Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo are the appealing stars of the silent-cinema tribute 'The Artist'</p>

Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo are the appealing stars of the silent-cinema tribute 'The Artist'

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Review: 'The Artist' offers simple pleasures in a look back at Hollywood's origins

Why didn't our reviewer fall in love with this homage to cinema's early days?

"The Artist" is, as you may have heard by now, a black-and-white movie that is, for the most part, silent.  It is set during the era when the silent films were replaced by talking pictures.  It is a crowd-pleaser, and since its premiere at Cannes this summer, it's been getting warm and enthusiastic reviews.

I was onboard since before the film started screening based purely on the creative team involved.  Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin collaborated on both "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies" and "OSS 117 - Lost In Rio," which are these lovely silly French riffs on spy movies from the '60s, with Dujardin looking like someone put Bond-era Connery and Patrick Warburton in the Brundlechamber.  Those films both delight me, start to finish, and the idea of those two guys paying tribute to silent cinema sounded like pure win as far as I was concerned.

Now, a day later, I'm trying to figure out why I don't love the movie the way so many others seem to.  People are ecstatic over it, swoony in love with it, and I thought it was, at best, a nice diversion, a sweet but overly simple piece that won't have nearly the rematch value for me as their earlier films together.  I think Dujardin is very charming in it, I think Berenice Bejo is a pleasure to watch in the film, and I like the work Hazanavicius does as a director.  It's very skilled in a lot of ways.  But the storyline here is threadbare, a few sketched ideas instead of a finished work, and I can't help but feel that they never really figured out why to make this movie aside from the obvious exercise in homage.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Regular Show&quot; cast</p>

"Regular Show" cast

Watch: Tyler, The Creator appears in 'Regular' Adult Swim cartoon show

Hashtag rap in animated form

Actually, this is funny.

Odd Future has its own live-action, "Jackass"-style show coming to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, but the hip-hop troupe's Tyler, The Creator is jumping the gun a little bit and appeared on "Regular Show" in animated form.

Tyler appears as a bully Blitz Comet along side the rest of his crew CrewCrew, with Alpha Dog (Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino) and Demolition (MC Lyte [YAY!]). CrewCrew engages in a rap battle with a Shakespearean spitter named Pops, to a delightful end.

Tyler doubles as another rapper in the ep, Big Trouble. Tyler's known for his admirably smart but confrontational (and sometimes misogynistic, offensive, among other adjectives, yes) style. It's kind of fun to see him get a beat down, in a way. Have some fun with that big head of his.

"Loiter Squad" comes to the network next year.

Read Full Post
<p>James Bobin is the director behind this week's charming 'The Muppets'</p>

James Bobin is the director behind this week's charming 'The Muppets'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: James Bobin lights the lights as director of 'The Muppets'

The director of one of year's most Muppetational movies opens up

There was a time when I believed I would never meet a bigger Muppet fan than Jason Segel.

Then I met James Bobin.

I really liked his work on "Flight Of The Conchords," and I was just excited to have him working in features in general.  I didn't realize how big an influence the Muppets were on him until talking to Jason Segel about it on the set of "Five Year Engagement" this summer.  He told me that meeting Bobin was sort of like looking in a mirror that turned you British, and that he felt like "The Muppets" was in the perfect hands.

Having seen the finished film, I concur.  Bobin was programmed to make this film from a very early age, and all you have to do is look at the way he stages his version of the iconic opening sequence to the original "Muppet Show" to see how OCD can, indeed, prepare you for a life in the arts.  It is perfect, down to the smallest detail.  That seems to be something that can elude filmmakers, no matter how much they try to reproduce things.  Look at the "Halloween" series, for example, where they never seem to be able to get the Michael Myers mask to look the same way twice.  Bobin does such a good job making his film fit into a visual world that has already been established that he makes it look easy, and people may not realize just how deft his sleight of hand really is.

Read Full Post
<p>Michelle Williams in &quot;My Week with&nbsp;Marilyn&quot;</p>

Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Tell us what you thought of 'My Week with Marilyn'

The film hits theaters today

Lots of stuff opening this week! Another wide release is the Michelle Williams-starrer "My Week with Marilyn," which didn't really float my boat (even if I did find the performance commendable) when I saw it last month. Still, Roth's recent interview with director Simon Curtis almost has me thinking I like the film more than I really do. Regardless, it's opening wide today and you'll all have your say soon enough (if you haven't already). So when/if you get around to the film this week, head on back here and give us your perspective.

Read Full Post


Credit: AP Photo

Rihanna stays at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, Katy Perry advances

Perry is within striking distance of No. 1 with 'The One That Got Away'

Katy Perry moves one step closer to setting the record for the most No. 1s from a single album as “The One That Got Away” soars into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 this week.

In doing so, her set, “Teenage Dream” becomes one of only seven albums in the 53-year history of the chart to log six top 10s. That’s great, but that’s not the pop princess’s end game here. Instead, she’s hoping to march to No. 1 with the ballad, which leaps 15-10, she performed on Sunday night’s American Music Awards.

In the meantime, Rihanna’s “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris spends its fourth week at No. 1, according to Billboard. (On a side note, the song remains No. 1 on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart, where it is joined by Drake’s “Take Care,” on which she is featured, and her new single, “You Da One” in the Top 10. That makes her the first woman to lodge a trio of songs in the Top 10 concurrently).

Read Full Post
<p>Kid Rock in &quot;Care&quot;</p>

Kid Rock in "Care"

Watch: Kid Rock's video for 'Care'

Will the clip spur you to move from caring to action?

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Kid Rock has released the video for “Care,” reminding us to think of others.

Mark Pellington, best known for video for Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy,” directed the clip, which also features T.I. and Pistol Annie’s “Angaleena Presley. The black & white clip opens with voice overs of people talking about what they care about. It then gives way to an acoustic performance by Kid Rock interspersed with shots of  every-day, common folks looking concerned  (videos love to do that).  As the video progresses, many of them assemble behind Kid Rock and paint the words of what they care about on a brick wall.  The message is that none of us can “walk on water” or “stop the war,” but we can all care (and hopefully move caring into action).

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from Georges M&eacute;li&egrave;s's &quot;A&nbsp;Trip to the Moon&quot;</p>

A scene from Georges Méliès's "A Trip to the Moon"

Credit: Georges Méliès

Technicolor and Martin Scorsese's 'Hugo' restore the magic of Méliès

Artists reflect on the impact of the French filmmaker's contribution to cinema

A rather landmark date seemed to come and go less than a month ago with hardly a whisper of its significance: October 26, 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the first motion picture ever filmed in Hollywood.

The production took place in the orchards covering the estate of H.J. Whitely, the real estate developer who helped create Hollywood and fashion it with an industry of its own in the early part of the 20th Century. He landed the moniker "the Father of Hollywood" for his efforts. Whitely had convinced David Horsley -- an English-born pioneer of the cinema who, along with his brother, William, had essentially been run out of New Jersey by Thomas Edison and his Motion Picture Patents Company trust -- to run the film test on his property and to lease the Blondeau Tavern at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street in the heart of what is now Hollywood to develop it.

The town's first film laboratory was born the next day in that very space, one soon enough acquired by Universal Studios. And today, maybe fifty paces from those earliest beginnings of the Southern California film industry, Technicolor's shiny new offices occupy prime real estate with a mind to saving the history of cinema for posterity.

Read Full Post
<p>Ana Gasteyer and Chris Parnell of &quot;Suburgatory&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Ana Gasteyer and Chris Parnell of "Suburgatory"

Credit: ABC

HitFix Interview: Ana Gasteyer talks 'Suburgatory'

Wednesday's Thanksgiving episode showcases the 'SNL' veteran's Sheila
Ana Gasteyer called me on Tuesday afternoon after ducking into a New York City Starbucks to escape the rain. She'd just placed her order when we began our conversation and as we ended the interview 15 minutes later, she was still waiting for her beverage.
That's exactly the sort inconvenience that would annoy so many of Gasteyer's marvelously high-strung characters over the years, vivid creations like her "SNL" Martha Stewart or her "In your opinion..." judge on "The Good Wife."
To her credit, Gasteyer doesn't seem at all flustered by her delayed order, as we discuss her newest character, "Suburgatory" neighborhood autocrat Sheila Shay. The actress has been newly elevated to cast regular status on the hit ABC freshman comedy and Wednesday (Nov. 23) night's Thanksgiving episode is the biggest showcase yet for Sheila and her family. Rest assured that Sheila isn't the kind of woman to take kindly to a Starbucks slight.
While she was waiting for that elusive beverage, Gasteyer and I discussed what makes Sheila tick, why George (Jeremy Sisto) and Tessa (Jane Levy) are threats to her sense of order, working with long-time collaborator Chris Parnell and her own Thanksgiving favorites.
Click through for the full Q&A.
Read Full Post
A musical scene from "The Muppets"
A musical scene from "The Muppets"
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

On the sound of 'The Muppets'

Bringing the musical to life behind the scenes

It's been a while since I linked a SoundWorks Collection profile. That needs to be remedied.

It's a pretty varied and fun week at the theaters this holiday weekend, with "Hugo" and "The Artist" making their way to theaters. But if you were to ask me what's worth seeing, I'd double down on "The Muppets" in a heartbeat.

The film is a nostalgia fest built into a massive musical with plenty of tunes in the mix. Naturally, then, it's worth considering the sound elements on the film. Gerard was smart to mention it in a recent Tech Support column dedicated to the Best Sound Mixing category. And I'm happy to see that the SoundWorks Collection has dedicated a profile to that work on the film, featuring interviews with mixer Kevin O'Connell and supervising sound editors Kami Asgar and Sean McCormack, among others. Have a look (and listen) below.

Read Full Post
Now that "Hugo" is in theaters, give us your take!
Now that "Hugo" is in theaters, give us your take!
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Hugo'

The film hits theaters today

The more I spin away from Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," the more I want to see it again. I still think, as I did when I first wrote about it, that the first half is structured in a way that doesn't embellish the mystery so much as stagnate the narrative, but I'm in love with Ben Kingsley's performance and the final half hour, which is dedicated to Scorsese's passion for the cinema. Meanwhile Guy has posted a new list dedicated to the crafts of the director's films (though I'm shocked the art direction of "Hugo" missed). The film opens today and all this hot air can finally give way to your thoughts on it, so head on back here and offer them when you get around to seeing it. (And check back later today for a big interview piece pegged to the film that will hopefully delight the cinema geek in everyone.)

Read Full Post

Taking questions for 11/25 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

Alright, you know the drill. Rifle off your need-to-knows and we'll address as many as we can in Friday's podcast (which, remember, will be later in the day on Friday). I imagine we'll be talking about "The Iron Lady," the doc short list, things of that nature.

Read Full Post
<p>Jabbar (Tyree Brown)&nbsp;feels sad on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Jabbar (Tyree Brown) feels sad on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'Mr. Honesty': Stupid is as stupid does

Lots of dumb actions and storylines to go around this week

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I picture our birth father stripping...

Read Full Post