Latest Blog Posts

<p>&quot;The Wind Rises&quot;</p>

"The Wind Rises"

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' to hit US theaters in February 2014

The animated hopeful will still have an Oscar-qualifying release in November

As it turned out, Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" wasn't quite the mighty magnum opus we might have hoped from the Japanese animation master's farewell feature -- but at this stage, the man is a victim of his own high bar. It's still a lovely, distinctive and technically awe-inspiring achievement: the lulls in its biopic narrative pass fairly easily when the visuals are so consistently ravishing.

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<p>If you do win tickets to the premiere, remember to dress like this.</p>

If you do win tickets to the premiere, remember to dress like this.

Credit: Lionsgate

Want to win a pair of tickets to the premiere of 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire'? HitFix can help

We've got the full details on the Twitter sweepstakes and how you can enter

I've been so caught up in all things Toronto this week that it's easy to forget we're about to kick off the fall movie season, which seems particularly busy this year. I'm looking forward to what feels like dozens of new movies, and one of the titles I am enormously curious about is "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."

Francis Lawrence is directing the new film, and so far, the footage we've seen feels like they've definitely revamped some of what they're doing with the new film while also building off of what Gary Ross did in the the first one. When the first film premiered, we gave you a chance to win tickets to the premiere, and Lionsgate reached out to us to give you that same chance for the new movie, which will take place in Los Angeles on November 18, 2013. Travel will not be provided to Los Angeles or venue.

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Carson Daly leaves 'Last Call,' joins 'Today'


Carson Daly leaves "Last Call," joins "Today"
Daly will still produce the late-night show he's hosted since 2002, but he'll now work on a new feature of "Today" called "The Orange Room."


"The X Factor" returns to its worst-ever ratings
Season 3 of Simon Cowell's reality competition attracted 6.2 million, less than half of the 12.5 million who watched the Season 1 premiere.


Watch the trailer for "Killing Kennedy" starring Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin
The Nat Geo film debuts on Nov. 10. As Lowe notes, today is John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline's 60th wedding anniversary.

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<p>A moment from Icona Pop's new video</p>

A moment from Icona Pop's new video

Credit: Atlantic Records

Icona Pop pays homage to 'Paris Is Burning' in new 'All Night' video: Watch

Swedish duo's debut album comes out Sept. 24

Icona Pop pays homage to ‘80s movie, “Paris is Burning,” in its new video for “All Night.”  The original film celebrated the culture of drag balls in New York, many of which focused on the African-American and Latino transgender community.

Icona Pop’s Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo perform the peppy, synthetic tune in a night club as the dancers swirl around them. The live footage is intercut with interviews with the drag artists talking about the community created by the balls. The drag queens are far more interesting than Icona Pop, and we’re quite sure the duo wouldn’t have it any other way.

After having to scrap the first several dates of its U.S. tour after Jawo fell ill, including an appearance at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival, the “I Love It” pair continues a U.S. club tour tonight in Chicago. The tour wraps in Brooklyn on Sept. 25.

On Sept. 24, Atlantic Records will release the act’s debut album, “This Is...Icona Pop.” Icona Pop will appear on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Sept. 25 and “The Today Show” on Sept. 26.

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<p>Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen in &quot;Burn Notice.&quot;</p>

Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen in "Burn Notice."

Credit: USA

Review: Farewell to 'Burn Notice'

The USA spy series says goodbye, darker and more serialized than when it began

A few years back, "SNL" did a game show parody called "What is 'Burn Notice'?," where confused contestants struggle to articulate a single detail about the popular USA drama. It was no "Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney," but it hit on a key point about pop culture: sometimes, the biggest hits don't penetrate the national consciousness in the way that smaller ones do. "NCIS" is the most popular show on television, and a very good one, but I hear it discussed (by both TV critics and civilians) far less often than "Homeland" or "Scandal." And while the fictional "SNL" game show contestants couldn't identify a single thing about "Burn Notice" (one guessed it was "about a sexy doctor who can start fires with his mind"), I suspect even many people who've never watched a second of "Mad Men" could describe a few things about it, even though "Burn Notice" (which airs its series finale tonight at 9) was much more popular throughout its run (and even aired directly opposite "Mad Men" in their first season).

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'Joking Bad': Jimmy Fallon's 'Breaking Bad' parody features a surprising cameo


"Joking Bad": Jimmy Fallon's "Breaking Bad" parody features a surprising cameo
The 13-minute sketch is packed with cameos from the AMC series. (Skip to the surprising cameo.)


"Entourage" movie delayed as some cast members hold out for more cash
Jeremy Piven has reportedly signed on, but Adrian Grenier and Jerry Ferrara are seeking a bigger paycheck.


Charlie Sheen tries to explain Selma Blair's abrupt "Anger Management" exit
He tells Jay Leno: "One of our primary character, Selma Blair, who played Kate, was written out because (the show) was not about our relationship..."


"Breaking Bad's" Saul Goodman spinoff is a great idea -- or a terrible one
The case for and against "Better Call Saul."


Kid 'n Play to appear on Fox's "Enlisted"
The hip-hop duo will surface as part of a Kid 'n Play reunion.


Katherine Heigl has been labeled "difficult" -- can TV save her career?
The former "Grey's Anatomy" star's terrible reputation has resulted in a loss of movie roles. Which is why she's returning to TV with a CIA drama.


Julie Chen: I had plastic surgery on my eyes to look less Chinese

The "Big Brother" host said on "The Talk" she got the surgery before she was famous.


It's not porn, it's HBO!

What happens when an HBO role sounds like pornography?


In defense of the "Sons of Anarchy" season premiere
The FX series has always been gratuitous. PLUS: Maggie Siff on going to jail.


Honey Boo Boo is shedding her baby fat

As Mama June has dropped 100 pounds, her daughter has lost 12 pounds.


Randy Jackson reacts to his "Idol" move to mentor
"I've moved to the higher court now," he says.


"2 Broke Girls" star Beth Behrs uninjured in pit bull attack
Her neighbor's dog attacked her, but only got a piece of her sweater.


"Parks and Rec" protesters descend on Pasadena City Hall
Check out images from Wednesday's on-location filming. PLUS: Nick Offerman releases a trailer for his new book


Jimmy Kimmel may have pulled off the best media criticism with his twerk prank

Will TV news show fewer viral videos after Kimmel's prank? PLUS: Did Kimmel ruin the Internet?


Another "Newsroom" star says a 3rd season is happening
"My understanding is that we're doing a third season," says Thomas Sadoski. "That's what I've been told. I don't know what the holdup is on their end (in announcing it), but to every question I've asked of them, they've said, 'Yes.'


Fuse renews "Insane Clown Posse Theater"
A 10-episode 2nd season has been ordered.


NBC orders a romantic comedy from Neil LaBute
The proposed series would follow a psychiatrist who falls in love with his patient at the psych ward.


"Glee" adds a mean girl
Erinn Westbrook will play a new member of the Cheerios.


E! finds a prince for "The Royals"
William Moseley will star opposite Elizabeth Hurley.


Watch "Supernatural's" Season 9 promo
The CW show returns Oct. 8.

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<p>Diane Kruger as Sonya Cross in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Diane Kruger as Sonya Cross in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'Old Friends'

Frye goes to a meeting, Sonya takes some pills and Tate's plan continues

A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as we're on Mars...

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<p>Forest Whitaker in &quot;Lee Daniels' The&nbsp;Butler&quot;</p>

Forest Whitaker in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Lee Daniels' The Butler' takes less crowded original screenplay path under 'inspired by' classification

The WGA agrees, but will the Academy? Remember 'Syriana?'

You may have heard about Wil Haygood's 2008 Washington Post article "A Butler Well Served by This Election," which told the story of Eugene Allen, an African American butler who served 30 years of presidents in the White House, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. His story, and that article, became the inspiration for the film "Lee Daniels' The Butler," and in some ways, it could be argued as an adapted screenplay.

However, surely sensing that there was leeway, and no doubt taking note of how typically competitive the Best Adapted Screenplay race is this year, The Weinstein Company has kept the rhetoric on "inspired by." Ergo, the distributor will be angling for Best Original Screenplay consideration on the awards circuit. I called the WGA's credits department this afternoon, and indeed, the guild classifies the script original as well.

Given the liberties taken with Allen's story, this isn't really a surprise. We've been running on an adapted assumption around here but there we are. But I'm nevertheless reminded of a somewhat similar situation back in 2005 regarding the screenplay for Stephen Gaghan's "Syriana." I remember it well because I broke the story.

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<p>Your &quot;X Factor&quot; Season 3 judges</p>

Your "X Factor" Season 3 judges

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 Premiere

Did Simon pick well with Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio?

Just when I thought I was out, FOX made it much too easy for me to pull myself back in.

If you'll recall, I hated the second season of "The X Factor." It was, in fact, my Worst Show of 2013, a perfect storm of disinterested (L.A. Reid) and discombobulated (Britney Spears) judges, of inept (Khloe Kardashian) and smarmy (Mario Lopez) hosts and of frustratingly predictable voting that marginalized what was, at times, a really talented crop of singers.

So I was prepared to quit on "The X Factor." Or, at the very least, I was prepared to hold off on my recapping until I'd had a chance to watch a couple episodes and see if new judges Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland were capable of bringing the magic the show has clearly lacked in the past.

That was going to mean eschewing a recap Wednesday (September 11) night's premiere.

But then FOX made two big decisions: The first was to premiere "X Factor" with only a one-hour episode. I can put up with an hour of recapping. The second decision was to put the full premiere up for press, meaning that not did it only require one hour of live-blogging, but it really only required 44 minutes, sans commercials. 

Score.

Hence the live-blog you see before you. And also, hence the confusing time format, which relates to the 44 minutes of episode time and not to the time of the premiere, either ET or otherwise. I'll be sure to put contestant names in bold, so you can find your way around that way.

In order for y'all to get more recaps from me this season, one of three things will have to happen: 1) The third incarnation of "The X Factor" would have to be awesome. 2) Traffic on this darned recap would have to be awesome. 3) There has to be an insane outpouring of reader interest.

With that out of the way... Here's what went down on Wednesday's "X Factor" premiere:

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Can McCrae save himself?

It's an early elimination tonight, but who will go home?

It's a special eviction episode of "Big Brother"! And "Big Brother" winner Ian is back! It's chaos, people! Quick, run into the streets and knock over a liquor store! BURN SOMETHING! It's crazy! Oh, wait. Sorry, there have just been so many "special" episodes of "Big Brother" I'm starting to feel a little faint from the non-stop adrenaline pump. 

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<p>&quot;Mother, I Love You&quot;</p>

"Mother, I Love You"

Credit: Film Studio Tanka

Latvia's 'Mother, I Love You' the latest child-focused entry in foreign Oscar race

Coming-of-age tale won awards at the Berlin and Los Angeles fests

From "Forbidden Games" to "Cinema Paradiso," "Kolya" to "In a Better World," the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race has long been friendly to films driven by child protagonists -- the more winsome the kid, the better. Last year saw a harder-edged variation on the formula succeed, as Canada's child-soldier drama "War Witch" scored a nod. This year, however, voters are already spoilt for choice when its comes to determining this year's semi-annual child's-eye slot; I've already lost count of the number of times I've typed "coming of age" during this year's submission process.

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Saul Goodman creator aims to subvert the audience's expectations


Saul Goodman creator aims to subvert the audience's expectations
Peter Gould, who created the Saul character and is co-creating the "Better Call Saul" "Breaking Bad" spinoff with Vince Gilligan, says: "When people think of a Saul Goodman spin-off, they tend to think in terms of a laugh-a-minute comedy, and we’re going for something that has a very very unique tone."


"Sons of Anarchy's" season premiere could be FX's highest-rated telecast in its history
Early numbers show that it was the No. 1 show across all networks, and was the highest-rated episode yet.


"24" is poised to have a Jack Bauer-Audrey Raines reunion
Kim Raver is in talks to join "Live Another Day."


John Oliver returning to "Community"
Professor Ian Duncan will be back for a multi-episode arc.


Laura Prepon is set for 1 "Orange is the New Black" episode next season
As of now, she's scheduled to film one episode. But she hasn't filmed her episode yet, even though filming on Season 2 began in July.


Discovery's "The Presidents’ Gatekeepers" tells the stories of White House chiefs of staff

All 20 of the surviving chiefs of staff have been gathered for this unique two-part documentary.

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