Latest Blog Posts

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 128: Upfronts 2012, Part 1: NBC/FOX/ABC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 128: Upfronts 2012, Part 1: NBC/FOX/ABC

Dan and Alan break down the big scheduling moves, and also review the latest 'Mad Men'

The

It's Upfront Week, which means it's (hopefully) going to be a two-episode week for the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. Today, we'll be dealing with the NBC, FOX and ABC upfront announcements (plus another "Mad Men" review), while the plan is to return on Friday to discuss CBS, the CW and a bunch of recent season finales. 

The line-up: 

Upfronts - NBC, FOX and ABC (00:01:00 - 00:49:30)
"Mad Men" (00:49:30 - 01:14:30)
 
As we discuss towards the end of the show, we will likely have two podcasts next week, but also probably not on Monday. It will be catch as catch can. Follow our blogs, iTunes, the RSS feed, Twitter, etc., to have some sense of when a new podcast has been published.

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Read Full Post
<p>Baby Monster</p>

Baby Monster

Credit: Ashley Haber

Song Of The Day: Baby Monster's 'City of Lovers'

Fills that M83-shaped hole in your heart

I'm sleeping with the windows open. It's about time for some tunes that sound like it.

Baby Monster's dark "City of Lovers" tickles that same part in my heart that M83's "Midnight City" did. Synths, trotting pace, wistful choral lines... what is it with cities after dusk?

Read Full Post
<p>R. Kelly's &quot;Write Me Back&quot;</p>

R. Kelly's "Write Me Back"

Credit: RCA

Watch and listen: New R. Kelly 'Single' song and album release date

So much new R. Kelly is about to be in your face

I continue the exploration of my love and loathing of R. Kelly, that time-traveling horndog of R&B mysterium. Today his label RCA announced a June 26 drop date of his new album "Write Me Back," as well as lifted the veil on another new song from it, "Feelin' Single."

Like "Write's" first song-single "Share My Love," "Feelin' Single" borrows from the same strings-dripping '70s era of soul and disco, this time with Kels fondling playing with the space bars between lonliness and landing the skinny, big-boobed lady of his dreams. It goes up via digital retailers on May 29.

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from &quot;Margaret&quot;</p>

A scene from "Margaret"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Kenneth Lonergan's 'Margaret' finally coming to DVD/Blu-ray

Theatrical and extended cuts to be included

I'm not sure we could write much more about "Margaret" in this space. Last December, filling in the gaps with the rest of a press corps hammering out their top 10 lists for the year, I caught up to Kenneth Lonergan's embattled film at one of two screenings Fox Searchlight politely scheduled for those who had missed it during its fleeting September release.

I loved it. I loved it so much it became, for me, the best film of 2011. I talked at length with Lonergan, who was unable to do press due to necessary legal hand-tying regarding lawsuits involving the studio and financier. Roth (also a fan of the film) talked at length with star Anna Paquin, a surreal experience for the "True Blood" vixen, given that she had worked on the film so long ago. And Guy, too, fell in love with it and ranked it pretty high on his list of the year's best.

No, I don't think there's much more we could write…about the theatrical cut, anyway. But with a new extended assemblage finally coming to DVD/Blu-ray on July 10, you can bet we'll find something!

Read Full Post
<p>Scott Speedman and Andre Braugher in ABC's &quot;Last Resort.&quot;</p>

Scott Speedman and Andre Braugher in ABC's "Last Resort."

Credit: ABC

ABC's 2012-13 schedule: 'Revenge' to Sunday, 'Happy Endings' and 'Apt. 23' to Tuesday

Network tries to build on year that had hits but still led to distant finish

ABC had a very strange 2011-12 TV season. On the one hand, "Modern Family" had its biggest ratings yet, the network launched the top-rated new drama of the season in "Once Upon a Time," had a much-buzzed-about (if more modestly-rated) new success in "Revenge," and had four other rookies ("Suburgatory," "Scandal," "Last Man Standing" and "Don't Trust the (Beaver) in Apt. 23") do well enough to merit renewal for another season.

On the other hand, those successes — plus the continuation of other hits like "Grey's Anatomy" (still the most-watched drama on TV in the 18-49 demographic) and "Dancing with the Stars" — likely won't be enough to keep the network out of fourth place in the season's demo ratings. Even if NBC will only squeak ahead of ABC because it aired the Super Bowl, that's still not a good overall result considering all the successes.

But on an upfront press conference call, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee acknowledged that the network needed a lot of work when he took over a couple of years ago.

Read Full Post
<p>Rick Ross' &quot;Touch'N You&quot; featuring Usher</p>

Rick Ross' "Touch'N You" featuring Usher

Credit: Def Jam

Listen: Rick Ross and Usher reunite for new single 'Touch'N You'

Explicit jam officially kicks off 'God Forgives, I Don't' promo

It was only a couple weeks ago that Usher unzipped "Lemme See" featuring Rick Ross in promoting his new album "Looking for Myself"; now the pair are back together for another sexy back-and-forth for Rozay's new single "Touch'N You."

Def Jam is touting the track as the first official single from Ross' much-anticipated "God Forgive, I Don't" album, which he'll drop on July 31. A release says that this steamy, explicit, mainstream tune "sets the tone for what will be Ross’ most epic, most ambitious album to date."

If that's so, then look for a lot of steam-windowed R&B combos with Bawse's confident woof, because this mid-tempo bedroom jammer has Usher over-repeating his intentions of "f*ckin' you." Of course, there's a radio version available -- "Touch'N You" -- reminiscent of how Enrique Iglesias, tonight, is "lovin'" you.

Ross' rhymes work, though, and its another gangbusters combination from this team, who could benefit from each others' prowess as they drop their respective new albums. As repetitive as I think "f*ckin' you" gets, it on a meta-level reflects the actual nature of, well, f*ckin'. Good work, lit team, "Touch'N You" sounds like a definite hit.

“So that’s what I did with this project…it’s my best body of work yet. 'God Forgives, I Don’t' is a very dark story…it’s extremely lyrical. The music is next level. I’m expecting nothing but the biggest results. That’s what’s needed, and I’m going to deliver,” Ross says in a statement on his new effort. He announced it -- and new signings and albums from his Maybach Music label -- at a press conference in New York two weeks ago.

Since "Touch'N You" is the official single, that means cuts like "You the Boss" and "I Love My Bitches" were promotional, so await word if they make the final tracklist.

What do you think of the track?

Read Full Post
<p>Kim Basinger in &quot;L.A. Confidential,&quot; which won no prizes at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.</p>

Kim Basinger in "L.A. Confidential," which won no prizes at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Lists: Top 10 Cannes Film Festival losers

Rounding up some of the greatest competition entries not to win a single award

I can hardly believe it's snuck up on like this, but today I jet off to the south of France for the Cannes Film Festival, which officially kicks off tomorrow with the premiere of Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom." Currently, we're in the exciting night-before-Christmas stage of the festival. 22 Competition films (among a buffet of others in secondary strands) lie unseen ahead of us: all of them have serious artistic intentions and creditable names attached, and have been hand-picked for the programme by the powers that be.

Yet there will be successes and there will be failures: predicting the annual critical disaster as much a sport as handicapping the jury awards. We have no idea what the prizewinners and/or future classics from the lineup might prove to be -- and that "and/or" is crucial, since the two don't always overlap. Cannes juries are no less capable than the Academy of missing the boat with their choices, of passing over long-haul masterworks for short-lived sensations. Will future generations care about Palme d'Or winner "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" -- any more than people today care about "The Mission?"

Read Full Post
<p>Nope.&nbsp; Don't know what it's doing or why, and frankly, I reached a point where I just didn't care.</p>

Nope.  Don't know what it's doing or why, and frankly, I reached a point where I just didn't care.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Ridiculous and giddy, 'Battleship' is way more miss than hit

Befuddling in concept, frustrating in execution, this is why people hate summer movies

"Battleship" is, in a word, ridiculous.

Even sitting down to write about the film, I feel ridiculous. It's a movie in name only, a simulation of a movie, and it is by far the strangest thing that Peter Berg has ever put his name on.  I do not see the director of "The Rundown" or "Friday Night Lights" in this film at all.  That's not to say it is without any personal touches, but they feel more like him distracting himself from the absurdity of the material than a real connection to what he's making, and the result is a wannabe-blockbuster that should be studied in film schools as a perfect example of what happens when commerce becomes more important than concept.

Written by a computer program that Universal cleverly named "Erich and Jon Hoeber," I'm still not even sure what the actual premise of the movie is.  I can tell you what happens in it, but plot is not premise.  I cannot imagine the meetings in which grown, rational people sat around planning this film, because nothing about it makes sense.  You would think someone involved in signing $250 million worth of checks would have at some point spoken up and said, "Is it okay that none of this is even remotely coherent?"  Evidently, it's fine, because the film almost seems to delight in the specific form of nonsense that it offers up, and there's not a hint of shame to the enterprise.  It is blissfully, cheerfully stupid, and it doesn't remotely care about reality.

Read Full Post
<p>Chelsea of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>

Chelsea of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Chelsea Meissner talks 'Survivor: One World'

Third place finisher isn't sad about getting shut out
"Survivor: One World" wrapped up on Sunday (May 13) night with the first all-female Top Five in the show's history.
 
Because of timing relating to NBC and FOX upfront presentations on Monday, I wasn't able to do exit interviews with Alicia and Christina, but I was able to get on the phone with the three castoffs who faced The Jury and were up for the million dollar prize.
 
Up first?
 
That would be 26-year-old Chelsea Meissner, who finished third after failing to receive a single vote from the Jury. 
 
Chelsea, who was partners-in-crime with Kim, as they decimated the entire male contingent after the Merge, had a hand in most of the season's strategic intrigue, but she probably lost Jury support when she basically endorsed her friend in her opening statement. 
 
In her exit interview, Chelsea discusses her support for Kim, her Final Tribal emotions and tries to explain Christina's accusation that she hates people. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A... 
 
Read Full Post
<p>Debbie Reynolds is just one of the memorable movie mothers we discuss on this special Mother's Day edition of 'The Motion/Captured Podcast'</p>

Debbie Reynolds is just one of the memorable movie mothers we discuss on this special Mother's Day edition of 'The Motion/Captured Podcast'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Listen: The MCP starts Year 3 with Movie God, Darren Bousman, and movie Moms

It's hard to believe, but we're actually back on the air

It has been a while.

I could offer up excuses, but the truth is that things just plain got away from Scott Swan and me, and there's no other way to put it.  Our best intentions were repeatedly frustrated by real-life obstacles, and we let them build up week after week.

The only reason we finally sat down to do this again is because you have all been so vocal about wanting a new podcast, and I take your feedback seriously.

This week, we decided to talk about Mother's day and the long tradition of mothers in movies.  We also brought back Movie God, the game that broke me in our final episode of Season Two, and we welcomed Patrick Morgan, known to AICN readers as Henchman Mongo, to help us kick off this year's version of the game.

Read Full Post
<p>Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

Season finale review: 'Smash' - 'Bombshell'

The show will go on, but should it?

A review of the "Smash" season finale — and some thoughts on where the show should/could go in its second season — coming up just as soon as I hate it when you get literal...

Read Full Post
<p>Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan and Josh Radnor in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan and Josh Radnor in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Season finale review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Magician's Code'

Lily gives birth, Barney takes Quinn on a trip, and Ted makes a call

A review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" season finale coming up just as soon as I recount a romantic tale by a Diaper Genie...

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME