Latest Blog Posts

<p>Malcolm and Abi of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Malcolm and Abi of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Hell Hath Frozen Over'

With her back against the fall, could Abi become a warrior?
Pre-credit sequence. I'm not going to miss Pete [an uninteresting exit interview]. Will anybody from Dangrayne? Abi will! It's The Morning After and she's whining about the "brutality" of Tribal Council. She declares that their behavior towards her wasn't "cute." [Monkey!] Denise says that Abi's next to go, unless she "miraculously" wins Immunity, but since she wanted to introduce that possibility, she might as well tell us who would be the next target in the event of said miracle. That'd be Jonathan Penner. That's what we so often call "foreshadowing," kids. 
 
Read Full Post
"Top Chef: Seattle"

 "Top Chef: Seattle"

Credit: Bravo

'Top Chef: Seattle' recap: '50's Food Flashback'

It's a retro challenge - with a crushing double elimination

Remember the fighting we saw at the end of last week? How everyone hated Dallas John for bagging on Kuniko? Yeah, that wasn't all of it. Of course the show saved a little bit of crazy to kick things off this week, and just to confirm, everyone really, really hate Dallas John. And he's pissed about it! As far as he's concerned, "Josh was a redneck and CJ was playing me." Um, what does that have to do for calling Kuniko just short of an idiot? But wait! Dallas John has one sole defender -- Stefan. I think Stefan's just relieved someone else is the villain this season. 

Read Full Post
<p>From &quot;Ice Age&quot;</p>

From "Ice Age"

Watch: How to Destroy Angels' 'Ice Age' video by John Hillcoat

Trent Reznor and Co. are ready for the Apocalypse

If that Mayan Calendar really does predict The End, Trent Reznor's band How To Destroy Angels is ready for whatever. You can tell they see it coming, because singer Mariqueen Maandig looks to the ocean when she sings "ocean."

The band -- rounded out by Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan -- goes predictably dour for Califone rip "Ice Age," the clip directed by "Lawless" helmer John Hillcoat. There's some beautiful long shots of Maandig and a palate to die for. I like the doves. "An Omen" indeed.

The band's EP "An Omen" is already out and they've promised a full-length for 2013.

Read Full Post
"American Horror Story"

 "American Horror Story"

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story' recap: 'Dark Cousin'

The angel of death drops by, and Sister Mary Eunice is not amused

Is anyone else having nightmares after watching this show? Anyone? Well, if you are so unlucky as to have the opening credits playing in a nightmarish loop in your head, take heart. Tonight's episode is relatively low on gore (it's hard to top those Shelley episodes), so that should be some small comfort. As luck has it, the angel of death (who pops up almost immediately and is played with understated grace by Frances Conroy) has a strangely calming influence on this episode. Yes, she tends to appear when people are contemplating suicide or are hurtling toward high speed car accidents, but in her modest black suit and kick-ass black wings, she makes the Big Sleep seem no more troubling than closing your eyes and leaning in for a kiss. Of course, when you're stuck at Briarcliff, the angel of death probably isn't all that scary at all.

Read Full Post
<p>Britney Spears vamps in the official music video for &quot;Scream and Shout.&quot;</p>

Britney Spears vamps in the official music video for "Scream and Shout."

Credit: Interscope Records

Watch: Will.I.Am and Britney Spears video for 'Scream & Shout'

Let it all out to a fab looking Spears

There’s no there there, but that doesn’t mean everyone won’t be talking about the new video by Will.I.Am and Britney Spears for “Scream & Shout.”

The futuristic, minimalistic clip is a cheap-looking affair that displays no chemistry between the two (they only appear together in what looks like a photoshopped scene). This is less of a collaboration than some not-so-clever cut-and-paste job.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Rihanna's 'Diamonds' shine atop the Billboard Hot 100 again
Credit: Def Jam Recordings

Rihanna's 'Diamonds' shine atop the Billboard Hot 100 again

She rules over the Billboard 200 as well

Rihanna is the queen of the charts as she becomes only the second artist this year to simultaneously rank No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard 200.

Diamonds” sparkles for a second week as the leader on the singles chart, while “Unapologetic” bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week.

Not surprisingly, Adele is the only artist to achieve that feat in 2012 in February, when “21” led the album chart and “Set Fire To the Rain” was No. 1 on the Hot 100, according to Billboard.

Rihanna fends off a challenge from Ke$ha, whose “Die Young”  climbs 3-2. Ke$ha’s track trades places with Maroon 5’s  former No. 1 smash, “One More Night, “ which drops to No. 3.

Bruno Mars snags another Top5 hit as “Locked Out Of Heaven,” the first single from “Unorthodox Jukebox,” rises 7-4. Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” which was locked out of the No. 1 spot by Maroon 5, rises 7-5.

Rounding out the bottom half of the Top 10, fun.s’ “Some Nights” slides 5-6, while the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” creeps up a spot to No. 7.  No new songs enter the top 10, but “American Idol” champ Phillip Phillips’s “Home” makes a welcome return as the song bounces 12-8 on the strength of the release of his debut album, “The World From The Side of the Moon.”  The song had previously peaked at No. 9.

Flo Rida’s “I Cry” inches  10-9, while Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself” falls 6-10.

Read Full Post
<p>I can see why you'd want someone very serious to handle this film.</p>

I can see why you'd want someone very serious to handle this film.

Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney

James Gunn skirts faux controversy as 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' closes in on cast

Comments from two years ago suddenly ignite some online indignation

Hey, guys, I don't want to speak out of turn, but I have a sneaking suspicion that James Gunn, who is writing and directing "Guardians Of The Galaxy" for Marvel, likes really, really dirty jokes.

I can't prove it, but it's just one of those feelings I get.  Maybe it's because I've seen his Troma movies.  Or because I've watched his "PG Porn" shorts or because I saw "Super," his deranged little riff on the superhero film, or because he is pretty much a non-stop blast of filthy and funny on Twitter.  If you've seen "Slither," then I think you've got the basic idea, which is that there is no line James Gunn is unafraid to cross for no other reason that It amuses him.

The first thing I heard today about "Guardians" was that they're about to start screen-testing guys for the lead, and it's a cool short list of guys who could all bring something different to the part.  I like Joel Edgerton a lot, but don't know Jack Huston at all.  I haven't watched "Boardwalk Empire" yet, and if he's in something else I've seen, I don't recognize the name.  Jim Sturgess was really good in "Cloud Atlas," and I'll have my full review of Eddie Redmayne in "Les Miserables" soon.  The name that mosts interests me on this list is Lee Pace, who was really good in "Twilght: Breaking Dawn, Part 2."  Yes, I know I just put the phrase "really good" in the same sentence as the title of that film, but Pace shows up and it's like he's just stepped in from another much more fun version of the franchise.  He could be a great unexpected choice for Peter Quill, who is half-human, half-alien, and the leader of the Guardians.

Read Full Post
<p>Milos Forman with Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love on the set of &quot;The People Vs. Larry Flynt.&quot;</p>

Milos Forman with Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love on the set of "The People Vs. Larry Flynt."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Milos Forman wins Lifetime Achievement Award from DGA

The two-time Oscar winner is the 34th recipient of the Guild's top honor

There's something to be said for not handing out lifetime achievement awards on an annual basis: when someone gets one, it's because a voting body genuinely thinks an artist's career merits the effort that goes such a tribute, and not just because they have a space to fill and that person's number has come up.

The Directors' Guild of America has been particularly stingy with their own top honor of late: the last recipient was Norman Jewison in 2010, and that came four years after the previous presentation, to Clint Eastwood. This year, the DGA has decided it's in a generous mood again, and the beneficiary is a worthy one: 80-year-old Czech-born master Milos Forman.

Read Full Post
<p>Tate Stevens of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Tate Stevens of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 8 - Performances

Like tentacles on an octopus, the eight perform

I was out of the continent last week and, thus, missed both Wednesday and Thursday installments of "The X Factor." 

Somehow, the roar of buzz failed to inform me that Beatrice Miller and Arin Ray were sent home until now. I'm not shocked. Beatrice was incredibly talented, but her insecurities were worsening as the glare of the spotlight grew brighter. This show wasn't helpful to her. I think we'll see her again in a few years, but it's not an insult to say some people shouldn't be forced to become stars at 13. And as for Arin, he was only an OK version of an archetype that doesn't do all that well on FOX singing competition shows. 

So it goes.

We've got performances from the Top 8 coming up tonight. I have no clue how the time will be filled beyond that. Lots of Khloe Kardashian-Odom reading cue-cards?

Let's find out!

Read Full Post
<p>Pete's torch is extinguished on &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Pete's torch is extinguished on "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Pete Yurkowski talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

Was his strategy of 'creating chaos' worthwhile in the end?
I wasn't around to recap last Wednesday night's eventful episode of "Survivor: Philippines," but due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I was still able to have my weekly exit interview and chat with Pete Yurkowski about his torch-snuffing.
 
In one of those reversals of fortune that happen three or four times every "Survivor" season, Pete went from atop a seemingly powerful majority alliance to out-of-the-game over a two-episode span. First he helped minimize the Tandang domination by voting against long-time rival RC, then he lost a tenuous ally when Mike Skupin flipped on Artis. And finally Pete was forced to beg for Skupin's support when it became clear that primary target Abi's Immunity Idol made him the next player on the block.
 
Pete's attempts to convince other players that Malcolm, holding an Idol himself, would be better blindside fodder amounted to nothing when host Jeff Probst spent a full Tribal Council dwelling on the collective antipathy towards Abi.  
 
In a conversation marked by long pauses and frequent dodges, Pete discussed his relationship with Abi, his dislike of Skupin and whether or not his own attempts to generate random chaos ended up doing more harm than good. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Oh, Rinko...</p>

Oh, Rinko...

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Photo

Guillermo Del Toro's giant-monsters-and-robots movie 'Pacific Rim' kicks off viral campaign

The first hints of the huge world the director is building are revealed

Looks like Warner Bros. decided it's time to start telling the general public that "Pacific Rim" is on the way, and not a moment too soon.

I'm as sold as sold gets when it comes to this giant summer movie directed by Guillermo Del Toro.  If you want backstory, go check out my write-up from this summer's Comic-Con presentation for the film.  I'm looking forward to sharing my impressions from a set visit I did as well, but for now, it's time for Warner to kick off what looks like a dense set of viral marketing materials that are all landing today in different places.

I think Wired has a pretty great one, and if you want to know what makes Del Toro's approach to this material special, I think a close-up examination of a blueprint for one of the film's Jaegers is a good place to start.  I love that all of the Jaegers have names, that they're not just generic robots.  These things have character, each one driven by a team of neurally-linked pilots who are put through hell during the combat we'll see in the film.  The film imagines how the world might respond if giant monsters started to pour forth out of some hole in the middle of the ocean, and the response the film suggests is the Jaegers, giant robots that each country contributes to a sort of general world defense organization called the Pan Pacific Defense Corps

Read Full Post
<p>(L-R)&nbsp;John&nbsp;Krasinski, Gus Van&nbsp;Sant and Matt Damon on the set of &quot;Promised Land&quot;</p>

(L-R) John Krasinski, Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon on the set of "Promised Land"

Credit: Focus Features

Matt Damon, John Krasinski and Gus Van Sant call 'Promised Land' their attempt at Capra

'It's a pro-community movie.'

NEW YORK -- Focus Features is rallying the discussion around its late-season arrival "Promised Land" with a press day on Monday and an intimate luncheon this afternoon at Aquavit on 59th. Stars/screenwriters Matt Damon and John Krasinski were on hand, as well as director Gus Van Sant.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME