Latest Blog Posts

<p>Last year's WGA documentary winner, &quot;Searching or Sugar Man.&quot;</p>

Last year's WGA documentary winner, "Searching or Sugar Man."

Credit: Sony Classics

WGA gets stricter on documentary eligibility

New rules impose same eligibility criteria on documentary and narrative films

File this under "eligibility rules I didn't know weren't already in place." Any seasoned-awards watcher knows that Writers' Guild of America Awards for Best Original and Adapted Screenplay are inconsistent with other precursor honors in the category because of their highly exclusive eligibility criteria, which dictate that only films written by Guild signatories can be considered. It's a rule that annually disqualifies many of the leading contenders in the race: earlier this year, "Django Unchained" (which, of course, ueventually won the Academy Award) headed a list of barred titles that also included Oscar nominees "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Read Full Post
<p>This is how fast everyone's going to have to work if they expect to make 'Star Wars Episode 7' in time for a December 2015 release.</p>

This is how fast everyone's going to have to work if they expect to make 'Star Wars Episode 7' in time for a December 2015 release.

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Is a 'Star Wars' movie still a 'Star Wars' movie if it's released in December?

We may find out the answer to that question in 2015

I see Devin decided to print the rumor about the "Star Wars Episode VII" release date.

I tried to get Disney to comment on the possibility of a Christmas release date last week when word first started to leak, and of course, they've said nothing. I'm still trying to find someone to back up the reports, and I've had no luck doing so. I'll say this, though… it makes sense. That seven month difference changes the entire cycle of when things are revealed, and it also means that Disney will be able to do another D23 Expo before the film comes out, making that next D23 the one where they had better kick out the jams in terms of selling "Star Wars" as a Disney brand.

If Christmas 2015 (I specifically heard December 23 from one person, a date which falls on a Wednesday in 2015) is indeed the target release date, it gets the film away from Disney's other biggest film that year, "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron," which has been announced for May. It seemed odd that Disney would cannibalize their own mega-blockbuster with another mega-blockbuster aimed as ostensibly the exact same audience, and now it looks like they're poised to own both of the big holiday seasons with gigantic event movies.

Read Full Post
<p>Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver in a scene from &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis.&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver in a scene from "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Credit: CBS Films

Jack White, Marcus Mumford, Avett Bros. set to play 'Inside Llewyn Davis' concert

Benefit show, organized by Coen Brothers and T Bone Burnett, also features Patti Smith, Joan Baez

Jack White, Mumford & Sons’ Marcus Mumford, the Avett Brothers, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, and The Punch Brothers will play a benefit concert at New York’s Town Hall on Sept. 29 to promote “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

The film’s music supervisor and long-time Joel and Ethan Coen collaborator T Bone Burnett organized the concert, dubbed “Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis'," along with the Coen Brothers. Proceeds from the event will go to the National Recording Preservation Foundation.

Burnett revealed to Hitfix in May at Cannes that some concerts were planned around the movie’s release. "I don't think we're going to do a tour, but we're going to do a series of shows," Burnett said. "I guess we should announce it. Are we ready? I don't know when we're supposed to talk about this, but we're going to do a series of shows. There won't be a tour. I won't say that." The team produced a very successful series of shows around the music of "O Brother Where Art Thou" more than a decade ago.

The Joel and Ethan Coen movie is one of the main selections announced today for the 51st annual New York Film Festival, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13. Following its bow at the Cannes International Film Festival this Spring, where it won the Grand Prix, the movie about a folk singer in the ‘60s in New York’s Greenwich Villlage, will skip the Toronto Film Festival.
 
Also on the "Another Day, Another Time" bill are Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens of Caroline Chocolate Drops, Milk Carton Kids, Conor Oberst, Patti Smith, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, as well as Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, and Stark Sands, all of whom appear in "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Marcus Mumford serves as an associate producer on the movie’s soundtrack, which comes out Nov. 12 on Nonesuch. He also appears on the track, “The Auld Triangle.” Other artists on the soundtrack include the film’s stars Isaac, Mumford’s wife Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake, as well as Bob Dylan.
 

The official poster for Another Day Another Time the Inside Llewyn Davis charity concert

Read Full Post
<p>Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum in &quot;Magic Mike.&quot;</p>

Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum in "Magic Mike."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Casting Society of America nominees range from 'Argo' to 'Mud' to 'Magic Mike'

The Artios Awards for film, TV and theater will take place on November 18

Last month, the Academy's Board of Governors created a new branch for casting directors, 30 years after they were first invited to join the Academy. Few could argue that the move wasn't overdue, but there was more debate over the inevitable question that followed: should the Academy Awards have a category for Best Casting? There are arguments to be made in either direction, but I'd ultimately say no: casting is a highly skilled profession, but not a screen craft, and I don't think most Academy members are qualified to assess it. (Yes, most Academy members aren't qualified to assess sound editing either, but that's another discussion.)  

Read Full Post

Disney's 'Jett Jackson'/'Rizzoli & Isles' star Lee Thompson Young dies in an apparent suicide


Disney's "Jett Jackson"/"Rizzoli & Isles" star Lee Thompson Young dies in an apparent suicide

Young, 29, who played the title role on Disney Channel's "The Famous Jett Jackson" was found with what authorities believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Young was discovered after he failed to show up on the "Rizzoli & Isles" set, where he played  Detective Barry Frost.


Report: Dr. Luke is in talks to become "Idol's" 3rd judge

The 39-year-old former "SNL" guitarist who's created hits from Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" to Katy Perry's "California Gurls" is in negotiations with "Idol" after talks with Will.i.am stalled.


NBC News' Chuck Todd praises GOP's NBC and CNN boycott over Hillary Clinton

The move is "smart," says the NBC News political director and White House correspondent, because it limits the number Republican debates.

Read Full Post
<p>'Well maybe I just don't feel like eating something THAT&nbsp;IS&nbsp;SMILING&nbsp;AT&nbsp;ME&nbsp;RIGHT&nbsp;NOW !'</p>

'Well maybe I just don't feel like eating something THAT IS SMILING AT ME RIGHT NOW !'

Credit: HitFix

Exclusive new 'Cloudy 2' poster features James Caan being chased by a BananaOstrich

Animated sequel looks delightfully silly

"This is James Caan's character Tim Lockwood being chased by our food animals known as the BananaOstrich."

Well, you just sold me a ticket, "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2."

The first "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" was one of those lovely little animation surprises, where something came together beautifully. Phil Lord and Chris Miller took the lovely but simple book by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett and turned it into a very fast-paced and sincere bit of animated surreality, full of wonderful goofball gags and a very sweet and sunny disposition. The first film ended with a victory for Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and 'Baby' Brent (Andy Samberg) and Mayor Shelbourne (Bruce Campbell) and Earl Devereaux (Mr. T) and his son Cal (Bobb'e J. Thompson), and it felt like it had done a great job of making all the characters feel like a community.

Read Full Post
Kelly Clarkson reveals details for  'Wrapped in Red' holiday set
Credit: RCA

Kelly Clarkson reveals details for 'Wrapped in Red' holiday set

She sprinkles new tunes amid the familiar

It’s a big fall for Kelly Clarkson. Not only is she getting married, but on Oct. 29, she’ll deliver a little bundle in the form of “Wrapped in Red,” a holiday album.

Clarkson announced the Christmas set way back in April, telling CMT Radio Live host Cody Allan, “I’ve been dying to make a Christmas record for more than a decade and I’m finally making one,” she says, but details had been scant until now.

“Wrapped In Red” will include two new holiday-themed tracks, “Underneath the Tree” and “Wrapped In Red,” as well as Clarkson’s covers of such standards as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “Run Run Rudolph,” and “Please Come Home For Christmas.” A full track listing is forthcoming.

“Underneath The Tree,” written by Clarkson and Greg Kurstin, who also produced the track, will be the first single. The cover for "Wrapped In Red" features an elegant profile shot of Clarkson, wrapped, appropriately enough, in red.

In the meantime, Clarkson’s one-off country single, “Tie It Up,” continues to garner country airplay and will remain a stand-alone single, for now. It will not be included on “Wrapped In Red” as a bonus track, according to her label, RCA.

The first "American Idol" winner is on tour with Maroon 5 through Oct. 6.

Are you as excited as Clarkson for her holiday album? 




 

Read Full Post
<p>Oscar Isaac in &quot;Inside Llewyn&nbsp;Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Credit: CBS Films

2013 New York Film Festival line-up unveiled: 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'The Invisible Woman,' 'The Wind Rises'

The fest ups its profile as a few awards films dodge Toronto and head for the City

The Coen Brothers, James Franco and Hayao Miyazaki are all headed to the Big Apple.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the main slate of selections for the 51st annual New York Film Festival, and it's another choice cross-section of top festival offerings from the year so far. Of immediate note, the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis," Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" and J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost" will make the transition from Cannes to the City (via Telluride), but will skip Toronto, making their profile at this year's NYFF all the more significant.

Read Full Post

Demi Lovato joining 'Glee'


Demi Lovato joining "Glee"
She's set to play a struggling artist friend of Rachel's and Santana.


"Breaking Bad's" GPS coordinates lead to Albuquerque Studios

As Vince Gilligan notes, Albuquerque Studios is one of the AMC show's filming locations, one that looks to be in the middle of nowhere. PLUS: Watch Bryan Cranston's Preparation H ad from the 80s.


Sophie Turner got to adopt her "Game of Thrones" direwolf

After the dog was "executed" by King Joffrey, Sophia Turner (AKA Sansa Stark) was able to take the dog home with her.


HBO teases "Eastbound & Down" Season 4

Watch the "Phoenix Tease."


Lady Gaga will open the MTV VMAs

She'll perform her new single "Applause."


"24" alum Sarah Clarke headed to AMC
She'll star in "Line of Sight," playing the wife of an NTSB investigator who survives a mysterious plane crash.

Read Full Post
<p>Edda Magnason in &quot;Waltz For Monica.&quot;</p>

Edda Magnason in "Waltz For Monica."

Credit: StellaNova Film

Swedish cinema sings on key at Way Out West fest

Major local productions jostle with the likes of Alicia Keys for audience attention

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Every film festival comes with its own set of perks and difficulties, but I've only been to one so far where my chief scheduling challenge has been squeezing a Public Enemy gig in between a screening and an interview, wading in wellingtons across muddy parkland, through a sea of lanky twentysomethings in impossibly skinny jeans and Doc Martens, to do so. (It's still easier than traversing the Croisette in full flow, I'll have you know.)

Or where the evening's festivities have ended not at a midnight premiere or cocktail-suited industry party, but at a beery bolthole at 3am, watching the aptly named New York punk outfit Pissed Jeans tear the tiny stage a new one. Or, indeed, where you run into Alexander Skarsgard at the bar, and the off-duty star for once has nothing to promote but his love for Swedish electro-eccentrics The Knife. (Their daftly thrilling set later that evening, all boiler-suited dance troupes and disembodied vocals, more than justifies his enthusiasm.)

Read Full Post
<p>Lady Gaga in &quot;Applause&quot;</p>

Lady Gaga in "Applause"

New 'Applause' video: Watch me pull a Lady Gaga out of my hat

She'll do anything to earn your applause

Lady Gaga continues her one-woman performance art with the very theatrical video for “Applause,” which she premiered on “Good Morning America” today.

Shot primarily in black and white by Dutch photographers Inez & Vinoodh, “Applause” shows there is nothing Lady Gaga won’t do to get your attention, whether it’s catching a knife between her teeth, turning into a swan, popping out of a magician’s hat, dancing maniacally, or writhing around in a clam shell bikini. Because, damn it, she wants your “Applause,” but she is willing to work for it. 

There are art/film references aplenty from pop artist Jeff Koons, whom she mentions in the lyrics, to Fellini to even Janet Jackson’s Rolling Stone cover with someone else shielding her breasts.

[More after the jump...]

 

Read Full Post
<p>Lake Bell in her feature directorial debut, &quot;In A&nbsp;World...&quot;</p>

Lake Bell in her feature directorial debut, "In A World..."

'In A World...' and my summer at the movies

Looking back on a mix of successful blockbusters and artful indies

On Saturday, I saw my sixth and almost certainly final movie of the summer: "In A World...," the indie comedy written by, directed by, and starring Lake Bell, about an aspiring voice actress trying to break into the male-dominated world of movie trailer narration. It is, as that description would suggest, a small movie, but also a smart, funny, and at times very poignant one. It also fits into a rich tradition of actors whom the business doesn't quite know what to do with — Bell tends to be cast as the strange woman the hero abandons for his true love interest — deciding that the best way to show what they can do is to write a showcase for themselves. Sylvester Stallone did it with "Rocky," Jon Favreau with "Swingers" (which was also showcasing his buddy Vince), Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with "Good Will Hunting," and here Bell has written the best part anyone's ever given her. There are the usual glitches of any first-time feature director, but Bell  demonstrates — and pardon the terrible pun, given the subject matter, but it's the best word that applies here — a real voice as both writer and director. It's a movie that's about something, in addition to having a lot of good jokes, a sweet romance, etc.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME