Latest Blog Posts

<p>&quot;After Earth&quot;</p>

"After Earth"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'After Earth'

Will Smith and son Jaden (oh, and M. Night) get jiggy with it this weekend

I'm pretty slow on the uptake this summer with a ton of movies I still need to see, and one of them is M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth." What's that, you say? You didn't know this was an M. Night joint? You'd be forgiven for missing that nugget, since advertising for the film has curiously kept his name low key if not outright out of the picture (it's nowhere to be found above the title on the poster and the trailers certainly didn't play it up). As for why, I'll leave that to you to decide.

The film, like clockwork, is taking a critical beating. But it has a few forgivers, like our own Drew McWeeny, noting that it was "lovely to see something that is sincere, thematically focused, and that ultimately works in a way I didn't expect." Then again, maybe it's just a Scientology indoctrination film. I'll see for myself eventually, but it would appear Shyamalan is a filmmaker with a lot of ground to cover if he's going to be back where he was a decade ago. For now, though, if you've seen the film (which stars Will Smith and son Jaden) or if you get around to it this weekend, head on back here with your thoughts and feel free to vote in the poll below.

Read Full Post

Judy Greer signs on for an FX comedy pilot


Judy Greer signs on for an FX comedy pilot

The "Archer" and "Arrested Development" star is set to play Nat Faxon's wife as they deal with their marriage struggles in the bedroom.

Read Full Post
<p>Heath&nbsp;Ledger in &quot;The&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Knight&quot;</p>

Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight"

Credit: Warner Bros.

A look inside Oscar winner Heath Ledger's Joker diary from 'The Dark Knight'

Precious hints at the actor's process on an iconic performance

I still remember the moment I found out Heath Ledger was dead. I was driving up the 10 freeway in Los Angeles on the way home and a Variety colleague called. "Did you hear about Heath Ledger?" "No." I'm thinking maybe there's some awesome news about the then upcoming film "The Dark Knight." "Dude, he died."

Crushing. We were robbed of an incredible talent that day. But one of the other things we we robbed of was the chance to really dissect and investigate Ledger's choices for his soon-to-be Oscar-winning role as the Joker in "The Dark Knight," as well as the opportunity to always go back and reflect with the actor as he, and we, spun away from its epic impact over the years. The mystery left as a result is singular and fascinating, serving only to elevate the performance in some ways, but I always felt a pang of sadness that we could never dig into the work with the artist.

Read Full Post
"Sex: How It Works"

 "Sex: How It Works"

Credit: NatGeo

'Sex: How It Works' to explore dysfunction, arousal and more

The two-hour NatGeo special is set to air in June

National Geographic Channel leaves the snickering behind (though we probably won't) and dives into the science behind arousal, orgasms, partner preference and sexual dysfunctions with "Sex: How It Works," a two-hour special premiering Tues. June 18 at 8:00 p.m. The show weaves together real-life case studies, the latest technology and cutting-edge computer graphics to explore the topic. 

Read Full Post
<p>It's almost impossible to fully convey all the ways in which 'This Is The End' works, so why not just enjoy some terrified silly faces?</p>

It's almost impossible to fully convey all the ways in which 'This Is The End' works, so why not just enjoy some terrified silly faces?

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's 'This Is The End' digs deep for smart laughs

Far more than just an inside joke, this is one heartfelt comedy apocalypse

There are few things more important to me than my friendships. In general, I consider myself a friendly person, and there are many people that I deal with who I would say I've got a pleasant but casual relationship with, and a few special people who I consider genuine pick-up-the-phone-anytime friends. They are hard-won, and even if I don't get a chance to see all of them as often as I'd like, they are important to me.

One of the reasons I take those relationships so seriously is because I know how rare they are, and I know how uncommon new ones can be. The worst feeling for me is when things shift, when one friendship starts to crowd out another. It's happened in my life, and it's never something calculated or intentional. It's just evolution, the way things happen, and it can hurt when it happens. "Frances Ha," the latest film by Noah Baumbach, mines that material in a very smart way, and with a very different voice, so does "This Is The End."

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have a storytelling voice that I like enormously. Both "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express" are movies I enjoy top to bottom, and watching them navigate the offers and opportunities that have come to them, and even the projects that I think are less successful are choices that make perfect sense, and I think their approach is always recognizably theirs. That is not easy to do working inside the system, and it feels to me like they've been working their way up to "This Is The End," a summation of everything they've done so far.

Read Full Post

John Oliver on guest-hosting 'The Daily Show': 'The ratings are going to go down'


John Oliver on guest-hosting "The Daily Show": "The ratings are going to go down"
"Ice is cold, and the ratings of this show are going to go down in the summer," he says. "Add to that the fact that I’m here, so you’ll have your regular summer decline and that will become a more elemental nosedive."


Jeff Probst, e-mailing from the "Survivor" set, recalls his date with Katie Couric
"What I remember most about the date is how nervous I was and how little I offered to the conversation," says Probst, who never asked for a 2nd date because he didn't have her number. PLUS: Yes, "Survivor" will have family members next season, Probst confirms.


California woman becomes the 2nd "Wheel of Fortune" player to ever win $1M
How did Autumn Erhard pull it off?


"Does Someone Have To Go?" drops in 2nd week, "Mike & Molly" finale dips
The workplace reality show fell 23% from its disappointing debut. PLUS: Nepotism wins on "Does Someone Have to Go?"


Jacoby Jones hopes to avoid the "Dancing with the Stars" curse on NFL players

As ESPN points out, "the four active NFL players to participate on DWTS before Jones -- Jason Taylor, Chad Johnson, Hines Ward and Donald Driver -- failed to play a full season in the year they competed on the show and all were either on different teams or retired by the following season."


"GMA" wins its first May sweeps since 1994

"Good Morning America" had averaged 5.704 million total viewers to "Today's"  4.783 million.


See images from the final "Skins" season, including "Game of Thrones" star Hannah Murray

Murray will reprise her Cassie role in one of three "Skins" films to mark the end of the teen series.

Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;Deadwood,&quot;&nbsp;Trixie (Paula Malcomson)&nbsp;and Al (Ian McShane)&nbsp;have a difference of opinion.</p>

On "Deadwood," Trixie (Paula Malcomson) and Al (Ian McShane) have a difference of opinion.

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 3, episode 1: 'Tell Your God to Ready for Blood'

Hearst stages a gambit at the Gem, Seth vents frustration on E.B., and Alma feels faint

For the third summer in a row, we're revisiting David Milch's classic revisionist HBO Western "Deadwood," this time discussing the third season.

While I once upon a time posted two separate reviews so people who hadn't watched the whole series would have a safe place to comment, almost no one bothered commenting on the newbie reviews last year, and they've been ditched. If you haven't finished the series, just avoid the comments of this review and you'll be fine.

Thoughts on the season premiere, "Tell Your God to Ready for Blood," coming up just as soon as I tend bar and let people punch me in the face...

Read Full Post

Larry King: Russia Today did not hire me


Larry King: Russia Today did not hire me
The headlines are wrong, says the former CNN star. "RT has not hired me. They have licensed my shows," King explains on Facebook. He also says that the Russian government will have no oversight on his content.


"Revenge" won't bring back Ashley Madekwe
Her Ashley Davenport character had exhausted all her storylines.


Watch Snoop Lion on "One Life to Live"
Snoop made a cameo as himself.


Cheryl Burke: I hope to stay on "Dancing with the Stars"

Burke responded to a report that she was "unlikely to return," saying: "I can only speak for myself, and as long as 'Dancing With the Stars' wants to have me, I'll be there."


"The Voice's" Judith Hill on her shocking elimination
"Yeah, it kind of took me by surprise," she says.


Blake Shelton's NBC tornado relief concert raises more than $6M
Proceeds from "Healing in the Heartland" are going to the United Way of Central Oklahoma.

Read Full Post
<p>After this summer, we want Henry Cavill beating all hell out of Guillermo Del Toro's giant monsters. Is that too much to ask?</p>

After this summer, we want Henry Cavill beating all hell out of Guillermo Del Toro's giant monsters. Is that too much to ask?

Credit: DC Comics

Ten things we'd love to see from 'Superman' comics in future films

The brutal, the personal, and the just plain weird

Superman has a long and, frankly, completely barking insane history.

One of the amazing things about a character like Superman is that because of his longevity, you can read through his publishing history and trace the various ebbs and flows of the comic industry. You can see how storytelling developed, and you can see how DC managed their key players because no matter what, Superman is always involved.

"Man Of Steel" is just a few weeks away now, and it is officially time to start getting very, very excited. Right now, fans are still speculating about what sort of riffs the new film will play on the long-established conventions of the character and the world around him. Will we see Lex Luthor in the new film? Is he a reporter for the Daily Planet? How do they handle Krypton's fate? Why does General Zod want him and how much does Superman know about his true identity as Kal-El?

Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;Hannibal,&quot;&nbsp;Will Graham (Hugh Dancy)&nbsp;studies a new murder victim.</p>

On "Hannibal," Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) studies a new murder victim.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Hannibal' - 'Buffet Froid'

Will's mental problems get worse as he chases a killer who reminds him of himself

A quick review of tonight's "Hannibal" — which, in case you missed the joyous news earlier this evening, was renewed by NBC for season 2 — coming up just as soon as I'm officially concerned about you...

Read Full Post
<p>I get the Isla Fisher casting as Daphne, but I'm sorry... Woody Harrelson is completely wrong as Velma.</p>

I get the Isla Fisher casting as Daphne, but I'm sorry... Woody Harrelson is completely wrong as Velma.

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Review: 'Now You See Me' is a bad magic trick but a decent caper

An all-star cast almost pulls it off

When you show a character onscreen doing something that is supposed to be genuine magic, the use of special effects and camera trickery is perfectly acceptable and even understood as a given. When you're showing a character onscreen who is performing stage magic, something meant to be an illusion performed for a live crowd, I find it far more problematic when I don't believe what I'm looking at. "Now You See Me" is energetic, well-cast, and very, very narratively busy, but it fails the most basic test for me: the magic is a bust, so nothing else matters.

I'm sure having David Copperfield consult and build things for you is a great anecdote for the press day, and they get the trappings of stage magic right, especially as it pertains to Las Vegas. But there's not a moment in this movie where it doesn't feel like a movie, like everything is heightened and slightly ridiculous and impossible, and for that reason, I find myself less able to engage with the genial caper film that uses magic more as set dressing than anything else.

Read Full Post
<p>NBC&nbsp;has renewed &quot;Hannibal,&quot;&nbsp;starring Mads Mikkelsen in the title role.</p>

NBC has renewed "Hannibal," starring Mads Mikkelsen in the title role.

Credit: NBC

NBC renews 'Hannibal' for season 2

Serial killer drama has been low-rated but brilliant

NBC has renewed "Hannibal" for a second season.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME