Latest Blog Posts

<p>Gemma Arterton and Justin Timberlake of &quot;Runner, Runner&quot;</p>

Gemma Arterton and Justin Timberlake of "Runner, Runner"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Set Visit: 'Runner, Runner' weathers storms and slums in Puerto Rico

Justin Timberlake/Ben Affleck thriller opens in September
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Nestled between the historic city wall of Old San Juan and a rocky promontory into the Atlantic, La Perla is one of the more picturesque ghettos in the world. 
Originally build up in the late 19th century as a place-of-exile for variably non-desirable aspects of San Juan society -- cemeteries, housing for former slaves, refuges for the homeless and a slaughterhouse -- La Perla developed a reputation for crime and danger, an image built partially on fact and partially on the neighborhood's intended isolation from the main city. Today, asking San Juan natives about La Perla can get either graphic stories of violence, police apathy and DEA raids or else blank stares. 
But, like I said, there's beauty here and not just from the white-capped waves breaking on the shore, or even the Santa Maria Magdalena Cementery, in which the dead have a place of honor, a flower-studded outlook onto the ocean, and the living need only tip-toe through the eastern side of La Perla's gates to pay tribute to their departed loved ones.
The houses, stacked one on top of the other, crawling up the hill as if hoping for egress themselves, are vibrantly colored, creating a mosaic of purples and yellows and hot pinks. The architecture is diverse as well, with traditional archways sharing space with vast walls of block glass, a remnant of '80s style that leads me to pretend abodes were once the residences of towering criminals brought down by Crockett and Tubbs, never to return again. Rusted satellite dishes teeter atop the corrugated green roofs, but otherwise it could be almost any year in La Perla. Poverty is timeless. 
Although there's a strong law enforcement presence on the outside of the wall, I talk to denizens who say that the police mostly leave La Perla on its own, though those stories don't jibe with stories that speak of recent attempts at a cultural renaissance in the neighborhood, which has also been an enclave for "artistic types" over the years.
It's August of 2012 and, at this moment, La Perla is positively swarming with a different assortment of artistic types, specifically a Hollywood movie production. Directed by Brad Furman ("The Lincoln Lawyer") and starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Gemma Arterton, the online gambling thriller "Runner, Runner" has taken over. 
Read Full Post

James Gandolfini's $70M estate will mostly go to his 13-year-old son

James Gandolfini's $70M estate will mostly go to his 13-year-old son
Gandolfini's 8-month-old daughter Liliana and widow will also get a large amount of "The Sopranos" star's assets.

Paula Deen's magazine will keep publishing
Cooking With Paula Deen's publication won't be suspended, said Deen's magazine publisher.

CBS says it does not condone "Big Brother" stars' racist and homophobic comments
As it's done previous, the network said: "We certainly find the statements made by several of the Houseguests on the live Internet feed to be offensive." PLUS: "Big Brother" model loses her job over her offensive comments.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech will be commemorated in a PBS documentary
"March on Washington" will air Aug. 27, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the famous speech.

Watch Prince Charles voice a Dalek on the "Doctor Who" set
Charles and Camilla visited the "Who" set today, and he got to yell "Exterminate!"

John Barrowman weds
The "Torchwood" star married his longtime partner, Scott Gill.

"24" and "Sopranos" alum Louis Lombardi joins "Lost Angels"

He'll play one of Mickey Cohen's men on the Frank Darabont TNT drama.

"America's Got Talent" hits another season low
The NBC reality show nabbed 9.32 million viewers last night and beat "Big Brother."

Netflix expands its PBS programming
"Nova," "Secrets of the Dead" and several Ken Burns documentary will soon be available to stream, as well as several kids shows.

LeAnn Rimes shows off her "Anger Management" lingerie
Rimes tweeted her on-set experience throughout Tuesday.

"Luther" returns in UK to its lowest premiere viewership
About five million watched the Season 3 premiere on BBC.

Check out a "Dexter"-inspired cake
With Dexter Morgan wrapped in plastic.

Read Full Post


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity' to open 70th annual Venice Film Festival

Eagerly awaited opener portends a starry festival lineup

Well, I think it's fair to say the Venice Film Festival has won the Opening Film contest this year. While Cannes had its parade slightly rained upon by the fact that their opener -- Baz Luhrmann's otherwise suitably sparkly "The Great Gatsby" -- was released in the US beforehand, their Italian rivals will be kicking things off on August 28 with a world premiere that happens to be one of the year's most anticipated films: Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity." 

Read Full Post
"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: It's all about the veto competition

Elissa thinks she's made a friend, but McCrae stabs her in the back

So, one thing we do know about tonight's episode is we won't be seeing all the racist, homophobic, crappy things the hamsters are saying on the life feed. This is probably for the best, as we don't want to make knee jerk judgments against hamsters because they're making knee jerk judgments. The good news is that for some of the hamsters, their ignorance isn't simply limited to ridiculous and random hatred based on skin color and sexual orientation. No, some of these people can't spell. At all. For that, we can roll our eyes at the very least. 

Read Full Post
<p>Gru (Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) go undercover at a mall to flush out the thief of a special secret formula in 'Despicable Me 2'</p>

Gru (Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) go undercover at a mall to flush out the thief of a special secret formula in 'Despicable Me 2'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'Despicable Me 2' offers some big laughs, but the story seems mighty soft

Once again, the Minions steal the show

The original "Despicable Me" is still probably the best overall film that Illumination Entertainment has produced, but they're a young company. I think they tried valiantly with "The Lorax," but they had to add so much busywork to the lean and lovely Dr. Seuss story that it just felt padded. Their live-action/animated hybrid "Hop" is a little too willfully cute for my tastes, but it has more in common with the "Despicable" films, and the ways they're similar sort of define how I think about the company.

Pixar has the best story department in animation, even today, but what Illumination brings to the table is a non-stop joke machine sensibility, and that's what makes their films enjoyable. Even if they don't quite land some thematic point or connect the dots on an emotional arc, the jokes just keep coming, one after another, and way more of them work than don't. "Despicable Me 2" is a less emotionally resonant experience than the first film, but it is positively packed with laughs. There is a sweetness to the movie that works well enough to ground it in something identifiably human, and to be honest, I don't really need "Despicable Me 2" to be as emotionally devastating an experience as something like "The Spectacular Now." The laughs seem way more important to me, and I can't fault the film in that department.

Read Full Post
<p>Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey)&nbsp;and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)&nbsp;bond as part of Justice Forever in 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) bond as part of Justice Forever in 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Director Jeff Wadlow talks about the challenges of being the new guy on set for 'Kick-Ass 2'

We discuss the way real life and fiction collide in the sequel

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - For the first half of my stay on set, I catch glimpses of Jeff Wadlow, but from a distance only. The soundstage I'm on is taken up largely with a rooftop set, and it's on the rooftop that Wadlow is busy staging and shooting the intense final fight between Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and The Motherfucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), something that's been brewing for two full films now.

It's not until lunch that I got the chance to really sit down and talk with Wadlow, and while he and I were unfamiliar with each other, he seemed immediately ready to discuss anything. I talked to him first about how many familiar faces I saw in every department, and how most of them had a fairly strong sense of what a "Kick-Ass" film should be since they were there for the first one. From Wadlow's script, I got the sense that he had an equally strong idea about what a "Kick-Ass" movie should be, and I asked him how he'd found the process of working with this full company as the newcomer.

"It's been great," he began. "I mean, I've been very lucky in that once they read the script they were in. And I think as you said, that was everything.  When there's talk of the sequel happening without Matthew directing… I heard from my agent, you know, that nothing was a done deal, and he didn't have options on the cast, which was not typical. Normally you have options so it's not really that much of an issue."

Read Full Post
<p>Title art has to go...</p>

Title art has to go...

Credit: The Weinstein Company... AND Warner Bros.?

Weinstein Company forced to rename 'The Butler' (UPDATED)

A century-old short film may have just cock-blocked Harvey

UPDATE (7/5): Okay, this is probably due an update by now. Fireworks on and offline over the holiday, it seems. Weinstein appealed, Lee Daniels begged (and got a private reply, which I'm stunned hasn't shown up somehow in the reporting given the pettiness of all of it) and now this Hollywood Reporter story pretty much lays out WB's beef. Straw/camel's back for them. Waiting on Weinstein retort.

EARLIER (7/2): Lee Daniels' "The Butler," the Precious" director's follow-up to 2012's sultry train wreck/masterpiece (depending on who you're asking) "The Paperboy," showed up here and there in our uncovered Oscar Contenders section earlier this week. I get a "Bobby" vibe from the film (and hey, I actually liked "Bobby"), but whatever. We'll see what it is when we do, but in the meantime, the film has some unexpected branding decisions to make.

Deadline reported yesterday that Warner Bros. was seeking to block usage of the title "The Butler," claiming copyright on a 1916 short film. I guess it turns out the film violated Title Registration Bureau rules by using "The Butler" and judgment was swift, levied today: The Weinstein Company has to find a new title for the film. The clock is ticking, too: the term has to be removed from all marketing by midnight tonight, so hang onto those posters, movie theater workers. They might be worth something.

Read Full Post
"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: 'Top 20 Perform, 2 Eliminated'

Two dancers are cut, but still have to perform with their partners

The opening number is pretty great -- dreamlike, ethereal, a little spooky, and it makes great use of the stage. Dammit. Now I don't want anyone to go home! I'll get over that shortly, however. It's better to just accept the inevitable. Two dancers will be getting the axe, and there's nothing anyone can do about it now. 

Our judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Christina Applegate. I'm glad to see her back. She's made some insightful comments in the past, and it's always good to have another female on the panel, I think. 

Flashback montage from last week. I still wish Wayne Brady had taken his clothes off and danced with Cat Deeley. That would have been memorable!

Read Full Post
<p>Johnny Depp makes a persuasive case for his approach to playing Tonto in the new film incarnation of 'The Lone Ranger'</p>

Johnny Depp makes a persuasive case for his approach to playing Tonto in the new film incarnation of 'The Lone Ranger'

Credit: HitFix

Johnny Depp discusses playing Tonto and 'Rango' for 'Lone Ranger' director Gore Verbinski

The actor talks about what he gets from this particular partnership

It was about 113 degrees outside in Santa Fe when i sat down to talk to Johnny Depp about his role as Tonto in Gore Verbinski's 'The Lone Ranger,' which opens tomorrow.

I didn't realize how much altitude is also an issue in Santa Fe, and I found myself drinking about a full bottle of water between each interview and still drying out in the middle. I'm not sure how Depp managed to sit there all day and still look like… well, like Johnny Depp. Considering he just turned 50, I'm pretty sure he had the real Fountain Of Youth built into his contract for "Pirates Of The Caribbean 4" as a rider. As always, he seemed soft-spoken and incredibly serious about his work, a good interview because you know that he's really thinking about his answers.

I love "Rango." I think it is so jam-packed with Verbinski's obvious fondness for Westerns that it feels almost giddy, and Rango is a great character for Depp to give voice. There's something perfect about his weird exaggerated appearance and Depp's dry Joe Friday-like delivery that makes me laugh right away. When that film came out, we spoke to Depp about it, and I even asked him at the end of that interview about when we might be able to expect Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man" on Blu-ray.

Read Full Post
Watch Miguel and Mariah Carey's video for 'Hermosa,' the half-Spanish 'Beautiful'

Watch Miguel and Mariah Carey's video for 'Hermosa,' the half-Spanish 'Beautiful'

What's 'mega-fine' en español?

HitFix has already crowned Mariah Carey and Miguel's "Beautiful" among the songs of the summer for 2013; but the two together are trying to push its popularity up over the top with five new remixes, including a part-Spanish version "Hermosa."

So if you weren't convinced that single is "f*ckin' beautiful," then head to a nameless resort, go down to the pristine waters, and splash around a bit en español. Both singers know their way around Spanish singing (and she's released previous Spanish versions of "Hero," "Open Arms" and "My All").

Read Full Post

Kerry Washington: White women approach me saying, 'I want to be Olivia Pope'

Kerry Washington: White women approach me saying, "I want to be Olivia Pope"
"One of the most profound things for me about ('Scandal') is the number of white women of all ages who come up to me and say, 'I want to be Olivia Pope,'" Washington tells Vanity Fair. Washington is this month's Vanity Fair cover girl, a rare accomplishment for a black woman. PLUS: Shonda Rhimes talks starting in the middle of the story.

CBS moves "Big Brother" eviction to Thursdays
The Eye network is swapping "Person of Interest" with "Big Brother," so the reality show's live eviction will air on Thursdays starting July 11.

Matthew Perry: I was never high on the "Friends" set, but I was "painfully hung over"

Perry details his past addictions in the latest People magazine, saying that "eventually things got so bad I couldn't hide it and everybody knew" on the "Friends" set.

7 Disney Channel shows to jump into the future over 1 weekend

The Flash Forward event kicks off July 26.

Hallmark Channel cancels Marie Osmond's talk show "Marie" after 1 season

"Marie" is now eyeing a syndication launch for fall 2014.

"Person of Interest" is giving away Comic-Con key cards
Nearly 30 San Diego hotels will use the special key cards.

Will "Breaking Bad's" Saul Goodman spinoff 30 minutes or an hour?
That's one of the decisions Vince Gilligan is trying to make as he works "full speed ahead" on the proposed spinoff.

"The Wire" and "Fringe" alum Lance Reddick is taking on comedic roles to avoid typecasting

Reddick, who recently guested on "Wilfred" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," says: "I just wanted to do something silly, something completely different, and I felt like I just wanted to have some fun."

"Glee" fans create their own Kurt-Blaine engagement scene for a charity project
Their scene ended up subbing for the one that never aired.

Is the good cop/bad cop trope actually used in real life?

Good cop/bad cop didn't really become a big part of TV series until the last 30 years.

ESPN's "Nine for IX" examines women in sports

Nine sports documentaries by and about women to mark the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

Catch a glimpse of Nickelodeon's "Laverne & Shirley" reunion

"Today" showed a preview of Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on "Sam and Cat."

"Anna Nicole" vs. Anna Nicole
How does the Lifetime movie compare to real life?

"Naked and Afraid": Reality TV's craziest show?
The Discovery reality show is, "in every sense of the word, an insane show. It's also quite possibly the most riveting reality series on television. Ever," says Kevin Fallon.

Anna Camp suffered a concussion filming "True Blood"
"I was fortunate to have a great, great stuntwoman with me, but during one of the takes, I rolled, I was on the ground, and I hit my head," she says.

Before "SNL," Kate McKinnon starred in "Vag Magazine"

Watch McKinnon in a 2010 web series. PLUS: McKinnon calls "SNL" her dream job.

Win a date with Kristen Bell

The "Veronica Mars" star is raising money for the charity Invisible Children.

Here are 12 forgotten '90s Saturday morning cartoons
From "Back to the Future" to "Kid 'n' Play."

Read Full Post
<p>Miranda Cosgrove seemed pleased to play the struggles of her character in 'Despicable Me 2'</p>

Miranda Cosgrove seemed pleased to play the struggles of her character in 'Despicable Me 2'

Credit: HitFix

Miranda Cosgrove discusses the pains of young love in 'Despicable Me 2'

The 'iCarly' star talks about building the bond with her young co-stars

My exposure to the work of Miranda Cosgrove is very, very limited.

For example, I could tell you that I think she does lovely work in "Despicable Me 2" as Margo, the oldest of the girls that were adopted by Gru at the end of the first film. She is at that age where she's starting to notice boys, and they're starting to notice her, and while I'm sure every teen (and every father of every teen girl) has trouble during this period of transition, not all of them have a former evil genius for a father.

Watching Gru's frustration as he sees Margo make those first fumbling steps towards adulthood is very funny, but I have to admit… I can only laugh because I have sons. I think I would be a total catastrophe as a dad if I had two girls. Overprotective hardly even begins to describe how I'd handle things. Yesterday, someone ran a photo of Eminem's daughter on Twitter, who was so much a presence in his lyrics when she was basically a baby. She's a pretty teenage girl now, and I can't imagine being the poor teenage kid who goes to pick her up for a date and then has to face Eminem before he can leave the house again. I would have absolutely no problem being a menace if some kid showed up to take my daughter on a date, and "Despicable Me 2" gets a lot of comic mileage out of showing how Gru handles it.

Read Full Post