Latest Blog Posts

<p>Justin Bieber in &quot;As Long As You Love Me&quot;</p>

Justin Bieber in "As Long As You Love Me"

Credit: VEVO

Watch: Justin Bieber and Michael Madsen get violent in 'As Long As You Love Me'

Tears, blood, dance and a mob dad

Actor Michael Madsen's best-known roles are from "Reservoir Dogs," "Kill Bill" and "Donnie Brasco." Just what kind of character do you think he'd play in a Justin Bieber music video?

That's right, in "As Long as You Love Me," Bieber gets roughed up by Madsen, who plays his video girlfriend's ultra-intimidating father, who appropriately dons a lot of gold rings, smokes cigars and beats the living snot out of the love-sick 18-year-old.

"I love her," JB tells Daddy Fearest at the beginning of the clip.

"Sure you do..."

"... you don't know us."

"I don't want to."

Read Full Post
<p>I wonder if Emile Hirsch and Gina Gershon ever traded stories about the Wachowskis on the set of 'Killer Joe'</p>

I wonder if Emile Hirsch and Gina Gershon ever traded stories about the Wachowskis on the set of 'Killer Joe'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Emile Hirsch explains how to plan a murder in 'Killer Joe'

Oh, Speed Racer, you got dark, didn't you?

Before the cameras started rolling, Emile Hirsch and I had a chat about the way "Speed Racer" is slowly but surely growing in reputation, thanks in large part to the younger viewers who saw it and who are going to revisit the film many times as they get older.  Hirsch told me he's certainly heard from young fans more and more, and he seemed pleased to hear that the film is not fading.  I know that for my own kids, it's one of the films that are just part of their ongoing canon, in the regular rotation, and beloved.

Hirsch has made interesting choices so far in his career, and I'm glad to see him working with someone like William Friedkin.  I think Hirsch has real talent, and maybe the commercial failure of "Speed Racer" was the best thing for him.  I'm not sure he'd survive a steady diet of giant tentpole films.  It seems like he's far more interested in exploring the darker, stranger corners of filmmaking, and that he's good at it.

I interviewed him for "Speed," and for "Into The Wild," and he seems to be a different person each time we come back together to discuss a new film.  I think he's the sort of guy who really internalizes these experiences he has, and he's still pretty young, still developing into the actor he'll eventually be.

Read Full Post
<p>B.j. Novak will star as one of the Sherman Brothers opposite Jason Schwartzman in 'Saving Mr. Banks'</p>

B.j. Novak will star as one of the Sherman Brothers opposite Jason Schwartzman in 'Saving Mr. Banks'

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

BJ Novak signs to play songwriting Sherman for Walt Disney biopic 'Saving Mr. Banks'

The latest addition to a great cast makes this a project worth watching

I don't really work in the world of world of Oscar prognostication, but I think i'd be willing to put down a few dollars that "Saving Mr. Banks" is going to be a serious player when it's released in 2013.  I've read the script by Kelly Marcel, and it's kind of great. 

I'm fascinated by stories about Walt Disney, anyway, because he was such a great public figure, such a careful controller of his own image, and I think there are movies to be made about him.  I'd love to see a film that's just about his relationship with Kurt Russell, Annette Funicello, Tommy Kirk, Jodie Foster… the Disney kids over the years.  I'd love to see a film about the early days of trying to build his studio.  I'd love to see a film about how hard he worked to realize his dreams of theme parks before anyone really had any idea what the hell he was talking about.

Read Full Post
<p>Hawk Koch (left)&nbsp;with Robert Evans (center)&nbsp;and Robert Towne at a 30th anniversary screening of &quot;Chinatown&quot; in 2004</p>

Hawk Koch (left) with Robert Evans (center) and Robert Towne at a 30th anniversary screening of "Chinatown" in 2004

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Hawk Koch elected Academy president

Producers Branch governor was a favorite going into tonight's vote

The press release, in full:

Beverly Hills, CA (July 31, 2012) – Producer Hawk Koch was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight (July 31) by the organization's Board of Governors. This will be his first term in the office.

Koch, who is beginning his ninth year as a governor representing the Producers Branch, has served as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president.

In addition, Public Relations Branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy was elected to one vice president post and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson was re-elected to the other vice president post; Public Relations Branch governor Rob Friedman was elected treasurer; and Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme was elected secretary.

Read Full Post
"The Glee Project"

"The Glee Project"

Credit: Oxygen

'The Glee Project' recap: 'Romanticality'

It's all about faking it effectively this week

The theme for the week is romanticality, which isn't really a word at all, as my automatic spell check keeps reminding me by changing it to romantically, but hey, this show ain't about proper English, it's about singing and dancing! So, let's get to exactly that!

Read Full Post
<p>Colin Farrell in Les Wiseman's remake of &quot;Total Recall.&quot;</p>

Colin Farrell in Les Wiseman's remake of "Total Recall."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

The Lists: Top 10 remakes that got it right

With a new take on 'Total Recall' out Friday, we round up cinema's best do-overs

For those of us still clinging to the illusion of youth – I’m 29, but humor me – this has been a mighty distressing summer. The reboot of “Spider-Man,” for example, seemed utterly superfluous to those of us who remember 2002 like it was yesterday; to the new generation of teenagers ogling Andrew Garfield’s more haunted-looking Peter Parker, however, Tobey Maguire’s first outing in the Spidey-suit is a kindergarten memory, if it’s a memory at all.

More alarming still is a new take on a film whose posters I can still remember adorning the cinema marquees of my childhood, but is now deemed so venerable as to be past the territory of sequels or spinoffs. Yes, “Total Recall” – which stood only 22 years ago at the cutting edge of FX blockbuster terrain – is now old enough to suffer the indignity of a remake, and “Underworld” director Len Wiseman is the man filling Paul Verhoeven’s shoes.

Read Full Post
<p>'Yes, Emma, I'm just as sad as you are that the entire 'Potter' series is over, but can you imagine how much of that $500 per Blu-ray box we each get?'</p>

'Yes, Emma, I'm just as sad as you are that the entire 'Potter' series is over, but can you imagine how much of that $500 per Blu-ray box we each get?'

Credit: Warner Bros. Home Video

'Harry Potter Wizard's Collection' details promise 31 discs of magic for Rowling fans

Just in time for Christmas, the ultimate Potter collection arrives on Blu-ray and DVD

Harry Potter is still a big deal.  Just so we're clear.

I'm amazed at the sheer weight of a set like the one announced by Warner Bros Home Video today.  I'd imagine this thing has be heavy enough to crush one of my kids, just based on the description of it.  31 discs.  I think that's the largest movie set I've ever seen.

It's fitting, though.  The world that JK Rowling created still seems to have its hooks in people completely, and a collection like this feels like a fitting way to wrap it all up for people who loved these movies.  I'm probably okay just owning the eight films, but I'm not a maniac for Potter the way some people are, and for them, this has got to be an exciting announcement.

We knew Warner was planning this, but we didn't realize what the five hours of new bonus materials would entail.  The full details were finally released today, and if you're on the fence about committing nearly $500 to a collector's set, check out the full list that Warner Bros. sent over.  And since, according to Rowling's writing, today would be Harry Potter's 32nd birthday, it seems like a perfect time for Potter fans to celebrate.

Read Full Post
Watch: Carrie Underwood's hair is perfect in 'Blown Away' video
Credit: Arista Nashville

Watch: Carrie Underwood's hair is perfect in 'Blown Away' video

Will she follow the yellow brick road?

There’s a storm brewing and it’s making a bee-line right for Carrie Underwood’s house in the video for “Blown Away,” the dramatic title cut from her current album.

In the atmospheric clip, the pressure between Underwood and her alcoholic daddy builds as the barometric pressure outside drops. There’s a twister coming and pops is too snockered to get himself down into the storm cellar, where there’s a nice mattress and Underwood is just fine until it all blows over.  Also, note that her hair blows beautifully in the wind, never obscuring her beauty or getting caught on her lip gloss, like what happens to mere mortals.

[More after the jump...]

This is one hangover that her father won’t be able to sleep off as the storm blows away all the of the bad memories and past that have seeped into those Oklahoma walls.

When Underwood emerges, she’s greeted by nothing less than a rainbow and a yellow brick road as she, hopefully, goes on to find her pot of gold....and if not that, her Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow.

Read Full Post
<p>She looks like this, she wrote a great script, and she nails the performance. I'm not sure if I love or hate Rashida Jones at this point.</p>

She looks like this, she wrote a great script, and she nails the performance. I'm not sure if I love or hate Rashida Jones at this point.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Rashida Jones on Lily Allen, friends and lovers, and 'Celeste & Jesse Forever'

The co-screenwriter gives us a glimpse at why the movie is so smart

Rashida Jones was already annoyingly cool to begin with.  The daughter of Peggy Lipton and Quincy Jones?  Awesome.  Gorgeous?  Definitely.  Tremendously funny on shows like "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation"?  Yep.  So now she's also written a movie that turns out to be smart and funny and wise about relationships?  Good lord, Rashida, is there anything you can't do?

When we sat down during a recent press day for "Celeste and Jesse Forever," we covered a fair amount of ground in just a few minutes.  We talked about the very real widow that seems to be represented in the way her film, co-written with Will McCormack and directed by Lee Toland Krieger, looks at the difficulties that come from trying to stay friends with someone after you've failed at romantic intimacy, but which also looks at just how hard it is to maintain any friendship after a certain age or even make new friends.

She's also very aware of the way people react to her past work.  I talked to her about my wife's ongoing reaction to her role on "The Office" several seasons ago, and she seems like she's heard that reaction before.

Read Full Post
<p>Drake, Lady Gaga and Rihanna</p>

Drake, Lady Gaga and Rihanna

Credit: AP Photos

2012 MTV VMAs nominations: 5 questions we have

Where is Lady Gaga? Lil Wayne nominated for what? Will Chris Brown, Drake and Rihanna all show up?

The 2012 MTV VMAs are arriving on Sept. 6, and five weeks out, the short list is in. As previously reported, Rihanna and Drake culled the most nominations with five a piece. Katy Perry earned four. Lady Gaga...

1) Well, Lady Gaga earned zero nods. She had "Marry the Night" and "You and I." The former is a killer dance track with a clip directed by Mother Monster herself, but -- granted -- it was eight full minutes of non-music footage that likely served as her reel for her first acting role in "Machete Kills." And the latter was a not-very-good-song with a video that was... interesting?

Regardless, the MTV VMAs have kind of been Gaga's thing: she donned a meat dress, she spent her camera face-time in 2010 kicking off her "Born This Way" album promo, trotted out Joe Calderone last year and has mega-plans to announce details on her new set some time in September.

Gaga has the superstar name that organizers wouldn't need to announce as a performer until way later into August but... would Gaga agree to play the show that snubbed her? Will she even hit the red carpet?

2) For best new artist, there are two boy bands, two chart-toppers and a newly developed, certifiable Def Jam R&B superstar who recently, popularly and publicly came out of the closet. One Direction and The Wanted may cancel each other out, fun.'s "We Are Young" have been out of rotation for about six months... is this a contest between Summer Jam winner Carly Rae Jepsen and Frank Ocean?

3) You know what's adorable? The majority of categories only have five nominees each, but it's Video With A Message that got a good-natured six. Why? Because why/how the hell else would they fit Lil Wayne's well-intentioned but poorly developed and badly acted "How to Love" in there?

You gotta hand it to MTV who wants to hand a statue for "messaging" to a man who also goes by the name Pussy Monster. Now that he's in the race next to B-listers like K'Naan, Rise Against and Gym Class Heroes, plus lesser-known tunes from Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato, does anybody stand a chance against Weezy?

4) Video of the Year: M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls." Really? I mean, I personally love that thing, but no "Otis?" Or something funny like "Big Bad Wolf?" Or a new artist or truly underdog artist like Childish Gambino or Of Monsters And Men? This is now a race of four, and everybody already knows "Take Care" wasn't Drake or Rihanna's song.

5)  Drake, Chris Brown and Rihanna: all up for a significant number and caliber of awards. Breezy seems to show up to any awards event he's invited to perform at, and still has face to save and singles to sell. Drake and Rihanna both have the same number of nominations, which sounds like they, too, would show up. Glass bottles, as a rule, are not allowed into L.A.'s Staple Center.

My question is: when can Adele put out another album so we can just give all the air time to her?

Here are the nominees for the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards:

Video of the Year
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Best New Artist

Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

Best Hip-Hop Video

Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"

Best Male Video

Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Usher, "Climax"

Best Female Video

Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Best Pop Video

One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"

Best Rock Video

Coldplay, "Paradise"
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Best Electronic Dance Music Video

Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"
Avicii, "Le7els"

Best Video With a Message
Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Best Art Direction

Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"

Best Choreography

Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
Avicii, "Le7els"
Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull, "Dance Again"

Best Cinematography
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Adele, "Someone Like You"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

Best Direction
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Best Editing
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Best Visual Effects
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Perry Farrell</p>

 Perry Farrell

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Interview: Perry Farrell takes you behind the scenes at Lollapalooza

What does it take to put on the Aug. 3-5 festival?

Perry Farrell is nothing if not ambitious. The Jane’s Addiction frontman’s mission for Lollapalooza, which he co-created in 1991, is nothing less than “trying to get the greatest musicians on the earth into Chicago” for the three-day music festival, which kicks off this Friday, Aug. 3 at Grant Park.

This year’s lineup is certainly a colorful attempt at that feat with headliners including Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Black Sabbath, and Jack White.

They are joined by nearly 130 other acts who span the musical spectrum. Farrell started the event as a traveling festival 21 years ago. After two brief hiatuses, it returned as a stationary festival in Chicago in 2005 and has grown into one of the premier summer music events.  Over the years, as the headliners have fallen into place, he says, “my ambition is a little different these days...What I’m trying to do is break the greatest young artists in the world. I cast that net pretty far out there.”

As Lollapalooza has  expanded to after-parties throughout Chicago, that has given Farrell greater leeway “to let people in who may have promise that aren’t great [yet] to people who have really developed their craft.”

He and his partners, booking agency William Morris Endeavor and concert presenter C3, have weekly conference calls to discuss potential performers. “I get to open up [WME’s]  portfolio and look them over, but we are absolutely not limited to them,” Farrell says, adding that the debates over whom to book for Lollapalooza “can get very heated at times and it can really spin your brain.”

As a musician, the rise in the number of multi-act festivals has been great for artists who can “can get paid good money to get in front of a good audience 10-20 times bigger than you’d normally play to,” Farrell says, but when he puts on his festival organizer hat, it’s a different story. “The other festivals are looking to outbid you, so it drives up the cost of the artist, so you have to be really careful because now you’re talking about a dozen or more groups that are operating on inflated fees,” he says. “It’s becoming a lot like pro sports.”

Finding the right talent is just one part of the equation to pulling off a successful event. Farrell worries as much about what happens off stage as on: “You want to make the accommodations for the patrons great and have their experience be great,” he says. In fact, he sees attending a festival las a vital part of growing up for kids now, a rite of passage just like getting their driver’s license. And he wants Lollapalooza to be the festival that every kid remembers as his or her first.

For the full Lollapalooza line up, go here.

Read Full Post
<p>The infamous 100 meter final from the 1988 Seoul Olympics.</p>

The infamous 100 meter final from the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Toronto Film Festival docs focus on Ben Johnson, Snoop Dogg and Thirty Seconds to Mars

Plus: Sony Pictures brings 'Hotel Transylvania' north for the kiddies

The Toronto International Film Festival announced additional selections to this year's edition of the festival including a large number of documentaries and some intriguing vanguard titles.

Among the doc highlights, Daniel Gordon's "9.79*" revisits the 100 meter final from the 1988 Seoul Olympics which is notorious for Ben Johnson's anabolic steroid scandal. "Artifact" chronicles Thirty Seconds to Mars and Jared Leto's long legal battle against EMI.  "As if Were Catching a Cobra" captures the insurgent movements among Arab artists in Egypt and Syria. Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sara Burns' "The Central Park Five" comes to Toronto after screening at Cannes in May. Recent Sony Pictures Classics acquisition "The Gatekeepers" takes an in-depth look at Israel's secret service agency and screens for the firs time after its debut at Jerusalem International Film Festival. Matthew Cooke uses interviews with subjects such as 50 Cent, Eminem, David Simon and "Freeway" Rick Ross to chronicle the war on drugs in "How to Make Money Selling Drugs."  "Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp" examines the life of the cult cultural icon. Alex Gibney tackles the power of the Catholic Church in "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God." Janet Tobias' "No Place on Earth" discovers that five Jewish families spent over a year and a half in Ukraine's caves to escape the Nazis during WWII. Snoop Dogg allegedly finds spirituality in "Reincarnated." Another look at Roman Polanski in Marina Zenovich's "Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out"  Jamie Kastner brings disco back in what the festival describes as a "hilarious new package" in "The Secret Disco Revolution." "Shepard & Dark" looks at the friendship of Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark through years of written correspondence. "Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky" recounts the rise and fall of the infamous Canadian entertainment mogul. Participant Media and Dan Setton looks at the continuing struggle of the Palestinian state.  "Storm Surfers 3D" follows two best friends in their quest to find the biggest and most dangerous waves in the world.

Among the intriguing Vanguard titles, Rodney Ascher's "Room 237" makes a stop on the festival circuit in Toronto as does Michel Gondry's "The We and the I" and Luis Prieto's English language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's "Pusher."

TIFF is also continuing its family friendly selections, known as TIFF Kids.  This year's movies include the world premiere of "Hotel Transylvania," "Finding Nemo 3D," French-language animated Cannes selection "Ernest & Célestine" and the live-action "Igor & the Cranes' Journey."

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from Nov. 6-16.  Look for complete coverage from Venice, Toronto and Telluride from HitFix's editorial team.

Read Full Post