Latest Blog Posts

<p>Monica Potter as Kristina in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Monica Potter as Kristina in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'Keep On Rowing'

Kristina gets a haircut, Crosby gets a houseguest and everything gets messy between Julia and Victor

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as my butcher looks at me like I have leprosy...

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<p>Jessica Chastain talks about her award-winning role in Kathryn Bigelow's &quot;Zero Dark Thirty.&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain talks about her award-winning role in Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty."

'Zero Dark Thirty's' Jessica Chastain says she's 'far too emotional' to ever be a CIA agent

'The Help' star might also have a problem with keeping secrets (maybe)

NEW YORK - How on earth did it take this long for Jessica Chastain to come to Hollywood's attention?  She's spending the day talking about her role as Maya, a hard edged CIA analyst on the difficult hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" and her genuine charisma is beyond infectious. She practically glows when talking about the project. Of course, the truth is it didn't take Hollywood that long.  Chastain booked her first major movie role over three years ago and shot six other movies before "The Tree of Life" finally brought her to moviegoers attention in May, 2011.  Three months later "The Help" hit theaters and she went from relative unknown to finding herself recognized on the street.

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<p>John Goodman and Alan&nbsp;Arkin in &quot;Argo&quot;</p>

John Goodman and Alan Arkin in "Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'Argo' wins three from Phoenix critics including Best Picture

Daniel Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain take top acting honors

"Argo" won top honors with the Phoenix Film Critics Society, which announced nominees two weeks ago. Kathryn Bigelow took the Best Director prize for "Zero Dark Thirty," however. Daniel Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain took top acting honors, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Anne Hathaway filling out the supporting ranks. Check out the full list of winners below and as always, keep track of it all at The Circuit.

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<p>Join Albert Brooks as we raise a glass to ring out 2012 with one final episode of the podcast.</p>

Join Albert Brooks as we raise a glass to ring out 2012 with one final episode of the podcast.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Albert Brooks joins us to talk about 'This Is 40' on the final podcast of 2012

We also dig deep on 'Star Wars,' 'The Hobbit,' and Christmas controversies

Yes, it's true.  I somehow managed to wrangle Scott Swan over to the house one last time for a final 2012 podcast.

This has been a terrible year for the podcast, frankly, and Scott and I are both aware of it.  I am tired of being a guy who is full of good intentions but who is also unable to follow through with those intentions.  It does me no good to want to publish something unless I actually prepare and publish that thing.  As the HitFix audience continues to grow, something that we here at the site are all intensely proud of, I've got to master my ability to juggle tasks.  There are times I'm good at it, and times I fail completely, and I am genuinely torn up about that.

In particular, I feel a sense of obligation to sort things out regarding the podcast.  The feedback Scott and I have gotten over the years from you guys has been incredibly kind and it feels like there's a community of you out there who have listened to them all and who have encouraged us constantly, and because of that, Scott and I are working out a way to maintain a regular schedule.  He keeps crazy hours these days, as do I, and we're both also dealing with the demands of family… and none of that matters, ultimately, to an audience who wants content at a reliable time each week.

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Is Jay-Z 'scoring' Baz Luhrmann’s 'The Great Gatsby?'

Is Jay-Z 'scoring' Baz Luhrmann’s 'The Great Gatsby?'

Apparently, the rapper and The Bullitts are -- wait, who's The Bullitts?

If you closely associate American classic "The Great Gatsby" with the term "dope," then you may have reason to get excited about the score Baz Lurmann's forthcoming film. In what appears to be a confirmation of a rumor that began swirling this fall, Jay-Z is on board to score the new adaptation, along with producer/songwriter The Bullitts.

"Jay-Z and myself have been working tirelessly on the score for the upcoming #CLASSIC The Great Gatsby! It is too DOPE for words!" said Jeymes Samuel, aka The Bullitts on Twitter.

Jay-Z has yet officially corroborate, though you can hear his voice all over the trailer to "Gatsby": his and Kanye West's Watch The Throne tune "No Church in the Wild" features in the clip.

But wait a minute: who is The Bullitts?

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Oscar nominations voting deadline delayed to Jan. 4

Oscar nominations voting deadline delayed to Jan. 4

Academy members have 24 more hours to figure out the internet

In an announcement that will surprise no one, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended the nomination voting deadline from Thursday, Jan. 3 to Friday, Jan. 4.

AMPAS COO Ric Robertson noted in a release, “By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible. We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.” 

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<p>Ben&nbsp;Affleck on the set of &quot;Argo&quot;</p>

Ben Affleck on the set of "Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Off the Carpet: Something everyone can agree on

As polling draws to a close, one film seems to have blanket approval

When asked this season what film I think will win Best Picture, I've said "Les Misérables" since about September. Obviously for a stretch that was sight-unseen. Then the film, and others, came along. And I stuck with it. Largely I had to defend the call against those who couldn't see a film that is perceived as "divisive" (and boy are the detractors LOUD) winning the top prize, and they had a fair enough point.

The only thing is, I see passion for the film and the nay-sayers are a bit marginalized. Critics and industry people view this film differently. And those who love the film LOVE it. You can't ignore that kind of embrace. Few films this year really have it. And it's particularly important in a season that seems more up-for-grabs than any in recent history.

But as more and more members have finally caught up with the majority of the season's offerings in the past few weeks, I've made sure I paid attention to one thing in particular in my conversations: consensus. Consensus and general agreement wins you Oscars. But many films have inherent marks against them. There are really only two films, though, that tend to be enjoyed, adored, respected and liked all the way across the board, and one of them has taken shape as the potential taker of the cake. That film is "Argo."

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<p>Luke Kirby and Michelle Williams in &quot;Take This Waltz.&quot;</p>

Luke Kirby and Michelle Williams in "Take This Waltz."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Lovers and masters: Guy's top 10 films of 2012

Counting down the year's best, from the multiplex to the festival fringes

And so it is that I've left it until the last day of the year to add my Top 10 list to the already teetering; I don't think I've ever left it so late before, and it certainly wasn't calculated on my part, though there's something pleasingly tidy about using New Year's Eve as an occasion to post a list that, in some ways, looks forward as much as it looks back. (Speaking of looking forward: in a break from tradition, the list is accompanied by a video countdown this year, so if you want my curious accent guiding you through, just press play.) 

This is the space where I'm supposed to say it's been a good/bad/indifferent year for film, though I'm increasingly uncertain of how to answer that question. That's partly because of the way I compile my list: given that I occupy the no-man's-land territory of a European critic on an American site, release calendars are hard to keep up with and even harder to stick to, so I opt instead to include any new film I saw in 2012, whether as a theatrical release, on the festival circuit or somewhere in between.

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Credit: AP Photo

U2 reveals working title for 13th studio set

Is it a joke or for real?

The working title for U2’s new album is “10 Reasons to Exist.” 

Lead singer Bono revealed the moniker, perhaps jokingly,  in a radio interview after Christmas, according to The Independent newspaper.

There’s no release date yet for the group’s 13th studio album, which the band worked on throughout 2012.  Bono added, “Within the band, we’ve been calling it ‘10 Reasons to Exist,’ —but I will tell you we might have at least six of them.” Call us crazy, but we're betting that this will not be the final title, but it's a fascinating idea for a concept album.

U2’s last studio album was 2009’s “No Line On The Horizon.” 


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<p>&quot;Once more into the fray, into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day.&quot;</p>

"Once more into the fray, into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day."

Credit: Open Road Films

2012: the year in superlatives

Awarding the best in Oscar's categories and ours

As 2012 prepares to fade and the ball primes itself for another drop a few blocks away, it's time to look back once more on the year that was. Well, not "once more." The season is still pushing ahead and we won't be finished with it until February 24, but as far as I'm concerned, this annual post is my bow on what the year had to offer.

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<p>Green Day</p>

Green Day

Credit: Bruce Gilbert/AP

Green Day to hit the road again in March 2013

Band returns after six months off for Billie Joe Armstrong's recovery

After canceling some dates outright and postponing others while lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong attended rehab, Green Day will hit the road again on March 28, starting at Chicago’s Allstate Arena.

The trio, who released three albums between September and December of 2012, called off all promotional shows and a planned tour after Armstrong went into an explosive rant  at the IHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas in late September. When originally announced in October, the group canceled all remaining dates for 2012 and postponed shows for January- February.  Those early 2013 shows are now canceled.

Armstrong thanks his fans and friends for their support over the last several months. "Dear friends... I just want to thank you all for the love and support you've shown for the past few months. Believe me, it hasn't gone unnoticed and I'm eternally grateful to have such an amazing set of friends and family. I'm getting better everyday. So now, without further ado, the show must go on. We can't wait to get on the road and live out [loud]! Our passion has only grown stronger."

Collectively, the band also issued its thanks: "Dear friends... I just want to thank you all for the love and support you've shown for the past few months. Believe me, it hasn't gone unnoticed and I'm eternally grateful to have such an amazing set of friends and family. I'm getting better everyday. So now, without further ado, the show must go on. We can't wait to get on the road and live out load! Our passion has only grown stronger."

West coast dates will be announced in early 2013. Refunds for the now-canceled January and February shows are now available.


28th - Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena
29th - Moline, IL - I Wireless Center
31st - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center   
1st - Rochester, NY - Blue Cross Arena
3rd - Philadelphia, PA - Liacourias Center
4th - Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center
6th - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
7th - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center
9th - Providence, RI - Dunkin Donuts Center
11th - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
12th - Quebec City, QC - Quebec Colisee
7th - Green Bay, WI - Resch Center
10th - Wilkes-Barre, PA - Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
11th - State College, PA - Bryce Jordan Center - Penn State Univ.
18th - Manchester, NH - Verizon Wireless Arena
25th - Portland, ME - Cumberland Co. Civic Center
30th - Cleveland, OH - Wolstein Ctr. / Cleveland St. Univ.
2nd - Madison, WI - Alliant Energy Center Mem. Coliseum
4th - Omaha, NE - CenturyLink Arena                                     
6th - Broomfield, CO - 1STBANK Center 
8th - Las Vegas, NV  - MGM Grand Garden Arena              


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<p>Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith in the &quot;Doctor Who&quot;&nbsp;Christmas special.</p>

Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith in the "Doctor Who" Christmas special.

Credit: BBC

Review: 'Doctor Who' - 'The Snowmen'

Jenna-Louise Coleman debuts (again) as the new companion (sort of)

A quick review of last week's "Doctor Who" Christmas special coming up just as soon as I am a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife...

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