Latest Blog Posts

<p>The &quot;America's Next Top Model&quot; models go to Greece</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

The "America's Next Top Model" models go to Greece

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Nikos Papadopoulos'

The models head to Greece and an underwear shoot causes controversy

Now that Alexandria has been eliminated, It’s time to get out of the country before she exacts her revenge. So where will we be headed? As we learned last episode, it’s gonna be Greece, but before we can reach for the spanakopita (assuming any of these girls really eat) we have to meet with Andre Leon Talley! He arrives in his straw Chinese boatman hat with two plate-breaking waiters to announce the new overseas trip.

Read Full Post
"Top Chef"

 "Top Chef"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef' - 'The Heat Is On'

The 'on the bubble' chefs get their last chance to nab a chef's jacket
This is the final episode dedicated to whittling down the massive number of chefs with whom we started in the "Top Chef" quest to get down to a more reasonable count of 16, so, again, don't get used to anyone. But I will say that, if the looks of the food we're seeing is any indication (and I know, it can look good and taste like a bath towel), the level of cooking this season is pretty extraordinary. I'm not even hungry watching the show and I'm drooling a little. Given that it seems like every other competitor is a James Beard nominee or an executive chef for so-and-so famous guy, all I can think is 1) I wish I could crash one of these dinners and 2) I'm pretty sure Padma (who says she gains about 15 pounds each season) will be investing in even more maxidresses than usual. We're gonna see some really, really good eats. 
Read Full Post
<p>Carey Mulligan in a scene from &quot;Shame&quot;</p>

Carey Mulligan in a scene from "Shame"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Interview: Carey Mulligan redefines the ingénue with ‘Shame’ and ‘Drive’

The actress looks to stretch herself in the wake of 'An Education'

Carey Mulligan found herself propelled onto the world stage after she was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of the sharp, witty and painfully young Jenny Mellor in 2009s “An Education.” Though doors began to open for the actress, she was disappointed to discover that most of them led to rooms of similar shapes and sizes. “A lot of people just wanted me to sort of do what I had already done,” she recalls. “Films that reminded me of that part weren't films that I was interested in.”

If there is such a thing as a safe and secure course in the development of an ingénue’s career anymore, then Mulligan has chosen not to follow that trajectory. The actress took one leading, and several supporting roles (the most high-profile of which was in Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”) after “An Education” and then stopped working for a year.

When she returned it was in pursuit of projects that would move her beyond the limited scope of the classical leading lady and/or give her the opportunity to work with filmmakers that she found compelling. She began with director Nicolas Winding Refn’s urban fable/meditation on violence, “Drive.”

Read Full Post
Watch: Bruno Mars' new video for 'It Will Rain'
Credit: Elektra Records

Watch: Bruno Mars' new video for 'It Will Rain'

Do 'Twilight's' Bella and Edward make an appearance?

We know Bruno Mars is smooth and all, but we do not remotely see him as the kind of guy who would screen one of the “Twilight” movies while making seksi time with his lady, but film placements make us all do crazy things as we see in the video for “It Will Rain,” which premiered on MTV today.

Mars is the big pop name on “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” soundtrack (read our review here). “It Will Rain” has the dated feel of a song from the ‘80s, perhaps because of the drum track. It sounds more appropriate for “Against All Odds,” although we’re pretty sure Phil Collins is not about to let his song be stripped out of that monster. (The song also has a few chord changes that remind of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” but maybe that’s just me).

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Brian Grazer (left) with Brett Ratner at the Los Angeles premiere of "J. Edgar."
Brian Grazer (left) with Brett Ratner at the Los Angeles premiere of "J. Edgar."
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Brian Grazer to the rescue

Academy Award-winning producer takes reins from Brett Ratner

Well, that was quick. Though when you're starting from scratch to mount a major television event in a little over three months, with host and star producer both off the project, taking your time isn't really an option.

So it is that hedgehog-haired mega-producer Brian Grazer -- an Academy Award winner himself for "A Beautiful Mind" a decade ago -- is joining Don Mischer to steer the 2011 Oscar show, taking over from the disgraced Brett Ratner.

It's always hard to predict what sensibility film folk will bring to live events like this, but Grazer seems a safe, if not particularly inventive, pair of hands for the job: probably a more sensible choice than Ratner ever was, though not someone you necessarily expect to give the show the radical overhaul it needs after two disastrous years.

Read Full Post
<p>Burrito Josh of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Burrito Josh of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Top 11 Movies Night Live-Blog

The Guys, Girls, Groups and Over-30s sing songs from the movies

It's Movie Night on "The X Factor."

And no, that doesn't mean that the winner gets a free screening of "Jack & Jill."

Click through for a full recap of Wednesday's Top 11 performances...

Read Full Post
<p>Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer in &quot;The Help.&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer in "The Help."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

The Long Shot: Big enough for the both of us

When deserving acting contenders face formidable foes in their own co-stars

Last week, approximately one eon behind every other film writer on the beat, I finally saw “The Help.” As I’m sure many of you will agree, it’s not always easy seeing a film months after its supposed plus and minus points have long since been concretized by the critical majority, but I was pleased to find myself agreeing with everything that’s been said, even by the film’s detractors, about Viola Davis’s performance: graceful, intuitive, material-elevating, all that. If she has the Best Actress Oscar wrapped up (and even with the Streep Express still unseen, I’d wager that she has), I take no issue with that.

But over in the film’s Best Supporting Actress camp, things start coming a little unstuck. Octavia Spencer is a set-in-stone nominee—and in some pundits’ minds, the notional frontrunner—for her grandly sassy turn as the mouthy maid who redefines the term ‘just desserts.’ And to apply a favourite South Africanism: jawellnofine. Spencer’s a good time in the film, but she’s working several rungs below the astonishing Jessica Chastain, who may even outdo Davis in terms of enlivening and complicating a waxily written character: her guilelessly empathetic bubblehead is the film’s most interesting characterization, and the sharpest of Chastain’s 47-odd performances this year. She may well find her way to a nomination, particularly given the category’s predilection for dual nominees from a single film, but Spencer remains the sure thing – and there you have one of my first beefs of the awards season.

Read Full Post
<p>Brian Grazer with Brett Ratner at the premiere of &quot;J. Edgar&quot;&nbsp;last week in Hollywood.&nbsp; How times change.</p>

Brian Grazer with Brett Ratner at the premiere of "J. Edgar" last week in Hollywood.  How times change.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

It's official: Brian Grazer steps in to replace Brett Ratner as Oscar producer

From one 'Tower Heist' man to another

Quickly moving on after the Brett Ratner debacle, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this afternoon that Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer would step in to co-produce the 84th Academy Awards alongside previously announced Don Mischer.

In a statement, AMPAS president Tom Sherak noted, "Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who over the past 25 years has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work. He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscars®."

Read Full Post
<p>Eddie Murphy on the Today Show last week.</p>

Eddie Murphy on the Today Show last week.

Credit: AP Photo/Pete Kramer

Eddie Murphy stands by his man and his legacy suffers for it

Ditching the Oscars was not a good move

When it rains it pours and for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the past few days has been something close to a hurricane of bad publicity.  Monday and Tuesday dealt with the drama of co-producer Brett Ratner's incredulous comments over the weekend and his subsequent resignation.  This morning, less than 24 hours later, Ratner's chosen host, Eddie Murphy, bowed out of emceeing this year's 84th Academy Awards.

Read Full Post
<p>Codeine</p>

Codeine

Codeine reuniting for tour, All Tomorrow's Parties, album reissues

ATP to feature Slayer performing 'Reign in Blood,' Mogwai, Guided By Voices

I'm still a little hot and bothered by the news of All Tomorrow's Parties London initial lineup for 2012: Slayer performing "Reign in Blood" in its entirety, the frequently afflicted Mogwai, Sleep (!!), the Melvins, newly reunited Guided By Voices and Yuck. (Fine, fine, and Mudhoney too. Whatever.)

But included in that May 25-27 weekend will be a reunion of slow-core pioneers Codeine. That crew has put themselves back together for what might be a whole tour, in fact, with plans to released their three excellent Sub Pop records. "Frigid Stars" (1990), 1992's "Barely Real" EP and 1994's "The White Birch" are getting double-album makeovers, similar to those that enhanced Jesus and Mary Chain's six album reduxes. They're due in Spring 2012.

Read Full Post
<p>Cee Lo</p>

Cee Lo

Listen: Cee Lo combines with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo for 'Anyway'

Previously unreleased single to be included in 'Lady Killer' re-release

It's about that time: Cee Lo Green is re-releasing his album "Lady Killer" and has combined with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo for a little extra material.

"Anyway" is the new single from the "F*ck You" singer, and the track was penned by Cuomo, Immaculate Noise featured artist Wallpaper and songwriter Ross Golan.

And it grabs hold of what everybody already knew: girls love guys with money! And, boy, do b**ches love shoes! 'miright?

Sigh.

It's a catchy track, regardless, and seems to directly counter the short-sight chick that broke Cee Lo, erm I mean Bruno Mars', heart in "F*ck You" and it's friendly G-rated cousin "Forget You." It looks to be a good contender for one of his performance tracks as he takes the stage float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Read Full Post
<p>Bruce Willis has a very good reason for doing this in 'Looper'</p>

Bruce Willis has a very good reason for doing this in 'Looper'

Credit: Tri-Star Pictures

Preview: Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt dazzle in unfinished SF film 'Looper'

Emily Blunt is also awesome in heartbroken brain-bending time travel story

This is not a review.

After all, for this to be a review, I would have had to have seen "Looper," which isn't set for release until about a year from now, and how would I have done that?

Let's say I was a time traveler, though, and let's say I did use my awesome power to simply see a film a little bit early.  That sounds like a totally rational use of the technology, right?  After all, this is the new movie by the writer/director of "Brick" and "The Brothers Bloom," and it stars "Inception" and "Dark Knight Rises" star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Motherfudging Willis, and Emily Blunt, and it's been described as a science-fiction film.  What part of that doesn't sound like something I'd want to see?

At this point, of course, "Looper" is still fairly unfinished, so trying to review it as a finished film right now would be an exercise in futility.  Let me offer up thoughts on a test screening of the movie that took place in Burbank Tuesday night, while trying to be delicate about spoilers while still somewhat specific in my reaction.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME