Latest Blog Posts

<p>Joel McHale and Danny Pudi in the chicken fingers episode of &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Joel McHale and Danny Pudi in the chicken fingers episode of "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I miss 'Community': Because Abed and Jeff bonded over chicken fingers

The series' first major high-concept episode also told a great character story

And so it's come to this: NBC's Thursday night comedy bloc kicks off right now on the East Coast, and "Community" is not a part of it. I'm glad to have "30 Rock" back, and to give "Up All Night" a chance to pick up viewers after being adrift on the Wednesday lineup, but dammit... I want Troy and Abed on my TV.

Once again, my plan is to spend every Thursday from now until NBC announces the show's return to the schedule (if not until the show is actually back on the schedule) revisiting a favorite moment or storyline from the series. If we can't have new "Community," at least we can bask in memories of the old ones.

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<p>Oscar is waiting.&nbsp; Who will make the list?</p>

Oscar is waiting.  Who will make the list?

Contender Countdown: 24 hours till Oscar nominee voting deadline

Plus: Some last minute considerations

Tomorrow, Friday Jan. 13, at 5 PM, it will be all over.  Well, sort of.  The first half of the Oscar season will be complete as the Academy's mailbox will slam shut and no more nomination ballots will be accepted for the 84th Academy Awards.  And, in so doing, another strange awards season will start the final turn towards completion.  While many of the nominees seem secure in their standing there is an air of uncertainty over almost every category.  In fact, its been quite a long time since the feeling of upset was in the air after so many weeks of critics lists and precursor awards. 

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Jared Padalecki, "Supernatural"

 Jared Padalecki, "Supernatural"

Credit: The CW

Press Tour: The bad boys of the CW debate their bad-ass quotients

Jared Padalecki and Wilson Bethel show off their comic chops

The CW brought together a disparate crew for it's Bad-Ass Boys of the CW panel during press tour -- Shane West ("Nikita"), Joseph Morgan ("The Vampire Diaries"), Ed Westwick ("The Gossip Girl"), Jared Padalecki ("Supernatural"), Wilson Bethel ("Hart of Dixie") and Kristoffer Polaha ("Ringer") -- so maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that the panel became an opportunity for the actors to goof around (and make fun of their bad-ass-ness) rather than talk about what's coming down the pipeline for their shows. 

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Watch: Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah make a 'Joyful Noise' about working together

Watch: Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah make a 'Joyful Noise' about working together

Parton reveals that she liked her co-star 'more than I thought I would'

Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah are forces of nature who come together in “Joyful Noise.” In the family-friendly film, which opens Jan. 13, the two feud over control of a small church choir that is hell-bound on winning the regional gospel competition.

Both bring to the movie their own iconic, bigger-than-life personalities, which contributes to the fun, especially  as they throw barbs and biscuits at each other in one memorable scene.

In person, they’re just as dynamic. For the junket,  Parton, dressed in a tight leather outfit that showed off her unbelievably tiny waist, and Queen Latifah bantered back and forth as if they were still on set, confessing what had surprised each one about the other.

They also discussed the mechanics of their on-screen food fight and the only fight they ever had.

Check out the interview above....

Follow me on Twitter @HitFixMelinda

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<p>Colin&nbsp;Firth accepting the Best Actor award for &quot;The&nbsp;King's Speech&quot; at the 2011 Critics' Choice Movie Awards</p>

Colin Firth accepting the Best Actor award for "The King's Speech" at the 2011 Critics' Choice Movie Awards

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Critics' Choice Movie Awards (open thread)

Discuss the winners as they're announced

The BFCA's Critics' Choice Movie Awards are going down in roughly two-and-a-half hours and I need to go put on my face. The show will be broadcast on VH1 at 8pm ET. (It is tape-delayed for the west coast, unfortunately). I'm not sure if there is an online stream anywhere but I'm sure industrious readers can point you to one if there is. In any case, feel free to use this space to discuss the show and winners as it happens. The nominees are here. I'll be back tonight for post-ceremony commentary.

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<p>Martin Scorsese's music doc &quot;George Harrison: Living in the Material World&quot; landed the director his second DGA nod of the week.</p>

Martin Scorsese's music doc "George Harrison: Living in the Material World" landed the director his second DGA nod of the week.

Credit: HBO

Scorsese scoops second DGA nod of the year as doc nominees announced

Guild offers further consolation to Oscar-snubbed 'The Interrupters'

Martin Scorsese sure is covering all his bases with the Directors' Guild of America. One year after winning his first television trophy from the Guild (for the pilot of "Boardwalk Empire"), he racked up his eight nomination in the feature film category for "Hugo" on Monday. Not content with that, meanwhile, he has just received his first ever DGA mention in the documentary department, as his mammoth "George Harrison: Living in the Material World" was among the five non-fiction naminees tapped by the Guild this morning. They like him, they really like him.

I don't think the Harrison film quite masures up to "No Direction Home" or "The Last Waltz" in Scorsese's rock-doc portfolio, but it's nice to see this sub-heading in his oeuvre getting some official recognition; for my money, it's the more successful of his two 2011 titles. 

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<p>Kelly Clarkson</p>

Kelly Clarkson

Credit: AP Photo

Kelly Clarkson to sing National Anthem at Super Bowl; Miranda and Blake join in

Maybe she and Madonna can duet during half time

Kelly Clarkson will open for Madonna at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5. To be more specific, the first “American Idol” will sing the National Anthem at the NFL championship game in Indianapolis, according to a rumor reported by the Associated Press.

And Clarkson seems to be in no hurry to deny it, even though her camp has not officially confirmed it: she retweeted a link to the AP story.

Here’s hoping she does a better job than Christina Aguilera, who bungled the lyrics and, in our mind, unfairly caught all kinds of hell. At least we knew she wasn’t lipsyncing.

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<p>Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, and Bruce Willis all star in Wes Anderson's period comedy 'Moonrise Kingdom'</p>

Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, and Bruce Willis all star in Wes Anderson's period comedy 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Credit: Focus Features

Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray charm in Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' trailer

A period comedy about young love gets a trailer and looks promising

One of the ridiculous things about making lists of what you're most anticipating before the start of a calendar year is that you haven't really seen much yet. Chances are by the time a film's actual publicity campaign kicks in, I've seen more than you have, but even so, many of those "what's coming in 2012" pieces you see at the end of the year are speculation, betting on interesting combinations of things you recognize, hoping for the best.

When you talk about a film that looks good in the hypothetical, "Moonrise Kingdom" sounds like someone sat in a room with someone else and said, "How can we get Drew to pay attention?"

"Well, we could cast it with people like Bill Murray and Bruce Willis and Edward Norton and Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman."

"Nice.  Good.  He loves those actors."

"Exactly.  And we should get the script to be a collaboration, try to appeal to two different points of interest for him.  Take someone like Roman Coppola, whose movie 'CQ' is one of those underseen, under-appreciated gems that Drew totally loves, and have him collaborate with someone whose taste would make an interesting match…"

"Wes Anderson?"

"Oh.  Slam Dunk.  Ticket sold.  Drew's in."

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<p>The new HBO series 'Girls' by Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow will be showcased as part of this year's SXSW Film&nbsp;Festival in Austin, TX.</p>

The new HBO series 'Girls' by Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow will be showcased as part of this year's SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX.

Credit: HBO

SXSW announces 'Cabin In The Woods' for opening night

Plus Lena Dunham live in person with Judd Apatow and 'Girls'

This is exciting.

SXSW has announced their opening night film for this year, and it's a doozy.  I'm allowed to say that I've seen it already, and that anyone who is in the audience for the Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard horror experiment "Cabin In The Woods" that night is in for a treat.

And I mean it when I call it an experiment.  This is one of the year's wildest rides, and I can't wait to be able to talk about it when the festival finally arrives.

Add to that the idea that Judd Apatow's coming with Lena Dunham, and that seems like the perfect combination to describe the identity that SXSW has carved out for itself, as a place where Hollywood and indie co-mingle quite comfortably.

Here's the information that SXSW sent over this morning:

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Watch: Geoff Stults talks 'The Finder'

How is his new character like Magnum meets Fletch?
After its introduction last spring as a backdoor pilot in an episode of "Bones," FOX's "The Finder" has undergone a bit of an overhaul, with new characters and new dynamics.
One thing that remains in place is Geoff Stults, tapping into a rarely utilized goofball vein to play preternaturally gifted war vet Walter. It's not that the "Happy Town" and "October Road" veteran had never done comedy before, but there's a welcome looseness to Stults' "Finder" performance.
Some of that looseness pops up in the interview I did with Stults back in September, in which we talk about his "Magnum meets Fletch" interpretation of the title character, the changes from the original pilot and working opposite an even taller co-star in Michael Clarke Duncan.
"The Finder" premieres on Thursday (Jan. 12) night on FOX. 
Check out the interview...
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<p>Kenneth&nbsp;Lonergan (right) directs Matt&nbsp;Damon and Anna Paquin on the set of &quot;Margaret.&quot;</p>

Kenneth Lonergan (right) directs Matt Damon and Anna Paquin on the set of "Margaret."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Interview: Kenneth Lonergan on looking past your own horizon and the 'miracle' of Team 'Margaret'

The writer/director finally speaks at length about his embattled labor of love

Some years back a young Kenneth Lonergan visited Italy, his first trip to a country where English wasn't the predominant language. He experienced a powerful bit of self-awareness. "My God," he thought. "These people have been here the whole time I've been alive."

It's one of those moments that is more striking than it sounds, particularly for a writer curious about the world and how people respond to it, are affected by it and, most importantly, are ignorant to it. Having always been interested in other people's points of view, the size of the world and the limitations of his own experiences with it, it was a seminal moment for the writer/director, one that tucked itself away in the recesses of his mind until it was called upon to flavor his latest effort, "Margaret."

The film, which has seen an embattled legal and post-production history, tells the story of a young woman's own watershed moment of epiphany, when suddenly the world seemed to expand beyond the borders of her privileged Manhattan life.

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<p>Jack Nicholson gave one of his very best performances as Jake Gittes, an LA private eye in trouble right up to his nose in the classic film 'Chinatown,' finally arriving on Blu-ray in April.</p>

Jack Nicholson gave one of his very best performances as Jake Gittes, an LA private eye in trouble right up to his nose in the classic film 'Chinatown,' finally arriving on Blu-ray in April.

Credit: Paramount Home Video

'Chinatown' Blu-ray will feature commentary by Robert Towne and David Fincher

Plus more filmmakers discuss their love for the film in other special features

"Chinatown" is one of those movies that changes every time I return to it, each time giving it some space after I see it.  It is a slippery classic that represents a gorgeous collision between the studio hypergloss of the '40s and the New Truth cinema of the '70s, a European's heartfelt struggle to understand the city where his chosen medium thrived and took root.  I adore "Chinatown," both as a script that refuses to compromise in the way it unveils its sad, damaged heart and as a perfectly-pitched tribute to the LA noir fiction I love so much.  It's impeccably performed, beautifully photographed, and about as good an example of what happens when everything clicks just right on a movie as I can name.

And it is finally, finally, finally coming to Blu-ray.

Like Universal, Paramount is celebrating it's 100th year this year, and I think releasing one of the finest films the studio has ever made on the finest home video format that's been made so far is a pretty nice way of celebrating the year.  And if the only thing the disc contained was a perfectly restored high-definition print, I'd be all about that.  I would happily pick one up.

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