Latest Blog Posts

<p>Keanu Reeves seems to have become an expert on the industry-wide transformation from film to digital as part of his work on the new documentary 'Side By Side'</p>

Keanu Reeves seems to have become an expert on the industry-wide transformation from film to digital as part of his work on the new documentary 'Side By Side'

Credit: HitFix

Watch our full length Keanu Reeves interview and read our review of 'Side-By-Side'

We discuss the future of the film industry with the star of the smart and satisfying doc

"Side By Side" is interesting because it is a snapshot of a moment, an attempt to capture an argument mid-stream, one that will be resolved at some point soon but which is, right now, one of the primary conversations happening about the state of our industry.

Virtually all of the student filmmaking work I did was on video.  We were lucky enough at my high school to have a non-linear editing suite, but these were the days of VHS to VHS, and it was still crude compared to the editing firepower available to anyone with a laptop these days.  At that point, video was not in competition with film for the business of movie making.  It just wasn't an option.  The best-looking film shot on video was still shot on video.  It was something even the least sophisticated viewer could see right away.

These days, digital projection and digital filmmaking are so technically sophisticated that the entire conversation has had to change.  The question is no longer "does video look as good as film?" because we've realized that isn't the point.  Video still has a number of signatures that make it different from film, but instead of being limitations now, they are just differences, and the best artists working in movies today are hotly divided over which tools to use, what to use them for, and what it means for the art as a whole.

Read Full Post
<p>Daniel Day-Lewis in the poster for &quot;Lincoln.&quot;</p>

Daniel Day-Lewis in the poster for "Lincoln."

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Daniel Day-Lewis does some serious thinking in the first poster for 'Lincoln'

Steven Spielberg's biopic hits theaters November 9

It may still be gloriously summery -- where I am, at least -- but I'm feeling an intangible autumnal chill this week, as the upcoming prestige-movie season, and all the awards talk that comes with it, looms ever larger. Venice kicks off the fall festival circuit in exactly one week's time, I'm attending screenings with embargoes signed in blood, and every day seems to bring another new poster, trailer, clip or press release for a film with the O-word on its mind. (Yesterday's announcement of the Golden Globes voting schedule just about had me burying my head under the couch cushions, begging for another few months of sun.)

Today, then, marks the first move in the marketing campaign for "Lincoln" -- a sober monochrome one-sheet that quite clearly establishes, in case you thought otherwise, that Steven Spielberg's presidential biopic (and sight-unseen Oscar threat) won't be reframing Honest Abe's life story as a romantic comedy. It's not a terribly inspired poster, though I suppose it carries the requisite gravitas -- between the shot of Daniel Day-Lewis's artfully made-up profile and the grainily etched black and white of the imagery, it recalls nothing so much as a weathered penny coin in its iconography. That's surely no accident.

Read Full Post
<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' tops the Billboard Hot 100

The record-setting single ends Flo Rida's brief ride at No. 1

Taylor Swift lands her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with style this week as  “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” rockets from No. 72 to the top spot.

Swift had previously peaked at No. 2 twice before. "Never" got plenty of airplay, but it was digital downloads that really fueled the blast to the top: “Never” sold 623,000 copies, making it the highest selling sales week ever for a female artist. (The overall No. 1 belongs to Flo Rida’s “Right Round” with 636,000 in 2009).

Speaking of, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” slips to No. 2 after one week at the top, according to Billboard. Swift’s ascent pushes every song in the top 5 down a notch: Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” goes 2-3, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” 3-4 and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” 4-5.

In the bottom half of the Top 10, fun.’s second top 10, “Some Nights” rises 8-6 and Maroon 5’s “Payphone” falls out of the top 5 for the first time in its 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, dropping 5-7. But there’s good news as well for the Adam Levine-led group as “One More Night,” the follow-up to “Payphone” makes it arrival into the Top 10, jumping 15-9.

“Night” is one of two new entries in the Top 10: Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean moves up four notches to No. 8.

David Guetta’s “Titanium” featuring Sia closes out to Top 10 dropping from 7 to 10.

Read Full Post
<p>Key art for the upcoming season of &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

Key art for the upcoming season of "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

'Doctor Who' to return to BBC America on September 1

Five-episode run to say goodbye to Amy Pond and Rory

"Doctor Who" will return to BBC America on Saturday, September 1 at 9 p.m.

The seventh season of the rebooted "Doctor Who" will be premiering on the same day in Great Britain. Even though this is a holiday weekend in America, BBC America executives apparently felt (rightly so) that they were better off sticking day-and-date with the UK rather than inviting American viewers to illegally download the episodes.

The seventh season will be split into a few chunks, and the first batch will be five episodes that will send off Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as the Doctor's most recent companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. It's unclear whether the new companion, played by Jenna Louise Coleman, will be introduced in these episodes or further down the line.

If you want a taste of what's to come in the new season, here's a spoiler-y quote from showrunner Steven Moffat:

Read Full Post
<p>Mariah Carey in &quot;Triumphant&quot;</p>

Mariah Carey in "Triumphant"

Watch: Mariah Carey, Meek Mill, Rick Ross hit the ropes in 'Triumphant' vid

Mimi announces the rounds

Mariah Carey tells the listener to "get off the ropes" in her new single "Triumphant," advice she takes to the next level in her music video for the track. The singer is actually in the ring -- as an announces and the girlie who announces the rounds in a boxing match that also features guest rappers Meek Mill and Rick Ross.

Mill is the fighter and Ross is the fat cat promoter, and both fit their roles well, with the former lavishing in all his sweat and the latter rocking the robes and they stereotypical rings and cigars. What could have been fabulous is Carey stepping up to either of those, beat either at their own game, but like in this particular iteration of the song, she's much less a leader and more of a mere participant.

But it's gold everywhere, and Carey spends plenty of time in the literal spotlight showing off her body in bright lights.

She'll have more time upfront during her first stint as judge on "American Idol" and helping to kick off the 2012-2013 NFL season with No Doubt.

Read Full Post
<p>Abbas Kiarostami's new film 'Like Someone In Love' was one of the last titles announced for this year's Toronto Film&nbsp;Festival</p>

Abbas Kiarostami's new film 'Like Someone In Love' was one of the last titles announced for this year's Toronto Film Festival

Credit: IFC Films

Toronto's line-up finalized with Jackie Chan, Michael Winterbottom, and Johnny Depp

The last wave of titles offers some exciting programming and live appearances

The Toronto International Film Festival finished announcing the full line-up for the 2012 festival, starting September 6, and what they've put together is an almost decadent amount of exciting cinema, featuring highlights from earlier 2012 festivals as well as a number of major premieres.  Their Midnight Madness section is amazing, as we discussed earlier, and it feels like every single section of the fest has been programmed with several major events.

The last batch of titles arrived today as a series of press releases.  The Masters programme was the first one I read, and there are several films here that I've already seen, including a few of the Cannes titles I never got around to writing about.  Michael Haneke's "Amour" is playing, and I think it's a lovely, gentle, broken-hearted look at what happens when the people we love start to disintegrate.  I wasn't as fond of Christian Mungiu's "Beyond The Hills," but I think it's the sort of film that any serious film fan should see to at least form their own opinion.  I'll be writing reviews before the festival for both "Like Someone In Love," the latest from Abbas Kiarostami, and Bernardo Bertolucci's "Me and You," a tiny little story about a boy and his half-sister and a very unusual "trip" they take, and I'm glad both of these will be in the conversation in Toronto.

Read Full Post
"The Week the Women Went"

 "The Week the Women Went"

Credit: Lifetime

Review: 'The Week the Women Went' is an equal opportunity offender

The women get a vacation and the men get stereotyped
I watched the first episode of "The Week the Women Went" (Tues. 10 p.m. ET) days ago, but I'm still irritated, and for so, so many reasons. 
 
On the surface, this seems to be a fairly straight forward reality TV show. The show descends on the small town of Yemassee, South Carolina with an offer. The women of the town get an all-expenses-paid resort vacation for a week, and in exchange the menfolk must submit to their roaring incompetence being filmed for posterity. It's female empowerment, right? The men will learn exactly how much the ladies do in a day (or week), and will worship the mud they slop through upon their return! It's like a dumb, retro sitcom come to life!
Read Full Post
<p>Robert Pattinson in &quot;Cosmopolis.&quot;</p>

Robert Pattinson in "Cosmopolis."

Credit: Entertainment One

The Lists: Top 10 performances in David Cronenberg films

As 'Cosmopolis' goes wide on Friday, we round up Cronenberg's best thesps

After a divided reception at May's Cannes Film Festival (and a UK release earlier this summer), David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" finally opened for New York and Los Angeles audiences on Friday. On Friday, meanwhile, it opens wide, exposing itself itself to hordes of Robert Pattinson fanatics who might well find themselves baffled by Cronenberg's (or rather Don DeLillo's) chilly, talky, unapologetically freeze-dried essay on the alienation of the One Per Cent. They'll do anything for love, those Twi-hards, but I'm not sure they'll do that. 

The Pattinson fans that decide to give it a skip, however, will ironically be missing their idol's best screen work to date. Many sneered when it was announced that the veteran director would be working with the modern matinee idol, not an actor yet treasured for immense range -- but his pinched, low-temperature charisma has found its perfect manipulator in Cronenberg, a director who has seemingly always been as interested in a star's physique as their technique. In my review of "Cosmopolis," I noted "the effectively slippery [energy] inherent in Pattinson’s compellingly blank screen presence," which perhaps sounds more backhanded than I intended; it's harder than it looks to play a cypher. 

Read Full Post
<p>Alanis Morissette</p>

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette talks 'Havoc,' addiction and motherhood

And her love of purses

“I’m as shallow as you can get,” a charming Alanis Morissette surprisingly confessed at a Los Angeles event, and then proceeded to prove just the opposite.

The small gathering, held at Sonos Studios in Hollywood, featured a Q&A conducted by Billboard's Phil Gallo, with Morissette about the making of her new album, “Havoc And Bright Lights,” as well as a mini-concert by the Grammy winner.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Ed Helms as Andy Bernard on &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Ed Helms as Andy Bernard on "The Office."

Credit: NBC

'The Office' to end after this next season

Original showrunner Greg Daniels has returned in hopes of sending Dunder-Mifflin off right

Greg Daniels was the man who started the American version of "The Office," adapting Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's work for NBC. And now Daniels is the man who is ending "The Office," as he announced today that the upcoming season (debuting Sept. 20) will be the final one.

Read Full Post
<p>Nicole Kidman at the Cannes premiere of &quot;The Paperboy&quot;&nbsp;in May</p>

Nicole Kidman at the Cannes premiere of "The Paperboy" in May

Credit: AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau

NYFF adds tributes to the program for the first time

Actress Nicole Kidman and program director Richard Peña to be feted

This year's New York Film Festival just keeps expanding. Yesterday it was revealed that anniversary screenings of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Princess Bride" would be on the docket for the 50th annual, and today, it's been revealed that, like Telluride and AFI Fest, NYFF has added a tribute element to its proceedings.

The first-ever honorees will be actress Nicole Kidman -- whose film "The Paperboy," from director Lee Daniels, was also added to the line-up today -- and NYFF Selection Committee Chair & Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center Richard Peña.

"Richard Peña has been the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival since 1988," the press release states. "At the Film Society, he has organized retrospectives of Michelangelo Antonioni, Sacha Guitry, Abbas Kiarostami, Robert Aldrich, Roberto Gavaldon, Ritwik Ghatak, Kira Muratova, Youssef Chahine, Yasujiro Ozu, Carlos Saura and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as major film series devoted to African, Israeli, Cuban, Polish, Hungarian, Arab, Korean, Swedish, Taiwanese and Argentine cinema."

Read Full Post
<p>The most amazing thing is happening to Robert Pattinson during this scene from David Cronenberg's adaptation of 'Cosmopolis'</p>

The most amazing thing is happening to Robert Pattinson during this scene from David Cronenberg's adaptation of 'Cosmopolis'

Credit: Entertainment One

Review: 'Cosmopolis' sends Robert Pattinson to a slowly-moving Hell

David Cronenberg's latest

Occasionally, if you write about movies for a living, you will come across one that will simply frustrate any and all attempts you make to write about it.  "Cosmopolis" is one such beast, wild and ugly and cold and unwilling to give the viewer any of the standard kicks that they have been taught to expect from genre films, even those created by the uber-smart David Cronenberg.

I was decidedly not onboard for his last film, "A Dangerous Method," and it left me depressed afterwards.  I have been a fan of Cronenberg's work since early exposure, and I think a major part of my own aesthetic standards were defined in some small part by the movies he's been making as long as I've been watching movies.  I remember the first time I saw "The Brood" the way I remember things that actually happened to me.  I remember "Scanners" that way.  I remember "Videodrome" that way.  

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME