Latest Blog Posts

<p>Danny Brown</p>

Danny Brown

Credit: AP Photo

Listen to a new Danny Brown and Trampy track 'Express Yourself'

Detroit rapper out all spring

N.W.A.'s "Express Yourself" centers on freedom of expression and radio censorship. Madonna's "Express Yourself" is about empowerment and never settling. Danny Brown's "Express Yourself" is about bouncing asses.

To be fair, the Trampy-produced track is inspired by Diplo's own butt-empowering "Express Yourself" featuring Nicky Da B. "Spread your legs and watch your back," it vamps. Back-watching is actually fairly difficult, particularly when one is on the floor...

So anyway, Immaculate Noise favorite Brown has the perfect alto whine in his rhymes for the bumping, purring tone of the track, like he and the keys are in call-and-response.

Read Full Post
<p>Benedict Cumberbatch at the Golden&nbsp;Globes in January</p>

Benedict Cumberbatch at the Golden Globes in January

Credit: AP Photo

Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone line up for Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak'

The film will be the director's 'Pacific Rim' follow-up

The online geek press is lined up and ready to love Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim," and I've been wondering lately if they might be doing a bit of a disservice to it with such overwhelming hype. I've read the script, which has surely been studio-noted and then some since. It was elegantly written by Travis Beacham and what's most exciting is that an original concept, without the benefit of built-in fandom, got this kind of love in the studio system. So I'm looking forward to it, definitely. I just wish the noise would die down just a little bit, that's all.

In the meantime, the project has allowed Del Toro the chance to break out something like "Crimson Peak," a haunted house picture that could use the success of something like "Pacific Rim" to find its footing. And people are lining up to be a part of it, as Deadline today reports that Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and Charlie Hunnam have all signed on to star. Hunnam also stars in "Pacific Rim."

Read Full Post
<p>Fleetwood Mac's Steve McVie and Stevie Nicks in 2009</p>

Fleetwood Mac's Steve McVie and Stevie Nicks in 2009

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Fleetwood Mac premieres new song 'Sad Angel' at tour opener

New EP with two new songs coming on iTunes

Fleetwood Mac kicked off its tour last night in Columbus, Ohio. Along with the usual hits, the veteran band debuted a new song, “Sad Angel.”

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>The staff of &quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;watch the first promo for their documentary.</p>

The staff of "The Office" watch the first promo for their documentary.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'The Office' - 'The Promo'

The staff gets their first hint of what the documentary will look like

A review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as we buy an augur together...

Read Full Post
<p>Jack Pierce's make-up may not have scared my kids, but they both seemed riveted by 'Bride Of Frankenstein'</p>

Jack Pierce's make-up may not have scared my kids, but they both seemed riveted by 'Bride Of Frankenstein'

Credit: Universal Home Video

Film Nerd 2.0 Film Fest kicks off with an unplanned viewing of 'Bride Of Frankenstein'

An accident may have set the stage perfectly for Saturday

The Universal Monsters have loomed large in the imaginations of my kids even before they saw a single film about them. There are Frankenstein and Dracula and Creature From The Black Lagoon toys in the house, and there was a series of monster books that were given to Toshi by his godfather when he was born that were some of his earliest bedtime fascinations.

It's been a slow process of actually introducing the films to them, though, and one of the ones that I've been holding off on was "The Invisible Man." Then one recent afternoon, we were looking at Reelizer, an amazing website featuring alternative poster art, and they saw a killer "Invisible Man" piece of art, and that's all she wrote. They both became determined to see the movie as soon as possible.

Once I decided to do this festival, I started figuring out when I could show them things, and I didn't take into account the baseball practice and the two games that are also happening on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So the only way it makes sense for them to be able to see everything and still go to bed by 8:00 on Sunday night so they're ready for school the next morning is if we cheat and show the first movie on Thursday.

Read Full Post
<p>Rosario Dawson does some of her strongest work ever in a key role in Danny Boyle's new thriller 'Trance'</p>

Rosario Dawson does some of her strongest work ever in a key role in Danny Boyle's new thriller 'Trance'

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Danny Boyle's 'Trance' is a sly, stealthy thriller with memory on its mind

Rosario Dawson has never been better than she is here

I am wildly fond of Danny Boyle, but I am not always crazy about Danny Boyle's films.

I think ultimately, I like the energy and the wit with which he approaches the puzzle that is filmmaking. He understands that a film is, first and foremost, a theatrical experience. Watching "Trance," I felt the same cool sense of self-assured style that made "Trainspotting" such an electrifying experience the first time. There are points in "Trance" where the soundtrack and the visual palette are like an assault of sorts. It is a powerful visceral experience.

As a script? If you'd asked me 2/3 of the way through the film, I would have told you that I thought it was a stylish but slight riff on the heist thriller. Boyle and his screenwriters Joe Ahearne and John Hodge are ultimately up to something more than that, but it's stealthy and sly and very, very sneaky, and I like that. It helps that Boyle has been playing these kinds of games for 20 years now with audiences, and he's gotten extraordinarily good at the technical craft of what it is that he does. He knows that by the time you sit down in the theater, more likely than not you've seen a trailer that suggests this is going to be a weird mind trip of a movie, and so he lets you know right up front that this is going to be that, but he also drops just enough hints to let you know that he wants it to count.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot; star Vincent Kartheiser</p>

"Mad Men" star Vincent Kartheiser

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Vincent Kartheiser discusses a maturing Pete Campbell

Or has Don Draper's former adversary matured at all?
By now, you've probably read Denise Martin's Vulture interview with a wonderfully animated Vincent Kartheiser, in which the "Mad Men" star shared his opinions on Twitter and bill-shredding, while also flicking paper footballs at his interrogator. 
I had a different kind of interview with Kartheiser. In our conversation, the "Angel" veteran talks about Pete Campbell's development from Don Draper's dangerous wunderkind adversary to his current incarnation, a differently discontented man with a receding hairline, a double-chin and a growing realization that he's no longer the youngest man in the room. 
Kartheiser talked about how his own maturation process hasn't always mirrored Pete's and he discussed a physical transformation that includes shaving back that hairline.
Throughout the interview, Kartheiser was tearing pieces of paper into one-inch-wide strips and the ripping sounds are frequently audible on my recording. It was only after hearing my colleague's story that I realized those strips were likely nascent paper footballs. 
No projectiles were aimed in my direction. But I think it's an interesting interview anyway...
Read Full Post


Credit: ABC

'Scandal' recap: 'Molly, You in Danger, Girl' but she isn't the only one

Huck and Olivia should watch their backs, too

It's funny that, even in a fictional Washington D.C., we'd find so many characters tortured by the lies they've told. Everyone from the advisor's boyfriend to the President himself seems to lie awake at night, wondering about who they really are other than, of course, lying liars who lie. I guess we should all be happy that fake Washington D.C. has a big, judgmental conscience with which to flog themselves, as I'm pretty sure that's not the case in real life. 

Read Full Post
<p>Barbra Streisand</p>

Barbra Streisand

Credit: AP Photo

Barbra Streisand returns to the director's chair with Bourke-White/Caldwell love story

The film will be her first directorial effort in 17 years

After inking a deal with worldwide sales firm Aldamisa International in February to tackle her first directorial endeavor since 1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces," Barbra Streisand has settled on a project: a love story based on the relationship between photographer Margaret Bourke-White and author Erskine Caldwell.

Read Full Post
<p>Mads Mikkelsen as &quot;Hannibal&quot;&nbsp;in the new NBC&nbsp;drama.</p>

Mads Mikkelsen as "Hannibal" in the new NBC drama.

Credit: NBC

Series premiere: 'Hannibal' - 'Aperitif'

What did everybody think of Bryan Fuller's take on Hannibal Lecter and friends?

I published my review of "Hannibal" yesterday. As you can see, I was a big fan. Despite Bryan Fuller's track record, I went in assuming I'd hate it, just based on serial killer drama burnout. Instead, Fuller, David Slade, Hugh Dancy and company really impressed me with a show that's both fairly faithful to the Thomas Harris books (the killer from this episode is taken straight from "Red Dragon") while feeling like its own thing.

My hope is to add this to the weekly review rotation, though given the sheer number of interesting shows airing this spring, I can't promise that I'll get to it every episode.

In the meantime, though, I'm curious what everybody else thought of this one. Did you enjoy Mads Mikkelsen's more understated Hannibal the Cannibal? How did you feel about the visual device for showing how Will Graham learns to think like the killers? Was it creepy, or cliched? Did anyone make the mistake of trying to eat while watching? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

Read Full Post
<p>Danny Boyle, James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel on the set of &quot;Trance.&quot;</p>

Danny Boyle, James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel on the set of "Trance."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

With 'Trance' on the way, ranking Danny Boyle's 10 feature films to date

Counting down the Oscar-winning director's filmography, from worst to best

It's been interesting watching British critics dance around Danny Boyle's "Trance" (which opened in the UK last week, and hits US screens tomorrow), squaring the film's superficial genre pleasures with the director's unlikely new status as a national treasure. Boyle has, of course, been regarded with affection for some time now, both at home and abroad, but in the last five years, his career has taken a turn for the prestigious that wasn't easily seen coming.

Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;New Girl,&quot;&nbsp;Jess (Zooey Deschanel)&nbsp;and Nick (Jake Johnson)&nbsp;ran into Russell (Dermot Mulroney).</p>

On "New Girl," Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) ran into Russell (Dermot Mulroney).

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'First Date'

Nick asks Jess out, but Russell's presence complicates things

A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I shoot up a bear with Hep C...

Read Full Post