Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jodie Foster arriving to the Golden&nbsp;Globes in January</p>

Jodie Foster arriving to the Golden Globes in January

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Jodie Foster to receive HFPA's Cecil B. DeMille Award

The seven-time Golden Globe nominee is the first woman to receive the honor in 12 years

It's nice that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association opted, finally, for a woman to receive its Cecil B. DeMille Award, analogous to a lifetime achievement honor. Sure, Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine and Elizabeth Taylor have received the distinction over the years, but the last time a woman received the special Golden Globe was 12 years ago when Barbra Streisand won it.

The stated criteria for the Cecil B. DeMille Award is for individuals who have made an impact on entertainment. And Foster certainly qualifies. Ever since she leaped onto the scene in 1976's "Taxi Driver" (from fellow DeMille-recipient Martin Scorsese), Foster has been a leading force in the industry.  She's won two Best Actress Oscars (for "The Accussed" and "The Silence of the Lambs") and been nominated for one more ("Nell"). She was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the aforementioned "Taxi Driver."

Read Full Post
<p>Bill Condon on the set of &quot;The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1'</p>

Bill Condon on the set of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1'

Credit: Summit

'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Press Conference with Bill Condon - Live-Blog

What was it like for the director of the last two parts of the franchise?

BEVERLY HILLS - I'd really thought/hoped/assumed I was done with my "Twilight" press conference live blogs after this year's Comic-Con in San Diego, but I was wrong. Over the next three hours, I should -- PRAY FOR MY WIFI -- be live-blogging "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" press conferences with Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, director Bill Condon and writers Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Rosenberg. I'm probably going to skip live-blogging the press conferences with Michael Sheen (who I'll be talking to tomorrow) and The Cullens. Sorry. I'm only one man. 

Up first...

Read Full Post
<p>Cheryl Hines as Dallas on &quot;Suburgatory.&quot;</p>

Cheryl Hines as Dallas on "Suburgatory."

Credit: ABC

The Morning Round-Up: '30 Rock' & 'Suburgatory'

Will Jenna decide the election? And how will George and Dallas do on their first date?

It's (very late) morning round-up time, with quick reviews of last night's "30 Rock" and "Suburgatory" coming up just as soon as I own a Fuddrucker's with Scottie Pippen...

Read Full Post
<p>Nature is often just plain disturbing.</p>

Nature is often just plain disturbing.

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Exclusive: Two images of isopods from Barry Levinson's unsettling eco-horror 'The Bay'

The more real a horror film is, the more upsetting it can be

I'll have a review of Barry Levinson's new film "The Bay" later today for you.  First, though, I thought I'd share a couple of images of the Isopods, the creatures that are the primary threat in the movie.

When Levinson was first approached by the producers, they wanted him to make a documentary about the way Chesapeake Bay is dying.  While he decided against doing the documentary because he saw one that he felt did a solid job of covering the topic, the more he read, the more fascinated he became by just how the bay is dying and why.

In particular, he was horrified by what he learned about isopods, and if you want to crank up the nightmares, just run a Google image search for "isopods."  Specifically "giant isopods."  Some of those actual images made their way into "The Bay," and at the Q&A after we saw the film, one of the audience members asked Levinson how much they had to exaggerate the isopods.  "We didn't," Levinson said.  "Those Google images you see are real."

Read Full Post
<p>Keira Knightley in &quot;Anna Karenina&quot;</p>

Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina"

Credit: Focus Features

Tech Support: 'Anna Karenina,' 'Les Mis' and 'Lincoln' lead the race for Best Production Design

Period, fantasy and contemporary films duke it out in a diverse mix

Ah, Best Production Design. It was about time the name was changed.

Previously known as “Best Art Direction,” the award doesn’t cite a movie’s art director. Rather, it recognizes both the production designer, who is in charge of the set designs and the overall art department, and the set decorator, whose responsibility it is to fill up those environments with accouterment that truly brings them alive.

The Designers Branch, as it is now known, votes for the nominees in Best Production Design. It also contains the costume designers, making the branch responsible for two of the Oscar categories, like the sound branch. And while the category’s name has changed, the rules have not, so branch's past behavior provides helpful guidance in handicapping this race.

Read Full Post
<p>Anthony Hopkins in &quot;Hitchcock.&quot;</p>

Anthony Hopkins in "Hitchcock."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Will 'Hitchcock' remind the Academy of its own Hitch neglect?

The biopic is set to premiere tonight at AFI Fest

Tonight, Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock" will kick off the AFI Fest in Los Angeles, giving Oscar-watchers more to murmur about while critics decide if it's a tribute worthy of Hitch himself or a disposable dress-up piece in the "My Week With Marilyn" mold.

Either way, Fox Searchlight -- who sprang a surprise on the season by moving the film up from its scheduled 2013 bow -- will be aiming to get more awards traction for their starry prestige item than almost any film directed by Hitchcock himself managed.

That tidy irony, meanwhile, could emerge as the chief hook for "Hitchcock"'s Oscar campaign: many voters will be aware of how the Academy neglected the master in the past, so might they choose to demonstrate their latter-day awareness of his greatness by voting for a film in which he's the subject?

Read Full Post
<p>Your friendly neighborhood TV&nbsp;critic hasn't quite been in a &quot;Revolution&quot;&nbsp;situation the last few days, but it's been closer than he'd like.</p>

Your friendly neighborhood TV critic hasn't quite been in a "Revolution" situation the last few days, but it's been closer than he'd like.

Credit: NBC

The week the lights went out in Jersey

Catching up on a strange week in TV in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

How's everybody doing? We came through the storm just fine (we were much luckier than many of our neighbors, whose houses were struck by falling trees), but like most everyone in New Jersey, our house has been blacked out for days. I've found at least a temporary place to work that has electricity and internet, but it's been a strange few days, both inside and outside the storm's path.

Read Full Post
<p>Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;The Master.&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Roundup: Phoenix keeps riding the truth train

Also: Gearing up for AFI Fest, and is 'Cloud Atlas' still a Best Pic player?

I have to say, Joaquin Phoenix deserves the Oscar for his interviews alone this season -- whether he likes it or not, he's swiftly shaping up as the most compelling human figure in this year's awards race, and I'm increasingly thinking his sheer unfiltered bolshiness could be more of a help than a hindrance to his reluctant Best Actor campaign. His latest refreshing dose of candor comes in a UK broadsheet interview, and is perhaps more endearing than his headline-making anti-awards rant. The choice quote: "I think the trouble is I'm not very good and I need a lot of help; I need the entire set to be working to help me." Keep going, sir. [The Independent

Read Full Post
2013 Best Director Contenders: From Ben Affleck to Robert Zemeckis

2013 Best Director Contenders: From Ben Affleck to Robert Zemeckis

A varied field of filmmakers makes the push for Oscar recognition this year

Moving right along through the season's major Oscar categories, we come today to the Best Director field. A wide and varied field of contenders is represented, from intimate dramas to CGI blockbusters and everything in between.

Read Full Post
<p>President Barack Obama, NJ&nbsp;Gov. Chris Christie and local officials discuss the relief efforts in Sandy-struck New Jersey on Wednesday, Oct. 31.</p>

President Barack Obama, NJ Gov. Chris Christie and local officials discuss the relief efforts in Sandy-struck New Jersey on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Contender Countdown: A sprint after Hurricane Sandy and the Election

is it just a three-way race?

"Is it over yet?" 

Usually, that's a common refrain you hear during awards season at the beginning of February after countless pseudo awards shows, screenings, cocktail parties, interviews and film festivals.  Instead, it seems to be the nation's collective mindset about the upcoming presidential election.  Since the conventions at the end of August, the nation's attention has been distracted or bombarded by election coverage, debates and commercials.  And while few of the latter even air in Los Angeles, the movie industry is spending just as much time checking the latest poll results as a soccer mom in Kansas might be. Compound the last few months with three highly rated debates and 72 hours of Hurricane Sandy coverage (and concern) and you'll understand why it sort of feels like this year's Oscar race has been in a bit of a holding pattern.

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from Wednesday's &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

A scene from Wednesday's "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Not the Only Actor On This Island'

Would secrets and lies be revealed after a Merge?
Pre-credit sequence. Team Jeff Kent returns to Kalabaw camp. "Denise, we have to give you a break from this Tribal nonsense," Penner tells the Matsing exile, who has been at every Tribal Council this season and has begun to suspect she may be cursed. Jeff Kent's figuring Penner is going to help him out eventually, which is why he went against Katie at the last vote. "Thanks guys, for not voting with her," says Penner, who was surprised that anybody had voted against him. Penner had briefly forgotten that people in "Survivor" lie, but now he's got his eyes and ears open. "I'd be ridiculously stupid not to," he says.
Read Full Post


Credit: ABC

'Nashville' recap: 'We Live in Two Different Worlds'

Juliette finds out how much a bottle of nail polish will really cost her

So, as we know from the promos that have been plastered all over ABC, this episode will focus on Juliette's undoing. Last week we saw her steal a bottle of nail polish, and now the video of that self-destructive moment has gone viral. Let the fallout begin! I have to wonder what it's going to take for Juliette to recover from this screw-up, especially since we know that in real life she's hardly to sweet country princess she pretends to be. Maybe she can save some puppies from drowning during a natural disaster or something. 

Read Full Post