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Roombas, rain, John Cage: A brief inventory of Taylor Swift's influences for 'Track 3'

Taylor Swift, wonder that she is, was able to reach the No. 1 slot on Canadian iTunes with a track consisting of just eight seconds of white noise.  READ FULL STORY

Shia LaBeouf gives 'Shia LaBeouf' video a standing ovation

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Before Shia LaBeouf came under fire for plagiarism, before he was arrested during a performance of Cabaret, before he staged an elaborate exhibit that featured him wearing a paper bag on his head, Rob Cantor wrote a song about the actor that painted him as a violent creature of the forest. And now it’s a music video.

In “Shia LaBeouf,” a cannibalistic version of LaBeouf is following you. It’s a hilariously creepy and surprisingly catchy track that does a good job making a case against getting caught in the woods with, as they call him, “actual cannibal Shia LaBeouf.” READ FULL STORY

In this week's 'Polished,' actress Julie Meyer gets Zen about the Hollywood grind

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Since she got her first break while working in a salon—where a customer helped her get a role to get her SAG card—Julie Meyer has appeared on a variety of shows in guest spots, from Southland to How I Met Your Mother to The Middle and The New Normal.

Her first real gig was doing sketches with Jay Leno on The Jay Leno Show, so she’s had some interesting experiences during the five short years she’s been acting in Los Angeles. Add another one to the list: She was cast in a supporting role on NBC’s upcoming Adam McKay/Will Ferrell-produced comedy Mission Control—starring Krysten Ritter—but the network announced last week it wasn’t going forward with the series.

As she shows in the video, Meyer has a remarkably positive approach to the Hollywood grind. READ FULL STORY

A deep dive into the glorious time-suck that is 'Simpsons World'

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The good news: As of Tuesday afternoon, every episode of The Simpsons is finally streaming online for free.*

The bad news: Thanks to hordes of rabid fans like you and me, the website and app aren’t working particularly well—think long load times, endless buffering, and frequent error messages. Sure, these bugs will undoubtedly get ironed out as the initial rush on Simpsons World subsides; as of today, things are already running a lot more smoothly than they were when the site officially launched yesterday. But for those who have been drooling in anticipation, Homer-style, since the site’s advent was announced over the summer, this totally expected development is still a little frustrating. At least the 404 messages are cute: READ FULL STORY

'Breaking Bad' dolls axed from Toys 'R' Us following petition

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Apparently Heisenberg is no match for a Florida mom. The Associated Press reported Toys “R” Us has stopped selling Breaking Bad dolls, in the wake of a petition calling for them to be removed.

“Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an ‘indefinite sabbatical,'” Toys “R” Us said in a statement EW obtained. The petition, which garnered over 9,000 signatures, called the company’s “decision to sell a Breaking Bad doll, complete with a detachable sack of cash and a bag of meth, alongside children’s toys…a dangerous deviation from their family friendly values.” READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: 'Into the Woods' enchants EW's holiday movie preview

Ever since Chicago ushered the movie-musical back to the big screen with panache, the song-and-dance genre has had a bumpy road in Hollywood (here’s lookin’ at you, Rock of Ages). But the man behind the 2002 Best Picture winner hopes to turn the trend around with another tuner, this time based on one of Broadway’s most beloved Stephen Sondheim musicals. Director Rob Marshall takes the reins on Disney’s Into the Woods, and he’s gathered an A-list cast and creative team to conjure up a glossy adaptation of the 1987 fairy tale fantasy that’s decidedly different from any storybooks you might have gathering dust on the shelf.

In this week’s Entertainment Weekly—which features four exclusive covers of the fairy tale epic’s all-star cast—we dive headfirst into the design of the dark, sprawling world of Into the Woods, the musical tale about a childless Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who attempt to lift a witch’s curse by venturing into an enchanted forest filled with classic characters like Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy). But this isn’t your mother’s Cinderella VHS—nor your daughter’s DVD, for that matter. “I didn’t want this to look like a cartoon world,” says Marshall. “It’s not sunny, sunny, sunny—we wanted a sense of danger.”

With the chance to re-invent the iconic musical, it wasn’t hard for Marshall to reunite members of his Chicago design team and lure top acting talent to the project—including Johnny Depp as the big bad Wolf and Meryl Streep as the Witch. “I’ve been offered many witches over the years, starting when I was 40, and I said no to all of them,” the actress tells EW. “But this was really fun because it played with the notion of what witches mean. They represented age and ugliness and scary powers we don’t understand. So here’s my opportunity to say, here’s what you wish for when you’re getting old.”

Come for the woods (and your first look at Depp’s Tex Avery-style lupine), but stay for the rest of our annual holiday movie preview, which includes candid chats with season stand-outs Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne, a behind-the-scenes look at Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Imitation Game, and the final Hobbit film, and of course, the calendar that will guide you through it all. The only question is, which cover will you pick?

READ FULL STORY

Hear the 'Voice of Italy'-winning nun's cover of Madonna's 'Like a Virgin'

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It’s a sign of the post-ironic times when a singing nun wins the Italian version of The Voice and sings “Like a Virgin” as her debut single.

READ FULL STORY

Live-action 'Static Shock,' 'Mortal Kombat' unveiled as part of WB digital slate

It’s no Justice League announcement, but Warner Bros. isn’t resting on the laurels of its burgeoning cinematic universe. The studio announced the new name of its digital unit and the live action and animated series it’s developing.

READ FULL STORY

What is going on at Marvel? A PopWatch conspiracy theory

If you follow comic book news, you might’ve noticed something happening over at Marvel. You haven’t? Let’s review. There’s this: READ FULL STORY

Someone made a real hoverboard, so you should maybe get excited a little bit

One day, we’re all going to have let go of Back to the Future II. We’re just running out of time, you see. 2015 is almost here, and we still need roads. Our clothes can’t adjust themselves (although they look the part). And going to the movies is still nothing like this. But one thing still seems within our grasp: the hoverboard.

A company called Hendo Hover claims to have finally built a working hoverboard, and have started a Kickstarter in order to put the tech out in the hands of upstart developers around the world. They even have a (really melodramatic) video!

But don’t get too excited: the hover tech Hendo has developed doesn’t really let you hover over everything but water, like we’ve all been trained to expect. Instead, it uses magnetic levitation (maglev) technology similar to those used by high-speed trains like the Japanese ‘Bullet Train.’ Since the maglev pads only work on non-ferrous metals like copper, you wouldn’t be able to take the Hendo hoverboard anywhere, either.

Of course, whether or not you’ll ever see one of these depends on Hendo reaching their funding goal. But it’s not unlikely—so far, the folks at Hendo have received $94,360 of the $250,000 needed to fund the project, and there are still 54 days to go. In reality though, we still have almost a full year before we screw up this particular part of the Back to the Future timetable.

It’s not like we haven’t been burned before. There’s no way we’d be disappointed again. Right? Right.

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