Latest Blog Posts

<p>On &quot;American Idol,&quot;&nbsp;who went home:&nbsp;Amber or Kree?</p>

On "American Idol," who went home: Amber or Kree?

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 4, take two: Results

With the Save out of the way, who got eliminated, and who qualified for a hometown visit?

It's time for another "American Idol" pinch-hit "recap" by me (Dan will be back next week), and I use the quote marks because while there are many things I would do for my friend Dan Fienberg, I will not sit through an "American Idol" results show. But if you want to know who went home — and discuss who has the best chance to win of the remaining three — click right on through, and I'll step out of the way as quickly as possible...

So as I blindly predicted last night, Amber Holcomb remained in the bottom two again (this time with Kree replacing Candice beside her), and went home when last week's votes and this week's were combined. Based solely on Wednesday night's performances, that seemed the correct result. Based on the season as a whole, though, do you feel Amber should have gone before Kree, Angie and Candice? And if you had to put money on one of the remaining three to become the show's first female winner since Jordin Sparks, who would it be?

Apologies for the intrusion. Dan is returning very soon — promise.

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<p>&quot;Iron&nbsp;Man 3&quot;</p>

"Iron Man 3"

Credit: Marvel Studios

Tell us what you thought of 'Iron Man 3'

Tony Stark is back for more this weekend

I'm struggling with using the "Iron Man Three" title, I just noticed. That's how it's written in the film's credits, but is that going to take hold? I'm also curious why the choice. Anyway, way off on a tangent here, so let's get down to brass tacks. Marvel's latest hits US theaters today after already crossing $300 million worldwide. It is likely to dominate the summer box office with ease (I'm betting "Man of Steel" won't touch these numbers and "Pacific Rim" will probably struggle more than people are willing to admit). The reviews are in and they're mostly positive.

We've had tons of coverage here at HitFix, most of it over at Drew McWeeny's Motion/Captured blog. He loved the movie. I was more reserved. We can all agree it's a great way to kick-start the season. If you want something a little more low key, I recommend "The Iceman," starring upcoming Superman baddie Michael Shannon. But if it's octane and high concept you're after, this is your best bet -- though ironically enough, it's not a movie built on set pieces so much as character. (Our picks for Robert Downey Jr.'s best characterizations can be found here.) In any case, when you get around to seeing the film, head on back here with your thoughts. And feel free to vote in the poll below.

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<p>A scene from the &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

A scene from the "Parks and Recreation" season finale.

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' co-creator: 'Fairly confident' about renewal

How did Leslie's new job make the season more political? How did they decide on the secret pregnancy?

"Parks and Recreation" just concluded its fifth season. I reviewed the finale here, and I emailed co-creator Mike Schur a bunch of questions about the finale, season 5 as a whole, the stories he laid the groundwork for in season 6 — which he feels "fairly confident" will happen — and a lot more, coming up just as soon as I convince the school board that napkins are a vegetable...

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<p>&quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;star Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.</p>

"Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.

Credit: NBC

Season finale review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Are You Better Off?'

Leslie's city council victory lap doesn't go as planned, and Bert Macklin comes out of retirement

"Parks and Recreation" just concluded its fifth season. I interviewed Mike Schur about the year, and have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as we lose the weight of 100 pregnant manatees...

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"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'Vampire Diaries' recap: Is Bad Elena banished in 'She's Come Undone'?

Katherine strikes an unexpected deal for the tombstone

Before the episode began, I was wondering if we'd be seeing much of Silas, or if his nasty theatrics would be stuck on a back burner until we're a little closer to the season finale on May 16. The good news is that this week, we had a little less of Silas, so that's a relief. The bad news? We had just enough of him to do some damage. Between him and Bad Elena, it was a pretty stressful week for the good people (and vampires) of Mystic Falls. And, you know, us. 

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Watch a very very NSFW Flaming Lips video for 'You Lust'

Watch a very very NSFW Flaming Lips video for 'You Lust'

Not sexy, not anything: Wayne Coyne's junk

Wayne Coyne has fixations, and Flaming Lips co-member Steven Drodz says as much.

"Something must have happened to [Coyne] when he was eight or nine that completely zapped his brain. Wayne goes through phases of working with different types of imagery. In 1989, it was Jesus Christ and God. But the vaginas never really go away," he told Vice, which premiered the extremely not-safe-for-work video to "You Lust" today.

As we've noted before, there's a baffling amount of nudity in the Lips' output these days, with "lust"-death connections all over buzz-killing album "The Terror." "You Lust" is its crown jewel, with a clock time of around 13 minutes. This video is only about four. Guess Coyne and his guest can't have wires connected to their own jewels for too long.

"The nudity in the video isn’t glamorous or sexy. It’s very stark and disturbing. I think that’s a bold move. There are some shots when you go, “That’s an interesting angle to shoot a flaccid penis from...” But Wayne isn’t shy about being naked," he said, shortly before a minor launch into women's pubic hair grooming habits.

I'm not anti-nudity. Sexual violence is worth talking about. But as some short-form art, it feels yet incomplete, more of an exploitative portrait in the theme of lust.

All I'm trying to say is don't try this at home.

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<p>Danny Pudi as Abed on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Danny Pudi as Abed on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'Heroic Origins'

Abed tries to prove that the study group was destined to come together

A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I write a letter of apology to George Lucas...

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<p>Bradley&nbsp;Cooper at the Los Angeles premiere of &quot;The Place Beyond the Pines&quot;</p>

Bradley Cooper at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Place Beyond the Pines"

Credit: AP Photo

'August: Osage County' director John Wells saddles up to 'Chef' with Bradley Cooper

The 'Silver Linings' actor is putting together a compelling slate

Bradley Cooper has been moving right along with his post-"Silver Linings" playbook. He's currently shooting David O. Russell's "American Hustle" and smartly backed away from the on-going circus that is "Jane Got a Gun" this week. Earlier today it was announced that Steven Spielberg will be tackling "American Sniper" with Cooper in the lead role as the most lethal sniper in US military history, while he attached himself to the Steven Knight-scripted "Chef" not too long ago.

On the latter, it's a fantastic script and an unbelievably meaty role. For a time David Fincher was looking into it with Keanu Reeves in the starring role as a high-strung two-time Michelin Star chef dodging drug dealer debts and mixing it up from Paris to New York.

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<p>The chemistry between Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto is in full effect in 'Star Trek Into Darkness'</p>

The chemistry between Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto is in full effect in 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Abrams pushes archetypes and cranks up the impact for 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Are the film's big secrets worth all the obfuscation?

If you consider "Star Trek Into Darkness" to be part thirteen of a larger franchise, you may walk away frustrated and tied in knots if the reactions I saw after a screening were any indication. Conversely, if this is part two of a new franchise in your mind, chances are you're going to have a great time with the continuation of what JJ Abrams and his collaborators began in 2009's "Star Trek." I find myself somewhere in the middle of those two camps, ultimately coming down on the side of the film as a pretty relentless piece of summer entertainment, anchored by what I consider one of the most exciting movie star performances in recent memory. I think they make some missteps in trying to service every "Trek" fan equally, but not insurmountably.

I feel badly for the hardcore "Star Trek" fans who don't like this new version, because I know what it's been like for them in the years where there were no new "Trek" movies in the works, and I know what it's been like for them loving something that was always considered somewhat left of center, always in danger of going away forever. While "Trek" has managed to survive for nearly 50 years at this point, there have definitely been lean times where Paramount didn't see much upside in continuing to throw money at something that just couldn't cross over to be a full-fledged mainstream sensation. And now that it's finally become part of the Nerd World Order in this new age of the Geek, the most devoted of the "Trek" fans seem irritated by the whole thing.

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Credit: NBC

Listen: CulturePop No. 12 - 'Today,' 'Iron Man 3,' 'America's Got Talent'

We explain why we're really not fans of Miley Cyrus' sexy pictorial, too

We're back! Melinda and I had a lot to discuss this week, since we got a chance to see "Iron Man 3" a while ago and, now that the embargo is lifted, we can actually talk about it. We also have some strong opinions about Miley Cyrus' new photo spread and "Today." Here's a rundown:

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AMPAS names finalists for Student Academy Awards

AMPAS names finalists for Student Academy Awards

43 short films will compete across six categories

In March, we talked about some of the rule changes the Academy is making to the short film categories -- one of which is that Student Academy Award winners will qualify for Oscar consideration. So it's worth keeping an eye on this year's Student Academy Award competition; some of the films selected could pop up at the big show next year. 

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<p>Michael Shannon is just as intense when discussing his work as he is on the big screen.</p>

Michael Shannon is just as intense when discussing his work as he is on the big screen.

Credit: HitFix

Michael Shannon talks about playing cold-blooded for 'The Iceman'

We also touch briefly on his work as General Zod

At this point in my career, I like to think that I'm a pretty good interviewer. The more time you give me with someone, the better the conversation will be, and the deeper we'll get into certain ideas.

The real frustration of on-camera interviews is that they are, by their very nature, short. If you get five full minutes with someone, it's a luxury. And those aren't what I would call conversations. They are rapid-fire exchanges where you're trying to get one great answer out of it, and that's if you're lucky.

It becomes even more complicated in a case like my recent conversation with Michael Shannon for the new film "The Iceman," where he stars as Richard Kuklinski, a real-life Mafia hitman. It's a solid film and a great performance, and I wanted to talk to him about the work he did in the film and the research he did on the real guy.

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