Latest Blog Posts

<p>Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Jared Harris, Vincent Kartheiser, Jon Hamm, Robert Morse and Elisabeth Moss are all back in some form, at some time, for the new season of &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Jared Harris, Vincent Kartheiser, Jon Hamm, Robert Morse and Elisabeth Moss are all back in some form, at some time, for the new season of "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Mad Men' returns in fine form for season 5

A lot has happened since last we saw Don and Peggy, but it's still one of TV's best dramas
When AMC sent TV critics a review copy of the two-hour "Mad Men" fifth season premiere (Sunday at 9 p.m.), they attached a note from series creator Matthew Weiner, who is both more paranoid about spoilers, and has a broader definition of what constitutes a spoiler, than any showrunner I've ever encountered. So it wasn't a surprise that the letter included a list of details from the premiere that Weiner asked us to not reveal, like "What year is it?" and "What happened with Don and Megan?" and "Did Joan have the baby?" The list is thorough enough that I think the only premiere details I imagine Weiner would be entirely comfortable with me revealing are that Roger Sterling says several funny things, Pete Campbell pouts over a perceived slight, and Harry Crane acts obnoxious — and only because those things happen in every episode of "Mad Men."
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<p>This is the single most intense dance-off... EVER.</p>

This is the single most intense dance-off... EVER.

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Review: Dance Dance Revolution comedy 'The FP' tries way too hard

Can you just decide to make a cult movie, or do they have to happen on their own?

I will admit that I walked into "The FP" ready to love it.

After all, it's being released by Drafthouse Films, and I'm a big fan in principle.  After all, this is a company that was formed by Tim League to release "Four Lions" when no one else in America had the balls.  And having known Tim for the better part of fifteen years, I know that our taste doesn't always align, but that more often than not, we do enjoy the same sort of weird.

So I found myself depressed when, about a half-hour into "The FP," which Drafthouse Films is currently rolling out in limited release, with more theaters being added this weekend, I realized that not only did I not love it, but I was impatient for it to end.  The film feels to me like a short film stretched way past the breaking point, which makes sense, because it started as a short film.

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<p>Christina of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>
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Christina of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: One World' - 'Thanks for the Souvenir'

The Fickle Finger of Fate gives the 'Survivor' season a good poking
Pre-credit sequence. We're back and Manono camp. Alicia finds a Tribal Council blindside nearly as funny as losing at a challenge. Christina's confused. Colton's an ass. "Good luck. You might could make an alliance with a hermit crab at this moment," Colton cackles, not caring if Christina knows that she's next. In fact, in addition to his normal conniving, Colton is also engaging in some psychological warfare, hoping the break Christina's spirits. "Honestly, Christina, you've been the human cockroach," Colton taunts her, telling her that if she makes it to the Merge, she'll be the first one going after the Merge. "Maybe I am an idiot and that's what it is," Christina says. And then things get worse. They won't even make room for Christina in the shelter (nor in Leif's tiny sleep-box). Alicia threatens to whack Christina if she tries pushing her way in. Christina's new goal: To get everybody to see that Colton's a jerk and that Alicia is playing without integrity. "All gloves are off and I'm ready to fight and I'm ready to fight hard," she says. And good luck with that!
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<p>Tim Curry's make-up as Darkness in 'Legend' is one of the most iconic images in all of fantasy cinema</p>

Tim Curry's make-up as Darkness in 'Legend' is one of the most iconic images in all of fantasy cinema

Credit: Universal Home Video

One Thing I Love Today: Reggie Watts does an original score for Ridley Scott's 'Legend'

One of today's most eclectic performers delivers a remarkable performance

I am fascinated by Reggie Watts.  I don't even know if I'd describe him as a comedian, because his live shows are such an original mix of music and humor and attitude, and there's no one else I can point to who does what he does.

One of my favorite moments in the LCD Soundsystem documentary "Shut Up And Play The Hits," which I absolutely recommend to you, is when Reggie Watts shows up during that final Madison Square Garden performance to collaborate on a song.  It's just amazing to see how Watts can build this wall of sound that drops into what James Murphy and the band do so well, and it makes the case for Watts as far more than "just" a comedian.

Ridley Scott's "Legend" is an absolutely gorgeous movie, but as a film, it's wildly uneven and occasionally stone-cold silly.  I still remember the afternoon I saw it the first time, and my friend and I who saw it together ended up yelling at each other because of how differently we processed it.  He really bought into the world of the film and thought it was a great accomplishment regardless of the script, while I couldn't really get past some of the things that I think hobble the film.

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<p>David Walton, Amanda Peet and Margo Harshman in &quot;Bent.&quot;</p>

David Walton, Amanda Peet and Margo Harshman in "Bent."

Credit: NBC

'Bent' - 'Pilot'/'Smitten': Kitchen confidential

What did everybody think of NBC's new romantic comedy?

I posted my review of NBC's "Bent" yesterday. Now it's your turn. What did everybody who watched think? Did you stay for both episodes? Did you like the chemistry between David Walton and Amanda Peet? Did you enjoy the crew? (I, personally, would listen to J.B. Smoove say "smitten" for quite a while.) Were you distracted to see Landry in scenes with a very different guy named Riggins? And does the weird scheduling — and what it suggests about NBC's faith in the show — make you more or less likely to watch future episodes? 

Have at it. I enjoyed the show enough that I'll have posts (length TBD) the next two weeks for the remaining episodes.

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<p>The SHIELD&nbsp;Helicarrier is only one of the sights that appears in the Japanese 'Avengers' trailer but not the American one.</p>

The SHIELD Helicarrier is only one of the sights that appears in the Japanese 'Avengers' trailer but not the American one.

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

From the Japanese 'Avengers' ad to Hasselhoff in 'Piranha 3DD' - catching up on the latest trailers

We take a look at everything we missed during SXSW, including 'Dark Shadows'

One of the interesting side effects of being at a film festival, especially one that lasts longer than a week, is that you become unstuck in time.  You stay so busy that the outside world sort of recedes completely.  I came up for air a few times during SXSW, but for the most part, it was the rest of Team HitFix that was dealing with breaking news and posting new trailers.  I missed quite a few of them, and when I realized that, I thought I'd go back and catch up.

I know I talked to people at SXSW about that Japanese "Avengers" trailer, and it's certainly worth some conversation.  It's interesting that the Japanese trailer just plain reveals the alien invasion aspect of the film that the American campaign has so carefully hidden.  There's a lot more material here, including an appearance by Pepper Potts that surprised me.  Until now, I wasn't 100% sure she was even in the film.

There's more of an emphasis on both Hawkeye and The Black Widow here, and we finally see Cobie Smulders, who I hear is one of the surprise highlights of the film.  All in all, this is a great sneak peek at the film, and now that I've seen it, I don't want to see anything else until I see it all put together.

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<p>Fun. performs at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, R.I. earlier this month.</p>

Fun. performs at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, R.I. earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/Stew Milne

Does fun. enjoy their third week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100?

Who scores the only new entry in the top 10?

“We Are Young” is aging well as the song by fun. featuring Janelle Monae spends its third week atop the Billboard Hot 100 this week.

For much of the rest of the chart, the song remains the same: Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” stays at No. 2, while The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” hops up one space to No. 3, flipping places with Adele’s “Set Fire To the Rain,” which falls to No. 4. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra stays at No. 5 but keeps its bullet.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 10</p>
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The "American Idol" Top 10

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 10 Performance - Billy Joel Night

P. Diddy mentors the Top 10 as they tackle the music of The Piano Man

Welcome to Wednesday (March 21) night's "American Idol."

If scuttlebutt is to be believed -- and I always believe scuttlebutt -- Wednesday's theme is The Music of Billy Joel. And if additional scuttlebutt is to be believed, mentoring the Top 10 will be Sean Combs, because if anybody is trained to help aspiring singers with the work of Billy Joel, it's P. Diddy. 

Click through to find out how a man who can't sing steered our "Idol" hopefuls in the fine art of singing...

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<p>Katy Perry in &quot;Part of Me&quot;</p>

Katy Perry in "Part of Me"

Watch: Katy Perry joins the Marines in 'Part of Me' music video

Do you buy it? Does it matter?

They say a woman who changes her hair is about to change her life. Katy Perry hacks off most of her natural locks in the new music video for "Part of Me," so her shift in life? Joining the Marines.

The Ben Moore-directed clip was shot, in part, over three days at Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where Perry was put through a series of combat training exercises, shooting guns, lifting logs and lip-syncing beneath a gigantic American flag, throwing in some literal "bombs" and "blows."

The clip opens up with Perry listening to a fictional celebrity interview on the radio that obviously reflects on her disintegrated relationship with now-ex-husband Russell Brand; we learn that her character in the video was inspired to join the armed services after the crash-and-burn ending of a relationship with a boyfriend. Perry told MTV that she wanted a video that was an "affirmation of strength" after a relationship that took it out of her. "I wanted go the strongest route I possibly could."

That route began with her chopping off all her hair (a la "G.I. Jane"), embracing her hoodied androgyny ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") wrapping her infamous boobs with gauze (a la... "Shakespeare in Love" [???]) and crying into a sink before handing over her clothes and preparing to mouth "Yes drill sergeant" for as many times as it took. The inspiration was a bumper sticker: "All women are created equal, then some become Marines."

In this case, enlisting was a source of self-esteem, encourages a sense of community among other women. Marines are tough, their part of America's pride. But part of the video's oddness was Perry's degenderizing -- and the co-option of a military institution.

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<p>The Flaming Lips with fwends</p>

The Flaming Lips with fwends

Record Store Day update: Flaming Lips with Coldplay, Sub Pop, White Stripes

Listen to Beach House's non-RSD single

Music lovers and vinyl collectors, update your shopping list: The Flaming Lips have announced further details on their Record Store Day collaboration set, plus below are some outlines on other April 21 exclusive drops, like those from Sub Pop, Arctic Monkeys, Sex Pistols and more.

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<p>Julian Fellowes claims his take on the Titanic story boasts more historical credibility than James Cameron's.</p>

Julian Fellowes claims his take on the Titanic story boasts more historical credibility than James Cameron's.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Julian Fellowes aims to right perceived wrongs of James Cameron's 'Titanic'

'Downton Abbey' creator claims his take will "set the record straight"

For some reason, amid the building media hype about the release, I feel oddly disinclined to see "Titanic 3D" -- neither because I fear, as Roger Ebert bemoaned, the defacement of some kind of masterpiece, nor because I so dislike the film as to make an active point of not revisiting it.

That said, I somehow haven't revisited it since December 1997, though it certainly hasn't slipped from memory. What I remember fondly of it (and there's much to go under that column) I remember vividly enough not to crave a reminder. I also remember much that was lunky and crass and tin-eared, none of it likely to be remedied by an extra dimension. The film's charms are, in my mind, irrevocably tied to conditions of who and where I was when I first saw it, aged 14, smack in the middle of the demographic that rather infectiously lost their collective minds for it that summer. (Yes, I was in the southern hemisphere then.) Historical epic it may be, but it's a teenage time-capsule piece for me, and coating it in the ubiquitous 21st-century veneer of state-of-the-art 3D seems somehow anachronistic. I'm not claiming it's rational, but it's why I'm personally resisting.

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<p>Kerri and Stacy of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Kerri and Stacy of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Kerri & Stacy talk 'The Amazing Race'

Latest bootees talk poor navigation, changing tires and fear of dolphins
Stacy Bowers and Kerri Paul weathered four Legs of "The Amazing Race," including two Legs that hinged on Stacy conquering her fear of heights to jump from planes or rappel down buildings. 
What did the Mississippi Cousins in on Sunday's (March 18) "Amazing Race" episode was that old standard: Bad directions. The Cousins had completed a Roadblock ahead of struggling Jamie & Nary, but faulty navigation left them in last place just minutes later.
In our exit interview, Kerri discusses her confessed navigational difficulties, Stacy talks about her fear of heights, Kerri tries to explain why she's afraid of dolphins and the cousins explain how pre-Race training paid off in a moment we didn't see on TV. 
Click through for the full interview:
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