Latest Blog Posts

<p>Uma Thurman in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Uma Thurman in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

'Smash' - 'Tech': A Swift return

Despite isolated pockets of quality, the show is still pretty dire

A review of last night's "Smash" coming up just as soon as I magically take a train from Grand Central Station to Boston...

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<p>Jon Snow (Kit Harington)&nbsp;on the Iron Throne in an early &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;&nbsp;promotional image.</p>

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) on the Iron Throne in an early "Game of Thrones" promotional image.

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' gets an unofficial hip-hop anthem

There is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today.'

Fan-generated art (by which I mean not just pictures, but words and music and video) can be some of the best things you find on the Internet, and some of the most dire. The hip-hop songs of Adam WarRock, fortunately, are the good kind of fan art. I've much enjoyed his "Parks and Recreation" tracks and his "Justified" song, for instance. Now he's turned his attention to "Game of Thrones," with a song inspired by the advice Syrio Forel gave Arya Stark during one of their fencing lessons in season 1, and a beat courtesy of Block McCloud's "Crazy Man." You can download it here, and I've got the video embedded below: 

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<p>Michael Haneke, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant on the set of &quot;Amour.&quot;</p>

Michael Haneke, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant on the set of "Amour."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Cannes Check: Michael Haneke's 'Amour'

Continuing our preview series on the Cannes competition

The director: Michael Haneke (German-Austrian, 70 years old)

The talent: After the low-profile ensemble of "The White Ribbon," Haneke returns here to the big names. Isabelle Huppert has a history with Haneke and Cannes: she won the festival's Best Actress award (her second) for "The Piano Teacher" in 2001, and headed the jury that handed him the Palme d'Or three years ago. This marks her third collaboration with him, and her first since 2003's "The Time of the Wolf," but she doesn't appear to be the primary focus this time: that'd be two veterans of the French New Wave, Emmanuelle Riva ("Hiroshima, Mon Amour,") and Jean-Louis Trintignant ("Three Colors: Red" and "Z," for which he won Best Actor at Cannes in 1969). (Fun fact: Riva played the lead in Georges Franju's original film of "Thérèse Desqueyroux," Claude Miller's new adaptation of which is closing the festival.) Also on board: British opera baritone William Shimell, who made an impressive film debut opposite Juliette Binoche in 2010's "Certified Copy."

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<p>Barney and Marshall go to Atlantic City on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Barney and Marshall go to Atlantic City on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Good Crazy': 'Round Robin

Ted struggles to get over Robin, Barney hates Quinn's job and Marshall gets too intense for Lily

A very quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I meet a cute travel agent while reading a newspaper at a bookstore...

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<p>The cast of &quot;The L.A. Complex&quot;</p>

The cast of "The L.A. Complex"

Credit: The CW

Interview: Creator Martin Gero talks 'L.A. Complex'

Now might be a good time to tune in to The CW's Canadian transplant
It's not too late to catch up with The CW's new drama "The L.A. Complex," but after last week's less-than-robust premiere numbers, you don't want to wait too much longer to tune in.
 
The story of a group of young transplants, mostly Canadian, trying to make it as actors, dancers, comedians and musicians in Hollywood is simultaneously familiar, but freshly executed and Sepinwall and I said nice things about "The L.A. Complex" in last week's podcast
 
I also chatted [before the show's launch] with "L.A. Complex" creator Martin Gero, whose credits start with the indie feature "Young People ****ing" and also include writing and producing runs on TV shows as different as "Stargate Universe" and "Bored to Death."
 
A lot of our conversation hinged on me trying to get Gero to admit that "L.A. Complex" is a very Canadian-feeling show, but it also includes discussion of his approach to Hollywood, the show's approach to controversial subject matter and The CW's approach to side-boob. 
 
Click through for the full interview... And don't forget that "L.A. Complex" airs its second episode on Tuesday (May 1) at 9 p.m. on The CW...
 
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<p>You see how he's smiling?&nbsp;That's because he knows he's going to be making these films as long as he is physically able.</p>

You see how he's smiling? That's because he knows he's going to be making these films as long as he is physically able.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Sam Jackson talks about assembling 'The Avengers'

Is he feeling franchise fatigue yet?

Samuel L. Jackson carries a lot of iconography into a room with him when he arrives somewhere.

My own kids, for example, already know him as Mace Windu.  Allen's four, but he knows Jackson by sight and by sound.  All he needs to do is hear his voice from another room, and he'll walk in, ready to see what Mace Windu is up to.

That can make things complicated when I'm playing a film like "Jackie Brown," and his dulcet tones draw the kids to the TV just in time to hear Jackson lay down a stream of perfectly timed motherf**kers.  They're starting to realize he is in a lot of movies, and when they saw him on the posters for "The Avengers," they were excited.

He's got more to do this time around than in any of his previous appearances, and talking to him at the press day for the film, it seems like he's just warming up.  He's happy to keep playing Nick Fury as long as they'll have him, and he's got a good handle on the character's whole history, making jokes about the David Hasselhoff version at one point in the day, eager to step into the Hasbro room to see the action figures.  Right now, Marvel is working hard to bridge the classic rendition of Nick Fury into the Samuel L. Jackson image that they've developed.

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Jamar Rogers on 'The Voice'

Team Cee-Lo's Jamar Rogers performs on 'The Voice'

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' semi-final performances

It's down to the wire as Cee-Lo has a tough decision to make and Christina continues ragging on Tony Lucca

Carson welcomes us to the live semi-finals, where all eight (yes, all eight!) semi-finalists will sing.

At the end of the show the coaches will score the performances, and those scores are going to be combined with audience votes to determine the final four.

As Christina says, "It's truly go big or go home."

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<p>Batman's getting ready for his final curtain call in this summer's 'The Dark Knight Rises'</p>

Batman's getting ready for his final curtain call in this summer's 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Credit: Warner Bros/Legendary

Final theatrical 'Dark Knight Rises' trailer revealed online in viral campaign

What do we learn from this last pre-release look at the mega-sequel?

It's such a tricky balancing act for a studio, deciding how many trailers to release for a big blockbuster movie and what to show, and I'm sure they feel nitpicked to death no matter what they do.

For example, I think the latest international trailer for "Prometheus" is very striking, filled with memorable images and lines, and I wish I'd never seen it.  Holy cow, does that thing feel like they're on the verge of giving away the whole movie.  They're not, and there are still some big surprises built in, but they've gone about as far as they can go at this point.

The folks over at Warner Bros. are walking a similarly fine line with "The Dark Knight Rises," the last film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.  All day today, fans have been playing along with a viral campaign that has required some real-world legwork if people want to unlock the trailer.  They've been hunting bat symbols painted all over the place, and once enough of them are found, the trailer goes live.

So what do we learn from this final trailer?  Or at least, I assume this is final.  They can't cut many more, can they?

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Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in "The Hunger Games".
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in "The Hunger Games".
Credit: Lionsgate

'Hunger Games' owns 'Breaking Dawn' with 8 MTV Movie Award nominations

Other big contenders include 'Bridesmaids', '21 Jump Street', 'Harry Potter'

Nominations for the 2012 MTV Movie Awards have been announced, with "The Hunger Games" and "Bridesmaids" tied for the most nominations with eight apiece.

Somewhat surprisingly, fan favorite "Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" didn't receive as many nods as in previous years, with only two nominations, in the Movie of the Year and Best Kiss categories (the latter for one of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's steamy on-screen liplocks). However, neither of the actors managed to score a nod in the Best Female/Best Male Performance categories, a first for both.

Of course, "The Hunger Games"' big showing at the nominations this year (stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth all received nods) can be accounted for by its "next-'Twilight'" pop culture status currently, with the film recently crossing the $600 million mark in worldwide box-office.

As a point of comparison, in 2011 B.H.G. ("Before Hunger Games") "Twilight: Eclipse" received five nods and won three awards including Best Movie - a category taken by the first three films in the sparkly-vamp franchise. This year, of course, "Breaking Dawn" will have an incredibly tough competitor in "The Hunger Games", which begs the question: will the "Twilight" franchise's streak in the top category be broken by Jennifer Lawrence and company this year?

In case you were wondering, there are indeed three other films in the running for Movie of the Year, namely "Bridesmaids", "The Help" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2". But let's face it: none of them stand a chance against the aforementioned 'tween favorites (unless, that is, "Harry Potter" manages to score an upset due to its being the final film in the boy wizard franchise).

Other top nominees this year include "21 Jump Street" (6 nods), "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" (6 nods), "The Help" (4 nods), Ryan Gosling-starrer "Drive" (3 nods), "Horrible Bosses" (3 nods) and "Project X" (3 nods), the shaky-cam teen party flick that became a surprise hit when it was released this past March.

In addition to the shakeup among the nominees themselves, this will also be the first year for several new categories at the Movie Awards, including Best Cast, Best On-Screen Transformation, Best Gut-Wrenching Performance, Best On-Screen Dirtbag and Best Music. In that last category, artists including LMFAO ("Party Rock Anthem", featured in "21 Jump Street"), Kid Cudi (the Steve Aoki remix of "Pursuit of Happiness", "Project X") and Chemical Brothers ("The Devil is in theDetails", "Hanna") received a tip of the hat.

As for artists slated to perform at the ceremony, chart-topping pop band fun. are slated to hit the stage this year, with other acts to be announced at a later date.

You can find a full list of the nominees below.

The 21st Annual MTV Movie Awards are slated to air Sunday, June 3. Fans can vote on the winners beginning tomorrow over at the show's official website.

Follow me on Twitter @HitFixChris

2012 MTV Movie Awards nominees:

Movie of the Year
» "Bridesmaids"
» "The Hunger Games"
» "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» "The Help"
» "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"

Best Male Performance
» Daniel Radcliffe, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Ryan Gosling, "Drive"
» Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "50/50"
» Josh Hutcherson, "The Hunger Games"
» Channing Tatum, "The Vow"

Best Female Performance
» Jennifer Lawrence, "The Hunger Games"
» Kristin Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
» Emma Stone, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"
» Emma Watson, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Best Comedic Performance
» Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
» Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
» Zach Galifianakis, "The Hangover Part II"
» Jonah Hill, "21 Jump Street"
» Oliver Cooper, "Project X"

Breakthrough Performance
» Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
» Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
» Liam Hemsworth, "The Hunger Games"
» Elle Fanning, "Super 8"
» Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

Best Cast
» "Bridesmaids"
» "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» "The Hunger Games"
» "21 Jump Street"
» "The Help"

Best On-Screen Transformation
» Elizabeth Banks, "The Hunger Games"
» Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
» Johnny Depp, "21 Jump Street"
» Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"
» Colin Farrell, "Horrible Bosses"

Best Fight
» Daniel Radcliffe vs. Ralph Fiennes, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson vs. Alexander Ludwig, "The Hunger Games"
» Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill vs. Kid Gang, "21 Jump Street"
» Tom Hardy vs. Joel Edgerton, "Warrior"
» Tom Cruise vs. Michelle Nyqvist, "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

Best Kiss
» Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"
» Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, "The Hunger Games"
» Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, "The Vow"
» Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"

Best Gut-Wrenching Performance
» "Bridesmaids" (Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McClendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper)
» "The Help" (Bryce Dallas Howard)
» "21 Jump Street" (Jonah Hill and Rob Riggle)
» "Drive" (Ryan Gosling)
» "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (Tom Cruise)

Best On-Screen Dirt Bag
» Bryce Dallas Howard, "The Help"
» Jon Hamm, "Bridesmaids"
» Jennifer Aniston, "Horrible Bosses"
» Colin Farrell, "Horrible Bosses"
» Oliver Cooper, "Project X"

Best Music
» "Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO ("21 Jump Street")
» "A Real Hero," College with Electric Youth ("Drive")
» "The Devil Is in the Details," Chemical Brothers ("Hanna")
» "Impossible," Figurine ("Like Crazy")
» "Pursuit of Happiness," Kid Cudi (Steve Aoki remix) ("Project X")

 

 

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<p>Sarah Michelle Gellar is the chosen one in the first season of Joss Whedon's 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'</p>

Sarah Michelle Gellar is the chosen one in the first season of Joss Whedon's 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'

Credit: Mutant Enemy/20th Century Fox Home Video

Listen: 'The Buffy Project' kicks off a special eight-part podcast series

We join FEARnet critic Scott Weinberg for a look at Whedon's seminal work

What is "The Buffy Project," and why now?

Fair question.  The "why now" is a simple matter of timing.  And the "what"?  Well, that's going to take a little longer to explain.

Scott Weinberg is the lead film critic for FEARNet, longtime editor and contributor to Cinematical, now also at Twitch and Movies.com.  A hardworking dude who loves horror movies.  LOVES horror movies.  Is as passionate a critic of the genre as I've ever met.  And he recently admitted that short of a few episodes here and there in no particular order, he had never seen "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" or "Angel."

I think that's something that horror or comic book fans should do if they haven't… watch those two shows, and watch them in the right order, and check out this big weird lovely universe that Joss Whedon and his team of glorious big-brained writers thought up for seven full years.

I think horror fans will be amazed at just how dark and ugly the shows get at times, and how they play for keeps.  And comic book fans will recognize a certain shape to things that feels familiar as well.  It's the combination of the two and the language of it that makes it all feel special, and that make it worth consideration.

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<p>The &quot;Boardwalk&nbsp;Empire&quot; panel:&nbsp;from left, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald, Steve Buscemi, Vincent Piazza, Terry Winter, Michael Shannon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Gretchen Mol and me.</p>

The "Boardwalk Empire" panel: from left, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald, Steve Buscemi, Vincent Piazza, Terry Winter, Michael Shannon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Gretchen Mol and me.

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire' Emmy panel reunites Nucky and Jimmy one more time

Highlights from an evening with Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt and company

The "Boardwalk Empire" Emmy panel I moderated last Thursday night went very well, I thought. It was rare to have that many actors from the show in the same place, it was a chance to get some closure from departing castmember Michael Pitt, and the actors and creator Terence Winter were alternately eloquent and funny (one actor in particular) in discussing the first two seasons of the HBO drama. I had hoped to have some video from the event, but it turns out that the only material available to non-ATAS members are the red carpet interviews the actors did; I've embedded Pitt's below, and you can Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald and Gretchen Mol on our video page. As moderator, I couldn't take notes on what was being said, but after the jump I have a few paraphrased highlights from the event: 

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John Legend and Mary J. Blige join vocal competition summer shows
Credit: AP Photo/Kevin Wolf (Legend and Blige)

John Legend and Mary J. Blige join vocal competition summer shows

Lionel Richie drops out of 'Duets'

In with John Legend, out with Lionel Richie. Richie, who has experienced a staggering career comeback with “Tuskegee,” has dropped out of vocal competition “Duets.”

Citing “scheduling issues,” Richie will not appear on the show, which also features Kelly Clarkson, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke as they search for singers across the country with whom to sing. The winner  will receive a recording contract from Hollywood Records, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The show debuts on ABC this summer.

In other musical competition news, Mary J. Blige has linked with “American Idol” executive producer  Nigel Lythgoe for “Opening Act" on E!  The judges, which also include producer Antonina Armato, will scan the Internet to find unsigned acts and then reward them the chance to open for a big name after running them through a performance boot camp.

Among the acts who have signed on to allow the winner to open one of their shows are Nicki Minaj, Brad Paisley, Jason Mraz, Rod Stewart, LMFAO, Jason Aldean and Gym Class Heroes.

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