Latest Blog Posts

<p>Ted (Jason Segel)&nbsp;and Violet (Emily Blunt) do not take the easy road, to say the least, in the new romantic comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'</p>

Ted (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) do not take the easy road, to say the least, in the new romantic comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Set Visit: Jason Segel and David Paymer play father and son in 'The Five-Year Engagement' part one

Plus learn why Brian Posehn's role in the film got bigger during the shoot

It's July 7th, 2011, and I'm standing on a traffic island on a busy street in San Francisco, watching Jason Segel serve food from a catering truck to Da'Vone McDonald while his dad, David Paymer, looks on with approval.  It's surprisingly cold outside, and this is just the start of what promises to be a very long day on-set.

There aren't many filmmakers who I can say I've visited on the set of every single one of their feature films, but "The Five-Year Engagement" is the third feature that Nicholas Stoller has directed, and it's the third time I've joined him on-set to watch him work and see what he's up to.

Like "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," this film is a close collaboration between Stoller and Jason Segel, who co-wrote the film with him.  And, of course, Rodney Rothman is right there with Stoller again, producing and serving as a sort of comic sounding board for Stoller on the set.  Watching these three guys work together, you get a sense that these are people who are incredibly comfortable as a team, and who have developed a shorthand that serves them well at this point.

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<p>Smashing Pumpkins</p>

Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins finally put a date to 'Oceania,' team with EMI

Is Billy Corgan's long-gestating project going to be fully realized? Why it matters

Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins seem finally ready to release their long-gestating album-in-an-album project, "Oceania," due June 19. And with the announcement, comes other indications of sea change.

The album is an incorporated part of Corgan's 44-song concept project "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope," which initially intended to thrwart the traditional album release schedule and promotional thinking. Corgan and Co. -- drummer Mike Byrne, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and guitarist Jeff Schroeder -- have released 10 official "Kaleidyscope" tracks, practically as they were being created, in a work-in-progress effort to bring singular attention to each song in consideration of the whole, which is a conceptual "Fool's Journey" through Tarot cards. The first eight tracks were packed into two different EPs, both released in 2010. The last "Kaleidyscope" song was released in May 2011.

So up until the news today, fans have been left to wonder what happened to that "journey" in the last 10 months, with talk of "Oceania," but not a specific idea of how it fit into the Kaleidyscopic vision, particularly since the band has been dropping tracks almost exclusively on their own.

"Oceania," as has been revealed, will be released through Corgan's own Martha's Music publishing with distribution and support from EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution.

"The Smashing Pumpkins created Oceania as an album experience, and it is intended for the process of the release to follow a path of inclusion, so that best efforts are made for all the fans hear it at the same time as press or radio. We were excited to find partners in EMI Label Services that were equally passionate about the plan for the album release as well as being huge fans of the Pumpkins," says Peter Katsis in a statement.

Now just who the hell is Peter Katsis?

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<p>Coldplay rocks Lollapalooza '11</p>

Coldplay rocks Lollapalooza '11

Credit: AP Photo

Lollapalooza tickets go on sale; line up announcement coming

When will we know who's playing the Aug. 3-5 fest?

Did you get your tickets yet? Lollapalooza three-day passes went on sale today for the Aug. 3-5 festival in Chicago's Grant Park.

A limited number of Early Bird passes priced at $200 have already sold out.  Once that unspecified number was gone, the price bumped up to $230. No single-day passes are available yet.  Prices include service fees.
As usual, the tickets went on sale with no word on who is playing the festival. The line-up won’t be released until April 11.

The rumor mill is running rampant about who is playing, of course. In February, a Tweeter going by @lollaleaks tweeted that the headliners would include Metallica, Beyonce and Sonic Youth-- each of which could pretty much be shot down, which is exactly what Lollapalooza organizer Perry Farrell did. Then @Lollaleaks announced the whole thing was a hoax. Forbes ran an interesting piece on @Lollaleaks a few days ago and how his little joke escalated that's worth a look.

Last year’s headliners were Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse and My Morning Jacket


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<p>Mykelti Williamson of &quot;Justified&quot;</p>
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Mykelti Williamson of "Justified"

Credit: FX

HitFix Interview: Mykelti Williamson talks 'Justified'

Butchery, bad teeth and 'Boomtown' talks with Mr. Ellstin Limehouse
Apparently, Mykelti Williamson knows a few things about butchery. 
For the "Justified" co-star, that's not a threat. It just happens that he knows how to take apart a side of beef or a pig.
For Williamson's "Justified" character, however, culinary dexterity and the threat of violence have gone hand-in-hand this season.
Ellstin Limehouse is a butcher, BBQ master and unlicensed banker. He's also the seemingly avuncular protector of Noble's Holler and as we've already seen this season, it's a responsibility he takes very seriously, with very little tolerance for encroachment.
"Justified" has offered Williamson one of his best roles in years and it's probably no coincidence that the FX drama has been a reunion with writer-producer Graham Yost and fellow actor Neal McDonough, partners-in-crime from NBC's short-lived drama "Boomtown." 
In a recent conversation, Williamson told me that Limehouse just wants to be left alone, but we only have three episodes remaining this season to see what extremes he's willing to go to in order to keep his holler safe. 
Click through for the full interview, which covers the "Boomtown" reunion, Limehouse's peculiar fashion sense and orthodontia and what scares this scary character...
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<p>Madonna finally embraces Twitter. What will @LadyGaga think?</p>

Madonna finally embraces Twitter. What will @LadyGaga think?

Credit: Interscope

15 fun things we learned about Madonna from her Twitter: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and 'Kill Bill 3'

Will she keep tweeting? Are she and Deadmau5 friends again?

Madonna, whose new album, "MDNA," came out today, took to Twitter to chat directly with her fans. The hour-long Q&A  revealed some interesting minutiae about Madge and she used it to put to rest her burgeoning fight with Deadmau5.

Read our album review here

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<p>&quot;Bethenny Ever After&quot;</p>
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"Bethenny Ever After"

Credit: Bravo

Is Bethenny Frankel a 'Real' housewife worth watching?

'Bethenny Ever After' veers from crass consumerism to shockingly raw moments

Last year I found myself hooked into "Bethenny Ever After" (Mon. 10 p.m. on Bravo) despite myself. Yes, former "Real Housewives of New York" star Bethenny Frankel can be crass, loud and annoying, but mostly she had a self-deprecating sense of humor that made scripted scenes almost tolerable and displays of conspicuous consumption a little less irritating. In some ways, she was the neurotic Manhattan version of Mary Tyler Moore 2.0 -- married with a kid in the big city, she was going to make it after all. 

But I was prepared to sit out this season. Last year Frankel sold her Skinnygirl cocktail brand for a reported $120 million, ended up on the cover of Forbes, and jumped from simply well-to-do to filthy rich. While kudos to her, part of Frankel's appeal had been her status as a scrapper -- an ambitious woman who, unlike most other "real" housewives, had to fight for whatever shred of the D-list pie fell into her lap. 
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<p>One of the Battles on Monday's &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>
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One of the Battles on Monday's "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' - 'The Final Battles'

It time to turn things over to America and for Christina to stop wearing that hat
Hallelujah! We've made it to the final week of battle rounds, and after a torturous month of obvious choices and lackluster match-ups it couldn't come a moment too soon.
Carson promises we're in store for an evening of "big changes, unexpected challenges and the most shocking battle yet when country meets hip hop!" Plus Cee-Lo will cry! So let's get to it.
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<p>In my head, this is how I look every morning when&nbsp;I wake up.</p>

In my head, this is how I look every morning when I wake up.

Credit: MGM/Fox Home Video

James Bond Declassified: File #3 - 'Goldfinger' takes the series into the realm of pop cartoon

One of the most popular films in the series deserves its reputation

File #3: "Goldfinger"

This series will trace the cinema history of James Bond, while also examining Ian Fleming's original novels as source material and examining how faithful (or not) the films have been to his work.

Directed by Guy Hamilton
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum & Paul Dehn
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman


James Bond / Sean Connery
Pussy Galore / Honor Blackman
Auric Goldfinger / Gert Frobe
Jill Masterson / Shirley Eaton
Tilly Masterson / Tania Mallet
Oddjob / Harold Sakata
M / Bernard Lee
Solo / Martin Benson
Felix Leiter / Cec Linder
Simmons / Austin Willis
Miss Moneypenny / Lois Maxwell
Dink / Margaret Nolan


After the gun-barrel image of Bond firing at the audience, we see Bond emerging from the water somewhere, a fake seagull on his head, and he immediately starts working to infiltrate wherever he is.  This involves knocking out guards, firing grappling hooks, and planting plastic explosives all over a bunch of nitroglycerin tanks.

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<p>John Goodman in &quot;The Artist.&quot;</p>

John Goodman in "The Artist."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Artist' named Festival Film of the Year

Award will be presented at International Film Festival Summit in Paris

You thought the groaning trophy cabinet for "The Artist" could finally be locked after last month's Academy Awards? Think again. The reigning Oscar champ has one more honor to collect, and it's one that brings things neatly back to where the film's journey started. The International Film Festival Summit has named Michel Hazanavicius's silent-cinema homage its Festival Film of the Year -- an award that will be presented at the Summit in Paris next month.

If you're looking to award a title that demonstrates the power of film festivals to launch and nurture successful titles, you'd be hard pressed to choose much better than "The Artist," which relied on positive word of mouth from the festival circuit -- artfully amplified by the campaigning savvy of The Weinstein Company -- to propel it from niche curio to crossover arthouse sensation. Harvey Weinstein may carry an awful lot of clout on his own, but even he couldn't have done much for the film if the Cannes reception had been chilly.

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<p>It took me a while to figure out that this was an image of the knot in a necktie. Based on the subject matter of '50 Shades Of Grey,' I don't even want to tell you what I thought this was.</p>

It took me a while to figure out that this was an image of the knot in a necktie. Based on the subject matter of '50 Shades Of Grey,' I don't even want to tell you what I thought this was.

Credit: The Writer's Coffee Shop

Universal pays $5 million for S&M porn story '50 Shades Of Grey'

Is this really where the success of 'Twilight' has led the industry?

So this is where "Twilight" has brought us, folks.

Over the weekend, a full-blown bidding war erupted over the novel "50 Shades Of Grey," which makes sense if you're just thinking of it as part of the genre that has made "Twilight" such a success.  After all, the word is that author E.L. James essentially wrote this as a non-supernatural answer to that series.  Universal and Focus Features ended up the winner when the smoke cleared... but now what?

Obviously, Hollywood is starting to wake up to the notion that women aren't just "another" demographic to chase, but could be even more significant than the overserved fanboy culture that's been so roundly serviced by the studios for the past decade.  While I know there are plenty of young women who enjoy fantasy and science-fiction and action and all those things, there are many young women (and older women, of course) who have been ignored by the studios for quite some time, offered limp romantic comedies as the only real nod to them as a group.  

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 121: 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Killing,' 'Mad Men' premiere & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 121: 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Killing,' 'Mad Men' premiere & more

Dan and Alan also discuss the 'Luck' and 'River' finales, and apologize to... Dermot Mulroney?


Beginnings and endings consume this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as we begin what should be 12 straight weeks of "Mad Men" episode discussion with the premiere, talk about the returns of "Game of Thrones" and "The Killing," look at the probable series finale of "The River" and the definite finale of "Luck." And I also take a moment to apologize to frequent podcast punching bag Dermot Mulroney.

The line-up: 

Dermott Mulroney on "New Girl" (00:01:25 - 00:06:55)
"The Killing" (00:07:00 - 00:21:15)
"Game of Thrones" (00:21:15 - 00:33:40)
Listener Mail - CBS Sunday Delays (00:33:45 - 00:39:10)
"The River" finale (00:39:20 - 00:51:10)
"Luck" finale (00:51:10 - 01:08:30)
"Mad Men" premiere (01:08:30 - 01:34:40)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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Credit: HBO

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 121

Dan and Alan talk 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Killing,' 'Luck,' 'The River' and more


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
Time for another lengthy Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. It's 90+ minutes even without any sports filler, so if you were hoping for discussion of Tim Tebow, we didn't have time. Also, I can't deal with being battered by Kenny Britt fans again. 
We had lots of TV to talk about, including finales for "Luck" and "The River" and our discussion of the premiere of "Mad Men" (somewhat discombobulated and strained by some Skype issues). We also reviewed the start of the new seasons of "The Killing" and "Game of Thrones" (watch out for that segment if you haven't season S.1, since we spoil the heck out of that... no serious S.2 spoilers, though, so don't worry).
Plus, Alan apologizes to Dermot Mulroney!
Here's the breakdown:
Dermot Mulroney on "New Girl" (00:01:25 - 00:06:55)
"The Killing" (00:07:00 - 00:21:15)
"Game of Thrones" (00:21:15 - 00:33:40)
Listener Mail - CBS Sunday Delays (00:33:45 - 00:39:10)
"The River" finale (00:39:20 - 00:51:10)
"Luck" finale (00:51:10 - 01:08:30)
"Mad Men" premiere (01:08:30 - 01:34:40)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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