Latest Blog Posts

<p>Julia (Erika Christensen)&nbsp;bones up on her Spanish on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Julia (Erika Christensen) bones up on her Spanish on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'Together'

Kristina struggles with feeling powerless, Amber and Ryan gets closer, and Drew visits Amy

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I regift a cancer patient's gift basket...

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<p>Marion Cotillard talks about her new role in &quot;Rust and Bone.&quot;</p>

Marion Cotillard talks about her new role in "Rust and Bone."

Marion Cotillard says Katy Perry's 'Firework' helped her performance in 'Rust and Bone'

Oscar winner talks about difficulty working with whales in captivity

BEVERLY HILLS - Marion Cotillard really wanted to work with Jacques Audiard.  In fact, she was so committed to the director's follow up to his acclaimed drama "A Prophet" that she dropped her normal required prep time to make sure "Rust and Bone" fit into her schedule.  The Oscar winner was already locked into shooting Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" for much of 2011, but then immediately transitioned to "Bone" when it was over. And, for Cotillard, taking away that chance to really research and study a role is a big, big deal.

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<p>Lou... you should look... right over there... Lou... LOU?!&nbsp;LOOK&nbsp;OUT!&nbsp;AAAAAHH!</p>

Lou... you should look... right over there... Lou... LOU?! LOOK OUT! AAAAAHH!

Credit: Universal Home Video

Film Nerd 2.0: To Scare or Not To Scare

We go from (Bud) Abbott to (Twilight) Zone to discuss what scares the boys

One of the conversations we have ongoing right now at Casa De McWeeny is "how scary is too scary"?

It's an important question to ask.  My wife is of the opinion that no scary movies is just about the perfect amount for kids who are 7 and 4 years old, respectively.  I disagree.  I think kids crave stories about monsters and that being scared is an important part of our maturation process as we start to digest the stories we're told. 

I don't think you should jump right to "Dawn Of The Dead" for a 3-year-old, of course, but I do think there's a certain amount of anxiety and fear that is enjoyable, especially at a young age when films have a special power over us.  You feel films in a different way as a kid.  You're still learning about how the world works, and you're still trying to figure out adults, and you're using movies as one of the ways you start to really put those puzzle pieces together.

The question at the start of things is how do you introduce scary material to your kids, and we've experimented with it on several occasions.  At the bottom of this article, you'll see links to where I wrote about an early screening of "The Dark Crystal" that absolutely infuriated two-year-old Allen.  I wrote about scaring the crap out of both of them in a good way with "Jurassic Park," and their fascination with dinosaurs has only gotten more pronounced since that screening.  I wrote about the existential fear that creeped in around the edges of a screening of "Close Encounters," and how I was unprepared for the fear that hit them.  I wrote about both the Tim Burton LACMA exhibit and the first screening we had of "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure," and how those scares worked on them.

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How do Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone go from talking 'Twilight' to 'Joey' and 'We Bought a Zoo'?

How do Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone go from talking 'Twilight' to 'Joey' and 'We Bought a Zoo'?

The conversation starts with action scenes and goes in unusual directions
I'm going to insist that you watch this interview with Kellan Lutz and Jackson Rathbone all the way to the end. 
 
Yes, the two members of the "Twilight" Cullen family have a lot to say about "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" and actually getting to take part in some serious action for the first time in the franchise.
 
The bulk of the interview is, in fact, focused -- without any real spoilers -- on The Scene We Can't Discuss from "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the scene that distinctly isn't a part of Stephenie Meyer's book, specifically how they decided upon the appropriate fighting styles for Emmett and Jasper. 
 
But at the very end of the interview, we discussed what possible spinoffs built around their characters would be like and Rathbone's initial answer, and the pause as Lutz realizes the somewhat absurd reference his co-star was making, is kinda priceless. And unlike a lot of things from these "Twilight" interviews, I get the feeling that this isn't a conversation they had several dozen times during the junket day. 
 
Check it out!
 
I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed. Expect more as we get closer to Friday's (Nov. 16) premiere...
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Tommy Flanagan, Kim Coates, Charlie Hunnam and Mark Boone Junior on 'Sons of Anarchy'

Tommy Flanagan, Kim Coates, Charlie Hunnam and Mark Boone Junior on 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Crucifixed'

An extra half hour doesn't do much to drive the story forward

Jax is getting a little too cocky and Clay is getting a little too comfortable. And that's "Crucifixed" in a nutshell.

This was one of the show's annual epic installments, running a full 90 minutes on FX including commercials. And while there was plenty of action, when all is said and done it still feels like we're in a bit of a holding pattern, or maybe just setting the table for the season finale.

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<p>Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have been one of the biggest power couples in the industry since the '80s, and her recent appointment as the president of Lucasfilm has only made them bigger.</p>

Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have been one of the biggest power couples in the industry since the '80s, and her recent appointment as the president of Lucasfilm has only made them bigger.

Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Photo

Frank Marshall says 'Star Wars' director search is winding down

They can't make the choice soon enough

The announcement of who is directing "Star Wars Episode VII" cannot come quickly enough.  At this point, I want it to happen because I can't believe I'm writing one news story a day about a movie that will not be in theaters until 2015.

Frank Marshall, husband to Kathleen Kennedy, who is now the president of Lucasfilm, was cornered by MTV.com and gave them precisely the sort of non-interview that is going to end up being widely reported in the absence of anything concrete.  Marshall knows why, too.  As he mentions to MTV, this is going to be perhaps the most hyped blockbuster film of all time, and for those of us who were doing this during the build-up to "The Phantom Menace," that is a slightly terrifying proposition.

According to Marshall, the hunt is down to "a couple of candidates," which seems right to me.  As I said in the piece yesterday about reactions from Jon Favreau and JJ Abrams, I'm betting they are further along in this process than the press realizes.  The announcement of the Disney/Lucasfilm deal caught everyone off-guard, and since that moment, we've been playing catch-up.

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Vinny Guadagnino

Vinny Guadagnino

Credit: MTV

'Jersey Shore' star Vinny Guadagnino gets his own talk-variety show, yo

Snooki and J-Woww aren't the only ones to get a spin-off

"Jersey Shore" may be in its final season and most of the actual location has been washed away by Superstorm Sandy, but we're not getting rid of the guidos and guidettes quite that easily. MTV today announced that the network has given the greenlight to hybrid talk show/reality series “The Show With Vinny” hosted by cast member Vinny Guadagnino.  

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<p>Sally Field in &quot;Forrest Gump.&quot;</p>

Sally Field in "Forrest Gump."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

On Sally Field and that phantom 'Forrest Gump' nomination

As the actress seeks her third Oscar nod, we remember one that got away

In Contention readers are generally a hawk-eyed bunch, quick to leap in with corrections when Kris or I make an honest error or suffer an accidental brain-fade, particularly on matters of Oscar trivia -- collectively, you can make for an intimidatingly officious subeditor. So it's all the more surprising that, over the past week or so, I've been corrected by three separate readers on a point I had right in the first place: that with her allegedly fiery performance in "Lincoln," Sally Field is seeking her first Oscar nomination in 28 years, and her third overall.

In each case, a reader either commented or tweeted to politely remind me that Field actually received her third Oscar nomination back in 1994, as a supporting actress in Best Picture shoo-in "Forrest Gump." And in each case, as much as I appreciated the gesture, I had to reply that, not to put too fine a point on it, she wasn't.

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<p>On &quot;New Girl,&quot;&nbsp;Nick (Jake Johnson)&nbsp;tries to help Jess (Zooey Deschanel)&nbsp;through a tough time.</p>

On "New Girl," Nick (Jake Johnson) tries to help Jess (Zooey Deschanel) through a tough time.

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Menzies'

It's that time of the month for Jess, while Carla Gugino seduces Schmidt

A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I feel like I want to murder someone and also I want soft pretzels...

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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: It's a double elimination as the finale looms

Ne-Yo and Kylie Minogue perform but that's not the shocker

Tonight, not one but two couples will be going home. Is this sad? A little. Is it necessary? Of course! So, let's rip off the Band-Aid, Tom Bergeron, and get on with it. Of course, because this is about five minutes worth of show, there will be performances (Kylie Minogue, Ne-Yo) and there will be clip montages and there will be celebrities under lights, sweating. Oh, and there will also be a dance featuring actual professional dancers. Craziness!

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<p>Bryan Keith of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Bryan Keith of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Tuesday - Top 12 Results

Which two went home tonight?

 

One hour. That’s how long two eliminations take on 'The Voice', apparently. And so we have it with tonight’s results episode, which will send those two receiving the least votes after last night’s performance episode home tonight. There’s no guarantee that each team will have participants at the end, so theoretically two people from the same team could depart tonight. That’s a smart move, since it doesn’t unnecessarily penalize singers on a strong team from cannibalizing each here from this point on.
 
Last night, I predicted that Adriana Louise and Michaela Paige would be those two. But that’s far from a safe prediction. All that we can know for sure is that Carson Daly…will take lengthy pauses….before announcing…those dismissed. On tap tonight is also a performance from Christina Aguilera, making her the second coach in two weeks to perform on the show. It seems safe to assume CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton will partake in that trend soon enough.
 
For now, let’s get to tonight’s running diary as we get to the final ten contestants for this cycle.

 

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<p>Jack Nicholson, seen here at this summer's AFI&nbsp;tribute to Shirley Maclaine, may star in 'The Judge' for Warner Bros.</p>

Jack Nicholson, seen here at this summer's AFI tribute to Shirley Maclaine, may star in 'The Judge' for Warner Bros.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello/Invision

Jack Nicholson may play Robert Downey Jr.'s father in 'The Judge' for Warner Bros.

Will the veteran actor make a deal to play an Alzheimer's patient on trial for murder?

It is becoming increasingly rare that we see Jack Nicholson onscreen, so even the possibility of him signing to play Robert Downey Jr.'s father in "The Judge" is a big deal.

There was a time when I thought of Nicholson and De Niro as the twin titans of American movie acting, and it seemed like they worked constantly.  Age being the demanding master that it is, both men have slowed down in recent years and there are far fewer interesting roles written that they are right for, which could also be a big factor in why we see less of them.

De Niro has responded by cornering the market on the whole "hardass father" archetype, playing it for comic effect in the "Meet The Parents" series and playing it closer to real in the excellent "Silver Linings Playbook" or in "Being Flynn."  Nicholson has responded by simply taking fewer roles.  He was great in "The Departed," but "The Bucket List" felt to me like one of the easiest paychecks of his career.

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