Latest Blog Posts

<p>No one takes greater delight in playing visually upsetting than Javier Bardem, which could be a very good thing indeed in 'Skyfall,' the latest James Bond film.</p>

No one takes greater delight in playing visually upsetting than Javier Bardem, which could be a very good thing indeed in 'Skyfall,' the latest James Bond film.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Javier Bardem torments James Bond in a new 'Skyfall' clip

Silva looks like an interesting challenge for the super spy

I'm going to have to stop watching clips and trailers at this point, I think.

Then again, this latest clip is so much fun that I'm not sure I'm going to be able to stop myself.

I know very little about Silva, the mysterious bad guy that Javier Bardem is playing in the film, but one of the keys to making a Bond film work is pitting him against someone who is a worthy adversary.  So far, the early reviews that I've glanced at seem to really like Bardem's work, and this new clip is one of the best glimpses we've had so far of Silva and Bond together.

What I like about this is the way it feels like Silva is engaged in the game here.  It feels like he's enjoying the cat-and-mouse with Bond, and the move he pulls to get away is pretty great.  It's also pretty clear that this is another film where Javier Bardem is visually disturbing, adding to the menace.  Nobody makes wigs more upsetting than Bardem, and his "blonde policeman" thing he's got going on here is really freaky.

Read Full Post
<p>Kelly Clarkson's &quot;Greatest HIts - Chapter One&quot;</p>

Kelly Clarkson's "Greatest HIts - Chapter One"

Credit: RCA

UPDATE: Kelly Clarkson releases track listing, cover for 'Greatest Hits-Chapter 1'

Did your favorite song make the list?

Kelly Clarkson’s “Greatest Hits—Chapter 1” doesn’t hit streets for another month, but today we get the track listing and cover art. The artwork, which is a little cheesy, ties in with the “Chapter 1” theme and looks like a book cover.

The story goes back to the beginning, including “A Moment Like This,” Clarkson’s first single after winning the first edition of “American Idol” in 2002, and extends through Clarkson’s fifth studio album, 2011’s “Stronger.” In addition to popular tunes, such as “Miss Independent,” “Because of You,” “Breakaway” and “Since U Been Gone,” the set also includes new track “Catch My Breath.”

"Greatest Hits – Chapter One" Track listing

1 Since U Been Gone
2 My Life Would Suck Without You
3 Miss Independent     
4 Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
5 Behind These Hazel Eyes
6 Because Of You
7 Never Again
8 Already Gone
9 Mr. Know It All
10 Breakaway  
11 Don’t You Wanna Stay (with Jason Aldean)
12 Walk Away
13 Catch My Breath
14 People Like Us
15 Don’t Rush (featuring Vince Gill)
16 A Moment Like This
17 I’ll Be Home For Christmas
 

Read Full Post
<p>Mamie Gummer IS&nbsp;&quot;Emily Owens, M.D.&quot;</p>

Mamie Gummer IS "Emily Owens, M.D."

Credit: CW

Review: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.' is trapped in high school memories

Mamie Gummer wasted in show too hung up on teen angst in adult bodies
The idea that we carry the scars of high school into our adult lives is a familiar theme of 21st century television. On "The Office," Michael Scott was a man who never quite evolved past his lonely adolescent years, and "Grey's Anatomy" often draws parallels between life at the hospital and life in high school. (The characters even once had to go to prom together.)
 
The CW's new "Emily Owens, M.D." (it premieres tomorrow night at 9) takes that subtext and makes it into text — bold, 48-point font, underlined and highlighted text. Not only does one character tell surgical intern Emily (Mamie Gummer), "Hospital's totally like high school," not only is the hospital situated directly across the street from an actual high school (one of its students even calls Emily a loser in the opening scene), but Emily's high school nemesis Cassandra (Aja Naomi King) winds up as her new co-worker. We even get the scene familiar from every teen comedy ever made where a hospital veteran gives Emily an anthropological breakdown of all the cliques, putting them in high school terms: jocks are orthopedists, mean girls go into plastic surgery, geeks like neurology, etc.
Read Full Post
<p>The Lizard throws a few extra bodies on the pile in the deleted scenes from 'The Amazing Spider-Man'</p>

The Lizard throws a few extra bodies on the pile in the deleted scenes from 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Credit: Sony Pictures Home Video

Deleted scenes from 'The Amazing Spider-Man' promise more answers than they offer

A sneak peek at the upcoming home video release includes several new moments

Two of the films that most frustrated me this year were "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Prometheus," and it's important to point out that I don't get frustrated when I see a film that is terrible from start to finish.  Those are easy to dismiss.

I get frustrated when I see a film that has real potential but which falls short thanks to certain decision-making.  "The Amazing Spider-Man," for example, is a film that has many of the pieces right.  Casting is a big part of making these films work, and I think they cast the film incredibly well.  It was the script that made me crazy with that one, and I knew that the film had been tinkered with repeatedly during production, with some major parts of the film dropped very late in the process.

Read Full Post
<p>Cover for &quot;Locked Out of Heaven&quot;</p>

Cover for "Locked Out of Heaven"

Watch: Bruno Mars brings the sweat in new video for 'Locked Out Of Heaven'

Grainy footage takes you back to the '70s

In his clip for new single, “Locked Out Of Heaven,” Bruno Mars brings the party down to earth.

The intentionally grainy clip, has a  great ‘70s soul feel, as Mars performs in small, crowded club where everyone’s sweat is mingling together and you can’t tell where your body ends and the next person’s begins. It’s hot as hell, but everyone is jumping and jiving and loving every minute.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Odd Job and his hat are just one threat you'll have to face when you play as James Bond in the new 'James Bond:&nbsp;Legends' video game</p>

Odd Job and his hat are just one threat you'll have to face when you play as James Bond in the new 'James Bond: Legends' video game

Credit: Activision

Final 'James Bond: Legends' trailer promises gamers a trip through Bond's legacy

Could this be one of the good Bond games?

"Skyfall" has begun screening for US press on the eve of its UK release, and so far, the word on the film is nothing short of ecstatic.  I am very excited by everything I've heard about it so far, and I'm having to work hard not to read some of the more detailed reviews.  I want a chance to see this one fairly clean, and so far, I think the trailers have been good about not giving away too much of the movie.

In the meantime, if you are itching for some Bond and you don't want to wait, Activision has a solution for you and it's hitting stores tomorrow.  "James Bond: Legends" was created as an homage to the 50-year history of the film franchise, and in the game, you'll be able to play your way through six of the films from the series.

Read Full Post
<p>Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis at ACL</p>

Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis at ACL

Credit: Katie Hasty

What you missed at the 2012 Austin City Limits

Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Jack White and... Ryan Gosling?

Hey, it's OK that you didn't go to the 2012 Austin City Limits music festival. There were only, like, 70,000 people per day anyway, and a third of the artists were webcast through the official YouTube stream. And it's OK if you didn't see those either.

Here is some of what you missed:

+ ACL photos from Friday, of the Black Keys, M83, Florence + the Machine, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes and AVICII.

+ ACL photos from Saturday, of Jack White, Gotye, The Roots, Big K.R.I.T., Metric, Punch Brothers, Big Gigantic and Lee Fields and the Expressions.

+ ACL photos from Sunday, of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), the Civil Wars, Die Antwoord, the Avett Brothers, Tennis, Iggy & the Stooges, Willis Earl Beal,

Here are some thoughts I had about Jack White and his schedule opposite of Neil Young, plus his all-female band. In short: sharp show, lashing the backlash, and at least we're getting a band of women in a headliner spot.

Not sure what the festival was all about? Check out the cheat sheet here.

The Black Keys stuck largely to the four-piece blues rock formula that have taken them throughout the summer festival circuit this year. They've started integrating in the jam "She's Long Gone," from "Brothers," in lieu of "I'll Be Your Man," but it's a fluid set no matter how it's cut. The oversized work lamps keep the stage show simple and with the appearance of raw power -- but the REAL "raw power" came during Iggy & the Stooges' set, as per usual.

Read Full Post
<p>Jack White and Ruby Amanfu at ACL&nbsp;on Saturday</p>

Jack White and Ruby Amanfu at ACL on Saturday

Credit: Katie Hasty

Review: Jack White at Austin City Limits, and the lady limit

Watch: ACL's Red, White and Black brothers have a counterweight

"God Bless Neil Young."

Jack White didn't say much during his hour-and-a-half headlining set on Saturday night, but those were his last ones before departing, to probably hop on a golf cart and go watch the rest of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

White and Young played at opposite ends of Zilker Park during the 2012 Austin City Limits music festival on Saturday night, a truly difficult scheduling quandary during this rock-centered fest. Whereas other major festivals will set up hip-hop versus album rock, or dance stage versus popular reunion, Saturday put rock legend versus growing rock legend up against one another, both starting at the same time, though Crazy Horse played 'til the bitter, bitter (10 p.m.) end of the night.

The Third Man Records man tore through most of his album "Blunderbuss" and cranked out the Raconteurs hit "Steady As She Goes," plus cuts from multiple eras of the White Stripes catalog including "Slowly Turning Into You," "Hotel Yorba," "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and "We're Going to Be Friends."

It's on the latter two that White's genesis from slapdash guitar genius to nimble Everything, Every Time, Man is apparent, as he switched between electric guitar and organ sometimes in the same phrase, and transformed a simple childlike melody into a full-bodied glammy jam.

White has gotten guff before for this kind of behavior -- this Serious behavior. When White Stripes records sunk into to psych after three albums of workshopped garage echoes, when his band when from a two piece to a three or four, and now that six-piece full backing band and the crew is synchronized, styled and shined.

Furthermore: there have been complaints that the current backing band The Peacocks is all-female, after an apparent 21st-century eye-opening that novelty could infringe on Serious Art. I say it'd be a problem if White hasn't spent half his career championing, embracing and nurturing female artists, combining with them or collaborating so that they could stand alone: Loretta Lynn, the Black Belles, Wanda Jackson, Ruby Amanfu, Alicia Keys, Karen Elson, Norah Jones, The White Stripes...

Read Full Post
<p>Suraj Sharma in &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

Suraj Sharma in "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Off the Carpet: Kicking the habit, seeing the light

Looking for meaning in the season as the 50th annual NYFF comes to a close

I haven't started to look at the 2012 awards season in terms of "the year of" because it's a fool's errand. That kind of thing just bubbles up and hits you one day and it becomes clear that, however inadvertently, the season's awards product hovers around similar ideas and notions, or at least that they can be molded around same.

However, after taking in Robert Zemeckis's "Flight" for a second time last night as the 50th annual New York Film Festival drew to a close, I started to note some things. The spirituality of the film, which I was aware of initially but which really began to stand out a second time, remained intriguing. And it struck me as somewhat poignant that it served as a bookend to the fest with opening night presentation "Life of Pi," a film very much about the search for faith and its power when it takes hold, whatever one might put one's faith in.

"Flight" screenwriter John Gatins was quick to go into all of that at the Stone Rose Lounge closing night party overlooking Columbus Circle. He was working through a few things when he wrote the script and the notion of "there are no atheists in foxholes" led to "there are no atheists on crashing airplanes" and that took him on a whole other journey of reflecting his flawed protagonist's faith through a variety of prisms throughout the script.

Read Full Post
<p>Naomi Watts and Tom Holland in &quot;The Impossible.&quot;</p>

Naomi Watts and Tom Holland in "The Impossible."

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Roundup: 'The Impossible' does just about that in Spain

Also: Stop-motion versus CGI, and Dustin Hoffman 'breaks through'

With the greatest of respect to a beautiful country, Spain's box office doesn't usually rate much of a mention -- but it seem worth mentioning when it addresses at least one question mark hovering over one of this year's Oscar hopefuls. Juan Antonio Bayona's tsunami drama "The Impossible" didn't get quite the level of buzz some expected out of Toronto: many reviews were strong, but others took issue with the filmmakers' decision to turn the true-life story of a Spanish family, the Belons, into one about a fictional British brood, allowing for more Hollywood-friendly casting. As it turns out, Spanish audiences couldn't care less: the film has been a domestic smash, shattering local records with its opening four-day gross. Will it connect with audiences Stateside in a tough holiday release slot? [Variety

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: The final part of 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' reunion

Andy Cohen declares this last installment is 'all out war'

It's the final installment of the three-part "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reunion, and I'm really looking forward to this long, ugly rehashing of the season being wrapped up for good. I mean, this isn't the "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings" trilogy; this is a bunch of women screaming at each other for hours and hours on end. Given that the blood feud that started the reunion has shown no signs of being resolved, I guess this means another hour of insults. Yay, insults. But Andy Cohen declares that this episode will be "all out war," which makes me wonder what the previous two hours were -- war-ish? Skirmishes? What? 

Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;Trem&eacute;,&quot;&nbsp;Albert (Clarke Peters)&nbsp;and his Indians strut their stuff.</p>

On "Tremé," Albert (Clarke Peters) and his Indians strut their stuff.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Tremé' - 'The Greatest Love'

The locals try something new, and Albert has a showdown at Indian practice

A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I sacrifice a sock to the music gods...

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME