Latest Blog Posts

<p>Andre Braugher and Treat Williams in a scene from last week's &quot;Law &amp;&nbsp;Order:&nbsp;Special Victims Unit.&quot;</p>

Andre Braugher and Treat Williams in a scene from last week's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

Credit: NBC

One too many hits: checking in on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'

How are people feeling about the revamped cop drama?

I'll admit up-front that "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has always been my least favorite major entry in the franchise. No knock on Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay and company, but the subject matter was always a turn-off for me, and that was even before the show went through that period of casting beloved TV stars to play sick rapists for maximum shock value.

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<p>Robyn on &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>

Robyn on "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Watch: Robyn hits 'Saturday Night Live' for the first time

Katy Perry introduces the dancing Swede, who performs 'Call Your Girlfriend' and 'Dancing'

Robyn opened for Katy Perry during the pop star's California Dreams tour, so it seemed only natural the two paired up again for "Saturday Night Live."

Robyn, my girl-crush, was the musical guest on "SNL" this past weekend, with Perry hosting. And while I actually love both of those women's voices (Perry's is its own little study in "vocal fry"), the Swede brought a bag of her moves.

At times, she was out-of-breath for "Dancing on My Own," but she brought the same campy, desperate energy in her face and on the chorus. "Call Your Girlfriend" was much steadier, and she whirled through the same dance interlude from the music video, including that stellar stumble move.

Just thought you'd like this. She and Perry need a fashion face-off. That is all.

Read a full recap of Saturday's show.

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<p>Jean Dujardin (left)&nbsp;and Indiana film critics Best Director winner Michel&nbsp;Hazanavicius on the set of &quot;The Artist&quot;</p>

Jean Dujardin (left) and Indiana film critics Best Director winner Michel Hazanavicius on the set of "The Artist"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Indiana critics like 'The Artist,' Paul Giamatti, Elizabeth Olsen

Viola Davis cited in supporting, 'Into the Abyss' gets some recognition

After yesterday's all-day critics awards onslaught, you might be wondering, "What's left?" Plenty, I can tell you. Everyone seems to have gotten together and formed a critics group these days, and this morning, the onslaught continues with the Indiana Film Journalists Association.

The group picked "The Artist" for Best Picture and Best Director, but were more interesting in their acting selections. Paul Giamatti took Best Actor for "Win Win" while Elizabeth Olsen won Best Actress for "Martha Marcy May Marlene." And though "The Descendants" was clearly the second-favorite of the lot, it was Ralph Fiennes in "Coriolanus" coming in at runner-up for Best Actor, which is interesting.

Other things of note: Viola Davis was spotlighted int he supporting category, not lead, and Werner Herzog's "Into the Abyss" finally gets a shout-out, coming in as a runner-up to "Project Nim" in the documentary category.

Check out the full list of winners below.

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<p>Brad Pitt in &quot;Moneyball,&quot;&nbsp;one of the year's best films that fell outside the top 10</p>

Brad Pitt in "Moneyball," one of the year's best films that fell outside the top 10

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Bottled up: the best films of 2011

And then there were 10

If you listened to Friday's Oscar Talk podcast, then you already know both my feelings on the 2011 film year and the 10 films I thought represented the best that it had to offer. But to elaborate a bit...

It's been an interesting year. I've tried to make sense of things via the weekly Off the Carpet columns, which aim to contextualize the year as it pushes forward. But with each passing week, it became clear to me that I didn't particularly love what 2011 had to offer. Don't misunderstand. The films that landed at the top for me are personal treasures. Nevertheless, it's a distillation of a year in film that I broadly liked, but didn't particularly love in any deep way. It reminds me of my reaction to 2005, but I'm more positive on this lot.

Whittling the list down was strangely difficult as a result. You'd think that the cream would really be evident when there's so little of it to rise, but the truth is, that kind of thing makes you start to really consider those on the outside of the list more than you normally would. At least I found this to be the case.

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<p>&quot;The&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Knight Rises&quot; is obviously tops on a list of anticipations for next year, but what else?</p>

"The Dark Knight Rises" is obviously tops on a list of anticipations for next year, but what else?

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Oscarweb Round-up: Looking to 2012

Also: Trent Reznor and Karen O on Zeppelin and how Christan Bale got 'Flowers'

Darren Franich looks ahead to next year as the year of the dude movie. And this got me thinking. Usually by now I've thought at least SOMEWHAT about what's coming up next year. But other than the barrage of "The Dark Knight Rises" stuff (including a recent peek at the opening footage of the film), I'm not really aware of all that much. I certainly couldn't do a "top 10 films I'm looking forward to in 2012" post now if I wanted to, and usually I have something like that ready to go around the first of the year. Weird. So what's coming around the bend that you're anticipating? Maybe you can help steer me onto the right track. [Entertainment Weekly]

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<p>A scene from HBO's horse racing drama &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

A scene from HBO's horse racing drama "Luck."

Credit: HBO

And they're off! Early thoughts on HBO's 'Luck'

David Milch, Michael Mann, Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte team up for an impressive pilot

Though HBO aired the pilot of "Luck" last night, the David Milch/Michael Mann horse racing drama won't have its proper premiere until January 29, and the channel has treated last night's airing as a sneak preview to start preliminary conversation, and little more. Copies weren't set out to critics, though we're apparently going to get all 9 first season episodes later this month, and there aren't even publicity stills available yet. (The picture accompanying this review was taken off of HBO.com itself.)

Because I'll be getting more episodes soon, because the real premiere is so far away, and because a Milch show tends to take a few episodes to fully establish itself, I'd like to wait until late January to offer a proper review, but I have a few preliminary impressions of the pilot, coming up just as soon as I know what Jim Beam is for...

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<p>'Look, I'll be frank with you. I could use a big fat blockbuster right now because I feel like the brand is slipping away from me, so just look into this light, forget you hated the second film, and meet me in a theater on May 25'</p>

'Look, I'll be frank with you. I could use a big fat blockbuster right now because I feel like the brand is slipping away from me, so just look into this light, forget you hated the second film, and meet me in a theater on May 25'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Watch: Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return for first peek at 'Men In Black 3' trailer

Can Sony recapture the chemistry, and does the public still care?

Okay… I'll admit it.  This entire trailer is worth it for the punchline.

Before we discuss the first theatrical trailer for "Men In Black 3," let me ask you a completely snark-free question.  How many of you are actually excited for a third film in the "Men In Black" franchise?

See, I think this is an example of a genuine franchise, a premise so flexible that you can drop different actors and actresses in as time wears in and salaries rise.  I don't necessarily think that "Men In Black" has to star Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.  Then again, I'm not really even sure how people feel about the first one and the second one, a full decade after the second film and a mind-boggling fifteen years after the first one.  Was it really 1997?  The same summer as "The Fifth Element"?  Because that seems like forever and a half ago, and I can't imagine the cast of "The Fifth Element" continuing that now.

Wait… Milla as Leeloo Dallas Moooteepass again and 2012-era Bruce Willis in another giant-budget Luc Besson SF film?  I take it back.  I can TOOOOOTALLY imagine that now, and in fact, I'm irate we're not getting it.

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<p>Paul Feig on the set with Kristen Wiig on the set of &quot;Bridesmaids.&quot;</p>

Paul Feig on the set with Kristen Wiig on the set of "Bridesmaids."

Credit: Universal Pictures

An epic conversation on 'Bridesmaids,' 'The Office' and 'Dumb Jock' with Paul Feig

Could a 'Bridesmaids 2' ever happen?

The Golden Globes and SAG Awards nomination announcements are right around the corner and one film that could be a major surprise is "Bridesmaids." Sure, Melissa McCarthy seems like as shoe-in for a best supporting actress nomination for SAG and possibly the HFPA, but a best ensemble (SAG) and best picture - comedy or musical (Golden Globes) could also be in the works too. Screenwriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo may also find their way to a WGA Awards nomination in the original screenplay category.  This all comes after McCarthy has already been lauded today by the Boston Society of Film Critics and the New York Online Film Critics.  It seems appropriate then, that I share a long and intriguing conversation I had last month with the film's director, Paul Feig.

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<p>Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt)&nbsp;gets some quality time with his son in the &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) gets some quality time with his son in the "Boardwalk Empire" season finale.

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Boardwalk Empire' creator Terence Winter post-mortems season 2

Why did Nucky, Jimmy and Margaret make the choices they did in the finale?
"Boardwalk Empire" wrapped up its second season earlier tonight with some surprising developments. I published my finale review a few hours ago, and I also got a chance yesterday to talk to the show's creator, Terence Winter, about how and why everything went down, coming up just as soon as I buy some stamps…
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<p>Carrie (Claire Danes)&nbsp;and Saul (Mandy Patinkin)&nbsp;try to solve a &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;puzzle.</p>

Carrie (Claire Danes) and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) try to solve a "Homeland" puzzle.

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'The Vest': It's not easy seein' green

Carrie needs more time to recover, and the Brodys take a trip

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I write a 45-page manifesto declaring that I've reinvented music...

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<p>Wes Studi and friends on &quot;Hell on Wheels.&quot;</p>

Wes Studi and friends on "Hell on Wheels."

Credit: AMC

'Hell on Wheels' - 'Pride, Pomp and Circumstance': Man vs. machine

Doc Durant has to deal with visits from the Cheyenne and his favorite congressman

Once again, the forum is yours to discuss the latest episode of AMC's "Hell on Wheels," which seemed heaviest on Doc Durant - and, as a consequence, lightest on Cullen - of any of the episodes so far, while also giving us plenty of Reverend Cole, Lily and Joseph as everyone dealt with the arrival of the Cheyenne in the camp.

What did everybody else think? Even those of you who have professed to be fans of the show don't seem particularly fond of the writing and/or performance of Doc; feel any differently after tonight? 

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<p>The &quot;Amazing Race&quot; Top 3</p>
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The "Amazing Race" Top 3

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' Season 19 Finale - 'Go Out and Get It Done'

The three teams head to Atlanta to race for the million
After a season that left me frustrated more often than it left me exhilarated, "The Amazing Race" completed its 19th run on Sunday (December 11) night.
 
The response written in my notes after watching the finale and seeing how the results shook out? "Yeah, I can live with that." 
 
Given how infuriating large chunks of the season were, that's about as much as "The Amazing Race" could hope for this time around. The finale was solid and satisfying and the team that won was certainly worthy enough of the million dollar prize, especially after they turned around and immediately expressed their charitable intentions for the money.
 
How did the "Amazing Race" season conclude? Click through...
 
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