Latest Blog Posts

"Project Runway All Stars"

 "Project Runway All Stars"

Credit: Lifetime Television

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'Return to the Runway'

The all stars are back but has a favorite already emerged?

Aren't you excited that "Project Runway" is back? And not only is it back, but a cast of all stars (which means talented designers AND total lunatics!) will be returning for another shot at victory. Although there are some cast members I never really needed to see again (cough, Mila, cough), I'm not only interested to see if some of these people have grown as designers, but also to find out if the more annoying contenders have seen the error of their ways and might try playing nice this time around. I doubt it, but I'm interested just the same. 

Read Full Post
<p>Anna Paquin in&nbsp;Kenneth&nbsp;Lonergan's &quot;Margaret&quot;</p>

Anna Paquin in Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Lonergan's 'Margaret' is so authentic it hurts

USC, meanwhile, will be hosting a screening of the film next week

On Tuesday, January 10 at 7pm, USC and Fox Searchlight will host an “Out of the Box [Office]” screening of “Margaret” at the Ray Stark Family Theatre on the USC campus.

As many of you know, In Contention is firmly set in the #TeamMargaret camp. Kris named the film as his number one movie of the year, and Guy his number two. I saw “Margaret” via a streaming link recently. It was presented in six instillations that required me to log in at each breaking point, the player was about a quarter of the size of my 17-inch computer, and the name "Kris Tapley" sat as a vertical watermark across the frame for the entirety of the screening. And yet even given the constraints of that viewing experience, had I created a top 10 list, I would have named “Margaret” as my number two film of the year as well – if not my number one.

Read Full Post
"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'The New Deal'

Klaus is back with a vengeance, but has he met his match?

As much as I was looking forward to the return of “Vampire Diaries” tonight, I can’t say I wasn't prepared for the worst. When we left our determined Klaus hunters, Stefan had thrown a pretty substantial wrench into what otherwise seemed like a nifty plan to overthrow the fickle, pouty, daddy-issue-plagued original. Mikael, the daddy in said equation, was dead before we even had much of a chance to know him, Stefan was off the grid – but off the grid with leverage (he just happened to have snuck off with Klaus’ family, all conveniently pre-packaged and poked) and Klaus exactly who was out to get him.

Read Full Post
<p>Danny Pudi as Evil Abed on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>
<br />

Danny Pudi as Evil Abed on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I'll miss 'Community': Because we are about to enter the darkest timeline

The show leaves NBC's schedule for a while after tonight, so let's get evil!

Okay, tonight's the night, "Community" fans. NBC is about to rerun the last episode of the show that's currently scheduled to air on the network. While we know the remaining 12 episodes are going to air sometime, somewhere(*), for the moment, "Community" disappears from our televisions. 

Read Full Post
<p>Melanie Laurent and Ewan McGregor in &quot;Beginners.&quot;</p>

Melanie Laurent and Ewan McGregor in "Beginners."

Credit: Focus Features

'Beginners' nominated for Cinema Eye Heterodox Award

Award honors use of documentary aspects in fiction filmmaking

The Cinema Eye Honors are perhaps the most discerning and well-rounded of all documentary awards, so it figures that they'd be no less idiosyncratic when it comes to narrative cinema. This is where their Heterodox Award, now in its second year, comes in, and it's one of the more unusual categories on the awards beat, recognizing "narrative film[s] that imaginatively incorporate nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production... illuminat[ing] the formal possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking while raising provocative questions about on-going documentary orthodoxy and the perceived boundaries between narrative and nonfiction filmmaking. " Whew.

Obviously, it's not every film that fulfils that brief, making for an idiosyncratic list of nominees -- the highest-profile of which is "Beginners," Mike Mills's autobiographical indie about late-blooming romance and self-realization. The bulk of the film's awards recognition thus far has centered more on Christopher Plummer's Oscar-bound performance than Mills's own rather singular achievement, so it's nice to see the writer-director-designer honored specifically for his hybrid qualities as an artist, acknowledging the personal history he brought to the project.

Read Full Post
<p>When you're competing with something as iconic as 'Akira,' it seems like it's real hard to win.</p>

When you're competing with something as iconic as 'Akira,' it seems like it's real hard to win.

Credit: IMAGE

Warner Bros. pumps the brakes on 'Akira' weeks before starting production

Budget and script issues rumored to be behind big case of studio nerves

At this point, I think Warner Bros. should ask themselves if there's any figure at which they truly believe audiences are clamoring to see a mostly-white live-action version of "Akira" made for a profoundly compromised budget.

I'm not sure there's any price tag that the film works at, frankly, because I'm still not sure who they think they're making the movie for.  This has been a long development process, and I've read a number of different drafts of this as it's been winding its way through the studio system.  It feels like every writer who's worked on it has tried hard to craft something that honors the spirit of what "Akira" is about, but little by little, most of the world-building, most of the rich detail that would make this something unusual or special, has been squeezed out, and what's left doesn't really work as "Akira," and it doesn't feel like it works as something new, either.

Ruairi Robinson almost made the film, and Albert Hughes almost made it as well.  It looked like Jaume Collet-Serra was going to be the guy to finally get it across the finish line, and the film was announcing cast members, looking like a full-speed-ahead green light…

Read Full Post
<p>Thom Yorke</p>

Thom Yorke

Listen: Thom Yorke made some music for a fashion label

Rag & Bone got 'Stuck Together' with the Radiohead frontman

Don't expect that ooncha ooncha music as models walk down the runway to this soundtrack: Thom Yorke gave license to the Rag & Bone fashion company for a couple previously unreleased tracks.

"Stuck Together" and "Twist" are all electronica based, heavy on the bips and beeps (and moans).

Here's the catch: these guys have been around for a while, since September's New York Fashion Week. It's just that they made their way online just this week, thanks to @disco_naivete.

Heady. Pretty.

Radiohead's on tour this winter/spring.

Read Full Post
<p>Jack White</p>

Jack White

Jack White and Tom Jones join forces for new single

New Third Man Records set features a cover of a Howlin' Wolf song

There are some artists who seem to just get hipper as they get older and Jack White seems to connect with each one of them.

First it was Loretta Lynn and then Wanda Jackson. Now, White has linked with Tom Jones, whom we were just raving about in our list of top concerts of 2011.

White recently told Mojo (via twentyfourbit) that the latest 45  from his label, Third Man Records, will be Jones performing “Jezebel”and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Evil (Is Going On).”  White told the British magazine, “He impressed the shit out of everybody.”  The single comes out March 5.

The recording would seem to be part of Third Man Records’ Blue Series, which may also include re-issues (in conjunction with Document Records) of some of the blues masters who influenced White, including Blind Willie McTell and Charley Patton.

Next up for White: he'll appear on The History Channel's "American Pickers" on Monday, Jan. 9., as the show visits Third Man Records in Nashville. Apparently, there's a little bargaining going on as White tries to barter the phone booth used in a Dead Weather video for, as a press release states, "one of the most memorable treasures ever to appear on the show."

In other Jones news, he will be one of the four coaches when the U.K. launches its own version of "The Voice" this Spring. The knighted Welshman will join Jessie J, The Script frontman Danny O'Donoghue and Black Eyed Peas'

Read Full Post
<p>Benedict Cumberbatch of &quot;Sherlock&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Benedict Cumberbatch of "Sherlock"

Credit: PBS

Press Tour Shocker: Benedict Cumberbatch says nothing about 'Star Trek' role

'Sherlock' star says he's 'over the moon' about his casting
PASADENA - When news broke on Wednesday (January 4) afternoon that "Sherlock" star Benedict Cumberbatch had landed a key, but entirely undisclosed, role in J.J. Abrams' upcoming "Star Trek" dozens of TV critics had the same thought: Sweet! We'll get no scoops whatsoever when Benedict Cumberbatch appears at the Television Critics Association press tour via satellite to promote the second season of his Arthur Conan Doyle series.
And we were correct!
Cumberbatch only received a question-and-a-half about his "Star Trek" casting, but his answers didn't even rise to the level of cryptic or evasive. 
So what did the "War Horse" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" scene stealer actually have to say about his highest profile film to date? 
Click through...
Read Full Post
<p>Bret McKenzie tries to wrangle Animal on &quot;The Muppets.&quot;</p>

Bret McKenzie tries to wrangle Animal on "The Muppets."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Tech Support Interview: Bret McKenzie on his 'Muppety' additions to 'The Muppets'

The 'Flight of the Conchords' star/songwriter is on the verge of Oscar glory

Bret McKenzie is not a fan of musicals. He doesn’t cruise down the motorways of his hometown in Wellington belting the plaintiff cry of "Les Miserables" - “2-4-6-0-1111111” (Jean Valjean that is). Or at least that’s what he would have us believe and claimed when I spoke to him from his home in New Zealand this week. I remain convinced that he has a “Best of Barbara” tucked away in the nether regions of his vehicle.

In any event, McKenzie’s (alleged) lack of interest in musical theater is somewhat ironic given that he has made his name as one half of the folk comedy duo "Flight of the Conchords" (his other half being Jemaine Clement), and that he is in all likelihood about to receive one, if not two, Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. (And it's a shame that, according to Academy rules, the film can't receive three.)

Read Full Post
<p>Judy Greer was nominated for her role in &quot;The&nbsp;Descendants.&quot;</p>

Judy Greer was nominated for her role in "The Descendants."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Descendants' leads with Denver critics nods

Judy Greer finds some love with a Best Supporting Actress mention

The Denver Film Critics Society has announced its list of nominees this year, and "The Descendants" was the vote-leader. The film even scored two nominations in the Best Supporting Actress category, as Judy Greer joined Shailene Woodley for the fun. Check out the full list of nominees below.

Read Full Post
<p>Dave Grohl</p>

Dave Grohl

Credit: AP Photo

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl joins the Ratt Pack

Grohl teams with Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini for new track

There’s no telling whom Dave Grohl will team up with next. The Foo Fighters leader is now headed into the studio with Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini.

Ratt lead singer Pearcy tweeted today: “Warren and I are doing a song for a project with @foofightersDave. We’ll let him tell you about when he’s ready kidz. Not for a RATT record.” Don't bother looking for an update from Grohl's Twitter page: the last tweet is from 2009.

The Foos are still mining tracks from their excellent Grammy-nominated 2011 album “Wasting Light,” which made my list of top 10 albums of 2011.  Pearcy’s latest solo album, “Sucker Punch,” will come out later this year. Ratt’s last album, “Infestation,” was released in 2010, but Pearcy also tweeted today that he is set to demo songs for a new Ratt record next week


Read Full Post