Latest Blog Posts

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

Nicole Kidman in "The Paperboy."

Credit: Millennium Films

Cannes Check: Lee Daniels' 'The Paperboy'

Continuing our series of Cannes competition previews

The director: Lee Daniels (American, 52 years old)

The talent: Thought Robert Pattinson was the unlikeliest name you'd see leading a Competition title at Cannes? Try Zac Efron out for size. The "High School Musical" teen idol takes on his first fully adult dramatic lead in this thriller, with several more experienced star names to back him up: Matthew McConaughey (in the first of his two Competition film appearances this year), Nick Nolte, John Cusack, Scott Glenn and, generating the most pre-premiere chatter about her performance, Nicole Kidman.

Meanwhile, sandpaper-voiced soul singer Macy Gray narrates. If you enjoyed her performance in Daniels' debut feature "Shadowboxer" and often find yourself wondering how she'd have fared in Mo'Nique's role in "Precious" -- in other words, if you're me -- this is very good news indeed.

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<p>Sissy Spacek at the Country Music Awards in 2010.</p>

Sissy Spacek at the Country Music Awards in 2010.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Sissy Spacek and William Friedkin to be feted by Seattle fest

Meanwhile, Friedkin is also set to screen 'Killer Joe'

The Seattle International Film Festival has announced that it will recognize Oscar-winning actress Sissy Spacek and director William Friedkin as 2012 tribute honorees. Sissy Spacek will receive the festival’s award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting on June 7 and William Friedkin will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award on June 9.

“Sissy Spacek and William Friedkin have captivated audiences repeatedly throughout their careers with critically acclaimed works that boast multigenerational appeal,” said SIFF Artistic Director Carl Spence via press release.

Spacek has a particularly special place in my heart. Her first firm step onto the world stage was in “Badlands,” the debut film of one of my favorite director’s, Terrence Malick. But it was her Academy Award-winning turn as country singer Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter” that really left an indelible mark.

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<p>On &quot;Community,&quot;&nbsp;Abed (Danny Pudi)&nbsp;and Troy (Donald Glover)&nbsp;get their &quot;Law &amp;&nbsp;Order&quot;&nbsp;on.</p>

On "Community," Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Donald Glover) get their "Law & Order" on.

Credit: NBC

'Community' - 'Basic Lupine Urology': Law & Order: Special Biology Unit

The Greendale gang pay homage to an NBC classic

A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I honor the pinky swear of a degenerate...

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<p>Todd Phillips has some experience with road trips go wrong, and it should be exciting to see what he does with the script by Jay and Mark Duplass.</p>

Todd Phillips has some experience with road trips go wrong, and it should be exciting to see what he does with the script by Jay and Mark Duplass.

Credit: HitFix

Todd Phillips hires Duplass Brothers to drive his adaptation of 'Mule'

What will the King Of Mean and the Turks of Quirk do together?

Here's a combination that I never would have expected.

The Duplass Brothers are on fire right now, working incredibly hard and putting out something like 85 movies a year.  Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, and at least part of that effect comes from seeing Mark Duplass show up in other people's movies like "Your Sister's Sister" or "Darling Companion" or on his TV series "The League."  Their movie "The Do-Deca Pentathalon" is getting a Fox Searchlight release later this year and their other new film, "Jeff Who Lives At Home" is still in some theaters now.

And as Todd Phillips prepares to start production on the final film in "The Hangover" series, he's also enjoying the recent success of "Project X."  Once he wraps up his mega-successful franchise, he's going to be looking for his next movie.  And it looks like that's going to be a film that brings him together with the Duplass Brothers, an unlikely marriage if I've ever seen one.

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<p>Skylar Laine of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>
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Skylar Laine of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 6 Results - Down to 5, plus Katy Perry

Stefano Langone also drops by to remind people he's alive

Much excitement in FOX-dom already this afternoon with the announcement that "Fringe" has been renewed for a fifth and final season.

But now it's time to take a deep breath and move on to "American Idol," which will feature another elimination, as well as performances by Katy Perry and Stefano Langone.

Whee! Click through for all the excitement.

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Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding

Kroy Biermann and Kim Zolciak in 'Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding'

Credit: Wilford Harewood/Bravo

Review: 'Real Housewives' spinoff 'Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding'

Atlanta's Kim Zolciak steps into the spotlight for a dream wedding

It's been a big year of moving beyond the mothership for the ladies of "Real Housewives of Atlanta." NeNe Leakes landed recurring roles on "Glee" and NBC's comedy pilot (and likely pickup) "The New Normal," Kandi Burruss' making-a-music-star special "The Kandi Factory" has been picked up as a full blown series for Bravo and Kim Zolciak is fronting the first official "Atlanta" spinoff: "Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding."

Chronicling the dramatic events leading up to Zolciak's nuptials last November, "Don't Be Tardy" plays like a slimmed down "Real Housewives" arc and should appeal to "Atlanta" fans as naturally as Bravo's "Bethenny Ever After" capitalized on "Real Housewives of New York" breakout Bethenny Frankel.

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<p>Brandy's &quot;Put It Down&quot; featuring Chris Brown</p>

Brandy's "Put It Down" featuring Chris Brown

Listen: Brandy combines with Chris Brown for 'Put It Down'

Does the R&B icon need him?

The latest R&B/hip-hop star has added liner to Chris Brown's pockets, as Brandy releases her second single from "Two Eleven": "Put It Down."

I love the beat, I love how Brandy is bringing her brand of alto, low-loving vocals back into this salty-sweet pop formula. It lumbers but it bangs.

Breezy, on the other hand, brings as much personality to the mix as an ATM. I've made no qualms with my general distaste of Brown, mostly because I find him to be an abhorrent human being and his creative contributions, lately, as uneven. For every brilliant "Turn Up the Music" there's a pitiless "How I Feel."

I don't think Brandy needs Brown here -- not his name, not his vocals. He gets the co-write, sure, but his guest verse brings nothing to the table, particularly rhyming "Brandy" with "candy" and another stereotypical phone-in about girls and their purses.

The track's sparse as is. Consider in the future getting rid of the dead weight (or deadbeat).

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<p>Alison Brie has tremendous fun in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'</p>

Alison Brie has tremendous fun in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: 'Community' star Alison Brie puts on an accent for '5 Year Engagement'

We talk with the busy actress about her new film and how she prepared for it

It must be a lovely time to be Alison Brie.

No matter what happens with "Community," the show definitely has an audience that loves it and is passionate about it, myself included.  And "Mad Men" returned this year after an unusually long hiatus and appears to have quickly reestablished its place at the center of pop culture.  Now, with "The Five Year Engagement," she's also on thousands of movie screens this weekend.

Lucky us.

She co-stars here as Suzie, sister to Violet (Emily Blunt), one of the leads of the film.  One of the ways Stoller and Jason Segel, the film's star and co-writer, illustrate the frustration of the prolonged engagement in the film is by etching in the details of a separate relationship where things move at a totally different pace.  Suzie ends up with Alex (Chris Pratt), and we see them start a family and start to evolve into real adults, and while they don't have a ton of screen time, they do a good job of showing some real growth as time passes.

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Credit: AP Photo

Will TLC bring Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes back to life on reunion tour?

Two remaining members are booking dates, according to reports

First Tupac, now Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes?

Ten years after her death, Lopes’ bandmates in TLC told TMZ that they are planning a reunion tour and hope to make Lopes’ image and voice a part of the concert.

Lopes “appeared” with remaining members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas once before posthumously, according to MTV, on what was called TLC’s Final Concert at a 2003 radio show. Lopes’ image was projected onto video screens.

TMZ reports that the group has already book five cities on the 2012 tour, with more to be added. While the outlet inferred that she would appear “Tupac” style,  it’s unclear if Watkins and Thomas plan to use old footage of Lopes or create new footage as Digital Domain and AC Concepts with Shakur’s image for Coachella.

More as it develops. We gave our thoughts on the matter here.

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<p>The first official image from &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

The first official image from "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' drowned out by 'OSCAR!' noise at CinemaCon

Does Fox have a contender? The breathless hordes seem to think so.

CinemaCon in Las Vegas is where it's at this week as movie journos and bloggers have descended on Sin City and turned an exhibitors convention into an exasperated "We saw 10 minutes of 'X' movie!" slog. Nevertheless, I kind of wish I was there.

But then I don't know what I could add when everyone is not just covering the same events but coming away with the exact same talking points. Are they distributing memos or something? Anyway, it's no different than Comic-Con, I guess, where "Sucker Punch" looks like it could be an awesome movie for all of 600 seconds.

As it pertains to potential awards contenders, they've shown some much-anticipated footage from Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in 48 frames-per-second, which yielded responses from mixed to overwhelmingly negative (a few champions of the hyper-real look scattered here and there). Today, though, "Oscar" was on everyone's lips after a taste of Ang Lee's "Life of Pi."

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Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Usher wants to make you 'Scream' on new single

Clunky lyrics weigh down the groove

Usher moves from the dance floor to the bedroom on new single, “Scream.” 

The club thumper is all about pleasing his woman and living in the moment. Although the mood is totally set by the sexy, mid-tempo groove, some of the lyrics definitely go down as his worst. We can live with the trite “Imagine me whisper in your ear that I wanna take off all your clothes,” but “Relax and get on your back if you want to scream” sounds decidedly unromantic and a little creepy, even coming from someone as smooth and undoubtedly skilled as Usher.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Florence Welch looks particularly like the Evil Queen from &quot;Snow White and the Huntsman&quot; in this performance during the first weekend of Coachella earlier this month.</p>

Florence Welch looks particularly like the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Huntsman" in this performance during the first weekend of Coachella earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Listen: Florence + The Machine's new song for 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Group brings just the right amount of menace

Florence + the Machine’s ethereal, dramatic music is the perfect match for “Snow White and the Huntsman,” the second of this year’s two Snow White themed movies...the one that stars Charlize Theron.

On “Breath of Life,” group namesake Florence Welch surrounds her considerable pipes with strings, operatic background singers, chanting, and drums to create an atmospheric theme that conjures up images of doom and danger.  Quite frankly, it sounds like it could have worked just as well in “The Hunger Games.”  You won’t be singing along to it, but it sticks in your mind after only a few listens.

[More after the jump...]

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