Latest Blog Posts

<p>I'll give you one guess who the boys decided the greatest character in 'The Phantom Menace' is...</p>

I'll give you one guess who the boys decided the greatest character in 'The Phantom Menace' is...

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Film Nerd 2.0: We flashback to 'The Phantom Menace' as the 'Star Wars' series continues

Pod racing? Darth Maul? What's not to love for little boys?

"Allen, you've seen three 'Star Wars' movies now."

Allen is three, keep in mind.  "Yes."

"Can you tell me what they are?"

"I seen the one with Darth Vader, where they're on the spaceship, and they blow it up, and I seen the one where Darth Vader cuts off Lukeskywalker's arm, and I seen the one where he cut off Darth Maul's body."

"What's your favorite one?"

"'The Phantom Menace.'"

Damn.  I was afraid of this.

Read Full Post
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Credit: AP Photo

Watch: B.o.B joins Taylor Swift for live version of 'Airplanes'

Does Hayley Williams mind?

At each concert stop on her “Speak Now” tour, Taylor Swift has incorporated material from other performers from the area. Sometimes she’s been joined by them. For her Cowboys Stadium show Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, she brought up B.o.B. for a fun duet of his hit, “Airplanes.”  B.o.B.'s from Georgia, but that's close enough.

Swift takes on the part handled by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, who, incidentally, recently joined Swift on stage in Nashville.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

 

Credit: AMC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 98

Dan and Alan review 'Walking Dead,' 'Last Man Standing' and talk 'Breaking Bad'

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls. 
 
It's time for the season's final "Breaking Bad"-centric installment of The Firewall & Iceberg podcast.
 
Sniffle.
 
Starting next week, the podcast will cease to have any kind of reliable structure.
 
It's a tragedy, really.
 
So expect plenty of "Breaking Bad" finale talk, but first we've got a slew of reviews including looks at the new seasons of "Bored to Dead" and "The Walking Dead," plus random conversations about early cancellations and our favorite recent "Simpsons" episodes.
 
This week's breakdown:
"Bored to Death" -- 01:00 - 8:30
"Enlightened" -- 8:30 - 20:15
"Last Man Standing" -- 20:20 - 27:00
"The Walking Dead" -- 27:00 - 36:40
Cancellations -- 37:00 - 45:30
"The Simpsons" renewal -- 45:00 - 01:00:30
"Breaking Bad" finale - 01:00:30 - 01:24:44

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And here's the podcast...
Read Full Post
<p>Drake</p>

Drake

Credit: AP Photo

Drake pushes back 'Take Care' to clear samples

When will we get the rapper's second album now?

Drake has pushed back the release of his highly anticipated sophomore album, “Take Care,” to take care of business.

Citing clearance issues, Drake took to his website over the weekend to post that the set would now come out Nov. 15 instead of Oct. 24.

Read Full Post
<p>NYFF&nbsp;attendees get an exclusive peek at Martin&nbsp;Scorsese's &quot;Hugo&quot;&nbsp;later this evening.</p>

NYFF attendees get an exclusive peek at Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" later this evening.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Go behind the scenes of Martin Scorsese's 'Hugo'

The film is set for a work-in-progress premiere at NYFF tonight

By now it's pretty obvious to everyone that tonight's not-so-secret New York Film Festival work-in-progress screening is Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." Even though Scorsese has done something like this in the past (bringing 20 minutes of "Gangs of New York" to Cannes back in 2002), it's nevertheless a curious move on the part of the master filmmaker and Paramount Pictures. The question everyone seems to be asking is, "Why?"

One can only assume the studio thinks it has something special on its hands and wants to muscle into the fall festival frame before all the other films cannibalize the conversation. Well, one can only hope, I should say. Because if "Hugo" doesn't really have the goods (I've heard iffy things here and there), then bringing it to a heavily scrutinized festival setting with incomplete effects shots and whatnot could really damage the film.

"I've always wanted to make a film in 3D," Scorsese says in a recently posted behind the scenes clip. "The story is something very emotional. Funny at times. It was like a celebration." I hope it's a celebration indeed after tonight's big reveal. Have a look at that behind the scenes clip below.

Read Full Post
<p>Karl Urban IS&nbsp;the law... but who will be the credited director when 'Judge Dredd' finally hits theaters?</p>

Karl Urban IS the law... but who will be the credited director when 'Judge Dredd' finally hits theaters?

Credit: Lionsgate

Director drama on 'Judge Dredd' suggests a tough verdict for series reboot

Does replacing a director this late in the process ever really work?

In the world of big-budget franchise management, the stakes are very high.

When your job is managing an intellectual property, you aren't just telling a story or making a movie… you're creating something that is meant to service something larger.  In the case of the "Judge Dredd" property, this is the second time filmmakers are taking a shot at bringing the character to the screen, and they've got the advantage of having seen it done absolutely wrong by Hollywood the first time.

Based on reports that have started to trickle out over the last week, it sounds like they're making all new mistakes this time, and I'm curious to see what happens with the film now that Pete Travis, the director on the film, has been shut out of the process.

Read Full Post
<p>If the Oscars were held today, Viola Davis would probably win for her performance in &quot;The&nbsp;Help.&quot;</p>
<br />

If the Oscars were held today, Viola Davis would probably win for her performance in "The Help."


Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Off the Carpet: Streep and Davis head up a tight but lacking pack of Best Actress contenders

Others in the hunt include Charlize Theron and Glenn Close

After barreling through the gentlemen looking like Oscar possibilities the last two weeks, today we move on to the ladies. And immediately, I have to take note of Mark Harris's latest column at Grantland, dedicated to the supposed insanity of considering Meryl Streep the frontrunner for her still unseen performance in "The Iron Lady." And it reminds me that there is some clarification needed for those who eagerly scout prediction collectives like those at Gold Derby and Movie City News.

Here's the thing. Not everyone who places a contender at the top of a list of predictions this early is saying, "This is the person to beat." How do I know that? Because that's not how I play it. In pointing to the Gold Derby crew (which includes our own Guy Lodge), Harris offers up a smart nugget concerning the prospect of Streep winning the Oscar this year that Anne and I just mentioned on Friday's Oscar Talk podcast: "It's bad guesswork…[Streep] has lost more Academy Awards than any actor in history."

No doubt. But if you ask me to rank things in the early stages, I look at it as "most likely to be nominated," not "frontrunner to win," and I believe a number of others do as well. So, with that in mind, Streep has been in a position to win more Academy Awards than any actor in history. That, I think it's fair to say, is good guesswork.

Read Full Post
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 98: 'Breaking Bad,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Last Man Standing' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 98: 'Breaking Bad,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Last Man Standing' & more

Dan and Alan also review HBO's 'Enlightened' and 'Bored to Death' and talk about cancellations and 'The Simpsons' renewal

The

An extra-long Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week features our final "Breaking Bad" discussion for a while, looks ahead to how "The Walking Dead" will succeed it in season 2, reviews some underwhelming new HBO and ABC comedies, discusses the current state of "The Simpsons," and more. The line-up: 

"Bored to Death" -- 01:00 - 8:30
"Enlightened" -- 8:30 - 20:15
"Last Man Standing" -- 20:20 - 27:00
"The Walking Dead" -- 27:00 - 36:40
Cancellations -- 37:00 - 45:30
"The Simpsons" renewal -- 45:00 - 01:00:30
"Breaking Bad" finale - 01:00:30 - 01:24:44
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
Read Full Post
<p>Lauren Alaina</p>

Lauren Alaina

Credit: AP Photo

Album Review: 'American Idol' Lauren Alaina blooms on 'Wildflower'

Will she land at No. 1 on the chart like Scotty McCreery?

One week after “American Idol” season 10 winner Scotty McCreery dropped his debut,  runner-up Lauren Alaina follows with her major label bow.  Will “Wildflower” debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 like McCreery’s “Clear As Day?”

Chances are good it will not, not because it isn’t as good an effort — in fact, we think it’s much stronger than “Clear As Day, which we reviewed here—but because Oct. 11 is a bigger release day with new albums also coming from Evanescence, Martina McBride and Joe Jonas, among others.

But back to Alaina. Even though she’s only 16, her voice is self-assured and she is totally able to sell what she’s singing here. Though she doesn’t have the range and clarity of Carrie Underwood, she has a bit of her growl and sass (and she has a tune co-written here by the former “American Idol”: “18 Inches,” the kind of treacly story song that country fans love). Otherwise, Alaina sounds a lot like Lady Antebellum’s Hilary Scott, which makes us think the album could have benefitted from a duet or two to give her voice something to play off of.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>On behalf of Terrence Malick, Bill Pohlad accepts the Palm d'Or with fellow producer Dede Gardner at the 2011 Canne&nbsp;Film Festival</p>

On behalf of Terrence Malick, Bill Pohlad accepts the Palm d'Or with fellow producer Dede Gardner at the 2011 Canne Film Festival

Credit: Getty Images

Interview: Bill Pohlad reflects on 'The Tree of Life' as the film heads to DVD/Blu-ray

The Terrence Malick collaborator has seen a long road to audiences for the film

Over lunch some 10 years ago, producer and financier Bill Pohlad witnessed something few of us will ever have the luxury of witnessing: a Terrence Malick pitch. At the time, Pohlad and Malick were moving forward on a Che Guevera project that never came to fruition, and over the course of three hours, Malick laid out the plan for his epic tale of of micro/macrocosmic meditation, "The Tree of Life."

"It was refined but wasn't so smooth that you didn't realize how big and how bold it was," Pohlad says of the pitch. "It was pretty memorable, but also I can't say that it wasn't daunting."

Something like this naturally evolves considerably over the course of a decade, but going all the way back to that lunch, Malick always wanted to tell a tale of the universal juxtaposed with a small family in Texas. And of course, Pohlad needed to go over a few things again after having it first waft over him. And who can blame him? When you have a master filmmaker telling you he wants to tell the story of the creation of the universe and then shift to a family in the 1950s, it's difficult to wrap your head around the abstract.

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

Michelle Williams and Eddie Redmayne star in "My Week with Marilyn"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Williams shines but 'Marilyn' buckles under an uncompelling perspective

Call it 'My (Movie of the) Week with Marilyn'

Twelve hours later and the desire to write about "My Week with Marilyn" is barely there. I made the obvious joke via Twitter last night: "My (Movie of the) Week with Marilyn," and that's the thing. It's a contained piece that never breaks out in a visually interesting way and is kind of a slog as a result. Director Simon Curtis tries to give it some personality, but he never shakes the whiff of television.

The takeaway, obviously, is Michelle Williams's performance as Marilyn Monroe. And indeed, she's quite the breathy thing of beauty in this film, though I'm not as taken with her work here as others seem to be. She portrays a pair of Marilyns, the simple public icon and the clearly more complex woman striving to be an artist underneath. And if you're asking me (not that anyone is), that is the story, the intriguing dichotomy of star versus actor, not this limp tale of film set gopher Colin Clark's (Eddie Redmayne) first love that goes nowhere and does nothing to illuminate her or, really, him.

Read Full Post
<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

'NOW That's What I Call Music' stars Britney, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga

Deluxe Edition features Chris Brown, Ke$ha, Taylor Swift

“Now That’s What I Call Music” is turning 40.  To celebrate, the next edition of the multi-artist album series, out Nov. 8,  will come in two packages: the standard edition will contain 16 of the hottest tracks from the last few months, including Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” Britney Spears’ “I Wanna Go” and Lady Gaga’s “You And I.”   The 2-CD Deluxe Edition includes all the hits in the standard set, as well as the greatest hits from the last several years featured on previous sets. Among the hits on the additional disc are Spears’ “....Baby One More Time,” Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” Justin Timberlake’s “Crey Me a River” and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.”

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME