Latest Blog Posts

<p>Harvey&nbsp;Weinstein at the Oscars in&nbsp;February</p>

Harvey Weinstein at the Oscars in February

Credit: AP Photo

How Harvey Weinstein apparently played the press on the last day of Oscar voting

David O. Russell was reportedly never really attached to 'The Ends of the Earth'

Remember back on February 19 when The Weinstein Company put out a press release announcing that director David O. Russell would be taking the reins on "The Ends of the Earth," from a script by "Argo" writer Chris Terrio? But the Russell quote in the release said nothing about the project and everything about actress Jennifer Lawrence, who starred in his awards contender "Silver Linings Playbook" and was attached to the project?

"Jennifer possesses a self-deprecating humor that made all of the cast and crew feel at ease," Russell said of the Oscar-nominated (now Oscar-winning) actress in the release. "She is that kind of person. She is the most dedicated person I know. She is devoted to her family and they have been the true inspiration for her character and integrity. Her acting is effortless and she always makes it look easy."

It was a big love letter on the final day of Oscar voting to an actress in the thick of the Oscar conversation…but little more. Terrio was making it clear to journalists that he had no knowledge of any of it and hadn't even met Russell, but entertainment news outlets (yes, including HitFix) ran the news because there was really no reason on the face of it to think the press release was bogus.

But it was. And that's finally coming out now.

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'Game of Thrones' co-star Natalia Tena discusses her 'younger' and 'plumper' Osha

'Game of Thrones' co-star Natalia Tena discusses her 'younger' and 'plumper' Osha

'Harry Potter' veteran discusses her road-trip season
"Song of Ice and Fire" author George R.R. Martin has been very open about Natalia Tena's Osha being the character whose incarnation on "Game of Thrones" he perhaps prefers to her version on the page. 
Last week, on the "Game of Thrones" premiere red carpet in Hollywood, I talked with the "Harry Potter" franchise veteran about how her Osha is different from the Osha in the books? The key differences, apparently? She's younger and plumper. But how did she come to be plumper? Well, Tena has theories.
In the conversation, Tena explains how Osha is "like a psychopathic mother-bodyguard" this season and describes the closeness of the Belfast contingent of the "Game of Thrones" cast.
Definitely one of my favorite interviews from that red carpet, Tena also uses at least one word that may not be safe for your workplace, depending on said workplace. You've  been warned.
Check out the interview above. And you should also check out my red carpet interviews with MartinRose LeslieNikolaj Coster-Waldau and Oona Chaplin. And stay tuned for a couple more interviews in the days to come.
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on Sunday, March 31.
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<p>&quot;Game of Thrones&quot;&nbsp;producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff with star Emilia Clarke.</p>

"Game of Thrones" producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff with star Emilia Clarke.

Credit: AP

'Game of Thrones' producers say season 3 'as big as we're going to get'

Also, what if they catch up to the books? Was there almost another Joffrey? And what about sexposition?

The third season of "Game of Thrones" is "probably as big as we're going to get," according to co-showrunner David Benioff, who joined partner D.B. Weiss on a press conference call to preview the HBO fantasy epic's return on Sunday night at 9.

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<p>Sara Bareilles</p>

Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles set to release new album this summer

First single 'Brave' followed by 18-city solo tour

Singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles will release her third album this summer. First single, “Brave,” will come out April 23, and will be followed by her 18-city "Brave Enough" solo tour.

The still-untitled Epic set will be Bareilles’ first full-length album since 2010’s  “Kaleidoscope Heart,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.  Since then, Bareilles appeared as a judge on NBC’s singing competition, “The Sing-Off,” and released a documentary, “A Trace of the Sun: Volunteering in Japan,” about her time in Japan with relief-effort team All Hands Volunteer following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Last year, she released an EP, “Once Upon Another Time,” produced by Ben Folds.

The album comes after some challenging times in her life. “I have been confronting some of my greatest fears in the last handful of months and have been amazed at how empowered I can feel when I muster up the courage to turn and growl back at those monsters under the bed,” she said in a statement “The songs on this album are a true reflection of everything I’ve come to experience in recent months.”


Date:               City:                            Venue:                                    On Sale                                 
4/25/13           Washington DC           9:30 Club                                 March 28th
4/27/13           New Haven, CT           Toad’s Place                            March 29th
4/28/13           Boston, MA                 Tsai Performance Center       March 29th                
4/29/13           Toronto, ON                Phoenix Concert Theater        March 28th
4/30/13           Philadelphia, PA          Union Transfer                        March 29th    
5/2/13             Chicago, IL                  Park West                                March 30th
5/3/13             Milwaukee, WI            Pabst Theater                          March 29th
5/4/13             Minneapolis, MN        Cedar Cultural Center            March 29th
5/6/13             Englewood, CO           Gothic Theater                        March 30th
5/9/13             Vancouver, BC            Rio Theater                             March 28th
5/10/13           Portland, OR               Roseland Theater                    March 29th
5/11/13           Seattle, WA                 Showbox @ The Market         March 29th
5/13/13           San Francisco, CA        Slim’s                                       March 31st
5/14/13           Los Angeles, CA           El Rey                                      March 30th
5/17/13           Austin, TX                    Parish                                      March 29th
5/20/13           Atlanta, GA                  Variety Playhouse                   March 29th
5/21/13           Charlotte, NC              Booth Playhouse                     March 29th
5/23/13           New York, NY              Highline Ballroom                   March 29th

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<p>The first season of &quot;Girls&quot;&nbsp;was among this year's Peabody Award winners.</p>

The first season of "Girls" was among this year's Peabody Award winners.

Credit: HBO

'Girls,' 'Louie' & 'Doctor Who' win Peabody Awards

'Southland,' 'Switched at Birth' and Lorne Michaels among the other entertainment winners

FX's "Louie," HBO's "Girls," the BBC's "Doctor Who" and TNT's "Southland" were among the TV series honored this year with Peabody Awards.

The Peabody Awards, now in their 72nd year, are designed "to recognize the most outstanding achievements in electronic media, including radio, television and cable." The eligibility period covers a calendar year, so "Girls" was being honored for its first season, while "Louie" for its third, both of which aired in 2012. There are also some institutional winners, honored for years worth of work, that this year included "Doctor Who" (celebrating its 50th anniversary), "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels," and Michael Apted's "Up" documentary series.

Other entertainment winners this year included ABC Family's "Switched at Birth," the HBO movie "Game Change," and the Comedy Central special "D.L. Hughley: The Endangered List." The full list of winners is here.

Though I wasn't a fan of "Game Change," overall, it's an impressive list that covers some of the best, most distinctive programming on television that hadn't yet won a Peabody. (Given the sort of shows that tend to win, it's surprising that "Louie" didn't get one a year ago after its brilliant second season, even if last year's group already included "Game of Thrones," "Homeland," "Parks and Recreation" and "Tremé.") It's nice to see "Southland," which doesn't really get any awards love, be recognized, though I doubt it will do much good; two years ago, the Peabodys honored another TNT show on the verge of cancellation, "Men of a Certain Age." 

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<p>Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz both reprise their roles for 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz both reprise their roles for 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: Universal Pictures

A new Hit Girl-heavy 'Kick-Ass 2' trailer arrives online

Chloe Moretz has to figure out how to handle mean girls without killing them

I'm guessing we're going to get a number of character trailers for "Kick-Ass 2" now, and the first one arrives today. It's very Hit Girl-centric, and small wonder: when we look back on these films eventually, however many they end up making, one of the things that will be most notable about them is the story of Hit Girl and the actor playing her. Chloe Moretz has had a fairly remarkable series of experiences between the two films, and seeing the way she plays this role on both sides of all of those other films is pretty remarkable.

Right before she flew to London for "Kick-Ass 2," Moretz finished work on Kimberly Pierce's "Carrie," and when we spoke at Pinewood Studios, she was still trying to fully digest that experience. Carrie White is a certain kind of reserved and withdrawn and beaten down, and while "Kick-Ass 2" sees Mindy facing the scorn of the mean girls at her high school, she's no victim. I'm guessing the reactions you'll see from the two characters couldn't be more different.

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<p>Don Payne was a big part of helping to figure out how to bring 'Thor' to the screen.</p>

Don Payne was a big part of helping to figure out how to bring 'Thor' to the screen.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Don Payne, writer of both 'Thor' movies and 'The Simpsons,' has passed away

Social media spreads the sad news as his friends remember him

Don Payne, whose film credits include "Thor," "Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer," and "Thor: The Dark World" passed away last night in Los Angeles, according to friends who spread the word today via Twitter.

It seems fitting that I learned the news from the Twitter feeds of both Kat Dennings and Jaimie Alexander, who played Darcy and Sif in "Thor," and from Mike Scully, the man who first hired Payne to write for "The Simpsons." Payne is one of those people who I never met, but who was friends with a number of people who I am friends with, and I always heard good things about him on a personal level. He inspired real loyalty in some people I trust implicitly, and I always hoped we would end up meeting at some point. One of the people speaking fondly of him tonight was Zack Stentz, one of the other credited writers on "Thor," which I think speaks volumes. It isn't everyone who can remain friends on the far side of an arbitration process.

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<p>He's just as happy to be in 'G.I. Joe' as fans are to have him.</p>

He's just as happy to be in 'G.I. Joe' as fans are to have him.

Credit: HitFix

Dwayne Johnson discusses his new role as 'franchise Viagra' for 'G.I. Joe'

The Rock was an '80s kid, and he can't hide his enthusiasm for his new role

It has been a very Dwayne Johnson-heavy day here on the blog.

And why not? It's his Hollywood, and the rest of us are just living in it. After all, he's got four films out this year before we even reach June, and one of those is one of the most highly-anticipated event sequels of the summer. He has settled into his new role as Hollywood's "franchise Viagra," the guy you bring in when you want to make a new movie in a series and your'e not sure how to get people interested in it again. There is a very clear sense in the new "G.I. Joe" of the series being passed from Channing Tatum's Duke to Johnson's Roadblock.

One thing that distinguishes Johnson from the typical action heroes of the '80s is just how able he is to make you forget he happens to be a gigantic slab of muscle. When he talks about how he loved "G.I. Joe" as a kid, I can actually picture him as that kid, and he seems amazed to be a real-life action figure these days.

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

Are you surprised Kordell's divorcing 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Porsha?

The couple is splitting after just two years of marriage

While it should never come as a surprise when a reality TV couple decides to call it quits, I'll admit I was still a litte shocked when I saw that former Pittsburgh Steelers star Kordell Stewart is filing for divorce from his much-younger "Real Housewives of Atlanta" wife Porsha Williams. Heck, we only just got to some light squabbling between the two of them on the show! It's not that they were a great couple, or even an appealing one. It's just that Porsha seemed so determined to cater to Kordell's every whim that I couldn't imagine why he'd kick her to the curb. Maybe he found a country that sells affordable house slaves.

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<p>Tim (Jacob Pitts)&nbsp;and Rachel (Erica Tazel) on &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Tim (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel (Erica Tazel) on "Justified."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'Peace of Mind'

With Drew Thompson in custody, everybody's out to find Ellen May

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as we are literally searching every dog house, hen house and outhouse...

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<p>Zooey Deschanel as Jess as Elvis Presley on &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Zooey Deschanel as Jess as Elvis Presley on "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Chicago'

A death in the family sends the gang to Nick and Winston's hometown to plan a funeral

A quick review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I take a dart in the eye for a gold chain...

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<p>It's the subtle sophisticated humor that has led to more than one critic calling Michael Bay 'the new Billy Wilder'</p>

It's the subtle sophisticated humor that has led to more than one critic calling Michael Bay 'the new Billy Wilder'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Mark Wahlberg and The Rock play dummies with a dream in new red-band 'Pain and Gain' trailer

Michael Bay's moral compass is broken, and thank god for that

When I praise Michael Bay, I feel like I have to explain that I'm being ironic and I'm not doing it sarcastically. I've had plenty of problems with plenty of his films, but the things I like, I like quite a bit. "Bad Boys II," for instance. That is a startling film, a studio movie that seems to have a completely and utterly broken moral compass. It is actively offensive, and I have to admire how completely committed to things it is. It feels like the perfect movie reaction to what was happening in gaming at the time, like the "Grand Theft Auto" series. It's incredibly well-made, even if it feels like everyone involved had to be just a little bit crazy to think that it was okay.

This new red-band trailer for "Pain and Gain" looks like the movie that's been backing up Bay's system the entire time he's been making the "Transformers" movies. He has been a good soldier for Paramount as he cranked those money-making behemoths out, and while I like a lot of the set piece work that he's done in the series, I've never felt like his heart was fully in what he was doing. The most personal details in those films tend to be the things that people react negatively to, and it's always seemed like a bit of an ill fit between franchise and filmmaker.

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