Latest Blog Posts

<p>The Cul-de-Sac Crew (and Tom)&nbsp;pay tribute to &quot;Braveheart&quot;&nbsp;on &quot;Cougar Town.&quot;</p>

The Cul-de-Sac Crew (and Tom) pay tribute to "Braveheart" on "Cougar Town."

Credit: ABC

'Cougar Town' - 'Full Moon Fever': Hail to the king, baby

Courteney Cox directs, Andy channels 'Braveheart,' and Sarah Chalke stops by

A review of tonight's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I wine-watch a documentary...

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<p>Jay-Z</p>

Jay-Z

Jay-Z livestreaming concert from Austin during SXSW Interactive

Crowd-sourcing set list, Twitter-syncing: Hov returns to Texas

Jay-Z played South By Southwest last year but, this year, things will be a little bit different.

The hip-hop mogul has been tapped to play a solo concert by American Express -- in conjunction with Twitter and SXSW to launch a new AmEx syncing feature. Hov's show will take place on March 12 at the rap-ripe time of 7 p.m. CST from Austin City Limits Live.

For those playing at home, that's the day before the Music portion of SXSW begins, and one of the last days of the Interactive portion. Tickets are free, however you must 1) be an Interactive badge-holder 2) be an American Express cardholder 3) have a Twitter account that you then sync with your AmEx 4) endure a first-come-first-serve ticket line starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday (March 10) 5) hold your breath while you hop on your left leg for two minutes without losing balance as you hum the National Anthem.

For those that can't make any of that dream come true, AmEx will be live-streaming Jay-Z's concert on their specially launched Jay-Z Sync Show YouTube page, as well as broadcasting it on to a billboard on Austin's main drag, 6th Street.

Jay-Z fans will be able to Tweet their song requests, with the most-requested songs getting play. My suggestion: launching a national campaign for Crowd-Sourcing Awareness, where we all band together in one accord to demand "It's Raining Men." Hallelujah?

Jay-Z took the stage with Kanye West last year during VEVO's first SXSW concert series launch, marking their first live promotional effort in amping up Watch The Throne. VEVO is returning this year, lineup TBA.

The rapper has remained relatively quiet after the birth of his and Beyonce's first baby, Blue Ivy, on Jan. 7, though he did host a suite of historic solo concerts at Carnegie Hall last month. Do you think he'll be bowing new songs?

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<p>Nash Edgerton's new short film 'Bear' will be playing at SXSW this year, but we spoke to him about it at Sundance.</p>

Nash Edgerton's new short film 'Bear' will be playing at SXSW this year, but we spoke to him about it at Sundance.

Credit: HitFix

SXSW: Director Nash Edgerton talks about 'Bear' and Baz Luhrmann's 'Great Gatsby'

One of the most ingenious short filmmakers today shares tricks of the trade

One day, the Edgerton brothers will rule Hollywood with an iron fist, and I for one welcome our new Edgerton overlords.

Joel Edgerton, of course, is working hard in front of the camera these days, and he's managed to finally make the jump to Hollywood leading man.  I am enormously fond of the work he did last year in "Warrior," and while I didn't love everything about "Wish You Were Here" at Sundance, Edgerton is great in it.  There's something about the new breed of Australian leading men that really sets them apart from the gym-trained oh-so-smooth LA brand of guy, something more genuine and rough-hewn.  It's little wonder so many of them are making the jump to action hero these days.

The other Edgerton, though, is the one that needs to have his turn in the spotlight, and I am convinced that day is coming.  His short film "Spider" is one of those that you never forget after you've seen it, and every single time I show it to people, I love watching them as they watch it.  The same is true of his latest film "Bear," and I'm excited that it's screening at SXSW.

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<p>Willem Dafoe is a river to his people... or his Tharks, rather... in the new fantasy adventure 'John Carter'</p>

Willem Dafoe is a river to his people... or his Tharks, rather... in the new fantasy adventure 'John Carter'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Willem Dafoe and Lynn Collins share memories of Barsoom and 'John Carter'

Two of the most memorable actors in the new epic adventure discuss their roles

By far, the two performances I think people will speak about most frequently when they discuss "John Carter" are given by Willem Dafoe and Lynn Collins.

When I joined the cast at the Boulders resort in Carefree, Arizona, I started my day with an interview with Willem Dafoe.  He was the first person from the film that I spoke to after our screening the night before, and he turned out to be a real pleasure.  I've been watching and admiring his work since "To Live And Die In LA," and I think he's only gotten better with age.  He is one of those actors who brings such a unique and intense presence to everything he does that it's a thrill to sit down with him finally.  I only wish it could have been longer.

With Lynn Collins, I'll confess to being one of the people that was skeptical about the casting of her as Dejah Thoris when it was first announced.  I only really knew her from "Wolverine," and that's a hard film for anyone to use as a calling card.  In "John Carter," though, I think Collins proves herself to be a strong, sexy, and smart lead actress.  She infuses the role with qualities that I'm not sure existed on the page, even in the Burroughs version, but that feel absolutely right.

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<p>&nbsp;Madonna</p>

 Madonna

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Madonna's 'I'm Addicted' leaks from 'MDNA'

We think we're hooked

We’re three weeks away from the release of Madonna’s “MDNA,” so it’s no surprise that bits and pieces are leaking out. Today, we get a little more than a minute of “I’m Addicted,” and of the three songs we’ve heard, it’s far and away our favorite.

It’s ‘70s pop meets electroclash meets Madonna’s “Hung Up.”  The song showed up on Perez Hilton’s website today and he’ll be leaking songs up until the March 26 release date.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>James Murphy</p>

James Murphy

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Murphy, Squarepusher headlining Creators Project in SF

Bowie's 'Life on Mars' revisited, plus: LCD frontman joins Beck, Devendra Banhard in art piece

The Creators Project has announced a  weekend-long art and tech fest featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a full music set by ex-LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy and a multimedia show from Squarepusher. And it's in two weeks. And it's free. The art/tech/music/media event runs March 17-18 at Fort Mason and the complete lineup of artist and art-makers is actually pretty astounding.

The YYY's appearance may signal new music in the works, considering they've been absent from the road for about two years; frontwoman Karen O and guitarist/co-founder Nick Zinner have been working on their "psycho-opera" "Stop the Virgens," and Karen was heard singing on "Immigrant Song" for Trent Reznor's soundtrack to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." It's been quiet besides.

Everybody's been wondering what James Murphy's been up to since shuttering the LCD Soundsystem name, and this DJ set may be the best indication yet of what's inspiring him. The 42-year-old spent countless years before LCD DJing, running the DFA label and playing in what he frequently called a paraded of "shitty bands." What will he spin?

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Look: Carrie Underwood pulls an Angelina Jolie on her new album cover

Look: Carrie Underwood pulls an Angelina Jolie on her new album cover

She's very well dressed for the apocalypse on 'Blown Away'

Photobucket

We know full well that Carrie Underwood had to have shot the cover of her album, “Blown Away,” well before Angelina Jolie inserted her right leg into our lives at the Academy Awards, but now it’s impossible to look at the cover image, which was released today, and not think about Jolie.

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<p>Timothy Olyphant will be flashing a &quot;Justified&quot;&nbsp;badge for another season.</p>
<br />

Timothy Olyphant will be flashing a "Justified" badge for another season.


Credit: FX

FX renews 'Justified' for season 4

Modern-day Western has 6 episodes left this season, will ride again in 2013

FX has renewed "Justifiedfor a fourth season, to air in early 2013. 

The modern-day Western, starring Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, is in the middle of its third season, with the 8th out or 13 episodes airing tonight at 10. (It's one of my favorites of the season, for what it's worth; I was polishing off the review when the renewal news came in.) 

"'Justified' is one of television’s best series and this season has reinforced that excellence,” FX vice-president of original programming Nick Grad said in a statement. “Graham Yost and his writing team continue to deliver compelling material and richly drawn characters brought to life by the brilliance of Timothy Olyphant and our terrific ensemble cast.  Their work is validated by universal acclaim, awards, and ratings that have grown every year. We look forward to many more seasons to come.”

Yost in turn said, "There are many reasons all of us on 'Justified' are grateful to get a chance to do another season. We get to do more work with amazing actors, writers, producers, directors, musicians, editors and a jaw-droppingly talented crew.  We get to keep doing a show that appeals to a wide demographic: people in Harlan, retired US Marshals, criminals (we honestly did hear that), and, most happily, our guide, our muse, Elmore Leonard.  Best of all, we get to keep doing a show on FX (and while that may sound like craven ass-kissing, when you look at their roster, you can't help but feel grateful to be on that list)." 

Through the first seven episodes, "Justified" season three is averaging 4.3 million viewers, up 8 percent over a year ago.

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<p>Tyler, the Creator in &quot;Loiter Squad&quot;</p>

Tyler, the Creator in "Loiter Squad"

Odd Future's 'Loiter Squad' promo, 'NY (Ned Flander)' vid, Frank Ocean joins Coldplay's tour

Tyler, the Creator dishes out $8,000 for vandalism

Odd Future have two new eye candies this week, neither of which makes much sense, par for the course.

"Loiter Squad," the hip-hop group's live-action "Adult Swim" show due later this month, has a new promo for the character Jasper, which equates to something like a series of animated .gifs. Chop and screw at your leisure.

Then there's "NY (Ned Flander)," featuring Tyler, the Creator and Hodgy Beats and the frequent appearance of Lucas Vercetti, who's featured on the cover of the group's new album "The OF Tape Vol. 2." Repeated is the meme of big girls shaking ass, while Hodgy gyrates in lounge chair and Tyler appears as a fussy, large-headed baby, a digression from his powerful state as a long-haired centaur from "Rella."

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<p>Katy Perry in character on tonight's &quot;Raising Hope.&quot;</p>

Katy Perry in character on tonight's "Raising Hope."

Credit: FOX

Katy Perry visits 'Raising Hope,' but is that enough to save it?

First episode in new timeslot gives the pop star a very different look

While "Glee" takes its annual spring break until April 10, FOX is trying something a little different on Tuesdays, with a four comedy line-up featuring "Raising Hope" moving to 8, "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" at 8:30, "New Girl" remaining at 9 and "Breaking In" returning from the dead at 9:30.

Dan and I discussed "Breaking In" on yesterday's podcast (short version: I still appreciate its references to things like "They Live" and "The Breakfast Club" but wish they would be turned into actual jokes), and I'll have a review of a sweet, change-of-pace "New Girl" up at 9:30. At the moment, though, I want to say a few words — and ask a question — about "Raising Hope."

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<p>Alphonso McAuley of &quot;Breaking In&quot;</p>
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Alphonso McAuley of "Breaking In"

Credit: FOX

HitFix Interview: Alphonso McAuley talks 'Breaking In'

FOX comedy star discusses Megan Mullally, Mike Tyson and more
We've all heard the up-and-down "Breaking In" chronology:
 
Not picked up by FOX in its initial spring, but given a late-fall reprieve.
 
Given an "American Idol" launching pad, but eventually pushed to a different night and a weaker slot for its low-rated finale.
 
Cancelled by FOX, but again earning a fall reprieve. 
 
Returning on Tuesday (March 6) night.
 
It's a lot to keep track of for viewers and press, but it's bound to be even more disorienting if you exist within the "Breaking In" maelstrom, if you're part of the security comedy's cast and ensemble.
 
In January, with production just beginning on the second season, I sat down with Alphonso McAuley, who plays gadget-and-prank-loving Contra Security nerd Cash, to talk about the "Breaking In" journey.
 
In our conversation, we discuss Megan Mullally's introduction to the cast, McAuley's interactions with Mike Tyson and whether or not vampires sleep standing up.
 
Click through to make sense of some of that...
 
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<p>Katharine McPhee shows a little leg on &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>
<br />

Katharine McPhee shows a little leg on "Smash."


Credit: NBC

'Smash' - 'Let's Be Bad': Change of a dress

A good musical number highlights an otherwise irritating episode

A review of last night's "Smash" coming up just as soon as sports are anathema to me...

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