Latest Blog Posts

<p>Seen here in 'Hesher,' Gordon-Levitt seems pretty much ideal to bring Gaiman's iconic lead character to life.</p>

Seen here in 'Hesher,' Gordon-Levitt seems pretty much ideal to bring Gaiman's iconic lead character to life.

Credit: Newmarket Films

Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to dream up Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' with David Goyer

This just got reeeeeeeeeeally interesting

"Sandman" is heading to theaters with Joseph Gordon-Levitt producing, directing and starring in the film, and with David Goyer co-producing, in a story that was first reported in November and then seemingly confirmed according to a report just published, and if that actually happens, it's going to be a really interesting ending to a long and difficult development process for Neil Gaiman's landmark comic series.

The first time I met Neil Gaiman was to discuss his work writing the English-language script for "Princess Mononoke," but most of our conversation was about "Sandman" and the long, ugly string of near-misses that happened on the film. When I was at Ain't It Cool, I wrote a piece about Bill Farmer's adaptation that was in development at that point, and I consider it a bullet dodged that the studio didn't end up making it. That piece got Neil's attention, and he told me how skeptical he was that anyone was going to be able to crack it as a movie.

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'Homeland' boss: 'It was time'


"Homeland" boss: "It was time"

"We spent a lot of hours in the story room figuring out what we could do with his character," says exec producer Alex Gansa, "and a lot of the emotional landscape had been crossed. We didn't want to repeat ourselves." PLUS: There was pushback from Showtime this season over Brody, where were Jessica and Dana Brody?, Gansa says it got "surreal" when the real-life Iranian developments happened, the ending was too little, too late, why "Homeland" can never recapture its past glory.


"The Sing-Off" is going on tour
"The Sing-Off Live Tour!" will kick off a 32-night trip around the U.S. on Feb. 19 in Verona, NY.


Regis Philbin is now on Twitter
Check out his first selfie.


Will "SNL" suffer from "token syndrome" with new black female cast member?

Shows like "Girls" and "Friends" had to deal with some awkwardness when, under pressure, they added a black character.


Simon Cowell: "I might have a different kind of role" on "The X Factor" next season

Cowell didn't say he was stepping down as judge, but he did say the show has "got to be more different next year than it was this year."


Why "Survivor" should call it quits

After 27 seasons, "Survivor" has run out of ideas to attract new viewers. PLUS: Tina Wesson talks about her son's death.


Joel McHale: There's a "really good, really funny reason" behind Troy's "Community" exit
Gillian Jacobs adds that it's "a nice departure that doesn’t make you feel sad about the character; it feels right." PLUS: Watch the Greendale reunion.


Why did "SNL" waste John Goodman?

The 13-time host was treated as if he'd never done comedy before?


Kudos to "Two and a Half Men" for its transsexual portrayal

Paula Marshall's character is, shockingly, not horrible.


"Bachelor" Juan Pablo: My Latino background will be a big part of my season

"I am the bachelor and I am a Latino," he says. "There's going to be a lot of Latino things on the show, a lot of food, a lot of dancing, a lot of stuff. It's going to be so different, you're going to love it."


"Downton Abbey" has a smelly cast: Washing of period clothes is banned

According to Sophie McShera, who plays cook's assistant Daisy, there is a "no wash" policy on all the clothes worn on set in order to preserve their authentic historic look.


"Gossip Girl" alum Kevin Zegers joins Fox's "Broadchurch" remake
He'll take on the young/handsome reporter role on "Gracepoint."


Will Khloe Kardashian get her own dating reality show?

Kris Jenner is said to want the newly single Khloe to star in "Single and Searching for Love."


"Revenge" wedding church once hosted an "O.C." wedding

Caleb and Julie got married in the same church in Season 1 of "The O.C."


"Men at Work" books Jane Seymour and Ed Asner
Both will guest on the TBS comedy, along with Danny Masterson's sister.


See the poster for "Sirens"

The USA EMT drama is from producer Denis Leary.


Watch "Being Human" promos
The Syfy series returns for a 4th season on Jan. 13.

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<p>Are you ready for &quot;Shakespeare in Love 2: Cruise Control?&quot;</p>

Are you ready for "Shakespeare in Love 2: Cruise Control?"

Credit: Miramax

90s nostalgia as Weinsteins and Miramax reunite for 'Shakespeare in Love' sequel

And if you've been waiting for 'Rounders 2,' it's your lucky day

New Year's Eve is rapidly approaching, and over at Harvey Weinstein's, people are getting ready to party like it's 199-- well, 1998 actually, with all due to respect to Prince. In what is surely the oddest film news of the day, The Weinstein Company appears to have entered a realm of pure Nineties nostalgia: not only have the Weinstein brothers built new bridges with their former company, Miramax, but they're using that alliance to develop sequels to Best Picture Oscar winner "Shakespeare in Love" and, er, "Rounders."

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<p>Oscar Isaac,&nbsp;Justin&nbsp;Timberlake and Adam&nbsp;Driver sing &quot;Please&nbsp;Mr.&nbsp;Kennedy&quot;&nbsp;in a scene from &quot;Inside Llewyn&nbsp;Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver sing "Please Mr. Kennedy" in a scene from "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Credit: CBS Films

How 'Please Mr. Kennedy' was born and why it's not eligible for Oscar consideration

T Bone Burnett talks the novelty song and his thoughts on the branch's strict rules

LOS ANGELES — With nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association in the span of a week, not to mention being a stand-out track on the year's prestige "musical," produced by recent Academy Award winner T Bone Burnett with pop superstar Justin Timberlake on the mic, you would think "Please Mr. Kennedy" from the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" was on a collision course with Oscar. But due to stricter AMPAS rules, the tune will not be on the list of songs eligible to compete in the Best Original Song category at this year's Academy Awards.

That's no skin off Burnett's back.

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'New Girl' casts Linda Cardellini as Jess' sister


"New Girl" casts Linda Cardellini as Jess' sister
The "Freaks and Geeks" and "Mad Men" alum will recur as Abby, Jess' wild-child older sister.

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<p>Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' producer Alex Gansa talks season 3

Getting into some unanswered questions from the Showtime drama's finale

"Homeland" concluded its third season last night with what turned out to be the show's highest-rated episode ever. I reviewed the finale last night, and I spoke briefly with the show's co-creator Alex Gansa about some of the decisions made by both the "Homeland" creative team and the characters that shaped the third season, coming up just as soon as I get out my Sharpie...

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<p>Beyonce is 'Drunk in Love'</p>

Beyonce is 'Drunk in Love'

Credit: Columbia Records

Beyonce sets iTunes sales record in record time

Just try to keep your eyes off her 'fanny' in 'Drunk in Love' video

Beyonce has broken iTunes’  U.S. record for the most sale in one week –and it only took her three days to do it.

Queen Bey’s new album, “Beyonce,”  sold 617,000 copies from its release on midnight Friday through Sunday night, according to Billboard. The sales week runs Monday through Sunday for tracking purposes.

The $15.98 set, which includes 14 songs and 18 videos, must be bought in full, which means there are no a la carte song sales to potentially cannibalize album sales.  On Dec. 20, individual tracks will be for sale.

Beyonce broke the record held by Taylor Swift’s “Red,” which moved 465,000 copies in its first seven days after being released Oct. 28, 2012. The album was also available exclusively through iTunes digitally, but tunes could be purchased a la carte and the physical CD was also sold through traditional retail.

“Beyonce,” which will bump Garth Brooks’ “Blame It All On My Roots” out of the top spot on the Billboard 200, will be the singer’s fifth straight No. 1: all of her solo albums have started at the top.

The surprise element of Beyonce’s release is surely helping prime the pump as the album dominated the news cycle on Friday after she dropped it at midnight with no advance warning. Through a few tracks had been released informally over the past year, there was no single at radio prior to the release.  Top 40 is now working the Pharrell-produced “Blow,” while “Drunk In Love,” featuring Jay Z goes to R&B/Hip Hop. Another track, “XO,” will likely go to Top 40 in early 2014.

Below is the video for “Drunk in Love," a sexy black and white clip that features Beyonce writhing around talking about "swerving" on Jay Z's "surfboard." No kidding. Not really sure why Jay Z's  comparing himself to wife beater Ike Turner, but it's good to know what he apparently eats for breakfast.  Really, get a room, kids.

The clip for “XO” will drop later today.

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'Homeland' delivers its biggest-ever audience with Season 3 finale


"Homeland" delivers its biggest-ever audience with Season 3 finale

Last night's episode was up 27% over last year's season-ender.


"Survivor" winner Tyson Apostol would definitely return for a 4th time
Says the "Blood vs. Water" champ: "It's hard because it's like I know there's a lot of people that say go out on top and that's your legacy, but I actually feel like I respect the pro athlete that goes past his prime and plays for the love of the sport." PLUS: Monica Culpepper talks tribal council.


Netflix confirms "Better Call Saul" will be a prequel
A Netflix press release officially calls the "Breaking Bad" spinoff a prequel, even though Bob Odenkirk has said it could either be a prequel or sequel.


The 65 Most Important TV Deaths of 2013
From Brian Griffin to Finn Hudson.


Watch HBO's 2013 "Yearender" promo, previewing 2014
Catch glimpses of the new "Girls" season as well as "Veep" and "The Leftovers."

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Kristopher Tapley's top 10 films of 2013

Kristopher Tapley's top 10 films of 2013

A great year boils down to this

It has been said, but let's say it again: 2013 was a landmark year for movies. Across the board, from indie to studio and back, the amount of exemplary artistry on display was jaw-dropping. A subjective thing? Of course. My wonderful year could be your weak one and vice versa. But this was like the kind of surge I haven't felt since 1999, and for that, narrowing it to a list of the year's best has been the most difficult of tasks.

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<p>Reunited, and it feels so good.</p>

Reunited, and it feels so good.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum get a handful of trouble in red-band '22 Jump Street' trailer

Can the sequel surprise audiences like the first film did?

One of the things that made "21 Jump Street" such a pleasant surprise as a movie was the way everyone bet against it the moment it was announced. After all, it's not like the show was a beloved classic. Under the creative guidance of Chris Miller and Phil Lord, though, it became something much stranger and funnier than anyone could have guessed.

Now they've got to beat the sequel curse. Comedies especially seem to have a terrible time with sequels, and I think part of that is because we laugh at things that we don't see coming. Surprise is certainly part of the equation when it comes to what makes audiences laugh, and with a sequel, that gets exponentially harder, especially if you bring back things from the first film that worked. The script for "22 Jump Street," though, is a very clever riff on sequels in much the same way that the first film was a riff on the idea of rebooting old TV shows, and you can hear a little bit of that from Nick Offerman in the first red-band trailer for the film, which just went up this morning.

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<p>A moment from Britney's 'Work B**ch'</p>

A moment from Britney's 'Work B**ch'

Credit: RCA Records

5 Ways Britney Spears' 'Britney Jean' went awry

How did the album go south so quickly?

Only two weeks after its Dec. 3 release, Britney Spears’ eighth studio album, “Britney Jean,” will fall out of the Top 15 of the Billboard 200 this week. The only person who could possibly be happy about this is Lady Gaga, since Spears’ disaster took the media’s eyes off of Momma Monster’s own poor performance with “Artpop.”

“Britney Jean” debuted at No. 4 on last week’s Billboard 200 with the lowest sales tally in the pop star’s career, barely skimming past the six figure mark at 107,000. Her last album, 2011’s “Femme Fatale,” sold 276,000 copies in its opening frame.

Here are five things that went wrong with “Britney Jean”:

*Too much build up: For months in advance of the album, Spears and her manager, Larry Rudolph, insisted that “Britney Jean”  was her most personal album ever, but first single, “Work Bitch” couldn’t have been more impersonal, leading fans to question the premise. Though there were hints of her life in the lyrics, they were so veiled as to be indecipherable.

*Too Many Cooks: You can’t blame Spears for wanting to switch things up in an effort to grow: She throws aside her usual collaborators such as Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Shellback, for a new bunch of contributors overseen by Will.i.am, the album’s executive producer; David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia’s Ingrosso and Anthony Preston. Their credentials are, of course, impeccable, but if it wasn’t broke...?

*Too little Britney: Yes, she is listed as co-writer on all 10 of songs, but that means precious little in this day and age when a superstar can demand a co-write credit for contributing a phrase or for telling the writers how she feels sad that day and then they go craft a song around that. She shouldn’t sound like a guest artist on a record that is supposed to be her most personal.

*No promotion: Other than a middle-of-the-night conclave in the desert, which was more to tout her upcoming Planet Hollywood Las Vegas residency than the new album and a few other things, there was little promotion for “Britney Jean.” E! News will air a two-hour “documentary” called “I Am Britney Jean” on Dec. 22 that covers the “Piece of Me” Vegas show and the making of the album, but that will more likely boost ticket sales than album sales.

*Britney herself: Though she seems much more stable —thankfully— than she did following her 2007 breakdown, there seems to be no there there. Yes, she gives good face and works the camera well in videos, but it just seems like she’s a facade now, kept going by a phalanx of producers, songwriters, etc... all of whom have a financial stake in continuing to prop her up. Maybe she really loves recording and performing, but it feels more like a puppet being told which way to turn and bend and sing and which camera to look into, despite the protestations from everyone that “Britney calls all the shots.”

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<p>Bilbo becomes a hero and yet some what seems absent in &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;The Desolation of Smaug.&quot;</p>

Bilbo becomes a hero and yet some what seems absent in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Best and Worst of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

Dragons, CG, Evangeline Lilly and more

The second chapter of Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Hobbit," "The Desolation of Smaug," hit theaters this past weekend with mixed results. On one hand, critics thought it was an improvement than "An Unexpected Journey" (58 rating on Metacritic for the original vs. a 66 rating for pt. 2).  The box office, on the other hand, showed signs of audience fatigue.  "Smaug" earned $73.6 million domestic over its first three days which was a significantly smaller haul than "Unexpected's" $84.6 million last December.  Don't cry for Warner Bros. and MGM as "Smaug" is still expected to make a killing overseas.  That being said, just scroll throw your twitter or facebook feed and you'll probably find a lot more snarky and negative remarks about the series than you did after "Journey." HitFix's own Drew McWeeny thought Jackson delivered a much better movie this time around. This writer thought it was a marginal improvement at best.

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