Latest Blog Posts

<p>Smoke &amp; Jackal's &quot;No Tell&quot;</p>

Smoke & Jackal's "No Tell"

Song Of The Day: Kings Of Leon, Mona members combine for Smoke & Jackal

'No Tell': hint, it rhymes with 'motel'

If you wonder what the guys in Kings Of Leon have been up to beyond marrying models and bearing children, the new side project Smoke & Jackal may be some indication.

KoL bassist Jared Followill has combined with Nick Brown, the frontman for Ohio rockers Mona, and made an EP called "EP1" under the Smoke & Jackal moniker. That set will be out Oct. 16 via RCA, and preceding is a new track "No Tell."

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Watch: Katy Perry's fascinating behind-the-scenes videos for 'Wide Awake'
Credit: Capitol Records

Watch: Katy Perry's fascinating behind-the-scenes videos for 'Wide Awake'

Get answers to how did they do that scene?

Katy Perry’s video for “Wide Awake” has been out for a minute, but now you can go behind the scenes of the MTV Video Music Award-nominated clip.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Dee Snider</p>

Dee Snider

Credit: NBC

Dee Snider tells Paul Ryan, 'We're Not Gonna Take It'

Twisted Sister frontman tells VP candidate to cut it out

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider has joined the Silversun Pickups in telling the Republican presidential ticket to back off.

Snider issued a statement today after it came to his attention that Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president,  Rep. Paul Ryan, is using “We’re Not Gonna Take It” during campaign stops.

“I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan's use of my song "Were Not Gonna Take It" as recorded by my band Twisted Sister,” Snider said in a statement released to Talking Points Memo campaign reporter Benjy Sarlin. “There is almost nothing on which I  agree with Paul Ryan, except perhaps the use of the P90X.”

That’s more than the Silversun Pickups had in common with Romney. Last week, the LA-based alternative group issued a cease-and-desist letter to Romney’s campaign after it used their song, “Panic Switch.” A Romney campaign spokesperson responded that “Panic Switch” was “not a song we would have played intentionally.” 

 

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<p>Paul Giamatti and Don Coscarelli discuss a scene on the set of 'John Dies At The End'</p>

Paul Giamatti and Don Coscarelli discuss a scene on the set of 'John Dies At The End'

Credit: Magnet Releasing

Coscarelli's 'John Dies At The End' heads to VOD and theaters with Magnet

The film version of David Wong's crazy comic horror novel gets a date

It looks like a happy ending is in the cards for Don Coscarelli's adaptation of "John Dies At The End," which is great news for fans of the director or the book or just plain weird movies.

"John Dies At The End," or "JDATE" for short, has been on my mind the last few days as I've been reading "This Book Is Full Of Spiders," the sequel to the novel by David Wong that inspired Coscarelli's film in the first place.  Having seen the movie, it's hard not to picture the cast of that film going through the rather insane paces of the sequel, and I'd love for this film to eventually do well enough that Coscarelli gets the chance to do the follow-up.

Since its premiere at Sundance this year, Coscarelli's been fine-tuning the film, and it's gone through some fine edits as well as some work on the effects to bring the last act of the film to life.  Now Magnolia/Magnet has stepped up to distribute the film, which is great news because one way or another, you'll have access to the film.

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<p>Lisa Simpson and The Bieb</p>

Lisa Simpson and The Bieb

Justin Bieber heads to 'The Simpsons' to shake up Springfield

Will the teen idol play himself?

Justin Bieber is coming to Springfield. The teen idol will appear as himself on an episode of “The Simpsons” that airs in 2013.

Bieber tweeted about that he did a voice over for the show, declaring it “swaggy.”  Then “The Simpsons” executive producer Al Jean gave more details to Entertainment Weekly: “He tries to get into a talent show that Bart is playing piano in and they won’t admit him,” Jean said. “Draw your own conclusions.” Hmmmm. Who will have the bigger crush on him? Lisa or Milhouse?

The episode is called “The Fabulous Faker Boy,” which might give us more of a hint about the plot. Among the other famous names who will appear as voice guests on the 24th season of the animated show are Natalie Portman, Steve Carrell, Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway, and Edward Norton, according to EW. The new season premieres Sept. 30.

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<p>Keanu Reeves seems to have become an expert on the industry-wide transformation from film to digital as part of his work on the new documentary 'Side By Side'</p>

Keanu Reeves seems to have become an expert on the industry-wide transformation from film to digital as part of his work on the new documentary 'Side By Side'

Credit: HitFix

Watch our full length Keanu Reeves interview and read our review of 'Side-By-Side'

We discuss the future of the film industry with the star of the smart and satisfying doc

"Side By Side" is interesting because it is a snapshot of a moment, an attempt to capture an argument mid-stream, one that will be resolved at some point soon but which is, right now, one of the primary conversations happening about the state of our industry.

Virtually all of the student filmmaking work I did was on video.  We were lucky enough at my high school to have a non-linear editing suite, but these were the days of VHS to VHS, and it was still crude compared to the editing firepower available to anyone with a laptop these days.  At that point, video was not in competition with film for the business of movie making.  It just wasn't an option.  The best-looking film shot on video was still shot on video.  It was something even the least sophisticated viewer could see right away.

These days, digital projection and digital filmmaking are so technically sophisticated that the entire conversation has had to change.  The question is no longer "does video look as good as film?" because we've realized that isn't the point.  Video still has a number of signatures that make it different from film, but instead of being limitations now, they are just differences, and the best artists working in movies today are hotly divided over which tools to use, what to use them for, and what it means for the art as a whole.

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<p>Daniel Day-Lewis in the poster for &quot;Lincoln.&quot;</p>

Daniel Day-Lewis in the poster for "Lincoln."

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Daniel Day-Lewis does some serious thinking in the first poster for 'Lincoln'

Steven Spielberg's biopic hits theaters November 9

It may still be gloriously summery -- where I am, at least -- but I'm feeling an intangible autumnal chill this week, as the upcoming prestige-movie season, and all the awards talk that comes with it, looms ever larger. Venice kicks off the fall festival circuit in exactly one week's time, I'm attending screenings with embargoes signed in blood, and every day seems to bring another new poster, trailer, clip or press release for a film with the O-word on its mind. (Yesterday's announcement of the Golden Globes voting schedule just about had me burying my head under the couch cushions, begging for another few months of sun.)

Today, then, marks the first move in the marketing campaign for "Lincoln" -- a sober monochrome one-sheet that quite clearly establishes, in case you thought otherwise, that Steven Spielberg's presidential biopic (and sight-unseen Oscar threat) won't be reframing Honest Abe's life story as a romantic comedy. It's not a terribly inspired poster, though I suppose it carries the requisite gravitas -- between the shot of Daniel Day-Lewis's artfully made-up profile and the grainily etched black and white of the imagery, it recalls nothing so much as a weathered penny coin in its iconography. That's surely no accident.

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' tops the Billboard Hot 100

The record-setting single ends Flo Rida's brief ride at No. 1

Taylor Swift lands her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with style this week as  “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” rockets from No. 72 to the top spot.

Swift had previously peaked at No. 2 twice before. "Never" got plenty of airplay, but it was digital downloads that really fueled the blast to the top: “Never” sold 623,000 copies, making it the highest selling sales week ever for a female artist. (The overall No. 1 belongs to Flo Rida’s “Right Round” with 636,000 in 2009).

Speaking of, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” slips to No. 2 after one week at the top, according to Billboard. Swift’s ascent pushes every song in the top 5 down a notch: Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” goes 2-3, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” 3-4 and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” 4-5.

In the bottom half of the Top 10, fun.’s second top 10, “Some Nights” rises 8-6 and Maroon 5’s “Payphone” falls out of the top 5 for the first time in its 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, dropping 5-7. But there’s good news as well for the Adam Levine-led group as “One More Night,” the follow-up to “Payphone” makes it arrival into the Top 10, jumping 15-9.

“Night” is one of two new entries in the Top 10: Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean moves up four notches to No. 8.

David Guetta’s “Titanium” featuring Sia closes out to Top 10 dropping from 7 to 10.

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<p>Key art for the upcoming season of &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

Key art for the upcoming season of "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

'Doctor Who' to return to BBC America on September 1

Five-episode run to say goodbye to Amy Pond and Rory

"Doctor Who" will return to BBC America on Saturday, September 1 at 9 p.m.

The seventh season of the rebooted "Doctor Who" will be premiering on the same day in Great Britain. Even though this is a holiday weekend in America, BBC America executives apparently felt (rightly so) that they were better off sticking day-and-date with the UK rather than inviting American viewers to illegally download the episodes.

The seventh season will be split into a few chunks, and the first batch will be five episodes that will send off Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as the Doctor's most recent companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. It's unclear whether the new companion, played by Jenna Louise Coleman, will be introduced in these episodes or further down the line.

If you want a taste of what's to come in the new season, here's a spoiler-y quote from showrunner Steven Moffat:

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<p>Mariah Carey in &quot;Triumphant&quot;</p>

Mariah Carey in "Triumphant"

Watch: Mariah Carey, Meek Mill, Rick Ross hit the ropes in 'Triumphant' vid

Mimi announces the rounds

Mariah Carey tells the listener to "get off the ropes" in her new single "Triumphant," advice she takes to the next level in her music video for the track. The singer is actually in the ring -- as an announces and the girlie who announces the rounds in a boxing match that also features guest rappers Meek Mill and Rick Ross.

Mill is the fighter and Ross is the fat cat promoter, and both fit their roles well, with the former lavishing in all his sweat and the latter rocking the robes and they stereotypical rings and cigars. What could have been fabulous is Carey stepping up to either of those, beat either at their own game, but like in this particular iteration of the song, she's much less a leader and more of a mere participant.

But it's gold everywhere, and Carey spends plenty of time in the literal spotlight showing off her body in bright lights.

She'll have more time upfront during her first stint as judge on "American Idol" and helping to kick off the 2012-2013 NFL season with No Doubt.

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<p>Abbas Kiarostami's new film 'Like Someone In Love' was one of the last titles announced for this year's Toronto Film&nbsp;Festival</p>

Abbas Kiarostami's new film 'Like Someone In Love' was one of the last titles announced for this year's Toronto Film Festival

Credit: IFC Films

Toronto's line-up finalized with Jackie Chan, Michael Winterbottom, and Johnny Depp

The last wave of titles offers some exciting programming and live appearances

The Toronto International Film Festival finished announcing the full line-up for the 2012 festival, starting September 6, and what they've put together is an almost decadent amount of exciting cinema, featuring highlights from earlier 2012 festivals as well as a number of major premieres.  Their Midnight Madness section is amazing, as we discussed earlier, and it feels like every single section of the fest has been programmed with several major events.

The last batch of titles arrived today as a series of press releases.  The Masters programme was the first one I read, and there are several films here that I've already seen, including a few of the Cannes titles I never got around to writing about.  Michael Haneke's "Amour" is playing, and I think it's a lovely, gentle, broken-hearted look at what happens when the people we love start to disintegrate.  I wasn't as fond of Christian Mungiu's "Beyond The Hills," but I think it's the sort of film that any serious film fan should see to at least form their own opinion.  I'll be writing reviews before the festival for both "Like Someone In Love," the latest from Abbas Kiarostami, and Bernardo Bertolucci's "Me and You," a tiny little story about a boy and his half-sister and a very unusual "trip" they take, and I'm glad both of these will be in the conversation in Toronto.

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"The Week the Women Went"

 "The Week the Women Went"

Credit: Lifetime

Review: 'The Week the Women Went' is an equal opportunity offender

The women get a vacation and the men get stereotyped
I watched the first episode of "The Week the Women Went" (Tues. 10 p.m. ET) days ago, but I'm still irritated, and for so, so many reasons. 
 
On the surface, this seems to be a fairly straight forward reality TV show. The show descends on the small town of Yemassee, South Carolina with an offer. The women of the town get an all-expenses-paid resort vacation for a week, and in exchange the menfolk must submit to their roaring incompetence being filmed for posterity. It's female empowerment, right? The men will learn exactly how much the ladies do in a day (or week), and will worship the mud they slop through upon their return! It's like a dumb, retro sitcom come to life!
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