Latest Blog Posts

<p>Christopher Nolan on the set of &quot;The&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Knight&nbsp;Rises&quot;</p>

Christopher Nolan on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Christopher Nolan talks Bond, Heath Ledger and his 'Dark Knight' trilogy at Lincoln Center

An intimate discussion focused on his seven-year journey with the Caped Crusader

NEW YORK -- "The Dark Knight Rises" director Christopher Nolan stopped by the Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater Wednesday night for one of the Film Society's "An Evening with…" events. Scott Foundas moderated the discussion, which didn't focus on Nolan's full career, but rather, his experience with the character of Batman across a trilogy of films that has changed the landscape of blockbuster filmmaking and, indeed, the awards race itself.

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander in &quot;A&nbsp;Royal Affair&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander in "A Royal Affair"

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Tech Support: 'Anna Karenina,' 'Snow White and the Huntsman' and 'A Royal Affair' feature in Best Costume Design

Other contenders include 'Lincoln,' 'Les Misérables' and 'The Master'

Oscar night is known for its glamor. “Who are you wearing” becomes a popular question to ask nominees as they make their way down the red carpet. But on screen, clothes do more than make actors look good. They certainly do that, but they also tell us something about the characters who wear them. They reveal things, telling the story visually like every other element of a production.

More than any other category, period pieces tend to dominate here. In many years, all five titles could have been classified as period. While there is usually room for one or occasionally even two fantasy nominees, such titles are not as welcome here as in, say, Best Production Design. Moreover, contemporary films tend to be cited no more than a few times a decade. Indeed, no such film was nominated between 1994 and 2006! Within this realm of “period,” clothes which are foreign and/or exotic are especially welcome, as is royalty.

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<p>Mindy Kaling in &quot;The Mindy Project.&quot;</p>

Mindy Kaling in "The Mindy Project."

Credit: ABC

Morning TV Round-Up: 'Suburgatory' & 'The Mindy Project'

'Suburgatory' follows one of its best episodes with one of its worst, while 'Mindy' goes to high school

It's morning round-up time, with quick reviews of last night's "Suburgatory" and Tuesday's "The Mindy Project" coming up just as soon as I read a novelization of the film "Iron Man" for the Gwyneth Paltrow scenes...

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<p>Ben Affleck on the cover of next month's Entertainment Weekly.</p>

Ben Affleck on the cover of next month's Entertainment Weekly.

Credit: EW

Roundup: Ben Affleck is EW's Entertainer of the Year

Also: Matthew Vaughn to (possibly) direct 'Star Wars', and early 'Hobbit' reax

After "Les Mis" premiered last week, a lot of pundits -- including our own Kris Tapley -- installed the film as the Best Picture frontrunner, but I'm not so keen to jump the "Argo" ship. The potential Oscar narrative for Ben Affleck is an attractive one for his Academy peers, and he's sure to receive a lot of honors and accolades over the next few weeks -- beginning with the handy publicity boost of Entertainment Weekly's Entertainer of the Year title. I'd have bet on Jennifer Lawrence taking that one, but this is a reminder of just how well-regarded Affleck is in showbiz circles: "Argo" producer George Clooney, naturally, leads the cheers in the magazine's tribute to him. Lawrence is also featured in the issue, of course, alongside Anne Hathaway, Seth MacFarlane and Channing Tatum, all of whom have enjoyed similarly bang-up years. [EW]

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<p>CeeLo Green and the Muppets</p>

CeeLo Green and the Muppets

Credit: AP Photo

Rockefeller Tree Lighting: 7 magical (and weird) musical moments

Mariah Carey, CeeLo Green, Il Volo, Rod Stewart and all the gold trimming

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center tonight became illuminated, and as per usual, the occasion couldn't pass without a little fanfare. Scotty McCreery, Mariah Carey, Victoria Justice and more brought music to thousands of people for thousands of little lights in New York, and live on television.

Below are some stand-outs, for all the various reasons entertainers stand out.

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey does not do long sleeves. She does fur stoles, and if not, then evening gloves with sequined short sleeves. And she goes in twice, in a pre-taped segment for her classic "All I Want For Christmas" (gorgeous) and for "Christmas Time Is In The Air Again" (ah, that old relic). She is forever fabulous.
 
CeeLo Green
 
Aside from the unintended hilarity calling CeeLo's holiday song "All I Need Is Love" an “original,” checking the Muppets sing "Mahna Mahna" always feels so right. Furthermore, as the "rap" verse ascends, so does a creature from Green's nethers: Pepe the King Prawn delivers in more than one, awkward way.
 
Il Volo
 
In case you were wondering if writers ever sat at their desk at the TV company, wrote the words “taking the world by storm” for copy and then gave it to someone to say on-air, they do, and Al Roker executed. Il Volo is a small collection of Gap Italia models and they delivered an affected "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," biting their lips, whooshing hair, dipping their face in order to excrete designer eyewear and cosmetic dental work. And then I passed out, I don't remember anything else.
 
 
"The Voice" singer has the Spirit. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is simple and pure, with no need for gold trimmings. 
 
Rod Stewart
 
As a distraction from Rod using the mic stand as a crutch during "Let It Snow," here is a mind-blowing photo of him and CeeLo together.
 
 
There's a skinny tie under there. Johnny Lydon is somewhere, upset.
 
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, and he looks like Tony Bennett. This charming pre-taped segment was a gentle reminder that, to Tony Bennett, all of life must be a comedy. He’s got that jolly look, and grins like an old dog, and he’s like “I’m comin’ to town, yeah!” and you're like "Yeah!"
 
Trace Adkins

If trace Adkins ran toward me at a high velocity wearing that fur and that scowl on his face, I’d run for the nearest treeline. But the magic of "We Three Kings" is the equal parts scary and mysterious and uplifting and heaven-toward. Adkins' appearance is a metaphorical representation of the song itself (muse the enigma of pedal steel with nobody sitting at it).
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<p>Malcolm and Abi of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Malcolm and Abi of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Hell Hath Frozen Over'

With her back against the fall, could Abi become a warrior?
Pre-credit sequence. I'm not going to miss Pete [an uninteresting exit interview]. Will anybody from Dangrayne? Abi will! It's The Morning After and she's whining about the "brutality" of Tribal Council. She declares that their behavior towards her wasn't "cute." [Monkey!] Denise says that Abi's next to go, unless she "miraculously" wins Immunity, but since she wanted to introduce that possibility, she might as well tell us who would be the next target in the event of said miracle. That'd be Jonathan Penner. That's what we so often call "foreshadowing," kids. 
 
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"Top Chef: Seattle"

 "Top Chef: Seattle"

Credit: Bravo

'Top Chef: Seattle' recap: '50's Food Flashback'

It's a retro challenge - with a crushing double elimination

Remember the fighting we saw at the end of last week? How everyone hated Dallas John for bagging on Kuniko? Yeah, that wasn't all of it. Of course the show saved a little bit of crazy to kick things off this week, and just to confirm, everyone really, really hate Dallas John. And he's pissed about it! As far as he's concerned, "Josh was a redneck and CJ was playing me." Um, what does that have to do for calling Kuniko just short of an idiot? But wait! Dallas John has one sole defender -- Stefan. I think Stefan's just relieved someone else is the villain this season. 

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<p>From &quot;Ice Age&quot;</p>

From "Ice Age"

Watch: How to Destroy Angels' 'Ice Age' video by John Hillcoat

Trent Reznor and Co. are ready for the Apocalypse

If that Mayan Calendar really does predict The End, Trent Reznor's band How To Destroy Angels is ready for whatever. You can tell they see it coming, because singer Mariqueen Maandig looks to the ocean when she sings "ocean."

The band -- rounded out by Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan -- goes predictably dour for Califone rip "Ice Age," the clip directed by "Lawless" helmer John Hillcoat. There's some beautiful long shots of Maandig and a palate to die for. I like the doves. "An Omen" indeed.

The band's EP "An Omen" is already out and they've promised a full-length for 2013.

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"American Horror Story"

 "American Horror Story"

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story' recap: 'Dark Cousin'

The angel of death drops by, and Sister Mary Eunice is not amused

Is anyone else having nightmares after watching this show? Anyone? Well, if you are so unlucky as to have the opening credits playing in a nightmarish loop in your head, take heart. Tonight's episode is relatively low on gore (it's hard to top those Shelley episodes), so that should be some small comfort. As luck has it, the angel of death (who pops up almost immediately and is played with understated grace by Frances Conroy) has a strangely calming influence on this episode. Yes, she tends to appear when people are contemplating suicide or are hurtling toward high speed car accidents, but in her modest black suit and kick-ass black wings, she makes the Big Sleep seem no more troubling than closing your eyes and leaning in for a kiss. Of course, when you're stuck at Briarcliff, the angel of death probably isn't all that scary at all.

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<p>Britney Spears vamps in the official music video for &quot;Scream and Shout.&quot;</p>

Britney Spears vamps in the official music video for "Scream and Shout."

Credit: Interscope Records

Watch: Will.I.Am and Britney Spears video for 'Scream & Shout'

Let it all out to a fab looking Spears

There’s no there there, but that doesn’t mean everyone won’t be talking about the new video by Will.I.Am and Britney Spears for “Scream & Shout.”

The futuristic, minimalistic clip is a cheap-looking affair that displays no chemistry between the two (they only appear together in what looks like a photoshopped scene). This is less of a collaboration than some not-so-clever cut-and-paste job.

[More after the jump...]

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Rihanna's 'Diamonds' shine atop the Billboard Hot 100 again
Credit: Def Jam Recordings

Rihanna's 'Diamonds' shine atop the Billboard Hot 100 again

She rules over the Billboard 200 as well

Rihanna is the queen of the charts as she becomes only the second artist this year to simultaneously rank No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard 200.

Diamonds” sparkles for a second week as the leader on the singles chart, while “Unapologetic” bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week.

Not surprisingly, Adele is the only artist to achieve that feat in 2012 in February, when “21” led the album chart and “Set Fire To the Rain” was No. 1 on the Hot 100, according to Billboard.

Rihanna fends off a challenge from Ke$ha, whose “Die Young”  climbs 3-2. Ke$ha’s track trades places with Maroon 5’s  former No. 1 smash, “One More Night, “ which drops to No. 3.

Bruno Mars snags another Top5 hit as “Locked Out Of Heaven,” the first single from “Unorthodox Jukebox,” rises 7-4. Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” which was locked out of the No. 1 spot by Maroon 5, rises 7-5.

Rounding out the bottom half of the Top 10, fun.s’ “Some Nights” slides 5-6, while the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” creeps up a spot to No. 7.  No new songs enter the top 10, but “American Idol” champ Phillip Phillips’s “Home” makes a welcome return as the song bounces 12-8 on the strength of the release of his debut album, “The World From The Side of the Moon.”  The song had previously peaked at No. 9.

Flo Rida’s “I Cry” inches  10-9, while Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself” falls 6-10.

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<p>I can see why you'd want someone very serious to handle this film.</p>

I can see why you'd want someone very serious to handle this film.

Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney

James Gunn skirts faux controversy as 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' closes in on cast

Comments from two years ago suddenly ignite some online indignation

Hey, guys, I don't want to speak out of turn, but I have a sneaking suspicion that James Gunn, who is writing and directing "Guardians Of The Galaxy" for Marvel, likes really, really dirty jokes.

I can't prove it, but it's just one of those feelings I get.  Maybe it's because I've seen his Troma movies.  Or because I've watched his "PG Porn" shorts or because I saw "Super," his deranged little riff on the superhero film, or because he is pretty much a non-stop blast of filthy and funny on Twitter.  If you've seen "Slither," then I think you've got the basic idea, which is that there is no line James Gunn is unafraid to cross for no other reason that It amuses him.

The first thing I heard today about "Guardians" was that they're about to start screen-testing guys for the lead, and it's a cool short list of guys who could all bring something different to the part.  I like Joel Edgerton a lot, but don't know Jack Huston at all.  I haven't watched "Boardwalk Empire" yet, and if he's in something else I've seen, I don't recognize the name.  Jim Sturgess was really good in "Cloud Atlas," and I'll have my full review of Eddie Redmayne in "Les Miserables" soon.  The name that mosts interests me on this list is Lee Pace, who was really good in "Twilght: Breaking Dawn, Part 2."  Yes, I know I just put the phrase "really good" in the same sentence as the title of that film, but Pace shows up and it's like he's just stepped in from another much more fun version of the franchise.  He could be a great unexpected choice for Peter Quill, who is half-human, half-alien, and the leader of the Guardians.

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