Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jeffrey Donovan and Kristanna Loken in &quot;Burn Notice.&quot;</p>

Jeffrey Donovan and Kristanna Loken in "Burn Notice."

Credit: USA

'Burn Notice' - 'Fail Safe': The things we do for love

The season climaxes with Michael and Anson trying to outmaneuver each other once again

"Burn Notice" just wrapped up its fifth season, and I have some thoughts on the finale and the current state of the show coming up just as soon as I'm smarter than a keypad...

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<p>Sweet Dee puts on her old back brace in the &quot;It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Sweet Dee puts on her old back brace in the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" season finale.

Credit: FX

Season finale review: 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

The gang wraps up a terrific seventh season with a two-tiered dance number

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" wrapped up its seventh season in style tonight, with the gang trying desperately to show up their tormentors at their high school reunion. The switch in perspective in the final scene was one of the biggest laughs the show gave me all year, and that's saying something, considering how strong this seventh season was. There was only one outright bad episode, "Frank's Brother," and even there I can respect that they were at least trying something different that didn't work. (That, or I can again note that Frank tends to be much more useful for generating stories than generating laughs.) 

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<p>Donald Glover as Troy on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Donald Glover as Troy on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I'll miss 'Community': Because Donald Glover crying is never not funny

The first in a weekly series to make the show's impending absence a little easier

"Community" technically isn't gone from NBC just yet. On the East Coast, NBC just got finished rerunning "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," and we'll have at least one or two other repeats before "30 Rock" takes over the timeslot in January and "Community" goes on an indefinite hiatus. As I said last week, this isn't forever. NBC will have 12 episodes sitting around, and some of their scheduling moves are going to fail, and "Community" will be back to at least finish out this third season. 

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<p>Jared Harris doesn't even look remotely evil, which makes it surprising to see how good he is at it in 'Sherlock Holmes - A Game Of Shadows'</p>

Jared Harris doesn't even look remotely evil, which makes it surprising to see how good he is at it in 'Sherlock Holmes - A Game Of Shadows'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Jared Harris on becoming Moriarty in 'Sherlock Holmes - A Game Of Shadows'

We talk about how to play evil without giving in to cliche

Sitting down to talk to Jared Harris about his work in the new film "Sherlock Holmes - A Game Of Shadows," I was excited not just because he's playing Professor Moriarty in the sequel to Guy Ritchie's first big hit adventure with the pulp detective, but also because of the full body of work that Harris has been putting together.

It must be hard as an actor when your father is not just a well-known person, but an undeniable legend.  There's no other way to describe Richard Harris, though, and a career like his casts a shadow over the entire English film community, not just the career of his son.

Despite that, Jared Harris has been very good over the course of his career at defining himself on terms totally removed from his father's identity.  He's been great on "Mad Men" the last few seasons, and he's always been a bit of a chameleon, vanishing into roles in a way his father never could.  I still remember being impressed by his run of films around '95, '96, when he was in "Smoke" and "Dead Man" and especially "I Shot Andy Warhol," and he seemed like such a great new presence.

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<p>Michelle Williams in &quot;My Week With Marilyn&quot; -- one Golden Globe prediction you can probably take to the bank.</p>

Michelle Williams in "My Week With Marilyn" -- one Golden Globe prediction you can probably take to the bank.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Take part in HitFix's Awards Pool

Predict the Globes correctly and win a Kindle Fire

(UPDATE: It's been pointed out to me by the competition is open to US readers only. Sorry -- I don't make the rules.) It was clear from your response to our SAG and Globe-related open-floor posts recently that many of you can't resist a prediction opportunity, so here's your chance to put that urge to profitable use. HitFix is holding an Awards Pool for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards next month, inviting readers to submit their best guesses in the film and television races -- with a shiny new Kindle Fire waiting for the person with the most accurate forecast. You have little to lose but your own credibility -- plus, it's the Globes, where cred hardly comes into it. Your guesses are literally as good as mine in the TV categories, but the comedy-musical film races are a walk in the park, right? Enter here

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<p>Burrito Josh of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Burrito Josh of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Semifinals Results Live-Blog - Who went home?

Would Marcus, Chris, Burrito Josh or Melanie be heading home?

It never fails. Every week we gather together on Thursday and I say that we're on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty and every week something gets in the way and Marcus Canty survives.

But tonight, we're TOTALLY on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty, aren't we?

Let's find out...

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<p>Ignacio Ferreras's &quot;Arrugas (Wrinkles)&quot; could be a surprise nominee, just as it was a surprise qualifier.</p>

Ignacio Ferreras's "Arrugas (Wrinkles)" could be a surprise nominee, just as it was a surprise qualifier.

Credit: Perro Verde Films

'Rango,' 'Puss in Boots,' 'Tintin' and more fight it out for Best Animated Feature Film

We handicap the field of 18 contenders

This year's race for Best Animated Feature Film is a bit of a full one. After only 15 titles qualified last year (yielding just three nominees), the total number of qualifying films in the hunt this time around is 19, meaning we'll have a set of five contenders when the nominees are announced in January.

And yet, I can barely think of five films worth being included. It's a rather weak year in general for animation (despite two animated contenders popping up in my top 10). I've been pushing through the ones I've missed along the way, as well as those that came from the fringe. So it seems to me a good enough time to really set the field.

An interesting note on this year's field of contenders is the presence of live action filmmakers and outsider animation teams in the mix. And two key entries in that light both come from Paramount: Gore Verbinski's "Rango" and Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin."

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<p>Sleigh Bells' &quot;Reign of Terror&quot;</p>

Sleigh Bells' "Reign of Terror"

Credit: Mom + Pop

Listen: Sleigh Bells unleash single 'Born to Lose'

In advance of the rock act's 2012 'Terror' album

When I first heard "Born to Lose," I thought, "Oh no, you did NOT just throw some synths in there..."

They didn't. But it does sound dreamier.

The New York rock duo keep up with their reputation of prettyprettypretty prettypretty UGLYUGLYUGLY prettyprettypretty sounds on this single, the first from forthcoming album "Reign of Terror."

If you were wondering what those blood-spattered Keds were all about, that would be the album cover. Pretty ugly!

"Reign of Terror" is out on Feb. 14.

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<p>Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor during a photo call for &quot;The Help&quot;&nbsp;in Spain this past October</p>

Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor during a photo call for "The Help" in Spain this past October

Credit: AP Photo/Paul White

Golden Globes: Tate Taylor makes it hard not to root for 'The Help'

The filmmaker discusses his talented cast and friendship with Octavia Spencer

Tate Taylor is living the dream.  The screenwriter and director of "The Help" has seen his surprise blockbuster turn into an awards season darling.  The film's biggest kudos so far came over the past two days as it was nominated for best ensemble at the SAG Awards, best picture - drama at the Golden Globes and three of his actors, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer, received both SAG and Golden Globe acting nominations.  For a Hollywood lifer who spent over a decade trying to land his big break in the business, it sounds like he's still pinching himself.

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Credit: ABC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 107

Dan and Alan talk Golden Globe noms, 'Enlightened' and 'Life and Times of Tim'

The

Happy, sleepy Thursday, Boys & Girls.
 
As promised, it's a bonus mid-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. In this slightly-shorter-than-normal installment, we talk Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award nominations, the recently completed first season of "Enlightened" and the upcoming third season of "The Life and Times of Tim."
 
No sports. Or very little sports, at least.

Today's breakdown:
Golden Globes/SAG Awards breakdown (00:00 - 33:30)
"Enlightened" (33:33 - 41:45)
"The Life and Times of Tim" (41:45 - 49:00)

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.] 

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<p>Nicki Minaj in &quot;Super Bass&quot;</p>

Nicki Minaj in "Super Bass"

2011's Year In Music: Top 10 Songs

Make that a Top 50: Listen to Adele, Tom Waits, Kanye and Jay-Z, M83, Colin Stetson, Rihanna...

We are back to that time-honored tradition of compressing more than 300 days of good music into handy lists, this particular chronicle summarizing songs that moves us, make us move, or make us stop. And by us, I mean just me.

I liked that the discovery process this year was aided, in part, by Spotify, in an avoidance of the clunky CPU vampire that is MySpace or taking up bits of hard drive space for full mp3 downloads. My friends were posting what turned them on more and more on Facebook (sometimes unintentionally). Other people's Top 10s were showing up as early as mid-November. I'm not going to pretend I haven't seen some.

Since the delineation between songs and singles is becoming hazier, made squishy by terms like "leak," "preview," "premiere," "teaser," "alternative edits" and other language, I've tried to keep this list equally loose, sometimes going with songs that weren't official radio drops, tracks that arrived in 2010 (but came into their own in 2011) artists that aren't singles artists and songs that I wouldn't even say are representative of the artists that perform them.

They're just songs, folks. I liked them, and I hope there's some you like.

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<p>The Dirty Three</p>

The Dirty Three

Dirty Three releasing first new album in six years; Grinderman finished

What's Nick Cave going to do, and will D3 tour?

Grinderman have apparently called it quits, but all the better, to free up the hands of Warren Ellis: his other, epic band The Dirty Three are releasing their first album since 2005 next year.

"Toward the Low Sun" is dropping via Drag City on Feb. 21, and in March in the U.K. on Bella Union. The trio -- consisting of Nick Cave/Grinderman mainstay Ellis, one of my top five favorite drummers of all time Jim White and Mick Turner -- last released "Cinder" in 2005 on Touch & Go (may it rest in peace).

And speaking of proper RIPs, Bella Union head Simon Raymond used that exact expression as he wrote about Grinderman, in lieu of the new D3 set. Cave himself called the whole thing off.

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