Latest Blog Posts

<p>Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Operation Ann': Riddle me this, Ron Swanson

On Valentine's Day, Leslie plays matchmaker, Ron solves a puzzle and Chris' funk deepens

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I play music from the end of a movie about a monk who killed himself...

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<p>Johnny Keyser offers a reminder of why it's important to wear antiperspirant to &quot;American Idol&quot; auditions</p>
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Johnny Keyser offers a reminder of why it's important to wear antiperspirant to "American Idol" auditions

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' St. Louis Auditions - Live-Blog

What will the Show-Me state show you and America, talent-wise?

This is the final "American Idol" audition stop before Hollywood Week. 

How ready are we? 

Very.

Let's get down to business, eh?

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<p>Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I miss 'Community': Because Shirley and Annie were tough cops

Yvette Nicole Brown and Alison Brie had fun playing against type

Another week has passed without "Community" on NBC's schedule or any hints about when and where it might return.(*) And until that good news comes, it's time once again to look at a clip that sums up something I love about this series.

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<p>Sacha Baron Cohen in &quot;Hugo&quot;</p>

Sacha Baron Cohen in "Hugo"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Hugo' wins big with International 3d Society

Duh

The International 3D Society announced its list of award winners today, and, well, I guess they pretty much did a good job of pointing out all the NON-crappy 3D in theaters this year. Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" won three awards. Check out the full list of winners below.

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Watch: Brad Pitt stumps for 'Moneyball' and woos Jon Stewart on 'Daily Show'

Watch: Brad Pitt stumps for 'Moneyball' and woos Jon Stewart on 'Daily Show'

Oscar nominee has some funny ideas about how to determine winners

Brad Pitt popped in on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" on Wednesday to discuss his performance in "Moneyball" and the resulting Oscar nomination.

In addition to making Stewart swoon (at one point, the host admits that he always had hoped that Pitt would be "kind of a dick," only to discover the handsome millionaire is also doggedly committed to his charitable work in New Orleans), Pitt discusses the rocky road to production that "Moneyball" went through, the Oscar-nominated turn by co-star Jonah Hill and his own work in the film. Pitt also starred in another best picture nominee -- Terrence Malick's divisive "The Tree of Life," but Stewart hilariously dismisses it in order to concentrate on the baseball drama instead.

Stewart suggests that Oscar nominees should skip with the "For your consideration" pleasantries and start slinging mud at rivals, the way politicians do.

Pitt hilariously suggests that the Academy choose the best actor by taking a cue from "hands on a car"-type contests; the Best Actor Oscar would be placed on a table and all five nominees have to keep one hand on it at all times. The last man standing wins.  

It's a relatively lengthy interview that seems to have one throughline -- to remind viewers (and voters) of "Moneyball."

Sandra Bullock took a similar tactic in 2009, hitting a number of late night shows on her way to winning for "The Blind Side." Could the same strategy work for Pitt, who seems to be playing the underdog to "The Artist's" Jean Dujardin and his pal George Clooney, nominated for "The Descendants."

Watch the clip here:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Brad Pitt Extended Interview Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
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<p>Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber</p>

Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber

Are Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne making beautiful music together?

The rapper and the teen idol hang out in the studio

Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne... it was bound to happen. Bieber, the teen idol that all rappers love to work with, would appear to be collaborating with Weezy for the Bieb’s next studio album.

Believe,” Bieber’s next project following his No. 1 Christmas set “Under the Mistletoe,” also features production work from Timbaland and Sean Garrett, but Bieber, who is updating fans constantly via Twitter, seems especially excited about Lil Wayne.  Wednesday he tweeted “Good time in the studio last night. Back at it tonight... oh yeah...and big bro came through...and when I say big bro I mean @LilTunchi”  Lil Tunchi is Lil Wayne.

It's unclear from the Tweet whether Lil Wayne, who just released his video for “Mirror,” came by to chat, skateboard or actually work on the album.

Anyway, a little after midnight (this kid’s up way too late!), Bieber tweeted again that he was “in the studio writing for #17million strong!!!” It’s a reference to his fan base: Bieber has accumulated more than 17 million Twitter followers.

As Billboard reported, Lil Wayne is just the latest rapper to join the cast of Beliebers:  Bieber’s previously worked with Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Kanye West and Raekwon.
 

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<p>Zachary Quinto in &quot;Margin Call.&quot;</p>

Zachary Quinto in "Margin Call."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

'The Artist,' 'Bridesmaids,' 'Margin Call,' 'Midnight in Paris' and 'A Separation' face off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

If we needed any confirmation that the writers' branch is the most creative and open-minded in the Academy, we received it in the form of this year's Best Original Screenplay: in no other category would you find the year's saltiest mainstream comedy nominated alongside a marital drama from Iran. With just two Best Picture nominees in the mix, the writers also found room to nominate a little-seen, little-hyped Sundance baby ignored by the other branches.

This diverse lineup reflects a congested race for the lower slots on the ballot, with the surfeit of WGA ineligibilities doing little to clarify matters. The race remained volatile right up until nomination day, with a plethora of American indies -- "50/50," "Win Win," "Beginners," "Take Shelter" and so on -- all in the conversation at one point or another. The first two were nominated by the Guild, along with former Oscar winner Diablo Cody for "Young Adult," but they were a little too young, too modest and too sour, respectively, for Academy attention. 

The nominees are...

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<p>Elton John and Leon Russell of &quot;The Union&quot;</p>
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Elton John and Leon Russell of "The Union"

Credit: HBO

TV Review: HBO's 'The Union'

Cameron Crowe chronicles Elton John and Leon Russell at work
I'm an unapologetic Cameron Crowe fan. 
 
That's not a big statement or anything. Lots of people are Cameron Crowe fans. But you want me to defend "Elizabethtown"? Oh, I'll defend "Elizabethtown." Happily. Assuming you don't also want a defense of Orlando Bloom *in* "Elizabethtown."
 
And yet somehow, Cameron Crowe released a movie in December that I didn't see in theaters. It seems that "We Bought a Zoo" has done reasonably well without me and I'll gladly catch it on DVD in a few months. 
 
Fortunately, it feels like I've been watching Cameron Crowe documentaries non-stop. I ended up watching Crowe's very fine "Pearl Jam Twenty" twice last year and viewers can start 2012 with Crowe's "The Union," another sturdy documentary elevated by the director's passion for music and the sometimes astounding access that that passion gives him.
 
It's that passion that also sometimes blinds Crowe a tiny bit when it comes to applying focus to what was surely a mountain of footage stemming from the recording sessions for Elton John and Leon Russell's "The Union" album.
 
The result is a documentary that's sometimes a straight-forward making-of piece, sometimes a broader retrospective on two brilliant careers, but sometimes a more introspective look at what happens to two former wild-men of music when age sucks the wildness right out of them and the music is all that remains. 
 
"The Union" doesn't quite gel and you're invariably wishing Crowe could give us more in some scenes and less in others, but it's full of magical and occasionally enlightening moments for fans of both artists and probably for fans of the musical process as well.
 
More after the break...
 
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<p>Carrie Underwood</p>

Carrie Underwood

Credit: AP Photo

Carrie Underwood sets release date for her fourth studio album

The set still doesn't have a name, but at least we know when we can buy it

It’s been more than two years since the release of Carrie Underwood’s last album, “Play On,” but the drought is almost over: The “American Idol” winner’s fourth studio set will come out May 1.

The album’s title has yet to be announced—Heaven forbid in this blogging age that any artist dare leak out more than one tidbit of info at a time—but we do know that the first single from the Mark Bright-produced set will be “Good Girl.”  “I’m so excited, I love this song, I think it’s going to blow you guys away!,” Underwood somewhat awkwardly announced via video on her website last week.

Since her 2005 debut, ‘‘Some Hearts,” Underwood has sold more than 13 million albums and won five Grammys.

You can catch Underwood next on Saturday when the Grant Ole Opry member appears with Steven Tyler on a special Super Bowl edition of CMT’s “Crossroads” taped live from Indianapolis.

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<p>The Kodak&nbsp;Theater at Hollywood and Highland</p>

The Kodak Theater at Hollywood and Highland

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Amid financial reorganization, Kodak wants its name off the Oscars' annual home

After a decade at Hollywood and Highland, the telecast may be on the move

In a year replete with films that enthusiastically celebrate the birth and development of cinema, it is more than a little bit disheartening to see one of its strongholds fading. As part of its filing for federal bankruptcy, the Eastman Kodak company is asking to have its name removed from the theater in the Hollywood & Highland complex where the Academy Awards have been held since 2002.

Kodak signed a contract worth $75 million over 20 years with CIM group (the company that owns the Hollywood & Highland mall) for the naming rights to the theater in 2000. Kodak has since suffered a financial crisis that has made the $4 million-a-year payment unfeasible and created a need for a complete reorganization.

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<p>The Boss</p>

The Boss

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band added to Grammy Awards

Who else gets added to the big show?

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are the latest act to join the parade of performers for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12. Are they nominated? No, they didn’t release an album during the eligibility period, but Bruce is The Boss, after all, and he and the E Street Band have a new album, “Wrecking Ball” coming out March 6.  The news comes on top of Springsteen's plans to play the Apollo Theater on March 8.

He joins Katy Perry, who was announced yesterday, and Adele, who was announced on Monday,  as well a such previously announced performers as  Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson; Glen Campbell with The Band Perry and Blake Shelton; Coldplay and Rihanna; Foo Fighters; Bruno Mars; Paul McCartney; Nicki Minaj; Katy Perry; and Taylor Swift.

Additionally, Jack Black, Fergie, ?uestlove and Ringo Starr have been added as presented. Previously announced presenters include Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert and Gwyneth Paltrow.
 

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Taking questions for 2/3 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

Alright, you know the drill. It's been a week and a half since last Anne and I spoke, so it's time to dive back into the post-nominations discussion. Rifle off your need-to-knows and we'll try to address a few in this week's podcast.

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