Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jason Isaacs in &quot;Awake.&quot;</p>

Jason Isaacs in "Awake."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'Awake' walks carefully between two worlds

Great pilot, but does the Jason Isaacs cop drama work long-term?

LA cop Mike Britten, the hero of NBC's new drama "Awake" (premiering tomorrow night at 10), survives a car crash and enters a strange new world where it's not clear what's real and what isn't. He begins splitting time between two separate realities: one where wife Hannah survived the crash while son Rex died, and another where the opposite is true.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are just weeks away from fans getting to finally see them as Katniss and Peeta in 'The Hunger Games'</p>

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are just weeks away from fans getting to finally see them as Katniss and Peeta in 'The Hunger Games'

Credit: Lionsgate

Would you like to see 'The Hunger Games' early in Chicago or Philadelphia?

Lionsgate kicks off the last twenty-four days before release with a new contest

There are just a few weeks left until the opening of one of the year's most-hyped gambles, the big-screen adaptation of the Suzanne Collins novel, "The Hunger Games."

I'm actually seeing the film very soon so I can sit down and interview the cast and crew, and I'm excited to see what they've done.  I've said a few times now that I admire the Collins novels, and I think there's real potential here for a film trilogy that is visceral and thrilling and emotional, and it all depends on whether or not they get this first one right.

I will say this… a friend of mine recently got in touch after a screening of the film, and his succinct reaction was "Buy Lionsgate Stock."  Seems like a bit of an endorsement, eh?

But you don't care whether a film critic gets to see the film early.  You want to know when you get to see it.  And if you're in Philadelphia or Chicago, then I am pleased to report that HitFix may be able to help you with that.

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<p>Robert Duvall (left)&nbsp;and Marlon&nbsp;Brando in &quot;The Godfather&quot;</p>

Robert Duvall (left) and Marlon Brando in "The Godfather"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

As 'The Godfather' heads back to theaters, we look back at its strange dance with Oscar

Surely it deserved more than three trophies

It’s been 40 years since Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Mario Puzo’s seminal crime novel “The Godfather” was released in theaters. To mark the anniversary, Paramount Pictures, in a partnership with Cinemark Theatres, is re-releasing the restored version of the film in 55 Cinemark XD auditoriums on Thursday, March 1.

"There is no greater iconic film than ‘The Godfather,’” states James Meredith, VP of Marketing and Communication at Cinemark in the press release. “It has set the standard for story-telling, launched a generation of great actors and provided movie-goers an unparalleled experience.”

Indeed, “The Godfather” is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made, which makes its rather nebulous relationship with Oscar all the more interesting. In looking back, one gets the sense that the AMPAS was in an argument with itself during the 1972 season.

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<p>Eloise Mumford in &quot;The River.&quot;</p>

Eloise Mumford in "The River."

Credit: ABC

The Morning Round-Up: 'The River' & 'Southland'

Lena looks for her father, and Tang has her worst day ever

It's morning round-up time, with brief thoughts on last night's "The River" and "Southland" coming up just as soon as I get the cops to shut my bar mitzvah down...

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<p>In the &quot;Parenthood&quot;&nbsp;finale, Jasmine (Joy Bryant)&nbsp;and Crosby (Dax Shepard)&nbsp;have a wedding.</p>

In the "Parenthood" finale, Jasmine (Joy Bryant) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) have a wedding.

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'My Brother's Wedding': Happily ever after?

A great but messy show struggles to make things neat in a potential series finale

A review of tonight's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I ask you a serious question about expiration dates...

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<p>You didn't think I was gonna use yet another photo of &quot;The Artist&quot; did you? &nbsp;<em>Again?&nbsp; </em>No, it's time to move on. Next frontrunner out of the gate: &quot;The Dark Knight Rises&quot;&nbsp;on July 20.</p>

You didn't think I was gonna use yet another photo of "The Artist" did you?  Again?  No, it's time to move on. Next frontrunner out of the gate: "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Lessons learned from the 2011-2012 Awards Season

Marty is the new Clint, go early or go home, polaraizing films polaraize and more

Before we take a long view of the lessons of this past awards season, it's time to do some housekeeping. A little shindig called the Academy Awards were Sunday and some pretty statues were given out.  I'd made some predictions a few days before and -- like many pundits -- I got my share right and wrong.

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<p>There is nothing about this photo that I don't love.&nbsp; Wherever you are tonight, Cap'n Video, I raise a beer to you.</p>

There is nothing about this photo that I don't love.  Wherever you are tonight, Cap'n Video, I raise a beer to you.

Credit: Primitive Entertainment

One Thing I Love Today: 'Beauty Day' looks back at Cap'n Video, the original Jackass

A simple documentary about a simple lunatic makes for good times

Good documentaries have a very simple and direct appeal.  We engage because we are watching something true, and often, something we had no idea about.  I have always been drawn more towards documentaries about people or places than issues, because I find people endlessly interesting, and documentaries capture us in all our freaky glory.

In the case of "Beauty Day," a Canadian documentary that is arriving on video in that country this week, I was hooked immediately by the the story of Ralph Zavadil, who made a name for himself as a local cable access celebrity in Ontario decades ago.  As "Cap'n Video," Zavadil was willing to do anything for a laugh, putting himself in harm's way over and over again before one stunt ended the laughter.

Or… did it?  Because the stunt that broke his neck was also the first stunt of his I ever saw, without knowing who it was or what the circumstances were.  I didn't realize it was from a show or that this was a guy who did this on a regular basis.  I was introduced to Zavadil via the magic of YouTube and a friend who sent me a video in an e-mail with the header "OMG THIS IS THE STUPIDEST PERSON ALIVE EXCEPT HE MIGHT BE DEAD NOW!!"

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<p>Neal McDonough as Robert Quarles in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Neal McDonough as Robert Quarles in "Justified."

Credit: FX

'Justified' - 'The Man Behind the Curtain': Eviction notice

Quarles and Raylan circle each other as the season reaches its mid-point

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I swallow a peanut the wrong way...

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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

Placing the odds on the new 'Dancing with the Stars' cast

There's old stars, new names and weird choices in the running - but who has the best shot?

This morning the twelve new celebrity hoofers joining the latest season of "Dancing with the Stars" were announced, and while it was a good looking crew, this season lacked the Olympic/pro athlete ringers we've gotten used to in some (but not all) previous seasons. Still, that's no good reason not to place some bets for (or against) who will make it to the winner's circle. Not that you should take these odds to Vegas. Although really, do you want to be the sucker trying to put down money on a reality TV dancing show? 

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<p>The &quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;gang keep their helmets on.</p>
<br />

The "Cougar Town" gang keep their helmets on.


Credit: ABC

'Cougar Town' - 'Lover's Touch': Crash test dummy

Helmets and hard balls are the order of the day

A review of tonight's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I call my body "The Truth" unironically...

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<p>The lovely young ladies from 'Project X' are somehow, even after five weeks of the most deranged party you can imagine, smiling.</p>

The lovely young ladies from 'Project X' are somehow, even after five weeks of the most deranged party you can imagine, smiling.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: The young stars of 'Project X' talk about surviving a five-week party

A glimpse inside the mayhem of this unusual production

The three friends who kick off the avalanche of bad behavior in "Project X" are played by J.D. Brown, Oliver Copper, and Thomas Mann, and the three of them together sat down to talk to us about the wild ride that was the production of the film.

In addition, I sat down with the lovely young ladies who represent the angel and devil on the shoulders of Thomas, the main character in the film.  Kirby Bliss Blanton plays Kirby, the girl who has been friends with Thomas for years.  He thinks of her as "one of the guys," which is a convenient way of keeping his shameless crush on her at bay.  And Alexis Knapp plays Alexis, the rich bitch bad girl who decides that she's going to give Thomas the best birthday present a teenage boy can ask for.

As you can see, they're playing with pretty familiar teen movie archetypes here, and in our conversations, it feels like all the young actors are aware of what they're playing, and aware of the tradition that these roles fall into.

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<p>Phillip Phillips of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>
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Phillip Phillips of "American Idol"

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Semifinals - The Top 13 Men Perform

Who bombed? Who soared? Who got the extra slot?

Let's get down to performing! 

I've been doing live-blogs all through the seemingly endless audition and Hollywood phases of the season. I've never tried live-blogging a performance episode. So I'll give it a try tonight and it'll either work or it won't. Probably that means that I'll be updating the blog after each performance. So semi-live-blogging? 

Anyway... Let's see how this goes! Follow along and chime in with your own opinions on each performance...

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