Latest Blog Posts

<p>Nicolas Winding Refn directs Ryan&nbsp;Gosling on the set of &quot;Drive.&quot;</p>

Nicolas Winding Refn directs Ryan Gosling on the set of "Drive."

Credit: FilmDistrict

San Diego critics pick 'Artist,' Refn

Acting winners include Michael Shannon and Brit Marling

After recently releasing a list of nominees, the San Diego Film Critics Society has announced "The Artist" as Best Picture of the year. Though the film won nothing else from the group. Nicolas Winding Refn took the Best Director honor for "Drive," which is becoming consistent. Check out the full list of winners below.

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<p>Rihanna performs at a concert in Budapest, Hungary earlier this month.</p>

Rihanna performs at a concert in Budapest, Hungary earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/MTI, Balazs Mohai

Does Rihanna hold off a surging Katy Perry on this week's Billboard Hot 100?

Who does she beat if she can stay at No. 1 one more week?

Rihanna's "We Found Love" finds its way to a seventh week atop Billboard's Hot 100, but can the singer fend off a surge by Katy Perry

Perry's "The One That Got Away" soars 9-4 on this week's chart, in part due to a 69-cent sale price on the single, as well as a small gain in radio play.

But back to Rihanna. If "We Found Love," featuring Calvin Harris can last at least one more week at No. 1, it will hold the record for the most weeks at No. 1 in 2011, besting Adele's "Rolling In the Deep," with which it is currently tied. Additionally, should "We Found Love" make it another week at the top, it will become Rihanna's longest chart-topping single: Both "Umbrella" and Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie," which featured Rihanna were also No. 1 for seven weeks.

As we chart watchers know by now, "We Found Love's" hold on No. 1 means that LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" stays locked out of the top spot once again and spends its sixth week at No. 2, according to Billboard.  Similarly, Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" hangs out at No. 3 for another week, while Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" stays at No. 5.

Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Ni**as In Paris" skips two places to No. 6, Adele's "Someone Like You" falls one spot to No. 6, Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" featuring Christina Aguilera drops the farthest in the Top 10, sliding from No. 4-8, while David Guetta's "Without You" featuring Usher moves No. 7-9.

Closing out the Top 10 is T-Pain's "5 O'Clock" featuring Wiz Khalifa and Lily Alen, which inches up one spot. That's good enough to give Allen her first TOp 10 hit, Khalifa his fourth and T-Pain his 15th as both a lead and featured artist.

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<p>Madonna arrives at a special screening of her film &quot;W.E.&quot;&nbsp;in New York City earlier this month.</p>

Madonna arrives at a special screening of her film "W.E." in New York City earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

UPDATED: The Top 5 Interscope artists Madonna should duet with

New album out in March, single in late January

Are Madonna and her new label home Interscope a good fit?  Can she and Lady Gaga exist on the same roster?  As rumored for several weeks, the Material Girl  has signed with  Jimmy Iovine’s label followed the end of her 25-year career on Warner Bros. (first through Seymour Stein’s Sire Records).

Today, both the New York Post and Billboard  report confirmation of the deal from unnamed sources. The Post says it is a 3-album deal, the first of which will be her 2012 album. Additionally, Madonna has her already existing multi-facted pact with Live Nation that includes touring and merchandise. The deal with Interscope will be a licensing deal through her Live Nation pact.

We'll get to the five duet partners in a second, but first our thoughts on the deal.

So does this make sense? Yes and no.  Madonna is so iconic, in some ways we’re surprised that she felt the need to sign another major label deal. Surely, she could self release her albums.

[More after the jump...]

Of course she could, but if you look at the legions of artists, veteran and still blooming, who release their own albums, most of them are not relying on radio play. As legendary as Ms. Ciccone is, to really sell albums (and downloads) and, most importantly, to prove her relevancy as a contemporary artist, she has to have her new songs on radio. That’s why we’re seeing her record with the likes of Nicki Minaj. And to achieve major success on pop radio, you still need to be on a major label.

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Taking questions for 12/16 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

You know the drill. We're back to business as usual this week after last Friday's top 10 edition of Oscar Talk. We'll be addressing "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," as well as the week in awards announcements. Rifle off your need-to-knows aside from that and we'll address a few on the show.

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<p>The &quot;X Factor&quot; Top 4</p>
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The "X Factor" Top 4

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Final 4 Performances Live-Blog

It's Semifinal Night for Marcus, Chris, Melanie and Burrito Josh

It's the season's penultimate "X Factor" performance show. Sniffle.

Sunrise, sunset and all that good stuff.

Click through for a full live-blog of the performances by Marcus Canty, Melanie Amaro, Burrio Josh and Chris Rene...

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<p>Brad Pitt in &quot;Moneyball.&quot;</p>

Brad Pitt in "Moneyball."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Will Palm Springs make it five in a row with Brad Pitt's Desert Palm award?

He'll be awarded for his work in 'The Tree of Life' and 'Moneyball'

It looks like the Palm Springs International Film Festival has chosen its Oscar stallion for the year. Brad Pitt has been selected to receive the Desert Palm Achievement Actor Award for his lead role in "Moneyball" and his supporting role in "The Tree of Life."

As has oft been discussed, Palm Springs's tendency toward predictive selections for its honorees has only increased over time. When the festival announced that Michelle Williams would be this year’s female awardee, we pointed out that the male recipient of the Desert Palm Achievement Award has gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for four straight years. Will this be the fifth?

I am an admirer of Pitt’s work. I respect that he took a career that could have been vanilla ice cream and shaped it into something unique. He makes interesting choices. He has grown over time and been willing to do so. That takes a particular kind of will and character. It amazes me how often people continue to dismiss him as an actor because he happens to be an extraordinarily good-looking movie star. I would prefer to see his work in “The Tree of Life” honored this year, but I would not be surprised to see him nominated in both fields.

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Album Review: Anthony Hamilton's ' So In Love' captivates
Credit: RCA

Album Review: Anthony Hamilton's ' So In Love' captivates

Keri Hilson and Babyface drop by on neo-soul singer's latest

As we head into the holiday season, some new albums inevitably get lost among the mistletoe and tinsel. That’s why we wanted to call attention to a little gem: Anthony Hamilton’s “Back To Love.”

The R&B singer’s latest studio album came out yesterday (Dec. 13), but we just got around to listening to it today and it is a smooth, sexy blast of fresh air. The former D’Angelo back-up singer, has been one of the finest purveyors of the neo-soul sound over the course of his last several albums, but on “Back To Love,” he stretches his wings to successfully blend a more contemporary feel to the material without ever sacrificing the emotion.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Lana Del Rey in &quot;Born to Die&quot;</p>

Lana Del Rey in "Born to Die"

Credit: Interscope

Watch: Lana Del Rey is friends with tigers in the 'Born to Die' music video

Your ex-boyfriend is still a jerk, you can just tell

Lana Del Rey has released an opulent new music video for single "Born to Die," starring your a**hole ex-boyfriend.

The newly minted Interscope signee furthers her propensity for femme fatality in this chilly clip. Del Rey stars along a tattooed dude who obviously is no good for her, because -- according to the vid, helmed by Del Rey and musician/director Woodkid -- she is royalty and has the tigers to prove it.

Like "Video Games," I dig the production on the track, and its soft edges. She just sounds bored, and bored is boring.

There's been plenty of buzz and anti-buzz around Del Rey, partly due to the unconcealed plastic surgery on her career branding, from singer/songwriter Lizzy Grant to what's still-manifesting today. Interscope has obviously learned some lessons about coloring in a blank (albeit, dark) slate and willing talent, as they did with Lady Gaga. But then there's the attempt to capitalize on the internet echo-chamber, as it failed with Die Antwoord earlier this fall.

Anyway. "Born to Die" debuted earlier this month and will get an official retail drop on Jan. 23 and the album of the same name is out on Jan. 30.

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The Shins set release date for 'Port of Morrow,' sort of

The Shins set release date for 'Port of Morrow,' sort of

When can you expect their Columbia debut?

The Shins’ fourth album, “Port of Morrow,” will come out in March via head Shin James Mercer’s  Aural Apothecary label and Columbia. A specific date will be announced shortly.

Recording in Los Angeles and Portland, the Greg Kurstin-produced album is the first with the relatively new Shins line-up of bassist Yuuki Matthews, guitarist Jessica Dobson, keyboardist Richard Swift and drummer Joe Plummer. Mercer parted ways with founding members keyboardist Marty Crandall and drummer Jesse Sandoval in 2009. 

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<p>Will &quot;Drive&quot; show up in tomorrow's Golden Globe nominations?</p>

Will "Drive" show up in tomorrow's Golden Globe nominations?

Credit: Film District

Guessing the Globes

We predict 'The Artist' to come out tops in tomorrow's Golden Globe nods

We offered you a space to share your Screen Actors' Guild and Golden Globe predictions yesterday -- but since the majority of you had only SAG on the brain then, here's another chance for you to spitball the Globes list. They're always a fun lot predict, mostly because of the comedy/musical categories: even with a stronger field of industry favorites in the running this year, there's still plenty of room for them to throw in a star-baiting head-scratcher. Julia Roberts in "Larry Crowne?" Johnny Depp in "The Rum Diary?" Take your pick.

I've set the ball rolling with my own predictions across all their film categories. One doesn't need a crystal ball to tell that "The Artist" is set to have another strong morning: I'm expecting it to top the list with six nods, while the Best Drama category looks rather modest by comparison. Will "War Horse," "Hugo" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" bounce back after being totally blanked in today's SAG list? And why do I have a funny feeling that "Drive" could spring a surprise here? Take a look at my best guesses after the jump, and share yours in the comments.

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<p>Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers</p>

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Credit: AP Photo

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers set 2012 tour stops, including Jazz Fest

Band will play Europe for the first time in 20 years

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ 2012 tour will include stops at New Orleans’ Jazz & Heritage Festival, as well as England’s Isle of Wight Festival.

The outing starts April 19 at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo., before moving south to Jazz Fest on April 28. Check out more Jazz Fest headliners here.

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<p>Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx in &quot;Rock of Ages&quot;</p>

Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx in "Rock of Ages"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Watch: 5 things we learned from the 'Rock of Ages' trailer

How's Tom Cruise, who are the new enemies and where the hell is Bryan Cranston?

The first trailer for the Hollywood makeover of Broadway musical and '80s metal music driver "Rock of Ages" has arrived. Adam Shankman -- who brought "Hairspray" to the big-screen in 2007 -- is at the helm, and has revealed plot points and actual hairspray in this early glimpse.

Below are five things we've gleaned from the preview of "Rock of Ages," due June 1 next year:

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