Latest Blog Posts

<p>Mark&nbsp;Wahlberg in &quot;Lone Survivor&quot;</p>

Mark Wahlberg in "Lone Survivor"

Credit: Universal Pictures

Real life 'Lone Survivor' and Mark Wahlberg discuss the cost and depiction of war

Marcus Luttrell's story makes for a riveting account but is it an Oscar player?

In June of 2005, during a firefight with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan that would claim the lives of three of his fellow Navy SEALs, Petty Officer First Class Marcus Luttrell broke his back. He broke his pelvis. He tore out his shoulder, bit his tongue in half and crushed his hand. He sustained facial bone damage, he was shot "through and through" his quads and his calves, his body was riddled with shrapnel from his ankles to his eyes…and he lived to tell the tale.

That tale was captured on the page in his 2007 memoir "Lone Survivor" and it has now been captured on the big screen by director Peter Berg with Mark Wahlberg in the starring role as Luttrell. A riveting depiction of the mission, called Operation Red Wings, the film eschews traditional structure and launches its players into the heart of darkness quickly before tearing through a 33-minute recreation of the firefight itself that recalls such nail-biting sequences as those captured by Steven Spielberg in "Saving Private Ryan" or Ridley Scott in "Black Hawk Down."

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<p>&quot;Axe Cop&quot;</p>

"Axe Cop"

Credit: FOX

Interview: Nick Offerman talks 'Axe Cop,' the future of 'Parks and Recreation' and more

How do Offman's axe skills compare to those of Ron Swanson and Axe Cop?
Hollywood is full of busy people, but Nick Offerman has a sacred place in the upper tier of entertainment industry workaholics.
 
Earlier this month, the "Parks and Recreation" star released his memoir, titled "Paddle Your Own Canoe." He continues to tour the country with the comedy show "American Ham." In the past year, his motion picture releases have included "Paradise," "We're the Millers," "In a World" and "The Kings of Summer." Next spring, he's heading Off Broadway to reteam with wife Megan Mullally on "Annapurna," a play they did earlier this year in Los Angeles. He continues to run the Offerman Woodshop, described appropriately as "a small collective of woodworkers and makers based out of Nick Offerman’s kick-ass wood shop in East Los Angeles."
 
And in his free time, Offerman fights crime and wields a mean axe as the lead voice and executive producer for "Axe Cop." Based on the web comic by brothers Ethan and Malachai Nicole, 29 and 5 when the series began, "Axe Cop" was one of the first entries in Animation Domination HD programming block, which premiered in July. If Nick Offerman is a slightly elevated human being and Ron Swanson is a slightly elevated Nick Offerman, Axe Cop is a slightly elevated Ron Swanson, a perfect union of animated character and vocal talent that nearly went uncredited in the summer amidst a minor kerfuffle with NBC.
 
Offerman and "Axe Cop" return to ADHD this Saturday (November 2) -- or, if you're impatient, you can watch the episode now by downloading the Animation Domination High-Def ap -- so I got on the phone with the veteran character actor, storyteller and axeman to talk about... everything on his plate. We discussed "Axe Cop" and Malachai's particular view of heroism and crime-fighting. We talked about recently shooting the 100th episode of "Parks and Recreation," their feeling about that show's future and his return to directing this winter. We discussed whether or not he still has time for carpentry. 
 
And Nick Offerman, to his credit, humored my admittedly dumb question comparing his own axe skills to those of his alter egos. 
 
Click through for the full chat.
 
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"Top Chef New Orleans"

 "Top Chef New Orleans"

Credit: Bravo

'Top Chef' recap: 'Lea Michele's Halloween Bash'

It's worm salad and arancini eyeballs, but some food is really a fright

Oh, "Top Chef." I wish you wouldn't worry so much. I'm not breaking up with you. But when you try so hard to be new and fresh, it makes me aware that our relationship has gotten a little stale. It's true; I don't always see the reality TV competition show I fell in love with. I do appreciate all the effort, I do. But I hate to see you exhausting yourself (and the poor chefs on the show) for so little reward. Can't you just be yourself? And if you suddenly discover there's some side of you you haven't been able to explore, I'll support that. I will. But please, put down the tin foil before one of us gets hurt.

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Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim in "The Past."
Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim in "The Past."
Credit: Sony Classics

The Long Shot: No country for gold men

How long can Oscar pretend the foreign-language race is a cinematic Olympics?

Here's a fact of which not all awards-watchers are entirely aware: Michael Haneke hasn't won an Oscar. Neither has Francois Truffaut, nor Luis Bunuel. Pedro Almodovar has one for writing, but that's it. Ang Lee has two for directing, but nothing for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” And Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa each won honorary Oscars, but no competitive ones between them.

At this point, some of you might be crying foul. You expressly remember Haneke accepting his Oscar only a few months ago. You've definitely seen Almodovar give two acceptance speeches. And you know your Oscar history: Fellini has four of the damn things. What gives?

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"American Horror Story: Coven"

 "American Horror Story: Coven"

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story: Coven' recap: Fiona is in big trouble

Madame LaLaurie gets another awful shock

I was having a conversation with one of my co-workers about "American Horror Story" the other day. He hadn't seen much of the series, but what he had seen he had hated with a white hot passion. At the other end of the spectrum, another one of my co-workers wouldn't miss an episode (well, not without setting her DVR). I can understand both of their perspectives. "American Horror Story" is an acquired taste, and it requires a willingness to jump on the crazy train and hang on tightly. Once you've made that commitment and squeeze your eyes shut to block out some of the leaps in logic, on-the-nose dialogue and just plain batcrap insanity, it's a really fun ride. Unfortunately, this season has required more of a blind eye than usual. 

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<p>Vytas ponders</p>

Vytas ponders

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'Swoop In For The Kill'

Will Hayden break up with Kat for not making the Merge?
Pre-credit sequence. When we left "Survivor," Kat had signed her own execution papers and she was heading to Redemption. We begin on Night 16, as Kat is praising herself for not crying. "Apparently we had an issue with trust," Kat says, crediting Vytas for swooping in for the kill. In the Redemption shelter, Kat places the blame on everybody else for her ouster. She's worried, though, that Hayden will be disappointed with her. "No one wants to date someone who didn't make the Merge. He's gonna dump me," she laments. The next morning, she's finally crying. Now she's worried that Hayden will feel embarrassed and upset and ashamed of her. "We're like a team. He's my best friend," she explains. She's hoping that Hayden will still be on her side after the Duel.
 
Will you still love me tomorrow? The two tribes arrive at Redemption Island Arena. Hayden looks pensive at Kat's absence. She arrives and he looks pensive. She cries and begs him to come down and hug her. She apologizes repeatedly. Hayden says it's OK and shakes his head when she suggests he might be disappointed. "That's not the case. Our relationship is going to be fine," Hayden tells her, adding that his relationship with her is more important than the game. At this point, Jeff Probst leers suggestively and  offers Hayden the chance to swap in. And we go to credits.
 
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Jimmy Kimmel apologizes to protesters in front of his studio


Jimmy Kimmel apologizes to protesters in front of his studio

"If I upset you, I'm very, very sorry. I did not mean to upset you," Kimmel said today in front of his Hollywood Blvd theater. Protesters carrying "Fire Jimmy Kimmel" signs are still upset over his airing of a kid saying "kill everyone in China" two weeks ago, even after ABC's apology.


Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst is developing a CW drama based on his rise to fame
"The Noise" will be Durst's 2nd attempt at making a TV show based on his life. Durst worked on "Douchebag" for CBS two years ago, about a rock star trying to juggle his family and wild side.


Peter Facinelli will play Whitey Bulger's enforcer in a Fox limited series
"Street Soldier" tells the story of Eddie MacKenzie, a boxer who served Bulger.


"American Idol" teases Season 13
Watch the promo from tonight's World Series game.


How MSNBC will cover the Nov. 22 JFK assassination 50th anniversary
There will be two hours of Chris Matthews, plus Al Sharpton's "50 Years of Guns" and Alec Baldwin will explore the mystery of Kennedy's death.


Fox creates printable Halloween masks from your favorite shows

Put on a Jess from "New Girl" mask, or one of "Family Guy's" Stewie.


Omarosa and Bethenny yell at each other
The two reality stars battled it out today on Bethenny Frankel's talk show, where Omarosa said: "It's different for you and I. I am an African-American woman. You get to walk around and be mediocre and you still get rewarded with things."


"Family Guy" unveils its own British royal family portrait

Featuring Prince George.


Tips for "Scandal": How other shows handled unexpected pregnancies
"How I Met Your Mother," "Sex and the City," "Mad Men" and "Grey's Anatomy" have been through this before. PLUS: Who should be the "Scandal" baby daddy?


Subway Sandwiches has seeped its way into many TV shows

From "Nashville" to "Chuck" to "Community," Subway has become a TV show product placement fixture over the past six years.


Jason Schwartzman calls "SNL's" Wes Anderson parody a career "definer"
"I loved it! It made me so happy," he says. "I can't express to you how much it meant to me."


"It's Always Sunny" tackles "Lethal Weapon 6"
The "Sunny" gang makes a sequel.


PBS will repeat its "American Masters" on Lou Reed
Check your local listings for airings over the next week.


Alexa Vega joins "The Tomorrow People"
The former "Spy Kid" will play Robbie Amell's rival.


Have supernatural shows made TV deaths boring when death isn't final?
On shows like "Ravenswood" and "The Vampire Diaries," death is temporary.


Denver Broncos get a special visit from "Tim Riggins"
Taylor Kitsch visited the team and showed them his new movie.


Scott Foley wouldn't have been able to handle "Felicity" fame in a Twitter world
Noel and Ben fans would've been "rabid" if Twitter existed when "Felicity" was on, he says. Back then, he says, he was "substantially more fragile... You know, now I just find them humorous, but I think back then I would have been devastated."


T-Bone Burnett on "Nashville": "It was a knockdown, bloody, drag-out fight, every episode"
The musician, whose wife created the ABC drama, had to quit because he didn't like the way his wife was treated.


Watch Amy Poehler & Will Ferrell making out as Conan sketch players 16 years ago

Ferrell was just beginning his "SNL" stint when he made an appearance on "Late Night" not as a guest, but as a sketch performer. The bit was written by Adam McKay, who would go on to collaborate with Ferrell on "Anchorman" and many of his other hits.


Was Meredith Vieira drunk tweeting?
It appears so, but Vieria insists she was not drunk.


"The Crazy Ones" casts Missi Pyle and Kurt Fuller
Pyle will play a Nancy Grace-type reporter.

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<p>Lily, Barney and Robin may be gone, but the bar would remain in a reported &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother&quot;&nbsp;spin-off.</p>

Lily, Barney and Robin may be gone, but the bar would remain in a reported "How I Met Your Mother" spin-off.

Credit: CBS

Who wants a 'How I Met Your Mother' spin-off?

Does the world want or need an unrelated show called 'How I Met Your Father'?

How do the "How I Met Your Mother" creators plan to follow up a season misguidedly set entirely at Robin and Barney's wedding weekend? Reportedly, with a "HIMYM" spin-off.

According to Deadline, "HIMYM" creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are collaborating with Emily Spivey ("Up All Night" creator and "Parks and Rec" alum) for a spin-off that, if picked up, would be titled... wait for it... "How I Met Your Father."

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<p>Nick Kroll</p>

Nick Kroll

Credit: AP Photo

Nick Kroll set to host Gotham Independent Film Awards

IFP event will take place December 2

Nick Kroll, the comedian and "Kroll Show" star, will host  IFP's Gotham Independent Film Awards on Monday, Dec. 2 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

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<p>Lorde</p>

Lorde

Lorde, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus rule over the Billboard Hot 100

Two newcomers crash into the top 10

Women continue to rule on the Billboard Hot 100 again this week as Lorde’s “Royals” spends its fifth week at No. 1, Katy Perry’s “Roar” logs another week at No. 3 and Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” holds at No. 3. 

This marks the seventh straight week that the women have held the top 3 positions (in different permutations), according to Billboard. 

Things remain static in the rest of the Top 5, as Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” remains at No. 4 and Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (featuring Majid Jordan) hangs at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, while topping Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs & R&B Songs for a fifth week.

The lower half of the top 10 gets some new blood as OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars”  soars 15-8, perhaps bolstered by frontman Ryan Tedder’s appearance on “The Voice” as a guest mentor.  And just in time for Halloween, Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” makes its move into the Top 10, gaining three spots to No. 9.

Rounding out the top 10 are Jay Z’s “Holy Grail” (featuring Justin Timberlake) at No. 6 and Lady Gaga’s “Applause” at No. 7: both titles rise two spots from last week’s positions, but have yet to surpass their peaks at No. 4.  In other Gaga news, her duet with R. Kelly, “Do What U Want” bows at No. 13.

Closing out the top 10 is Ylvis’s “The Fox,” which falls No. 6 to No. 10.




 

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Adele Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color."
Adele Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color."
Credit: Sundance Selects

France's Oscar entry snubbed by Louis Delluc jury, as Cannes hits make the grade

'Blue is the Warmest Color' the frontrunner for France's most prestigious award

Well, this isn't exactly a vote of confidence in France's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Eyebrows were raised when Gilles Bourdos' attractive but not notably acclaimed period biopic "Renoir" was selected to represent the country at the Academy Awards, and those same skeptics will feel vindicated by today's shortlist for the most prestigious individual award in French cinema, the Louis Delluc Prize: eight films have been nominated, and "Renoir" is not among them. 

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<p>Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy take their time-traveling father/son act on the road during Richard Curtis's powerfully and beautiful 'About Time'</p>

Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy take their time-traveling father/son act on the road during Richard Curtis's powerfully and beautiful 'About Time'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Richard Curtis delivers smart and personal time travel fable in 'About Time'

It's not what his fans might expect, but it's better as a result

Richard Curtis has made a career for himself by writing about love. Seems like a fairly simple topic at first glance, and one could argue that he created an entire subgenre of what could be broadly described as "the Working Title rom-com." His voice has been a major part of the comedy landscape for much longer than fans of just his films realize, and to some extent, you can divide his career into everything before "Four Weddings And A Funeral" and everything afterwards.

With his new film, "About Time," he seems to be wrapping things up, and it's a little disconcerting to see how final it feels. Many of the ideas he's tackled in his work over the years are present in "About Time," and it feels like he's grappling with his own legacy in the film. He's also doing it without the sort of star power that has driven some of his biggest successes, and I suspect the movie will surprise many audiences, and not always in the right way. Last night, as I was leaving my screening, a couple was walking through the Arclight behind me and the woman was complaining non-stop that this isn't some broad comedy about Rachel McAdams trying on hats and getting herself a man. She seemed almost offended that the film grapples with notions of family and mortality and the way we use time and how we prioritize the people and the events in our lives. It was a much heavier meal than she expected, and it obviously upset her.

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