Latest Blog Posts

"The Sing-Off"

 "The Sing-Off"

Credit: NBC

'The Sing-Off' recap: Who will fall short on 'My Generation'?

Four groups battle with oldies but goodies

So, this week our intrepid a capella singers will be tackling songs spanning the generations, which I think means they can sing anything they want. Actually, probably anything they want from a short list provided by the show of songs they can get clearances for, so it's not like they can go nuts or anything. This is NBC, after all. 

Read Full Post
<p>Gary Oldman</p>

Gary Oldman

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

'12 Years a Slave' leads London critics' nods, Gary Oldman receives career honor

'Blue is the Warmest Color' and 'Frances Ha' nominated for Film of the Year

We're currently swimming in critics' group awards and nominations, but if these mean a little more to me than the rest -- well, that'd be because I voted in them. The London Film Critics' Circle nominations have been announced, and Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" comfortably leads the field with nine nominations. Gary Oldman, meanwhile, has been named the recipient of the Circle's annual Dilys Powell Award for Contribution to Cinema.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Don't worry, baby, we don't need the Academy Awards.&quot;</p>

"Don't worry, baby, we don't need the Academy Awards."

Credit: ERPB

Roundup: Indies miss out as Academy reveals 289 Oscar-eligible titles

Also: Malcolm McDowell remembers Peter O'Toole

The annual list of films eligible for general-category Oscar consideration is always a bit of a dispiriting one. Every viable contender is on the list, as well as plenty of non-viable ones, but many of the year's best films from the foreign and independent spheres aren't. That's not the Academy's fault -- a film has to be submitted to be considered -- but it does reveal how the expense and effort of an Oscar campaign is all too often beyond the means of the little guys. So it is that this year's list of 289 eligible titles includes "Grown Ups 2," but "Upstream Color," "Mother of George" and "A Hijacking," for example, are all officially out of contention. [AMPAS

Read Full Post
<p>Oscar Isaac in &quot;Inside Llewyn&nbsp;Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Credit: CBS Films

Toronto critics go their own way, name 'Inside Llewyn Davis' the year's Best Picture

Oscar Isaac wins Best Actor

This is me doing a little happy dance and giving the Toronto Film Critics Association an epic high five for splitting off course and not only awarding something different with its Best Picture prize, but handing the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" its first such honor of the critics circuit and its first major win since the Gotham Awards. Not only that, but Oscar Isaac for Best Actor? Makes the usual usual of the rest go down nicely. "12 Years a Slave," in fact, was completely passed over. Check out the full list of winners below and remember to keep track of it all via The Circuit.

Read Full Post
<p>Laura and Hayden at Redemption Island Arena</p>

Laura and Hayden at Redemption Island Arena

Credit: CBS

Interview: Hayden Moss and Laura Morett talk 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

'Big Brother' and family-voting talk with the last castaways eliminated on Redemption
"Survivor: Blood vs. Water" concluded on Sunday (December 15) night with three hours of episode and live reunion show. Thanks to the presence of Redemption Island, Sunday may have been the "Survivor" finale, but it began with a whopping seven castaways still in play.
That means that on Monday morning, between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., I did seven exit interviews, or rather five exit interviews with seven contestants. 
As I did last week with "Amazing Race," I'll be posting one exit interview per day through to my very funny chat with Tyson on Friday.
The Week of "Survivor" Exit Interviews begins with Laura Morett and Hayden Moss, who finished sixth and seventh for the season and were eliminated after a Redemption Island Duel in which Tina Wesson outlasted them balancing a vase on a teeter-totter. 
Both Hayden and Laura had their moments.
Hayden, a former "Big Brother" champion and boyfriend to returning Kat, may not have been successful, but he definitely stirred up some passions at his last few Tribal Councils, working with Ciera and trying to break Monica away from her alliance with Gervase & Tyson. He was also part of the now-notorious rock-drawing Tribal Council.
Laura was the only contestant voted out in part by her loved one, as daughter Ciera helped send her to Redemption Island for the second time in the game. 
In their paired exit interview, Hayden and Laura discuss their Final Jury votes for Tyson, Hayden compares "Survivor" and "Big Brother," while Laura talks about the frustration of spending so much of her game on Redemption Island.
Click through for the full Q&A...
Read Full Post
<p>The legendary Nirvana will soon be members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.</p>

The legendary Nirvana will soon be members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Nirvana, Kiss voted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Who else will be in the Class of 2014?

Kiss fans, rejoice! The hard rock band has finally gotten its due and will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.

The make-up wearing band will be joined by Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt, according to Rolling Stone.

Acts are eligible 25 years after the release of their first recording, which means Nirvana, to no one’s surprise, will be inducted in its first year of eligibility. For both Kiss and Hall & Oates, their entry comes after years of fans lobbying for their inclusion.

Peter Gabriel is already in the Hall as a member of Genesis.

On the ballot, but denied this year were Yes, LL Cool J, The Replacements, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, NWA, The Meters, Link Wray, and the Zombies.

The E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen's backing band, will be presented the award for musical excellence, while Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham will be inducted as non-performers.

The induction ceremony will be held at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center on April 10, 2014, after being held at LA Live this year.  Tickets will be made available to the general public and will go on sale in January. HBO will air the ceremony.


Read Full Post
"Doomsday Preppers"

 "Doomsday Preppers"

Credit: Nat Geo

Exclusive: A 'Doomsday Prepper' grows pot for the apocalypse

Plus stats on who's prepared for the end - and who's not

Are you prepared for the end times? You know, bottled water, solar panels, leeches and medicinal marijuana? You don't have a grow house ready, chock full of choice bud? No? You are so not ready! At least, that's what we learn from the latest episode of "Doomsday Preppers" (Tues. at 9:00 p.m. ET on Nat Geo) and this exclusive clip. One doctor decides that, in addition to keeping leeches on hand, he's also growing pot to use as a drug. Right. No, really, he's just using it if society collapses. That's all. 

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot; won five awards including Best Picture</p>

"12 Years a Slave" won five awards including Best Picture

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'12 Years a Slave' dominates Chicago film critics awards

Bringing the drama's Best Picture tally up to 14

Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" kept up its regional precursor dominance tonight winning the Best Picture prize from the Chicago Film Critics Association. The group's acting winners filled out accordingly with nary a surprise to be found. "Her" picked up two prizes, for original screenplay and original score. Check out the nominees here, the full list of winners below, and as ever, keep track of it all via The Circuit.

Read Full Post
<p>Andrew Rannells and Josh Radnor in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Andrew Rannells and Josh Radnor in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Bass Player Wanted'

'HIMYM' ends 2013 with a whole lot of the Mother; better late than never?

Back when I was still doing actual weekly "How I Met Your Mother" reviews, I started keeping a checklist of things that I had come to expect from this final season, like Marshall being elsewhere, the Mother being absent entirely, an utter lack of recognizable emotion, etc. Well, "HIMYM" closed out 2013 with a kind of anti-checklist episode, as "Bass Player Wanted" offered up a whole lot of Cristin Milioti, finally brought Marshall to the Farhampton Inn, and had some nice moments between Lily and Robin and between Ted and Barney (even if some of it is wrapped up in dumb ideas like Ted's inability to get over Robin).

What did everybody else think? Does seeing Milioti this much please you, or just make you even more frustrated that it took this long? And are you hopeful to see lots of Marshall interacting with the rest of the cast in 2014, or are you expecting some kind of contrivance where Marshall is frequently stuck in an obscure corner of the hotel?

Read Full Post
The Fien Print's TV Top 10 for 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' Sundance's big year and more

The Fien Print's TV Top 10 for 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' Sundance's big year and more

Which animated series, documentary and Netflix original made the cut?
I keep meeting fewer and fewer people who use that dreadfully snooty line, "Oh, I don't really watch TV."
Yes, my perception on these matters is skewed. 
I also feel like we get fewer and fewer comments on the site lamenting that there's nothing on TV but "reality crap."
Again, my perception may be skewed.
Our definitions of "great TV" may differ, but I think there was more "very good TV" airing in 2013 than ever before and that there were more types of very good TV airing than ever before and they're airing in more places.
My Top 10 list includes an animated series, a documentary, a zombie show, a fantasy series, three or four things that are kinda comedies, period shows and contemporary. They're shows from cable, network, PBS and an online platform.
Seven of the shows in my Top 10 were no-brainers for me. Another was a no-brainer on quality, but its brevity and format left me briefly contemplating its place. And two of the shows on my list could have been replaced by six or seven other shows and I'd have felt *almost* exactly the same satisfaction. 
So that means that when I do my Second 10 in a couple weeks, I think that's a list of very good shows as well and some of them really hurt to exclude from this list. And if that list only includes 10-ish shows (I usually allow some cheating once I get out of the Top 10), I'll probably feel bad about another six or seven shows that I left out.
That's how this goes. 
Check out my Top 10 in video form above. It'll be in list form on Tuesday morning as part of HitFix's Now-Annual TV Critics Poll.
Read Full Post
Beyonce's new 'XO' video is a thrill ride: Watch
Credit: Columbia Records

Beyonce's new 'XO' video is a thrill ride: Watch

She's on a rollercoaster of love

Beyonce’s “XO” video, her second in a few days following “Drunk in Love,” compares love to a carnival.

Shot at Astroland at Coney Island, the clip features a sultry, slightly euphoric looking Beyonce walking on the boardwalk and dancing her way through the midway alone and with friends, intercut with other folks at the theme park and the rides. It also includes brief footage of her on stage.

It’s an interesting clip, almost as if we’re seeing her in some state of heightened reality enhanced by some mood-altering substance-- or maybe that’s just what love does to Beyonce.  "XO" will go to top 40 radio at the beginning of year.

In the meantime, “Beyonce,” the album she dropped at midnight on Friday, continues to sell well. It set a iTunes record for best U.S. sales in a week at 617,000.

Read Full Post
<p>Shia LaBeouf may have shot his own directorial ambitions in the foot today. At least he's in a Lars Von Trier film. Maybe they can compare notes on career suicide.</p>

Shia LaBeouf may have shot his own directorial ambitions in the foot today. At least he's in a Lars Von Trier film. Maybe they can compare notes on career suicide.

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Shia LaBeouf pulls short film from Internet after charges of plagiarism emerge

The sad thing is he may have had a point

What was he thinking?

That is the one question I'm going to want answered with Shia LaBeouf finally makes some sort of comment on the bizarre story that's been unfolding today. If you haven't been following it, the day began with people linking to a short film that originally played at the Cannes Film Festival this past May. I guess no one who was at Cannes is a Daniel Clowes fan, though, because there was nary a whisper afterwards about any sort of issues that there might be with the film that Shia made.

Now, though, thanks to the fact that plagiarism is nearly impossible to get away with in the age of the Internet, in less than 24 hours, LaBeouf has had to lock the film behind a password because the connection was instantly made between his film, "," and a comic by Clowes, best known as the creator of "Ghost World," called "Justin M. Damiano." I really like Clowes, but I'm no authority on his work. Still, when BuzzFeed ran the short film past Clowes today, they did it because they were surprised he wasn't credited on the film. What seemed like an odd oversight at first became something more when Clowes replied.

Read Full Post