Latest Blog Posts

<p>Nicole Kidman in &quot;The Paperboy.&quot;</p>

Nicole Kidman in "The Paperboy."

Credit: Lionsgate

Review: 'The Paperboy' straddles the line between trash and treat

Lee Daniels's bonkers follow-up to 'Precious' aims for camp-classic status

CANNES - Here are a few things you should know about "The Paperboy," the humid, lurid and exuberantly ludicrous new thriller from Lee "Precious" Daniels -- that is, if the swarm of dumbfounded Twitter chatter about the film hasn't informed you already. It features Nicole Kidman bitch-fighting a group of sunbathers for the privilege of urinating on Zac Efron's jellyfish sting, triumphing with the immediately immortal line, "If anybody's gonna piss on him, it's gonna be me!" It features Zac Efron dancing in the rain clad in nothing but a pair of tighty-whiteys rapidly losing their opacity. It features a close-up of Nicole Kidman's panty-covered crotch, as she publicly masturbates in front of three other men during a prison visit. It features Macy Gray as a weary, sass-talking Southern maid, her omniscient narration musing idly on the inappropriateness of a Kidman/Efron sex scene. Another sex scene, meanwhile, is punctuated with cutaways to alligators and grazing hogs.

By this point -- and make no mistake, I've scarcely skimmed through my notes here -- you've either made a mental note to be doing charity work in Eritrea when the film hits theaters, or you're already on the advance-booking hotline. On either score, you should probably trust your instincts. Critics can argue back and forth as to the level of knowingness at play here, but “The Paperboy” is a film built on its distended absurdities and polyester styling – certainly more than Pete Dexter’s cracking, tonally far slinkier, source novel, which comes in for some brutal renovation here, presumably more at Daniels’ hand than his own. (Both are credited as co-writers.)

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<p>Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith on last night's &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith on last night's "American Idol"

Credit: AP Photo

Interview: Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on new 'Music From Another Dimension'

Listen to new single, 'Legendary Child'

Aerosmith has a pretty good track record with songs in Bruce Willis movies. Remember a little hit called “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” from 1998’s “Armageddon?” The song gave the band its first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

They are reuniting with Willis for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” which will feature Aerosmith’s “Legendary Chid,” both within the movie and as the end title. They band debuted the crunchy rocker (embedded below) on Wednesday night’s  “American Idol” finale with little fanfare and no announcement about its tie in with the movie. Undoubtedly, this was because the same day the group was officially set to announce the news, Paramount said it was  pushing the movie’s opening from June 29 to  March 29, 2013 in order to convert the film to 3D.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>We'll be traveling back to &quot;Deadwood&quot;&nbsp;season 2 this summer.</p>

We'll be traveling back to "Deadwood" season 2 this summer.

Credit: HBO

Are you ready for the summer? (2012 edition)

Our summer rewind will take us into season 2 of 'Deadwood'

As I mentioned in yesterday's review of "Men at Work," the broadcast network TV season officially ended last night at 11 p.m. Though there are still a handful of spring shows with episodes yet to air (for my interests, primarily the Sunday shows on AMC and HBO), we're mostly moving into a whole new wave of programming, with the return of old favorites ("Breaking Bad" on July 15), the debut of intriguing newcomers (Sorkin's "The Newsroom" on June 24), and also lots of shows I'm less inclined to cover weekly (a lot of the USA and TNT stuff).

As always in summer, we'll figure it out as we go beyond the obvious weekly candidates. And, as I've been doing in the summer going back to the old blog, we're going to revisit a classic show on DVD. (In addition to the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" season 1 rewatch Dan and I will be doing for the podcast.) This year's choice seemed obvious: following up last summer's "Deadwood" season 1 reviews with a look back at season 2 of the David Milch Western.

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<p>Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund in &quot;On The Road.&quot;</p>

Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund in "On The Road."

Credit: IFC/Sundance Selects

Review: 'On the Road' sticks to the map

Long-delayed Jack Kerouac adaptation isn't quite worth the wait

CANNES - "The only people that interest me are the mad ones," mumbles Sam Riley's Sal Paradise on more than one occasion in "On the Road" -- directly lifting, of course, one of the most quoted lines from Jack Kerouac's insistently quotable novel of the same title. A one-time manifesto of sorts for independent living that railed against authority, capitalism and good old-fashioned punctuation in equal measure, the book has, for its pains, been appointed the bible for shiftless college students the world over, most of whom would claim to share Paradise's (and, by extension, Kerouac's) disdain for the the functional, the rational, the balanced. 

It's hard not to wonder, then, what Paradise and Kerouac would have made of Walter Salles's assiduous, attractive and somewhat airless adaptation of "On the Road," none of the virtues of which -- its methodical loyalty to the material, its meticulous visual construction, even its strategic demographic tailoring -- come from the repertoire of the mad. Salles and his "Motorcycle Diaries" screenwriter Jose Rivera have fashioned a distinctly unspontaneous film from a text about going where the road takes you, a paean to madness that never once loses its mind.

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<p>Denis Lavant gives the performance of a lifetime... or several lifetimes, to be exact... in the triumphant 'Holy Motors,' which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.</p>

Denis Lavant gives the performance of a lifetime... or several lifetimes, to be exact... in the triumphant 'Holy Motors,' which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Credit: CNC

Review: 'Holy Motors' is dizzying, visionary, and one-of-a-kind

Our review of the best film at this year's Cannes Film Festival

CANNES - The last time I saw the name "Leos Carax" onscreen was as part of the anthology film "Tokyo!", where he was one of three directors including Bong Joon-ho and Michel Gondry.  His segment, "Merde," was surreal and silly, and his star, Denis Lavant, gave a unique performance as the title character, a strange sewer-dwelling beast.  The images from that stuck with me the same way images from Carax's earlier film "Lovers On The Bridge" stuck with me, and I've been hoping for the last four years for Carax to get back to making features.

"Holy Motors" was more than worth the wait.

It is rare for me to see a film that I enjoy so deeply and that I feel like I have just begun to understand, but "Holy Motors" is a huge meal, a rich and playful picture that packs so much into its two-hour running time that once I finally staggered out of the Salle Debussy last night, I felt drunk.  I was dizzy from everything that Carax had thrown at me, but I was also feeling that light-headed wooziness that comes in the first flush of love.  It is a film that speaks to me on the same intuitive level as something like "Enter The Void" or "El Topo" or "Eraserhead," and while I can't claim to have fully digested it yet, I can say with confidence that it's my favorite film I've seen so far at Cannes and so far in 2012.  It is a film I'll see many times in the future, and I look forward to exploring every corner of this kingdom of dreams that Carax has created.

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<p>Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez and Ryan Seacrest of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez and Ryan Seacrest of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 11 Finale - The winner is...

Would Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez be our new Idol?

When it comes to predicting "American Idol" winners early, I have a mixed track record. 

I underestimated both Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze dramatically, but I also knew after last season's Top 24 performances that Scotty McCreery was going to be unbeatable. 

This season, back in January, I fought with clunky Park City wireless to recap the "Idol" premiere the night before the start of the Sundance Film Festival. You can check out my recap here and you can scan all the way to the bottom to see my reaction to Phillip Phillips. I didn't make any similarly hyperbolic statements in any subsequent audition recaps, so I had a hunch. But I also didn't want to believe that "Idol" would prove to be that excruciatingly predictable, so when it came time to lock in my winner for HitFix's "Idol" Fantasy Game, I settled on Jessica Sanchez the week the game began.

No matter who wins on tonight's (May 23) "American Idol" Season 11 finale, it won't be an underdog. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Phil-Phil has the familiar "Idol"-winning profile. Jessica has the familiar diva vocals. Either result will make total sense.

But naturally, it's gonna take us 127 minutes (according to FOX) to get there. 

Click through for the full, exhaustive live-blog. And join the conversation as we approach our results.

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The song remains the same on Billboard Hot 100 as Gotye lands sixth week at No. 1

The song remains the same on Billboard Hot 100 as Gotye lands sixth week at No. 1

Static chart sees little to no movement from last week

Somebody That I Used To Know” continues its residency at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the Gotye tune, featuring Kimbra, logs its sixth week in the top spot.

The tune holds off a charge from Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”  which rises two spots to No. 2, leapfrogging over Maroon 5’s “Payphone,” featuring Wiz Khalifa (2-3) and Fun.’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae (3-4).

It’s a week of small moves on the chart. There are no new entries in the Top 10 and no title moves more than two spots one way or the other. Rounding out the top 5, Nicki Minaj’s “Starships”  rises 6-5.

The bottom half of the top 10 proves even more static. Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia flip flops with “Starships” to lands at No 6, then the song remains the same for the next four slots as last week: One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”  is No. 7, The Want’s “Glad You Came” is No. 8, Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” is No. 9 and Train’s “Drive By” is No. 10.?

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<p>Quvenzhan&eacute; Wallis in &quot;Beasts of the Southern Wild.&quot;</p>

Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: New photos from Sundance and Cannes charmer 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

Breakout Quvenzhané Wallis ventures out of the bathtub

When I reviewed Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival I referred to the drama as a "cinematic wonder." And I wasn't the only fan.  The film quickly won over Park City audiences and took home the coveted dramatic competition grand jury prize. After Fox Searchlight snatched it up during the fest, cinephiles the world over have been eager to journey to Hushpuppy's home,  "the Tub." Fast forward five months later and it's no surprise then, that critics on the other side of the Atlantic have been heaping praise upon "Wild" after it screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival this past weekend. Luckily, American moviegoers won't have to wait much longer to catch "Wild" in their local theaters as its national roll out begins on June 27. 

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<p>Michael Cassidy, Danny Masterson and James Lesure in &quot;Men at Work.&quot;</p>

Michael Cassidy, Danny Masterson and James Lesure in "Men at Work."

Credit: TBS

Review: Bros will be bros in TBS' forgettable 'Men at Work'

Danny Masterson and friends don't do much of interest in Breckin Meyer-created sitcom

The 2011-12 network TV season officially ends tonight at 11, right after the closing credits for "Revenge" and "Law & Order: SVU" have rolled. So for the next few months, the television business goes all "Freaky Friday," as the broadcast networks trot out their secondary programming — reality shows, imports and other low-cost series — while cable breaks out some of its biggest guns.

Tomorrow, for instance, brings the return of "So You Think You Can Dance" to FOX, and the debut of yet another singing competition show, "Duets," on ABC, as well as the third season premiere of ABC's cheap Canadian import cop show "Rookie Blue." Meanwhile, the next couple of months will see the return of HBO's "True Blood" (June 10), USA's "Burn Notice" (June 14), AMC's "Breaking Bad" (July 15) and the final season of TNT's "The Closer" (July 9), along with a whole batch of new shows like TNT's "Dallas" sequel (June 13), Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama "The Newsroom" (June 24) and Charlie Sheen's sitcom comeback with FX's "Anger Management" (June 28).

That's a lot for any TV junkie to keep track of, even in the "slow" summer months. Unfortunately, the off-season gets off to a forgettable start with its first new cable offering: the TBS sitcom "Men at Work," which debuts tomorrow night at 10.

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Beck releases two tunes via Jack White's Third Man Records on May 28

When is that new album coming?

Beck will release “I Just Started Hating Some People Today” backed with “Blue Randy” on May 28 via Jack White’s Third Man Records Blue Series.

The long-absent singer recorded the tracks last year in Nashville while working on his new album. The pair of songs “spontaneously came together...on Beck’s final day in Nashville,” according to a press release. Still no word on a release date for the new album.

The tunes, available on iTunes and digitally, will also be available on vinyl, including a limited run of 100 Tri-Color 7-inches exclusively sold at Randy Records in Salt Lake City on June 2. Another 50 will randomly be inserted in mail orders for the single placed through Third Man.  

In addition to producing the two songs, White plays drums on the tunes as well.

While it’s been four years since Beck’s last full album, 2008’s “Modern Guilt,” he’s been teasing fans with one-off dates and scattered song. He recently contributed a cover of the song “Corrina, Corrina” to a compilation for maternal-health advocacy organization  Every Mother Counts, as well as contributed a song, “Looking for a Sign,” to the movie, “Jeff, Who Lives At Home.”

Beck will play the Aug. 10-12 Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park this summer, along with fellow headliners Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Metallica, Jack White, Foo Fighters, and Stevie Wonder.

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<p>Henry Ian Cusick in one of my favorite &quot;Lost&quot;&nbsp;scenes ever.</p>

Henry Ian Cusick in one of my favorite "Lost" scenes ever.

Credit: ABC

We have to go back! Great 'Lost' scenes, 2 years later

Celebrate the finale's anniversary with Jack, Sawyer, Hurley and friends

The "Lost" finale aired two years ago tonight. Having already reviewed the finale the night it aired, a month later, and then on the one-year anniversary, I don't have a lot to add on the subject. My opinion remains largely the same — as I said in that anniversary column, some distance from the finale, and seeing what the network TV world was like without "Lost," has made me even more inclined to forgive the show its weaknesses and focus on its strengths — and the sense I get is that everyone else is equally entrenched, whether they liked the finale or found it an insult and a betrayal of the six years they spent watching the show.

So rather than analyze some more, I thought I'd do something simpler, and hopefully more fun, and pick out a collection of some of my favorite scenes from six seasons of "Lost" for you to enjoy if you're feeling similarly nostalgic today. These aren't all of the best scenes ever, or any kind of representative sample; it's just a handful of moments that instantly came to mind when I was recalling how much fun I had watching the adventures of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Hurley and friends over the years. I'm sure you all have your favorites, and if you want to discuss them (or link to them) in the comments, by all means, go for it.

Clips coming up just as soon as I threaten to beat you with my Jesus stick...

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<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Timberlake set to score new film, 'The Devil in the Deep Blue Sea'

Movie stars Jessica Biel, Chloe Moretz and Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Justin Timberlake has added composer to many hats. Even though it’s been six years since his last album and he’s long grown tired of answering the question about when/if he’ll record again, he is returning to music to score the soundtrack to “The Devil in the Deep Blue Sea.”  He will also act as music supervisor.

The film, which is slated to begin shooting in the fall, stars his fiancee, Jessica Biel; as well as Chloe Moretz and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Bill Purple will direct, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The movie chronicles Morgan’s character after he loses his wife, played by Biel, as he helps a young girl (Moretz) build a raft to sail across the Atlantic Ocean.

No word on whether Timberlake will appear in the film. He has a number of upcoming film projects, including Clint Eastwood’s “Trouble With the Curve.” 

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