Latest Blog Posts

<p>Anna Kendrick in &quot;Pitch Perfect.&quot;</p>

Anna Kendrick in "Pitch Perfect."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Roundup: Why 2012 has been a good year for movie heroines

Also: Inside the LAFCA vote, and examining BAFTA's rule changes

I somehow missed this when it appeared a few day ago, but A.O. Scott's essay on the year in movie heroines is essential reading. While noting the commercial and/or critical success of female-powered narratives ranging from "The Hunger Games" to "Brave" to "Beasts of the Southern Wild" to "Pitch Perfect" -- while noting the potential for "Zero Dark Thirty" to rule an otherwise male-dominated Oscar slate -- he's not so naive or patronising as to label 2012 any kind of Year of the Woman. Still, he does sense a recent uptick in studios' consideration of the intelligent female audience. "It should not, after all, be a big deal that movies like 'Bridesmaids' or 'The Hunger Games' exist," he writes, "perhaps because it should have been a bigger deal when such movies didn’t." [New York Times]

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<p>On &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;the gang spies on Barney's date with Patrice.</p>

On "How I Met Your Mother," the gang spies on Barney's date with Patrice.

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Over-Correction'

Robin freaks out over Barney's relationship with Patrice

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I dress like a Duluth streetwalker...

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Did Brandi of 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' go too far?

The 'truth cannon' drops a bombshell about Adrienne, but Bravo won't reveal it

A few things happen in this episode on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," many of them painfully mundane. Kyle gives her terror-behind-the-wheel Alexia a new Mercedes. Ken gets his hip replaced. Lisa reprimands one of her employees. Paul tries to barbecue and shows off his unfortunate back hair. None of this matters, because the focus of this episode is THE FIGHT. Yes, on a show that spews out verbal smackdowns the way Duggars pop out babies, this battle royale might actually be memorable past next week. In fact, I think it continues into next week, as that's the impression we get from the promo, and (thanks to the long, spidery reach of the Internet) it might have been the basis for a cease-and-desist letter against Brandi Glanville filed by Adrienne Maloof. So, whatever kickstarted this feud must have been horrible, right? There's no way of knowing, simply because Bravo didn't air it.

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<p>'Would you believe we built that room for a Hulk?'</p>

'Would you believe we built that room for a Hulk?'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

A day at Bad Robot gives us a better look at 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Plus we share a crazy theory about the secrets JJ Abrams is hiding in plain sight

The Bad Robot offices occupy a large building in Santa Monica that you would never notice just driving by.  I missed it the first time around the block, and had to circle back before I was able to hand off my car to the waiting valet.  I was afraid I'd missed the start of today's "Star Trek Into Darkness" event, but ended up making it in just enough time to get my green wristband, join my group, and start the tour of the building, designed to give us a look inside one of next year's most anticipated sequels.

To be clear, there was one point in the day where we saw something we had to promise not to disclose.  I wouldn't say it radically changed anything I'm going to share with you, but instead simply served to amp up my own enthusiasm because it was really, really, yes, I'm going to say it three whole times, REALLY cool.

If you're curious about the identity of the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Paramount took care of that earlier today, and they're not lying to you.  They released an image of Zachary Quinto as Spock, Cumberbatch in the cell that held Loki and Silva, and Chris Pine as Captain James T. Motherscratchin' Kirk, and in the caption, they named him as "John Harrison."

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<p>Natalie and Nadiya of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Natalie and Nadiya of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Natalie & Nadiya talk 'The Amazing Race'

The 4th place team discusses 'finding' money and being seen as villains
On Sunday (December 9) night, "The Amazing Race" wrapped up its 21st installment with possibly the most unlikely winner in the show's history.
And on Monday morning, I talked with each of the final four teams, including the million dollar winner. Counting down from fourth to first, HitFix will be running one interview per day. [I'll do the same thing next week with the "Survivor: Philippines" winner and remaining contestants.]
Up first? The season's fourth place finishers, the last team eliminated before that climactic Leg, which took the Top 3 to New York City.
No team on this season's "Amazing Race" produced the diversity of opinions that greeted Sri Lankan twins Natalie & Nadiya Anderson.
To fans, the Twinies were boundlessly enthusiastic and endlessly quotable and, in the early going, brought energy to a potentially dull season.
To detractors, the Twinies were shrill, loud and bullying. And depending on your definitions for "find" or "steal," they helped separate James & Abba from a chunk of money, leaving the Rockers begging in the streets of Bangladesh. 
But what did viewers expect? As one twin observed in the finale, "We've always been evil. We've never been nice."
In our conversation, the Twins were unapologetic about the money incident, but admitted that they gave the show plenty to work with when depicting them as villains. They also talk about their current friendship with all of their fellow Racers and their surprising enthusiasm for the season's winning team.
Click through for the full conversation...
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<p>Jessica Chastain walks the red carpet at the world premiere of &quot;Zero Dark Thirty&quot;&nbsp;in Hollywood Monday night.</p>

Jessica Chastain walks the red carpet at the world premiere of "Zero Dark Thirty" in Hollywood Monday night.

Credit: AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Jessica Chastain and Kathryn Bigelow bring 'Zero Dark Thirty' to Hollywood

The Dolby Theater hosts an early awards season event

HOLLYWOOD - Sony Pictures and Annapurna Productions brought their celebrated thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" to the Dolby Theater Monday night for what turned out to be a star studded premiere.

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Predicting the 2013 Golden Globe nominees for Television

Predicting the 2013 Golden Globe nominees for Television

Will Lindsay Lohan, 'Newroom' and 'Girls' get Golden Globes attention
Every summer, I spend a couple weeks delving into Emmy nomination predictions. I carefully examine each major category and handicap between 15 and 20 candidates, listing pros and cons and digging deep into precedent. 
As a result, I'm pretty good at Emmy predictions. Even when I'm wrong, 9 times out of 10, I know exactly why Emmy voters made the choices they made. I'm not perfect, but I can get inside the head of Average Emmy Joe reasonably well.
I'm not especially good at Golden Globe predictions.
Predicting the Golden Globes is like trying to get inside the head of Claire Danes' "Homeland" character when she's off her meds. After a while, it's all headshots, push-pins and interconnecting yarn.
When you are attempting to predict the actions of an award-giving organization that, in recent years, has nominated folks like Callie Thorne and Thomas Jane and Piper Perabo and Jennifer Love Hewitt, you're not dealing with an easily predictive sense of logic or evaluation.
Yes, Golden Globe voters love pretty people. But to what extreme? My predictions here suggest that Hayden Panettiere has a reasonable shot of being nominated for "Nashville," but have I gone too far? Did I go too far in assuming that as reviled as her performance was, Lindsay Lohan's chances of being nominated for "Liz and Dick" are almost disturbingly good?
As befits an organization of foreign journalists, the Golden Globe voters love nominating big name international actors, whether it be Jeremy Irons or Jonathan Rhys Meyers. So am I going out on a limb in saying that Jonny Lee Miller of "Elementary" is going to be right on the cusp of a nomination?
Dakota Johnson of "Ben and Kate" not only fits the Golden Globes preference towards attractive young actresses verging on stardom, but the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson was also Miss Golden Globes a few years back. I don't have her getting a nomination, but if she does, you'll know exactly why.
And on and on.
It's enough to drive a prognosticator mad.
So here are my predictions. I've categorized by "Probable Nominees" (basically locks) and "Strong Candidates" and "Dark Horses." For the most part, the top six names are my formal predictions. Don't take any of it to the bank.
The Golden Globe nominations will be announced on Thursday (December 13) morning. 
Here are my predictions:
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<p>Adam Levine of Maroon 5</p>

Adam Levine of Maroon 5

Credit: Wade Payne/Invision/AP

Watch: Maroon 5 recruits the world for crowd-sourced 'Daylight' video

The human condition in all its forms in nine minutes

Maroon 5 becomes the latest band to get cheap labor for their new music video. Seriously, for “Daylight,” the latest track from “Overexposed,” the band asked their fans to turn in videos revealing some of their deepest thoughts and then a very patient editor tied them all together.

Some of the clips tie loosely into the song’s theme about desperately not wanting to leave someone at morning’s first light, but the tune is really only a jumping off point for a much deeper look at the human condition... and how hard it is to be a teenager.

Some of the responses to what people hate, what they love and what they regret are by turns funny, silly, and heartbreaking as people confess to a camera truths they have never told even their closest friends or talk about tremendous losses in their lives.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Emmanuelle Riva has already won several critics' awards for &quot;Amour.&quot;</p>

Emmanuelle Riva has already won several critics' awards for "Amour."

Credit: AP Photo/Michel Euler

Emmanuelle Riva on playing part of a Michael Haneke symphony in 'Amour'

We talk to the Boston and Los Angeles critics' choice for Best Actress

The first thing Emmanuelle Riva wants me to know – before any mention of movies, careers or awards, before the word “Amour” even enters our conversation – is that she's feeling fine. 

Admittedly, it's not an entirely unprompted statement. She's merely responding to my opening greeting, in which I mention how sorry I was to hear of her recent ill health – words which immediately draw a good-natured but puzzled laugh. “I'm sorry, illness?” she asks over the phone, via a translator, from her home in Paris. “I don't know what you mean.” 

Nervous that I've kicked off an eagerly-awaited interview with an immediate faux pas, I sheepishly explain that her absence at the previous weekend's European Film Awards in Malta – where she was a popular winner of the Best Actress prize – had been explained by the presenter as the result of flu season. Happily, Riva cheerfully confirms, there must have been a misunderstanding. “I'm perfectly fine,” she says. “I was just tired. I've been doing interviews since Cannes!” 

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The final four on "The Voice".

The final four on "The Voice".

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Monday - Top 4 Perform

Who will stand out in the semifinal performances?
Four contestants. Four hours. That’s all that remains on this cycle of “The Voice”, which will see one-hour installments over the next two Mondays and Tuesdays. After that, NBC will quietly weep, hoping viewers stick around for programming that doesn’t involve spinning red chairs. In the meantime, we need to eliminate two contestants this week before getting to next week’s finals. Tonight’s episode may solidify current fan bases, or they might see a breakout performance that makes voters break for a new artist late in the game.
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Ne-Yo joins bandwagon for Beyonce's new album
Credit: AP Photo

Ne-Yo joins bandwagon for Beyonce's new album

R&B star joins other collaborators, such as Jay-Z and Miguel for Bey's fifth set

It’s still 2012, but 2013 is already shaping up to be the year of the Beyonce. Not only will Bey provide the half-time entertainment for Feb. 3’s Super Bowl and she’s directing her own hagiography documentary to air on HBO Feb. 16, she is working on her new album with “Irreplaceable” collaborator Ne-Yo.

Ne-Yo, who was all over the place last week between his appearances on the Grammy Nominations concert, “Saturday Night Live” and Z-100’s Jingle Ball, tells MTV News that he and Beyonce are already in discussions about the new album. “Who knows? Maybe we’ll get another ‘Irreplaceable’ out of the batch,” he says.

Beyonce, who posted a photo of herself in the studio in November,  has already reportedly logged studio time with hubby Jay-Z, The-Dream, Ryan Tedder, Kanye West, Diane Warren and Miguel for the follow-up to "4."  Though there’s no release date or even an official announcement about a new album, The-Dream expects that we may hear some music early next year.“She’s already gearing up to get ready to put stuff out,” The-Dream told Billboard  earlier this month. “I’m sure there will probably be a couple records you hear before the Super Bowl gets here.”  As you recall, Madonna used her Super Bowl platform this year to promote new single, “Give Me  All Your Luvin’.”

In other Beyonce news, the singer has expanded her partnership with Pepsi to the tune of $50 million, according to the New York Times, which includes media placements, promotions, and her fee. In addition to filming her fifth commercial in 10 years for the soda, her pretty pout will appear on Pepsi cans.  The deal, the Times explains, also includes a fund for Pepsi to finance Beyonce’s “creative” projects, possibly ranging from live events, videos, and fashion shoots.

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<p>Amy Adams will be honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next month.</p>

Amy Adams will be honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next month.

Credit: Kenneth Wilardt

Amy Adams to receive Vanguard Award at Santa Barbara fest

The actress is aiming for her fourth Oscar nod this season

Though the category remains highly flexible, Amy Adams's position in the Best Supporting Actress race had been looking the tiniest bit precarious until recently. Though critically beloved, "The Master" is clearly not a consensus favorite, while her excellent work in it risks getting sidelined -- not just because of her more prominently featured male co-stars, but because the chilly tenor of her performance as a slyly controlling kewpie-doll wife doesn't invite the same emotional response as some of her chief rivals.

Things are looking up, though. A win from the Los Angeles critics, who came through for "The Master" in a big way, is a major boost, and today it was announced that Adams will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at next month's Santa Barbara International Film Festival -- which, like Palm Springs, is a useful stop on the Oscar campaign trail.

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