Latest Blog Posts

"American Horror Story: Coven"

 "American Horror Story: Coven"

Credit: FX

Watch this teaser for 'American Horror Story: Coven'

Will you be watching on October 9?

Ready to get freaked out? "American Horror Story: Coven" is, as we've come to expect, is releasing creepy, evocative imagery to get us excited about the season (debuting Oct. 9 at 10:00 p.m. on FX). This blink-and-you'll-miss-it teaser is just enough to assure us that we can expect more of the same from "AHS" as well as let us know that this season, it's all about the witches, yo.

Read Full Post
<p>Michael Kenneth Williams and Jeffrey Wright in the new season of &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Michael Kenneth Williams and Jeffrey Wright in the new season of "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' is back for season 4

Jeffrey Wright and Ron Livingston are new faces in the sprawling but satisfying period crime drama

Because HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” was created by one “Sopranos” alum (writer/producer Terence Winter), because it stars another (Steve Buscemi) and is crewed by many more (most notably lead director Tim Van Patten), and because it takes place in Tony Soprano’s home state — albeit way back in the 1920s — it was easy to wonder in the show’s early days if this would finally be the rightful heir to “The Sopranos” legacy. Instead, as “Boardwalk” returns for a fourth season Sunday night at 9, the classic HBO drama it seems to have more in common with is “The Wire.”

Read Full Post

Valerie Harper: 'I just feel so in the moment, so in this moment, so present'


Valerie Harper: "I just feel so in the moment, so in this moment, so present"
By going on "Dancing with the Stars," Harper says she hopes to inspire others.


Oops!: Hoda Kotb flashes her cell number on "Today"

Viewers seeing ther phone number quickly texted her more than 1,000 times.


HBO's Woody Harrelson-Matthew McConaughey drama to debut in January

"True Detective" will send them on the hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana.


Bill Hader: I avoid watching myself as Stefon
"I've seen, like, clips when they're played at talk shows before my appearance," he says. "But I don't watch them. My wife does, and I'll hear them in the other room. And I'm just like, can we just fast-forward, please?" PLUS: Hader says James Franco never watched a roast, and Richard Simmons sits on Hader's lap.


"American Horror Story" releases a 5th "Coven" teaser trailer

Check out "Coffin."

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Drake - 'Nothing Was the Same'</p>

 Drake - 'Nothing Was the Same'

Credit: Young Money

Check out Drake's track listing for 'Nothing Was the Same' with Jay Z and 2 Chainz

Rapper's third album drops Sept. 24

Drake released the track listing for his Sept. 24 album, “Nothing Was the Same” this morning, confirming that “Pound Cake,” his collaboration with Jay Z, will close out the set.

This most recent pairing follows Jay Z’s appearance on “Light Up” from Drake’s debut album, “Thank Me Later,” and Drake’s feature on “The Blueprint 3,” Jay Z’s 2009 album.

The other guests on the album include Detail on the track “305 To My City” and OVO duo Majid Jordan on “Hold On, We’re Going Home," which Drake dropped last week.  Big Sean and 2 Chainz appear on “All Me,” one of two bonus tracks on the Deluxe Edition.

Wu-Tang Clan does not appear on a track called “Wu-Tang Forever,” according to Complex, which also notes that Jhene Aiko, whom Drake had previously tweeted would be on the album, appears not to be on the track “From Time,” as originally expected.

First single, “Started From The Bottom,” reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Tracklist:
1. Tuscan Leather
2. Furthest Thing
3. Started From The Bottom
4. Wu-Tang Forever
5. Own It
6. Worst Behavior
7. From Time
8. Hold On, We're Going Home (f/ Majid Jordan)
9. Connect
10. The Language
11. 305 To My City (f/ Detail)
12. Too Much?13. Pound Cake (f/ Jay Z) / Paris Morton Music 2
 

Deluxe Edition:
14. Come Thru
15. All Me (f/ Big Sean & 2 Chainz)

Read Full Post
<p>A moment from Emeli Sande's new video</p>

A moment from Emeli Sande's new video

Credit: Virgin

Watch: Emeli Sande's new video for 'My Kind of Love'

Love can stop speeding word bullets for two- and four-legged creatures

The maxim “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” certainly doesn’t apply to Emeli Sande’s new video, “My Kind Of Love.”

In the Sanji Senaka-directed clip, hateful words fly out of people’s mouths like bullets, inflicting real damage when they land. Whether it’s a lover’s quarrel, a spat between frenemies or a sweet little love story about a girl and her horse, the words have to power to do both serious emotional and physical damage.

The vignettes are interspersed with footage of Sande singing the mid-tempo emotional ballad in an abandoned warehouse. It’s a fascinating concept for a clip, but the execution seems a bit off and is blunted when, in one of the top 10 cliches in music videos, it starts raining indoors on Sande, soaking her as she sings.

My Kind of Love (Red One and Alex P Remix)” goes top 40 radio next week and is Sande’s followup to her multi-format hit, “Next To Me.”  The song appears on the deluxe version of Sande’s debut album,  “Our Version of Events,” which comes out Oct. 8  via Target and iTunes. The deluxe edition also includes her collaboration with Labrinth, “Beneath Your Beautiful.”

While the Scottish singer’s star continues to climb in the U.S., she has already ascended to superstar status in the U.K.: “Our Version Of Events” was the top-selling album in England for 2012 and is leading 2013 so far.

Sande kicks off a two-week North American headlining tour on Oct. 10. Dates  are below the video. She will appear on “Katie” Sept. 13 and “Austin City Limits” on Nov. 9.

EMELI SANDÉ - U.S. TOUR DATES
 
10/10               New York, NY            iHeartRadio British Invasion w/Jake Bugg
10/11               Miami Beach, FL        Fillmore Miami Beach @ Jackie Gleason Theatre
10/12               Tampa, Florida           The Ritz
10/14               Birmingham, AL         Iron City Birmingham
10/15               Memphis, TN             Minglewood Hall
10/17               Charlotte, NC             The Fillmore Charlotte
10/18               Raleigh, NC                 Lincoln Theater
10/19               Baltimore, MD           Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
10/21               Columbus, OH            Newport Music Hall
10/22               Cincinnati, OH            Bogart's
10/23               Nashville, TN             Ryman Auditorium
10/25               Indianapolis, IN          Egyptian Room - Old National Centre
10/26               Chicago, IL                  Vic Theater
 

Read Full Post

HBO: We're still in talks for Season 3 of 'The Newsroom'


HBO: We're still in talks for Season 3 of "The Newsroom"
In response to Jeff Daniel's tweet announcing a renewal, HBO issued a statement saying:  "We are excited about proceeding to a Season 3 and are continuing our conversations with Aaron about schedules."


Betty White sets a Guinness world record
The new Guinness Word Records book has the 91-year-old listed as having the "Longest TV Career For An Entertainer (Female)."


"Community" books Walton Goggins
The "Justified" star will appear as "a mysterious, emotionless man" named Mr. Stone.


"Breaking Bad's" cemetery finale tickets are on sale on eBay for $1,000
Aaron Paul's charity event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery sold out in one minute.


Sarah Silverman loses her dog, Duck
Duck Silverman was Sarah's companion for 14 years, her longest relationship.

Read Full Post
<p>George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron at the world premiere of &quot;Gravity&quot;&nbsp;at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.</p>

George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron at the world premiere of "Gravity" at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Denis Poroy

Contender Countdown: 'Gravity' and '12 Years A Slave' storm out of the gate

Who's ready for some Best Picture predictions?

And we're back! Yes, it's your favorite weekly rundown of Best Picture contenders. A snapshot of who's up, who's down, who's got it in the bag and who's a big whiny pretender.

With Venice almost completed, Telluride in the books and Toronto opening her red carpets to the world, the 2013-2014 awards season is in full swing. Last year, "Silver Linings Playbook" was the surprise at Toronto as "Argo" kept its Telluride momentum going. "Lincoln's" debut was over a month away and many pundits were getting smoke signals that "Zero Dark Thirty" might not even make its expected end-of-year release. So, yep, a lot can happen between now and Dec. 1st. Telluride, however, was quite, um, telling this year (as it increasingly steals Venice and Toronto's thunder). A number of films proved their worthiness (or not) there. With that in mind, let's review the countdown as it stands today, Sept. 5, 2013.

Read Full Post
<p>One of these is a space beast, and one of these is a CG dog.</p>

One of these is a space beast, and one of these is a CG dog.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Vin Diesel takes 'Riddick' back to his simple, brutal roots

Did you like 'Pitch Black'? Well, I've got good news for you.

One of the words I use frequently when describing things, particularly things I like, is "pulp," and this summer, when I was at the San Diego Comic-Con, I found myself in a conversation with a reader who wasn't sure what I meant by that. It was a reminder that just because I love something or use something as a reference, it's not automatically something that everyone in my audience is going to understand or connect to, and I can't just leave it like that. The point of using a specific term like that is to give you some context for something, and truth be told, "pulp" is something that really doesn't occupy much of a space in modern pop culture. When I use that term to describe some pumped-up slice of 21st-century whiz bang, it's sort of like listening to your granddad describe a "Super Mario Bros." game by making references to Jack Benny's radio show.

My love of pulp developed gradually, as I followed the things I love back through their cultural evolution to the place where they began. Growing up as a film fan who was shaped in some part by "Star Wars" and "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," it seemed inevitable that eventually I would find my way back to what was a huge, significant movement in pop fiction for a good chunk of the start of the 20th century. From the moment I first read one of the original "Doc Savage" stories, I was hooked. What I adore about pulp is the simplicity of it and the way it's all about wringing variations out of a formula. Bad guys and good guys are painted in big broad strokes, essentially unchanging in their natures, and the conflicts they find themselves in are defined by very simple-to-understand stakes. If you've read one "Doc Savage" story, you could argue that you've read every "Doc Savage" story, but the pleasure comes in seeing what is done within that familiar framework each time.

Read Full Post
<p>Dakota Fanning in &quot;Night Moves.&quot;</p>

Dakota Fanning in "Night Moves."

Credit: Maybach Film Productions

Review: Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg make slow, steady 'Night Moves'

Unnerving film may be a thriller, but unmistakably the work of Kelly Reichardt

VENICE - I didn't intend to wait four days to review "Night Moves" -- not least because, in the wake of her last three features, a toothpaste commercial directed by Kelly Reichardt would be high on the year's most-anticipated list -- but the combination of cumulative screenings and the slackening effects of illness kept pushing it unintentionally down the to-do list.

Yet if any film on the Lido this year belongs on the back burner, it's this one. That may be the lousiest compliment I've given a good film all year, but it's a compliment nonetheless; for the more time Reichardt's latest has to let its calculatedly flat terrors work on the brain, the more imposing and guileful an achievement it seems. "Night Moves" is a pretty slow burner while it's on the screen; off it, it's stubbornly inextinguishable, the trick birthday candle of this year's Venice fest.

Read Full Post
<p>Gus (Carlos Pratts)&nbsp;and Marco Ruiz (Demi&aacute;n Bichir)&nbsp;on &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Gus (Carlos Pratts) and Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir) on "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'The Beetle'

The killer goes after Marco's family in a taut hour directed by Keith Gordon

A review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as we discuss this over a ham salad...

Read Full Post
"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Who will win veto and what will it mean for McCranda?

Amanda sobs and screams about being on the block

I've been thinking a lot about why Amanda has morphed from one of the hamsters I enjoyed the most on "Big Brother" to a villain I am eager to see bounced out on her butt -- and that's on a season that's been peppered with racists, homophobes and the barely literate.

I think Amanda has worn out my initial good will in part because she seems to think she is the only one who deserves to win the game, and any challenge to her house domination isn't just gameplay, but a personal affront. This week, when she isn't crying, she's (to use her words) "pissed, crazy and confused." As previous winner Dan pointed out recently, this isn't the attitude of a winner. It's the attitude of an entitled brat who isn't as smart or as clever as she believes herself to be.

We kick things off, of course, with Amanda crying. She was BLINDSIDED! That never happens in this game! Oh, wait, it happens all the time, usually more than once a season. For some reason, Amanda believed that McCranda would be the first showmance to make it to the end intact, which suggests to me that Amanda is woefully naive, ridiculously optimistic, or thinks bullying really works as a life strategy. 
 
After Amanda gets over the crying (for a while), she moves on to spewing hate and vengeance. Gina Marie isn't smart enough to come up with her own idea, so she must have been taking orders from Elissa. Gina Marie politely denies this, and then Amanda moves on to her next theory -- that Gina Marie is working with Spencer, Judd and Elissa. Closer, Amanda, but not quite! 
 
She stomps off to confront Spencer, who lies through his beard. Then, Amanda demands that Spencer, Judd and Andy all tromp up to the HoH room to confront Gina Marie. Because that's ALWAYS good for everyone's game, isn't it? Oddly enough, Amanda ends up going alone.
 
Amanda proceeds to yell at Gina Marie for being stupid. Elissa sent home Nick and Aaryn, dummy! We were never coming after you! Don't you value my loving attention? Gina Marie makes the perfectly valid point that Aaryn did Amanda's bidding and then was cast aside, and she owes Elissa one. But that makes no sense, Gina Marie! You aren't following orders! I only would have sent you home fifth, maybe!
 
Finally, Judd and Andy decide to step in so Amanda doesn't actually rip into Gina Marie with her teeth, though I think Gina Marie doesn't need defending. If anyone was going to take down McCranda, Gina Marie is tough enough to take whatever Amanda wants to spit out. 
 
Amanda isn't done, though. She tells Gina Marie that her devious plot will plant a BIG target on her back! Um, really? From one person, I guess. But no, Amanda assures her that EVERYONE will target her. And if Andy or Spencer win the veto, they'll save McCranda! 
 
Judd, who has had enough of this crazypants horsecrap, finally asks, "So, you all run the game? Should we all pack our bags?" Amanda yells and Judd walks away and, really, she has no good answer for what is completely obvious -- that she'll be gunning for Judd right after she gets Elissa out of the house. Oh, wait, she's going home, right? RIGHT? 
 
When no one is appropriately sympathetic or cowed, Amanda goes back to crying. "I don't even want to be in the house anymore!" she whines. Waaaah! I can't be with these people! Oh, please leave! Please? 
"Love you, too," Judd says drily. Oh, well said, Judd. Well said. 
 
Amanda stomps around. Amanda sulks in the Have Not room, then vomits her angst onto McCrae. "I don't want to be here anymore! I had no idea! How could she not put Elissa up? Is that not insane? Spencer's lying! Don't take him far, he's lying, he's part of this! And so is Judd! She wouldn't put us up unless she had the votes." Amanda isn't wrong, but really, I wish she'd stop spinning.
 
Still, "Big Brother" is going to try to turn this ridiculous, dysfunctional showmance into friggin' "Romeo and Juliette." McCrae knows it's the end. He's so quietly sad! What he doesn't know is that he's in a messed up relationship with a bully. I don't remember that from Shakespeare, oddly enough. 
 
But wait! There's more maudlin, teenage love story crap! "What McCrae and I have is completely real. He's a 24-year-old pizza boy from Minnesota. And I love him." Barf. It's okay; she's ready to go. You're not DYING, Amanda. 
 
Alas, there's a veto competition to suffer through. And before that, Amanda has to put up with Elissa's Joker face walking around the house! Yes, this would be another reason why I don't like Amanda. I am almost entirely positive she was a mean girl in high school, aren't you? She vents all of this to Andy, who feels he needs to tell Amanda whatever she wants to hear. The problem with that, of course, is that Elissa eavesdrops on the conversation. Spencer catches her and walks in on Amanda and Andy's conversation, but Elissa now suspects Andy is playing both sides of the house. Welcome to "Big Brother," Elissa!
 
Meanwhile, Amanda vacillates between teary and angry, apparently stuck on two of the more annoying steps on the Kubler-Ross scale. America's gonna love that I bleeping tortured Elissa last week, she hoots. Really, Amanda? News to you -- no, we didn't. You lost your cool (to whatever degree you had it), and resorted to playground tactics. That wasn't gameplay. It was just childish and ridiculous. 
 
Time to pick the players in the veto competition! Gina Marie and McCranda are joined by Elissa, and a houseguest choice, which goes to Amanda … and she chooses Spencer. Andy is so glad he's dodging a bullet yet again! Except not, because he'll be playing, too. 
 
Judd and Spencer can take off their chicken outfits, by the way. Which is probably a relief for everyone.
Afterward, Amanda tries to reassure Andy that she didn't pick him because she knew he'd have a harder time choosing between her or McCrae to pull off the block. Oh, Amanda. 
 
It's time for the veto competition! Put on your tutus and head to the backyard! It's Bowlerina, a blend of ballet and bowling. There's spinning and there's bowling, apparently an attempt to make the hamsters vomit if they do it right. Each hamster has to compete against another hamster, so this should be fun. Or miserable. Or both. 
Amanda is up first, and she challenges Elissa. Of course she does!
 
Elissa looks like a complete idiot in this challenge. Amanda beats her easily. But then, she throws up. Yup, she did it right!
 
Andy is up next, and he follows Gina Marie's instruction to pick Amanda. And then very obviously throws the match. I can't decide whether Andy is playing the game well or if he's going to go down in flames for trying to make nice with everyone in the house. 
 
Okay, Gina Marie! She wants to go up against… Amanda. Ha! Gina Marie does a lot of pirouettes, so this should be cake, right? Oh, no. Amanda is going to win this. And yes, Amanda wins. The more she does this, the more practice she gets. Remember how this happened with Rachel, too? Oh, hamsters, if you don't recall history you are doomed to repeat it!
 
McCrae chooses Spencer, then takes him down. That means the final challenge is… McCrae versus Amanda. Please, oh please, do not let Amanda win another challenge. Although I will say, it's now pretty obvious that her strategy all season was to lose every challenge until she needed to win, which was actually a good game move. 
 
Poor McCrae feels like he's putting down Old Yeller (his words, not mine), but he wins the game, throws up, and generally looks miserable. Amanda cries. And cries, and cries, and cries.
 
Amanda may be ready to go home, but that doesn't mean she isn't going to try to control the game even now. She wants Gina Marie to put up Elissa, as she clearly thinks she can manipulate her housemates into sending Elissa home. Funny, but I think the other hamsters do not hate Elissa half as much as Amanda does. 
 
But Gina Marie doesn't want to put up Elissa, as she did her a solid when she needed it, so she decides to put up… one of her boys. Spencer is scared. What if something crazy happens? I don't blame Spencer for worrying. Pawns always go home! 
 
Amanda thinks Gina Marie has way too much power for way too small of a mind. She also thinks Gina Marie has a personal vendetta against McCranda because she's jealous. Of McCranda? Really? Again with the mean girl stuff!
 
Time for the veto meeting. McCrae invites Amanda to explain why he should use the veto on her. She cries. If she had to lose to one person, she's glad that person was McCrae. So she would never ask or expect him to use the veto on her. So, McCrae uses the veto on himself. They look at one another tearfully, as if they're Bonnie and Clyde gunning the getaway car. 
 
Gina Marie puts up Spencer as a replacement nominee, just as he feared. So, we head into Thursday with Spencer (who just can't seem to get voted off and is the record holder for the most times on the block in a single season -- though that may not last) and Amanda, the real target, in the crosshairs. I would love to think Amanda is going home, but I don't know. Spencer is smart to think everything could change in an instant. It usually does.
 
Plus, this week is a double eviction episode. Expect whiplash!
 
Do you think Amanda will get the boot? Do you think alliances will change again? Do you think McCrae was smart to save himself? 
 
Read Full Post
<p>Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in &quot;Tracks,&quot; a nominee for Best Film at the LFF this year.</p>

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in "Tracks," a nominee for Best Film at the LFF this year.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Tracks,' 'Under the Skin' among nominees for top award at London Film Festival

The UK's biggest film festival revealed its lineup of 234 features today

Ordinarily, if a film festival announced its lineup and I found I'd already seen over 60 of the selections, I'd probably strike it from the to-do list. But it's a testament to the strength and breadth of this year's London Film Festival programme, which was announced this morning, that I'm still excited to dive into it. The LFF remains one of the world's great cherry-picking festivals: only 22 of the 234 features screening over the 12-day fest are world premieres, but it's a comprehensive catch-up of highlights from Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin and Sundance, to name just its biggest suppliers. For any UK readers getting itchy over our Venice, Telluride and upcoming Toronto coverage, this should be your first port of call.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME