Latest Blog Posts

<p>Robert Redford at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International&nbsp;Film&nbsp;Festival</p>

Robert Redford at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Credit: AP Photo

Robert Redford tribute provides an emotional grace note at Santa Barbara festival

An evening not nearly long enough ended with a touching ode

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Friday night ended up providing one of the most emotional moments I've seen in all my years of attending the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It came at the end of a very long evening saluting the career of actor Robert Redford, one that wasn't even long enough, actually, as the timeline had to top out at "Ordinary People" lest the celebration spill over far too much. And it was a grace note representative of the heart of this festival.

Read Full Post
<p>The Sochi Olympics opening</p>

The Sochi Olympics opening

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Sochi Opening Ceremony draws a huge Friday number for NBC

'Enlisted' and 'Raising Hope' both lose viewers against the juggernaut
Fast National ratings for Friday, February 7, 2014.
 
NBC may have been airing the Opening Ceremony for the Sochi Winter Olympics hours after the rest of the world saw the pageantry and staggered based on time zones, but American viewers appear to have accepted it. The Olympics kick-off, which after a strongly rated "bonus" night of coverage, comfortably swept past the limited competition on Friday night.
 
The only real network competition against the Olympics on Friday was FOX's "Enlisted"/"Raising Hope" block and while Sochi took a reasonably large bite out of the comedies overall, "Enlisted" was only down by 0.1 in the key demo and "Raising Hope" was flat.
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post

NBC defends editing out anti-discrimination statement from its Sochi Opening Ceremony broadcast


NBC defends editing out anti-discrimination statement from its Sochi Opening Ceremony broadcast
NBC removed a big chunk of IOC president Thomas Bach's message on tolerance from last night's broadcast, but The Peacock insists "his message got across very clearly."


NBC also cut Sochi's giant giant bear mascot, Olympic torch in space and Russian cops singing "Get Lucky"
The Peacock chose to dump out several of the Opening Ceremonies features that were popular on social media all day. PLUS: The Olympic oaths were also removed from the NBC broadcast.


NBC Sochi Opening Ceremony coverage down 8% from Vancouver
The 2010 Winter Olympics was, of course, shown live through most of the United States.


NBC seemed to cut back on the annoying Opening Ceremony narration
Was there actually less Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira? Or was this Opening ceremony elevated by New Yorker editor and Russia expert David Remnick? PLUS: The Opening ceremony was "majestic, grandiose and quite humorless."


Jimmy Fallon says goodbye to "Late Night" with The Muppets
They performed "The Weight" together, before Fallon walked down the hall to his new "Tonight Show" studios. PLUS: Fallon has his best ratings since his debut week, celebs offer "Tonight Show" advice, and Fallon reflects on his 12:37 years.

Read Full Post
<p>Zoe Kazan isn't sure exactly who she is in the sweet and charming 'The Pretty One'</p>

Zoe Kazan isn't sure exactly who she is in the sweet and charming 'The Pretty One'

Credit: Dada Films

Review: Zoe Kazan gives a radiant dual performance in uber-charming 'The Pretty One'

Jenee LaMarque's film is both wise and very clever

What draws us to certain actors?

Audiences and actors have a relationship that is hard to describe or dissect. When we watch someone over the span of years or even decades, we grow to have certain feelings about them, certain memories of them, and who we are at the various stages of their career plays into the way we feel when we think of them. There are actors who we see almost as our surrogates because we run parallel to them in terms of age and development. There are actors we see as father figures or even grandfather figures, who embody a certain something during the years we develop. There are actors we feel protective of, actors we despise, actors we look forward to seeing, actors whose work feels like a secret told only to us. One of the strangest parts of that relationship is that much of what we're responding to is actually due to the writers and the directors and the cinematographers and stunt doubles and editors and make-up artists and production designers and costumers, and the actor is simply a part of this impression that builds up over time. In some ways, they are a minority stakeholder in the thing that we respond to, but still, we hang those feelings on them.

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from &quot;Captain Phillips&quot;</p>

A scene from "Captain Phillips"

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Captain Phillips' and 'American Hustle' win industry editing honors

'Frozen' and '20 Feet from Stardom' also walk away with hardware

Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips" hasn't missed a beat since that pair of surprise Oscar misses in the Best Director and Best Actor categories a few weeks back. The film pulled out a Best Adapted Screenplay WGA win last weekend and Friday night it routed fellow Best Picture nominees "Gravity," "Her" and "12 Years a Slave" to win the ACE Eddie Award for dramatic feature film editing. "American Hustle," meanwhile, bested "Nebraska" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" to claim the comedy/musical prize.

Read Full Post
<p>Christopher Rouse winning the Best Film&nbsp;Editing Oscar for &quot;The&nbsp;Bourne&nbsp;Ultimatum&quot;&nbsp;in 2008. Could we see a similar sight on March 2?</p>

Christopher Rouse winning the Best Film Editing Oscar for "The Bourne Ultimatum" in 2008. Could we see a similar sight on March 2?

Credit: AP Photo

Film editor Christopher Rouse on Paul Greengrass, Oscar nominations and 'Captain Phillips'

'It’s the richest and best creative relationship I’ve ever had.'

Filmmaker/editor relationships may not have the iconic status of relationships between directors and certain actors or producers or even cinematographers, but there are exceptions to this. For instance, no one has been as integral to Martin Scorsese's career as Thelma Schoonmaker. Much of Steven Spielberg's work has been shaped by the great Michael Kahn.

Usually these sorts of collaborations are marked by something special at the core of the relationship, and over the past decade, a similar one has begun to blossom in this light: Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse. Rouse has worked on nearly all of Greengrass' films, dating back to 2004's "The Bourne Supremacy," and even though their collaborations number just five, to think of one artist without the other is now a bit difficult.

Read Full Post
<p>Woody Allen in 2011.</p>

Woody Allen in 2011.

Credit: AP Photo

Woody Allen speaks out and it appears he's had enough

Will this end anytime soon?

To say this awards season has not gone as expected is something of an understatement. No one could have anticipated that perhaps the closest best picture race this century would be overshadowed by twenty one year-old allegations surrounding Woody Allen and his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow.  After almost two decades of silence, a series of tweets during the Golden Globes from Mia Farrow, Dylan's adoptive mother, and her brother, Ronan Farrow, has snowballed into a dramatic series of statements that has once again dragged these unproven allegations into something of a public spectacle.

Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;Enlisted,&quot; Pete and the guys help out a dorky base dad (Andy Daly). </p>

On "Enlisted," Pete and the guys help out a dorky base dad (Andy Daly).

Credit: FOX

Talkback: 'Enlisted' - 'Rear D Day'

Pete decides to embrace the suck, while Sgt. Major Cody asks for Jill's help

A busy day today means I don't have time to write about tonight's "Enlisted— notable for the guest appearance by Andy Daly as dorky dad Rodney, for being yet another out-of-order episode (Derrick says it's only been two weeks since Pete punched the colonel in Afghanistan) and for a good Jill/Sgt. Major Cody subplot — but since you guys seem to be really enjoying the show so far, I figured I'd give you a chance to discuss "Rear D Day." 

Have at it.

Read Full Post

Russian TV avoided showing the Sochi Opening Ceremony's Olympic ring screw-up


Russian TV avoided showing the Sochi Opening Ceremony's Olympic ring screw-up

State broadcaster Russia-1 instead quickly switched to rehearsal footage of all five rings lighting up, instead of the four that lighted up during the Opening Ceremony.


NBC already painted over "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" sign outside his studio

The Peacock is wasting no time wiping away Leno's memory. PLUS: Leno was pretty weak in his final week.


FX putting "Justified," "Archer" and "Chozen" on hiatus during Winter Olympics
"Justified" will take one week off (the week of Feb. 17), while "Archer" and "Chozen" will take a break the next two weeks.


MTV orders "The Dorm," a horror movie starring Alexis Knapp

The "Pitch Perfect" alum will play a flawed college freshman who's transformed into a flawless beauty by her dormmates.


Rob Riggle joins Rob Lowe's tennis pro comedy

On "The Pro," Riggle will play Lowe's ex-partner who reunites with him after a public falling out.


"The Walking Dead" boss: "Answers will come quickly" in the remaining Season 4 episodes

"Structurally, yes this will be very different," says Scott Gimple. "I think the tone is actually varied. And in that variety it's very different. There are some bright sweet moments and there are — shock upon shock — some smiles. There’s also some of the darkest material we’ve ever written as well." PLUS: Meet the new characters, and 6 nagging questions "Walking Dead" needs to answer.


Cecily Strong recalls reenacting "SNL" sketches on the playground when she was 11 years old

"A friend and I would play these Chicago newscasters that were actually just impressions of the Bears' 'Superfans,'" she recalls.


"The Ed Sullivan Show" was full of crap acts -- until The Beatles came along 50 years ago Sunday

In 1964, viewers loved the crap on "The Ed Sullivan Show," explains Fred Kaplan. "That's all there was. There was no concept of an alternative," he says. "That's why the Beatles were such a big deal. From the moment they strummed those electric chords, wagged their mops of hair, and smiled those beaming, ironic, isn't-this-cool-but-also-a-bit-absurd smiles, we all knew it was something from a different galaxy." PLUS: 5 things to know about February 9, 1964.


Maggie Q to play famous Chinese pirate Ching Shih in a limited TV series
The "Nikita" alum will star in "Red Flag," a series set in the early 1800s.


Farewell, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon": Jimmy tonight says goodbye to 12:36
Here's counting down Fallon's Top 10 moments. PLUS: Fallon's music booker on why "Late Night" is like an iPod.


FDA approves a Pillcam that "The Jetsons" predicted in 1962
Another "Jetsons" prediction of the future has come to fruition.


Behind the scenes of "Breaking Bad's" Spanish-language remake
"Metástasis" is very different from the AMC series -- a bus replaces the RV and "Saúl Bueno" hosts a late-night legal advice show. PLUS: Chart: Walter White vs. Walter Blanco.


Why is Oprah going to Broadway? Doesn't she have a network to run?

Is Oprah trying to win a Tony after getting snubbed by Oscar?


Are movies back to being superior to TV?
The film industry is on the upswing, and television isn't looking so good in the post-"Breaking Bad" world, says James Wolcott. "It looked as if the pendulum had swung back in the movies' favor, setting the stage for a rematch, or at least a rethink," he writes.


ABC casts a "Fifty Shades of Grey" star in drama pilot
Eloise Mumford is joining military doctors pilot "Warriors."


Ian Somerhalder will hand out "Vampire Diaries" beads at Mardi Gras

Somerhalder is serving as co-grand marshal with "The Walking Dead's" Norman Reedus.


Actor who played McGruff the Crime Dog sentenced to 16 years in prison

John R. Morales, 41, was caught with marijuana and illegal weapons.


Which of the new Amazon pilots are worth watching?
Here's ranking Amazon's new batch of comedies and dramas.


"True Detective": How did such a bleak show become a hit?

The most intriguing thing about the HBO series, says Michael Calia, is "that a show that’s such a big hit features so prominently a dark philosophy which suggests that humanity is an error of evolution and ultimately meaningless, and that we should stop reproducing." PLUS: Tumblr blog mocks Detective Rust Cohle, and does Alexandra Daddario have the 2nd-best nude scene in HBO history?


BJ Novak explains his friendship with Mindy Kaling
"No one ever knew if we were together or not, including us," he said on "Watch What Happens Live. "We weren't always on the same page on a given day or a given hour. We fought a lot. We were each other's best friends. We were inseparable and not talking to each other, often on the same day. And people didn't know, if she was gone, they would ask me where she was, and vice versa. We were like E.T. and Elliott a little bit."


FX adapting sci-fi novel "Redshirts"

The 25th century-set book is being made as a limited series.


Kelly Ripa loses Super Bowl bet, goes makeup-free on "Live"

Ripa had to interview George Clooney sans makeup.


CBS orders "Cuz-Bros," a roommates comedy from "Happy Endings" creator

David Caspe's pilot pairs a ladies man with his messy cousin.


"Saved by the Bell's" Screech is now in a band
Watch the first music video for Dustin Diamond's band, Deleted Scenes.


Emilia Clarke recalls singing happy birthday to a drunk and rude "Game of Thrones" fan
Clarke was told, "You're doing it all wrong, you know? You're f—kin' it up." PLUS: HBO instagrammed a new "Game of Thrones" teaser.


"The Talk" hosts a "Roseanne" reunion

Sara Gilbert got to catch up with her TV dad, John Goodman.


"Dallas" is now available on Netflix
The first two seasons can now be streamed in advance of its Feb. 24 Season 3 premiere.


Katie Lowes: All the props in my "Scandal" torture scene were real

"One hundred percent real," she says.


Watch an "Episodes" blooper reel
Showtime will show these outtakes on Sunday's episode.

Read Full Post
<p>Who would you consider a deal-breaker for an 'Independence Day' sequel?&nbsp;Will Smith?&nbsp;Jeff Goldblum?&nbsp;Neither?&nbsp;Both?</p>

Who would you consider a deal-breaker for an 'Independence Day' sequel? Will Smith? Jeff Goldblum? Neither? Both?

Credit: 20th Century Fox

What does it mean if Will Smith turns down 'Independence Day 2'?

Should the studio be chasing him in the first place?

Without Will Smith, what is "Independence Day"?

That's the question Fox is facing now as they decide how to move forward with their sequel that they are planning to release on July 4 weekend of 2016, at least according to the report today that Will Smith has finally and officially passed on participating in the film.

Actually, Fleming builds in a little wiggle room at the end of the piece, making me wonder why report it again if this still isn't the absolute final total end result decision. Roland Emmerich has stayed busy in the blockbuster game over the last 20 years (has it really been that long?), but he and Dean Devlin did not remain paired in those films. Fox brought them back together to develop a possible sequel/reboot for what is, at heart, a fairly generic premise. Big alien ships roll in. Lots of people get worried. Stuff blows up. Good guys fight back. The aliens don't win. Will Smith was a member of a big ensemble when they made the first film, and while "Bad Boys" certain surprised people in terms of how well it worked, it didn't make him a giant bankable movie star. What worked in his favor in "Independence Day" was that he basically got to be himself, all swagger and charm, and punch an alien in the face.

I'd argue that in the first film, both Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman were bigger movie stars. Goldblum had been the MVP in "Jurassic Park" by being the guy with all the great lines who was smarter than everyone else, and in "Independence Day," they really challenged expectations by casting him as the guy with all the great lines who was smarter than everyone else. Smith popped out of that film because he was hungry and he was ready and he took full advantage of every moment he had. "Men In Black" was his reward for "Independence Day," and he's never looked back. Goldblum, on the other hand, has continued to have the same character career with occasional moments of increased heat, and I think audiences would enjoy seeing him back in the same role for this sequel. Besides, isn't he the one that actually beat the aliens? Don't you think they'd be looking for that human in particular?

Oddly, we are at the first moment in his career where Will Smith is no longer enough to guarantee a film's opening. While I think he could easily headline another monster hit, I don't think he is enough to make that happen anymore. "Men In Black 3" seemed to land on an audience that really didn't remember the first film, and "After Earth" not only failed, it failed because of Will Smith and the audience's reaction to Jaden being the lead. It was a personal rejection. I don't think "Winter's Tale" is in any danger of turning that around, and there's nothing coming from Smith that would suggest to me that him turning this film down is because he's "too big" for it. I think the opposite is true. I think he's afraid to be seen as someone who is coasting only on the past.

Then again, "Bad Boys 3" is in the works, so maybe he just plain doesn't want to do this.

Jamie Vanderbilt, who worked with Emmerich on "White House Down," has been working on two scripts for this, reportedly. One is with Smith's character, one is without. The fact that they can do that and it doesn't really impact the film one way or another would indicate they don't really need him. If you can imagine a draft without him, then how key can he really be to the story you're telling?

You tell me, folks… do you really want a sequel to this movie? Or does this seem like Fox worrying about an anniversary date instead of the actual movie they're making?

Read Full Post

Fox cancels Simon Cowell's 'X Factor' after 3 seasons


Fox cancels Simon Cowell's "X Factor" after 3 seasons
Today's cancelation comes hours after it was announced that Cowell would rejoin the original British "X Factor."

Read Full Post
<p>Simon Cowell of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Simon Cowell of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

FOX's 'X Factor' ends as Simon Cowell returns to 'The X Factor UK'

Talent show ran for three increasingly low-rated falls on FOX
With Simon Cowell officially returning to the original British incarnation of "The X Factor," FOX confirmed on Friday (February 7) afternoon that the American version of the show is over after three increasingly low-rated seasons.
 
"I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on 'The X Factor' and 'American Idol,'" Cowell blurbs. And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!). Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return to the U.K. version of ‘The X Factor’ in 2014. So for now, I’m back to the U.K. and I want to thank FOX for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I’ll see you soon!"
 
Adds FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly, "To all of us at FOX, Simon is more than one of the most prolific TV personalities of our time -- he’s part of our family. A consummate showman and partner, there’s no one more passionate or creative than Simon, and we feel so fortunate to have enjoyed such a wonderful, collaborative relationship with him over the past 12 years. Unfortunately, there is no 'X Factor USA' without Simon Cowell, but we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life. We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon." 
Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME