Latest Blog Posts

<p>The late, great Fatty Arbuckle was part of CBS' fantastic &quot;Dancing on the Stars&quot;&nbsp;press release.</p>

The late, great Fatty Arbuckle was part of CBS' fantastic "Dancing on the Stars" press release.

Outstanding Achievement in Fake Press Releases: CBS announces 'Dancing on the Stars'

The network lost the legal battle over ABC's 'Glass House,' but it won the comedy war

I've been largely ignoring the legal battle between CBS and ABC over the premiere of the latter network's reality show "The Glass House," which the former network insists is a complete rip-off of "Big Brother," and sued to keep it off the air. After all, every successful TV show that's ever existed has been cloned a half dozen times over, and why should we get up in arms over "Big Brother," of all the shows being imitated? 

CBS lost the legal battle, but won the war when "Glass House" tanked in its Monday premiere, and now they've won the battle for the last — and certainly best — word with this press release, a marvel of snark and cattiness. Many press releases are easy to laugh at; this is one of the few I've ever seen that I heartily laughed with: 

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<p>Aaron Johnson and Keira Knightley in &quot;Anna Karenina&quot;</p>

Aaron Johnson and Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina"

Credit: Focus Features

First trailer for 'Anna Karenina' paints Keira Knightley against a lavish period backdrop

Will Focus Features have a huge Oscar player on its hands?

One of the films we certainly have our eye on in the upcoming film awards season is Joe Wright's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina," with Keira Knightley in the titular role. If nothing else, we can assume the crafts on display will be lush and exceptional (given the talent involved), and indeed, the first trailer for the film indicates just that.

There is no shortage of lavish period pieces this year, actually. In addition to Wright's film there's Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," Tom Hooper's "Les Misérables," Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" and Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," to say nothing of subtler period accents in films like "Argo" and "The Master."

Guy was a bit down on the film in the fields he was charged with predicting in our recent update, but I beg to differ. I don't think there's anything on the outside that indicates -- yet -- that there's much to worry about. Still, "sure things" are cast away in Oscar season after Oscar season. We'll have to wait and see how this one turns out.

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<p>Carly Rae Jepsen</p>

Carly Rae Jepsen

Credit: AP Photo

Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' definitely tops the Billboard Hot 100 again

Pop princess extends her reign to two weeks as Katy Perry flies north

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” spends its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as the tune, remarkably, continues to pick up steam.

The song grows 8% in all-format audience, according to Billboard, up to 126 million. It only drops 1% in downloads, registering additional sales of 292,000 this week, on top of its already-sold 3.3 million copies. (Listen to Jepsen's new duet with Owl City, "Good Time," here).

Just as “Maybe” hangs out at No. 1, Goyte’s smash, “Somebody That I Used To Know” holds at No. 2 and Maroon 5’s “Payphone,” featuring Wiz Khalifa remains at No. 3.

As Billboard points out, the trifecta of three new artists capturing the No. 1 spot consecutively--as have fun., Gotye, and Jepsen, has not happened since 1977.  One has to go back to 1967 for the last time four new acts followed each other into the Top spot.

No new songs enter the Top 10 as the remaining spots merely rearrange the seats.

Katy Perry sees her hot streak continue as “Wide Awake” soars 9-4.  The song is featured in Perry’s upcoming 3-D doc/concert film, “Part of Me,” which opens July 5.  Perry’s forward momentum pushes Fun.’s  “We Are Young” down one spot to No. 5.

Rounding out the top 10, One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” drops 5-6, Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” falls 6-7, Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” stays at No. 8, Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia slips 7-9 and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” holds at No. 10.

With Bieber’s “Believe” a cinch to enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1 next week, his pre-release campaign of rolling out an iTunes single a week for several weeks seems to have worked: his track “As Long As you Love Me” featuring Big Sean enters the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 21, making it the third consecutive week that a new Bieber track has entered in the Top 40.

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<p>Bruce Campbell from &quot;Burn Notice.&quot;</p>

Bruce Campbell from "Burn Notice."

Credit: USA

HitFix First Look: Bruce Campbell meets John C. McGinley on 'Burn Notice'

How will Sam Axe and Dr. Cox get along?

I'm not doing weekly coverage of "Burn Noticethis season, but I'm still watching and enjoying the show, and particularly still enjoying the interplay between the actors. With Fi off in prison for now that puts even more of an emphasis on Bruce Campbell and how Sam and Mike (and Sam and Jesse) get along, so what better man to introduce a clip from tomorrow night's episode than Campbell himself? 

Of particular interest to me was the appearance of guest star John C. McGinley, playing Michael's new CIA handler. I haven't seen much of McGinley since "Scrubs" ended — outside of a couple of State Farm commercials that I assume he did to pay the bills — and I'm glad to have the former Dr. Cox back on my TV and interacting with the likes of Campbell and Donovan. 

As usual, "Burn Notice" airs Thursday night at 9 on USA.

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<p>Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen</p>

Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen

Listen: Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen are looking for nothing but a 'Good Time'

Is it too adorable for words?

Carly Rae Jepsen already owned the first part of the summer with “Call Me Maybe.” With “Good Time,” a new track from Owl City featuring Jepsen, she could claim the second half.

The track, which Adam Young (Owl City’s real name) debuted via SoundCloud today, sounds like “California Gurls Pt. 2.” Not only does Jepsen sound like Katy Perry, the song has the same “Whoa-oh-oh” sing-along-chorus.  Just try not to clap or sing along. It’s a shame this didn’t come out a few weeks earlier to totally take advantage of the full summer, but Jepsen’s folks undoubtedly didn’t want it to steal any of “Call Me Maybe’s” if anything could.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Halle Berry and Keith David in &quot;Cloud Atlas&quot;</p>

Halle Berry and Keith David in "Cloud Atlas"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. sets October release for 'Cloud Atlas' while Searchlight renames 'The Sessions'

Prime Oscar real estate for both

October 26 is a pretty sweet spot to be opening a film you might want to pitch for awards, and Warner Bros. has just settled on that date for "Cloud Atlas," Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski's 165 minute adaptation of David Mitchell's kaleidoscopic novel, which follows six separate but connected narratives through an array of genres.

Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight had already set Ben Lewin's Sundance hit "Six Sessions" (formerly "The Surrogate") for that date, but they've also gone and re-titled it a third time. The film is now called simply "The Sessions" and is based on the life of poet, journalist and polio victim Mark O'Brien. John Hawkes has been receiving Oscar buzz for his performance as O'Brien (whose story has already been told in one Oscar-winning film, the 1996 short documentary ""Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien"), as has co-star Helen Hunt. HitFix's Drew McWeeny wrote of the film from Sundance that it gives Hawkes his "career-best role."

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<p>Thomas Sadoski, Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Thomas Sadoski, Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Review: Aaron Sorkin's 'The Newsroom' too sanctimonious for its own good

HBO drama at least features strong performances by Jeff Daniels and company
Having seen four different television series created by Aaron Sorkin — "Sports Night," "The West Wing," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and now "The Newsroom," a new HBO drama that premieres Sunday night at 10 — I feel I understand some of the man's core beliefs and guiding creative principles:
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<p>Doona Bae plays a pivotal role in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of David Mitchell's epic existential novel 'Cloud Atlas'</p>

Doona Bae plays a pivotal role in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of David Mitchell's epic existential novel 'Cloud Atlas'

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Cloud Atlas' gets a date, and now the hard work starts for Warner Bros.

Even with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, this one's not going to be easy

There is never going to be an easy date for Warner Bros. to release "Cloud Atlas."

Some movies are simply challenges, no matter what.  That doesn't make them bad films, and it doesn't make them good films.  It just means they are hard to sell to an audience.  When you have to cut a 30-second commercial that conveys the main idea or appeal of a film, that is a very difficult thing on certain movies.

Warner Bros. digs "Cloud Atlas."  I feel fairly safe in saying so.  They know what movie they've got, and they know what sort of challenge is ahead, and so declaring a release date is step one in setting the table for the eventual release of the film.

It helps when you have Tom Hanks and Halle Berry starring in your movie, especially when you can advertise that each of them ends up playing a variety of different roles in the film.  And when the supporting cast includes Jim Broadbent, also playing multiple parts, Hugo Weaving reteaming with his "Matrix" directors, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, and younger familiar faces like Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, and James D'Arcy, you've got enough leeway that you can let a relatively unknown actress, internationally speaking, like Doona Bae star in the film in one of the main key roles.

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<p>Keira Knightley as &quot;Anna Karenina.&quot;</p>

Keira Knightley as "Anna Karenina."

Credit: Focus Features

Keira Knightley admits 'Anna Karenina' is the hardest thing she's ever done

Plus: The joys of 'Seeking a Friend at the End of the World'

NEW YORK - The last time I spoke with Keira Knightley we were sitting in an almost empty ballroom.  Knightley had just come from the early afternoon Toronto premiere of "A Dangerous Method" and was in a gorgeous gown.  I, on the other hand, had raced over in a t-shirt and jeans having no idea Knightley would be soon boarding a plane later that evening to cross the pond where production on Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" awaited her.  Nine months later, it's a different movie, country and city and yet, Knightley still looks fantastic.  On this day I've got a much shorter amount of time to talk about a rare contemporary role for the "Atonement" star - just five minutes - in Lorene Scafaria's "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World."

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Watch: Kevin McKidd discusses his 'Brave' voices and why animation is like being a spy

Watch: Kevin McKidd discusses his 'Brave' voices and why animation is like being a spy

'Grey's Anatomy' star also discusses another killer Shonda Rhimes finale
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - Like his "Brave" co-star Kelly Macdonald, Kevin McKidd was first introduced to most viewers in Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting" and, also like Macdonald, McKidd makes his primary living covering up his native Scottish accent for a successful television show.
On ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," McKidd plays tightly wound, periodically traumatized, entirely American Owen Hunt. Emotional repression aside, it's a strong role for McKidd, but when we sat down at Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel for the junket for "Brave," he admitted how fun it is to just let loose in the recording booth.
In "Brave," McKidd plays Scottish clan leader Lord MacGuffin, as well as his seemingly dim-witted son, one of three suitors to Macdonald's Merida. On the surface, Young MacGuffin seems to almost completely incoherent, but as McKidd explains, the character is actually speaking a specific dialect that runs in the actor's bloodlines.
Neither role is huge, but McKidd told me that he's been working on "Brave" for four years, a project that he compares to being a secret agent. 
[We also discussed "Grey's Anatomy" just a wee bit and what that conversation isn't in the "Brave"-centric interview above, it's excerpted below!]
Hopefully you've already watched my interview with the charming Kelly MacDonald. And stay tuned over the next couple days for my conversations with Pixar chief John Lasseter and with "Brave" director Mark Andrews & producer Katherine Sarafian. And yes, I'm still planning on posting the embarrassing video of my archery attempts in Scotland. 
"Brave" opens on Friday, June 22. 
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<p>The Band&nbsp;Perry perform at the 2012 CMT&nbsp;Music Awards in Nashville.</p>

The Band Perry perform at the 2012 CMT Music Awards in Nashville.

Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP

The Band Perry hits the studio for sophomore set out later this year

Trio promises more of their 'modern throwback' sound

The Band Perry, who is working with producer Rick Rubin for its sophomore set, will release the first single from the new album in early fall. The album is expected to drop before the end of the year.

The group’s first self-titled album has been certified platinum and  spawned several hits, including the trio’s breakthrough hit, “If I Die Young.”

Rubin has proved a “masterful mentor,”  Kimberly Perry told, adding that he’d helped calm their sophomore jitters. “Now we’re feeling really, really excited about everything.”

The band, who was nominated for a Grammy for best new artist, is on the road with Brad Paisley but is jumping back into the studio whenever possible this summer. The three siblings are about halfway finished with recording.

Fans can expect an evolution from the first album says Reid Perry. “We call our sound a modern throwback,” he says. “We’ve taken the second album to more of a live feeling; we are a band, and where we’re at right now with this second album feels like a band, which we’re pleased about.”

Kimberly Reid continues, “Our melody has grown up so much, mostly our delivery an the melody that we hear in our heads and in our hearts. Everybody we keep playing the rough mixes for is like, ‘It sounds like you guys are standing on this really cool edge,’ so that’s exciting.”

Most of the material focuses around family, friends, and the experiences the trio has been through in the last few years.

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Album Review: Kenny Chesney's 'Welcome To The Fishbowl'
Credit: Columbia Records

Album Review: Kenny Chesney's 'Welcome To The Fishbowl'

Country superstar sees life through a dark filter

“No shoes, no shirt, no problems,” has been Kenny Chesney’s unofficial motto (and title for his seventh album) for much of his career.

Sure, he’s done serious songs, like “Better As A Memory,” but on his new album, “Welcome to the Fishbowl,” love and loss rule the day much more than the beach and beer.

Opening track, the sultry “Come Over,” is a booty call, but, like Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” it’s born more out of loneliness than lust. As he sings, “we’re bad for each other, but we ain’t good for anyone else,” an air of resignation and regret sets in.

Whether it’s hitting his mid-40s or other life circumstances, “Fishbowl” finds Chesney looking at life through a filter of longing, whether it be on “El Cerrito Place” or the poignant “To Get To You (55th & 3rd),” where he’s hoping for a second chance.

Hearts are broken by romance on “Fishbowl,” but they are just as likely to be torn apart by broken dreams. On “Sing ‘Em Good My Friend,” a man sells his old guitar, his only worldly possession left, in an effort to raise money for his wife’s medical bills.  “We’re all gonna die someday/You won’t remember a single word I’m trying to say/It’s all a grand illusion when you think you’re in control.” On “While He Knows Who I Am,” Chesney sings as a son whose father is dying of Alzheimer’s.

Most of the songs on here are from the perspective of someone who’s been kicked around and grown weary by life. On “Makes Me Wonder,” Chesney contemplates turning a friendship into a love affair, but fear seems to get in the way. As he sings on “To Get To You”: “Love’s become a frightening thing to do.”  The album ends with a live version of "You and Tequila," recorded at Red Rocks Amphitheater with Grace Potter. It's not as searing as their studio version from 2010's "Hemingway's Whiskey," but fits in beautifully with the themes on "Welcome to the Fishbowl."

It’s not all dark clouds, however. On “Feel Like A Rock Star” featuring his current tour mate Tim McGraw, life’s a party where the music is always free.  On “Time Flies,” the lilting island track pays homage to getting away to the sand and the surf after a heartbreak because “time flies when you’re having rum.” Bring on the Captain Morgan.

For those who like their Chesney with a side of Corona and lime and nothing but a good time, this might not be the album for you. But for anyone who’s been kicked around a little by life and knows what it’s like to wake up with your heart pounding over a lost chance that feels it will never come this way again, welcome to the fishbowl.

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