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9 opening weekend battles: 'Big Hero 6' vs. 'Interstellar,' 'Star Wars vs. Inferno'
Credit: AP Photo/20th Century Fox/Sony Pictures

9 opening weekend battles: 'Big Hero 6' vs. 'Interstellar,' 'Star Wars vs. Inferno'

Who blinks first?

Have you ever wondered why Hollywood would have one movie you're dying to see open on the same day as another movie you're equally dying to see?  It probably happens more often than you think during the summer and holiday season.  And unless you are a truly hardcore moviegoer (and many of you out there are), chances are you'll only see one of the two that weekend. That's why the release date game is just as important to movie studios as the right trailer, poster or TV spot. It doesn't matter how good your film is, if you have the wrong release date you're hoping for word of mouth to save the day.

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<p>Miles Teller, Zak Efron, and Michael B. Jordan turn the smarm up to high in the completely unlikeable and emotionally hollow 'That Awkward Moment'</p>

Miles Teller, Zak Efron, and Michael B. Jordan turn the smarm up to high in the completely unlikeable and emotionally hollow 'That Awkward Moment'

Credit: Focus Features

Review: Efron, Teller and Jordan can't charm their way out of 'That Awkward Moment'

This one reaches for wisdom and falls perilously short

Writer/director Tom Gormican has certainly established a voice for his debut feature, "That Awkward Moment," but unfortunately, it is a grotesque, immature, and cheerfully misogynistic voice, one that I would not want to hear a second time.

Miles Teller, Zac Efron, and Michael B. Jordan play three young successful pretty worry-free guys in Manhattan who have sex often and with lovely partners. They tell some pointless lies to people they allegedly care for, feelings are hurt, and then everything works out exactly the way they want it to and they have more success and more sex and everyone is, as I mentioned, gorgeous.

That's it. That's the story. That's all the complications you can look forward to. That's all the drama you can expect. There are lots of very cheap bathroom jokes, lots of sub-Mamet vulgar banter, and then some miserably executed romantic comedy mechanics. By hiring Teller, Efron, and Jordan, Gormican buys himself a certain amount of audience good will. Teller is establishing himself as a guy who can handle the heaviest drama and who also has a loose and funny persona that can shrug off all the darkness. Efron confuses me. I'm not sure if he's a talented guy who just hasn't found the right film yet or if he's a pretty kid who has coasted on his looks farther than anyone would have reasonably expected. Jordan is on everyone's radar at this point, and he's going to be able to work in big blockbusters and personal indies whenever he wants. The three of them together are able to keep a scene up and moving even when the scene it total junk on the page, and for a while, "That Awkward Moment" almost seems charming.

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'American Horror Story' has its most-watched finale

"American Horror Story" has its most-watched finale
"Coven's" ending attracted 4.2 million.

Jimmy Fallon's final "Late Night" guests: Andy Samberg, The Muppets
Fallon signs off from "Late Night" one night after Jay Leno, next Friday. The following week, NBC will air "best of" Fallon specials in his timeslot.

TLC orders "My Five Wives"
Yet another polygamist reality show will debut on March 9 with nine episodes.

Can "Parks and Rec" survive without Ann and Chris?
As Vanity Fair notes, Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe's characters were "the romantic embodiment of the friendship dynamic that 'Parks and Recreation' has so deftly celebrated over the years, combining a cheerleader and a skeptic but allowing them both to be unfailingly kind, generous, and funny."

Rob Schneider is independently producing his own sitcom, co-starring his wife
"Real Rob" will be "an exaggerated version of my life," says Schneider, whose wife is Mexican, just like in his canceled CBS sitcom "Rob."

Amanda Knox will talk to "GMA" about being found guilty of murder for 2nd time
Robin Roberts has nabbed an exclusive with Knox for Friday.

"Duck Dynasty" rises

The A&E reality show finally saw some ratings gains this season.

Melissa McCarthy imagines some dragons in new "SNL" promos
Check her out with Imagine Dragons.

Watch Prince give Jess some "New Girl" advice

"That's stupid." "You're stupid."

Nathan Fillion makes his "Community" debut tonight
Watch him as Greendale's chief custodian.

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<p>Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are joining the party at SXSW&nbsp;as 'Neighbors' is announced as a special work-in-progress screening this year.</p>

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are joining the party at SXSW as 'Neighbors' is announced as a special work-in-progress screening this year.

Credit: Universal Pictures

SXSW 2014 line-up adds sport, TV premieres and Seth Rogen's 'Neighbors'

The biggest Austin party of the year just keeps getting bigger

The first full wave of programming for the 2014 edition of the South By Southwest Film Festival was announced this morning, following a few early titles that were announced recently, and my first reaction, as it is every year, is that there is no way I'm going to get to see everything I want to see at the fest.

They announced 115 films today, and that's just the first wave. There's a Midnighters section they'll announce next week, and then we'll get the full schedule the week after that. One thing that immediately jumps out is that SXSW is starting to build in room for special television-oriented events, screening individual episodes of shows and bringing in the talent behind the series to speak. Shows including HBO's "Silicon Valley," Showtime's "Penny Dreadful," AMC's "Halt" and "Catch Fire," the reboot of "COSMOS" from Fox, and even Robert Rodriguez's "From Dusk Till Dawn" will be represented.

They're also adding a SXSports category this year that both Film and Interactive registrants will be able to attend. It blows my mind that they're actually adding things to SXSW. It is already one of the biggest events I attend, an assault on Austin that just happens to coincide with the spring break of UT, making it one of the rowdiest film events anywhere.

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<p>Jared&nbsp;Leto in &quot;Dallas Buyers&nbsp;Club&quot;</p>

Jared Leto in "Dallas Buyers Club"

Credit: Focus Features

How the 'Dallas Buyers Club' hair and makeup team earned their Oscar nominations

Also: Why the project was a personal one for them

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto have earned an enormous amount of acclaim for their performances in "Dallas Buyers Club," which has put them at the front of their Oscar races. But their work was of course assisted by the Oscar-nominated makeup and hairstyling of Robin Mathews and Adruitha Lee, allowing them to slip further into their characters and fully inhabit the roles of Ron Woodroof and Rayon.

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Susan Lucci

 Susan Lucci

Exclusive clip: Susan Lucci talks 'AMC' demise on 'Oprah: WATN'

The star talks about mourning a job she had for 41 years

In the latest episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now" (Fri. Jan. 31 at 9:00 p.m. on OWN), we catch up with a passel of stars including "All My Children" veteran Susan Lucci. If you're wondering how it feels to lose a job you've had for 41 years, watch this exclusive clip. While Lucci is doing just fine these days (and people who aren't soap fans are probably seeing a lot more of her than they used to), she still went through a lengthy grieving process over the gig.

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Credit: AP Photo

Ed Sheeran, The Band Perry, Miguel on remake of Elton's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'

What does Sir Elton think of the new versions?

All the young acts love Elton: Ed Sheeran, The Band Perry, Emile Sande and Miguel are among the artists who will appear on a covers version of Elton John’s seminal “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

The album, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, will be reissued on March 25 on CD, vinyl, limited-edition yellow vinyl and in a box set featuring lots of goodies, including “Live at Hammersmith 1973” on CD, and a 100-page hardback book with new interviews with John and co-writer Bernie Taupin.

The deluxe and box set versions will include the Covers disc.  Peter Asher produced the new versions and matched the artists, which also include Fall Out Boy, Hunter Hayes, and Fall Out Boy, with the songs. Surprisingly missing is John’s good pal, Lady Gaga.

I talked to John about the set a few months ago and he’s thrilled with the results. “The country versions by Hunter Hayes, The Band Perry and Zac Brown are just so beautiful,” he said. The Band Perry perform a bluegrass version of “Grey Seal” that wowed John, “and Hunter Hayes probably has one of the best voices in the world, so it’s been great to have those younger people on there.”

Around the time of the “Yellow Brick Road” release, John will be coming to 500 theaters in the U.S. via the release of “The Million Dollar Piano,” a theatrical showing of his Las Vegas show. It will play two night theatrically: March 18 and March 26.

Below is the line-up for the covers version of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”: 

1. Ed Sheeran - Candle In The Wind
2. Miguel featuring Wale - Bennie And The Jets
3. Hunter Hayes - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
4. The Band Perry - Grey Seal
5. John Grant - Sweet Painted Lady
6. Emeli Sandé - All The Girls Love Alice
7. Imelda May - Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock And Roll)
8. Fall Out Boy - Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting 
9. Zac Brown Band - Harmony


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<p>Emilia Clarke as Daenerys in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

Daenerys, Tyrion and friends return in new 'Game of Thrones' season 4 pictures

15 new pictures of the heroes and villains of the HBO fantasy epic

"Game of Thrones" won't return to HBO until Sunday, April 6, with the fourth season continuing to adapt the events from George R.R. Martin's third book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, "A Storm of Swords." But if you want a taste of what life in Westeros (and Essos) will look like in the new season, HBO released a bunch of new photos today, including lots of familiar faces like Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey, but also some new actors playing older characters (Michiel Huisman as the new Daario) and new faces altogether (Pedro Pascal and Indira Varma as two newbies).


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'Game of Thrones' Season 4 photos revealed

"Game of Thrones" Season 4 photos revealed
HBO has released 15 pics from the new season.

ABC orders comedy pilots "Selfie" and "Damaged Goods"

"Selfie" takes a "My Fair Lady" spin on social media, while "Awkward" creator Lauren Iungerich's "Damaged Goods" is a "comedy about the sexual politics that have changed between men and women in this post-feminist era."

Jim Cantore's Weather Channel knee-to-the-groin victim is happy to have his "15 minutes of fame"
"He got me good," says college student Colin Marcelli, whom Cantore kneed in the groin.

Ian Ziering & Tara Reid will reprise their "Sharknado" roles

Both will appear in the NYC-based sequel to the Syfy classic.

"Revolution" hits another series low

Will NBC bring back the J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke drama for a 3rd season?

Eric Stonestreet recalls crushing on his teacher, Tina Fey
The "Modern Family" star talks to Howard Stern about what it was like to be taught by Fey at Second City, auditioning for "MADtv" topless, and hooking up with women via Tinder.

Sarah Silverman doubts ex Jimmy Kimmel was narcoleptic
On "Watch What Happens Live," Silverman said "I personally don't think Jimmy was ever narcoleptic," adding that Kimmel might've been misdiagnosed.

Stephen Colbert visits the Puppy Bowl
Colbert opted to play with puppies after failing at real-world quarterbacking.

"The Real World's" exes twist really was that bad

The "Ex-Plosion" season finally revealed the exes this week, and the result was a new low for the MTV reality show.

"Elementary" reruns to air on WGN America

The CBS drama is expected to be paired with "Person of Interest" in syndication.

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen is &quot;Hannibal.&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen is "Hannibal."

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: 'Hannibal' season 2 trailer

Mads Mikkelsen's cannibal doctor is front and center in the campaign

NBC's "Hannibal" was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2013, and wound up on my top 10 list for the year. Even as TV dealt with serial killer overload, Bryan Fuller and David Slade's take on the very familiar Hannibal Lecter story had so much imagination and daring that it felt like something brand new, rather than a rehash of a 30-year-old story.

(Fuller and I discussed the season at length here and here. If you're looking to catch up, the whole season is streaming on Amazon Prime.) 

The show's set to return on Friday, February 28 at 10 p.m., dealing with the role reversed status quo introduced in the season 1 finale. Though one of the most impressive parts of season 1 was how it made Hugh Dancy's Will Graham just as complicated and fascinating a character as Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) himself, the newest trailer for season 2 — a HitFix exclusive today — is putting all the emphasis on the understated cannibalistic evil of the show's title character. And given Mikkelsen's cool performance, you can understand why.

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<p>Rose Byrne and Seth&nbsp;Rogen go to war against a frat when they end up living next door to it in what they thought was their dream house in Universal's new comedy 'Neighbors'</p>

Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen go to war against a frat when they end up living next door to it in what they thought was their dream house in Universal's new comedy 'Neighbors'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Producer Evan Goldberg on wrangling the comic mayhem of 'Neighbors'

Plus we discuss 'Goon,' Rose Byrne, and the evolution of his films with Seth Rogen

Evan Goldberg may not have the instant name recognition of his creative partner Seth Rogen, but he is every bit as responsible for "Superbad," "Pineapple Express," and "This Is The End," and like Rogen, he is now able to help shepherd younger comic talent through the studio system as a producer.

The two of them are playing that role for the new movie "Neighbors," which stars Rogen and Rose Byrne as a young married couple who spend their life savings buying what they hope is going to be a dream house, a place to raise their newborn child. Instead, they find themselves locked in a sort of comic "Straw Dogs" scenario when a fraternity buys the house next door and proceeds to terrorize Rogen and Byrne with sex and drugs and rock and roll.

On the day I visited the set, I watched Dave Franco, Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, and Rose Byrne all play a scene where the frat guys stop by to announce a Robert De Niro party they're holding. It was a preposterous moment, and director Nicholas Stoller, who I've visited on three films prior to this, was in a gregarious mood, laughing and enjoying each new take.

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<p>Antony Starr in &quot;Banshee.&quot;</p>

Antony Starr in "Banshee."

Credit: Cinemax

Cinemax renews 'Banshee' for season 3

Ultra-violent pulp drama has been a surprising pleasure from the pay cabler

Cinemax has renewed its action drama "Banshee" for a third season. More fisticuffs for everyone!

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