Latest Blog Posts

<p>Anthony&nbsp;Hopkins holds the Best Actor Oscar aloft at the 64th Academy&nbsp;Awards in 1992.</p>

Anthony Hopkins holds the Best Actor Oscar aloft at the 64th Academy Awards in 1992.

Credit: AP Photo

TCM's 'And the Oscar Goes To' documentary skips a stone across the Academy's 85 years

A rare glimpse behind the veil of Hollywood's biggest night

I remember for a number of years I used to own a VHS tape called "Oscar's Greatest Moments," a unique peek at the Academy Awards over a 20-year stretch, from 1971 to 1991. Unique because the Academy rarely offers up this sort of material, for whatever reason. The organization's YouTube channel has been a nice resource in recent years, but it's been a while since we've seen something quite like Turner Classic Movies' "And the Oscar Goes To" documentary, which premiered Saturday night and aired again this evening directly after the Super Bowl.

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<p>Emmett and Batman have to stop the evil President Business from, uh... oh, who cares?&nbsp;They're Legos!&nbsp;And it's a movie!</p>

Emmett and Batman have to stop the evil President Business from, uh... oh, who cares? They're Legos! And it's a movie!

Credit: Warner Bros

Review: 'The Lego Movie' delivers pure delight for young and old fans alike

Lord and Miller continue to prove themselves capable of anything

Phil Lord and Chris Miller have a very special skill set.

Anyone can take a great premise for a movie and make a great movie out of it. But Miller and Lord seem to be able to take ridiculous premises and still somehow fashion emotionally resonant, thematically-consistent, intelligent and satisfying films. "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" is a very slight but charming book with no real narrative, and they turned it into something remarkably silly and also quite sweet. "21 Jump Street" was a show I couldn't have cared any less about, and yet the film ended up being both a witty deconstruction of TV-shows-turned-movies and a genuinely satisfying buddy cop comedy.

Now they've taken a toy, something that has no narrative attached, and they've turned it into a film that works as a celebration of the art of creation, a movie that encourages kids to embrace the unlimited creativity of imagination while also reminding a specific generation of parents to share their damn toys. It is a canny piece of pop art, and "The Lego Movie" should end up delighting old and young viewers in equal measure.

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<p>Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk during the Grammy Awards</p>

Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk during the Grammy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Daft Punk and other Grammy acts surge on next week's album chart

'2014 Grammy Nominees' album may freeze 'Frozen' out of top spot

Grammy Award winners and performers will see a big uptick next week as acts like Kacey Musgraves, Daft Punk, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis gallop back into the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 following exposure on the Jan. 26 show. Even the show itself sees a victory as the “2014 Grammy Nominees” album surges to No. 1, selling up to 95,000 copies.

The soundtrack to “Frozen” continues to do well, dropping from No. 1 to No. 2 (90,000) and trading places with the “Grammy Nominees” set.

The latest from Christian contemporary group Casting Crowns, “Thrive,” will bow at No. 3 (75,000), while Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” moves up one spot to No. 4 (70,000). The only other debut in the Top 10, Of Mice & Men’s “Restoring Force” will launch at No. 5 (55,000).

 Grammy show opener Beyonce’s self-titled set falls 4-6, but the remaining four performers/winners all see rises. Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” rises 11-7 (35,000), Kacey Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” surges 28-8 (35,000), Daft Punk’s Grammy-winning album of the year “Random Access Memories” rises 39-9 (27,000) and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” moves 14-10 (27,000).


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<p>Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in &quot;Sherlock.&quot;</p>

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in "Sherlock."

Credit: PBS

Season finale review: 'Sherlock' - 'His Last Vow'

Holmes and Watson go up against a blackmailing media mogul

"Sherlock" season 3 just concluded airing on PBS, and I have a few thoughts on the finale coming up just as soon as I lick your face...

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<p>Zooey Deschanel, Prince and Jake Johnson on &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Zooey Deschanel, Prince and Jake Johnson on "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Prince'

Prince helps Jess and Nick through big milestone in their relationship

A review of tonight's "New Girl" — and thoughts on this season to date — coming up just as soon as I'm turned on by gas mileage on a Thursday...

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"Downton Abbey"

 "Downton Abbey" 

Credit: PBS

'Downton Abbey' recap: Rose breaks the color barrier, big time

Rose has a little 'surprise' for Robert on his birthday

Heavens to Betsy, there's a BLACK man in Downton Abbey! Quick, somebody hand out the smelling salts and make absolutely sure everyone has at least one eyebrow raised to fully capture an uncomfortable mix of bemusement and fear! Oh, and do make a very quiet, restrained phone call to the authorities! This is bedlam, mind you, bedlam!

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<p>Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander as Jerry and George in a &quot;Seinfeld&quot;-themed Super Bowl spot.</p>

Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander as Jerry and George in a "Seinfeld"-themed Super Bowl spot.

Credit: Crackle

'Seinfeld' reunion in Super Bowl ad: Not that there's anything wrong with that?

Jerry and Jason Alexander get back into character for 'Comedians in Cars' spot

Last week, the TV world was abuzz with the idea of a "Seinfeld" reunion, as Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander were photographed, Alexander clearly costumed as George Costanza, entering Tom's Restaurant, the New York diner that inspired Monk's on the NBC sitcom. Then Seinfeld did an appearance on WFAN radio's morning show in New York, where he teased that it was a reunion, featuring multiple actors from the show, that it wasn't for his series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," and that it would be seen very soon.

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<p>Bruno Mars performing during half-time of the 2014 Super Bowl.</p>

Bruno Mars performing during half-time of the 2014 Super Bowl.

Credit: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Review: Bruno Mars delivers a fun, soulful halftime show at Super Bowl XLVIII

Were the Red Hot Chili Peppers necessary?

Bruno Mars delivered an energetic half-time performance tonight at Super Bowl XLVIII that recalled the glory days of Motown, while still sounding fresh and new.

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<p>Spider-Man, you might not want to put that hand out to Electro, because he's not feeling very friendly</p>

Spider-Man, you might not want to put that hand out to Electro, because he's not feeling very friendly

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Super Bowl spot gets up close and personal with Electro

This is practically a mini-movie instead of a trailer

It is, after all, Super Bowl Sunday, so it makes sense that studios are pulling out all the stops to try and stake their claim on the 2014 box-office today, and so far, I think they've done an excellent job with these big giant trailers.

For example, I was not the biggest fan of Marc Webb's "The Amazing Spider-Man." I liked the chemistry with his cast, and I thought there were elements of it that worked, but as a film, it felt disjointed, like they'd shoved three or four different scripts together. I don't think it's ever a problem to have multiple villains as long as you can tell a story that works as a coherent thematic whole, using all of the various foes to strengthen the overall film.

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<p>Okay, everything about this image is amazing.</p>

Okay, everything about this image is amazing.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Optimus Prime hitches a ride to a dinobot in a crazy new 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' teaser

We've got dragons in this one?

Did I just see Optimus Prime riding a robot dragon?

As someone who has no knowledge of the toys or the cartoons from the '80s, I have no idea what I'm looking at in most of the trailer for "Transformers: Age Of Extinction."

It helps that there's a bit of a shift happening in this film, as Michael Bay attempts to prove that the human stars are the least important part of this franchise. Now that Shia LaBeouf isn't famous anymore and Megan Fox has developed a sudden taste for turtles, this new sequel focuses on a brand-new group of human characters.

Mark Wahlberg and Michael Bay working together is reason enough to see an action movie, but adding in the giant-scale lunacy of the "Transformers" movies so far seems like a recipe for… something. What? That remains to be seen.

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<p>Philip Seymour Hoffman's versatility was just one of the things that made him one of the best actors in film, now or in the past.</p>

Philip Seymour Hoffman's versatility was just one of the things that made him one of the best actors in film, now or in the past.

Credit: Universal Pictures Home Video/Columbia Tri-Star Home Video/The Weinstein Company

14 essential performances by the great Philip Seymour Hoffman

From 'Scent Of A Woman' to 'Capote,' we look at some of his greatest moments

This morning began early for me with a soccer practice for Toshi, and when I walked into the house around noon, I had no idea anything had happened. Twenty seconds of looking at Twitter, though, immediately had me rushing to the e-mail to check, and sure enough, there was a long e-mail thread already being sent back and forth by the rest of the editorial staff of HitFix about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Even now, a few hours later, it seems surreal to me that he's genuinely gone. I suspect it will take a while for it to seem real to me, especially since he's still got a number of performances set to be released. As we discussed his passing this morning, we all had different performances and moments that we brought up, moments that meant so much to us.

While it's impossible to articulate the loss that has occurred today, what we can do is offer up some thoughts on what his work meant to us. Even this feels like we're just glancing over his remarkable filmography, just barely articulating the depth of what he expressed through his work over the years.

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Thrilling new 'Captain America' trailer puts The Winter Soldier center-stage

Plus the Falcon takes flight in a big way

The buzz has been building behind the scenes for the last few months, and if this new trailer for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is anything to judge by, the buzz is right.

This looks awesome.

What works best for the Marvel movies at this point is the sense of mounting continuity. Film to film, we're getting to know these characters better, and there is a sense of cause and effect. Actions in one film have consequences in another. I thought it was one of the nicest moments in the entire series so far when in a recent episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", the characters took notice of a memorial wall in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility with names of fallen agents, and Bucky Barnes was one of the people listed there.

As fans of the comics know, though, Bucky's fate was more complicated than a simple death, and from the moment Marvel announced the title for the sequel to "Captain America: The First Avenger," they have been waiting to see how Marvel would handle not only the introduction of The Winter Soldier, but the entire mythology around him.

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