Latest Blog Posts

<p>&quot;The Wizard of Oz&quot;</p>

"The Wizard of Oz"

Credit: MGM

Roundup: Oscars to pay tribute to 'Oz'

Also: ACE names lifetime achievement honorees

This strikes me as, at best, a half-baked idea: in addition to the theme of "heroes" for this year's ceremony, the Oscars will also feature a tribute to "The Wizard of Oz" to mark the 75th anniversary of its release. (Well, sort of: it was an August release.) ”We are delighted to celebrate the birthday of one of the most beloved movies of all time at this year’s Oscars,” say producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Still, why single out just one film from 1939, widely perceived as Hollywood's annus mirabilis? And why not wait until next year, the 75th anniversary of the 1939 ceremony, and do a more considered tribute to the Oscar class of that year, including "Oz," "Gone With the Wind," "Stagecoach" and so on? Just a thought. [Deadline]

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'Mad Men' creator 'honored' Obama name-dropped his show in the State of the Union


"Mad Men" creator "honored" Obama name-dropped his show in the State of the Union
"I'm honored that our show is part of a much-needed national conversation," Matthew Weiner said in a statement, after the president said: "It's time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode."


Watch Jimmy Fallon introduce Seth Meyers on "SNL's" Weekend Update back in 2001
The current and future "Late Night" looked back in horror at their hairstyles during Meyers' first season on "Saturday Night Live."


Happy 60th birthday, Oprah Winfrey!

Today is Oprah's Big 6-0, and Ellen has a special birthday surprise for the talk show queen.


"Sleepy Hollow" promotes 2, including John Noble

Noble and Lyndie Greenwood will become series regulars.

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<p>Sean Penn, Don Harvey, and Michael J. Fox all threw down when they went head to head in Brian De Palma's largely overlooked 'Casualties Of War'</p>

Sean Penn, Don Harvey, and Michael J. Fox all threw down when they went head to head in Brian De Palma's largely overlooked 'Casualties Of War'

Credit: SPHE

Movie Rehab: Fox vs. Penn in Brian De Palma's overlooked 'Casualties Of War'

This one got lost in the tidal wave of Vietnam films in the late '80s

It is the responsibility of the working film critic to not only offer opinion and context for the newest releases, but also to constantly champion and curate the films that matter, especially if they were misunderstood or poorly released or somehow handled badly the first time around.

Critics should take it upon themselves to rehabilitate the under-loved, to defend the wrongly-maligned, and rehab the films that need it; it is the only way film as a whole can be healthy.

Brian De Palma has had exactly two moments in his career when everything broke his way, commercially and artistically.

The first was early on, and "Carrie" was lightning in a bottle. It was a best-selling book that was written in this fevered language, as much a matter of the author's immaturity as the actual urgency of the story, but it launched Stephen King's career, deservedly, and the film version managed to tap into that same sense of momentum. De Palma turned out to be the perfect guy to give voice to that films mix of woozy revenge fantasy and bottomless angst.

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"Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond"

 "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond"

Credit: BBC America

Review: 'Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond' has spy fun, not charm

In this biopic the author is shaken by war, but we're not stirred

Bond fans will probably want to tune in to all four parts of "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond" (Wed. Jan. 29 at 10:00 p.m. ET on BBC America) in order to play a game of "Hey, he really did that! Maybe!"

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<p>On &quot;Justified,&quot;&nbsp;Boyd (Walton Goggins)&nbsp;confers with cousin Johnny (David Meunier).</p>

On "Justified," Boyd (Walton Goggins) confers with cousin Johnny (David Meunier).

Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'Over the Mountain'

Dewey's misfortunes in the backwoods leads to trouble for Raylan, Boyd and Daryl

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as something comes between me and my Calvins...

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<p>&quot;Sean Saves the World&quot;</p>

"Sean Saves the World"

Credit: NBC

NBC halts 'Sean Saves the World' production

The remaining two episodes may air at some point
NBC has not officially cancelled "Sean Saves the World," but halting production on a low-rated comedy with four episodes remaining in its order is not a sign of confidence.
 
News of the "Sean Saves the World" production half came on Tuesday (January 28) evening, but it won't impact fans of the show for a while. In its last original airing, "Sean Saves the World" averaged only 2.6 million viewers and did a woeful 0.7 rating among adults 18-49, but "Sean" wasn't scheduled to air another new episode until late February after the Olympics.
 
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<p>Tegan and Sara</p>

Tegan and Sara

It’s love at first listen with Tegan and Sara’s new song, ‘Don’t Find Another Love’

Ballad will be featured on the ‘Endless Love’ soundtrack
Tegan and Sara’s shift from indie rock to pop led to their excellent 2013 album “Heartthrob” and the duo keeps the momentum going on its latest track “Don’t Find Another Love,” from the soundtrack for the forthcoming film “Endless Love.” Listen below.
 
Tegan and Sara Quin combine their affinity for vocal harmonies, guitar melodies and Eighties synth-pop on the new song — and take it to new heights. “Don’t Find Another Love” opens with the sisters cooing “ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh,” reminiscent of a classic girl group, but the vocals turn urgent with the first line, “Won’t you tell me what you want from me.” 
 
When a simple Latin beat enters the song, the melody picks up with acoustic guitar and synths, which swell into a big chorus. The last third of the song quiets to only soft guitar strums as the women dramatically declare their love in bright harmonies.
 
Tegan and Sara are joined on the soundtrack by The Bird and The Bee featuring The National’s Matt Berninger, Franz Ferdinand, Tanlines, NONONO, Echosmith and Guards.
 
“Endless Love” is a remake of the 1981 movie by the same name, which stars Brooke Shields. This latest version features Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde and Robert Patrick and hits theaters on Valentine’s Day.

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Composer Joe Trapanese talks 'Raid 2,' Daft Punk and Tom Cruise's Le Mans film

Composer Joe Trapanese talks 'Raid 2,' Daft Punk and Tom Cruise's Le Mans film

How will Joseph Kosinski pull off a historical car movie, and when is 'Tron 3?'

PARK CITY, Utah - Joseph Trapanese barely had time to sigh relief once he was done with the score to "The Raid 2," one of the toasts of the Sundance Film Festival this year.

The composer -- along with the filmmakers including director Gareth Evans -- was still editing the action flick only 48 hours before its premiere at the Park City fest. And compared to the first film, this sequel was even more of a marathon, considering it was an hour longer than the original "The Raid."

And, actually, "the first cut was 3.5 hours long," Trapanese admitted during our chat at Sundance last week.

It seems like Joe Trapanese hasn't had many breathers at all in the last five years, as he's composed, conducted and arranged for big budget, edit-sensitive projects including "Oblivion" with M83, "Tron: Legacy" with recent Grammy winners Daft Punk and "The Raid's" American cut from 2012 with Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda; he's also worked on TV digs like "Tron: Uprising" and "Dexter" in between.

When it's come to working with the array of musicians he has, Trapanese said it's a lot of give and take.

"What's interesting about these collaborations is from day one, you really have to wrap your head around what skills am I gonna bring to the table, what skills is my collaborator gonna bring to the table, when are they gonna drive, when am I gonna drive," he said. "It's about creating a comfortable and safe environment for people to really speak their mind."

Of Daft Punk, he said the duo is "really inspiring, they work really hard," and buck the image of pop stars that are "full of themselves" and egotistical. "Daft Punk is not like that at all."

Of "Tron 3," Trapanese said that "we're doing our best to get it off the ground," that he's waiting for a signal from Disney and "Tron: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski on when that sequel's a "go."

Kosinski has another project due before that will reunite him with his "Oblivion" actor Tom Cruise. "Go Like Hell" is based off of the book "Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans" and the 1966 Le Mans race; Brad Pitt is still a "possible" addition, according to Trapanese. He said he's eager to see what Kosinski -- who, up to this point, has only directed sci-fi bent "Oblivion" and "Tron" -- can do with "something historic."

"I love what he does," Trapanese said of Kosinski. He went into how "Tron: Legacy" was received and Kosinski's touch on the material. "One of the things that people never really understood about the sequel 'Tron: Legacy' is that if you watch the original, it's so campy, it's so funny in many ways. That kind of went over people's heads, who are used to something more Nolan-esque, serious, and thought 'Tron: Legacy' would be trying to do more of the same. If you look at it with a nod to the original film, it's even better than what people give it credit for."

Watch the rest of our interview for Trapanese's thoughts on synths, hip-hop, Moby and Death Grips, and what the 40-year-old stock broker guys will be trading their guitars for in the future.

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NBC shuts down production on 'Sean Saves the World'


NBC shuts down production on "Sean Saves the World"
Sean Hayes' comedy is essentially canceled.


Jimmy Fallon passes the "Late Night" pickle to Seth Meyers
The "Late Night" pickle was originally passed down from David Letterman to Conan O'Brien, then to Fallon.


Watch Melissa McCarthy dance in her "SNL" promos
Third time's the charm!

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Grammys boss apologizes for cutting off Trent Reznor


Grammys boss apologizes for cutting off Trent Reznor
Executive producer Ken Ehrlich also explains why he's against broadcasting live to the West Coast, and he also addresses the lack of same-sex kisses during the "Same Love" mass wedding.


"Modern Family's" Australian itinerary revealed
The cast will climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge, hit Bondi Beach, dive the Great Barrier Reef and a famous Aussie animal will run into Phil. PLUS: Happy Sweet 16 to Ariel Winter!


DirecTV bans The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore from appearing on "The Dan Patrick Show"
Dan Patrick's morning show is shown on DirecTV's Audience Network, so DirecTV thought it would be "a bit awkward" to have Cantore appear on the satellite provider in the midst of its dispute with The Weather Channel. PLUS: Cantore knees in the groin a would-be videobomber.


Post-Super Bowl TV ratings, compared
From "Friends'" 52.9 million to "Glee's" 26.8 million.


"Sons of Anarchy" stars are touring Australia
Kim Coates, Mark Boone Jr and Theo Rossi will be appearing at clubs in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide.


Why "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is TV's most progressive sitcom
It subverts the "angry black man" trope and it does diversity right.


Chandra Wilson: "General Hospital" and "Grey's Anatomy" have been neighbors for years
"I've been watching — and loving — the show for 35 years," Wilson says of her upcoming cameo. "I'm such an impossible groupie that I stay away from the studio commissary from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. because I might run into the GH stars having their lunch, and then I'd be saying stupid stuff and tripping all over myself. [Laughs] It's been that way for 10 years!"


Here's James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher on "The Big Bang Theory"

What's she doing with a baseball bat?


"Friday Night Tykes" isn't celebrating its subjects
The Esquire Channel series isn't like "Toddlers and Tiaras" or "Dance Moms," which are shot reality TV-style. As James Poniewozik notes, it's shot cinema verite-style, offering a more rounded, multidimensional picture of what is going on.


It was a "Project Runway" alum who designed Beyonce's Grammy dress
Michael Costello was sought out by Beyonce's stylist.


Reelz presents "The Capones"
The reality show about the descendant of Al Capone premieres tonight.

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<p>Yayan Ruhian's nothing like his on-screen persona, and Arifin Putra seems ready for Hollywood movie stardom as we discuss their new film 'The Raid 2'</p>

Yayan Ruhian's nothing like his on-screen persona, and Arifin Putra seems ready for Hollywood movie stardom as we discuss their new film 'The Raid 2'

Credit: HitFix

Fight coordinator Yayan Ruhian and bad guy Arifin Putra on preparing for 'The Raid 2'

Our final interview with the team behind the amazing new action film

PARK CITY - One of the highlights of "The Raid" was the character named Mad Dog. When you name a character something like that, especially in a film that is structured as a series of escalating fights, then you'd better deliver when you finally get to the scene where this guy shows what he can do.

Since Gareth Evans had Yayan Ruhian playing the part, he was unworried, and with good reason. Ruhian is not only a gifted physical performer, but he's also a Silat instructor, and he's been one of the fight coordinators for all three movies Evans has directed using the martial art. Ruhian runs a studio of his own in Indonesia, and he specializes in a mental discipline that allows him to absorb blows to his person.

He's very good in "The Raid 2," even though he really only has three scenes in the movie. The first establishes who he is, the second challenges our idea of what he is, and then in the third, he realizes that he is being set up for a very specific purpose. In two of the three scenes, we get some sense of just how intimidating and powerful he is as a fighter, and in the third, we get an idea of how far he's come as an actor. In person, he seems lovely, very soft-spoken and modest.

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<p>That is a seriously cool riff on Cap's costume for 'Captain America:&nbsp;The Winter Soldier'</p>

That is a seriously cool riff on Cap's costume for 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Joe and Anthony Russo already in talks with Marvel to direct 'Captain America 3'

I guess this means we can start getting excited for April, right?

There seems to be a good deal of excitement right now about "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," due in large part to the news that Marvel has already signed Anthony and Joe Russo for a third film in the series.

While I'm not sure I agree with the champagne-pouring exaltations on Twitter that seem to believe this proves "The Winter Soldier" is the greatest movie ever made, I do think it's a vote of confidence that Marvel feels like they made the movie they set out to make. Until something is finished, you don't really know if it works, if it feels like a "movie" all the way through. I've seen things at various points in the process that looked good but that just didn't add up when they were all put together, and that's one of the most important things I feel like I've learned.

If Marvel and the Russos are already working on a storyline for the third film, I'm excited. I'm sure the Russos know everything that happens during "Age Of Ultron" and that they're picking up from the new status quo that exists at the end of that film. They're essentially making a sequel to both "Winter Soldier" and "Age Of Ultron," one of those quirks of working in the Marvel system right now.

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