Latest Blog Posts

<p>Joseph Gordon-Levitt in &quot;Looper&quot;</p>

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "Looper"

Credit: FilmDistrict

Tell us what you thought of 'Looper'

Rian Johnson's latest hits theaters this weekend

I've said plenty about "Looper" in the podcasts but haven't really had a chance to sit down and write something up. I'll get to it, maybe, but I'm content in loving this film whether I get around to writing about it or not. And I'd love to hear the readership's thoughts, too, so if/when you make it out to see it this weekend, do come on back here and give us your take.

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<p>Mumford &amp; Son's &quot;Babel&quot;</p>

Mumford & Son's "Babel"

Mumford & Sons will handily top next week's Billboard 200 with 'Babel'

Where do Green Day and No Doubt come in?

As we previously reported, Mumford & Sons are set to have the biggest debut week of 2012, as “Babel” is on target to sell as many as 615,000 copies. That will handily top this year's current record holder: Justin Bieber's "Believe," which sold 374,00 in its opening frame.

That tally is four times that of its nearest competitor, Green Day’s “Uno,” which will sell up to 170,000 copies to come in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, according to Hits Daily Double.

Three other debuts join them in the top 10: No Doubt’s “Push and Shove” will comes in at No. 3 with 125,000 sold, Lupe Fiasco’s “Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap”  at No. 5 and deadmau5’s “Album Title Goes Here” (yes, that’s really the name) at No. 7.

This week’s No. 1 album, Pink’s “The Truth About Love” drops to No. 4, which this week’s runner up, G.O.O.D Music’s “Cruel Summer” falls to No. 6. 

Rounding out the top 10 are Dave Matthews Band’s “Away From the World” at No. 8, The Killers’ “Battle Born” at No. 9 and Little Big Town’s “Tornado” at No. 10.

Bolstered by excitement from “Babel’s” release, Mumford & Sons’ first album, “Sigh No More” rockets back up to No. 11.


 

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<p>Joshua Jackson of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>

Joshua Jackson of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' Premiere - 'Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11'

'Fringe' starts its final season via a time jump that is alternately thrilling yet perplexing.

It’s only fitting that Yaz’s “Only You” closes out the final season premiere of “Fringe”. Written by Vince Clarke, who many will know from his work in Depeche Mode and Erasure, “Only You” is a synthesizer-based ballad. In other words, it creates beauty from inside the cold confines of technology. That’s always been the greatest strength of “Fringe” as well. It has taken the sometimes-cold world of science fiction and imbued the genre with enough heart and emotion to fill a half-dozen other television programs. Even if the fourth season never quite generated those some emotional highs as previous years, it has still aimed to tell very personal stories within a vast universe. This makes tonight’s episode, “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11", so perplexing.

Before you jump to the comments and chew me out, let me explain. I’m not convinced tonight’s episode is bad by any stretch (especially since this season’s narrative gamble needs to play out in full before final judgment is rendered), but it certainly demands some adjustments from the viewer. Even with Season Four’s “Letter Of Transit” serving as out introduction to the “Fringe” future world of 2036, it’s still difficult to properly process everything that’s going on through a first pass. What makes this difficult? Glad you asked!

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<p>Janet Montgomery in &quot;Made in Jersey.&quot;</p>

Janet Montgomery in "Made in Jersey."

Credit: CBS

Series premiere review: 'Made in Jersey' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new CBS drama?

"Made in Jersey" is another new fall show I didn't have write a review of, though Dan and I discussed it for a few minutes on yesterday's podcast, where we agreed that any enjoyment you take out of it will depend almost entirely on your affection for star Janet Montgomery.

For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? A Jersey love letter or more of the same old stereotypes? Did you buy the English-born Montgomery as a Jersey girl by way of Marissa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinny"? Did you feel the show made good use of Kyle MacLachlan? Did you want to spend more time on the case or back with her family? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

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<p>Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, and Chris Hemsworth prepare to rain some pain on some North Korean bad guys in the 'Red Dawn' remake</p>

Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, and Chris Hemsworth prepare to rain some pain on some North Korean bad guys in the 'Red Dawn' remake

Credit: FilmDistrict

Review: Chris Hemsworth can't save the shabby 'Red Dawn' remake from frustrating action scenes

Even '80s nostalgia can't salvage this one

"I miss 'Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare.'"
"Your life is 'Call Of Duty' now. And it sucks."

The original "Red Dawn" was released in 1984, and as much as any film of that decade, it is a product of its times.  I was 14 that year, and like most school-aged kids, I had been completely and utterly indoctrinated to be terrified of the Russians.  "Red Dawn" played expertly on that fear, and it helped that John Milius, the film's co-writer and director, is a glorious war-monger, a man who loves the way conflict defines a person.  The movie featured a cast of some of the best-known young actors in the '80s, including Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey, and even if you were able to avoid the film's politics, it worked as an action film.  There was something about the film's invasion scenario that struck a very deep chord with young viewers at the time, and for many of them, it remains a nostalgic favorite.

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<p>Nicki Minaj</p>

Nicki Minaj

Credit: NBC

Nicki Minaj lands three-part series on E! in November

Will Roman Zolanski come out to play?

Sorry Barbz, It turns out that Nicki Minaj is not getting a reality series, as had been rumored for the last few weeks, but she will be coming to a TV near you for at least three weeks.

E! will air  three specials on Minaj in November that will revolve around her professional and personal life, according to Idolator.  Does this mean we’ll see her and Mariah Carey cat fighting backstage at “American Idol?” Will her alter ego Roman Zolanski make an appearance? Let’s face it, with Minaj, you know it won’t be dull.

The three-part series will air around the release of “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded —The Re-Up.”

Minaj’s previous TV experiences include her 2010 MTV special, “My Time Now.”
 

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 89 -- 'Life of Pi' opens NYFF but is it a player?

Oscar Talk: Ep. 89 -- 'Life of Pi' opens NYFF but is it a player?

Also: Surveying the Best Actor field and disagreeing on 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

This week the New York Film Festival is launching and October is right around the corner. We're catching up with this and that along the way and have plenty to mull over as always, so with that, let's see what's on the docket today...

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Brittany Snow and Anna Kendrick

Brittany Snow and Anna Kendrick

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow talk 'Pitch Perfect'

While 'Bridesmaids' comparisons are welcome, the stars didn't plan on them

With its female-centric storyline about a group of bawdy, fun-loving girls who compete in a collegiate a cappella singing competitions,"Pitch Perfect" invites comparisons to the equally irreverent "Bridesmaids" -- and judging from the posters for the movie, the comparison is entirely welcome, at least by the marketing department. But according to star Anna Kendrick, it was never intentional.

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<p>Andrew Garfield will once again star for director Marc Webb in the sequel to 'The Amazing Spider-Man'</p>

Andrew Garfield will once again star for director Marc Webb in the sequel to 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield officially signed for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

With Emma Stone also in talks, could a Green Goblin announcement be far behind?

If you were a fan of "The Amazing Spider-Man," then you're probably pretty excited about the official news today that Marc Webb is now officially onboard to return for "The Amazing Spider-Man" sequel, along with Andrew Garfield.

The press release sent out this morning by Columbia Pictures also confirmed that Andrew Garfield will return as Peter Parker and Spider-Man and Emma Stone is in talks right now to come back as Gwen Stacy.  I don't think anyone should be particularly shocked by any of this news.  The first movie did very well, so of course they're bringing back as many of the creative elements as they can.

James Vanderbilt wrote the first draft of the script, with revisions by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner, and so far, we have no concrete information about what they'll be doing in the film.  If they announce the Green Goblin as the villain for this one, then it's pretty much a sure bet we can start preparing our farewells for Stone. 

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

Suraj Sharma in "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' roars into the Oscar season

The visionary filmmaker taps a narrative of soul and spirit

NEW YORK -- Translating Yann Martel's award-winning novel "Life of Pi" to film has proven to be a daunting task for filmmakers kicking the tires on it for the better part of a decade, but in the hands of someone like Ang Lee, it was already getting off on the right foot. While the film, which opens the New York Film Festival this evening, takes some time revving past a clunky first act, it eventually settles into a visionary sweet spot for well over an hour. Messy though it may be, it's affecting on the whole for the truths with which it concerns itself and the journey it so passionately suggests.

The story of the film is the visual scope of the endeavor, and Lee's work with visual effects artists and cinematographer Claudio Miranda ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "TRON Legacy") has produced some of the most awe-inspiring images likely to grace a screen this year. And indeed, Lee wanted that extra power, so much so that he was basically thinking of 3D before he was thinking of 3D, as he put it at a press conference this morning. "I didn't think it was possible without 3D," he said. "It needed another dimension."

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<p>Christina Aguilera in &quot;Your Body&quot;</p>

Christina Aguilera in "Your Body"

Credit: RCA

Watch: Christina Aguilera's trashy 'Your Body' vid will blow... your mind

Snooki meets 'I Love Lucy' vibe

If Christina Aguilera's freaky sex were a criminal, it'd be a serial killer. That's the point of "Your Body," which is equal parts "I Love Lucy" slapstick, Snooki and Beyonce's trailer park pin-up "Party" vid.

The colorful clip is automatically filed under "farce" with its initial warning, that no men were harmed in the making of this video. It's funny, 'cause men are sort of like animals, right? Anyway, it's nasty from the top, with Aguilera writhing in her campiest Strawberry fashions in the promise of a "killer week," trolling the bars with her lip gloss-dripping mug and gel tips, preying on stubble-sexy bro-dudes for playtime in cars, mens' bathrooms and cheap motels. And then she murders them, with an explosion of pink smoke and glitter or gratuitous splashes of blue semen-paint, strategically dripping from her mouth.

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Watch: 'Fringe' star Lance Reddick teases the final season

Watch: 'Fringe' star Lance Reddick teases the final season

Which Broyles is getting closure in these last episodes?
I was a little nervous when I sat down with Lance Reddick a couple weeks ago. 
 
It wasn't because Reddick is a terrifying man -- despite playing steely authority figures like Daniels on "The Wire" and Broyles on "Fringe" he's soft-spoken and friendly. 
 
It's just that I had already had a really good chat with Reddick at Comic-Con in July and given the secretive nature of all things "Fringe," there's sometimes a finite amount to discuss without new information.
 
Instead, my conversation with Reddick was perhaps the best of the slew of FOX-related interviews I did during the recent junket. We talked about what we can expect from Broyles in the final "Fringe" season, what it's like to approach this as a final season and what will come next for him. And despite the junket's relatively tight time confines, it's a fairly long interview, which our video guys figured would be more easily digested in two chunks. 
 
So check out the interview. The first part is above and the second part is below. I'm pretty pleased with it. 
 
And "Fringe" kicks off its final season tonight (September 28) at 9 p.m. on FOX.
 
 
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