Latest Blog Posts

<p>I'll bet Bryan Cranston wishes he was in a nice safe underground bunker cooking some meth right about now, eh?</p>

I'll bet Bryan Cranston wishes he was in a nice safe underground bunker cooking some meth right about now, eh?

Credit: Warner Bros

Bryan Cranston leads the fight as the 'Godzilla' trailer comes stomping online

Sometimes, quiet really is the best strategy

It's all about the tease.

I have no doubt that when the new "Godzilla," directed by Gareth Edwards, arrives in theaters in May of 2014 that Godzilla will be seen onscreen extensively in some big giant crazy action sequences. None at all. When I had a long conversation one afternoon with Thomas Tull of Legendary Pictures way back at the start of this process, part of the attraction for him was getting Godzilla back onscreen and actually treating him like a character.

But for now, this first official trailer for the film is pure tease, and smartly handled. In particular, I love the way it starts. What I want most from this film is some sense of the awe we would feel if giant monsters suddenly woke up and started roaming the Earth, and it feels like they may have nailed that. Edwards wasn't the immediate choice to helm this film if you're just going by box-office accomplishments, but anyone who saw "Monsters" knows that he's very good at finding quiet moments even amidst chaos and mayhem.

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'The Sing-Off' returns big


"The Sing-Off" returns big
The Season 3 premiere was up over last year's finale.


"HIMYM" bringing back Ashley Williams
She'll return in the 19th episode of the season.


"Portlandia" will be back Feb. 27

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein used Instagram to announce  Season 4. Guest stars include Olivia Wilde, Maya Rudolph, Steve Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Goldblum and Gus Van Zant.


VH1 to show all the "Happy Endings" episodes

All 57 episodes will air next year on Wednesdays, following a New Year's Eve marathon.


Carrie Bradshaw meets Carrie Bradshaw
Sarah Jessica Parker of "Sex and the City" fame finally got to meet "The Carrie Diaries" star AnnaSophia Robb on Monday.


Ex-"SYTYCD" judge Adam Shankman checks into rehab

His rep says he's "seeking treatment."


"Castle" casts Frances Fisher
She'll appear in a "Devil Wears Prada"-themed episode.


MTV names Miley Cyrus Artist of the Year
Her VMA performance was tops on the MTV website this year.

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<p>The judges on &quot;The Sing-Off&quot;</p>

The judges on "The Sing-Off"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Solid 'Sing-Off' return, 'The Voice' lead NBC on Monday

'Almost Human' ticks up, 'Sleepy Hollow' ticks down
Fast National ratings for Monday, December 9, 2013.
 
After a long absence, NBC's rebooted "The Sing-Off" returned to decent numbers and helped NBC cruise to Monday victories in all measures on a Monday laden with repeats and holiday programming.
 
FOX was the only other network with a full slate of new shows, as the network saw "Almost Human" get an encouraging bump (anything other than a decline would count as encouraging), though "Sleepy Hollow" was down slightly in its final new episode of 2013.
 
Meanwhile, The CW keeps airing these "IHeart Radio" specials and nobody keeps watching, with a One Direction hour the latest to tank.
 
[ABC had the football preemption in the Chicago market, which will likely lead to small declines in Finals.[
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio in &quot;The Wolf of Wall Street.&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Roundup: Schoonmaker's NSFW moments in editing 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Also: Inside the LAFCA vote, and Hollywood's most overpaid actors

The editing of "The Wolf of Wall Street" has been a long-running story, as Martin Scorsese's film scrambled to get in under the wire -- with reports of various running times (one as long as four hours) along the way. Three-time Oscar winner Thelma Schoonmaker, who is probably more informed than most on this matter, talks to Melena Ryzik about the "shaving down" process, the improvisations she reluctantly had to lose, and the awkward NSFW moments she encountered along the way. “This is a lot of sex and a lot of drugs. It was a bit of a shock at first. Sometimes people would come in the editing room and there’d be some outrageous image on the screen and I’d say, ‘Wait a minute, let me move that off.’” [New York Times]

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John Noble and Nicole Beharie in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Abbie would really like a story again on 'Sleepy Hollow,' please. (But, look! John Noble!)

Credit: FOX

'Sleepy Hollow' recap: 'The Golem' - Not so merry Christmas

Ichabod investigates what happened to his son with a little help from John Noble's Sin Eater

"Sleepy Hollow" has built up enough good will at this point that it would be easy to dismiss a more uneven episode like "The Golem" with a shrug and a "Can't wait till next month!" Because, really, even if this wasn't the show's finest hour (and possibly its weakest yet), I still can't wait for the final three episodes next month.

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<p>Jamal &amp; Leo of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Jamal & Leo of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Leo & Jamal talk 'The Amazing Race'

The Afghanimals discuss energy, Race ethics and more
This week's string of "Amazing Race" exit interviews begins with my chat with the freshly completed run's most polarizing team, Leo & Jamal. 
 
The self-described Afghanimals were the season's most reliably energetic and enthusiastic team and they made the season's most consistent alliance, working alongside Ice Queens Ally & Ashley from the very first Leg. 
 
Of course, while some fans loved that Afghanimal energy, certain rival teams criticized Leo & Jamal for excessive gamesmanship and occasional white lies. Travis & Nicole took particular exception to Leo & Jamal's ethics and it's obvious that months after filming wrapped, the Afghanimals are still irked by certain things that Nicole in particular did in those last few Legs. 
 
It's also obvious that Leo is frustrated by the way their "Amazing Race" run ended, specifically the inverted torso on a robot puzzle in Tokyo, a task he was doing himself while Nicole and Amy teamed up, a task that cost them a place in the final Leg and left them in fourth place. 
 
In their exit interview, Leo & Jamal talk about why they were viewed by other teams as a threat, how they kept their energy up and their version of "Amazing Race" ethics.
 
Click through for the full Q&A and stay tuned for the three finalists over the next few nights.
 
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Ranking Tom Hanks' 10 all-time greatest performances

Ranking Tom Hanks' 10 all-time greatest performances

Did 'Captain Phillips' or 'Saving Mr. Banks' make the cut?

It's probably not fair to say Tom Hanks has experienced a comeback over the past year. He's always been here. His side job as a movie and TV producer has just stolen some of his free time over the past decade or so. 2013 is a watershed for Hanks, however, with acclaimed performances in two Oscar contenders, "Captain Phillips" and "Saving Mr. Banks," now on his resume. "Phillips" has already earned over $100 million domestic, "Banks" is expected to be a major holiday hit and he could earn Academy Award nominations for both films. So on second thought, maybe it's a pseudo comeback.

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<p>It's already been a Frontline documentary, but now 'League Of Denial' may be on its way to the bigscreen as a dramatic feature as well.</p>

It's already been a Frontline documentary, but now 'League Of Denial' may be on its way to the bigscreen as a dramatic feature as well.

Credit: PBS/Frontline

Parkes/McDonald Productions takes up traumatic brain injury with 'League Of Denial'

Important nonfiction book has already inspired a doc

One of the most upsetting moments in Lucy Walker's new documentary "The Crash Reel" features Kevin Pearce, a world-class snowboarder who was waylaid on his way to the Olympics by a traumatic brain injury, talking to his parents about how he plans to return to snowboarding. This is on the heels of two full years of therapy that have obviously not restored him to anything like peak condition. Pearce seems completely set on going back to competition, and nothing his parents say seems to be eating to him. He's simply incapable of accepting the idea that his brain damage is permanent.

The subject of just how we've approached the health of players involved in full-contact sports is currently undergoing a culture-wide re-examination, and while sports fans might have to cope with some uncomfortable changes to the games that they love, it sounds like those changes have to happen.

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<p>Tom Cruise will once again fracture jaws and solve problems as Jack Reacher in 'Never Let Go' for writer/director Chris McQuarrie</p>

Tom Cruise will once again fracture jaws and solve problems as Jack Reacher in 'Never Let Go' for writer/director Chris McQuarrie

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise will return as Jack Reacher for Chris McQuarrie's 'Never Go Back'

How are Reacher fans feeling this time around?

There were few people more skeptical out the casting of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher than I was. I wrote about it several times during the production of the film, but when the film finally came out, I found myself won over by Christopher McQuarrie's excellent script and smart, sleek direction. It is a really good old-school action movie, and while Cruise isn't the Jack Reacher I see when I read the books, he's got an intensity that makes up for the physicality.

So when I read that Cruise and McQuarrie, who are currently gearing up for "Mission: Impossible 5," are now set to develop a sequel to "Jack Reacher," I am actually excited by the news. I'm a little baffled by the choice of book, though, and this time, my issue has nothing to do with Cruise and whether or not he's the same size as Reacher.

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First Look: Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley highlight Sundance 2014 Premieres
Credit: Lorey Sebastian

First Look: Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley highlight Sundance 2014 Premieres

Check out all the photos from today's announced films

From Michael Fassbender to Shailene Woodley to Keira Knightley to Ryan Reynolds, Sundance's 2014 Premieres slate (full list here) is certainly a star-studded one, and you can take your first glimpse at a number of the selected films - including Gregg Araki's "White Bird in a Blizzard," David Wain's "They Came Together" and William H. Macy's "Rudderless" - in the gallery below.

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 16-26 in Park City, Utah.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Ernest and Celestine.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Ernest and Celestine."

Credit: GKIDS

'Ernest & Celestine' and 'A Letter to Momo' lead GKIDS retrospective in New York

Neat showcase comes at the perfect time to catch awards voters' attention

As I wrote in yesterday's LAFCA voting live-blog, GKIDS' beguiling French creature feature "Ernest and Celestine" is making strides in the animated Oscar race. Yesterday's win from the LA crowd, pipping early critics' favorite "The Wind Rises" to the post, was an unexpected coup. It did well, too, in the Annie Award nominations, where it joined "Frozen" as the only films to score nods for directing and writing, in addition to the top prize. Add to that the news that the film's English-language version -- featuring the voices of Forest Whitaker and Nick Offerman, among others -- has secured a shiny premiere slot at the Sundance Film Festival, and it's clearly a viable contender.

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<p>Channing Tatum looks like a badass Mr. Tumnus in the first trailer for 'Jupiter Ascending,' the new action film from Andy and Lana Wachowski.</p>

Channing Tatum looks like a badass Mr. Tumnus in the first trailer for 'Jupiter Ascending,' the new action film from Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Credit: Warner Bros

The Wachowskis break out the eye candy in gorgeous first 'Jupiter Ascending' trailer

The makers of the 'Matrix' trilogy are back in their comfort zone

People are so focused on the barrage of sequels and reboots coming in 2015 that it feels like they're overlooking some films that they're going to see sooner. One of the movies that I'm personally flipping out about is "Jupiter Ascending," the new science-fiction action film from Andy and Lana Wachowski.

While I'm a fan of all their films so far, I'm well aware of just how fanboys view them after "Speed Racer" and "Cloud Atlas." It's a shame, since there was a point where "a new sci-fi action movie from the guys who made 'The Matrix'" would have broken the Internet with the release of a new trailer.

I've been doing my best to stay quiet about everything I know about this film. I can say this, though… they're still not really showing you everything that's going on in the film, and they're not really telling you some of the coolest things about these characters. Channing Tatum's character Caine is, as we hear in the trailer, a hunter, but it's more than just training. He is genetically designed to be a hunter, and as such, he's got more than just human DNA bouncing around inside him. His ears, which you just glimpse a bit in the trailer, are the first clue that he's not exactly what he appears to be, and he's not the only modified character. I would love to see what Stinger looks like and who's playing him, but I don't think we even get a glimpse of him here.

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