Latest Blog Posts

<p>Andy Samberg is going to brave the always hard to win over crowd at the Independent Spirit Awards tent as this year's host.</p>

Andy Samberg is going to brave the always hard to win over crowd at the Independent Spirit Awards tent as this year's host.

Andy Samberg picks up the Independent Spirit Awards host baton

Another 'SNL' vet gets an emcee gig

Could 2013 provide the world with the best trio, er, quartet of awards show hosts ever?  "Family Guy" and "Ted" wunderkind Seth McFarlane is on board for the grand daddy, the Oscars; "SNL" vets and BFF's Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are making NBC and the Golden Globes must see TV again; and now Film Independent has announced that the usually funny and creative Andy Samberg will top line the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards.  It's signalling a new generation of emcees (for the moment) and at worst should pique casual award show viewers interest.  Granted, the Spirits are broadcast at 10 PM on a Saturday night on low rated IFC, but for those of us in the audience it should be fun.

Read Full Post
<p>Green Day's &quot;&iexcl;Tre!&quot;</p>

Green Day's "¡Tre!"

Album Review: Green Day's 'Tre!' ends the party on a solid note

Last in trilogy marches to a bittersweet conclusion

After releasing two albums of raw and ready rock since September, the party’s over, or at least on its last legs, on “Tre!,” the third in Green Day’s trilogy, out today.

The exhilaration on “Uno!,” released in September, and “Dos!,” out last month,  has been replaced with a certain weariness, but the dozen tunes here still have plenty of bite. Performed at a much slower, less hyper speed than the songs on the first two sets, “Tre!” provides some food for thought for those who have stayed too long too often, while also serving an an excellent showcase for Billie Joe Armstrong’s often plaintive vocals.

Opening with country-tinged waltz “Brutal Love,” most of the songs on “Tre!” come with a tinge of regret whether it’s over a lost love on the horn-laced “Missing You” or a lost childhood (at any age) on the pulsing “X-Kid.”

The band’s familiar quick-tempo-ed bounce returns on the power poppy “Sex, Drugs and Violence,” which is doubly likable for the line:  “Well, I don’t want to be an imbecile, but Jesus made me that way.”

The most interesting cut is the six-minute “Dirty Rotten Bastards,” which is about four songs in one. The tune, which would have sounded right at home on “21st Century Breakdown,” opens with a sing-songy militant bounce before progressing to some serious guitar shredding bolstered by Tre Cool’s relentless drumming,  then shifting into a melodic mid-tempo lament to “all God’s losers,” before majestically bending into a slower section.

The album closes with a piano ballad, “The Forgotten,” which sounds like Green Day crossed with Oasis, and will be familiar with "Twight" fans for its inclusion on the soundtrack for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."  Green Day doesn't do happy particularly well, but they've got pissed off, bittersweet, and disenchanted down.

The three albums work as a piece, but also stand confidently on their own individually. Of the three, “Tre” will appeal to Green Day fans who like their music a little more contemplative than mindless.

Read Full Post
<p>I&nbsp;have to say, I'm not really sure about the all-fire version of the costume they designed for Superman in Zack Snyder's 'Man Of Steel'</p>

I have to say, I'm not really sure about the all-fire version of the costume they designed for Superman in Zack Snyder's 'Man Of Steel'

Credit: Warner Bros/Legendary

New 'Man Of Steel' trailer reveals a sadder but stronger Superman

Could Zack Snyder successfully redefine the character?

Wow.

That is, of course, the exact word that Warner Bros. wants to hear in response to their new trailer for "Man Of Steel," and while I guess I thought we'd be seeing more action, what with Zack Snyder describing the trailer as "crazy" a few weeks ago.

What we see here instead explains a lot about the approach that the film is taking, and it uses much of the footage we saw at last year's Comic-Con, but with new footage as well.  There's an early beat where we see Clark fleeing from a classroom, upset, and Ma Kent (Diane Lane) has to talk him down, asking him to focus on her voice like it's an island.  Is this where he first gets his super-hearing and he is suddenly overwhelmed by voices around the world?  We also see that he is haunted by an early incident in his life where he saves a bus full of kids from drowning, and that he seems to be running from who he is.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Lincoln&quot;&nbsp;broke the nominations record previously held by &quot;Black&nbsp;Swan.&quot;</p>

"Lincoln" broke the nominations record previously held by "Black Swan."

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

'Lincoln' leads nominations for the 18th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards

And the BFCA adds a slew of new categories this year, but why?

Not that this is something to be particularly proud of, but the Broadcast Film Critics Association has done its annual duty of distilling the Oscar race to what we think it is now (now, NOW!). There's nothing of passionate note in its overall picks, nothing of unique flavor. But as I have explained in the past, that's the result of a vaster group than these other, smaller 20- and 30-member critics groups. A bigger spread tends to yield consensus and, well, boring choices across the board.

The Academy can sometimes offer more refined selections throughout its many categories, focused on the work of peers, knowledgeable in it, even. But here you'll find what seems like auto-pilot selections, some of them even traceable to various publicity campaigns around this or that contender (nice work in the Best Song category, "Act of Valor" pushers). I don't claim them, though I certainly voted in them (full disclosure: I am a member). I don't see my identity here. Indeed, I don't see much of an identity at all.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Django Unchained&quot;</p>

"Django Unchained"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Django Unchained' lands eight St. Louis film critics nods

'Moonrise Kingdom' also picked up quite a few

As we wait for the BFCA news to drop, the St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association has tossed its hat into the ring with a list of nominations as well. It's nice to see that Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" registered so well, landing eight nominations. Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" was also a favorite from the group, as well as fellow indie "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Check out the full list below and, well, you know -- The Circuit.

Read Full Post
<p>Helena Bonham Carter at last week's &quot;Les Mis&eacute;rables&quot; premiere in London.&nbsp;</p>

Helena Bonham Carter at last week's "Les Misérables" premiere in London. 

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Helena Bonham Carter to be honored by the London Film Critics' Circle

The actress will receive the Dilys Powell Award for contribution to British cinema

I'm the first to admit that I don't tend to take great interest in press releases announcing the umpteenth honorary award winner of the season -- while frequently deserved and hard-earned, such honors can seem like unspecific garnish beside their tangier competitive counterparts.

Still, having now served for two years on the awards committee of the London Film Critics' Circle, I'm well aware of the extensive consultation and organization that goes into such seemingly simple awards. As we tried to decide on a recipient for next year's Dilys Powell Award -- recognizing outstanding contribution to British cinema -- a lengthy list of candidates was considered and debated over several meetings and countless emails, until one outstanding name was roundly agreed upon: Helena Bonham Carter.

Read Full Post
<p>Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in &quot;Take This Waltz&quot;</p>

Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in "Take This Waltz"

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'Take This Waltz' stand out in Detroit Film Critics Society nods

'Argo' and 'The Impossible' also favorites

The Detroit Film Critics Society has announced its list of nominees, and they refreshingly go their own way in a number of areas. "Silver Linings Playbook" led the way with seven nominations and Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz" was a favorite, too. Other unique picks include Bill Murray in the Best Actor line-up for "Hyde Park on Hudson" and Greta Gerwig in Best Actress for "Damsels in Distress." Check out the full list below and remember to keep track of the season via The Circuit.

Read Full Post
<p>Anna Kendrick in &quot;Pitch Perfect.&quot;</p>

Anna Kendrick in "Pitch Perfect."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Roundup: Why 2012 has been a good year for movie heroines

Also: Inside the LAFCA vote, and examining BAFTA's rule changes

I somehow missed this when it appeared a few day ago, but A.O. Scott's essay on the year in movie heroines is essential reading. While noting the commercial and/or critical success of female-powered narratives ranging from "The Hunger Games" to "Brave" to "Beasts of the Southern Wild" to "Pitch Perfect" -- while noting the potential for "Zero Dark Thirty" to rule an otherwise male-dominated Oscar slate -- he's not so naive or patronising as to label 2012 any kind of Year of the Woman. Still, he does sense a recent uptick in studios' consideration of the intelligent female audience. "It should not, after all, be a big deal that movies like 'Bridesmaids' or 'The Hunger Games' exist," he writes, "perhaps because it should have been a bigger deal when such movies didn’t." [New York Times]

Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;the gang spies on Barney's date with Patrice.</p>

On "How I Met Your Mother," the gang spies on Barney's date with Patrice.

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Over-Correction'

Robin freaks out over Barney's relationship with Patrice

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I dress like a Duluth streetwalker...

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Did Brandi of 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' go too far?

The 'truth cannon' drops a bombshell about Adrienne, but Bravo won't reveal it

A few things happen in this episode on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," many of them painfully mundane. Kyle gives her terror-behind-the-wheel Alexia a new Mercedes. Ken gets his hip replaced. Lisa reprimands one of her employees. Paul tries to barbecue and shows off his unfortunate back hair. None of this matters, because the focus of this episode is THE FIGHT. Yes, on a show that spews out verbal smackdowns the way Duggars pop out babies, this battle royale might actually be memorable past next week. In fact, I think it continues into next week, as that's the impression we get from the promo, and (thanks to the long, spidery reach of the Internet) it might have been the basis for a cease-and-desist letter against Brandi Glanville filed by Adrienne Maloof. So, whatever kickstarted this feud must have been horrible, right? There's no way of knowing, simply because Bravo didn't air it.

Read Full Post
<p>'Would you believe we built that room for a Hulk?'</p>

'Would you believe we built that room for a Hulk?'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

A day at Bad Robot gives us a better look at 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Plus we share a crazy theory about the secrets JJ Abrams is hiding in plain sight

The Bad Robot offices occupy a large building in Santa Monica that you would never notice just driving by.  I missed it the first time around the block, and had to circle back before I was able to hand off my car to the waiting valet.  I was afraid I'd missed the start of today's "Star Trek Into Darkness" event, but ended up making it in just enough time to get my green wristband, join my group, and start the tour of the building, designed to give us a look inside one of next year's most anticipated sequels.

To be clear, there was one point in the day where we saw something we had to promise not to disclose.  I wouldn't say it radically changed anything I'm going to share with you, but instead simply served to amp up my own enthusiasm because it was really, really, yes, I'm going to say it three whole times, REALLY cool.

If you're curious about the identity of the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Paramount took care of that earlier today, and they're not lying to you.  They released an image of Zachary Quinto as Spock, Cumberbatch in the cell that held Loki and Silva, and Chris Pine as Captain James T. Motherscratchin' Kirk, and in the caption, they named him as "John Harrison."

Read Full Post
<p>Natalie and Nadiya of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Natalie and Nadiya of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Natalie & Nadiya talk 'The Amazing Race'

The 4th place team discusses 'finding' money and being seen as villains
On Sunday (December 9) night, "The Amazing Race" wrapped up its 21st installment with possibly the most unlikely winner in the show's history.
 
And on Monday morning, I talked with each of the final four teams, including the million dollar winner. Counting down from fourth to first, HitFix will be running one interview per day. [I'll do the same thing next week with the "Survivor: Philippines" winner and remaining contestants.]
 
Up first? The season's fourth place finishers, the last team eliminated before that climactic Leg, which took the Top 3 to New York City.
 
No team on this season's "Amazing Race" produced the diversity of opinions that greeted Sri Lankan twins Natalie & Nadiya Anderson.
 
To fans, the Twinies were boundlessly enthusiastic and endlessly quotable and, in the early going, brought energy to a potentially dull season.
 
To detractors, the Twinies were shrill, loud and bullying. And depending on your definitions for "find" or "steal," they helped separate James & Abba from a chunk of money, leaving the Rockers begging in the streets of Bangladesh. 
 
But what did viewers expect? As one twin observed in the finale, "We've always been evil. We've never been nice."
 
In our conversation, the Twins were unapologetic about the money incident, but admitted that they gave the show plenty to work with when depicting them as villains. They also talk about their current friendship with all of their fellow Racers and their surprising enthusiasm for the season's winning team.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME