Latest Blog Posts

<p>Matthew McConoughey and Channing Tatum talk about their new movie &quot;Magic Mike.&quot;</p>

Matthew McConoughey and Channing Tatum talk about their new movie "Magic Mike."

Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey talk frankly about 'Magic Mike'

Have you ever had a big star ask you your sexuality on camera?

LOS ANGELES - Yes, as I sit down to do my interviews for "Magic Mike," I notice Matthew McConaughey has a bundle of $1 bills on his chair.  Why? I'm not entirely sure.  My guess is that it's a fun bit both McConaughey and Tatum have been having with the national press rotating through their TV room on this Friday afternoon.  But, as entertaining as Steven Soderbergh's latest film is, I have no intention of spending my short time with the gents waxing about, er, male waxing, picking the right thongs and what their favorite stripping number was.*

Read Full Post
<p>Muse</p>

Muse

Listen: Muse out-bombasts Queen on Olympic theme, 'Survival'

Soaring tune will be played during medal ceremonies in London

Muse goes for the gold on “Survival,” its theme for the 2012 Olympics, but falls far short.

The British group’s bombast makes Queen seem tame in comparison. There’s soaring strings, loud guitars, a short-lived jaunty piano melody, chanting, rhythmic changes, lead singer Matt Bellamy’s gritty, steely, high-pitched urgency and lots of other shenanigans going on all in search of a song.

“Survival” is a jawdropping exercise so overreaching in its attempt to create something grand and motivational that it’s almost hard to take it seriously. 

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Cat Deeley of &quot;So You Think You Can Dance&quot;</p>

Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Cat Deeley of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Meet the Top 20

Who made the cut and who was left crying?

All things considered, that wasn't such a long preliminary process for Season 9 of "So You Think You Can Dance." I guess I'm only thinking relative to "American Idol," which took 13 episodes to get to the Top 24 this season. In contrast, this will be our sixth episode of the "SYTYCD" season and we're about to meet the Top 20.

Click through and join me for the entire protracted process.

Read Full Post
<p>Carly Rae Jespen</p>

Carly Rae Jespen

Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' rules on the Billboard Hot 100

Ellie Goulding makes it into the Top 10 after six months

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” stays atop the Billboard 100 for a third week, as some other artists make moves into the Top 10.

The new artist influx into the Top 10 continues as Ellie Goulding’s “Lights”  moves 12-6. The song took 27 weeks to achieve the feat, setting a record for the longest rise by a female who was not crossing over from another format.

The other new entry into the Top 10 belongs to veteran Usher, whose “Scream” creeps up one spot to No. 10, to mark his 18th Top 10.

On the rest of the chart, Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa climbs 3-2 switching places with Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.”

Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” holds at No. 4, though may receive a boost from her movie, “Part of Me,” opening this week. Rihanna’s “Where Have Your Been” climbs 8-5.

The bottom half sees fun.’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae drop 5-7,  Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” fall 7-8 and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” slides 6-9.

Read Full Post
<p>The three stars of MTV's &quot;Awkward&quot;</p>

The three stars of MTV's "Awkward"

Credit: MTV

TV Review: MTV's 'Awkward' returns for Season 2

High school comedy makes a polished return, but is that a good thing?
MTV's "Awkward" premiered last summer as a diamond-in-the-rough.
 
On every imaginable level, Lauren Iungerich's comedy was ragged around the edges and that was part of its charm. Early storylines were without-a-net daring and the dialogue was laden with "Throw against the wall and see what sticks" jargon and neologisms. The performances were relaxed and natural and the production values weren't especially high, which all contributed to the appeal. Very few critics bothered to review those early episodes and that was OK, because MTV didn't have a clue what to do with "Awkward," burying it at 11 p.m. after airings of "Teen Mom," which was both a hilariously incompatible lead-in, but also the best the network could do under the circumstances.
 
In my review of "Awkward," I described it as a "proudly lewd and rude and big-hearted comedy." I gave "Awkward" a B-minus, but it was a fairly positive B-minus, as such things go and the write-up spoke of a fresh show with ample potential for growth and maturation.
 
"Awkward" returns to MTV on Thursday (June 28) night in a slightly more amenable 10:30 time slot and with a good deal more promotion and press.
 
And, having seen the first two episodes of the new season, I can confirm that "Awkward" is, indeed, growing and maturing. 
 
You'll notice, though, that the B-minus grade remains unchanged. It's still a positive B-minus, reflecting the copious amounts of talent and potential on display here. I'd still recommend the show and I'd strongly emphasize how "Awkward" is very close to doing the thing that I mentioned last week has been so seemingly impossible for ABC Family and The CW: It's a comedy that aims at young female viewers, is welcoming to older viewers of both sexes and actually manages to be funny.
 
So what's my problem? "Awkward" has grown and matured, but I don't think I love the direction that MTV and, presumably, Iungerich have chosen to push the show. The show that was once rough around the edges is, at times, too polished suddenly. And the show that was once daring is feeling a little too conventional at the moment. I don't think that "Awkward" Season 1 was the perfect realization of what the show was aspiring to be, but in many ways, its imperfections were admirable and felt like they weren't the result of careful reading and rereading of Twitter and message boards. 
 
The new "Awkward" episodes feel too crowd-sourced for my liking, but there's a strong chance that means that the crowd will embrace them. 
 
More after the break...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Lady Gaga performs brand new song 'Princess Die' live

Sad song about suicide? Read all the lyrics

Lady Gaga performed a brand new song "Princess Die" for her Melbourne audience this week, and she seemed pretty aware that the tune would head straight to YouTube today.

In her intro, she warned that the song may or may not be on her next new album -- the title which will be announced in September -- and that it's sad, solo tone shouldn't be a reflection on its overall sound. "Princess Die," however, reflects Mother Monster's most "deep and personal thoughts I've ever had."

She emphasized that it was spelled "D-I-E," not "Di," the nickname for England's late Princess Diana, who perished in a car crash in 1997. However, some lines from the song mirror Diana details, particularly with the last verse about paparazzi, the limo and her rich boyfriend. However, the piano-led track points more toward a suicide, or someone who is considering suicide, which may have some folks up in arms.

If Gaga decides to keep this thing slow, it will probably be her darkest song yet. A very odd choice for a roll-out of new material, but OK: she needs that dimension anyway, to get her more intimate with her fans. But let's hope she also has a dance single up her sleeve by time she finally decides to announce some U.S. tour dates.

Read Full Post
<p>Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in the first poster for Fox Searchlight's &quot;The Sessions,&quot;&nbsp;formerly known as &quot;The Surrogate.&quot;</p>

Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in the first poster for Fox Searchlight's "The Sessions," formerly known as "The Surrogate."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: New ‘The Sessions’ poster continues John Hawkes ‘Surrogate’ Oscar campaign

A prime best actor candidate

Awards season is still months away from formally beginning, but the best actor race is already shaping up.  It's going to be another competitive year with highly anticipated performances from Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"), Denzel Washington ("Flight") and Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Master") on the way.  There is, however, one phenomenal turn that's been waiting in the wings since Sundance, John Hawkes acclaimed portrayal of polio victim Mark O'Brien in "The Sessions."

Read Full Post
<p>Louis C.K. on &quot;Louie.&quot;</p>

Louis C.K. on "Louie."

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'Louie' still unpredictable, and brilliant, in season 3

Louis C.K. keeps trying new ideas and new faces, including Melissa Leo and Parker Posey
Midway through the third episode of the new season of "Louie" — which was and continues to be one of the very best shows on television — Louis C.K. is introduced to a Spanish phrase that, loosely translated, means, "Say you don't know, and then you learn everything." As hard as it is to apply any motto to a show as idiosyncratic and unpredictable as "Louie," that's a pretty good one.
 
Read Full Post
<p>Mumford and Sons</p>

Mumford and Sons

Mumford & Sons set up August U.S. tour in advance of new album

Dates include their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover dates

Mumford & Sons will take to the road this August for a 15-date tour. The outing includes the British group’s four multi-artist Gentlemen of the Road Stopover festivals they are curating in a quartet of small towns.

M&S will undoubtedly preview a number of tunes from the group’s second album, due this fall. They took a break from completing the follow-up to "Sigh No More" to record "Learn Me Right" with Birdy for the Pixar film "Brave."

The group began debuting songs that could be on the new album earlier this year at some radio stations, as well as playing three new tunes at SXSW, "Lovers Eyes," "Lover of the Light," and "Ghosts The We Knew." 

Mumford & Sons  US tour dates


August 1 - Hoboken, NJ @ Pier A (No Fee Ticket)
August 4 - Portland, ME @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 6 - Providence, RI @ Providence Performing Arts Center
August 7 - Canandaigua, NY @ Marvin Sands Performing Arts
August 9 - Portsmouth, VA @ nTelos Wireless Pavilion
August 11 - Bristol, VA @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 13 - Louisville, KY @ Louisville Waterfront Park
August 14 - Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion
August 18 - Dixon, IL @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 20 - Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Theatre
August 21 - Laramie, WY @ Gryphon Theatre
August 22 - Magna, UT @ The Saltair
August 25 - Monterey, CA @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 28 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
September 1 - Snowmass Village, CO @ Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival

Read Full Post
<p>Dave Matthews Band</p>

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band sets release date for new album 'Away From The World'

Group reunites with producer Steve Lillywhite for seventh studio album

On Sept. 11, Dave Matthews Band will release “Away From the World,”  its first studio album since 2009’s “Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King.” 

Steve Lillywhite, who produced DMB’s first three albums, helmed the group’s seventh studio set. Fans who pre-order “World” will receive an additional five bonus tracks recorded live on the band’s summer tour.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Dustin Hoffman in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Dustin Hoffman in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Can Dustin Hoffman take down Bryan Cranston? And who else makes the cut?

Time for part 7 of our look at the Emmy nominations process for 2012. As always, Fienberg and I are going to approach things in two ways. I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider people who didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign anyone to a more suitable or easier category.

We're continuing to move through the lead performer categories, this time with Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my preferences are coming right up...

Read Full Post
<p>There's no faking it... Nora Ephron, screenwriter of 'When Harry Met Sally,' will be deeply missed.</p>

There's no faking it... Nora Ephron, screenwriter of 'When Harry Met Sally,' will be deeply missed.

Credit: 20th Century Fox Home Video

'When Harry Met Sally' screenwriter Nora Ephron remembered

From 'Silkwood' to 'Julia and Julia,' we look at the impact of one of Hollywood's most loved writers

Nora Ephron followed an unusual career trajectory in Hollywood, and the single greatest compliment I can pay to her on the occasion of her passing is that you can clearly identify what makes something a Nora Ephron movie.  Her voice was strong and distinct, and from the start of her Hollywood career to the end of it, she did personal work that somehow also managed to fit comfortably into the ever-changing modern studio system.  That is no easy feat, no matter what the gender of the artist, and when you praise Ephron, it should be as a writer and not just a woman writer.

She came from Hollywood stock, of course, with parents who were part of the old Hollywood studio system, and I have no doubt she learned all you would ever need to know about navigating the political system growing up that way.  She was around for the production of films like "Desk Set" and "Carousel" and "There's No Business Like Show Business," and her parents worked on TV variety shows as well.  She couldn't have been any more ground zero for a career in film, but for a while, she worked more as an essayist.  She was part of the world of politics and journalism, married for a time to Carl Bernstein, and her first theatrical feature, "Silkwood," was a very smart and angry portrait of famed nuclear industry whistle-blower Karen Silkwood.  She was working with Mike Nichols, with Meryl Streep.  Talk about hitting the ground running.  Her journalist's background made her an inspired choice for "Silkwood," and it's a really good script.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME