Latest Blog Posts

<p>John C. Reilly is front and center in the charming new Disney animated feature, 'Wreck-It Ralph'</p>

John C. Reilly is front and center in the charming new Disney animated feature, 'Wreck-It Ralph'

Credit: HitFix

John C. Reilly gets animated about 'Wreck-It Ralph'

We talk to the star of this weekend's biggest movie

The first time I remember seeing John C. Reilly was in Brian De Palma's film "Casualties Of War," and right away, he seemed fully defined. That's a movie full of big performances, with Sean Penn and Michael J. Fox going head to head, and even so, Reilly stood out as Hatch, a giant man-child who seemed to follow whoever was the biggest alpha male regardless of the direction of his own moral compass.  It was a great introduction to the particular skill set of this actor, and in the years since, he has re-confirmed his gifts over and over again.

One of my favorite moments in his career was when he suddenly revealed, after breaking hearts for so many years, that he is also hilarious.  I should have known that innately, though.  You look at his work in "Boogie Nights," which is as crushingly sad a film as I can name, and it's tempered with some great comedy, especially between him and Mark Walhberg.

Read Full Post
'Skyfall' star Judi Dench enjoyed going to 'the ammunition shed' for the new James Bond adventure

'Skyfall' star Judi Dench enjoyed going to 'the ammunition shed' for the new James Bond adventure

Oscar-winning Dame discusses reuniting with Sam Mendes
NEW YORK CITY - For yours, Dame Judi Dench has been a piece of ornate detailing on the sports car that is the James Bond franchise.
In her first six stints as 007's boss M, Dench typically appeared exactly enough to remind you that the series was employing one of the world's great  actors, but rarely enough to entirely justify the participation of the Oscar-winning icon. She's been decoration with Shakespearean training.
That's not the case in "Skyfall."
In the newest James Bond adventure, Dench's M is front-and-center, particularly in the film's second half, which almost becomes a Bond & M buddy caper. Because M has ties with Javier Bardem's Silva, "Skyfall" offers perhaps our first real examination of the powerful woman's past and lets her be part of the action in the present.
A couple weeks ago, I sat down with Dench in New York City to discuss her enhanced "Skyfall" profile, as well as the opportunity to reunite with Sam Mendes. The Dame also offers a tantalizing tease on her favorite part of playing this version of M. 
It's been raking in money overseas for weeks, but "Skyfall" finally opens in domestic theaters on Friday, November 9. [And check out my interview with "Skyfall" star Daniel Craig.]
Read Full Post
<p>Thom Yorke</p>

Thom Yorke

Credit: AP Photo

Thom Yorke's supergroup Atoms For Peace set debut album release date

Listen to a cut: Radiohead frontman talks how everything is... screwed

Growing out of live band performances of Thom Yorke's solo album, the members of electro experiment group Atoms For Peace have finished a nine-song album "AMOK" (XL) and will release it at long-last on Jan. 28.

Songs have been trickled out all this fall, of remixes and teaser bits, with excellent "Default" leading the way. You can hear it below. Yorke is joined by longtime Radiohead cohort Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker and Red Hot Chili Peppers players Flea and Mauro Refosco on the solo-project-ish thing, which was recorded out of New York's Electric Lady Studios.

According to a tidy interview with Rolling Stones' David Fricke, Yorke essentially wanted to make a dance record with the crew, but knew he needed to throw his vocals on top for it to get any traction.

"But you also have to give people something that moves," Godrich said. "This is the eternal battle with Thom. He's like 'I really want to make a dance record. But I have to sing on it, or nobody's going to f*cking care."

"[T]he best tunes I dance to always have at least one good vocal idea." Yorke continued. "There's no such thing, to me, as a good tune with no vocals."

Read Full Post
<p>Bruce Greenwood was about as relaxed as you can be while still technically being considered awake during the press day for 'Flight'</p>

Bruce Greenwood was about as relaxed as you can be while still technically being considered awake during the press day for 'Flight'

Credit: HitFix

Bruce Greenwood on helping Denzel in 'Flight' and returning to 'Star Trek'

A quick conversation with the veteran character actor reveals nothing new about next year's sequel

I'm not sure he can bluff at poker, but when it comes to diplomatically not answering a direct question, Bruce Greenwood can hang with the best of them.

I've interviewed him before, I've watched him work on sets, and I've had the opportunity a few times to just chat with him informally.  He strikes me as really down-to-earth, a decent guy who projects a certain kind of charisma.  There's a reason he got tapped to play JFK in "Seven Days," and there's a reason JJ Abrams cast him as Commander Pike, who had such a great couple of scenes with Chris Pine as Kirk in "Star Trek."

I wanted to find a more graceful segue into "Star Trek Into Darkness," next year's sequel, than you'll see in this interview.  It's because everything at the "Flight" press day was running off-schedule, and midway through this interview, the count went from "three minutes left" to "wrap it up" in what felt like about 45 seconds.  When we wrapped, I wasn't satisfied with the answer I got from him on-camera, so I tried another tactic.

"So, listen… I talked to JJ Abrams, and he told me to tell you that it's okay to tell me everything."

He smiled.  "I doubt that."

Read Full Post
<p>This is not a deleted scene from 'Adaptation,' oddly enough.</p>

This is not a deleted scene from 'Adaptation,' oddly enough.

Credit: AP Photo/Thibault Camus

Sylvester Stallone says Nicolas Cage is officially 'Expendable'

Who else will join the party for the third film in the series?

I think it's time we face the inevitable.

They will be making "Expendables" movies for the next 20 years.  At least.  It's one of those things where now that it exists, I can't imagine it took this long for it to exist.  It's a pretty much effortless franchise.  There's no formal reason why any actor who is part of the series now has to stay part of the series forever.  I have a feeling Chuck Norris was in for just the second one, and we'll never see him again.

Today's big news gives the third "Expendables" movie a huge boost, since Nicolas Cage is joining the movie.  Or at least, Sylvester Stallone says he's joining it.  Stallone has certainly reached out to the fans before, most notably through the various Ain't It Cool articles he participated in, and he likes that interaction.  He likes reaching out to the fanbase and hearing directly from them about what they like and what they don't.

Read Full Post
<p>Brandy in &quot;Wildest Dreams&quot;</p>

Brandy in "Wildest Dreams"

Watch: Brandy's boots are made for walking in 'Wildest Dreams' video

R&B singer continues on comeback trail with new single

Brandy brings it old school with the new video for “Wildest Dreams,” the current video from her comeback album, “Two Eleven.”

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: 'Got Sexy Back'

One new cast member brings the crazy right from the jump

So, as we all know, Sheree is off "The Real Housewives of Altanta," and with one battle-tastic housewife out of the mix you might expect a more peaceful, Zen-like season this year. But wait! When old crazy walks out the door, new crazy opens a window, and to that end we have Kenya. Kenya Moore is a new housewife (Porsha Stewart, who isn't in this episode, will also be joining the cast), a former Miss USA, a movie producer and a card carrying lunatic, if the season premiere is anything to go by. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Our previous cast of crazies and put-upon eye-rollers is still in play, so let's review what's happened since last season's catfighting hijinks.

Read Full Post
<p>Idris Elba in &quot;Lover of the Light&quot;</p>

Idris Elba in "Lover of the Light"

Credit: Glassnote

Watch: Mumford & Sons' 'Lover of the Light' video with Idris Elba

'The Wire' star runs blindly; more tour dates announced

One can be blind and still be a "Lover of the Light": that seems to be the moral to the story in the Mumford & Sons' video of the same name, which features the directing and acting talents of "The Wire" star Idris Elba.

Co-directed with Dan Cadan, "Lover" sends a man who cannot see into the stunning landscapes of Pembrokeshire, Wales without his dog or cane. I'm moved by the details and pauses inside the man's house, as he converses with himself, and selects a tie to wear as he takes himself on a date to the forests, cliffs and the beach. 

Read Full Post
<p>Roger Deakins (right)&nbsp;and camera assistant Andy&nbsp;Harris on location in Glencoe,&nbsp;Scotland.</p>

Roger Deakins (right) and camera assistant Andy Harris on location in Glencoe, Scotland.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Tech Support Interview: Roger Deakins on 'Skyfall,' going digital and not looking back

Could he break that 0-9 streak at the Oscars with some of his best work yet?

For a producer of such lush and exquisite work, cinematographer Roger Deakins is often a man of select words. Thoughtful, yes, but never of a mind to over-think it.

Responsible for some of the most stunning images on film in our age -- "Kundun," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," to barely scratch the surface -- he shook the landscape of his field a bit two years ago when he went digital for Andrew Niccol's "In Time." And this year he's back in the form with "Skyfall," the first James Bond installment to eschew celluloid for the progression of digital filmmaking.

"Right now I don’t see a reason to go back and shoot film," Deakins says. "And probably if I leave it much longer then I won’t have the opportunity, because it just won’t exist anyway."

Read Full Post
<p>Kanye West is like &quot;no.&quot;</p>

Kanye West is like "no."

Kanye West 'Cruel Winter' trailer was a fake

Austin Christianson says it wasn't meant for distribution

Maybe we only wanted George Bush to narrate a Kanye West concept album.

The trailer to "Cruel Winter" that was widely distributed last week -- purportedly for a short film by Austin Christianson via West -- was merely a concept pitch from Christianson. The director told Fuse of the vague plan.

"Without getting into many details, I will say that the trailer was independently made and the video is essentially a concept trailer," he said. "It's used for pitching an idea and/or concept to a client. With that said, the video was being used for pitching purposes and it's naturally intended only for the client to see."

The sample used in the trailer is from George W. Bush's "Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf," which has an easy-going apocalyptic feel.

And so how does something like that end up into mainstream circulation via YouTube, huh? Just sounds like Christianson had good intentions as a professional, and even used the copyright attribution to DONDA (West's creative/film component to his empire) and maybe is a little embarrassed especially after Def Jam claimed no ownership and the clip was pulled down.

The existence of a "Cruel Winter" album is still in question. Something called "Cruel Winter" -- perhaps a companion to "Cruel Summer" -- is in the works. Waiting, however, is still cruel. Is West soliciting pitches for such a thing? Because I hear that George Lucas is interested in making little films now.

Read Full Post
<p>Denzel Washington in &quot;Flight.&quot;</p>

Denzel Washington in "Flight."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Roundup: 'Ralph' rules box office, but 'Flight' takes off

Also: Haneke speaks reluctantly, and 'Wreck-It Ralph' for Best Pic?

The box-office headlines from the weekend have understandably been dominated by "Wreck-It Ralph," whose healthy opening gross (the highest ever for a Disney animated effort) helps its chances in a crowded Oscar race. But the runner-up on the chart, "Flight," made no less noteworthy a debut, taking just over $25m, despite a relatively modest release in 1884 theaters. That puts it roughly on pace with the last Denzel Washington starrer "Safe House," which took $40m from a wider release, though "Flight" has considerably more room to build. It's also considerably outpaced the $13m gross box office pundits predicted for the film, and nearly recouped its tidy $31m budget. Paramount distribution head Don Harris reckons the film's adult target market will be more in the mood for going to the movies once the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy are behind them. [Reuters]

Read Full Post
<p>Elle Fanning in &quot;Ginger &amp; Rosa.&quot;</p>

Elle Fanning in "Ginger & Rosa."

Credit: A24

'Best Exotic,' 'The Imposter' among British Independent Film Award nominees

Elle Fanning, Meryl Streep and Judi Dench nab acting nods

Last year, the British Independent Film Awards -- the UK industry's answer to the Spirit Awards, though the chasm between independent and studio product here is a narrower one -- made the most of a banner year for British cinema, with citations aplenty for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "Shame," "Tyrannosaur," "Weekend," "Kill List" and the like.

2012 has been a bit less bountiful, and that's reflected in a slate of BIFA nods that reads a tad repetitively, with a small handful of films dominating the list. "Broken," a debut feature from acclaimed theater director Rufus Norris that was rather indifferently received at Cannes in the spring, leads the field with eight nominations, while "Berberian Sound Studio," "Sightseers" and "The Imposter" are close behind with seven apiece. Lest that field strike some as a little too niche, meanwhile, crossover smash "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" holds up the more mainstream end of the independent spectrum, nabbing five nominations, including Best Film -- a showing that bodes well for its BAFTA chances in a few months' time.

Read Full Post