Latest Blog Posts

<p>Mykelti Williamson of &quot;Justified&quot;</p>
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Mykelti Williamson of "Justified"

Credit: FX

HitFix Interview: Mykelti Williamson talks 'Justified'

Butchery, bad teeth and 'Boomtown' talks with Mr. Ellstin Limehouse
Apparently, Mykelti Williamson knows a few things about butchery. 
 
For the "Justified" co-star, that's not a threat. It just happens that he knows how to take apart a side of beef or a pig.
 
For Williamson's "Justified" character, however, culinary dexterity and the threat of violence have gone hand-in-hand this season.
 
Ellstin Limehouse is a butcher, BBQ master and unlicensed banker. He's also the seemingly avuncular protector of Noble's Holler and as we've already seen this season, it's a responsibility he takes very seriously, with very little tolerance for encroachment.
 
"Justified" has offered Williamson one of his best roles in years and it's probably no coincidence that the FX drama has been a reunion with writer-producer Graham Yost and fellow actor Neal McDonough, partners-in-crime from NBC's short-lived drama "Boomtown." 
 
In a recent conversation, Williamson told me that Limehouse just wants to be left alone, but we only have three episodes remaining this season to see what extremes he's willing to go to in order to keep his holler safe. 
 
Click through for the full interview, which covers the "Boomtown" reunion, Limehouse's peculiar fashion sense and orthodontia and what scares this scary character...
 
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<p>Madonna finally embraces Twitter. What will @LadyGaga think?</p>

Madonna finally embraces Twitter. What will @LadyGaga think?

Credit: Interscope

15 fun things we learned about Madonna from her Twitter: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and 'Kill Bill 3'

Will she keep tweeting? Are she and Deadmau5 friends again?

Madonna, whose new album, "MDNA," came out today, took to Twitter to chat directly with her fans. The hour-long Q&A  revealed some interesting minutiae about Madge and she used it to put to rest her burgeoning fight with Deadmau5.

Read our album review here

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<p>&quot;Bethenny Ever After&quot;</p>
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"Bethenny Ever After"

Credit: Bravo

Is Bethenny Frankel a 'Real' housewife worth watching?

'Bethenny Ever After' veers from crass consumerism to shockingly raw moments

Last year I found myself hooked into "Bethenny Ever After" (Mon. 10 p.m. on Bravo) despite myself. Yes, former "Real Housewives of New York" star Bethenny Frankel can be crass, loud and annoying, but mostly she had a self-deprecating sense of humor that made scripted scenes almost tolerable and displays of conspicuous consumption a little less irritating. In some ways, she was the neurotic Manhattan version of Mary Tyler Moore 2.0 -- married with a kid in the big city, she was going to make it after all. 

But I was prepared to sit out this season. Last year Frankel sold her Skinnygirl cocktail brand for a reported $120 million, ended up on the cover of Forbes, and jumped from simply well-to-do to filthy rich. While kudos to her, part of Frankel's appeal had been her status as a scrapper -- an ambitious woman who, unlike most other "real" housewives, had to fight for whatever shred of the D-list pie fell into her lap. 
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<p>One of the Battles on Monday's &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>
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One of the Battles on Monday's "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' - 'The Final Battles'

It time to turn things over to America and for Christina to stop wearing that hat
Hallelujah! We've made it to the final week of battle rounds, and after a torturous month of obvious choices and lackluster match-ups it couldn't come a moment too soon.
 
Carson promises we're in store for an evening of "big changes, unexpected challenges and the most shocking battle yet when country meets hip hop!" Plus Cee-Lo will cry! So let's get to it.
 
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<p>In my head, this is how I look every morning when&nbsp;I wake up.</p>

In my head, this is how I look every morning when I wake up.

Credit: MGM/Fox Home Video

James Bond Declassified: File #3 - 'Goldfinger' takes the series into the realm of pop cartoon

One of the most popular films in the series deserves its reputation

JAMES BOND 007 DECLASSIFIED
File #3: "Goldfinger"

This series will trace the cinema history of James Bond, while also examining Ian Fleming's original novels as source material and examining how faithful (or not) the films have been to his work.

Directed by Guy Hamilton
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum & Paul Dehn
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman

CHARACTERS / CAST

James Bond / Sean Connery
Pussy Galore / Honor Blackman
Auric Goldfinger / Gert Frobe
Jill Masterson / Shirley Eaton
Tilly Masterson / Tania Mallet
Oddjob / Harold Sakata
M / Bernard Lee
Solo / Martin Benson
Felix Leiter / Cec Linder
Simmons / Austin Willis
Miss Moneypenny / Lois Maxwell
Dink / Margaret Nolan

CREDITS SEQUENCE

After the gun-barrel image of Bond firing at the audience, we see Bond emerging from the water somewhere, a fake seagull on his head, and he immediately starts working to infiltrate wherever he is.  This involves knocking out guards, firing grappling hooks, and planting plastic explosives all over a bunch of nitroglycerin tanks.

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<p>John Goodman in &quot;The Artist.&quot;</p>

John Goodman in "The Artist."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Artist' named Festival Film of the Year

Award will be presented at International Film Festival Summit in Paris

You thought the groaning trophy cabinet for "The Artist" could finally be locked after last month's Academy Awards? Think again. The reigning Oscar champ has one more honor to collect, and it's one that brings things neatly back to where the film's journey started. The International Film Festival Summit has named Michel Hazanavicius's silent-cinema homage its Festival Film of the Year -- an award that will be presented at the Summit in Paris next month.

If you're looking to award a title that demonstrates the power of film festivals to launch and nurture successful titles, you'd be hard pressed to choose much better than "The Artist," which relied on positive word of mouth from the festival circuit -- artfully amplified by the campaigning savvy of The Weinstein Company -- to propel it from niche curio to crossover arthouse sensation. Harvey Weinstein may carry an awful lot of clout on his own, but even he couldn't have done much for the film if the Cannes reception had been chilly.

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<p>It took me a while to figure out that this was an image of the knot in a necktie. Based on the subject matter of '50 Shades Of Grey,' I don't even want to tell you what I thought this was.</p>

It took me a while to figure out that this was an image of the knot in a necktie. Based on the subject matter of '50 Shades Of Grey,' I don't even want to tell you what I thought this was.

Credit: The Writer's Coffee Shop

Universal pays $5 million for S&M porn story '50 Shades Of Grey'

Is this really where the success of 'Twilight' has led the industry?

So this is where "Twilight" has brought us, folks.

Over the weekend, a full-blown bidding war erupted over the novel "50 Shades Of Grey," which makes sense if you're just thinking of it as part of the genre that has made "Twilight" such a success.  After all, the word is that author E.L. James essentially wrote this as a non-supernatural answer to that series.  Universal and Focus Features ended up the winner when the smoke cleared... but now what?

Obviously, Hollywood is starting to wake up to the notion that women aren't just "another" demographic to chase, but could be even more significant than the overserved fanboy culture that's been so roundly serviced by the studios for the past decade.  While I know there are plenty of young women who enjoy fantasy and science-fiction and action and all those things, there are many young women (and older women, of course) who have been ignored by the studios for quite some time, offered limp romantic comedies as the only real nod to them as a group.  

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 121: 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Killing,' 'Mad Men' premiere & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 121: 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Killing,' 'Mad Men' premiere & more

Dan and Alan also discuss the 'Luck' and 'River' finales, and apologize to... Dermot Mulroney?

The

Beginnings and endings consume this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as we begin what should be 12 straight weeks of "Mad Men" episode discussion with the premiere, talk about the returns of "Game of Thrones" and "The Killing," look at the probable series finale of "The River" and the definite finale of "Luck." And I also take a moment to apologize to frequent podcast punching bag Dermot Mulroney.

The line-up: 

Dermott Mulroney on "New Girl" (00:01:25 - 00:06:55)
"The Killing" (00:07:00 - 00:21:15)
"Game of Thrones" (00:21:15 - 00:33:40)
Listener Mail - CBS Sunday Delays (00:33:45 - 00:39:10)
"The River" finale (00:39:20 - 00:51:10)
"Luck" finale (00:51:10 - 01:08:30)
"Mad Men" premiere (01:08:30 - 01:34:40)
 
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>&nbsp;</p>
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Credit: HBO

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 121

Dan and Alan talk 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Killing,' 'Luck,' 'The River' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
Time for another lengthy Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. It's 90+ minutes even without any sports filler, so if you were hoping for discussion of Tim Tebow, we didn't have time. Also, I can't deal with being battered by Kenny Britt fans again. 
 
We had lots of TV to talk about, including finales for "Luck" and "The River" and our discussion of the premiere of "Mad Men" (somewhat discombobulated and strained by some Skype issues). We also reviewed the start of the new seasons of "The Killing" and "Game of Thrones" (watch out for that segment if you haven't season S.1, since we spoil the heck out of that... no serious S.2 spoilers, though, so don't worry).
 
Plus, Alan apologizes to Dermot Mulroney!
 
Here's the breakdown:
Dermot Mulroney on "New Girl" (00:01:25 - 00:06:55)
"The Killing" (00:07:00 - 00:21:15)
"Game of Thrones" (00:21:15 - 00:33:40)
Listener Mail - CBS Sunday Delays (00:33:45 - 00:39:10)
"The River" finale (00:39:20 - 00:51:10)
"Luck" finale (00:51:10 - 01:08:30)
"Mad Men" premiere (01:08:30 - 01:34:40)

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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<p>Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) walk reeeeeeeeeeeal hard in a scene from 'The Avengers'</p>

Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) walk reeeeeeeeeeeal hard in a scene from 'The Avengers'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

New featurette for 'Avengers' offers more on Whedon's take on the characters

We're getting close to release now, so how much more should we see?

We're at that point in the publicity campaign for "The Avengers" where they kick into high gear, and we start to see footage in all sorts of strange places.

The recent trailers offered up some big moments, and when I was speaking to writer/director Joss Whedon after the live-chat we did at SXSW for "The Cabin In The Woods," we discussed the decision to put that amazing shot of The Hulk catching Iron Man into the trailer.

"That comes late in the film," Whedon said, admitting that he wasn't sure about including the image at first.  "But Marvel tested it and they told me that whenever they included that shot in the trailer, the scores went crazy."  Based on the reaction online, I'd believe it.  In my own house, I can tell you that the focus group consisting of my wife and my two sons were 100% enthusiastic about that image and the trailer as a whole.

The thing that I worry about at this point in the release of a giant blockbuster is that the campaign will start to cough up things I'd rather see in the theater in the context of the finished film.  As other promotional partners start to put things out, that's a distinct possibility.  Today, for example, Norton Security released a behind-the-scenes featurette about the film, built around a short interview with Whedon.

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Listen to Pitbull yell at you for 3 minutes in new 'Men In Black 3' song

Listen to Pitbull yell at you for 3 minutes in new 'Men In Black 3' song

'Back in Time' borrows heavily from 'Love Is Strange,' dubstep craze

For all the anticipation and money going into "Men In Black 3," there was a collective shrug from the internet when it was announced that Pitbull would be composing its theme. 

Continue shrugging. "Back in Time" is a high-mastered, thudding bumbler, with Pitbull's big-mouthed, good-timing, half-handed zingers draped in samples from a well-known, beloved former hit (Micky & Sylvia’s “Love Is Strange") and a few bars of dubstep just to prove it's "with it." In other words, it's a Black Eyed Peas song without lady vocals.

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<p>Kevin Lyman</p>

Kevin Lyman

Interview: Warped Tour's Kevin Lyman says 2012 is for the ladies

Founder talks fest history, Warped doc 'No Room for Rock Stars,' stupid punk dance moves

Recent documentary “No Room For Rock Stars” makes and twists evidence that, during Warped Tour, everybody and nobody during the fest are rock stars. 

If there’s anybody who would be, it’s Kevin Lyman, at least in his field. The festival founder has experienced the ups and downs of an all-ages roving festival during the pre- and post-internet music business wipe-out. He’s adjusted his lineups and caps from year to year, emphasizing that success is in the ability to adapt to tastes and costs; he’s followed that demand into other touring festival sectors, with events like Taste of Chaos, Country Throwdown and Mayhem tours.
 
“No Room For Rock Stars,” in following 2010 Warped acts from rising radio star Mike Posner to deafening Suicide Silence to PLUR-like-harbinger heartthrob NeverShoutNever, outline how some Warped lineups have been more pop than others, some more hardcore or hip-hop. In the last five years, especially, it’s been a bit of everything to every kid who couldn’t otherwise be able to see their favorite band in their hometown club.
 
But that’s the thing. Kids who went to Warped when they were kids… now have kids. Its success has wavered and depended on all brands and demos, particularly finding a balance between male and female attendance.  
 
So this year, Lyman has lined a little something up for the ladies, for the kids-now-women. Taking Back Sunday has been announced as the fest headliner, and bigger bands like New Found Glory, the Used and Yellowcard have been added, all of which will appeal to a particular concert-goer, aside from the regular crew of teenagers expected.
 
“This year will be a pretty female-heavy crowd, a decision we consciously made. The 23-to-27-year-old female is out of college, starting a new job… when she was 13 to 19, Warped was a rite of passage,” Lyman explained. “When kids are 19 to 23, I’m gonna lose them, to Electric Daisy or Coachella. Three-day festivals are where college kids go, as they should. But when you’re around 23 or 24, money gets tight again and Warped might appeal to them again, because all those bands had hits during their teens.
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