Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jim Parsons in &quot;The Big Bang Theory.&quot;</p>

Jim Parsons in "The Big Bang Theory."

Credit: CBS

Emmys 2012 Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actor for Comedy & Drama

Will Jim Parsons and Bryan Cranston maintain their winning streaks?

Dan and I are continuing our Emmy picks for who should and will win each major category on Sunday night, this time looking at the nominees for lead actor in comedy and drama.

Read Full Post
<p>Foo Fighters</p>

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Black Keys unite to end poverty with Sept. 29 concert

Central Park show will beam free over cable and internet outlets

Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Neil Young with Crazy HorseBand of Horses and K’Naan will play a free show in New York’s Central Park next Saturday for the Global Poverty Project.

All 60,000 tickets have been spoken for, but the Global Citizen Festival will be streamed live on Vevo, YouTube, AOL/Huffington Post, Yahoo,, and Additionally, Palladia and Fuse will carry it on U.S. television.

The awareness event, produced by AEG Network Live, is labeled as a “mass movement to end extreme poverty.” The Global Citizen Festival ties in with the UN General Assembly, which will be held next week in New York, as well as with a number of non-profit programs.

Read Full Post
<p>One Direction's Live While We're Young</p>

One Direction's Live While We're Young

Credit: Columbia

Watch: One Direction wants to 'get some' in new clip for 'Live While We're Young'

Will the little girls understand the subtext?

Our boys are growing up. Not only are the members of One Direction ripping off The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” in the intro to “Live While We’re Young,” they’re ready to “pretend it’s love” and “get some” since “it’s now or never.”

Even though they never are so blatant about it that booty call subtext can’t go right over their tween audience’s head, there’s no mistaking lines like “if we get together, don’t let the pictures ever leave your phone” for anyone who’s 13 or up.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Watch: 'Glee' stars Dean Geyer and Becca Tobin discuss their new characters

Watch: 'Glee' stars Dean Geyer and Becca Tobin discuss their new characters

The new 'Glee' actors aren't afraid of having their characters disliked
Dean Geyer's Brody and Becca Tobin's Kitty were first introduced in last Thursday's "Glee" premiere and it probably isn't shocking that some fans are a bit wary of the new characters.
Brody has already been positioned as a potential romantic impediment between Lea Michele's Rachel and Cory Monteith's Finn, making him a threat for fans invested in that core relationship.
Kitty, meanwhile, was introduced as the meanest of mean girls, a character seemingly designed to make viewers yearn for even the relative early kindnesses of Dianna Agron's Quinn.
Shortly before the "Glee" premiere, I sat down with Geyer and Tobin to discuss the potential of being disliked by Gleeks, at least initially.
Geyer, in particular, eagerly owns up to the idea that Brody might not instantly be loved, but explains that the character is part of an attempt to bring something "a little bit more adult" to "Glee."
And for her part, Tobin relates Kitty to her own days as a bit of a high school mean girl and promises that she'd begun to like her character a little more.
Check out the interview. As a bit of context, seconds before the camera started rolling, Geyer and Tobin were chatting and comparing ages. I believe they're both 26, so my initial question was to ask about stepping back in time to play high school and college students.
"Glee" airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.
Read Full Post
<p>Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper's big screen version of &quot;Les Miserables.&quot;</p>

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper's big screen version of "Les Miserables."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Watch: 'Les Miserables' sets itself apart by singing live on set

Awards contender makes its pitch

Over the last decade or so, filmmakers have stretched and played with the movie musical structure in pictures such as "Chicago," "Across the Universe," "Moulin Rouge," "Dancer in the Dark" and "Dreamgirls."  When it was announced director Tom Hooper would follow up his Oscar-winning work in "The King's Speech" with a big screen version of the classic musical "Les Miserables," the question was how would Hooper differentiate this adaptation?  The answer is revealed in a new behind-the-scenes featurette Universal Studios released today.

Read Full Post
<p>Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in &quot;Hitchcock.&quot;</p>

Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in "Hitchcock."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'Hitchcock' crashes the awards season party with a last minute November release

HBO's 'The Girl' arrives a month earlier

Get ready for a lot of Alfred Hitchcock over the next few months. 

Fox Searchlight made a surprise announcement this morning that Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock" will open in theaters on Nov. 23.  This was unexpected as "Hitchcock" was in production just this past Spring and while Searchlight felt they had something special on its hands, they didn't believe they could get manufacture all the necessary trappings of a proper awards season prestige campaign in time.  The studio is so enamored with the film they've decided to take the chance.

Read Full Post
<p>Tegan and Sara's &quot;Closer&quot; single artwork</p>

Tegan and Sara's "Closer" single artwork

Credit: Warner Bros.

Listen: Tegan and Sara drop radio-friendly new single 'Closer'

Flirtatiously catchy

When I spoke to Tegan Quin earlier this year about her and her sister Sara's new album, she promised it'd be more radio-friendly. Judging from "Closer," the first single from the as-yet-untitled set, she wasn't joking.

The synth-happy, sex-ready track has a blues structure at times, and without all the tears. Tegan and Sara repeat their sweet refrains twice each, concluding they'd want their lover-to-be "underneath me." "Let's make things physical / I won't treat you like you're typical," they bop over lasers, harmonies and a BPM that winds you up for... whatever.

Aguilera, Usher, Enrique and the rest may outline specifically what they want their bedroom playtime to be in the most explicit terms possible; here, the Quins keep their requests and desires simple, melodically innocent and flirtatious. And no acoustic guitars here.

Read Full Post
<p>Claire Danes in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Claire Danes in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Emmys 2012 Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress for Comedy & Drama

Is this finally Amy Poehler's year? And is Claire Danes the biggest lock?

Dan Fienberg and I are continuing our look at the major Emmy categories, picking who should win and who will at the ceremony on Sunday night. Next up: lead actress in both comedy and drama.

Read Full Post
<p>You know how I&nbsp;know he's the bad guy?&nbsp; Top hat.&nbsp; I&nbsp;mean, seriously.</p>

You know how I know he's the bad guy?  Top hat.  I mean, seriously.

Credit: Variance Films/WellGo USA

We kick off Fantastic Fest with an exclusive new 'Tai Chi 0' poster debut

We've got a look at the bad guy from this trippy new genre-bender

All I knew about "Tai Chi Zero" until now is that it sounded like the Coca-Cola company was getting into the diet martial arts business, and that the film was playing both Toronto and Fantastic Fest.

I started my day today by watching the trailer for the film and by opening my inbox to see that we'd been sent an exclusive poster from the film to premiere.  Okay, so at that point, watching the trailer becomes a requirement, right?  I figure I'm obligated to take a look now.

What was I waiting for?

"Tai Chi Zero" reminds me at first glance of "Kung-Fu Hustle," and considering my almost embarrassing affection for that film, I'd consider that a good thing.  It also looks like it's about playing with standard kung-fu movie tropes, and that can be a lot of fun when it's done right.

Read Full Post
<p>Rachel Mwanza in &quot;War Witch,&quot; Canada's African-set Oscar submission.</p>

Rachel Mwanza in "War Witch," Canada's African-set Oscar submission.

Credit: Tribeca Film

This year's foreign Oscar race reflects a growingly global medium

Certain strong contenders would not have been eligible a few years ago

Last year, Oscar analyst par excellence Mark Harris, whose insights we'll be missing this awards season, wrote a description of the average Best Foreign Language Film voter that was so specifically accurate that all I can do is quote it: "They like spending a weekend Learning About Other Cultures. They want to see movies that are 'thought-provoking,' but not too disturbing or unsettling. They’re more open-minded about content than they are about style. And more than anything, they like movies that depict the drawbacks, rituals, sociological peculiarities, class inequities, or historical scars of whatever country they’re from."

If that's true, however, such voters are going to be a bit flummoxed by a few of the most prominent contenders in this year's race. Many will admire "Amour," Michael Haneke's study of withered French intelligentsia, set within the spacious confines of a Parisian apartment -- but there will be some who wonder, "Wait, are we in Austria?" Similarly, a lot of voters will likely be into the German-set, German-language Holocaust survival tale "Lore," while others might be twiddling their thumbs, waiting impatiently for the kangaroos to bound onto screen. It's Australia's submission, after all.

Read Full Post
<p>Wendell Pierce in &quot;Trem&eacute;.&quot;</p>

Wendell Pierce in "Tremé."

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'Treme' continues to cook in season 3

New Orleans drama continues to do what it wants, and very well
In an early episode of the new season of "Tremé" (it returns Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO), chef Janette Desautel is wined and dined by Tim, a businessman who wants her to come work for him. Tim points to the restaurant where they're eating as a model for what he'd like Janette to do, and says the place is "Much loved by critics, by customers, and you know why? Because from day one, these guys did whatever the fuck they wanted. They didn't give a shit what the market told them to cook. They figured out who they were, what they were good at, what they wanted to do, and they did that."
Read Full Post
Jake Gyllenhaal isn't kidding when he says making 'End of Watch' 'changed my life'

Jake Gyllenhaal isn't kidding when he says making 'End of Watch' 'changed my life'

First ride along featured a murder

TORONTO - It may seem like a silly cliche or easy hyperbole for an actor to claim their life has changed because of a role in a movie, but after looking into Jake Gyllenhaal's eyes its hard to dispute his claim.  The 31-year-old actor trained more for David Ayer's "End of Watch" than any previous role and what he went learned to play LAPD officer Brian Taylor has clearly stuck with him.

Read Full Post