even though the Academy Awards are expanding the list of best-picture contenders to 10 next year, "Alice in Wonderland" has a triple curse: it's a fantasy film (strike one), based upon a children's story (strike two) directed by Tim Burton (strike three). Make that four curses. It's slotted for release at a most Oscar-unfriendly time: March 2010.

Burton has never been nominated for best director and none of his movies has even been up for best picture, not even "Sweeney Todd," which won best picture and actor (Depp) at the Golden Globes and was hailed by the New York Times as "something close to a masterpiece." Granted, Depp did reap a best-actor bid from academy voters for "Sweeney," but the only other major Oscar recognition earned by Burton flicks were nominations for best animated film for "The Corpse Bride" and a win in the supporting-actor slot for Martin Landau ("Ed Wood"). Other Oscar bids and occasional wins (best makeup, "Ed Wood") were in the tech categories.

Photos: Walt Disney Pictures


Comic-Con mystery: Will James Cameron return to the Oscars with 'Avatar'?

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Do you think Johnny Depp is the actor most overdue to win an Oscar?

March 11, 2009 |  6:05 pm

In our poll on actors most overdue to win at the Oscars, Johnny Depp is leading by a wide margin. Currently he has received almost 44% of the votes while Leonardo DiCaprio sits in second place with 16% of the total. And none of the remaining eight choices — Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., Ralph Fiennes, Ed Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law or Brad Pitt — is above 7% in the latest results.


All of the actors in our poll have been jilted by the Oscars at least once. At 60, Samuel L. Jackson is the oldest of them and he picked up his lone supporting nod for "Pulp Fiction" in 1994. Jeff Bridges, 59, has four Oscar nods under his belt — supporting: "The Last Picture Show" (1971); "Thunderbolt & Lightfoot" (1974); and "The Contender" (2000); and lead: "Starman" (1984). Ed Harris, 58, also has four Oscar nominations that follow the same pattern — supporting: "Apollo 13" (1995); "The Truman Show" (1998); and "The Hours" (2002); and lead: "Pollock" (2000).

Of those men in their 40s, Cruise and Fiennes are both 46. Tom Cruise has three losing bids — lead for "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989) and "Jerry Maguire" (1996); and supporting for "Magnolia" (1999). Ralph Fiennes was nominated for his roles in two best picture champs — supporting in "Schindler's List" (1993) and lead for "The English Patient" (1996). Both Depp and Pitt are 45. Johnny Depp has earned three lead actor bids in the last six years: "Pirates of the Caribbean" (2003); "Finding Neverland" (2004); and "Sweeney Todd" (2007). Brad Pitt lost supporting actor in 1995 for "Twelve Monkeys" and was a lead actor nominee last month for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Now 43, Robert Downey Jr. was a lead actor contender for "Chaplin" in 1992 and just lost the supporting race for "Tropic Thunder."

Jude Law is 36 and has contended once for supporting ("The Talented Mr. Ripley," 1999) and once for lead ("Cold Mountain," 2003). And while Leonardo DiCaprio is the youngest of these actors at 33, he has already earned three Oscar nominations: supporting for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993) and lead for "The Aviator" (2004) and "Blood Diamond" (2006).

Of these 10 men, three appear in upcoming pictures that appear to be viable Oscar vehicles, at least on paper. Johnny Depp stars in Michael Mann's "Public Enemies." Leonardo DiCaprio has reunited with Martin Scorsese for "Shutter Island." And Brad Pitt has the lead in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds"

Cast your vote here. Then check back to see how your choice is doing. If your pick is not among the 10 in this poll, vote for whomever you like by clicking on the "Comments" link below. Ed Norton has already earned a load of write-in votes. And join in the heated discussion on this topic in our message boards.

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Which actor is most overdue to win an Oscar?

March 8, 2009 |  9:24 am

Now that Kate Winslet is no longer poor Kate Winslet, five-time loser of the Academy Award, it's time to decide who deserves our pity next.

Nathaniel Rogers got this new pity party started over at Film Experience, combining male and female performers and deciding that we should all be boo-hoo-hoo-ing over Michelle Pfeiffer. Not a bad choice. She's lost three times and may be nominated next year for "Chéri," director Stephen Frears' adaptation of the romance novel penned by Colette. But there are so many snubbed stars in the Hollywood firmament, frankly, we'd like to break up this Oscars discussion into two parts based upon gender.

Let's start with the guys and have you pick the star you think we should all be rooting for.


Of course, Peter O'Toole is most overdue in the literal sense, being the Oscars' biggest loser (eight defeats). But at this point, let's be honest, his hopes look dim. Besides, he's already got an honorary Oscar.

Poor Albert Finney doesn't have one of those and he's lost five times in the competitive races, but, truth be told, he also looks like a lost cause. He should have been nominated for "Big Fish" in 2003 but was snubbed. That tells us something, probably that the Oscar  voters don't appreciate how often he snubs them back, usually not bothering to attend the ceremony when he gets into the race. That started with his first big nom as best actor in 1963. The night "Tom Jones" won best picture at the Oscars, its star preferred to be in Hawaii partying with some foxy gals, so press reports tattled.

There are many others too, but our poll can only accommodate 10 names, so I had to be selective. Obvious choices are highly regarded, red-hot actors such as Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Johnny Depp could be back in the running soon with Michael Mann's "Public Enemies," Brad Pitt with Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" and Leo DiCaprio with Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island."

Stars like Donald Sutherland aren't here because they've never been nominated. Some chaps like Bill Murray and Edward Norton aren't listed because, well, they have PR problems within the industry and winning would be difficult for them, though not impossible. Others, including Liam Neeson and Dennis Hopper, aren't here because of my whim, but they were carefully considered. Really! Feel free to vote for whomever you like by clicking on the "Comments" link below. And please join in the heated discussion on this topic on our message boards.


Heath Ledger's Oscar goes to Michelle Williams, not the Ledger clan

Quiz: What Oscar champ also won the Nobel Prize?

Truly rotten: 'Slumdog Millionaire' ranked below 'Unforgiven' on Oscars list

Did 'Casablanca' deserve to win best picture at the Oscars?

Quiz: Who was the youngest winner of best actress at the Oscars?

Photos: the Weinstein Co., Universal

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Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars' telecast earned only $71 million, but 'Slumdog Millionaire' hits the b.o. jackpot | Emmy champ 'Breaking Bad' returns

March 5, 2009 | 10:32 am

• Hey, Derbyites: Do you wonder how popular your favorite blog is? Check out the latest traffic report. Last month Gold Derby came in fourth place among the more than 50 blogs here at the Times, clocking 898,618 page views. Thanks for clicking! Oh, yeah, and please keep clicking! And clicking. READERS' REPRESENTATIVE

• Last year Showtime was the first TV network to put sample episodes online for Emmy voters to see. This year it's upping digital innovation by making episodes of "Dexter," "Weeds" and "United States of Tara" accessible via iPhone and iPodTouch. VARIETY


• Looks like "Breaking Bad" will even be badder than ever when it returns to AMC Sunday night after pulling off a dramatic upset victory for Bryan Cranston as best drama actor at last year's Emmy Awards. "How rough can life get for Walt White, a quiet chemistry teacher with a pregnant wife and a handicapped son, who becomes a crystal meth dealer after discovering he is dying of lung cancer?" asks Reuters. "Much, much worse when 'Breaking Bad' begins its second season." TV show "Extra" covered the official premiere. REUTERS / EXTRA

• "'Slumdog Millionaire' is enjoying one of the best Oscar bounces on record," reports Variety. "'Slumdog Millionaire' has crossed the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office, joining an elite group of indie titles to do that kind of business." VARIETY

• The Oscars telecast generated only $72 million in ad sales for ABC — that's a big drop from the $81 million sold last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence. "The web sold 26 minutes of ad time during the kudocast. It filled six minutes and 20 seconds with network promos, the most since 2006," reports Variety. "The tough economy forced ABC to charge $1.4 million per 30-second spot in an effort to sell the inventory. That's comparably less than the $1.7 million it brought in last year per spot." VARIETY

• The poster and trailer to "Public Enemies" are out. Director Michael Mann's flick is due out this summer starring Christian Bale as a saintly FBI agent who hunts down John Dillinger (Johnny Depp). JOBLO



Will 'High School Musical 4' be a real winner too?

Jonas Brothers crushed again as Taylor Swift gets revenge

Quiz: What Oscars champ also won the Nobel Prize?

Truly rotten: 'Slumdog Millionaire' ranked below 'Unforgiven' on Oscars' list

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Will Brad Pitt lose best actor due to Oscars' Slap the Stud Syndrome?

February 18, 2009 |  3:36 pm


What's really curious about "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is that most Oscar pundits give the lead star of the film with the most nominations virtually no hope of winning best actor. Among the five contenders in that category, Brad Pitt is usually ranked fourth or fifth by prognosticators. Why?

Most likely it's punishment for his good looks. Look at other top male stars who haven't won Oscars despite working in Hollywood for years: Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Gere. They're all heartthrobs — just like previous matinee stars who got snubbed in years past: James Dean, Steve McQueen, Tyrone Power and Robert Taylor.

Now consider the parade of young lovelies who dominated the actress awards in recent years. Best-actress champs over the last decade, for example, include Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Reese Witherspoon. Read more about that phenomenon in Gold Derby's separate blog piece about the Babe Factor.


The male counterpart to that female factor is the Slap the Stud Syndrome. While a few handsome male stars have managed to win now and then in the past, most have been denied. There's a clear pattern of it.

Consider the case of Tom Cruise, who lost the 1989 best actor Oscar to Daniel Day-Lewis. Both men played wheelchair-bound real-life heroes in "Born on the Fourth of July" and "My Left Foot," respectively. Cruise had won the Golden Globe while Day-Lewis had taken most of the critics prizes. When the British born Day-Lewis prevailed over the all-American Cruise many Oscarologists attributed this to another instance of the Slap the Stud Syndrome.

The theory goes that many of the academy voters are geezer guys who love the younger fillies but resent the handsome bucks. Their message to these Hollywood heartthrobs: "You already have it all –- fame, fortune and females aplenty. So, sorry pal, no Oscar for you, just yet."

However, just like the pretty women who de-glamorize themselves (Charlize Theron, "Monster"; Nicole Kidman, "The Hours") to win an Oscar so too can the handsome hunks who pack on a few pounds, a la George Clooney in 2005's "Syriana." Last year, Javier Bardem was the hunk du jour whose unflattering Buster Brown bowl cut in "No Country for Old Men" won him the supporting actor Oscar.


And speaking of Clooney, as he was back to his usual movie-star-handsome-self last year in "Michael Clayton," the Slap the Stud Syndrome helped put Day-Lewis back in the winner's circle for "There Will Be Blood." That win also came at the expense of two-time loser Johnny Depp. He and Pitt, both 45, should take comfort in the fact that other studs won a best-actor Oscar later in their career when they were less of a threat to get the babes that the older academy guys can't.

While Tom Cruise lost his 1996 best actor bid for "Jerry Maguire" to respected stage star Geoffrey Rush ("Shine"), he lost the 1999 supporting actor race when nomm'd for "Magnolia" to one-time stud Michael Caine ("The Cider House Rules"). Caine did not win his first three best actor races and only won his first supporting Oscar ("Hannah and Her Sisters," 1986) when he was on other side of 50.

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Recall the gold, yes, please! Who really was the best actor of 2003?

October 16, 2008 |  4:55 pm

I think Entertainment Weekly has a great idea to take on past Oscars races, asking readers to "Recall the Gold." I cried "Yes!" when they targeted Sean Penn's best-actor win of 2003 for "Mystic River," but so far their readers are giving it back to Penn anyway with 36% of their vote with Bill Murray ("Lost in Translation") coming in second place at 30%. That's not the final EW tally, though. READ MORE


But of the results to date, come on! Penn cut off a 10-inch slice of salty ham in "Mystic River," mugging, scowling, shouting, screaming, yellin'. That same year Penn had a topnotch perf in "21 Grams" that won best actor at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated by BAFTA. If he was going to win for anything, it should've been "21 Grams." Or he shouldn't have won at all. Why give an Oscar to someone who often acts like he doesn't want it? Just a few years earlier Penn didn't even bother to show up when nominated for "Dead Man Walking."

And, well, as for Bill Murray in one of the two overrated Oscar pix I love most to trash, "Lost in Translation" (the other is "The Hours" — natch), one of Hollywood's most notorious grouches just growled on screen most of the time, looking bored, as if his bartender wasn't pouring fast enough.

Besides, even if you disagree about Murray's performance, he shouldn't have won because of obvious hypocrisy. Remember how ticked off he got when the best-actor envelope was opened up? It's one of the classic, close-up TV shots in Oscar history, right up there with Lauren Bacall's diva meltdown when she got beat by Juliette Binoche.

Before Oscar night, Bill Murray told reporters: "It's a really unattractive sight to see an actor or actress who really wants an Oscar. And you often see it on the show, you see their faces and the desperation is so ugly. Desperation is not a quality I long for. I'm over the Oscar. Sometimes people win it and you think, 'This can't be true.' It's a little bit of a popularity contest, too. Sometimes it's right, but it's wrong just as often, so I don't care. I'd rather make movies that lots of people saw and liked. I'm happy with the results."

Speaking of ticked-off divas, the one superstar who was M.I.O.A. (Missing in Oscar Action) that year was Russell Crowe. When "Master and Commander" got 10 nominations, including best picture, it looked like everyone associated with the flick got a bid except its own master and commander. Crowe's bad boy antics had finally caught up with him even though he was trying hard to be a sudden good boy.


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'Hairspray' teases with sequel in the works

July 26, 2008 | 11:55 am

As per Variety, John Waters is working on a script for a sequel to last summer's hit movie musical "Hairspray." The plan is to pick up the story from the time the first film finished with a seemingly happily-ever-after ending and have this second go-round in theaters in mid-July 2010.


Waters wrote and helmed the original 1988 "Hairspray" film about teenagers in 1962 Baltimore that was source material for both a 2003 Tony Award-winning show and the 2007 movie musical. While the creative team from the 2007 version of "Hairspray" —  director/choreographer Adam Shankman, songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — is set to return as well, there is no word as to which of the cast will be coming back. Its stars included John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Their turns in that tuneful film helped "Hairspray" to score a dazzling 93 at Rotten Tomatoes and a respectable 81 on MetaCritic. The movie made $119 million domestically and was a hit on both DVD and CD. The cast album scored a Grammy nom (losing to a real-life sound of the '60s -- the Beatles for "Love"). However, it did not do as well as expected when it came to the film awards. "Hairspray" was completely blanked by the Oscars, even after landing a surprise SAG nod for best ensemble (akin to a best picture nod). There this sunny, summer romp lost out to the eventual Oscar winner, the dark and dank drama "No Country for Old Men."

"Hairspray" also lost its three Golden Globe bids. (The award for best musical/comedy picture went to Sweeney Todd). Cross-dressing Travolta lost best actor to cutthroat Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd." Best actress nominee Nikki Blonsky got trounced by eventual Oscar winner Marion Cotillard for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose." Left out of the race was former Globe favorite Pfeiffer, who scored six nods in a row from 1989 to 1994, winning the award in 1990 for "The Fabulous Baker Boys." Latifah, who won a Globe that night for acting in the TV film "Life Support," was also snubbed, as was the powerhouse song "Come So Far" that she belted during the film's climax.


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MTV Movie Awards wrap-up: How hot were they?

June 2, 2008 |  8:45 am


Reax to the MTV Movie Awards show is pretty good, which is impressive considering that the gala was under fire or, rather, just a few hundred yards above when a scary blaze raged on the Universal lot just earlier in the day.

I'm on vacation this week out in Ohio with my family, so I missed the gig. Check out the thorough coverage elsewhere on the site: list of winnahs, dishin' on the best and worst of the show, photos of arrivals, red carpet rewind, report on the fire aftermath.

Also, check out other media reports: Associated Press , Reuters, USA Today , E! Online.

Below are some snarky comments from our forum posters. To read more, CLICK HERE.

booyahboy: Ugh, seriously. Can't people get over their obsession long enough to realize (Johnny Depp's) actually right when he says he isn't even funny.

Pacinofan: "Transformers" winning over "Juno" or "Superbad"!!??!! No sir. Didn't see that coming. The show was worth it for the Ben Stiller/Jack Black/Robert Downey Jr. sketch.

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Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp play dirty to win at the MTV Movie Awards

June 1, 2008 | 10:38 am


One of three Academy Awards winners — Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington or Javier Bardem — could add an MTV Movie Award tonight to their kudos collection if voters find them good enough at playing bad.

The three Oscar champs are competing with three-time Oscar loser Johnny Depp and Emmy-snubbed Topher Grace (never even nominated for "That '70s Show") for the best villain prize at tonight's MTV Movie Awards gala at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Last year, it was three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson who won the award for his version of a vengeful mob boss in "The Departed."

Angelina Jolie came out on top in the best-fight race two years ago, winning with her then-co-star now consort Brad Pitt for their battle of the sexes in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Since then, she has proven she can take down tabloid reporters with her bare hands. Tonight, she will see if a virtual version of herself in "Beowulf" can make winning a reality. And a tasty treat that voters may find irresistible.

Entertainment Weekly described her role as "Grendel's mother, a mystic siren who rises out of her cave in the person of a nude Angelina Jolie, dripping water off her body like golden chocolate."

Denzel Washington was nominated for this same prize in 2002 for the same movie –- "Training Day" –- that won him his second Academy Award. While he was snubbed by the golden boy Oscar this year for "American Gangster," he could win a golden bucket at the MTV Movie Awards.

Javier Bardem is up for his first MTV Movie Award for his chilling portrayal of evil in "No Country for Old Men." The role has already won him a host of kudos, capped off by the supporting actor Oscar at the Academy Awards in February.


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Will 'Cry-Baby' be laughing come Tony time?

April 25, 2008 | 10:24 am

After opening last night to divided reviews, it remains uncertain whether "Cry-Baby" will be smiling or weeping when Tony Award nominations are announced on May 13. The tuner, adapted from John Waters' 1990 movie about a bad boy looking to make good in '50s America, is unlikely to be the awards powerhouse that his "Hairspray" was five years ago. That campy show took home eight Tonys, including best musical.


As this season has produced a mixed bag of musicals, "Cry-Baby" could make it into the final four come Tony time. This week, it was recognized by the Drama League as one of eight outstanding musicals playing on or off-Broadway. And lead actor James Snyder, as well as supporting players Harriet Harris and Alli Mauzey, are among the 69 thespians competing for the distinguished performance prize. However, while the show did make the cut with the Outer Critics Circle for best new Broadway musical, only Harris got a nod from them. This coming Monday's announcement of the Drama Desk nominations could clarify or confuse the situation further.

Even the critics could not come to a consensus. Linda Winer at Newsday thought the show "pleasantly demented and — deep in the sweet darkness of its loopy heart — more true to the cheerful subversion of a John Waters movie than its sentimental big sister 'Hairspray.' " For Winer, "the new musical, directed by Mark Brokaw and exuberantly choreographed by Rob Ashford, is confident - no, proud - of its simple bad taste / good values ancestry. The class-warfare book, by 'Hairspray' adapters Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, keeps importance and sincerity to a delightful minimum. And the word-smart score — by newcomers David Javerbaum (executive producer of 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart') and Adam Schlesinger (power-pop band Fountains of Wayne) — is a twisted dopey-like-a-fox combination of eight-bar '50s rockabilly for the wild kids and harmonized Eisenhower-kitsch for the rich squares. "

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