Tobey Maguire

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Thursday Review: IFC's Spoils of Babylon; More (and Better) Comedy on Network TV

Tobey Maguire, Tim Robbins

Here's the thing about satire: Parody has a sharper sting if what's being ridiculed is actually relevant. And while it looks like everyone's having a grand time lampooning the old-school histrionics of the classic TV miniseries "epic" in IFC's elaborate all-star Funny or Die put-on The Spoils of Babylon, I'm afraid the fun isn't all that contagious, in part because the joke is such a stale one to begin with.

The whole enterprise, which consists of six half-hour chapters (the first two airing back-to-back starting Thursday at 10/9c), has the musty whiff of one of those movies derived from so-so Saturday Night Live sketches. Each installment opens with a staged intro, featuring a heavily made-up Will Ferrell as a rotund Orson Welles-like egomaniac impresario (described as "author, producer, actor, writer, director, raconteur, bon vivant, legend, fabulist" — and that's just the first episode's credits) who sinks further and further into his (wine) cups as he reflects on his lost late-'70s "masterpiece," which he self-financed as if he were Scrooge McDuck.

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Top Videos: Spoils of Babylon, "Between Two Ferns" Holiday Special

Samuel L. Jackson, Tobey Maguire and Zach Galifianakis

This week, Katy Perry was awkwardly caught lip-syncing when her backup track failed at an awards ceremony in France, while Paul Rudd and Kate McKinnon premiered their new web series Hudson Valley Ballers. Someone adorably re-created the movie Elf using pugs, andZach Galifianakis hosted a holiday edition of "Between Two Ferns." Also, Sarah Silverman,Michael Cera and other comedians launched an ugly sweater charity campaign for Stand Up to Cancer, and the first scene of the Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire miniseries The Spoils of Babylon premiered. Check out those clips and more in our weekly roundup of the best onlinevideos:

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Top Videos: Berkley on Dancing, Bear Plays Tetherball, Game of Thrones Bad Lip Reading

Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren

This week, Jesse Spano was brought back to life! For one night only.Elizabeth Berkley gave Dancing with the Stars viewers a healthy dose of Saved by the Bell nostalgia, and a Boston police officer also got "so excited" during a Red Sox playoff game. NCIS: Los Angeles celebrated 100 episodes by releasing a new music video, and Bill Nye's new web series about the NASA mission to Jupiter premiered. Oh, and a bear played tetherball. Check out those clips and more in our weekly roundup of the best online videos:

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IFC Announces Spoof Miniseries Starring Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Jessica Alba and Others

Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell

IFC has announced a spoof miniseries with an all-star cast, including Will Ferrell, Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Tobey Maguire, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig.

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Jay-Z to Score Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby

Jay- Z

Jay-Z's adding some swag to West Egg. Director Baz Luhrmann has recruited the rapper to work with music producer the Bullitts on the score for his upcoming adaption of The Great Gatsby. read more

Director Baz Luhrmann Suffers Head Injury on The Great Gatsby Set

Baz Luhrman

Director Baz Luhrmann was forced to get three stitches to his head after bumping into a camera crane on the set of The Great Gatsby, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The Moulin Rouge filmmaker was directing a scene at the time. ''We were on quite a cramped set and he was ducking under the crane," co-producer Anton Monsted told the newspaper. "He struck his head on the... read more

Oscar-Winning Actor Cliff Robertson Dies at 88

Cliff Robertson

Cliff Robertson, who won an Oscar for playing mentally disabled man in the 1968 film Charly and later played Ben Parker in the Spider-Man films, has died. He was 88.

Robertson died of natural causes on Saturday in Long Island, one day after his 88th birthday, Evelyn Christel, Robertson's secretary for 53 years, told The Associated Press.

See other celebrities who have died this year

Besides his Oscar-winning role in Charly — which was adapted from Daniel Keyes' short novel, Flowers for Algernon, and told the story of a mentally disabled man who becomes a genius after medical treatment — Robertson is also remembered for playing President John F. Kennedy in 1963's PT-109. The film... read more

VIDEO: See the World Through the Eyes of The Amazing Spider-Man in First Official Trailer

Andrew Garfield

Stop us if you've heard this one before: A teenage outcast who lives with his aunt and uncle in New York gets bitten by some radioactive spider and develops the abilities to climb tall buildings, spin webs and swing from skyscraper to skyscraper.

However, unlike 2001's Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire, 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man shows a decidedly more... read more

Tobey Maguire Selected as New Face of Prada

Tobey Maguire

Tobey Maguire is slipping into something more comfortable: Prada.

The 35-year-old actor can now add "model" to his resume, as he's appearing in the fashion label's fall/winter ad campaign, which was shot by photographer David Sims, according to The Hollywood Reporter...
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Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth Wed

Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth

Reese Witherspoon and Hollywood agent Jim Toth tied the knot, People reports.

The private ceremony took place Saturday at Witherspoon's Ojai, Calif., ranch. The guest list included Renée Zellweger, Salma Hayek, Sean Penn... read more

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