Latest Blog Posts

<p>B&eacute;r&eacute;nice Bejo in &quot;The Artist&quot;</p>

Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Artist' leads the way with 8 D.C. critics nods

'The Descendants,' 'Drive' and 'Hugo' also have a good showing

Not far behind the New York film critics' vote is the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association, which today made a firm declaration for Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist." The film (which won the NYFCC prize) led the field with eight nominations.

There wasn't much wealth-spreading or unique thinking going on. The group tried to shake things up by tipping its hat to Tom McCarthy's "Win Win" in the Best Film category, but they couldn't be bothered to chalk it up anywhere else other than the Best Original Screenplay category.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" screened just in time for the vote, but like with the other early birds this year, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" was not shown. The former did get a score nomination; the double CD soundtrack was also mailed out to voting bodies earlier this week.

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<p>&quot;Nostalgia for the Light&quot;&nbsp;won top honors from the International Documentary&nbsp;Association, and is a good bet for Cinema Eye Honors, but isn't on the Academy shortlist.</p>

"Nostalgia for the Light" won top honors from the International Documentary Association, and is a good bet for Cinema Eye Honors, but isn't on the Academy shortlist.

Credit: Icarus Films

International Documentary Association picks doc winners, PGA shortlists nominees

A big weekend on the non-fiction awards circuit

Two weeks after the Academy advanced 15 films in the race for Best Documentary Feature, the non-fiction awards circuit is showing further signs of life.

Last night, the International Documentary Association held its annual awards gala. None of the nominees happened to be on the AMPAS shortlist, but "Nostalgia for Light" came out on top, besting "Better This Workd" (one of the surprise Academy omissions), "How to Die in Oregon," "The Redemption of General Butt Naked" and "The Tiniest Place." One of last year's Best Documentary Short Oscar nominees, "Poster Girl" -- a fantastic portrait of a female Iraq veteran grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder -- managed to win the short film prize (beating out fellow Oscar nominee "The Warriors of Qiugang" in the process).

Meanwhile, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) was busy tapping its list of documentary nominees for the year. Those had a little more in common with the Academy shortlist, though not much.

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<p>Daniel Craig at the press conference announcing the new James Bond film's title, &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig at the press conference announcing the new James Bond film's title, "Skyfall."

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Q&A: John Logan's busy year of 'Rango,' 'Coriolanus,' 'Hugo' and James Bond

Plus: The freedom of a Mendes 007 movie and reuniting with Ralph Fiennes

You've heard it time and time again this season like a constant drumbeat banging in your ear: "It's the year of Michael Fassbender." Or, "It's the year of Jessica Chastain."  Or, even "It's the year of Melissa McCarthy."  Well, how about the year of John Logan?  

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<p>Whitney Duncan of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Whitney Duncan of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Whitney Duncan and Dawn Meehan talk 'Survivor: South Pacific'

More discussion of Cochran's flip and Coach's Cult
Another week, another "Survivor: South Pacific" exit interview with the tattered remnants of the formerly strong Savaii tribe.
 
As was the case with Jim & Keith two weeks ago, my latest exit interview is a twofer of evicted castaways who left the game grumbling about John Cochran and his apparently unsuccessful defection into the temporary warmth of Coach's Cult.
 
In this interview we've got frequently insecure Mormon college professor Dawn Meehan and not-especially-bashful country crooner Whitney Duncan, who had some of the harshest (most pixelated) words for Cochran after his flip-flop.
 
What do the two newest Jury members have to say about Cochran, Coach and Ozzy?
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
 
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<p>&nbsp;The cover of Michael Buble's new album</p>
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 The cover of Michael Buble's new album

Billboard 200 chart preview: Buble and Adele crack open the bubbly

How do the Grammy nominations affect sales?

Michael Buble is having a great Christmas. After topping the Billboard 200 this week with the slimmest of margins over Nickelback with his holiday album, “Christmas,” it looks like the crooner is on top to stay through the holidays.

Buble is on track to sell around 275,000 copies of his holiday sparkler next week, giving him a 2-to-1 lead over his next competitor, Adele’s “21,” which likely soars five spots back to No. 2 following her six Grammy nominations.

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<p>'Wait, so this is a new timeline, which means that things can be totally different, and there's no inherent reason I have to be the bad guy in 'Star Trek 2'?&nbsp; Whoa... mind blown, dude...'</p>

'Wait, so this is a new timeline, which means that things can be totally different, and there's no inherent reason I have to be the bad guy in 'Star Trek 2'?  Whoa... mind blown, dude...'

Credit: Paramount Home Video

JJ Abrams says Benicio Del Toro is not playing Khan in 'Star Trek' sequel

Could the best-known bad guy from the films be on-deck for this new one?

There are two things you should know before you read this.

First, El Mayimbe of Latino Review has a very, very high accuracy rate with the scoops he breaks.  No one is perfect, but he's got a track record that demands that you pay attention when he runs something.

Second, JJ Abrams has never directly lied to me about something.  He's demurred when asked some questions, and he's played coy about some things, but outright fabrication does not appear to be his bag.

So… take those two things into account when I tell you that Latino Review is reporting that Benicio Del Toro will be playing Khan Noonien Singh in the upcoming sequel to 2009's successful reboot of "Star Trek."

And when asked to comment on the report, Abrams responded with two very direct words:  "Not true."

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<p>Jane Goldman, seen here with her husband Jonathan Ross, is turning into one of 20th Century Fox's favorite screenwriters</p>

Jane Goldman, seen here with her husband Jonathan Ross, is turning into one of 20th Century Fox's favorite screenwriters

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Jane Goldman and Tim Burton team for 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children'

Between this and an 'X-Men' sequel, she may be 20th Century Fox's new favorite writer

I have had a weird week.  It's been really hard getting anything done because I feel like the whole day is taken up with the end of school for the year for the boys, or dealing with holiday stuff in general, or seeing about 800 movies at the last minute to make sure I feel like I've got my bases covered before I record my voice-over for this year's "10 Best Of The Year" video.

But while I'm here tonight, I'd like to catch up on a few stories that I think are worthwhile or exciting or reasons for optimism.  I want to feel good about some movie news for a little while.  And what better to kick that off with than news about Jane Goldman?

It still seems hard to believe that not everyone understands yet that Jane Goldman is awesome, since it's a scientifically established fact.  I've spent enough time with her and with her primary creative partner so far in movies, Matthew Vaughn, that I have a fair sense of their chemistry, and I feel confident in saying that Jane is a force to be reckoned with.  Whip-smart, with a voracious appetite for genre, she's got a natural deconstructionist's mind, but tempered with a real love of the flawed humanity of her characters.

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>
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Taylor Swift

Watch: Taylor Swift's new video for 'Ours' with QB1!!!

We all have our lives that others don't see

Taylor Swift unveiled her latest video for “Ours,” and it’s a sweet look at Swift as an office worker, stuck in a cubicle like the rest of us working stiffs.  She’s misunderstood, the copier is broken, she has to eat lunch alone, but she’s got a secret her co-workers will never understand: She has a hot, hot boyfriend, played in the video by Zach Gilford, QB1 from “Friday Night Lights!!!!”  Gilford, by the way, just got engaged in real life, so as adorable a couple as he and Swift make in the video, which is really adorable, he’s taken. Awwww... Swift wrote the treatment for the video, which is directed by Declan Whitebloom, who helmed “Mine.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>&quot;Martha Marcy May&nbsp;Marlene&quot;&nbsp;is one of the many titles not eligible for the WGA's original screenplay prize.</p>

"Martha Marcy May Marlene" is one of the many titles not eligible for the WGA's original screenplay prize.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Artist,' 'Tinker,' 'Shame' and 'Marilyn' among contenders not eligible for WGA

Another year, another wave of films that won't get a boost from the guild

A copy of this year's WGA ballot made its way to my inbox today, so naturally the process of sussing out what screenplays did and didn't make the cut was in order. There are 33 adapted screenplays on the ballot and 55 originals.

However, even with considerably more contenders, the original field was gutted the most. Contenders in the thick of the Oscar hunt that aren't on the ballot (due typically to not being in accordance with paperwork guidelines or signatory stipulations) are: "The Artist," "Beginners," "The Iron Lady," "The Lady," "Like Crazy," "Margin Call," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Melancholia," "Rango," "Shame" and "Take Shelter." Ouch. What does that even leave? I'll get to that in a moment.

In the adapted field, the notable absences are: "Albert Nobbs," "Carnage," "Drive," "Jane Eyre," "My Week with Marilyn," "Sarah's Key," "The Skin I Live In" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." There are others, but each of those lists, I think, is being a bit liberal as it is with what's considered in Oscar play this year.

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"The Chew"

 "The Chew"

Credit: ABC

'The Chew' vs. 'All My Children' - which one won the ratings war?

ABC gave the soap the boot due to poor ratings - but is its replacement any better?

In September, we bid adieu to "All My Children" to make room for the food-centric chat fest "The Chew." It wasn't hard to understand ABC's thinking behind the switch. Like most network soaps, "AMC" was losing viewers, and even with drastic budget cuts a cast of many is always going to cost more than five people plopped around a kitchen table yakking about osso bucco. ABC has gotten to see if pissing off devoted soap viewers was worth it, as the another week of ratings are in

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Britney Spears
Britney Spears

Happy Birthday Britney Spears: Her 5 Best and Worst Videos

HitFix commemorates Brit-Brit's 30th birthday

We’ve loved her since she was not a girl, but not yet a woman, so it’s shocking to think that Britney Spears turns 30 today. In honor of Brit Brit reaching this major milestone (only 20 more years before she’s AARP eligible!), we pick the 5 BEST and 5 WORST videos by the pop icon. Reviewing several dozen clips, it’s clear that Spears primarily operates in two modes: looking straight into the camera with a “F*** me”stare or looking straight into the camera with a “I need you to take care of me” stare and there’s not even one shade of difference between the two. Oh, and she flips her blonde hair around in every video. With.Out.Fail.

FIVE BEST

“....Baby One More Time”: It’s the video that started it all and began a run on naughty school girl outfits. It still makes us cringe, but we remember the A&R exec who worked with Spears talking about how the video should make men want to “defile” her.  Success... Watch it below.

Womanizer: At a time when Spears was trying to prove that she could come back from some truly terrible times, personally and professionally, this clip shows that she was still hotter than hot--literally -- as she poses coyily nude in a sauna, and through a variety of different scenarios as she tries to teach a bad boy a few good lessons. She leaves everyone a little hot and bothered by the end. I got your crazy.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Tom Hardy of &quot;The Take&quot;</p>
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Tom Hardy of "The Take"

Credit: Encore

TV Review: Encore's 'The Take'

Tom Hardy fights a thin script and derivative direction in this British mini
You and your cadre of in-the-know film-loving buddies may love and revere Tom Hardy.
 
Hollywood agrees, setting up Hardy's Next Big Thing status with upcoming movies like "This Means War" and a sure-to-be-showy supporting turn in next summer's "The Dark Knight Rises."
 
Most Americans don't have the faintest clue who Tom Hardy actually is. 
 
Yes, he's the guy from "Inception" who isn't Leonardo DiCaprio, who wasn't on "Third Rock From the Sun," who wasn't a villain in "Batman Begins" and who wasn't the girl from "Juno." That's a thin layer of recognition, but it's nebulous.
 
For a few minutes, it looked like "Warrior" might be Hardy's breakout. Word out of early screenings was rapturous and a small circle of critics was briefly convinced that if "The Fighter" could earn Oscars and blockbuster status last year, the time might be perfect for a blue collar MMA "Rocky." Perhaps the decision to position "Warrior" for credibility, rather than visceral thrills led to a box office take somewhat short of what "The Smurfs" pulled in by the end of its first afternoon.
 
But if you missed Hardy's spectacularly creepy performance in "Meadowlands" (or "Cape Wrath," as it was called before Showtime decided American audiences couldn't handle such an awesome title), or his spectacularly psychotic performance in "Bronson," or his memorable, but spectacularly brief, performance in "RocknRolla," you haven't run out of chances to be the last person on your block to "discover" Tom Hardy.
 
If you can wait a couple more weeks, Hardy has one of the showier supporting performances in Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," an evocative slow-burn adaptation of the John Le Carre espionage classic. But it's a good enough movie and its cast is ridiculously deep enough that Hardy only registers as an afterthought. 
 
Perhaps that's why Encore has scheduled the American premiere of the British miniseries "The Take" for this month: "The Take" is offers the fully immersive Tom Hardy experience. It takes less than four hours to watch the entire series and when it's over, there's really no way to talk about anything or anybody other than Hardy. I don't think that speaks particularly well for "The Take" as an overall television experience, but if you've looked at Hardy and had "What's the big deal?" doubt -- meaning you definitely haven't seen "Bronson" -- this should clear things up.
 
A few words on "The Take," which premiered on British TV back in 2009, after the break...
 
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