Latest Blog Posts

<p>Don't worry Anne. Early buzz says you won't have to pray for good reviews of &quot;Les Miserables.&quot; </p>

Don't worry Anne. Early buzz says you won't have to pray for good reviews of "Les Miserables."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Contender Countdown: 'Les Miserables' gets ready for its close up

Plus: 'Silver Linings Playbook' takes a slip

Seemingly as always, Hollywood has a lot to be thankful for. The box office has been on an upswing the past six weeks and with "The Hobbit," "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" arriving next month ticket sales should remain strong.  But for many consultants and movie marketers this holiday weekend won't be a relaxing vacation.  

Read Full Post
<p>Denis Lavant in &quot;Holy Motors.&quot;</p>

Denis Lavant in "Holy Motors."

Credit: Indomina Releasing

Cahiers du Cinéma names 'Holy Motors' the best film of 2012

The venerable French magazine's Top 10 ranges from 'Twixt' to 'Tabu'

Yep, folks, we're in Top 10 season already, and the first major list to land is both one of the longest-running and the most reliably eccentric: that of leading French cinephile magazine Cahiers du Cinéma.

As the journal on which the likes of Godard, Truffaut and Chabrol cut their teeth as writers after its establishment in 1951, Cahiers retains a staunch auteurist sensibility, and that's evident every year in their Top 10 -- though they don't always favor the same auteurs most other critics do.

Last year, they surprised everyone with an atypically softball choice -- Nanni Moretti's amiable ecclesiastical comedy "We Have a Pope" -- as the year's best. This year, paradoxical as this sounds, they're back on more familiarly adventurous ground, as Léos Carax's wild, weird, thrillingly bewildering shapeshifter study "Holy Motors" topped the list.

Read Full Post
"Dirty Jobs"

 "Dirty Jobs"

Credit: Discovery

Mike Rowe tells fans that 'Dirty Jobs' has been scrubbed

Star proud to say he 'never shared the sewer with Paris Hilton'

It's going to be an unhappy Thanksgiving for fans of "Dirty Jobs." After eight years, star Mike Rowe took to the Interwebs to let the public know that he's navigated his last sewer for the show. "A few weeks ago, I was officially informed that 'Dirty Jobs' had entered into a new phase," he wrote in a post for the Huffington Post. "One I like to call, "permanent hiatus." Or in the more popular industry vernacular, canceled."

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from &quot;Rise of the Guardians.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Rise of the Guardians."

Credit: DreamWork Animation

Roundup: Fall of the 'Guardians?'

Also: Frank Ocean's 'Django' tune, and 2012's narrative rule-breakers

DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians" was once viewed by many pundits as the studio's best shot at an Oscar since winning the inaugural award 11 years ago for "Shrek," but things don't quite seem to be going to plan. Critics so far aren't wildly excited, and now box office projections for the holiday weekend suggest audiences aren't either. Variety is projecting a $25 million gross: nothing to be ashamed of, but it'd put it well below last year's "Puss in Boots," and among DreamWorks Animation's lowest openings ever. "Wreck-It Ralph" has evidently stolen its winter cartoon thunder, but can it also zoom ahead in the Oscar race? Or will voters retreat to the familiar comforts of "Pixar," or disregard commerce and side with the auteurism of "Frankenweenie?" For once, the race really is on. [Variety

Read Full Post
<p>Julia and Joel on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Julia and Joel on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'One More Weekend With You'

Is the cancer storyline overwhelming the rest of the show?

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I have piggy bank money for a taxi...

Read Full Post
<p>Jamie Lee Curtis stopped by &quot;New Girl&quot;&nbsp;last night.</p>

Jamie Lee Curtis stopped by "New Girl" last night.

Credit: FOX

Tuesday night comedy open thread

What did everybody think of last night's Thanksgiving and non-Thanksgiving episodes?

For a variety of weird reasons, I didn't get to see any of last night's sitcoms in full, and due to the demands of a three-day work week, I'm not going to have time to get back to them today. So time to trot out something I used to do quite a bit in the early days of the old blog: an open thread. If you have specific thoughts on last night's comedies on FOX, ABC or NBC — whether it's something I regularly cover like "New Girl" or "Happy Endings," or something I've long since moved past like "The New Normal" — have at it. (I'm actually kind of curious about whether "New Normal" has gotten any better or fallen deeper into its own bad habits.) Did you like seeing Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner back in the sitcom world? Do you wish that "The Real World Sacramento" had actually happened? Did you find it amusing that, on the day it was announced that Anna Camp was stepping back from "The Mindy Project" regular to a recurring guest star, the show (from what I saw of it) finally remembered to give her something to do? 

Additional housekeeping on Thanksgiving getaway day: I'll have a review of "Parenthood" (which I did see in full) coming later this morning, another post tonight around 9 Eastern (and maybe something sooner if there's breaking news, like another cancellation on a classic Take Out the Trash kind of day), another post on Friday morning, and then back Sunday with posts on my usual four Sunday dramas. Because only two of the four (the HBO shows) were available to me through yesterday, they may not all be full-length reviews, but it'll at least be an opportunity to discuss them.

Back on something resembling a full schedule next week. If you're about to head to the airport, happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the turkey coma.

 

Read Full Post
2013 Best Screenplay Contenders: From 'Anna Karenina' to 'Zero Dark Thirty'
Credit: Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, Paramount

2013 Best Screenplay Contenders: From 'Anna Karenina' to 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Surveying the varied contenders across both the original and adapted races

Continuing our survey of this season's major-category contenders, we arrive at the screenplay races -- and in a super-sized gallery, we've combined both the original and adapted categories, with hopefuls ranging from summer blockbusters to upcoming prestige items to scrappy foreign and/or indie fighters.

The writers' branch is often said to be the most discerning branch of voters in the Academy, and frequently choose to go their own way. They're the ones who ignored "Titanic" when all the other voters lost their hearts to it; on the flip side, they've been to only branch to stand up for such outsiders as "Another Year," "Before Sunset" and "Y tu Mama Tambien." They can generally be counted on for a surprise or two come nomination morning.

Read Full Post
Jimmy Smits on 'Sons of Anarchy'

Jimmy Smits in full-on badass mode on "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'To Thine Own Self'

So much revenge, so little time

I'm never really sure if the neverending cycle of revenge and retaliation on "Sons of Anarchy" is a legitimate thematic concern the show wants to explore, or just another example of its repetitive storytelling.

Assuming the goal is the former, "To Thine Own Self" is a strong -- at times even rich -- piece of work. Here's an episode that tackles the darkside of retaliation in two interesting ways only marginally related to the core cast, and one that gets to the very heart of the show's long term arc.

Read Full Post
<p>Jessica Chastain in &quot;Zero&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Thirty&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Is Jessica Chastain poised to steal Oscar from Best Actress frontrunner Jennifer Lawrence?

'Zero Dark Thirty' star takes on the kind of female role Hollywood lacks

Remember last year when Jessica Chastain was everywhere? It wasn't by design. After being discovered by Al Pacino some years ago during an audition, the actress made her way into the business. She was cast by Pacino (who she called her "acting godfather" at last year's Palm Springs awards gala) in "Wilde Salome" and landed roles in a slew of other films that all just happened to drop at once. So 2011 became her big coming out...to the tune of an Oscar nomination for her work in "The Help" and various precursor wins for her performances in that film, "Take Shelter" and "The Tree of Life"

Well, she arguably deserved to win the Oscar over her "Help" co-star Octavia Spencer last year, but we all figured we'd see her again. A talent like this doesn't just fade away. But who knew it would bubble up again so soon? While Sony has been busy keeping a lid on most of the details of Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," right down to the specificity of the role Chastain would play in the film, the Best Actress race has been slowly congealing into a big bid for Chastain's fellow young ingenue Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook." But I'm betting that's all about to change.

Read Full Post
"Dancing with the Stars"

"Dancing with the Stars" 

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: Two couples go - and not the ones you might expect

Paula Abdul shows us her dreams are mostly old MTV videos

It's the double elimination all the remaining celebrities fear -- no one wants to go home this far into the competition. To get so close to the mirror ball and fall short of the mark? Heartbreaking. Though I would tell said celebrities, hey, it's a mirror ball. I don't even think you'd get much money for pawning it. So, you know, have some fun. Enjoy the fact you probably dropped a dress size or two without trying. It's all good.

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from &quot;Grave of the Fireflies.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Grave of the Fireflies."

Credit: GKIDS

GKIDS extends its Studio Ghibli alliance to 'Grave of the Fireflies'

The 1988 classic will be re-released for its 25th anniversary in 2013

I briefly mentioned last week how GKIDS are swiftly establishing themselves as the first name in arthouse animation -- in large part thanks to their recent haul of three Oscar nominations in three years. (Their first-ever acquisition, "The Secret of Kells," got the nod in 2009, while "Chico and Rita" and "A Cat in Paris" both cracked the 2011 lineup.)

Arguably an even bigger coup for their reputation as an animation house, however, has been the pact they formed last year with Studio Ghibli, the Japanese giant whose films were previously distributed Stateside by Disney. Not only will GKIDS be releasing Ghibli's latest film "From Up on Poppy Hill" -- one of their four Oscar hopefuls this year -- in US theaters next March, but they've also secured the theatrical rights to 14 titles from the Ghibli library, many of them directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Those include 2002 Oscar winner "Spirited Away," 2005 nominee "Howl's Moving Castle" and enduring children's favorite "My Neighbour Totoro."

Read Full Post
Trevin Hunte

Trevin Hunte performs on "The Voice".

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Tuesday - Top 10 Results

Which two did America eliminate?

 

After a stellar episode last night, it’s time for America to send two more contestants off of “The Voice”. Last night, I predicted Sylvia Yacoub and Cody Belew would go home, but it’s really a toss-up at this point. Even if the journey to this point has been overcrowded and sometimes confusing, it’s hard to argue with the talent on display at this point in the show. I worry that this means the next cycle will yield teams of 24, but let’s worry about that in 2013. For now, let’s get through tonight’s padded results episode.
Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME