Latest Blog Posts

<p>Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Stop comparing 'Gravity' to 'Avatar' when it comes to Oscar

Not all apples and oranges are the same

After a film strikes a chord with moviegoers like "Gravity" did last weekend, it's easy to try and find analogies for it among previous Best Picture nominees or winners. One comparison that continues to be made is to James Cameron's 2009 game changer, "Avatar." Before we judge the merits of that argument, let's jog your brain and revisit some movie history, shall we?

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Watch: Judi Dench searches for her long-lost son in tearjerking 'Philomena' trailer
Credit: The Weinstein Company

Watch: Judi Dench searches for her long-lost son in tearjerking 'Philomena' trailer

Bonus: Hear the Oscar-winning actress break down 'Big Momma's House'

Always wanted to hear Judi Dench break down the plot of "Big Momma's House" but never thought you'd see the day? Well friends, the wait is over.

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Lady Gaga is nude on the cover of her new 'ARTPOP' album

Lady Gaga is nude on the cover of her new 'ARTPOP' album

Is it artful? Does it pop?

Lady Gaga has birthed the new album cover to her next album "ARTPOP."

The pop star poses nude as a plastic version of herself, fairly makeup-less, with lights shining down on her to make her eyes rather placid, if not downright tired. And I say tired because she is straddling a shining blue orb, to which she may have just performed coitus or given birth, the photographer's flash reflected back at us. She is gripping her breasts -- spheres censored -- an activity less sexual than protected. Renaissance and classical art is chopped and screwed in a sun's rays pattern behind the giant hot pink letters of her name.

The artwork is by Jeff Koons, who she name-checks in her latest single "Applause." Gaga Tweeted the lyrics in her reveal of the cover.


As the nation is having its Naked Miley Cyrus conversation, it's interesting to have yet another provocative image of solo female singers straddling balls that are not of the "Wrecking" variety. There's a celebrity awareness in this image, and while I don't think it's really all that pleasing, it wants to intimate a larger conversation about plastic "pop" music and the legacy of art before it.

Or all the songs could just sound like "Applause" and I'd be OK with that.

"ARTPOP" is out on Nov. 11.

Lady Gaga ARTPOP cover artwork

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<p>Chad Kroeger and Avril&nbsp;Lavigne</p>

Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne

Credit: AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Newlyweds Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger duet on 'Let Me Go': Listen

Sad, subdued ballad brings out the best in both

Do newlyweds Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger make beautiful music together?

Well, that may be stretching it, but on their new duet, “Let Me Go,” they both bring out the best in each other and dial back on the bombast.

“Let Me Go,” which will be on Lavigne’s new album out in November, is light years better than first single, the snotty “Here’s To Never Growing Up” and rambunctious second single “Rock ‘N Roll.”

The piano/strings ballad is reminder that Lavigne can really sing, and she sounds so much better when she drops the vocal affectation that is on so many of her songs. Yes, the song sounds very ‘80s-ish, but, hey, if you’ve seen “The Goldbergs,” you know the ‘80s are back.

Kroeger shows admirable restraint on his one verse and if you’re not a Nickelback fan, the good news is that you only have to hear him for about 30 seconds and during a short call-and-response section. If you are a Nickelback fan, you may find yourself wishing for more Kroeger.

There's a very long, nearly 40-second fade that most radio stations will chop, but it's a nice outro.

I smell a huge AC hit.

What do you think of "Let Me Go?" 


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<p>Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are both flying high after this weekend's massive opening numbers for Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity'</p>

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are both flying high after this weekend's massive opening numbers for Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity'

Credit: Warner Bros.

3 on 3: Is 'Gravity' a game changer in Hollywood?

And what's next for Cuaron now that he's pulled off the impossible?
Sitting in my office at the new HitFix headquarters in Los Angeles, I can hear everyone chatting about "Gravity" as they discuss what they did over the weekend. This is one of those things that I've missed not being in an office environment since 1999, that Monday morning sense of what really landed with people and how they're reacting to whatever the biggest moments of pop culture are.
It makes perfect sense, then, that this afternoon's "3 On 3" would be about "Gravity" and what impact it might have on the industry and on Cuaron's career. Kris Tapley, Greg Ellwood, and Guy Lodge kicked around some thoughts on the film's awards prospects in the last "3 On 3," and today we're looking at some of the other questions that linger after the genuinely huge box-office weekend they had.
I don't often write about box-office, because I think the coverage of it is one of the reasons that conversations about films often feel like arguments over sports teams these days, but in this case, I'm curious to see if Cuaron is given real freedom after this, and even more importantly, if this opens any doors for other filmmakers. We each answered three questions, and you can see our answers below before heading to the comments sections, where I would love for you to share your own answers as well.
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"Little People"

"Little People"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive clip: 'Little Couple' prepare for a rough transition

Bill hopes Will will hug his new sibling, not 'punch her in the face'

Oh, toddlers. Even when they're as cute as Will on "Little Couple" (new episode airing Tues. Oct. 8 at 10:00 p.m. ET on TLC), they can get upset. And hitty. That's what Bill and Jen are prepared to face when they bring home a new baby girl from India. In this exclusive clip, the proud parents take Will out to find a book that will encourage Will to be nice to the new kid and not "punch her in the face." It's good to know these are realistic parents.

Will you be watching "Little People"? 

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"An Adventure in Space and Time"

"An Adventure in Space and Time"

Credit: BBC America

Early 'Doctor Who' episodes may have been found... in Ethiopia?

BBC has yet to confirm the discovery, so don't celebrate yet

In a story that seems far too weird to be entirely accurate (and which begs a lot of other questions if it is), unconfirmed reports have suggested that 106 lost "Doctor Who" episodes have been found at the Ethiopian Radio and Television agency, according to International Business Times.

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'South Park' will take on the George Zimmerman case this week

"South Park" will take on the George Zimmerman case this week
"World War Zimmerman" is the name of this week's episode.

"Dexter" producer: Showtime wouldn't allow us to kill off Dexter Morgan

Producer John Goldwyn says: "Showtime was very clear about that. When we told them the arc for the last season, they just said, 'Just to be clear, he's going to live.'"

"SNL" criticized for using brownface to portray Aziz Ansari

It sure looked like Nasim Pedrad wore brownface to portray the Indian-American "Parks and Rec" star.

Claim: Johnny Carson's 2nd wife cheated on him with Frank Gifford
That's according to a new book by Carson's former lawyer, Henry Bushkin, who recounts "The Tonight Show" host weeping on learning of his wife's infidelity.

Elmo and Cookie Monster are joining a UK children's show
The "Sesame Street" stars will be featured on "The Furchester," a puppet show about a family of monsters that is being co-produced by Sesame Workshop.

Howard Stern baffled by Jerry Seinfeld giving him an envelope full of cash

The shock jock recounted his taping of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," including receiving an "honorarium" for appearing on Seinfeld's show.

It's official: Jennie Garth reuniting with Tori Spelling

The former "Beverly Hills 90210" co-stars will appear together on ABC Family's "Mystery Girls." PLUS: "Revenge's" Ashley Madekwe joins WGN's "Salem."

"Raising Hope" nabs Jeffrey Tambor
He'll play the estranged father of Martha Plimpton's character.

Joan Rivers comes to a "Fashion Police" settlement
She'll avoid a disciplinary hearing with the Writers Guild of America East that she violated union rules by performing writing duties during the strike by her writers.

Read Amy Poehler's piece for the New Yorker

The "Parks and Rec" star recalls the summer of 1989. PLUS: Poehler tears up at Power of Women luncheon.

HBO shows are now on Google Play

Everything from "The Newsroom" to "Game of Thrones" is now available.

"Parks and Rec's" Jerry stars in a "Hard Knocks" parody of pee wee football

Check out Jim O'Heir in Funny or Die's "Little Knockers."

Jaime King gives birth to a daughter
The "Hart of Dixie" star welcomed James Knight Newman on Sunday.

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<p>April (Katy Mixon)&nbsp;tries to keep things normal when Kenny (Danny&nbsp;McBride) begins to once again chase fame and fortune.</p>

April (Katy Mixon) tries to keep things normal when Kenny (Danny McBride) begins to once again chase fame and fortune.

Credit: HBO

Kenny Powers bounces back in the dazzling second episode of this year's 'Eastbound & Down'

Wait... did Kenny Powers actually get tears out of me this week?

At the end of the first episode of the new season of "Eastbound & Down," I was left unsure what to expect from the rest of the season, and I liked the feeling. Often, a season premiere sets up certain expectations and then we just watch whatever it is play out for the rest of the episodes. Here, I had no idea where they were headed. I feel like I have a slightly better handle on it at the end of episode two, but only in broad thematic terms. How they're going to actually get there is still a mystery to me, and I feel like they are already doing such amazing things that anywhere they go is fine by me.

Kenny Powers has never been a hero. He's the lead character of the series, certainly, but his egocentric worldview has always been something to be observed, not emulated. Until this year, I've never been particularly emotional about Kenny or what he's been going through. The end of the second episode, directed by Jody Hill, left me in tears, though, and for the first time, I am genuinely rooting for Kenny to get what he wants, and the stakes have never felt higher.

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<p>Chad has entered Cannes competitor &quot;Grigris&quot; in the Oscar race.&nbsp;</p>

Chad has entered Cannes competitor "Grigris" in the Oscar race. 

Credit: Les Films du Losange

Firsts and disqualifications as a record 76 countries enter foreign Oscar race

Chad enters, but Agnieszka Holland won't compete for the Czech Republic

Well, no sooner had I updated the category than the Academy announced the final, official slate of submissions for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar -- and a bumper slate it is. Last year's race featured 71 films, then a record number; this year, that record has been broken by a significant margin, with 76 territories vying for the award

Among them are a couple of nations entering the race for the first time, including Saudi Arabia (a favorite for a nomination, and possibly the win, with the feminist heartwarmer "Wadjda"), Moldova and Montenegro.

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<p>Sophie N&eacute;lisse in &quot;The Book Thief&quot;</p>

Sophie Nélisse in "The Book Thief"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Off the Carpet: Fox enters the Oscar season with 'The Book Thief' and 'Walter Mitty'

Can they register in what is already a crowded season?

This weekend, 20th Century Fox arrived to the 2013 film awards season with a pair of hopefuls that couldn't be more different from the outside. Nevertheless, Brian Percival's "The Book Thief" and Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," both of which will be viewed as cloying in some circles, are made with an honesty that could stave off some of the cynicism and register. At the end of the day, though, neither is the slam dunk contender the studio may have hoped for a year after "Life of Pi."

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<p>Miley Cyrus on the &quot;Today&quot; show</p>

Miley Cyrus on the "Today" show

Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Seven things we learned from Miley Cyrus's 'Today' show interview

Was she flirting with Matt Lauer or insulting him?

Hot off her ratings-winning appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” Miley Cyrus continued making the rounds to promote new album, “Bangerz,” by appearing on the “Today” show Monday morning.

During a six-minute interview with co-host Matt Lauer, a hyper, leg-jiggling, self-assured Cyrus answered questions about a number of topics, including her latest Twitter feud with Sinead O’Connor, her VMA appearance, and her parents’ unconditional love. She also performed two songs.

She also revealed that she plans to go on tour next year.

Here are seven things we learned from the interview, embedded below:

She doesn’t mind shocking, but she doesn’t mean to offend:  Of her VMA performance, she says, “I don’t ever really plan to offend people, sometimes that just happens, because I think people aren’t open to what they don’t understand”

If you don’t understand Cyrus, you’re just too old: "My fans are really young, so they all understand what I’m doing," she says.

She’s crazy like a fox:
“We’re still talking about it a month later (she says of her VMA performance), so it went as planned."

What you see is what you get with
:" This is just who I am: I think it’s only hard if you’re trying to be something that you’re not," she says of her sexualized performances.

She’s only got 20 years left to be sexy:  “I heard when you turn 40 things start to go a little less sexual. I heard around 40, around that time, is when people don’t have sex anymore,” she said to a 55-year old Matt Lauer. We still aren't sure if she was flirting with Lauer or insulting him or a bit of both.

She still loves Sinead: "I think she’s an incredible artist, I think she’s an awesome songwriter... I don’t know how someone can start a fight with somebody: I really respect you and I really love what you did. You know what, you suck'."

Her parents love her unconditionally:
  "My parents have always been about being who you are and figuring that out. What’s great about that is I trust them a lot and can go to them with pretty much anything," she says of her parents, pointing our her mother in the crowd.

Below is the full interview, as well a her performance of "Wrecking Ball." 

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