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<p>Willow</p>

Willow

Willow Smith combines with Nicki Minaj for new single 'Fireball'

Will Smith's 10-year-old daughter tries even harder to grow up

A song like "Fireball" requires an acute and extreme suspension of disbelief. The track is by 10-year-old Willow Smith. And she is the fireball of the party.

Listen to the song here.

The spawn of Will Smith has put out two singles prior to this. "Whip My Hair" made it to No. 9 because and despite its easy targeting for what's wrong with pop lyricism. "21st Century Girl" was a careful study on the inflections of Rihanna, with a video like a pantomime of the same Bajan singer. It only made it to No. 99.

So in terms of fireballing parties, Smith is only one for two. Not so with Nicki Minaj, who features on the track with G-rated braggadocio and indistinguishable gender and social commentary like, "[Willow,] Your daddy keep[s] you in designer [clothes]." Minaj, undoubtedly, was also on to add "legitimacy" to the track.

One problem with propping up children as pop stars is that they sound like children. Is Willow rapping about the kind of party with balloons and a bouncy castle? Or is she in a private booth with Minaj and vodka and mixers? Or somewhere in between?

I wouldn't harp on the problem of "legitimacy" and "authenticity" in this instance so much if its adoption won't rely so heavily on these elements. If you're gonna borrow the synths and drop lazy breaks from the rap radio archive between Smith's borrowed vocal styles (including those from Minaj), it had better be a barn-burner to be adopted wide-scale.

And the Stoopid Robots beat is. Combined with the hook, its like "Hollaback Girl" meeting "Yeah X3," but with a pint-sized voice reporting that she's gonna burn it all. What a world.

Willow Smith has yet to announce details concerning a full-length album. She is signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation spin-off StarRoc.

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<p>Kelly Clarkson</p>

Kelly Clarkson

Listen: Kelly Clarkson's new track, 'What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)'

Singer turns philosophical on thumping tune

It turns out that “What Doesn’t Kill You” makes you want to dance...and stronger. At least in Kelly Clarkson’s case.

The first “American Idol” winner officially released the track today after it leaked onto the internet last week.

“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” is an up-tempo, driving pop thumper with a  dance bent. We’re sure some awesome dance remixes are to come. Once again, in a familiar theme for Clarkson, a boy has done her wrong, but instead of crumbling, she has risen from the ashes of the relationship stronger. I am woman, hear me roar.

[More after the jump...]

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Taking questions for 10/7 Oscar Talk

Taking questions for 10/7 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

Alright, you know the drill. Rifle off your need-to-knows and Anne and I will address as many as possible. Make 'em good!

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<p>Ethan &amp; Jenna of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Ethan & Jenna of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Ethan & Jenna talk 'The Amazing Race'

Two 'Survivor' winners discuss their Race undoing
The most heavily promoted team on this season of "The Amazing Race" didn't enjoy a particularly long run.
 
Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca, both winners of CBS' "Survivor," intended to use their previous reality experiences in this Emmy-winning race around the world, but instead they fell victim to a series of missteps in Indonesia.
 
On last week's episode, it appeared that a misplaced clue and then a failure to properly read another clue doomed Jenna & Ethan in the show's first-ever Double Elimination episode. 
 
But was that actually the way things went down? What really caused Jenna & Ethan to be the co-first team sent home on "The Amazing Race"? And what do they think of equalizers and Non-Elimination Legs and Twitter saves? 
 
Click through for my full "Amazing Race" exit interview with the ever-candid Jenna and Ethan...
 
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<p>50 Cent</p>

50 Cent

Credit: AP Photo

50 Cent drops new track, 'Shady Murder,' lands another movie role

Is that Eminem on the track with him?

Between his incessant tweets, his music and his movies, 50 Cent is one busy guy.

It was only two weeks ago that we wrote that he’d landed a role as a pimp in “The Frozen Ground,” a film about ‘80s mass murderer Robert Hansen and starring Nicholas Cage and John Cusack.

Now, 50, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has signed on to star in “The Pursuit,” an action thriller (duh) that will begin shooting in February in Louisiana.  Jackson’s production company,  Cheetah Vision Films, will producer with Emmett/Furla Films. Lions Gate will distribute.

[More after the jump...]

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Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Credit: AP Photo

Aldean, Swift, Lady A, Paisley and Chesney named CMT's 'Artists of the Year'

Other acts will salute them during Dec. 13 special

It's only October, but CMT is already calling is:  the cable outlet has named Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift its  “Artists of the Year," and will fete the quintet on a special airing Dec. 13.

Three of the five, Aldean, Lady A, and Swift, return to the winner’s circle following last year’s inaugural event.  The 90-minute special salutes the top five country acts of the year based on sales, airplay, concert grosses and CMT.com activity.

[More after the jump...]

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Rosie O'Donnell

 Rosie O'Donnell

Credit: OWN

Rosie O'Donnell talks about why she spurned NBC and why she's devoted to Oprah

The talk show hostess promises fun but politics, too

Which Rosie O'Donnell will we get when her TV show, "The Rosie Show," debuts (Mon. Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. on OWN)? Will it be the gung-ho, celebrity worshipping Rosie of her 1990s talk show? Or maybe the angry co-host of "The View"? In a conference call with reporters, O'Donnell said viewers should expect a mellower, more mature presence. "I've been doing this for more than half my life, and I have a different take on it," she said. "With the advent of the Internet, there's such accessibility to celebrities, and we really want more of the gritty underbelly and less of the polished veneer. More like Dick Cavett or Charlie Rose, but with humor." During the interview, Rosie also talked about what made her spurn NBC for OWN, the one regret she has from her last talk show and her list of dream guests. 

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<p>I'm guessing there's about an hour of this in the mirror to start each morning at the Downey household, followed by a standing ovation.</p>

I'm guessing there's about an hour of this in the mirror to start each morning at the Downey household, followed by a standing ovation.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Robert Downey Jr. will have his day in court as 'Perry Mason' for Warner Bros.

How many franchises can one movie star juggle?

I foresee a future in which every single franchise film stars either Computer-Generated Johnny Depp or Computer Generated Robert Downey Jr. or, on occasion, both of them.  It is inevitable.

The latest step towards this sure-to-be-reality is the announcement today that Robert Downey Jr. will be the star of "Perry Mason," a new film and potential franchise that Warner Bros. will be releasing.  I've been reading some of the pulp work of author Erle Stanley Gardner recently, and I'm surprised by how sharp and contemporary much of it is.  He's most famous for creating Mason, and it's exciting to hear that they're not only going to use his work as the basis of the film, but they're also planning to set it in the period 1930s Los Angeles that Gardner captured so well in his work.

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<p>Lars von Trier has pledged to refrain from any further public statements following a further outburst over his controversial comments at this year's Cannes fest.</p>

Lars von Trier has pledged to refrain from any further public statements following a further outburst over his controversial comments at this year's Cannes fest.

Von Trier takes vow of public silence

Director retires from interviews as Cannes furore refuses to die

Nearly five months ago, I sat in the delegate room at the Cannes festival center waiting for Lars von Trier to arrive for his press conference, fully expecting some of the senior enfant terrible's requisite fun-and-games (or foot-in-mouth, depending on your take). The director has, of course, made something of a professional trademark out of his contentious public statements -- and duly delivered on this occasion.

As if to compensate for the fact that his thoughtful new film, "Melancholia," is among his least overtly provocative to date, a jovial Von Trier followed it up with the most playfully sensational press conference of his career. You've heard the rest, though quite possibly not in the right context: "I am a Nazi" are unwise words to utter under any circumstances, but as they filtered through the media's echo chamber, they were swiftly stripped of the unambiguously ironic tone with which he said them, as well as the fact that they were in response to a journalist's unprompted (if wholly reasonable) question about the possible influence of a Nazi aesthetic on his work.

YouTube could easily clarify this situation for anyone willing to check, but predictably, not that many were. Soon, the quip had become the legend -- Lars von Trier is an out-and-proud Nazi! It was an unhappy outcome for an inelegant joke for which the phrase "you had to be there" might have been invented. And that was before Cannes festival brass decided to raise Von Trier's stupidity with more of their own by dimly taking his comments at face value and melodramatically "banning" him from the festival.

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<p>Chris Cornell at the 2010 Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago</p>

Chris Cornell at the 2010 Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago

Credit: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Interview: Chris Cornell on 'Pearl Jam Twenty,' reuniting Soundgarden and the impact of the Seattle music scene

Part Two: He reconvenes with Cameron Crowe as grunge turns 20

Chris Cornell is having a pretty big year.

After announcing in 2010 that his Seattle grunge-pioneering band Soundgarden was getting back together, he's been on the road for the better part of 2011 with the group. He went out on his own in the spring for his "Songbook" tour, a leg of intimate solo acoustic shows highlighting a number of the songs he's written over the years, whether with Soundgarden or his other high-profile collaboration with members of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave. He's off to Australia now for another wave of those and this week announced fall and winter dates for a second US leg.

He has an original song in Marc Forster's "Machine Gun Preacher" called "The Keeper" that is featured in the "Songbook" tour. The track, which could be a contender for Oscar recognition later this season, has been showcased on the late night talk show circuit over the last few weeks.

Meanwhile, grunge is celebrating a 20th birthday of sorts this year as a wave of pomp and circumstance has greeted the anniversary of Nirvana's "Nevermind" album dropping on the industry in September of 1991. That moment unleashed the Seattle music scene on unsuspecting consumers and rock fans who were, at the time, desperate for something more.

To that end, Cornell is also a considerable presence in Cameron Crowe's "Pearl Jam Twenty," a rock documentary chronicling that band's two-decade sprawl that spends plenty of time detailing the Seattle scene of which Cornell and his band were very much a staple. Oh, and somewhere along the way he'll find time to head back into the studio to crank out Soundgarden's first original album in 15 years.

A busy year indeed. In the second of a two-part interview today, Cornell discusses reuniting with Crowe, hopping back in the saddle with his old bandmates for another tour and album and his perspective on the impact of the Seattle music scene over the last 20 years.

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Tilda Swinton in &quot;We Need to Talk About Kevin,&quot; shortlisted for Best Film at the upcoming BFI London Film Festival</p>
Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin," shortlisted for Best Film at the upcoming BFI London Film Festival

Credit: Oscilloscope Pictures

London Film Festival announces awards shortlists, honors Cronenberg and Fiennes

'Dangerous Method' and 'Coriolanus' directors to receive BFI Fellowships

The BFI London Film Festival has always been more of a showcase festival than a competitive one, though it has long given out specialized awards for rising talent and documentary filmmakers. Two years ago, however, they aimed for a higher international profile by creating an overall Best Film award, with the winner chosen by a jury from a shortlist of the festival's most notable gala selections.

The inaugural award in 2009 went to "A Prophet" -- a wholly deserving choice, though not one that brought the festival itself much attention, given that the London prize looked like mere garnish alongside the film's pile of more high-profile honors. Last year, I thought they served themselves better with more unique choices: with options including "The King's Speech" and "Black Swan," Patricia Clarkson's jury surprised everyone by awarding the two smallest titles on the list, "How I Ended This Summer" and "Archipelago," both of which benefited considerably from the exposure.

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<p>Alexandra Breckenridge of &quot;American Horror Story&quot;</p>
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Alexandra Breckenridge of "American Horror Story"

Credit: FX

HitFix Interview: Alexandra Breckenridge talks 'American Horror Story'

FX's new naughty maid discusses her freaky new series
Of all of the parts of FX's "American Horror Story" that are difficult to explain, I'd have the most trouble summing up how Alexandra Breckenridge and Frances Conroy come to be playing the same character, complete with matching red hair and matching maid costumes.
 
The red hair has created an instantly new persona for Breckenridge, who admits that she's recently had a string of "bubbly" roles on shows like "The Ex List" and "Life Unexpected" (plus a brief turn on "True Blood" this summer). On "American Horror Story," she's sultry, dangerous and mysterious, but definitely not bubbly.
 
In August, at a Television Critics Association press tour party in Pacific Palisades, I caught up with Breckenridge on the beach at sunset to talk about her deliriously wacky new series, her deliriously different new look and why she prefers originals over remakes.
 
Click through for the full transcript...
 
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