Latest Blog Posts

<p>&quot;Miguel San Miguel&quot;</p>

"Miguel San Miguel"

Credit: Jirafa Films

Miami Diary: 'The Hypnotist,' 'Miguel San Miguel' and an invitation to brunch

Lasse Hallström returns to Sweden, and Chile turns up another gem

MIAMI - I've often said it's a mistake to hold film festivals in beautiful, vibrant cities: if you really want to direct undivided attention to your programme of films, you'd be best off locating the entire thing in a stranded multiplex somewhere off the New Jersey Turnpike. In January.

The directors of the Miami International Film Festival, however, are wise to this problem. After a fairly heavily programmed opening weekend, the festival programme unfolds at a civilized pace, with screenings beginning only in the early evening: a fair solution both for working locals and tourists like yours truly, who needn't choose between the movies and Miami's ample pastel-colored charms.

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<p>Brian Van Holt and Josh Hopkins in &quot;Cougar Town.&quot;</p>

Brian Van Holt and Josh Hopkins in "Cougar Town."

Credit: TBS

Review: 'Cougar Town' - 'Make It Better'

Jules and her dad battle injury at the same time, while Grayson tries to give Travis some game

A quick review of last night's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I have non-McConnaughey examples...

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<p>Team &quot;Community&quot; at PaleyFest 2013</p>

Team "Community" at PaleyFest 2013

Credit: Kevin Parry for Paley Center for Media

20 things we learned from the 'Community' PaleyFest Panel

Puppets! Paintball! Annie's Boobs! And other PaleyFest revelations
I've seen at least a dozen "Community" panels over the years at various Fests and Cons and TCAs and you can guarantee two things: 
 
1) The cast will be funny. It doesn't matter which permutation of talent takes that stage, they'll find a way to play off of each other. So even if Chevy Chase is there making everybody awkward or if you're missing Donald Glover, hilarity will still find a way to ensue.
 
2) In part because of No. 1, you're safely guaranteed that actionable information will be minimal. There's just too much improv and too many extended bits and too many games of one-upmanship. If you're a fan, that's not a problem. You go. You laugh. You have a great time. If you're a reporter looking to cull a blog post of 20 things one might have learned from a particular panel, it can be a real challenge. Either there's no straight-faced information, or straight-faced information is given, but the next punchline comes so quick at hand that you can't get follow-up details. 
 
So this list of 20 Things We Learned From The "Community" PaleyFest Panel  from Tuesday (March 5) night includes several things that probably aren't real and several very quick hints at things that went elsewhere. Previous 20 Things... write-ups from Comic-Con have been vast seas of quotations, but I'm not sure if this one will be.
 
Click through for the 20... But if you're spoiler averse, you probably don't want to bother.
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<p>Raylan (Timothy Olyphant)&nbsp;takes a swing on &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) takes a swing on "Justified."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'The Hatchet Tour'

Raylan takes a desperate gamble to find Drew Thompson, while Tim goes hunting for Colton

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I'm looking at a bright future in mall security...

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Must-see reunions: Directors and actors who need to work together again

Must-see reunions: Directors and actors who need to work together again

We'd love to see more of these collaborations, please

In a couple of months Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight." It's an interesting project, as you know, in that it reunites the director with actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for the third time in a unique series of films that keeps catching back up with the characters to see where they are in their lives (four if you want to count their brief reunion in 2001's "Waking Life").

The film gave us an idea: What other filmmaker/actor collaborations have worked so well in the past that we'd like to see them team up again? Sometimes sparks really fly on such a combination and it can leave you yearning for more. While everything from conflicting schedules to outright estrangement can sometimes get in the way, it doesn't mean filmgoers aren't eager to see lightning strike again.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Ted&quot;</p>

A scene from "Ted"

Credit: Universal Pictures

'Django' and 'Ted' lead MTV Movie Awards nominations as 'Twilight' nearly shut out

Oscar winner 'Argo' gets a single nod for Ben Affleck's performance

There was a time, I think, maybe, when the MTV Movie Awards were kinda neat. But when you're talking about an organization that didn't want it even whispered that it was celebrating its 30th anniversary (lest the kiddies think it's old school), well, you get "Best Shirtless Performance."

Ironically enough, that new category this year is the one place that perennial MTV Movie Awards favorite, "The Twilight Saga," was chalked up this year. The Razzie-dominating vampire tragedy was shut-out otherwise. Gasp! Is the honeymoon over?

The nominations were led by Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" and Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" with seven each. Not far behind was David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" with six and, rounding out the Movie of the Year line-up, "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises" with four and five respectively.

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<p>Five &quot;American Idol&quot; women</p>

Five "American Idol" women

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Las Vegas Round Part 1: Top 10 Girls Perform

A three-night onslaught of 'Idol' begins with 10 performances from Vegas

I'm not sure if FOX is trying to confuse me or trying to confuse my cable listings. On-air, FOX has been saying that tonight features performance by the Top 10 "Idol" Ladies. In my listings and on FOX's press site, though, it just says "10 Semifinalists Perform." 

There's a big difference between those two things. 

Click through and follow along and we'll see what the truth ends up being...

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<p>George Clooney at the 85th annual Academy Awards.</p>

George Clooney at the 85th annual Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Production begins on George Clooney's 'The Monuments Men'

Could he be back at the Oscars next year?

As Kris noted last week in our gallery of potential 2013 Oscar contenders, the next awards season could be a(nother) big one for George Clooney -- whose Best Picture win for "Argo" last week put him in an elite club of individuals to have won Oscars for acting and one other discipline.

With his regular producing partner Grant Heslov, Clooney will be looking to score a second straight Best Picture win -- a feat last achieved by David O. Selznick in 1941 -- and has two shots at bat. The first, the eagerly awaited adaptation of stage sensation "August: Osage County," is simply a producing gig for the star. The second, WWII thriller "The Monuments Men," features more Clooney for your buck: it's his first project as director, co-writer and star since "The Ides of March" in 2011. 

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<p>This makes me all the happy.</p>

This makes me all the happy.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Kevin Feige and Shane Black on making 'Iron Man 3' photo-real and building a better story

We talk to two of the primary architects of Tony Stark's fate in the new sequel

As much as I like his work, I've never had the opportunity to sit down with Shane Black to talk about film. I'm hoping that closer to the release of "Iron Man 3," we might find time for an actual interview, but I'll admit, part of the reason I was happy to do this particular round table was because Black was going to be part of it.

Kevin Feige, on the other hand, I feel fairly comfortable with after all the years of covering Marvel movies.  Having the two of them paired seemed like a nice way of making sure the conversation would be an easy one, and we dove right in when the two of them sat down, with people peppering Black with joking questions about the giant stuffed bunny rabbit glimpsed in the trailer and geeky questions about the use of the term "gauntlet" in some of the footage we saw.

Once we settled in, we asked Black about something that Robert Downey Jr. mentioned in his interview, that Black had been part of the "Iron Man" series before this thanks to Favreau and Downey reaching out to him on the first and second films.  "I don't think I contributed anything too terribly important," he said, "although Robert's been kind enough to cite it as being helpful."  It sounds like Black and Favreau had a great working relationship on this film, and that Black knows how easy it would have been for that to have been weird and uncomfortable with Favreau having previously called the shots on the series.  "Instead, he was the nicest guy in the world and was extremely beneficial… he's great."

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<p>Josh Ritter</p>

Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter talks heartache, rebirth and new album 'The Beast In Its Tracks'

Singer-Songwriter holds nothing back on seventh album

When Josh Ritter’s marriage broke up, the singer-songwriter did what came naturally: he wrote about it.

But in the depths of his pain, the emotions were too raw to produce anything redeemable. “When the feelings ran highest, it was also the hardest time to write anything down. It wasn’t so much like a kind of telling about anything,” he says.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Steven&nbsp;Spielberg arriving at the Oscars in February</p>

Steven Spielberg arriving at the Oscars in February

Credit: AP Photo

From 'Lincoln' to Cannes to 'Napoleon,' Steven Spielberg is everywhere lately

The celebrated filmmaker is putting the pedal to the metal post-Oscars

Barely a week after his film "Lincoln" only managed two Oscars from 12 nominations and deferred to "Argo" on Best Picture honors, Steven Spielberg seems as ubiquitous as ever. Fresh off the Academy Awards he was announced as head of the jury for this year's Cannes Film Festival and he received a nice love letter in the New York Times last week pitting him as a sort of Godfather to Hollywood filmmakers.

"I think, for Steven, sometimes it’s the most fun to weigh in on someone else’s work when there are no consequences," "Jurassic Park" screenwriter and "Premium Rush" director David Koepp said in the piece. "He is free to just talk about the creative part."

But it doesn't end there. Recently Spielberg revealed that he is developing Stanley Kubrick's long-gestating and eventually abandoned Napoleon project as a mini-series. It was 12 years ago that Spielberg's vision of another long-gestating Kubrick project, "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence," landed to mixed reaction in 2001. I've written before about my own initial complex reaction that then grew to adoration, respect and, eventually, reverence over the years. I now consider it one of Spielberg's best films. There are those, however, who didn't quite get there, and so this news might be unsettling for them.

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<p>It pretty much looked exactly like this when we sat down with Robert Downey Jr. to discuss his role in 'Iron Man 3'</p>

It pretty much looked exactly like this when we sat down with Robert Downey Jr. to discuss his role in 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr. hints at the future of Iron Man and working with Shane Black again

A fast and loose chat with Downey about the latest chapter in the mega-franchise

I've interviewed Robert Downey Jr. enough times now to know that the way it works is you give him a little question and you sit back and let that brain of his spin. The reason I can't imagine anyone else playing the Tony Stark we've seen in the Marvel movies so far is because that character is so closely tied to the qualities I've seen in the real Downey off-screen. In some weird way, the "Iron Man" films will eventually serve as a highly stylized form of autobiography, telling the story of Downey's enormous promise, his rocky years of self-destruction, and his eventual metamorphosis into the blockbuster-friendly charm machine that he's become.

We had twenty minutes with him.  There were four or five of us around the table.  When he strolled in, he had with him "The Box," his omnipresent collection of various vitamins and health supplements, and he looked healthy and happy.  We jumped right in, asking him if he had any hesitations or worries about playing the character for the fourth time.  "This is… the grab bag wish list of things we've always wanted to do and haven't had the chance," he said.  He had his own expectations for the sequel, and they were hefty, to say the least.  "[This] was supposed to answer all the questions for the audience, cure all my uncomfortable moments in the past playing this character, and get in every idea that fell by the wayside in the last three movies. Then we shot the movie and I feel like there’s still a number of other things we have to do."

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