In theory, everyone attended Tamra's dinner party to celebrate the opening of her gym and watch a psychic clear the place of bad spirits. But man alive, the only really bad spirits in the place were the girls themselves, who could only stop screaming at one another long enough to misinterpret what everyone else was saying.
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Last week, a friend of mine called me with an offer. She had "line jumper" passes to watch a daytime filming of "America's Got Talent" and wanted to know if I'd like to join her. How could I not? It was a chance to see new judges Mel B (Scary Spice) and Heidi Klum in action. The auditions were being held at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, where there's hardly a bad seat in the house. There would be comedians, dancers, singers and God only knows who else, ready to be booed or applauded as necessary.
More importantly, I've been to lots of television tapings, but in a professional capacity. I'd been herded by publicists, stuck in press rooms, and tasked with chasing after talent (and, in the case of covering "American Idol" years ago, the moms and dads of said talent). The experience of being an audience member was one I hadn't had, not in a true sense, for years. So why not?
A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I talk about my night with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young...
The countdown is complete, and at least on our end of things, the summer is underway.
So far, members of the HitFix staff have seen at least half of the films from this countdown, including "Iron Man 3," "Star Trek Into Darkness," and "The Great Gatsby," and while we may be embargoed from reviewing them, we can tell you that our enthusiasm for the summer is unchanged. This is a great, diverse line-up of material, and it doesn't matter what your tastes are… something in here is going to appeal to you.
Maybe you're looking forward to seeing some new adventures for some familiar faces this summer. Nothing wrong with that, and Hollywood is happy to help with Robert Downey Jr. facing a very different take on The Mandarin, one of Iron Man's most famous rivals. There's also the follow-up to 2009's successful relaunch of "Star Trek," with JJ Abrams once again directing and playing games with some of the most iconic moments from the original series. Hugh Jackman's playing "The Wolverine" for the sixth time, we check in with a young Mike and Sully for "Monsters University," the anti-social lunatics of "Kick-Ass 2" dish up some more bad behavior, and Superman will finally punch a whole bunch of someones in "Man Of Steel."
Last night I was going to post a piece about all of the things that were frustrating me about "Once Upon A Time" this season. What the hell was up with Tamara and Greg? Why did they kill magical beings with a taser, of all things? Why did they want to kill them anyway? And why don't Neal and Emma just get together already? But I didn't, knowing I (along with some other journalists) was going to have an informal breakfast with show creators Adam Horowitz and Ed Kitsis today. The good news is that some of the things that were bugging me will be resolved by the end of the season finale on May 12, and even better? They can't defend that stupid taser, either.
That Neutral Milk Hotel reunion tour you were hoping for? The one featuring more than just Jeff Mangum? Well, so far, let's just hope you live in the South or Asia.
For the first time since 1998, the indie rockers will be performing live, with five dates announce for Athens, Ga., Asheville, NC... Tokyo and Taipei, Taiwan. On the band's website, there is the promise of "more to come," with "more" probably indicating additional dates.
The lineup will be Mangum, Scott Spillane, Julian Koster and Jeremy Barnes, which is the crew that came together to support 1996's "On Avery Island"; they all performed on 1998's masterful "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea." Athens is the band's hometown.
Regular readers know how hard I fell for "Drive" at Cannes two years ago, so when the news broke that Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn were reuniting for a similarly hard-boiled thriller, I admit my usually well-behaved inner fanboy let out a rather loud yelp. Yes, "Only God Forgives" had me at hello -- and that was before they added one of my favorite working actors, Kristin Scott Thomas, to the mix. Gosling's sleek posturing, Refn's heightened action styling and Scott Thomas vamping it up as a black-hearted gangster mama? Did this film somehow get made in my subconscious?
(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Arnaud Desplechin with "Jimmy P.")
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
The network TV season is almost over, but this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast is a mix of finale and premiere talk, as we see how "The Good Wife" wrapped things up while looking at the debut of two new comedies, in addition to checking in on the midpoint of "Game of Thrones" season 3 and our usual "Mad Men" analysis.
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
In the days leading up to WonderCon, I had a link to an online screener of the "Pacific Rim" footage that Warner Bros. sent over so I'd get a chance to see the footage before the event. They told me it would play a grand total of three times before the link would expire, and I called both of my sons into the office to watch it with me.
Not even two seconds passed between the three screenings of the footage. As soon as it ended, both of my kids started demanding that I restart it. Then again. And when the link expired, they looked at me like it was "Lord Of The Flies" and I was about to get hunted. They were rabid about what they saw, and I figured their near-chemical reaction was because they are seven and five years old respectively.
Then at WonderCon, I watched an entire auditorium of people have the exact same reaction to the footage, and seeing it on a giant screen, I was struck by how impressive it is, how primal the reaction is when you're watching giant monsters and giant robots throw down like this. That last image, with the jaeger walking down the street dragging an oil tanker like a baseball bat, is completely thug. It's just absurd, and when you're making a movie about giant monster and giant robots, absurd seems like the way to go.