Latest Blog Posts

<p>Mr. and Mrs. Bullock tend to young William on &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Mr. and Mrs. Bullock tend to young William on "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 2, episodes 9 & 10

A tragedy unites the camp

We're continuing our summer trip back through David Milch's epic revisionist Western "Deadwood."

Two notable changes with this review: 1)After surveying the crowd last week, I've concluded that I'm not going to keep the newbie reviews going for the rest of the season, since the reviews are identical and newbies (who haven't really commented, anyway) will be safe so long as they don't read the comments; and 2)As I did with the season premiere, I'm reviewing two episodes together, this time dealing with episode 9, "Amalgamation and Capital," and episode 10, "Advances, None Miraculous," all coming up just as soon as I secure my toast...

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<p>Neil and Norman debate the best way to handle a long-dead witch in the lovely, creepy, beautifully-made new stop-motion animated film 'ParaNorman'</p>

Neil and Norman debate the best way to handle a long-dead witch in the lovely, creepy, beautifully-made new stop-motion animated film 'ParaNorman'

Credit: Focus/Laika

Review: Stop-motion 'ParaNorman' is smart, spooky, and beautifully animated

Laika's latest is a real testament to the tactile beauty of the art form

One of the dozens of ways that film critics and other people who write about movies do a disservice to the films that they cover is when they automatically refer to any film that is animated as a "kid's film" or a "family film."  Case in point:  Laika Studio's gorgeous new stop-motion movie, "ParaNorman," which has enough genuine scares and thoughtful material about life and death that I would have a hard time mounting an argument that it was aimed at children in any way.

Like many of the Amblin' films of the '80s, "ParaNorman" has a kid as the protagonist, but the film doesn't speak down to its audience.  Instead, it tells a sometimes sad, often scary story about perception and institutionalized lies and the things that we are driven to do by fear, and it treats all of its characters, even the most cartoonish of them, with respect.  Whatever I expected from the film, it wasn't something this smart and mature.

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"Project Runway"

"Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: 'Welcome Back (or not) to the Runway'

The designers must create clothes for former (and fussy) contestants

So, this is the episode in which (spoiler alert!) the Mass Exodus of Season 10 begins. Consider yourself warned. And don't get too attached to anyone on this episode. The person who heads for the door is, if not the last person I expected to sneak out in the middle of the night, perhaps not one of my top candidates. I guess designing Emmy dresses for former contestants is enough of a double whammy to make anyone insane. Okay, not anyone. I mean, this is a TV show, not brain surgery or search and rescue. It's really not too much to expect someone to hold on to their crazy until they're forced out, honestly.

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<p>&quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;wound up babysitting a boy named Never.</p>

"Louie" wound up babysitting a boy named Never.

Credit: FX

Review: 'Louie' - 'Barney/Never'

Louie and a fellow comic say goodbye to a familiar face, and Louie babysits

I'm traveling home from press tour right now, so no time to do a real "Louiereview, but I wanted to offer a place for people to discuss one of the season's more overtly comic episodes to date. I really enjoyed the climax of the first story, the work between Louis C.K. and the guest star in that one, and then the complete chaos caused by Never in the second story.

So fire away, and we'll presumably back to a more typical episode review for next week's show.

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<p>Helena Bonham Carter as Ms. Havishim in &quot;Great Expectations.&quot;</p>

Helena Bonham Carter as Ms. Havishim in "Great Expectations."

Credit: BBC Films

Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter have 'Great Expectations' in new images

Mike Newell's Dickens adaptation to screen at Toronto

Debuting at this year's Toronto Film Festival (where it will be looking to score a U.S. distributor), director Mike Newell's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" stars "War Horse"'s Jeremy Irvine as Philip "Pip" Pirrip, the novel's chief protagonist and narrator. Also starring are Holliday Grainger ("The Borgias") as Estella, Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as the vengeful Ms. Havisham.

In advance of the film's TIFF premiere, several new images have hit the web that offer a look at the film's four main stars. Check them out in the gallery below and let us know what you think!

The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16. You can check out a list of all the selected titles here.

 

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<p>Britney of &quot;Big Brother&quot;</p>

Britney of "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday - Who went home? And are the Coaches in the game?

The Houseguests make a decision and America makes a choice

It's going to be a busy Thursday (August 2) night on "Big Brother."

First, we have to find out if the hamsters are going to vote to evict 21st Century William Katt Frank or Screaming Red Tomato Joe. [I sure hope it's Joe going home.]

Then, we have to learn if America voted to have the four Coaches reenter the game as players.

Tonight could change everything!

Click through for the live-blog...

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<p>Liam McIntyre of &quot;Spartacus&quot;</p>

Liam McIntyre of "Spartacus"

Credit: Starz

Press Tour 2012: Starz chief discusses the end of 'Spartacus,' plus 'Incursion' and 'Black Sails'

Also, updates on the challenges delaying 'Marco Polo'
BEVERLY HILLS - When Chris Albrecht took the stage at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday (August 2) morning, one of the first things he praises was the record-setting second season for "Spartacus," which averaged over 6 million viewers per episode. 
 
This raises one very obvious questions: If "Spartacus" remains a robust centerpiece to the Starz schedule, why is the network ending the series after its upcoming third season (plus a miniseries)? 
 
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<p>NBC's Jimmy Fallon could make some noise on ABC by hosting the Academy Awards.</p>

NBC's Jimmy Fallon could make some noise on ABC by hosting the Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Report: Jimmy Fallon to host, Lorne Michaels to produce 85th Academy Awards

Is ABC trying to block the funny man from getting the gig?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasn't always gone in the creative direction ABC would prefer for the awards show of all awards shows, the Academy Awards, and a report indicates they are not thrilled with the host selection for the 2013 Oscars.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jimmy Fallon is in negotiations to host the 85th Academy Awards and that his former "Saturday Night Live" mentor Lorne Michaels will produce.  This would be the first time either has taken the mantle of ABC's February ratings jewel.

HitFIx has reached out to the Academy for an official comment with no response. However, the organization told the Times there were no talks ongoing at this time.

Fallon has been the host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" since March 2009. He replaced Conan O'Brien who went on to briefly host "The Tonight Show" later that year.  "Late Night" originally began in 1982 with David Letterman behind the interview desk. Fallon directly competes - for half an hour - opposite "Jimmy Kimmel Live" which has grown a loyal audience on ABC since 2003. Kimmel has traditionally put on a post-Oscar installment of the show after the event for the past few years. The prospect of Fallon emceeing one year's most watched program is not sitting well with ABC. They have reportedly voiced their displeasure over Fallon's involvement, but contractually it is the Academy's decision.

As for Michaels, his involvement is a pleasant surprise.  The "SNL" and comedy innovator is an executive producer "Late Night" and a veteran movie producer.  His films include the "Wayne's World" franchise, "Mean Girls," "Tommy Boy" and, more recently, "Baby Mama."  Even if Fallon doesn't come on board, Michaels involvement would mean the Academy is attempting to bring more humor back to the event.

Reports indicate that outgoing Academy President Tom Sherak worked to bring Michaels and Fallon on board. Howard "Hawk" Koch was elected AMPAS' new President earlier this week.

The 84th Academy Awards was hosted by Billy Crystal and produced by produced by Brian Glazer and Don Mischer.  Over 39.3 million viewers watched the show, the second highest total in five years.  It received a 25.5 rating, the show's highest rating mark since 2005.

Who do you think should host the 2013 Oscars? Share your thoughts below.

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<p>The fact that anyone would pay me money to go sit in a room and chat with Kate Beckinsale is flat-out amazing, and it makes me feel like I&nbsp;win the Internet.</p>

The fact that anyone would pay me money to go sit in a room and chat with Kate Beckinsale is flat-out amazing, and it makes me feel like I win the Internet.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Kate Beckinsale describes how she gave good wife in 'Total Recall'

Can you believe she doesn't consider herself an action star?

I find it fascinating that the fortunes of Screen Gems over the last decade have been primarily decided by two married couples, each with a filmmaker husband and an action star wife.

What's funny is that Beckinsale seems unconvinced that she's an action star.  When I sat down to talk to her, I mentioned that the last time we spoke was for "Snow Angels," and she thanked me for being one of the six people who saw the film.  I really love her work in that film and in "Laurel Canyon," and I think when given the right material, she can be a very effective performer.  But for most people, the most indelible image of her so far on film is wrapped in tight black latex for her role as the monster killing badass at the center of the "Underworld" movies.

We discussed the thought process that would lead her husband, Len Wiseman, to cast her as the thunderously awful Lori, Quaid's fake wife in the new "Total Recall," and it seems to entertain her that she was asked to play such unrepentant evil by Wiseman.  It certainly must have made for some interesting days on set. 

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<p>Grizzly Bear</p>

Grizzly Bear

Credit: Barbara Anastacio

Listen: Grizzly Bear's straight-forward 'Yet Again' is a different taste of 'Shields'

How is it comparte to 'Sleeping Ute?'

Grizzly Bear have released another new track from their new album "Shields," which will be among the best-selling albums out in September. How is it a guarantee it'll sell well? Listen to "Yet Again."

While the first song the Brooklyn-based crew released had much more attack and more confrontation in its production, "Yet Again" has one of the best melodies I've heard yet from the quartet. It's all washy and panned electrics, and that voice dreamily floating over tom-heavy drums. It's catchy enough to attract new listeners, and has enough of an advanced arrangement and stacked harmony to satisfy longstanding fans.

And by longstanding, I mean since the band has started putting out material in 2004.

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<p>Mariah Carey's &quot;Triumphant (Get 'Em)&quot;</p>

Mariah Carey's "Triumphant (Get 'Em)"

Credit: Island

Listen: Mariah Carey's new 'Triumphant' is more glory for Meek Mill and Rick Ross

New 'American Idol' judge mostly gets the hook

Mariah Carey's brand new song "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" arrives right in time for the Olympics, and in the week following her confirmed appointment to the judgeship of "American Idol." Predictably, it's a track about rising to the top -- which Carey did years and so many years ago -- but she barely makes a victory lap with lab partners Meek Mill and Rick Ross.

The Maybach Music cohorts have sole claim over the verses and Milly kicks the whole thing off after the bounce-bounce of Carey's repeated rhythmic "get 'em get 'em get 'ems." He keeps the game pretty clean -- something about mountain climbing and sticking it to the haters. The Island folks are aiming hard at top 40 with this inspirationally PG song, and that point it driven home further by the fact that Ross edits his line about throwing "big money" at strippers and keeps the action with his "blonde bombshells" to a minimum. Instead, Rozay rehashes how hard he can make it rain and then rhymes "humble beginnings" with... "beginning."

Carey softly and sweetly tackles her inexplicably short bridge. But, for fans, you'll get your infamous high note runs as she battles an army of clicks and thumps from the drum machine.

Listen to the complete song here, on Mariah Carey's website.

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<p>Andy Samberg rocks the glasses during the recent press day for 'Celeste and Jesse Forever'</p>

Andy Samberg rocks the glasses during the recent press day for 'Celeste and Jesse Forever'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Andy Samberg gets serious about his work in 'Celeste and Jesse Forever'

Plus how do you think Samberg felt about Jorma Taccone's work on 'Girls'?

When I interviewed Andy Samberg at the press day for "That's My Boy," he was joined by Adam Sandler, and it was a rowdy, loose conversation, which seems fitting based on the movie itself.

When we sat down to talk about his new film "Celeste and Jesse Forever," though, there was a very different mood in the room.  And while Samberg may be incredibly self-deprecating in the interview about his own abilities as an actor, he should be proud of the work he does in the film.  It's an indication that there's more to him than we've seen so far in films like "Hot Rod" or during his run on "Saturday Night Live."

We went pretty far out of our way not to talk about either SNL or "That's My Boy" during this conversation, and while that may sound limiting, I think there's enough to discuss in "C&JF," and the time zipped by as it always seems to during these interviews.  Samberg has an innate likability that was important to his part in the film, and I think people will be surprised by him when they see it.

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