Latest Blog Posts

<p>Andre Braugher in the &quot;Last Resort&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Andre Braugher in the "Last Resort" series finale.

Credit: ABC

'Last Resort' co-creator Shawn Ryan on the series finale, 'Beverly Hills Cop' and more

Where would the ABC submarine drama have gone if this wasn't the last episode?

"Last Resort" just aired its series finale, and I have a few thoughts on how things ended, and then a long interview with co-creator Shawn Ryan about these 13 episodes — and, at the end, about his "Beverly Hills Cop" pilot for CBS — all coming up just as soon as I ask who Jay-Z is...

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<p>On &quot;Parks and Recreation,&quot;&nbsp;Andy (Chris Pratt) shows off his basketball skills.</p>

On "Parks and Recreation," Andy (Chris Pratt) shows off his basketball skills.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Women in Garbage'

Leslie battles Pawnee sexism, Ron and Ann babysit Diane's girls, and Tom learns about basketball

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I text you about Michael Stipe...

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"American Idol"

 "American Idol"

Credit: Fox

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 Live-Blog - Baton Rouge Auditions

The show travels to Louisiana to search for more talent

After the not-very-explosive on-air edit of the Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey dust-up last night, the search for talent (instead of judges' panel drama) continues tonight in Baton Rouge. However, that doesn't mean there won't be more squabbling, more fake British accents and more big hats. For the record, I am loving the big hats. 

Also, if you're not seeing this, having massive technical difficulties. I am live blogging away, but the Interwebs are refusing to let me share. Stoopid Interwebs. 

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<p>Beyonce</p>

Beyonce

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Is this really Beyonce and Destiny Child's Super Bowl halftime show set list?

What songs do you want to see her perform on Feb. 3?

In a little over a week, Beyonce will make another very public appearance when she headlines the half-time show at Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3. Us Weekly is reporting that she’ll open her set with “Crazy In Love”  and then halfway through will be joined by her Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams for a medley including “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Survivor” and new track, “Nuclear.”

Hmmm. She’ll likely have time to throw in a few other numbers and while the Destiny’s Child songs sound plausible, we’re rather hear “Say My Name” and “Bootylicious.”

As far as other Beyonce songs, there is absolutely no way she is leaving the New Orleans Superdome without playing “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).”  I may have no clue whether the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers are going to win (actually, I’m calling for the 49ers to win 27-24), but she will play that.  I also expect “Irreplaceable” to show up, although she could have a lot of fun with “Countdown” or “Run The World (Girls).”

If she decides to get all meaningful on us, she may slow things down with “I Was Here,” but I doubt it.

Next week, I’ll post my dream half-time show.

And as for the whole lip-syncing brouhaha over her performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" at Monday's Inaugural, does anyone really care if she sings live at the Super Bowl? Given that she will likely be dancing instead of standing still, I wouldn't be at all surprised if she lip syncs and I don't care.

What do you want to hear her perform?

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<p>As you can see, Tom Lennon is a very, very serious man.</p>

As you can see, Tom Lennon is a very, very serious man.

Credit: HitFix

Tom Lennon discusses the genius of Keegan Michael Key and Riki Lindhome's nudity in 'Hell Baby'

An uncensored video interview also spends a disturbing amount of time on Michael Ian Black in bike shorts

Thomas Lennon and I have several things in common.  We were both born in 1970.  We are both huge fans of Terry Gilliam's "Brazil."  We both look spectacular in tiny shorts.  And I'm pretty sure we both think "Hell Baby" is very funny.

"Hell Baby" is, of course, the film that Lennon co-directed with his long-time co-writer Robert Ben Garant, and I reviewed the movie after its first midnight screening at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  A few days later, I sat down with Lennon at the Yarrow Hotel for a conversation that covered a number of topics.

For example, you'll hear a lot about Michael Ian Black and his penis and a pair of disturbingly tight bike shorts.

You'll also hear about Riki Lindhome's startling nude scene in the film.  Like, it's the most naked I've ever seen someone appear in a film.  It's the sort of nudity that makes screen caps redundant, because by the time it's over, there is no way you will ever forget it.

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<p>&quot;Narco Cultura&quot;</p>

"Narco Cultura"

Credit: Sundance

Sundance Review: 'Narco Cultura' tackles the drug war with a keen eye

Shaul Schwarz's cinematography is a Festival standout
Subject Repetition Fatigue is always a Sundance Film Festival struggle. 
 
For several years now, it's been tough on any documentary about post-9/11 terrorism or the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan because the subject had been covered so frequently and, often, so well. How are you gonna keep them on the farm after they've seen "Restrepo" or "Hell and Back"? 
 
Just this week, I watched Jacob Kornbluth's "Inequality For All" and then, two days later, I found it difficult to stomach the economic flimsiness and sloppy anger of "99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film." Would I have liked the "Occupy" doc more if I hadn't enjoyed those 90 minutes being lectured by Robert Reich? Perhaps.
 
Heck, Subject Repetition Fatigue is such a serious issue that I've already discussed it previously when reviewing "Manhunt" in the context of the year's various Osama Bin Laden projects.
 
We've already moved into Subject Repetition Fatigue Repetition Fatigue, wherein I've grown tired of mentioning the repeated topics that I've grown tired of mentioning. [Yes, it's been a long time since I last had a full night's sleep.]
 
Or maybe I just need a different name for it? Docu-Deja Vu? That sensation that you're hearing a fact or figure that you've heard in previous films? Or that moment you realize you've seen the same talking head discuss the same subject matter in multiple documentaries?
 
Just as I praised "Manhunt" for finding a different point-of-entry into the OBL field, I was pleased that Shaul Schwarz's "Narco Cultura"   is able to stake its own position within the recent spate of terror-in-Mexico documentaries. While some of the claims and statistics in the documentary are definitely familiar, Schwarz builds his documentary around several fresh and interesting characters and anchors the film with superlative cinematography. "Narco Cultura," ends up being one of the better features in Sundance's US Documentary Competition and its originality ends up being one of my greatest reliefs. 
 
More after the break...
 
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<p>Ang Lee and Claudio Miranda on the set of &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

Ang Lee and Claudio Miranda on the set of "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Tech Support: Claudio Miranda on effects and 3D photography in 'Life of Pi'

Ang Lee's DP is the frontrunner for the Best Cinematography Oscar

The odds-on favorite to win the Best Cinematography Oscar this year seems to be Claudio Miranda for Ang Lee's "Life of Pi." Why? The Academy tends toward aesthetically pleasing films in the category. "Beautiful pictures," you might say, and sometimes at the expense of perhaps more technically proficient work that may not be as postcard pretty.

But while that may be true, it's been leveled at "Life of Pi" as a criticism in some quarters. This is, after all, a film with a visual scope that is as much a result of visual effects as it is practical photography. But Miranda has a few things to say about that, if you think his work was somehow not as important in the greater scheme than that of the effects artists at the Rhythm & Hues and MPC effects houses.

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<p>Kathryn Bigelow</p>

Kathryn Bigelow

Credit: Time Magazine

Kathryn Bigelow gets Time Magazine cover story

She hits the press trail for 'Zero Dark Thirty' without a Best Director nod in tow

Kathryn Bigelow is out there hitting the PR circuit for "Zero Dark Thirty" at a bit of an awkward time: she was passed over for a Best Director nomination two weeks ago after being considered one of the best bets in the category for a film that is very much driven by her artistic vision. She was on CBS This Morning recently offering a point of view on that, in fact. "To be honest, it was just a couple of years ago that I was standing on that stage with 'The Hurt Locker,'" she told host Gayle King, "and so that might have something to do with it as well."

Meanwhile, she gets a big cover story in Time Magazine this week that serves as part profile, part timeline of the criticism that has been leveled toward "Zero Dark Thirty" for its conflation of circumstances and, some would say, "dangerous" depiction of torture and enhanced interrogation's role in finding Osama bin Laden.

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<p>Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa of &quot;Bullet to the Head&quot;</p>

Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa of "Bullet to the Head"

Credit: Warner Brothers

Set Visit: Walter Hill is back with 'Bullet to the Head'

'Warriors' director discusses his return to filmmaking
NEW ORLEANS. It's late August, 2011. The Big Easy. Outside, it's hot. Inside, things are heating up.
 
A gangster played by Jason Momoa walks into a grungy brown office, highlighted by peeling wallpaper and mold stains. He steps back out. He steps in again. He raises a gun and points it at the camera, raising and lowering the firearm, trying to get the proper eye-line. The gun is fitted with a silencer, but it's all for show. hitmen require silence to escape detection, but movie sets require noise for proper audio synching. As a result, a PA is walking around passing out earplugs and assuring a small group of reporters that things are about to get loud.
 
Unflappable, Momoa's character reenters the room and demands that a safe be opened. It's Day 40 of 43 on the set of a film the clap-boards call "Headshot," but which will be released as "Bullet to the Head." The titles, temp and future, mean the same thing and Momoa, wearing a suit and a ponytail, much more dapper than in his role on "Game of Thrones" or the recently released "Conan," lives up to the title by opening fire on the reticent hoodlums. He's vicious, efficient and deadly. And the PA was not wrong about the noise.
 
Moments later, extras exit the stage clutching blood-drenched paper towels.
 
Walter Hill is back.
 
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Watch: Justin Timberlake channels Sinatra and MJ and reveals '20/20' release date

Watch: Justin Timberlake channels Sinatra and MJ and reveals '20/20' release date

'Suit & Tie' lyric video dresses up the hit song featuring Jay-Z

Even Justin Timberlake’s lyric videos are fancier than other artists’.  The music clip for "Suit & Tie" featuring Jay-Z, which premiered this morning, could serve as a full-on video for the song instead of as the usual place-holder that most lyrics videos are.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Ana Gasteyer rocking out with the &quot;Suburgatory&quot;&nbsp;dad band.</p>

Ana Gasteyer rocking out with the "Suburgatory" dad band.

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Suburgatory' - 'Chinese Chicken'

Tessa becomes a football girlfriend, while Sheila rocks out with George's dad band

A review of last night's "Suburgatory" coming up just as soon as I all the parks in the miniature city in my basement are clothing-optional...

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<p>Alan Parker and Madonna on the set of &quot;Evita.&quot;</p>

Alan Parker and Madonna on the set of "Evita."

Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Roundup: BAFTA honors Alan Parker with Fellowship award

Also: A doctor speaks up for 'Silver Linings,' and why Ang Lee could win

Once an A-list director who scored Oscar nominations for "Midnight Express" and "Mississippi Burning," Alan Parker's critical reputation has since slipped, along with his work rate: he hasn't directed a film since 2003's widely lambasted "The Life of David Gale." But he remains a highly regarded figure in the British industry, where he's served as chairman of both the British Film Institute and the now-defunct UK Film Council. He's a long-anticipated choice, then, for the BAFTA Fellowship: the British Academy's highest career honor, and the final presentation at the group's awards ceremony. Parker has a happy relationship with BAFTA, having previously won competitive awards for "Bugsy Malone," "Midnight Express" and "The Commitments" -- this will be his seventh honor overall from the group. (Side note: His best film, for my money, remains "Shoot the Moon" -- for which he naturally received nothing at all.) [BAFTA]    

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