Latest Blog Posts

<p>Fiona Apple in &quot;Every Single Night&quot;</p>

Fiona Apple in "Every Single Night"

Watch Fiona Apple's unsettling 'Every Single Night' video: Stream album in full

June 19 release available for full stream

As I mentioned in my review of Fiona Apple's show at SXSW this year, part of her beauty is her ability to tread that line of perfect sanity and snapping into brambles of a nervous breakdown. Her single "Every Single Night" -- with its close-proximity vocal recording and its war-cry chorus -- has the same appeal.

And now its music video does too. Poor Fiona is half-consumed by a octopus and needs lay down with the buffalo-headed man every single night. She is followed and afraid at points, and then utterly alone at others, weaving those spindly arms through one bizarre nocturnal rite after another. The snails are cute... her rolling around in them is not.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Wait... you're telling me that all of this is just a movie and you've got CLIPS from it?&quot;</p>

"Wait... you're telling me that all of this is just a movie and you've got CLIPS from it?"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Three new 'Amazing Spider-Man' clips feature chemistry, web-swinging, and The Lizard

We're just a few weeks away, so Sony's pulling out all the stops

We're in the home stretch now, with only a few weeks left until "The Amazing Spider-Man" arrives in theaters.

The film screened late last week for people doing interviews at the New York press day, and I assume we'll see it here in LA in the very near future.  I'm looking forward to it, and to make sure I don't carry the Raimi movies into the theater with me, I've made sure not to re-watch them or refer to them at all.  The last time I saw any of them was when "Spider-Man 3" was released, and at this point, I've got my general impressions of them, but that's about it.  Whatever Marc Webb and his cast and crew have done here, I'm going to judge it as its own film.

This is, of course, a key moment for Sony Pictures.  They've got a lot riding on this film.  In order to remain in the Spider-Man business, they need to keep producing films at a certain pace, and they are gambling big here by rebooting.  They had a proven creative team and a well-liked cast in place, so scrubbing all of that and starting over is about as risky as making a Spider-Man movie can be at this point.  Sure, the character is well-known around the world, and ultimately, the character is what they're selling, but if this is going to work, all the moving pieces have to come together.

Read Full Post
<p>Jude Law and Keira Knightley in &quot;Anna Karenina&quot;</p>

Jude Law and Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina"

Credit: Focus Features

Off the Carpet: Setting the table for the 2012-2013 film awards season

First set of predictions (that are as good as the next guy's)

It's that time of year. Well, no, not THAT time. Awards season is still a healthy ways off and anyone giving it overtly serious consideration right now is in for a hurtin'. But with 2012's midway point fast approaching, it's a valid time to take stock of the film year so far, and to take a glance ahead at the season to come.

And yes, I suppose it's as good a time as any (on the early side of things) to update the sidebar predictions with uneducated stabs in the dark so we don't go on looking like we're living in the past.

First, a quick recap. Very quick, actually, as the only Best Picture stories of the year so far have been made on the basis of admittedly impressive box office success. But to me, considerations of "The Hunger Games" and "The Avengers" for serious Oscar contention feel a bit like hot air in the hot months with little else to grease the awards conversation gears.

Read Full Post
<p>Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams in &quot;Take This Waltz.&quot;</p>

Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams in "Take This Waltz."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

The Long Shot: Searching for sleepers in the Oscar guessing game

What's this year's little engine that could?

After three peaceful months in which the "O" word was among the furthest things from my mind -- even at Cannes, where unusually few films sparked such speculation -- the distant-but-not-invisible threat of the 2012 awards season entered my consciousness in a number of ways this week.

First, before a screening of the emphatically not Oscar-bound "Rock of Ages" (hey, I don't mean that as a slight), my usual no-trailers policy was involuntarily broken as Warners subjected me to gorgeous glimpses of "The Great Gatsby" and "The Dark Knight Rises"... and as much as the moviegoer in me got excited, I'd be lying if I said my mind didn't wander to their intriguingly uncertain awards prospects. The next day, I had only myself to blame to raising the subject. After seeing Sarah Polley's wonderful "Take This Waltz," due for US release later this month, I foolhardily tweeted that it feels like a viable Oscar play for Michelle Williams -- only to wish I hadn't said anything as numerous followers replied with their skepticism.

Read Full Post
<p>Matchbox Twenty</p>

Matchbox Twenty

Credit: Atlantic

Listen: Matchbox Twenty's new single 'She's So Mean' hits a pop bullseye

Hits the spot

The members of Matchbox 20 has always been lovers of power pop, but their music didn’t always reflect that bent. Too often, they tried to exist in both pop and rock simultaneously. While they’ve certainly been successful, sometimes they sounded a bit unfocused.

However, with new single “She’s So Mean,”  MB20 has shot an arrow straight at a power pop target and hit a bullseye. With its handclap intro and catchy guitar refrain, “She’s So Mean” is an ear worm waiting to invade your brain and not let go for the rest of the year. The song is redolent of ‘70s power pop—that territory that Fountains of Wayne has mined so successfully— yet it never sounds overly retro. Listen to it here.

The production is deceptively simple, but each drumbeat, every little yelp by Rob Thomas, only makes the song more seductive. Plus, hasn’t everyone had the one person who you can’t let go no matter what he or she does? “Every now and then she makes you a little bit crazy/she’ll insert a knife in your back and then she’s calling you baby.” Who’s the crazy one?

It’s been 10 years since Matchbox 20 has put out an album of all new material (2007’s “Exile on Mainstream” combined old and new tunes) and it seems like the time away has done them good. The Matt Serletic-produced song, the first single from “North,” sounds deliberate in the band’s  commitment to pop. There’s no line straddling, no trying to be something they aren’t.

“North” comes out in September.


Read Full Post
Kathy Wakile and Melissa Gorga on 'Real Housewives of New Jersey'

Kathy Wakile and Melissa Gorga on 'Real Housewives of New Jersey'

Credit: Andrei Jackamets/Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey' recap: 'True Love, True Lies'

A gay wedding and an In Touch article cause Teresa to lose more support

It's the wedding day for Caroline's brother Jamie and his partner Rich. But the first topic of business is Teresa's interview with In Touch Weekly. Jacqueline reads it in her hotel room and is shocked by what Teresa says about Caroline: that Caroline is one of several women (including Melissa and Kathy) who have bullied Teresa over her family's money troubles.

Caroline has her own copy and is less than thrilled. Actually she feels insulted by being "accused of bullying by a bully," adding that Teresa is insulting the only people who were actually there for her when she needed them.

Jacqueline knows that Teresa makes money by talking to tabloids, so she worries Teresa isn't being completely honest in order to make her story more interesting to publish. Jacqueline leaves the magazine out in her room, in the hopes Teresa will see it when she drops by.

Read Full Post
<p>Don (Jon Hamm) finds himself alone at a bar in the &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Don (Jon Hamm) finds himself alone at a bar in the "Mad Men" season finale.

Credit: AMC

Season finale review: 'Mad Men' - 'The Phantom'

Megan needs a job, Pete needs a friend and Don makes a decision

A review of tonight's "Mad Men" season finale coming up just as soon as I'm president of the Howdy Doody Circus Army...

Read Full Post
<p>Lena Dunham and Allison Williams in &quot;Girls.&quot;</p>

Lena Dunham and Allison Williams in "Girls."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Girls' - 'Leave Me Alone'

Hannah and Marnie have a big fight, and Jessa gets a pep talk

A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as I work at a consumptive women's hospital...

Read Full Post
<p>Julia Louis-Dreyfus in &quot;Veep.&quot;</p>

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in "Veep."

Credit: HBO

Season finale review: 'Veep' - 'Tears'

Selina tries crying to boost her dire approval ratings

A quick review of the "Veep" season finale — or, really, the first season as a whole — coming up just as soon as I choke you with some Spanx...

Read Full Post
<p>Tonys host Neil Patrick Harris</p>

Tonys host Neil Patrick Harris

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Live-blogging the 2012 Tony Awards

Neil Patrick Harris hosts theater's biggest night, once again
I only had one theatre-ready night in New York City this year, so I had to make that time count, Tonys-wise. My buddy and I tried to get tickets to "Once," but we there weren't any unobstructed seats, so we ended up picking "Seminar" over several other viable plays. I figured Alan Rickman would at least be good for a Tony nod, right?
That's how I find myself live-blogging a Tony Awards telecast that will honor only plays and musicals that I haven't seen. My bad for not going with "Porgy & Bess" that night. 
Then again, if the Tony telecast were only for people who had seen the shows in question, literally nobody would watch the show, as opposed to the figurative nobody the Nielsen numbers will reveal tomorrow.
It's OK. I like the Tonys and I like when Neil Patrick Harris hosts things, so follow along with my live-blog...
Read Full Post
<p>We're heading back to LV-223 for another look at 'Prometheus' as we dig deep into the film's themes, plot points, and the questions we still have.</p>

We're heading back to LV-223 for another look at 'Prometheus' as we dig deep into the film's themes, plot points, and the questions we still have.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Prometheus' Second look: Digging deep into spoilers and questions

The year's most beautiful movie is also the most frustrating, but why?

The moment I posted my review for "Prometheus," I knew we would have to run a second piece that asked more questions about the film and that tried to offer a deeper analysis of it.  

Greg Ellwood also followed up with me, asking if we were going to do a piece about the unanswered questions.  The thing is, the questions that people are talking about when they discuss this film range from the easily answered to fundamental confusion about the nature of the story being told.  I don't have any special inside knowledge, but at this point, I've read enough from the people who made the film and from other people who have watched it that I have questions, I have comments, and I have observations and frustrations.  All in all, I have mixed feelings about "Prometheus," and it drives me sort of crazy as a result.

Any time you watch something a second time, it's going to be a different experience, especially when it's something that arrives with the sort of expectations and hype that "Prometheus" had.  I'd honestly seen as little as possible before seeing the film.  After the first one or two trailers, I checked out.  I haven't seen the last five or six trailers or the TV spots, so I didn't have every image in the movie already in my head by the time I walked in the door.

Read Full Post
<p>Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in &quot;Moonrise Kingdom&quot;</p>

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in "Moonrise Kingdom"

Credit: Focus Features

Tell us what you thought of 'Moonrise Kingdom'

The film expanded considerably this weekend

Someone noted recently that we didn't put up a call for reactions to Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom." It's been moving steadily through a very limited release for a few weeks (and breaking box office records previously held by "Brokeback Mountain" in the process -- both are Focus Features films), but this weekend it tacked on 80 screens. So maybe more of you will have a chance to check it out now. Personally speaking, as someone not in the Anderson wheelhouse at all, I quite liked it. So head on back here whenever you get around to it and let us know your take. And if you've already seen it, join in! Also, feel free to rank the film above.

Read Full Post