Latest Blog Posts

<p>Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo on the set of &quot;Foxcatcher.&quot;</p>

Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo on the set of "Foxcatcher."

Credit: Sony Classics

Sony Classics brings 'Foxcatcher' into the Oscar season

Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell star in Bennett Miller's latest

Over the past few months, we've had a lot of queries from readers as to the release plans for Bennett Miller's star-studded, stranger-than-fiction biopic "Foxcatcher." The film has long looked like prime Oscar fodder, but it wasn't clear who would be distributing it, or whether it would be released this year at all. Back in June, Kris pondered its prospects, mentioning the possibility that the film could wind up as part of Sony Pictures Classics' 2013 awards slate.

And so it is. The speculation ended today with Sony Classics' announcement that they will be distributing "Foxcatcher," with a release date set for December 20.

Read Full Post
<p>Jeff Bridges stars as a legendary wizard who takes on a new apprentice in the film 'Seventh Son,' which Legendary may now release through Universal</p>

Jeff Bridges stars as a legendary wizard who takes on a new apprentice in the film 'Seventh Son,' which Legendary may now release through Universal

Credit: Legendary Pictures

Legendary takes 'Seventh Son' with them as they finalize their departure from Warner Bros.

'Godzilla' will still be released by Warner, though

If both Deadline and the Hollywood Reporter are using the word "divorce" in their coverage of what's going on between Legendary and Warner Bros. right now, I guess it's become pretty apparent to everyone now that this is going to get messy.

It's been very strange to watch the last six or seven months unfold. For the last few years, Warner and Legendary have seemed joined at the hip, and if you'd asked me in 2012 about the future of that relationship, I would have guessed that it was rock solid. So many of the biggest event films from the studio in the last five or six years have been co-produced by the two companies that it seemed to me like things would just keep on heading in that direction.

What we're starting to see now is a battle over the credit for those films, and it seems like it is very important for Legendary to establish what role they've played in the making of these films. "Pacific Rim," for example, was the first film that went from pitch to release with Legendary calling the shots across the board. If you like that film or if you hate that film, you ultimately have Legendary to thank. They were the ones who rolled the dice on the vision that Travis Beacham and Guillermo Del Toro presented them, and they backed the film completely.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Act of Killing&quot;</p>

"The Act of Killing"

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Denmark's Oscar choice between 'The Hunt,' 'The Act of Killing' and 'Northwest'

Mads Mikkelsen drama is the safe bet, but the controversial doc would turn heads

As a rule, I don't tend to report on the shortlists of films being considered by individual countries for their Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission -- the process is protracted enough without dwelling on the films (many of them low-profile) that might enter the race. However, when the shortlist presents a choice as intriguing and diverse as the one revealed by Denmark's selection board this year, it's worth making an exception. The Danish Film Institute today announced that the final three films in the running are Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt," Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" and Michael Noer's "Northwest."

Read Full Post

'The Real World' returning to San Francisco 20 years later

"The Real World" returning to San Francisco 20 years later
Season 29 of the MTV reality show, airing in 2014, will be set in the home of the very memorable 1994 season. PLUS: Is this the final season?

Read Full Post
Watch: Rihanna's 'Right Now' featured in commercial... is a new album due?

Watch: Rihanna's 'Right Now' featured in commercial... is a new album due?

Hint: Justin Timberlake is associated with this brand, too

Rihanna's song "Right Now" from her last album "Unapologetic" is the soundtrack to a Budweiser commercial. No, that in itself is not big news, but the hint of things to come may be.

If you'll recall, Justin Timberlake made a very high-profile alliance with Budweiser, for their Platinum brew, which help amp up his and his single "Suit & Tie's" visibility on television. Jay Z did, as well, as he and Timberlake promoted their Legends Of Summer tour together. These were part of Bud's "Made for Music" campaign, which now includes a second spot from Rihanna since July.

"Right Now" is the seventh single off of Rihanna's "Unapologetic," but it was introduced as the single back in June. Right now (heh), we're looking down the barrel of a particularly busy autumn-into-holiday album season, with Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Drake, Timberlake and other chart-toppers having announced new releases leading up to Thanksgiving.

And if there's one artist that loves the holiday shopping season, it's Rihanna (and if there's one label, it's Def Jam): Ri-Ri's last four albums have been released in either the third or fourth week of November, around those Black Friday sales, with 2009's "Rated R," 2010's "Loud," 2011's "Talk That Talk" and 2012's "Unapologetic" arriving at Nos. 4, 3, 3 and 1, respectively, on The Billboard 200 chart. See a trend?

MTV Italy wrote earlier this month that Rihanna was plotting a new album for November. MTV U.S. didn't really run with that baton, though the rumor was strongly circulated. And there may be a good reason why the network didn't pick up with it here: those MTV VMAs, Aug. 25, seemingly has every big name on board as performers. The Daft Punk "surprise" has been spoiled since the "Colbert" snafu, so maybe Rihanna may roll in, too. (Or maybe One Direction, because the boy band has a stop soon in New York to promote their forthcoming 3D film "1D: This Is Us." Brooklyn is just a subway stop away...)

Rihanna's Diamonds World Tour starts back up overseas in September and ends Oct. 8. She has no domestic dates listed in the in-betweens.

Read Full Post
<p>Marco Beltrami</p>

Marco Beltrami

Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami on navigating his way through 'World War Z' and Brad Pitt

How did Tommy Lee Jones contribute to the 'WWZ' score?

POZNAN, POLAND—Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami recently found himself in a rather unenviable position, caught between “World War Z’s” producer/star Brad Pitt, director Marc Forster and Paramount Studios as the different factions clashed over the direction and tone of the zombie action pic.

He kept his head down and tried to serve all his masters, including writing two score for the same picture. Luckily, things normally go a little smoother for the Yale School of Music graduate, who broke into the business by scoring a number of horror movies, including “Scream,” “Scream 2,” Halloween H20,” “Resident Evil,” but has expanded to all genres. He has scored TV series, including “The Practice,” as well as “3:10 to Yuma,” “The Hurt Locker,” “A Good Day To Die Hard,” “Trouble With the Curve,” “The Wolverine,” and the upcoming remake  of “Carrie” and Tommy Lee Jones’ new film, “The Homesman.”

After teaching a master class at the Transatlantyk Festival here, Beltrami sat down with Hitfix to discuss navigating the “WWZ” waters and his upcoming projects.

You got hired for “Scream” in 1996, even though, by your own admission, you are not a horror movie fan. When you look at your resume there are a lot of horror movies on there. Have you become a fan?


But you continue to work in the genre, including scoring the forthcoming remake of “Carrie.”

See, a lot of the movies that I’ve done, I don’t consider them to be real horror movies. They’re not in the ‘Saw’ or torture-porn movie [style]. The “Scream” movies are over the top and there’s a lightness to them. “Carrie,” to me, is a weird coming of age story for a girl. But it’s like maybe it’s more of a drama about her that has turns bad, but I don’t see it as that horrific.

Did you reference any of the score from the 1976 movie when you did yours?

I like Pino Donaggio’s score  a lot and it’s very thematic, but there wasn’t really a way I could put it in.

You scored this summer’s thriller “World War Z.” How did you keep from getting caught in the crosshairs after the director Marc Forster, Brad Pitt, and Paramount all clashed? Did you just keep your head down?

A lot of it was coaching from my agent. I just make everybody feel like they’re getting what they need, even though there’s a lot of different parties involved. It took a lot of extra work, but it felt like it was an important gig and it was worth doing what needed to be done to keep it. It would have been easier to throw up my hands, and say, ‘You know what? I’ve had enough’.”

Did you think about walking away?

Every day. I thought one of two things was going to happen: either I would get fired or [I’d say] “This is it. I couldn’t take it anymore, I’m going to walk away.” I felt like an alcoholic, I had to take it one day at a time (laughs). One note at a time.

You also had to create two scores? Right? A quieter score Brad Pitt wanted and a more dramatic one Paramount wanted.

Not quieter. Not necessarily quieter, but less epic. More of an intensity of hearing almost the rosin on the bow on the strings as opposed to when you have a big orchestra and it becomes more diffuse.

Paramount wanted the more dramatic score so you were  working at two different studios on two separate scores?

Right. So [we] ended with a combo of the two, and everybody was a happy. It could have been a combo and everybody hated everything, but it worked out.

For “World War Z,”  what kind of research did you do?

The first time I saw the movie, there was an opening scene in Philadelphia and then it cut to an Emergency Broadcast Signal. That struck me as the crux of the movie right there. And I thought there’s a way to musicalize it. [Beltrami’s assistant] Buck [Sanders] went out and got tuning forks and we experimented with how do you create that in the purest way.

The score also includes your playing havalina skulls. That was Tommy Lee Jones’ idea, right?

We were at dinner and he was working on “Lincoln” or something He was like, ‘What are you working on?” So I was telling him about it and that we were looking at ways of trying to get the sound of teeth gnashing because it’s such an important part of the movie: the mystery of zombies. He said, “Have you checked out the havalina?” and I said, “The what?” He lives in Texas and he’s very knowledgeable about everything. So that was great.

So did the sound of some of their teeth clacking some make it in?

Yeah, it’s there, but way in the background for the most part.

You worked with Tommy Lee Jones on the “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” score and you’re working on his new directorial project now too. What can you say about that?

It’s called “The Homesman.” It’s a western period piece [with Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and Jones]. They came to homestead the land in Oklahoma and so forth. It turns out it wasn’t uncommon for women to go crazy from not seeing people for days at a time or death and illness of the kids. Famine. Just the wind.

People talk about how intense Tommy Lee Jones is to work with? What’s your working relationship like with him?

He likes what I come up with. I think I sort of understand him when he’s talking. I very much enjoy working with him, He thinks totally outside of the box.

Read Full Post

Ex-'Idol' Justin Guarini: I skip meals to feed my kids

Ex-"Idol" Justin Guarini: I skip meals to feed my kids
In a posting on his website, the "Idol" Season 1 runner-up confesses that's he's hit some hard times.

Watch Amy Poehler play Adam Scott's stepmom
The "Parks and Rec" co-stars appear together in the movie "A.C.O.D." PLUS: Scott teases the 3rd installment of "The Greatest Event in Television History."

How Oprah's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" car stunt came together

Kimmel's people suggested the idea, and Ford was all too willing to give Oprah a car to give away. But Oprah had no idea which audience member she was going to pick -- until she picked her.

"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter's older brother seeking custody from his older sister
Jimmy Workman, who was a child star himself in the "Addams Family" movies, says his sister is a bad role model for the 15-year-old Winter.

Amy Schumer back to "Girls"

The Comedy Central star, who made a cameo last season, says she was filming today on the HBO series.

"Key & Peele" goes all out in Season 3 trailer

There will be at least one Mr. T impression next season.

Lifetime's Donatella Versace movie will feature Gina Gershon, Raquel Welch, Enrico Colantoni
Gershon will play the famous fashion icon in "House of Versace."

Check out Maggie Gyllenhaal in "The Honourable Woman"

The Sundance Channel miniseries is her biggest TV commitment to date.

See the 3rd "American Horror Story" teaser for "Coven"

Featuring a staircase.

Rachel Dratch to guest on "The Middle"
The "SNL" alum will play Brick's middle school principal.

"Home Improvement" brothers reunite

See how Zachery Ty Bryan and Jonathan Taylor Thomas, both age 31, look now.

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

Credit: Bravo

Is 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' getting too real as Teresa faces jail?

With the Giudices in legal hot water, will this add drama or be too much?

Season six of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" hasn't gotten the go-ahead from Bravo just yet, but if it does, we can guess at least one meaty topic that will be gossip fodder -- Teresa and Joe Giudice's legal problems. While the ladies have snarked back and forth over the seasons about who is in debt, who's declaring bankruptcy and who's just a piece of work, the latest disaster is much weightier than past ones. Joe Giudice could be deported (he was born in Italy) and both he and his wife are facing jail time. 

Read Full Post
<p>Here's the Ant-Man costume from the test footage that Edgar Wright shot for his 'Ant-Man' film, but who will wear the suit for the movie?</p>

Here's the Ant-Man costume from the test footage that Edgar Wright shot for his 'Ant-Man' film, but who will wear the suit for the movie?

Credit: Marvel Studios

Simon Pegg hints on Twitter that he might be signed to play 'Ant-Man'

Could he be yanking our chain?

It would seem like a given that Edgar Wright would find a way to work Simon Pegg into "Ant-Man," his long-in-development Marvel movie that is set right now to kick off Phase Three of Marvel's world domination.

Honestly, though, I never would have guessed that Pegg would be suiting up for the role of Ant-Man himself, which makes today's Twitter tease by Pegg an intriguing one. If you haven't seen, Pegg appears to be touring Marvel today, and he's sent out several images. There's one of him with the Hulk, another of him holding Thor's hammer, and then one final one where he is standing in front of a painting.

Innocuous stuff, right? Just a fanboy-turned-actor enjoying his tour of the space where they're turning our collective childhood into a whole series of massive franchises, right?

Read Full Post
<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Timberlake reveals 'The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2' track listing

Follow-up to year's biggest seller comes out Sept. 20

Fans have already heard “Take Back The Night,” the first single from Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2.” Now, they can at least imagine what the other 10 tracks sound like after Timberlake released the track listing last night.

The album, the follow-up to this year’s best-selling title, “The 20/20 Experience,” comes out Sept. 20 and fans can already pre-order it on Amazon and iTunes.

Timberlake, who has been on a stadium tour with Jay-Z this summer, will kick off his own headlining tour Oct. 31 in Montreal. But first, Timberlake will appear at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25. He is up for six awards.

“The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2” track listing:

1.Gimme What I Don't Want Know (I Want)
2. True Blood
3. Cabaret
4. TKO
5. Take Back The Night
6. Murder
7. Drink You Away
8. You Got It On
9. Amnesia
10. Only When I Walk Away
11. Not A Bad Thing

Read Full Post

"That '70s Show" star Lisa Robin Kelly dies at 43

"That '70s Show" star Lisa Robin Kelly dies at 43
The troubled actress, who played Eric Forman's older sister Laurie, died last night in her sleep at a rehab facility. "She had been fighting demons for a while and finally lost her battle," says her agent, who adds that Kelly checked herself into rehab just last week.

Read Full Post
"Duck Dynasty"

 "Duck Dynasty"

Credit: A&E

'Duck Dynasty' season premiere breaks all records

The season premiere is the top nonfiction series telecast in cable history
Hello, networks? You may want to take notice of a bunch of guys with ZZ Top beards who make duck calls for a living, because their ratings are blowing your shows and everyone else's out of the water. On Wednesday night, 11.8 million viewers tuned in to see the season premiere of "Duck Dynasty," making the episode the number one nonfiction series in cable history. That's right, in history.
Read Full Post