Latest Blog Posts

<p>Rooney Mara's performance finally pokes through in the new trailer, putting her right in the thick of this year's Best Actress conversation.</p>

Rooney Mara's performance finally pokes through in the new trailer, putting her right in the thick of this year's Best Actress conversation.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Sony drops new, extended trailer for David Fincher's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Rooney Mara looks to give an awards-caliber performance

Last week, Sony Pictures shrewdly amped up the pre-release conversation around David Fincher's re-adaptation of Steig Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by revealing a six-minute extended trailer in front of a press screening of Rod Lurie's "Straw Dogs." Fincher was there. Trent Reznor was there. Everyone felt stoked to be treated with the footage. And, on cue, everyone wrote about it.

Well, tonight, the studio dropped what I imagine is a whittled-down version of that assemblage, though it still clocks in at nearly four minutes long, laying out the basic establishing beats of the relationship between Daniel Craig's Mikael Blomkvist character and Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara. And I have to be honest. I kind of nodded off watching it. The teaser trailer that hit back during the summer, with Reznor and Karen O's cover of "Immigrant Song?" I was totally on board for that. Here they're slowing things down and building a different identity for the film and, well, if this is representative of what got everyone jazzed last week, I'm just not feeling that level of excitement. But then, Mr. Fincher isn't sitting two rows in front of me.

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

L.A. Reid

Watch: L.A. Reid discusses 'The X Factor'

Music mogul tells HitFix why he bet on Simon Cowell
On Wednesday (September 21) night, viewers were introduced to L.A. Reid, "X Factor" judge.
Music fans didn't really need an introduction to L.A. Reid, record industry power-player since founding LaFace Records back in 1989. In the subsequent 20-plus years, with LaFace, Arista and The Island Def Jam Music Group, Reid has been credited with signing, developing or shaping the careers of artists ranging from Pink to Usher to Justin Bieber to Rihanna and more. 
Back in March, Reid made the decision to exit his position as Chairman and CEO at The Island Def Jam Music Group to come join Simon Cowell on "The X Factor" (and then taking over the Epic Label Group in July).
In my recent interview with Cowell, he praised Reid for his taste and for their similar backgrounds, but on Wednesday's premiere, a lot was made of the two men bumping heads when evaluating potential "X Factor" talent. 
The day before chatting with Cowell last week, I sat down with Reid to talk about his big job switch, about his "X Factor" judging approach and his overall approach to judging talent.
Check out the interview...
Read Full Post
<p>Somebody found Ashlee Simpson!</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Somebody found Ashlee Simpson!

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model: All-Stars' - 'Ashlee Simpson'

The models get makeovers and somebody unearthed Ashlee Simpson

Now that what’s-her-name has been sent home (goodbye, young lady, we literally hardly knew ye), it’s time for Angelea to celebrate. Her soul feeds on the misery of other skinny girls, and that’s according to real live scientists. Martin Lindstrom, a “brand strategist,” and his client, Tyra, arrive at the house to tell the girls how to sell themselves. (To the modeling industry, silly!)

Read Full Post
<p>Paul Williams sat down with HitFix following the premiere of the new documentary about him at the Toronto Film Festival for a warm and candid conversation</p>

Paul Williams sat down with HitFix following the premiere of the new documentary about him at the Toronto Film Festival for a warm and candid conversation

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Listen: The MCP continues Toronto with Gus Van Sant, Paul Williams, and the Duplass brothers

Plus our first call-in segment playing Movie God and Remake This! with you

To be honest, I think we went overboard.  But for good reason.

I mean, four hours of podcasting in one week?  Good lord.  Sure, that first podcast had no less than five interviews from the Toronto Midnight Madness section of this year's festival, and a great conversation with Bobcat Goldthwait, another with the filmmakers behind "Livid," and yet another with Eduardo Sanchez.  It was overstuffed with goodness, and there was some conversation about Netflix and Kevin Costner and other things as well, so if that was it, that would already been one of our better weeks.

But no.  No, I had to push it.  I had to try to put together two full giant podcasts this week, so that we'd have all of our Toronto coverage up and done and nothing hanging over me for after Fantastic Fest.  That meant we had to do another full-length podcast so that I'd have room to run the rest of the interviews.  After all, I've got an interview here with Gus Van Sant about his new film "Restless," an interview with '70s icon Paul Williams and Steven Kessler, the guy who made the documentary about him, and with the Duplass Brothers on their lovely new film "Jeff Who Lives At Home."  I can't sit on that stuff.  I want you to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed having the conversations during the fest.

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

Brandon of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'He Has Demons'

Russell's nephew manages to make Russell look friendly and well-adjusted
Pre-credit sequence. We're on Redemption Island with Semhar. She feels abandoned by her team. "I gave them my every last strength and they sent me to Redemption Island. Figures," she says. The rules for Redemption Island seem to be identical to last year. Anyway Semhar is still crying. She confesses that she comes pre-equipted with abandonment issues, which must really be exacerbated when your "Survivor" tribe abandons you. In her loneliness on Redemption Island, she talks her way through a so-so poem. It ends with "I don't miss you, I miss feeling loved." Sniffle.
Read Full Post
<p>Emily Van Camp may be registering her own online comments about &quot;Revenge,&quot;&nbsp;but what did you think?</p>

Emily Van Camp may be registering her own online comments about "Revenge," but what did you think?

Credit: ABC

'Revenge' - 'Pilot': The countess of the Hamptons?

What did everybody think of the new ABC soap opera?

Too many new shows this week, and not much time to review them all. Fienberg published his review of ABC's "Revenge" earlier today, and all I have the time or energy to say is that I found this chilly, humorless update of "The Count of Monte Cristo" - and the lightweight lead performance by Emily Van Camp (whom I've liked in the past) - too dull to even qualify as a guilty pleasure.

Now it's your turn. For those who watched, what did you think? Are you setting the season pass now? 

Read Full Post
<p>Marg Helgenberger and Ted Danson on &quot;CSI.&quot;</p>

Marg Helgenberger and Ted Danson on "CSI."

Credit: CBS

'CSI' - '73 Seconds': Ted Danson takes charge

Nick meets the new night shift boss, who fits right in

I'm not much a fan of CBS' crime procedurals (most of which are fine for what they're doing but not my area of interest). I am a big fan, however, of Mr. Ted Danson. What to do, then, when Danson becomes the new "CSIleading man? Well, at the very least I could take time to watch his first two episodes as new night shift supervisor D.B. Russell, and to be impressed - but not particularly surprised - at how easily he fit into the vibe of the show(*), played off of George Eads and Marg Helgenberger, etc. 

(*) And, specifically, how quickly he and the writing for his character were able to bring back the slightly offbeat comic quality from the show's early days with William Petersen. That sense of humor, as well as the insistence on always treating the Vegas CSIs as nerds, no matter how attractive they were, were two huge elements that elevated the original over the spin-offs. Glad to have that back.

All in all, I thought "73 Seconds" was a very good introduction for Danson/Russell. But then, I haven't been a regular "CSI" viewer for a very long time. For those of you who are fans, how'd you feel about the new guy? I know the Laurence Fishburne era got mixed reactions; did this seem like a step up to you? And is there anyone who might start watching the show (or return to the show after an absence) just for Danson? 

Read Full Post
<p>Freddie (Ben Whishaw)&nbsp;on &quot;The Hour.&quot;</p>

Freddie (Ben Whishaw) on "The Hour."

Credit: BBC

'The Hour' - 'Episode 6': Shut it down

Tensions mount as Freddie and Bel decide to challenge the government

"The Hour" wrapped up its first season tonight, and I have a few quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I put on a fake mustache...

Read Full Post
Lady Gaga, bringing a little weirdness to 'Good Morning America' in May
Lady Gaga, bringing a little weirdness to 'Good Morning America' in May
Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Watch: Lady Gaga flop around in 'Yuyi,' third clip for 'You and I'

Her mermaid character is going places...with a little help

This time when Lady Gaga  sings “This time I’m not leaving without you,” in the latest video for “You and I,” she really means it. Because she can’t!

In the third Haus of U clip for “You and I,” Gaga appears as Yuyi, the mermaid who first surfaced in the official clip for the song.  Therefore, motility on land is somewhat limited to flopping around, as she does in and under a director’s chair here, or being carried around. As you recall, Lady Gaga has been releasing additional short black and white clips, filmed in Nebraska, to boost the song. While beautifully shot, they’re low-concept affairs. The first of the five, “Nymph,” featured Lady Gaga in lingerie dancing to the song. In last week’s installment, “Bride,” she was working a “Bride of Frankenstein” theme.

[More after the jump...]

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

"The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Premiere Live-Blog

Whatever Simon Cowell's new concoction is, let's find out together...

OK, kids... It's time for "The X Factor." There's been so much darned hype for this one that a premiere live-blog seemed appropriate...

So let's go!

Read Full Post
<p>Sean Penn in &quot;This Must Be The Place.&quot;</p>

Sean Penn in "This Must Be The Place."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Is Sean Penn crashing the best actor race?

Weinstein Company picks up 'This Must Be The Place'

After his public comments about the editing of "The Tree of Life," we're still unsure if Sean Penn will appear at any future SAG screening or, now, Academy member screenings of the critic's favorite, but his other film from the 2011 Cannes Film Festival has finally found a home. HitFix can confirm The Weinstein Company has picked up U.S. distribution for Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be The Place."

Read Full Post
<p>Events like last year's red carpet home video release party for &quot;The Social&nbsp;Network&quot;&nbsp;that ostensibly serve as Oscar campaign stops weren't addressed, but freedom of movement elsewhere means they won't be as necessary.</p>

Events like last year's red carpet home video release party for "The Social Network" that ostensibly serve as Oscar campaign stops weren't addressed, but freedom of movement elsewhere means they won't be as necessary.

What the Academy's new campaign rules and regulations really mean

Oscar strategists, start licking your chops

The Academy today dropped via press release its annual list of rule clarifications and changes regarding campaigning procedures, but while most are acknowledging the adjustments to post-nominations events and gatherings (like, say, blatant campaigning via private parties with AMPAS guest lists hosted for contending talent -- no longer permitted), my colleague Greg Ellwood has drilled down and noted probably the biggest bombshell of all in the announcement.

Before the nominations are revealed, it looks to be open season.

Greg quotes from the press release as follows: "Prior to the nominations announcement (January 24, 2012), there are no restrictions on screening events to which Academy members may be invited. These events may include the live participation of individuals involved with the film (Q&A panel discussions, etc.) as well as receptions with food and beverage."

What he surmises from this is that studios "can clearly go after just Academy voters if they want and, moreover, can drop having to participate in third party screening series such as the Variety or Envelope staples." This all may seem like the kind of ink you gloss over while following an Oscar race, but these changes could -- and likely will -- substantially impact the season.

Read Full Post