Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jules and the &quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;crew celebrate Thanksgiving in May.</p>

Jules and the "Cougar Town" crew celebrate Thanksgiving in May.

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Cougar Town' - 'Square One'/'It'll All Work Out'

Jules and Grayson are haunted by relationship ghosts, and the crew celebrates a holiday out of season

A review of tonight's "Cougar Town" episodes coming up just as soon as my booze cruise turns into a cruise cruise...

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<p>Breaking Bad</p>

Breaking Bad

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' and 'Newsroom' head to Los Angeles Film Fest

'Killer Joe's' William Friedkin will serve as guest director of event

More details have been released about the upcoming L.A. Film Festival, highlighted by the inclusion of some of TV's heaviest hitters.

The June event's Artists in Conversation section will include an intimate "Breaking Bad" Q&A featuring actors Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn, along with with series creator Vince Gilligan on Saturday, June 16.

On June 22, the series premiere episode of HBO's "The Newsroom" will be followed by a Q&A with creator Aaron Sorkin, executive producer Alan Poul and director Greg Mottola. There will also be a series of panels called Women of Wonder – A Celebration of Women in Animation.

William Friedkin, who helmed "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection" will serve as the fest's guest director. His latest film,"Killer Joe," will be screened.

Meanwhile "Dark Shadows" composer Danny Elfman, noted chef Michael Voltaggio and singer Raphael Saadiq will act as Artists in Residence.

Among the films unspooling at the fest this year are Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love" and the acclaimed "Beasts of the Southern Wild." The fest runs June 14 - 24.

More information about the fest can be found here.

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<p>A typically lush frame from &quot;Barry&nbsp;Lyndon&quot;</p>

A typically lush frame from "Barry Lyndon"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Academy and 'Moneyball' director Bennett Miller to present Kubrick's 'Barry Lyndon' in NYC

Also: The director's early works set for fall Blu-ray release

It's been a while since I last saw Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon." It's a film that demands attention be paid, and I so rarely find that I can sit down and settle in with it. But it's a masterful piece of work that deserves a couple of looks over the years, to be sure.

The Academy is offering one such look as part of its "Member Selects" series on Monday, May 21 at the Lighthouse International in New York City. "Capote" and "Moneyball" director Bennett Miller will be on hand to introduce the film (as "Member Selects" is a series where Academy members introduce one of their favorite films).

"Barry Lyndon" landed at an interesting time in film history. It was part of a dying breed of film, done with a certain magnificence that was becoming rarer and rarer (and, indeed, is one of a kind for the way Kubrick approached the material). It landed seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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<p>A screengrab of the aliens from the teaser for ABC's &quot;The Neighbors&quot;</p>

A screengrab of the aliens from the teaser for ABC's "The Neighbors"

Weigh in on ABC's 'The Neighbors' teaser

Does it look funny? Or more like a disaster?
ABC has a number of protected time periods, but with "Castle" permanently suckled at the "Dancing with the Stars" teat and Shonda Rhimes smoothly swapping "Scandal" for "Private Practice" post-"Grey's Anatomy," there's really only one true Rolls Royce slot: Wednesdays at 9:30 after "Modern Family."
So when ABC released its schedule on Tuesday (May 15) morning, all eyes immediately shot to Wednesdays to see which comedy had won the sitcom equivalent of the lottery.
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 128

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 128

Dan and Alan talk Upfronts and 'Mad Men'


Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.
Sepinwall and I are up to our necks in upfronts coverage, but we carved out time to fire up another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
It's everything you wanted to know about NBC, FOX and ABC's new schedules and then 15 minutes of "Mad Men" conversation.
Hopefully we'll be back on Friday to talk about CBS and The CW and then also to delve into a few of the recent finales that have been on our minds, including "Parks and Recreation," "Smash," "How I Met Your Mother" and more.
Here's the very simple breakdown for the podcast:
Upfronts - NBC, FOX and ABC (00:01:00 - 00:49:30)
"Mad Men" (00:49:30 - 01:14:30)

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.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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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'


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.
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<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?

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<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.

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<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!

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<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.

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<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?

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<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?"

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