Latest Blog Posts

<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."

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<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.

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<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]

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<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.

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<p>Eva Mendes walks the red carpet at the AFI&nbsp;Film Fest screening of &quot;Holy Motors.&quot;</p>

Eva Mendes walks the red carpet at the AFI Film Fest screening of "Holy Motors."

Credit: AP Photo/Jordan Strauss

Awards Season Weekend: Marion Cotillard, 'Impossible' and AFI Film Fest

And 'Flight' makes a big move

Hurricane Sandy is still sadly the focus of the Northeast (as well as that of family and friends from those areas affected) and the 2012 election is finally coming to a merciful end Tuesday. And what that really means is we're about to enter eight weeks of very intense Academy campaigning. Technically, contenders have been holding screenings and Q&As from Los Angeles to San Francisco to New York (although it's been tough the past week) for months.  Beginning Thursday, the always awards-friendly AFI Fest began and the pressure cooker got a wee bit busier.  With that in mind, here's a snapshot of one pundit's busy award season weekend.

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<p>Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann co-star in Judd Apatow's heartfelt and hilarious 'This Is 40'</p>

Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann co-star in Judd Apatow's heartfelt and hilarious 'This Is 40'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Judd Apatow's 'This Is 40' is honest and hilarious

The writer/director trades high-concept for grounded laughs and scores big

"Forty can suck my d**k!"

With that emphatic birthday-morning proclamation, Judd Apatow's "This Is 40" kicks off a rude, rowdy, occasionally brutal look at aging, marriage, family, and love, and while it may be the most personal thing he's ever made, it is also the most universal.  It would be hard to not recognize yourself in some part of this film, and while your specifics may not exactly match what you see onscreen, this is as honest and observational as mainstream comedy gets these days.

Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) were first featured as supporting players in Apatow's "Knocked Up," and they stole pretty much every moment they were in.  Part of what made them fascinating was how much further Apatow let their arguments go than what we're used to seeing in films where we're worried about "liking" the leads.  They didn't have to carry the film, and so Apatow seemed free to push things with them as much as possible.  Now that they are the leads, I was worried he would defang them, but if anything, moving them to the center of the film gives him more room to paint a painfully accurate picture of just how hard it can be to hold things together.

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<p>Janette (Kim Dickens)&nbsp;gets advice from Emeril Lagasse on &quot;Treme.&quot;</p>

Janette (Kim Dickens) gets advice from Emeril Lagasse on "Treme."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Tremé' - 'Promised Land'

It's Mardi Gras, and a line from 'The Wire' speaks to how connected the pieces are

A review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I see myself as the flood control specialist...

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<p>Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'A Gettysburg Address'

Carrie and Brody get to work, but who's playing who?

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I write a poem about the wreck of the Hesperus...

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<p>Trey and Lexi of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Trey and Lexi of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Get Your Sexy On'

The teams get competitively pampered in Istanbul
"Amazing Race" Pro-Tip: If flying a long distance to a foreign country, whenever possible attempt to find out the traffic patterns in your destination city. It's not hard. On an airplane, walk up and down the aisles saying, "Is anybody here from Istanbul? What's morning congestion like?" 
That's about all there is to say about Sunday (November 4) night's episode of "The Amazing Race."
Once we get that out of the way, I'm only going to get into pointless moralizing tips like, "Yo. Don't steal." 
Why should either of these tips be necessary?
Dunno. But we'll discuss after the break...
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<p>Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Killer Within'

The prison group is divided, while Andrea gets to know the Governor

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as we take a bunch of women to play at Augusta...

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<p>Michael Shannon as Nelson Van Alden on &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Michael Shannon as Nelson Van Alden on "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'The Pony'

Nucky, Van Alden and Gillian have had about all they can stand

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I run naked through the pages of the United States criminal code...

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'Twilight' star Robert Pattinson looks back on 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' and at his future

'Twilight' star Robert Pattinson looks back on 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' and at his future

Did he enjoy playing a more even-keel Edward Cullen?
On Saturday (November 3), I posted my video interview with "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" star Kristen Stewart, who discussed animalistic Vampire Bella, as well as her bond with co-star Mackenzie Foy. 
For Sunday, it's on to Robert Pattinson, who appears for the fifth and final time as Edward Cullen. After four films of worrying about Bella's mortality and her future, this is a more easy-going Edward in the fifth movie. Yes, he's still got some pretty dramatic concerns in the form of the arrival of the fearsome Volturri, but he also gets to be a content husband and a playful father, a transition Pattinson talks about her. 
I tried to phrase the obligatory "nostalgia" question in a slightly different way from the way other reporters might have been doing. I'm not sure if I succeeded and, with a very brief interview window, I probably dwelled on it a bit too much. Apologies!
And, finally, Pattinson discusses the future and the projects he's done between "Twilight" movies and the films he hopes to do going forward.
Check out the full interview above, don't forget to watch the Kristen Stewart interview and look back the week of November 16 for five more interviews with folks like director Bill Condon, hilarious co-star Michael Sheen and, of course, Taylor Lautner. 
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