Latest Blog Posts

<p>Rachel Weisz in &quot;The Deep Blue Sea.&quot;</p>

Rachel Weisz in "The Deep Blue Sea."

Credit: Music Box Films

The Lists: Top 10 first-half Oscar contenders

What early releases deserve recognition come January 2013?

It hardly feels like it, but we're already over a week into the back end of 2012's release calendar: technically, we've seen approximately half the films that will be eligible for awards consideration at the year's end.

Not that the eventual list of this year's Academy Award nominations will reflect as much, of course. It's a well-known law of the awards game that early releases tend to suffer most in the Oscar game, as voters with notoriously short memories forget notable accomplishments from the January-to-June window, while studios, mindful of that fact, barrage them with baity prestige fare in the year's final quarter. Occasionally, a "Crash," a "Hurt Locker" or a "Silence of the Lambs" bucks the odds and hangs in for the long haul, but it takes sustained critical and/or public conversation and cunning campaign savvy to do so -- the work, as ever in this business, is almost never enough.

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<p>A Screen Actors' Guild Award statuette.</p>

A Screen Actors' Guild Award statuette.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Performance submissions for SAG Awards now open, but online only

Like the Academy, Guild begins the move away from paper voting

Early as it seems to you and me to be thinking about this stuff, the gears have already started grinding for the 2012 Screen Actors' Guild Awards. The panel of 2,100 members voting for this year's nominees has already been randomly selected from the Guild's vast membership, while yesterday, the submissions process was opened -- actors and their representatives hoping to compete for the awards this year have until October 25 to enter their names for consideration in the category of their choosing.

Yes, unlike at the Oscars, actors get to determine whether they compete in the leading or supporting race at the SAGs -- which has resulted in several mismatches with the Oscar list over the years. Most recently, Kate Winslet won a supporting SAG and a leading Oscar for "The Reader"; a few years before, Benicio Del Toro won both awards, with the categorizations flipped, for "Traffic."

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<p>Adam Jensen's going to get his shot at bigscreen iconography when CBS&nbsp;Films brings a 'Deus Ex:&nbsp;Human Revolution' film to the bigscreen.</p>

Adam Jensen's going to get his shot at bigscreen iconography when CBS Films brings a 'Deus Ex: Human Revolution' film to the bigscreen.

Credit: CBS Films/Square Enix/Eidos Montreal

CBS Films makes a deal to bring sci-fi video game 'Deus Ex' to the bigscreen

Do this and 'Assassin's Creed' signify a new age of game-to-movie attempts?

They must be throwing some crazy parties in Montreal this week.

Yesterday, Ubisoft Montreal made news when it was announced that Michael Fassbender has agreed to star in and produce a film adaptation of "Assassin's Creed."  That's one of the first gaming properties I've seen make the jump to movies that I think could be something truly special.  The "Assassin's Creed" games are built on strong narrative building blocks and they feature a pretty great way of telling a story in historical eras as well as in the near-future.

Now, it looks like Square Enix and Eidos Montreal have closed a deal for CBS Films to create a movie adaptation of "Deus Ex: Human Revolution," one of last year's headiest gaming experiences.  Again, we're talking about a game that has a big world that it's created, that hinges on some very real and big ideas, and that could easily provide enough material for a series of films.

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<p>Michelle (Sutton Foster)&nbsp;meets the movers on &quot;Bunheads.&quot;</p>

Michelle (Sutton Foster) meets the movers on "Bunheads."

Credit: ABC Family

Review: 'Bunheads' - 'Better Luck Next Year!'

Michelle helps Fanny prepare for the Joffrey auditions, while Boo braces for failure

Comic-Con prep means I don't have time to write about last night's "Bunheads" in anything resembling depth, but Dan and I will be discussing it on this week's second podcast, and I wanted to offer people a chance to discuss episode four, which in many ways felt like the pilot to the show Amy Sherman-Palladino actually wanted to make. A couple of quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I'm robbed in reverse...

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<p>Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston are back on &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston are back on "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' season 5 presents a Walter White in triumph

Even in Walt's apparent victory, AMC drama remains spectacularly tense
(Note: This column contains mild spoilers for the upcoming season of "Breaking Bad." If you don't want to know anything at all, don't read.)
Through four seasons of "Breaking Bad," Walter White has been many things: Teacher. Husband. Father. Cancer patient. Meth cook. Aspiring drug lord. Frustrated employee. Mentor. Killer.
Most of all, though, he's been an escape artist.
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"The Real Housewives of New York City"

"The Real Housewives of New York City"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of New York City' recap: 'I'm U.K., You're U.K.'

Ramona pouts, Heather gets brand happy and Carole remembers the good old days

The ladies, sans Ramona, are off to London for three days of fun, fun, fun. Yeah, baby! Shockingly, with the exception of some after-the-fact sniping, it seems as if fun actually was had by all. No hair pulling, no cursing, no stomping of six-inch heels. Maybe it was all that proper English etiquette, or maybe it was the booze. Actually, it was definitely the booze. What was I thinking?

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"The Bachelorette"

 "The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'The Bachelorette' is down to the final three

Emily must decide among hot Arie, smooth Jef and sincere Sean

The thing about love is that, when it's happening to you, all you've ever heard about love becomes not just real, but vividly so. The sky is bluer, the trees are greener, Disney creatures pop up and dance around you like you're in the "500 Days of Summer" dance number. And so, it's no surprise that every tired cliche sounds REALLY insightful. If you, however, are simply watching people fall in love, unless said people are wildly inventive or naturally funny or somehow insightful in a way the average person isn't (these types of people, on the rare occasion they end up on "The Bachelorette," don't tend to make it to the finals), they tend to say the same stuff over and over and over again. Thus, it's not surprising that some people consider the repetitive nature of "The Bachelorette" a little tedious. However, those very elements are the perfect stuff for a drinking game. In two hours, you can get absolutely hammered. So, let's dive in!

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<p>Demi Lovato</p>

Demi Lovato

Credit: Jason DeCrow/Invision/AP

Demi Lovato set to host the Teen Choice Awards

Justin Bieber, No Doubt and others will join the 'X Factor' judge

Demi Lovato will host The Teen Choice Awards on July 22.

The Teen Choice Awards air on Fox, the same network that broadcasts “The X Factor.” Lovato, along with Britney Spears, is one of “The X Factors” new judges in the season that bows in September.

Top nominee Justin Bieber will perform on the show, as will Carly Rae Jepsen, Flo Rida and No Doubt. As we previously announced, No Doubt will debut new single, “Settle Down,” on the show. 

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<p>Green Day</p>

Green Day

Green Day plans two documentaries to accompany three new studio sets

How much Green Day is enough?

Three albums are clearly not enough: Green Day will also have two documentaries coming out this fall and winter.

As previously reported, the Bay Area punk pop band will release three albums, “Uno!,” “Dos!,” and “Tre!,”  between September and January. Now comes word that a documentary chronicling the creation of the three sets will also come out this fall. Additionally, a documentary covering the trio’s pre-”Dookie” days will also be released, according to Billboard, which broke the news.

The unnamed film covering the creation of the three new albums is not “going to be the sitting-down, head-shot of me going ‘we started out ‘blah, blah, blah.’ W wanted to get into lifestyles of rock ‘n roll...and letting the story kind of tell itself rather than create revisionist [history],” Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong told Billboard.

Tim Lynch, who previously worked with Green Day on “Bullet in a Bible” concert flick, and Tim Wheeler are shooting the documentaries.  Wheeler co-produced and edited “The White Stripes Under Great Northern Lights.”  Film making will continue as Green Day plays some upcoming concert dates at international festivals. The hope is that the film will debut the Sundance Film Festival in January. Shooting for the doc commenced more than a year and a half ago as Lynch and Wheeler have followed the band in the studio and select club performances.

"Dookie," the group's third album, came out in 1994 and was Green Day's major-label debut.


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<p>Anthony Hopkins, seen here at a charity event in Vegas this February, will play the oldest man alive for Darren Aronofsky in his upcoming film 'Noah'</p>

Anthony Hopkins, seen here at a charity event in Vegas this February, will play the oldest man alive for Darren Aronofsky in his upcoming film 'Noah'

Credit: AP Photo/Las Vegas News Service, Brian Jones

Anthony Hopkins will play the 900-year-old Methusaleh for Aronofsky in 'Noah'

How does he fit into the director's radical rethink of the Bible story?

I don't care how many Bible stories or translations you've read, and I don't care how many films based on those stories you've seen.  You have never seen anything like what Darren Aronofsky has planned for "Noah."

Sure, the basic broad strokes of the story are pretty evident.  Noah (Russell Crowe) hears the voice of God warning him that the world cannot be allowed to survive in the corrupted, ruined form Noah sees around him.  It is a violent, freaky, scary world that Aronofsky and his co-writer Ari Handel have created.  I'm particularly excited to see how Aronofsky brings to life the Watchers, eleven-foot-tall fallen angels with six arms and no wings.  They have a major presence in the script, and they're fascinating.  Early on, when Noah needs to go see his grandfather, he has to move through the homeland of the Watchers, something that is not easy to do.

Noah's grandfather is the 900 year old Methuselah, and word today is that Anthony Hopkins is joining the cast to play the role.  He's only got three scenes in the film in the script I read, but they're all crucial, and they are beautifully written.  It's a good role, and I can't wait to see what sort of make-up they put on him to make him look like he's been alive and walking the earth since the days of Adam and Eve.

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<p>Carly Rae Jepsen</p>

Carly Rae Jepsen

'Call Me Maybe's' Carly Rae Jepsen definitely checks into the '90210'

Singer will perform on the show's season premiere

Carly Rae Jepsen is relocating to Beverly Hills...temporarily, at least. The Canadian singer, whose “Call Me Maybe” is one of the biggest songs of the year, will appear on the season premiere of “90210” on Oct. 8.

The night time soap opera played “Call Me Maybe” in last season’s finale. No word yet on what song Jepsen will sing but we’re going to go ahead and guess it will be whatever her label decides to push as the next single. Her debut album will come out this fall on  on 604 Records/Schoolboy Records/Interscope.  She will also tour as Justin Bieber’s opening act on his forthcoming outing.

We know this about Jepsen’s performance: “90210’s” executive producers Patti Carr and Lara Olsen say she will sing in a scene as the headliner for Adrianna’s (Jessica Lowndes) Las Vegas premiere. But this being “90210” and all, that special moment for Adrianna is interrupted when she gets bad news about Dixon (Tristan Wilds).

“Call Me Maybe” remains No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the fourth week in a row.

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Credit: AP Photo

Mary J. Blige and D'Angelo plan summer 'Liberation' tour

R&B superstars hit the road in August

D’Angelo’s triumphant return continues. After stealing the BET Awards with his first televised appearance in 12 years a few weeks ago and wowing the audience at the Essence Music Fest in New Orleans this past weekend, the R&B superstar will tour with Mary J. Blige later this summer. D’Angelo stepped back on stage for the first time in a dozen years in the U.S. when he made a surprise appearance at Bonnaroo with the Roots.

Blige told Rolling Stone, “I felt like it would be refreshing and fun for people to see him and Mary J. Blige on the road together.” 

The Liberation tour opens Aug. 18 in Virginia Beach. Only four of the planned 20 dates have been announced, according to Billboard.

Aug. 18 Virgina Beach, VA (Farm Bureau Live) ?Aug. 19 Wantagh, NY (Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach) ?Aug. 21 Boston, MA (Bank of America Pavilion) ?Aug. 23 Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)


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