Latest Blog Posts

<p>&quot;A Hijacking&quot;</p>

"A Hijacking"

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

On 'Captain Phillips,' 'A Hijacking' and the year of movie twins

'Phillips' is a gripping tale of modern pirates, but another 2013 release did it better
LONDON - "Captain Phillips" provided a sober kickoff to the London Film Festival on Wednesday, segueing into an Opening Night party that was, thankfully, anything but. It was, in many respects, the right choice of curtain-raiser: riveting enough to hold a large audience, cinematic enough to fill the huge screen of the Odeon Leicester Square, with the added value of a homegrown director in Paul Greengrass and a red-carpet draw in star Tom Hanks. Also -- and not to put too fine a point on this, but the horrors of 2011 opener "360" haven't yet been forgotten -- it's actually a good film.
Read Full Post

Fox essentially cancels 'Us & Them,' its remake of 'Gavin & Stacey'

Fox essentially cancels "Us & Them," its remake of "Gavin & Stacey"
Fox has opted not to order any more episodes of the Alexis Bledel-Jason Ritter series, besides the seven already produced.

Victoria Justice to star in "Eye Candy" on MTV
She'll star in a cyber thriller based on the R.L. Stine bestseller.

NBC's Thursday ties an all-time low
The Peacock's lineup last night finished in 7th place, behind TBS and Univision.

FX teams with Danny Boyle for a WWII miniseries

Boyle and his "Slumdog Millionaire" team will produce the 10-part "Telemark," focusing on the Norweigan resistance resistance fighters Britain trained to sabotage Hitler's nuclear development program.

Fox orders 6 more "Dads" scripts
Looks like the critically hated comedy won't be going away anytime soon.

Read Full Post
"Preachers of L.A."

"Preachers of L.A."

Credit: Oxygen

Watch: 'Preachers of L.A.' grapples with a sex change

The new Oxygen show tackles tricky subjects

If you haven't seen "Preachers of L.A." (Oxygen, Wed. at 10:00 p.m.), it's a little closer to "The Real Housewives" franchise than you might expect. In the premiere, one preachers deals with the downside of having a kid out of wedlock, another visits Crips gang members in Compton, and a devoted bachelor preacher wonders if he'll ever get married again. 

Read Full Post
"Alaskan Women Looking for Love"

"Alaskan Women Looking for Love"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive: Watch 'Alaskan Women Looking for Love' in Miami

Like your ladies rough around the edges? Then this is for you

Like your ladies rugged? Then has TLC got the show for you! This Sunday, Oct. 6 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT), "Alaskan Women Looking for Love" makes its big debut. The all-new series features six native Alaskan women tempting fate to find true love in Miami. Five thousand miles away from home, these friends are ready to exchange their rugged boots for high heels and fancy dates in search of their perfect match. Watch an exclusive clip from the show and weigh in on whether you think they'll find guys in Miami. Be nice!

Read Full Post
<p>Moore's all smiles when she's talking about the role, but she is stripped down and intense as the mother of the title character in 'Carrie'</p>

Moore's all smiles when she's talking about the role, but she is stripped down and intense as the mother of the title character in 'Carrie'

Credit: HitFix

Julianne Moore on how she avoided making the horrifying mother in 'Carrie' a cartoon

A frank conversation about how she approached playing such an iconic role

Julianne Moore has made a career out of playing both enormous strength and agonizing fragility. She has a great range, and the role of Margaret White, mother to the damaged and destructive Carrie White, seems like it might test both extremes in that personality.

At the press day for "Carrie" last weekend, I was more than happy to sit down with Moore to discuss how she approached the role. There are so many challenges that are inherent to the material, and so few ways to get it exactly right. For example, Margaret is a religious fanatic, a hardcore fundamentalist whose own worldview is a big part of the reason Carrie is so ill-equipped to deal with the world at large. She is obviously damaged, and so while her beliefs may look extreme or even insane, you can't just make her a "bad guy." It's not that easy, and especially when the role has been played once before by the great Piper Laurie in a way that is positively iconic.

Read Full Post
<p>Channing Tatum's worth big money around the world now, so does that make him the perfect guy to help sell a gay themed rom-com?</p>

Channing Tatum's worth big money around the world now, so does that make him the perfect guy to help sell a gay themed rom-com?

Credit: AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau

Can Lee Daniels and Paul Feig make big gay rom-coms and superhero films?

Would Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer make it possible?

Rupert Everett had his breakthrough moment, commercially speaking, when he co-starred in "My Best Friend's Wedding" and stole every single scene he was in. It's a familiar story… someone has a big moment in a supporting role in a comedy and suddenly studios start developing material specifically for them to see if they can carry films on their own. Right now, Melissa McCarthy's having her moment like that, thanks to "Bridesmaids," and so far, thanks to the box-office of "Identity Thief" and "The Heat," it seems like it's working.

For Everett, the summer of 1997 was the moment when it all seemed possible, and one of the biggest projects that was developed for him was what Sony and Everett excitedly described as "a gay James Bond movie." He'd been working before that, and anyone who saw "Another Country" or "Dellamorte Dellamore" already knew what he was capable of, but "My Best Friend's Wedding" was a monster hit, and because Everett played a gay character in the film, that became the hook in trying to find him a big movie to do by himself. I'm not sure who worked on it with him, but at one point at least, Everett was writing it for himself.

Read Full Post
<p>This is just one of the many sequences in '12 Years A Slave' that left me worn out from sheer terror.</p>

This is just one of the many sequences in '12 Years A Slave' that left me worn out from sheer terror.

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review: '12 Years A Slave' offers an emotionally raw and harrowing experience

If this isn't the very definition of horror, then what is?

When people complain that there are no great horror films coming out this October, they are wrong, because "12 Years A Slave" is flat-out terrifying, a beautifully-made, deeply-felt look at what it would feel like to wake up one morning in chains, your old identity simply wiped away, a life of bondage and servitude ahead, reinforced with brutal, nightmarish physical punishment.

Chewitel Ejiofor has been consistently great over the years, but this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime roles that an actor can't ever fully prepare to play. The opportunity presents itself, and it's either sink or swim. You have to throw yourself into it completely just to see what will happen, and Ejiofor shines here, finding every single grace note inherent to the story of Solomon Northup.

Director Steve McQueen has been revving up to this movie his entire career, and the work he does in this film is transcendent. To put it in a blunt sports metaphor, he doesn't just hit the home run, he tore the cover off the ball and set it on fire. There is a depth of emotion here that is harrowing at times, and yet McQueen exhibits such remarkable control, such a clean, focused sense of what story he's telling, that it becomes far more than the angry "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS HAPPENED?" that it could have been.

Read Full Post

'The Simpsons' hasn't told the actor that his/her character is going to die

"The Simpsons" hasn't told the actor that his/her character is going to die

"They don’t know yet," says exec producer Al Jean, who reveals that the death will happen in the Season 26 premiere. "We'll be putting out a lot of false leads in the coming months to try to trick people into watching the premiere."

Jimmy Fallon will devote 1 week to Pearl Jam
The week of Oct. 21 will have a different musical guest each night performing a Pearl Jam song, kicking off with Chris Cornell singing "Footsteps" with the Avett Brothers.

Ellen to produce an NBC comedy pilot starring Sophia Grace & Rosie
Will the cousins, age 10 and 7, become the next Olson Twins?

Bruce Willis gets awkward with Katy Perry in "SNL" promo
Says Katy Perry: "My hosting tip, No. 1, is show some skin."

CBS will let "Hawaii Five-0" fans design an episode
Viewers can vote online over the next three weeks on six key story points, including The Suspect and The Evidence.

Is the Kris & Bruce Jenner split a publicity stunt?
So far, the separation seems to be well orchestrated, publicity-wise.

Read Full Post
<p>Mahat M. Ali, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed in &quot;Captain Phillips.&quot;</p>

Mahat M. Ali, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed in "Captain Phillips."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Captain Phillips'

Paul Greengrass' tense true-life hostage thriller opens today

We don't have to wait until the holiday season for the Oscar movies to start flowing thick and fast -- while "Gravity" is still hogging the conversation and burning up the box office, a different kind of white-knuckle survival story land in theaters today. I'll be writing more about Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips" later today, but having caught up with it earlier this week at the opening night of the London Film Festival, I was pleased to find the awards talk mostly justified. This is technically immaculate filmmaking, smart and tight and clean as can be: I certainly didn't feel 134 minutes passing. It boasts some of Tom Hanks' finest work, with a career-topping final scene that should clinch one of several Oscar nominations for the film, though I'll be rooting for livewire newcomer Barkhad Abdi to crack a nod too.

We're curious, however, to know what you think: is the hype justified? Is it an Oscar contender? And if you've seen the markedly similar Danish film "A Hijacking" from earlier this year, which one came out on top? Tell us in the comments, and be sure to vote in the poll below.  

Read Full Post

Meg Ryan signs on for an NBC comedy pilot

Meg Ryan signs on for an NBC comedy pilot

The actress, who appeared on an NBC sitcom 31 years ago, is eyeing a return to the TV comedy world, playing a single mom who ends up working for her former intern.

ABC Family renews "The Fosters"

The Jennifer Lopez-produced drama was the No. 1 new cable show in ABC Family's core 12-34 demo.

Read Full Post

Cory Monteith tribute boosts "Glee"; 'Wonderland' disappoints

Cory Monteith tribute boosts "Glee"; "Wonderland" disappoints

This week's "Glee" was up 68% over last week's episode, while "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" debuted to 5.7 million, which is far below last year's launch of "Last Resort."

FX's "Fargo" adds Bob Odenkirk and Glenn Howerton

Details of their roles haven't been revealed.

"Homeland's" Nicholas Brody will release a free audio book on Sunday
Audible has enlisted Damian Lewis to tell what Brody has been up to in a 30-minute audio book. PLUS: Yo-Yo Ma is obsessed with "Homeland."

Ginnifer Goodwin gets engaged to "Once Upon a Time" co-star Josh Dallas

The couple met on the set of their ABC series.

MSNBC doesn't see a conflict of interest in Alec Baldwin's Capital One ads
Why isn't Baldwin, whose MSNBC gig begins tonight, affected by NBC News' ethics policy?

MTV orders singing competition "Copycat" from "The Bachelor" creator
Mike Fleiss -- who created the 2004 "Idol" spoof "The WB's Superstar USA" -- is producing another singing competition. This one will run daily with contestants emulating their favorite singers.

"Glee's" Max Adler and Sandra Bernhard join "Switched at Birth."

Both will recur on the ABC Family series.

Piers Morgan: "The Newsroom" inspired me to take on America's gun lobby
The CNN host cites Will McEvoy's speech in the pilot as inspirational.

Nickelodeon renews "Peter Rabbit"

Beatrix Potter's classic characters will be back for a 26-episode 2nd season.

Read Full Post
<p>Thursday's &quot;Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Thursday's "Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Monteith tribute boosts 'Glee,' 'Wonderland' premieres soft and 'Big Bang' leads CBS Thursday

NBC gets low numbers across the board
Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 10, 2013.
It was a very mixed Thursday, as several networks found things to be enthusiastic about and several shows sunk into the danger zone.
CBS was, as always, led by "The Big Bang Theory," which was Thursday's top show in must measures and led the network to overall wins for the night, though "The Millers," "The Crazy Ones" and "Two and a Half Men" all continued to fall, despite that powerful lead-in.
Some of the declines for several shows in the 9 p.m. hour are probably due to a well-above-average audience for FOX's "Glee," which paid tribute to the late Cory Monteith and drew its biggest audience since last September.
The night's lone premiere was ABC's "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," which came in below the fall Thursday 8 p.m. launches for "FlashForward," "Charlie's Angels" and "Last Resort" from recent years. And while it still led the 10 p.m. hour, ABC's "Scandal" was down from last week's premiere.
Meanwhile, NBC's former Must See Thursday was five shows averaging under 4 million viewers and between an 0.8 and 1.2 in the key demo, with rather dire numbers across the board.
Note that The CW's lineup was preempted in the New York market for football and will probably change, perhaps dramatically in the case of the 9 p.m. encore of "The Originals."
On to the numbers...
Read Full Post