Latest Blog Posts

Joe and Melissa Gorga, Jenni Farley, and Roger Mathews

Joe Gorga, left, and Melissa Gorga, of "Real Housewives of New Jersey," and Jenni Farley, second right and Roger Mathews

Credit: AP Photo

Reality overload as 'RHoNJ and 'Jersey Shore' stars pose at VMAs

Stars from both shows pose together on the red carpet

It could probably be argued that seeing the stars of both "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and "Jersey Shore" in one place might cause blindness, or be a harbinger of the apocalypse, or simply have absolutely no impact on the many, many people who have no idea who they are, but in any case, it happened at the 2013 MTV VMAs. Just FYI, in case the apocalypse thing is happening. If it's a zombie apocalypse, there might be time to squeeze in a few episodes of "Walking Dead" before zombies come to eat you.

Anyway, Joe and Melissa Gorga of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" struck a pose with Jenni Farley ("Jersey Shore" and "Snooki & Jwoww") and her fiance Roger Mathews. As no one could hear them swearing, it's unlikely they were recognized by most of the paparazzi. 

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<p>Aaron Paul as Jesse in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Aaron Paul as Jesse in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Confessions'

Walt makes a video, Jesse checks his pockets and Hank and Marie have an awkward family dinner

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I tell you about the table-side guacamole...

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<p>Eminem returns this Nov.&nbsp; And we're gonna guess it's not a kinder, gentler&nbsp;Eminem.</p>

Eminem returns this Nov.  And we're gonna guess it's not a kinder, gentler Eminem.

Credit: Interscope

Eminem announces release date for 'MMLP2'

New single, "Berzerk, will drop on Tuesday

Eminem’s new album, “MMLP2,” will come out Nov. 5.  The word of the release date came during the MTV Video Music Awards. “MMLP2” stands for “Marshall Mathers LP 2.” “Marshall Mathers LP” was Eminem’s third studio album. “MMLP2” will be his eighth.

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>Miley Cyrus gets bearly legal</p>

Miley Cyrus gets bearly legal

Credit: AP

MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Live-Blog

Expect Katy Perry, Drake, Miley Cyrus, 'N Sync and lots of twerking

Welcome, Boys & Girls, to my live-blog for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, or the "VMAs" as the kids used to call them back when I last watched them.

1946.

I remember it well. The Andrews Sisters twerked their way into America's hearts and a young Glenn Miller stirred up controversy with a remix of "Little Brown Jug."

Follow along as I express confusion at how music has changed and what awful taste "the kids" have.

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<p>&quot;Dads&quot;</p>

"Dads"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Dads'

It's possible to deal with race in a funny way. This is not how.

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Dads" (FOX)
Airs:Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
The Pitch: "Hi, I'm Seth Mac..." "Sold!"
Quick Response: Sigh. OK. I guess I have to do this. A lot has been made of Brenda Song in a schoolgirl outfit as if that's inherently evil. It's not. The problem is that you have two white guys in a position of power forcing a character (who already joked about her strict father beating her with math books) played by a Vietnamese-Thai (by way of Sacramento) actress to fulfill a fetishistic stereotype that is primarily seen as being representative of Japanese culture as a way of wooing Chinese investors (or "Orientals" as one of the eponymous dads calls them), but despite this across-the-board "one size fits all" ignorance, nobody at any point has an iota of self-awareness that they're getting everything wrong or is made aware of their ignorance and, in fact, the plan is validated amidst schoolgirl giggling and additional jokes about diminutive Asian penises. The result is that the punchlines aren't at the expense of ANY of the show's on-screen characters and are, instead, at the general expense of all Asians, that Asians from one country can be manipulated through stereotypes that don't even apply to their culture and must bear the weight of all pan-Asian stereotypes, because nobody writing the darned show can be bothered with specificity. And, for the most part, that's how "Dads" rolls. It just happens that there's an astounding preponderance of Asian jokes in the pilot, so that's the advocacy group that's getting ticked off NOW. A joke about how one character's doddering father once thought "Shiite" sounds like "S***" isn't at that character's expense, but rather at how a religious group's name sounds like feces. The joke "Whatcha playing? Punch the Puerto Rican?" isn't directed at the character who says it, but rather you're supposed to roar at the audacity that anybody would say such a thing at all. I laugh at "Family Guy" and when "Family Guy" is at its sharpest, I usually think that its jokes about race flow either from character or from a commentary on racial assumptions, rather from merely a place of, "Aren't we being edgy!" And yes, as Seth Green told us at press tour, there are also jokes about white guys in the pilot, but I think that even Seth would have to admit that the number of jokes relating specifically to whiteness -- not just jokes directed at characters who happen to be white -- is far smaller than the number of jokes relating specifically to NON-whiteness. And why on earth is a show in which only one main character isn't white -- Sorry, Seth MacFarlane, but your thick-accented Latina maids don't count as "characters" -- building so many of its punchlines around race in the first place? Why not build your main characters first? And if you want us to like them, why not make something *other* than "slightly racist" the first characteristic I'd used to describe every male character on the show? Simply put: "Dads" isn't a bad comedy *because* it's racist. It's racist because it's bad comedy that over-relies on lazy jokes involving race. [Actually, it may be both, but whatever...]  FOX Chief Kevin Reilly is right when he says "Dads" just isn't properly calibrated. That extends to the performances. The two main characters should be roughly equals, but Seth Green is working so big that Giovanni Ribisi has no room to breathe and is basically an afterthought. Martin Mull and Peter Riegert shout every punchline and the audience hoots correspondingly and bafflingly. That it's a grating, unfunny mess is the biggest "Dads" crime, with racism somewhere in the distance.

Desire To Watch Again: Kevin Reilly says to give "Dads" more time and I'm not opposed to that. I've never regretting sticking with "Parks and Recreation." I've only sometimes regretted sticking with "The Big Bang Theory." Of course, I've never stopped regretting sticking with "2 Broke Girls," but it should never be said that I don't give comedies time. In this case, though, if network executives know that the "Dads" pilot is poorly calibrated, but believe in the long-term integrity of the show, why air a pilot that is guaranteed to piss viewers off? Is the cost of ditching the pilot so much higher than the cost of alienating your audience Week 1? Or is FOX assuming that this controversy will be more effective than the show's lame marketing strategy? For what it's worth, I could do a rewrite of the Brenda Song scenes and fix *that* mess, but it wouldn't make the rest of the pilot funny. But I'll give "Dads" a few more episodes out of respect for Mike Scully, whose addition to the production team is the lone thing giving me hope. 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

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3rd 'Idol' judge spot going to Dr. Luke


3rd "Idol" judge spot going to Dr. Luke
The pop hitmaker and former "SNL" band member is finalizing a deal to join "Idol." Dr. Luke is responsible for such songs as Katy Perry’s “California Gurls," "Teenage Dream" and “I Kissed A Girl," Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone," Flo Rida’s “Right Round" and Kei$ha’s “Tik Tok.”

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<p>One Direction</p>

One Direction

Credit: Jon Furniss/AP

Music Power Rankings: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and One Direction lead this week's tally

'N Sync and Luke Bryan also make the list

1. Katy Perry: “Roar” roars up the chart, leaping from 85 to 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, largest on the back of selling more than 550,000 digital downloads, a career high for Perry.

2. Taylor Swift: She sets the record for most sellouts at Staples Center for a solo act at 11. The current album may be called “Red,” but she’s so in the black.

3. One Direction: The British boy band breaks the attendance record for “Today” concerts as 18,000 crowd into mid-town Manhattan. They are never going away, are they? 

4. Luke Bryan:
His “Crash My Party” crashes on the Billboard 200 with sales of 528,000, the third highest opening tally this year and the best by a country artist.

5. Ed Sheeran: He sells out his gig at Madison Square Garden. Not bad for Taylor Swift’s opening act.

6. Sara Bareilles:
Her single, “Brave,” which some are claiming Perry ripped off for “Roar,” gets a serious sales bump following the controversy. After peaking at No. 61 this Spring, it rebounded last week flying 66-41 on the Billboard Hot 100 from sales soaring from 28,000 to 51,000 in one week.

7. 'N Sync: The boy group gets ready to reunite for the first time in 10 years for Sunday’s Video Music Awards, but then we’ll have to say “bye, bye, bye” to them once again...

8. Madonna: She turns 55 and celebrates by getting grills on her teeth. Someone call AARP; It’s time for an intervention. 

9. Bon Jovi: Like pulling a band-aid off slowly, the process that has led to founding guitarist Richie Sambora leaving the band after 30 years started in April and allegedly came to a formal end this week (though neither party has confirmed it). Yes, the group is named after Jon Bon Jovi, but it’s always been a partnership to the fans. Whatever kept Sambora off this tour, we still hope it's only temporary.

10. Sid Bernstein: The man who brought the Beatles to America died at  95 earlier this week. We loved him, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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<p>Skyler White</p>

Skyler White

Credit: AMC

Anna Gunn: 'Breaking Bad' fans have transferred their hatred of Skyler White to me


Anna Gunn: "Breaking Bad" fans have transferred their hatred of Skyler White to me
Writing in a New York Times Op-Ed, Gunn explains: "At some point on the message boards, the character of Skyler seemed to drop out of the conversation, and people transferred their negative feelings directly to me. The already harsh online comments became outright personal attacks. One such post read: 'Could somebody tell me where I can find Anna Gunn so I can kill her?' Besides being frightened (and taking steps to ensure my safety), I was also astonished: how had disliking a character spiraled into homicidal rage at the actress playing her?" PLUS: How Hank could put away Walter White, and "Breaking Bad's" science consultant explains why pure meth isn't really blue.


Report: "Hell's Kitchen" winner loses head chef job after testing positive for cocaine

Ja'Nel Witt, who was crowned winner last month, won't become head chef at Gordon Ramsay's Vegas restaurant but she'll get to keep her $250,000 salary.


MTV's VMAs is stuck in a midlife crisis
Older viewers are tuning in for "dangerous" acts, but none of the current acts scream "danger." PLUS: How the VMAs died, why the VMAs is the perfect awards show, what it's like to be a VMA writer, and how will Brooklyn impact this year's show?


Lea Michele wears a "Finn" necklace to "Glee" set
This week, she's filming the Cory Monteith tribute episode.


Ian Somerhalder: "I'm not thrilled" to see a "Vampire Diaries" spinoff

"I'm a selfish actor," says Somerhalder, who doesn't want to see some of the best "Vampire" characters moving on to "The Originals."


Angie Harmon breaks down in tears at Lee Thompson Young's memorial service
Young's "Rizzoli & Isles" came out for the service at Paramount Studios, where the show is filmed.


Les Miles, LSU's head college football coach, nearly starred in "Ghost Shark"

The grass-acting coach was supposed to play the mayor in the Syfy film -- until Hurricane Isaac delayed production. PLUS: "Ghost Shark" topped "Sharknado" in its first airing.


Aasif Mandvi joins "Us & Them"
The former "Daily Show" star will recur as Alexis Bledel's best friend's "bedroom Beezlebub." PLUS: Warren Kole joins "Person of Interest."


David Hasselhoff sorry a store clerk was wounded trying to save his Cumberland Farms sign
"I am shocked & truly saddened about the Cumberland farms store clerk tragedy," The Hoff wrote on Twitter.


Mandy Patinkin: "I behaved abominably" on "Chicago Hope"
The "Homeland" star talks about his contentious past on shows like "Chicago Hope" and "Criminal Minds" -- and why he's different on "Homeland." "One of the greatest gifts that 'Homeland' has given me is it's affirming on a daily basis. I'm always with the script, walking around with this stuff 24/7, so my head's in a good place," he says.


"Judge Judy" stages a flash mob

Dozens of Judy clones in black robes celebrated Season 18.


Who should star in the "Reality Bites" TV show?

Shailene Woodley in Winona Ryder's role?


Why Screech should win "Celebrity Big Brother"
Turns out Dustin Diamond has a small following in the UK from "Saved by the Bell" reruns.


Rockmund Dunbar heads to "The Mentalist," Jaime Ray Newman to "Mind Games"

Dunbar's three-episode arc on the CBS drama could end up becoming permanent.


"NCIS: LA" celebrates 100 episodes
See the cake made in honor of the 100th episode, which began filming this week.


"Revolution" nabs Jim Beaver

The guest casting will reunite Beaver with "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke.


Fox Sports 1 seems to prefer hiring blonde females
The new sports cable network is apparently using the Fox News model in its hiring of female talent.


"Jersey Shore" alum Deena Cortese launching a singing career
"I'm just doing this for myself, I'm giving it a shot. I'm going for it. I'm excited," she says in a newly posted YouTube video.


Ryan Murphy: "I've always been obsessed with main titles"
The "American Horror Story" mastermind explains the "art form" of his opening title sequences.


Saturday TV has become "ladies night"
Saturday nights have become the home to TV movies, and more than likely they are geared toward women.


"Project Runway" has got its groove back
Why this is the comeback season for the Lifetime reality show.


Richard Simmons finds new life on the Internet

The 65-year-old "Sweatin' to the Oldies" has begun to take advantage of the web and its viral possibilities, including making a music video called "Hair Do."


Ryan Seacrest sells late comedienne's sitcom script to NBC
"Me and My Needs" is based on the life of Judy Toll, who died in 2002 of cancer.


"Super Fun Night" stages a "Bridesmaids" reunion

Matt Lucas will reunite with Rebel Wilson on the ABC comedy.

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Final MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Predictions
Credit: AP Photo

Final MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Predictions

It's Justin Timberlake vs. Robin Thicke vs. Miley Cyrus

Though all eyes will be on the performances at Sunday night's Video Music Awards, including watching Lady Gaga's live premiere of "Applause" and a rumored 'N Sync reunion, there will be plenty of Moonmen handed out at the annual MTV ceremony.

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six each, but it's really coming down to a contest between Timberlake's "Mirrors" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" in many category. Here's how we see it going down.

MTV's VMA's will air live from Brooklyn's Barclays Arena starting at 9 p.m. E.T. They are tape delayed on the West Coast.  Look for complete coverage all night long on HitFix.

Check out our predictions in the embedded story gallery. Who do you think is going to win big Sunday night? Share your thoughts below.

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<p>&quot;Super Fun Night&quot;</p>

"Super Fun Night"

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'

Rebel Wilson's bad American accent isn't the worst thing here

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Super Fun Night" (ABC)
Airs:Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m.
The Pitch:Rebel Wilson, Rebel Wilson and Rebel Wilson.
Quick Response: One line of dialogue. That's all it would take to explain why Rebel Wilson's character in "Super Fun Night" is Australian, rather than American like her lifelong chums. It's "I remember when you first arrived at school." HARD CUT TO... Young Rebel Wilson walks into a school lunchroom wearing an assortment of Yahoo Serious memorabilia. "G'Day!" she says. Everybody in the lunchroom throws tater tots at her other than her two future friends. It need never be mentioned again. Ever. That way, it's totally acceptable for two American girls to have an Aussie bestie. And that way, it's totally acceptable for Rebel Wilson to use a native accent which is a not-incidental part of her comedic appeal. We don't laugh at her because she's Australian, but her comedic voice is based on her VOICE and her cadences and her linguistic rhythm and flow, all things that simply can't be replicated at the same time that Wilson is laboring -- or "labouring" as she'd spell it in her native accent -- with a voice that isn't her own. I can't say with certainty that the "Super Fun Night" pilot would be out-and-out funny if Wilson were Australian, but my certitude that it would be *funnier* is absolute. Look, making Wilson's character Australian wouldn't suddenly give Liza Lapira things to do that are amusing. I've almost always found Liza Lapira to be genuinely funny, but she's funny when playing certain types of characters. This may evolve into one of those characters, but it's not there yet (and I hope they steer away from the character Lapira played on "Don't Trust the B----," just for variety). And making Wilson's character Australian won't change that Lauren Ash's character comes across as perhaps too aggressive and underexplained to be funny (not that overexplaining makes things funny, but sometimes explaining helps make character actions seem organic, rather than forced). Actually, I should take that last bit out of the parenthetical, because what "Super Fun Night" feels, more than anything, is forced. The need to make us believe these three friends are colossal losers feels forced. The desire to show us how willing Rebel Wilson is to laugh at her weight feels forced. The only thing that may not be sufficiently forced is the attempt to convince viewers that the Rebel Wilson character is a capable attorney, as well as the outrageously awkward and unassimiliated person she is throughout. That might help. Instead, "Super Fun Night" is a 22 minute pilot that fails to properly establish its main character, her workplace or her core group of friends (or the overall world of the sitcom, since this pilot looks distressingly cheap, very nearly "Work It"-level cheap, though not quite). And, sadly, none of that would have been fixed merely by making Rebel's character Australian, so I don't know why that's my core complaint in this blurb. A bigger complaint is that I want to like the main character and her friends and, at least so far, I do not.
Desire To Watch Again: Somehow, I got the impression that ABC planned to reshoot and reconceive much of "Super Fun Night," so I had optimism about speedy fixes and excitement about seeing a new version of the pilot. At press tour, though, it became clear that although certain cosmetic changes are being made -- Kelen Coleman, who I actually kinda liked in the pilot is being replaced as the primary adversary -- this is the show the "Super Fun Night" team wants to be making. This worries me. I'll watch two or three more episodes both because I like Rebel Wilson and because, for the most part, I watch the shows after "Modern Family," but I'm more worried than anticipatory. People who don't even like Rebel Wilson when she's in her native form probably needn't bother at all.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

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<p>John Mayer</p>

John Mayer

Credit: Victoria Will/AP

Can John Mayer top Luke Bryan on next week's Billboard 200?

It's a crazy week with five debuts in the top 10

Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” holds off five newcomers on next week’s Billboard 200 to remain at No 1 for a second straight week.

After selling a staggering 528,000 (2013’s 3rd best opening tally), Bryan will see his weekly total drop to between 165,000-175,000, but that’s still enough to keep him in pole position.

John Mayer’s excellent “Paradise Valley,”  which includes a duet with Katy Perry, comes closest to knocking Bryan off his perch, but will likely have to settle for runner-up, with sales of up to 155,000. His last album, 2012’s “Born and Raised,” bowed at No. 1.

Mayer’s title is one of four debuts in the top 5. Coming at at No. 3 will be “Three Kings” (65,000-70,000) from TGT, the new group composed of Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank; Jimmy Buffett’s “Songs From St. Somewhere” (55,000-60,000) at No. 4, and Earl Sweatshirt’s “Doris” at No. 5 (50,000-55,000).

Robin Thicke’s former No. 1, “Blurred Lines” (45,000-50,000) slips to No. 6, “Now That’s What I Call Music” is at No. 7 (35,000-40,000). Rapper A$AP Ferg bows at No. 8 with “Trap Love”  (30,000-35,000). Disney’s soundtrack for “Teen Beach” is at No. 9 (30,000-35,000) and Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” at No. 10 (27,000-30,000), according to Hits Daily Double.

Just missing the top 10 are two more debuts: the latest from the Tedeschi Trucks Band at No. 11 and singer/songwriter Ben Rector at No. 12.

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<p>Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star in 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints,' one of the independent films involved in a very unusual filmmaker-driven promotion right now.</p>

Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star in 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints,' one of the independent films involved in a very unusual filmmaker-driven promotion right now.

Credit: IFC Films

The director of 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' tries something crazy to promote his film

Why would he want you to see 'Drinking Buddies,' 'You're Next,' and 'Short Term 12' as well?

While I'm not sure I think this is the best weekend of movies all year, it is an unusually dense release weekend for good strong movies that I encourage you to see.

There's the Edgar Wright film "The World's End," which I liked a lot, and if you're a fan of the earlier movies that Edgar made with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, then by all means, make sure you see this one. I've been talking about "You're Next" for two full years now, and I absolutely encourage you to check it out. It's a fun spin on a familiar structure, and the cast really does kick the whole thing up to another level.

I've never been particularly excited about Joe Swanberg's films one way or another. I haven't flipped for them, but I'm also not particularly angered by them. I think "Drinking Buddies" is a big jump for him, though, in that it manages to be thematically sound, full of strongly drawn characters, and yet still maintain the spontaneous feeling that Swanberg seems to aim for in his work. I think the entire cast of "Drinking Buddies" is at the top of their game in the film. It's the most appealing role Olivia Wilde has ever had, and Anna Kendrick gets to play against how she's normally cast here, with both Ron Livingston and Jake Johnson doing very strong work as well.

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