Latest Blog Posts

<p>Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund in &quot;On the Road.&quot;</p>

Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund in "On the Road."

Credit: IFC/Sundance Selects

IFC Films and Sundance Selects ready 'On the Road' for the journey

The long-gestating adaptation is adopted ahead of its Cannes premiere

The Cannes Film Festival unveiled its screening schedule today, and I'm both pleased and surprised to see that this year's edition is playing the long game. While it's often the case that most of the big-ticket premieres are spilled in the early stages of the fest, this year's programmers have stored up a number of the lineup's most eagerly-awaited English-language titles for the closing days: Jeff Nichols' "Mud" unspools on the last day of Competition, David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" on the penultimate day, and Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy" one day before that.

It's a pointed rejoinder to the many American journalists (HitFix's own Drew McWeeny among them) who have already planned to leave town days before the festival finishes, countering the accepted wisdom that the festival peters out toward the end. As in 2008, when "The Class" was the final Competition film screened and took many off-guard by winning the Palme d'Or, the message appears to be that, at Cannes, every day counts.

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<p>The &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;study group will be back for a fourth season.</p>

The "Community" study group will be back for a fourth season.

Credit: NBC

NBC renews 'Community' for season 4

13 episode order won't necessarily be the end of the Greendale Human Beings

Pop. Pop. "Community" is coming back for a fourth season.

A source close to production has confirmed that NBC has ordered 13 episodes of the low-rated critical darling. Unlike the "30 Rock" final season renewal, as far as I know this is not officially the final order for the show. It's entirely possible "Community" could get a back 9 order next season or even, miracle of miracles, a fifth season. Unlike the aging, expensive "30 Rock," it makes no sense for NBC to cut off its options with "Community" before it has to. While I'd say it's probable that these 13 will be it for Jeff, Britta, Troy, Abed, Annie, Shirley, Pierce and company — and would allow the show to roughly mirror the four-year college experience — stranger things have happened at NBC in recent years (like five seasons of "Chuck"). Six seasons and a movie is still vaguely in play.

And while you celebrate this news, you can not only watch tonight's episode, but once again enjoy some furry fun with Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown and Jim Rash:

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<p>A friend sits with R. Kelly in &quot;It's On&quot;</p>
<br />

A friend sits with R. Kelly in "It's On"


Here's another R. Kelly video, for 'It's On'

Spoiler: it's there's strippers

The premise for R. Kelly's last music video "Share My Love" is essentially: Kels is surrounded by girls with big boobs and small waists in evening dresses and everybody's super impressed. This time, for "It's On" featuring DJ Khaled and Ace Hood, it's about the same, only the girls are strippers.

I know this is challenging stuff. I hope your shoes are tied.

In one of the most boring refrains ever uttered by the otherworldly Kelly, the R&B singer tells us it's "on on on on on on on on on." He then bottles that boredom, and saves it for when a particularly lovely lady's ass is hanging all over his face and he kinda spaces out like, "Oh, her?, it's like whatever." Alcohol music is right.

The best part is when Khaled reminds the listener at the very end that he cooked this beat by poking his silly face into the frame for about 10 milliseconds.

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<p>You do not want Jimmy Pistol all up in your grill.&nbsp; Trust me on this.</p>

You do not want Jimmy Pistol all up in your grill.  Trust me on this.

Credit: Screen Media Films

Interview: Writer/director/star Matt D'Elia talks about his 'American Animal'

A freewheeling conversation with a captivating new talent

Here's what I wrote when I saw the film "American Animal" at SXSW about a year ago:

Take "American Animal," for example, a film by Matt D'Elia.  I am shocked that the film is not the culmination of a long-running stage production that someone decided to adapt for film, because that's what it feels like.  It is a relatively intimate affair, with only four actors and one main set, and it has that sort of ebb and flow rhythm that is common to stage productions.  Jimmy (D'Elia) and James (Brendan Fletcher) live together, and their primary activity seems to be avoiding any and all productive actions.  They invite over a couple of girls, Blonde Angela (Mircea Monroe) and Not Blonde Angela (Angela Sarafyan), and at first, it's like we're watching this weird hybrid of a drugged-up party and a performance art piece.  But there are secrets simmering just below the surface for both of the guys, and over the course of a very, very long evening, we get a glimpse at the harsh realities that they're both hiding from.

D'Elia is an intense screen presence, and serving triple-duty as writer, director, and lead actor is one of those things that can easily overwhelm a young filmmaker.  Not a problem here.  Jimmy is always on, larger than life, slipping from one persona to another, and it's all an act designed to hide a fear of impending mortality, and there is a point to the outrageous behavior.  There is a sadness beneath the mania, and D'Elia never crosses the line into making the character impossible to like.  He just skates on that line really carefully.  Fletcher makes a perfect fencing partner for D'Elia, as does the strikingly lovely Sarafyan, who seems unimpressed by Jimmy's aggressive eccentricity.  What I love is how the film doesn't excuse Jimmy's actions, but it does explain them, and we're allowed to have our own reactions, good or bad.  D'Elia goes through a radical physical transformation in the film, and it's just one expression of how committed the entire thing feels.  This is what I want from indie filmmakers… personal visions that are uncompromising, films where you can feel the passion, movies that had to be made.  "American Animal" deserves to be seen, but more than that, it deserves to launch D'Elia as a filmmaker of note, and I'm curious to see where he goes from here.

A year has passed since I wrote that, and the film is about to finally get a release to theaters.  You'll get a chance to see it.  And I'm curious to see what people make of it.  To help give the film some attention as it attempts to compete in a marketplace where "The Avengers" is apparently grossing $100 million every six hours or some such madness, I thought it would be nice to have D'Elia out to the house to talk about the film he made, the films he draws inspiration from, and the films he hopes to make in the future.

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<p>Tina Fey and company will be back for one final season of &quot;30 Rock.&quot;</p>

Tina Fey and company will be back for one final season of "30 Rock."

Credit: NBC

NBC renews '30 Rock' for seventh and final season

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and company will get a 13-episode victory lap

Still more news from the NBC bubble: "30 Rock" has been renewed for a seventh and final season of 13 episodes, to premiere sometime next season.

There's been speculation that several of NBC's Thursday comedies would get this treatment, but it made the most sense for "30 Rock," which is an older, more expensive show and has never done all that well in the ratings. Tina Fey has said publicly that she understands NBC can't keep financing her cult comedy in perpetuity, but that she'd like some kind of warning when the end is coming so she can write to it.

Now she knows, and now Alec Baldwin can stop predicting the end of the show every three months, because we know when it's actually coming.

My reaction to this news can be summed up in one word: BANJO!

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<p>Peter Krause and the rest of the &quot;Parenthood&quot;&nbsp;cast has good reason to smile after the renewal came in from NBC.</p>

Peter Krause and the rest of the "Parenthood" cast has good reason to smile after the renewal came in from NBC.

Credit: NBC

NBC renews 'Parenthood' for season 4

Family drama gets to come off the bubble

It sounds like most, if not all, of NBC's bubble shows may have their fates decided today. Amid the flurry of rumor and speculation, there's one fact I can comfortably report: "Parenthoodhas been renewed for a fourth season.

The story was first reported by TVLine, and confirmed to me by "Parenthood" executive producer Jason Katims. Katims said he had no details on how many episodes had been ordered, or anything else, but we know that the Braverman family will be back sometime next season.

RELATED: NBC renews "30 Rock" for seventh and final season

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<p>Kylie Minogue in England last month</p>

Kylie Minogue in England last month

Credit: AP Photo

Kylie Minogue 'Best Of' heading Stateside, Black Sabbath plots another

What's the word on Sabbath's disintegrating reunion?

There's seemingly never a good or bad time to release a "Best Of" compilation -- whether you're mid-career, at the end or done with it -- so here's some news on hits collections from Kylie Minogue and Black Sabbath.

The Australian pop singer is releasing "The Best of Kylie Minogue," a 21-song comp, on June 19 in the U.S. It contains predictable hits and songs from throughout her dozen-album career. Tracklist below.

Minogue celebrated her 25th annivesary in the biz last year by touring, releasing a CD/DVD from that tour and performing off her rarities in Oz.

As for Sabbath, the band may not be in the greatest shape for their reunion gigs in England over these next few weeks, but they aren't letting the opportunity to re-hock their wares get away from them. Their umpteenth greatest hits collection "Iron Man: The Best of Black Sabbath" will be out on June 4 in the U.K., according to NME, though no word yet when and if it will arrive Stateside. Tracklist below.

So what's the deal with that whole "original lineup" thing? Sabbath are scheduled to play the O2 Academy in Birmingham, England on May 19 and at the Download Festival in Donington Park, England over the weekend of June 8-10. Tony Iommi, who is suffering lymphoma, will play those. But he will not be performing the other tour dates over the summer, and those are now dubbed Ozzy & Friends, featuring Geezer Butler, Zakk Wylde and Slash. The only Sabbath show in American skedded is at Lollapalooza, and there's no official statement as to whether or not Iommi will perform there.

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<p>The whole &quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;gang &mdash; including Courteney Cox, Big Carl and, yes, Josh Hopkins &mdash; will be moving from ABC&nbsp;to TBS next year.</p>

The whole "Cougar Town" gang — including Courteney Cox, Big Carl and, yes, Josh Hopkins — will be moving from ABC to TBS next year.

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Cougar Town' co-creator Kevin Biegel on TBS move

'TBS wants to keep making the show we've been making' on ABC

How would "Cougar Town" co-creator Kevin Biegel sum up the news that TBS has picked up a fourth season of the sitcom after ABC decided not to renew it?

"It feels a little like a prisoner on his way to executioner being told, 'Okay, the governor says you're not going to be executed, and you get to go free, and you get a Corvette and a steak dinner, too."

I spoke briefly with Biegel about how quickly the deal came together, what, if any, changes "Cougar Town" fans can expect to see to the show when it makes its TBS debut, and more.

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<p>&nbsp;Alanis Morissette</p>

 Alanis Morissette

Listen: Alanis Morissette's first single in four years, 'Guardian'

She wants to be your 'angel on call'

Here’s the good news for Alanis Morissette fans: she has lost none of her earnestness. On her first new single in four years, “Guardian,” she positions herself at the front gate of your heart to protect and shield you.

Other than that, I don’t have a clue as to what the song is about.

The chorus, taken by itself, independent of the verses,  seems tailor-made for the new mom, who vows to watch over her beloved forever. “I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian...I’ll be your angel on call... the greatest honor of all as your guardian.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Matthew McConaughey in &quot;Mud.&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey in "Mud."

Credit: Everest/FilmNation

Cannes Check: Jeff Nichols' 'Mud'

Continuing our series of Cannes competition previews

The director: Jeff Nichols (American, 33 years old)

The talent: Matthew McConaughey's career rehabilitation continues apace: not long after popping up in Venice with "Killer Joe," he's hitting the Croisette in two Competition films. Unlike "The Paperboy," "Mud" (in which he plays the title role) is a lead showcase for him, though he's by no means the only star involved. Reese Witherspoon, another name you wouldn't immediately associate with Cannes, is also on board, hopefully triggering her own reversal of fortune.

Also present: Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson (who recently hit peak form in "Martha Marcy May Marlene") and Michael Shannon, who, of course, excelled in both the director's previous features, "Take Shelter" and "Shotgun Stories." Taking a prominent role, too, is teenaged actor Tye Sheridan, who featured as one of the young brothers in last year's Palme d'Or winner, "The Tree of Life."

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<p>Snow Patrol</p>

Snow Patrol

Concert Review: Snow Patrol takes over Hollywood's Palladium

Bright lights, big city, and even bigger songs and ambitions

At one point a a number of years ago, it seemed like Snow Patrol could be the next U2, or,  if not quite that lofty, the next Coldplay. The Irish/Scottish quintet’s songs covered the same anthemic, sweeping themes and were aggressively melodic and commercial.

Plus, led by Gary Lightbody, they were a tremendous live act.  I first saw them in 2003 at a Fader-sponsored party at a club at South by Southwest in Austin. They were awkward, Lightbody acted as if he were totally bombed, and there were only glimpses of anything more than an average talent. Fast forward to exactly a year later, first U.S. album “Final Straw” had come out, sold very well, and they were playing the much bigger outdoor venue Stubbs at SXSW. To this day, I have never seen a band exhibit such improvement over such a short amount of time. Lightbody commanded the audience like a pro. His voice was resonant and clear and the whole band worked like a well-oiled machine far beyond its experience.

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<p>Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker in &quot;Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.&quot;</p>

Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker in "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23."

Credit: ABC

The Morning Round-Up: 'Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23' & 'Suburgatory'

The Alicia Silverstone arc is dragging down 'Suburgatory,' while June and Chloe make jam

It's morning round-up time, with quick thoughts on last night's "Suburgatory" and "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23" coming up just as soon as I box weave you a noose...

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