Latest Blog Posts

'Maleficent' star Elle Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting

'Maleficent' star Elle Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting

Why was Aurora from 'Sleeping Beauty' her Disney favorite

Elle Fanning's appreciation for Aurora, the heroine of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," began in childhood and, at least initially, was based on the superficial similarity.

"Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite princess," Fanning told me last week, explaining that the shared long, blonde hair created immediate kingship.

Now, the 16-year-old Fanning is getting closer-than-ever with Aurora, playing the impressionable young princess opposite Angelina Jolie's title character in Disney's "Maleficent."

"Maleficent" gets to the root of the wicked (or just misunderstood?) sorceress' animus toward Aurora, while delivering many of the moments that "Sleeping Beauty" fans will expect.

"There would be some days where literally I'd get into my costume and I'd sleep all day," Fanning laughs.

In our conversation, Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting, but also the key to expressing wonderment at magical worlds that are represented only by tennis balls or strings of light on-set. 

Check out the full interview above.

"Maleficent" opens on Friday, May 30. 

Read Full Post
<p>James McAvoy in &quot;Filth&quot;</p>

James McAvoy in "Filth"

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

James McAvoy talks about going to dark places in 'Filth'

The 'X-Men' star has another movie hitting theaters this summer and it features his best performance

I imagine that, like many moviegoers this summer, you might be excited to see Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past." And you should be. It's a pretty great installment of a franchise that has seen its ups and downs, and at its center, actors Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy make for a brilliant combination. But, uh — pssst! — McAvoy has another movie coming out this summer, and it features his most electrifying, committed and passionate work as an actor to date.

Read Full Post
TV Ratings: FOX's NASCAR coverage leads Sunday as deceased 'Believe,' 'Crisis' dip
Credit: AP

TV Ratings: FOX's NASCAR coverage leads Sunday as deceased 'Believe,' 'Crisis' dip

NBC can be relieved that 'American Dream Builders' is over

Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 25, 2014.

The first Sunday of TV's summer delivered predictably low numbers across the board, with FOX's coverage of the Sprint Cup in Concord dominating the night in all measures. 

Not-so-shockingly, despite a near-total lack of competition, NBC wasn't able to attract any new eyeballs to the already-cancelled-trinity of "American Dream Builders," "Believe" and "Crisis."

And otherwise, Sunday was a dud.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Woo of &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Woo of "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Yung 'Woo' Hwang talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

Second place finisher expected the final vote to be closer

Martial arts instructor Yung "Woo" Hwang hoped that his integrity would be worth a million dollars in last week's "Survivor: Cagayan" finale.

After a relatively uneventful 38 days in the game, Woo scored a key victory in the season's Final Immunity Challenge, which left him to decide whether he wanted to go to the Final Jury against Kass, presumably easily beatable, or Tony. Although there was the sense that Tony had played this season's most aggressive game, Woo made the surprising decision to take his Brawn alliance-mate to the end. Or perhaps it was BECAUSE there was a sense that Tony had played the season's most aggressive game. 

Put in position to make a game-changing decision for the first time this season, Woo decided he wanted to rest his laurels on Honor, taking Tony because Tony deserved to go to the end and Kass didn't, or so he said. 

After some signs of bitterness at the Final Tribal, the Jury ended up agreeing with Woo's opinion, but not his strategy and, by a vote of 8-1, they gave Tony the Sole Survivor status. 

In his exit interview, Woo discusses his slight surprise at Tony's margin-of-victory, his possible social failings and the highlight of his season, a Reward win that included bringing school supplies to local children.

Click through for the full Q&A...

Read Full Post

'Mad Men’s' midseason finale counters TV’s shock addiction

“Mad Men’s” midseason finale counters TV’s shock addiction
Addressing the gentle nature of “Waterloo,” Joanna Robinson says: "I, for one, think it was a particularly fitting commentary on us, the audience, given the ghoulish way we have been predicting a bloody Manson Family end for Megan Draper for over a year. When put in the context of Peggy’s Burger Chef pitch, this episode very much held a mirror up to our modern TV watching practices and general disconnectedness.” PLUS: “Mad Men’s” humanism was all over this episode, that ending was perfect for this episode, that final scene was stagey and indulgent in an otherwise terrific episode, it was a campy moment that didn’t belong, and it was delightfully bizarre, that was Kellie Martin, and this video is a refresher on Robert Morse's past.


“Sons of Anarchy” gives Jax Teller a new look for the final season
Charlie Hunnam will be clean-shaven next year.


Norm Macdonald is hoping CBS once again does an open “Late Late Show” tryout — "I feel like I could beat out anyone else”
“I’m obviously not flavor of the month,” says the 50-year-old former Weekend Update host. “But I feel like I could beat out anyone else. I feel like I’m at my prime fighting age. I feel like a boxer sitting in my hotel room watching some flabby white guys on TV.”


Barbara Walters gives her archives to Sarah Lawrence College
The collection includes tapes, papers and photos from her five-decade career.


Casey Wilson marries her “Marry Me” boyfriend David Caspe
The two began dating while working together on Happy Endings” in 2011.


Arby’s airs a 13-hour commercial
The Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich ad, airing only in Duluth, Minnesota, targeted the Guinness World Record for ad length.


Watch Ed Helms speak to Cornell grads
"The Office" alum said at Cornell's commencement: "Andy Bernard's zealous embrace of Cornell is well-documented, but I can't tell you how meaningful and just plain cool it is to see Cornell embrace him right back."


Sofia Vergara breaks up with her fiancé
The “Modern Family” star used social media to explain why she and longtime boyfriend Nick Loeb have split.


Lisa Edelstein weds
The “House” alum and "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce” star married artist Robert Russell on Sunday.


“Hannibal” season finale, explained
Producers plan to stay true to the novel.


“All My Children’s” Matthew Cowles, husband of Christine Baranski, dies
Cowles, who played villain Billy Clyde Tuggle, died Thursday at age 69.

Read Full Post
<p>Steve Carell in Bennett Miller&#39;s &quot;Foxcatcher.&quot;</p>

Steve Carell in Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher."

Credit: Sony Classics

'Foxcatcher,' 'Mr. Turner' and Julianne Moore top Cannes Film Festival Oscar players

Few answers in the Best Foreign Language Film category

CANNES - After last year supplied Best Picture nominee "Nebraska," vaulted Bruce Dern into the Best Actor race, made "Inside Llewyn Davis" a pseudo contender and found many wondering if "Blue is the Warmest Color" could create some heat, awards season has some new players on the board as the 2014 Cannes Film Festival comes to a close.

Read Full Post
<p>John Slattery in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

John Slattery in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Mid-season finale review: 'Mad Men' - 'Waterloo'

Cutler tries to push Don out, Peggy gets a big opportunity, and man walks on the moon

A review of the "Mad Men" mid-season finale coming up just as soon as I have to talk to people who just touched the face of God about hamburgers...

Read Full Post
Coldplay

Coldplay and Brantley Gilbert add up to big album numbers on next week's chart

Sales heat up as big titles drop

As the thermometer heats up, so does the album chart as the top two debuts will both sell more than 200,000 copies.

Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories” will likely sell between 370,000 and 390,000 copies, the most of any album this year, to bow at No. 1.

In almost any other week, Brantley Gilbert’s “Just As I Am” would have bowed at No. 1 by selling around 200,000 copies, but will have to settle for No. 2 (although it will debut at No. 1 on Billboard Country Albums).

Two other debuts will start in the Top 10: Phillip Phillips’ “Behind The Light” and the soundtrack to “The Fault In Our Stars” at No 7 (40,000) and No. 8 (24,000).

The rest of the Top 10 features recurrents. Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” drops from No. 2 to No. 3 (85,000) and the “Frozen” soundtrack stays at No. 4 (65,000). “Now 50” will be at No. 5 (55,000) and this week’s No. 1, The Black Keys’ “Turn Blue” drops to No. 6 (50,000). Rascal Flatts’ “Rewind” falls to No. 9 (24), while Iggy Azalea’s climbs back up into the Top 10, rising 14-10 (22,000), according to Hits Daily Double.

The Roots’ “And Then You Shoot Your Cousin” barely misses the Top 10, likely coming in at No. 12.

 

Read Full Post
Best and Worst of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

Best and Worst of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

Plus: Booing good movies, filmmakers who want it too much, Jessica Chastain

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival was a festival of few highs and few disastrous lows.  Which, to be quite honest, isn't a bad thing.  Instead, the festival projected a steady diet of good or mediocre movies from the global film community. In fact, at times the press corps and critics seemed to be dying to find a movie to boo at (more on that from Guy Lodge later).

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Madam Secretary&quot;</p>

"Madam Secretary"

Credit: CBS

DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Sunday Nights

How will 'Madam Secretary' and FOX's live-action comedies change things?

[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]

SUNDAY NIGHTS

7:00 p.m.
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos"
CBS: "60 Minutes"
FOX: "The OT," "Bob's Burgers"
NBC: NFL Pre-Game

8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Once Upon a Time"
CBS: "Madam Secretary"
FOX: "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
NBC: Sunday Night Football

9 p.m.
ABC: "Resurrection"
CBS: "The Good Wife"
FOX: "Family Guy," "Mulaney"
NBC: Sunday Night Football

10 p.m.
ABC: "Revenge"
CBS: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"/"CSI: Cyber"
NBC: Sunday Night Football


Read Full Post
<p>Kass of &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Kass of "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Kass McQuillen talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

How would Man-Kass have done? And what about Woman-Tony?

If you read my interview with "Survivor: Cagayan" 4th Place finisher Spencer Bledsoe, you saw one approach to the "Survivor" experience. Spencer was circumspect, critical of his strategy and admitted that he would have voted for Tony, the season's winner, over himself.

Today's exit interview, with 3rd Place finisher Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen, takes a different approach. Kass thinks she played the same game as Tony only with a different gender, she thinks Spencer and the other losing castaways were arrogant and she thinks that the "Survivor" finale live vote suggesting Woo would have easily beaten her was "revisionist." 

Kass thinks there's a double-standard when it comes to female "Survivor" players, particularly for moms, and she's confident that a male version of Kass would have won the season. 

And I'm not saying that she's wrong. In fact, on much of it, she's probably right.

In our sometimes contentious exit interview, Kass discusses the performance of Man-Kass, takes exception to the use of the word "goat" and isn't especially pleased with the nickname "Chaos Kass" either. I got a bit bogged down in trying to point out things about her social game and I apologize for what was a much-too-long digression about her decision to flip off the departing Trish in front of the whole Jury.

Click through for the full Q&A...

Read Full Post
20 best sketches of the 2013-2014 'Saturday Night Live' Season
Credit: NBC

20 best sketches of the 2013-2014 'Saturday Night Live' Season

From 'Boy Dance Party' to 'Black Jeopardy!,' did you favorite sketch make the list?

While experiencing a rocky and often incoherent season, "Saturday Night Live" nonetheless produced many great sketches. Not every episode worked, but most contained at least one sketch that still lingers in the minds of its audience.

Funny, original, and often even moving, here are the twenty best segments the show had to offer in its thirty-ninth season.

Agree or disagree? Share your comments below.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME