Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jamie Foxx in &quot;Django Unchained.&quot;</p>

Jamie Foxx in "Django Unchained."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Roundup: Did the Academy spill one of their nominees early?

Also: The Globes get a theme song, and why there's still hope for 'Les Mis' fans

In these final heated days before the Oscar nominations, even the most minor kerfuffle can become a story, and so it's been with the Academy's supposedearly announcement a few days ago of one nominee: "Django Unchained" costume designer Sharen Davis. A test page announcing Davis's third nomination was accidentally published on the Academy's official site a few days ago. Scott Feinberg was among those pointing out that the "leak" can't have been legit, given that votes were still being counted, and was indeed nothing more than a randomly chosen example to test the format, but that hasn't stopped the story from spreading. In any case, Davis's nod for "Django"'s dynamic duds already looked a pretty sure thing, with or without the Academy's "confirmation." [Vanity Fair

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<p>Yes, he showed up at ten in the morning with his cigar already almost finished. You have to love him.</p>

Yes, he showed up at ten in the morning with his cigar already almost finished. You have to love him.

Credit: HitFix

Must Watch: Schwarzenegger takes journalists on tank rides to promote 'The Last Stand'

Sometimes, this job is just plain weird

When someone asks you if you want to ride a tank while Arnold Schwarzenegger drives it, you say yes.

I don't have many hard and fast rules in life, but that's one of them.  It's not a rule that I've had to put to the test many times, but last week, the moment of truth finally arrived, and so I drove down to the Lionsgate offices in Santa Monica to meet a group of fellow journalists.  We all boarded a bus and then headed up to the Melody Ranch Studio in Santa Clarita.

You've seen it in a million different movies, most recently in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," where it was used as the first town that Schultz and Django ride into, where Schultz asks for the sheriff to be brought to see them in the saloon.  We ended up eating lunch in that saloon later in the day, and I intentionally sat at the same table where Django and Schultz sat while drinking their beers.

The way the day started, though, was with Arnold Schwarzenegger introducing us to his tank.  He bought this particular tank in the early '90s for one of the Planet Hollywood locations, but they never ended up using it there.  Instead, he kept it, and one of his main purposes for it over the years has been as part of an incentives program for a foundation he runs for inner-city kids.  When the kids do well during the week, one of the rewards they can enjoy is a trip to the Melody Ranch so they can ride in the tank while Arnold drives.

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David Bowie set to release 'The Next Day,' his first album in a decade

David Bowie set to release 'The Next Day,' his first album in a decade

Listen to new Tony Visconti-produced song, 'Where Are We Now'

Jan. 8 is David Bowie’s 66th birthday and he’s handing out a huge present: Ten years after his last studio album and well into a self-imposed retirement, David Bowie shocked his fans by releasing a new single Monday night and announcing a new album.

“Where Are We Now,” produced by longtime collaborator Tony Visconti, precedes the March 12 release of “The Next Day,” Bowie's first studio album since 2003’s “Reality.” The new song/video is embedded below, but since that video is sometimes cutting out, you can also  hear the new song here. It's available for sale on iTunes now.

The standard album, according to Bowie's website, is 14 tracks with a 17-track deluxe edition also available. Both are available for pre-order on iTunes. "The Next Day," on Iso/Columbia, is Bowie's 30th studio recording.

The mid-tempo song is  low-key, but passionate and the good news is Bowie still sounds, well, like Bowie. There's a certain lilting poignancy to the track and a bit of a fragility. The video features Bowie’s face on top of a furry stuffed animal sitting in a chair. He looks, well, older. Stick around toward the end, when we see the full Bowie, looking much like we remembered. Anyone know who the women beside him in the video is? The video, directed by Tony Oursler,  also features footage of an auto repair shop beneath the apartment Bowie lived in in Berlin.

*And by the way, Bowie fans, Monday marked the 41st anniversary of the release of "Changes."

[More after the jump...]

“The Next Day” track listing


1. “The Next Day”
2. “Dirty Boys”
3. “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
4. “Love Is Lost”
5. “Where Are We Now?”
6. “Valentine’s Day”
7. “If You Can See Me”
8. “I’d Rather Be High”
9. “Boss of Me”
10. “Dancing Out In Space”
11. “How Does the Grass Grow?”
12. “(You Will) Set the World On Fire”
13. “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die”
14. “Heat”
15. “So She” (Bonus Track)
16. “I’ll Take You There” (Bonus Track)
17. “Plan” (Bonus Track)

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Whose Oscar nomination dreams are on the bubble?

Whose Oscar nomination dreams are on the bubble?

'Skyfall,' Quvenzhané Wallis, 'The Intouchables,' Maggie Smith and more

There are only a few days until the nominations are announced for the 85th Academy Awards and you can feel the tension in the air from the 405 to the 101. Potential nominees, Oscar consultants and studio execs all have something on the line whether it's prestige, their reputation or a marketable number of nominations to help a prestige flick get into the black. And for those that care too much this is likely the most nerve wracking week of the entire season.  For awards fans?  It's close to heaven.

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<p>Prince in 2010</p>

Prince in 2010

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Listen: New Prince song, 'Same Page, Different Book'

Mysterious Twitter account keeps springing forth with Purple One's material

Prince has uploaded new music for his fans to enjoy... or if not him, someone who seems to have remarkable access to his vault.

As Antiquiet first reported, a Twitter account, under the name 3rdEyeGirl, has been providing links to Prince songs. It started with remixes of “Rock N' Roll Love Affair”—a song he released in November— and then one of “Laydown.”

[More after the jump...]

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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'The Bachelor' returns for the first jumbo-sized rose ceremony

The ladies are distressed when Sean upsets the usual order of things
"The Bachelor" is back, and he is Sean Lowe. You know, the sweet, clean-cut guy who had his heart handed to him by Emily Maynard on "The Bachelorette." As you might expect, he's very humble and feels very blessed and just can't wait to settle down and start a family. "God still has another plan for me," he says sweetly and humbly.  
 
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<p>A scene from &quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

A scene from "Lincoln"

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

'Lincoln' dominates North Texas film critics awards

Awards for 'Life of Pi,' 'The Intouchables' and 'Wreck-It Ralph,' too

The North Texas Film Critics Association has thrown another log on the fire for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," the film's second critics Best Picture prize of the season. The film also won Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Anne Hathaway (Best Supporting Actress) and Claudio Miranda (Best Cinematography) kept it from being a clean sweep. Check out the full list of winners below. As always, dig the season at The Circuit.

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<p>&quot;Zero&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Thirty&quot;</p>

"Zero Dark Thirty"

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Zero Dark Thirty' wins big with Vancouver critics

'War Witch' does well in Canadian spotlight awards

Just as "Argo" had pulled it to a tie, "Zero Dark Thirty" takes another step out ahead of the critics awards haul with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay honors from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams won awards for their performances in "The Master." Check out the full list below and, as always, you know: The Circuit.

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<p>Michelle (Sutton Foster)&nbsp;goes to work for a magician (Michael DeLuise)&nbsp;in &quot;Bunheads.&quot;</p>

Michelle (Sutton Foster) goes to work for a magician (Michael DeLuise) in "Bunheads."

Credit: ABC Family

Review: 'Bunheads' - 'You Wanna See Something?'

Michelle gets a new job while the girls pass a package around in the dramedy's welcome return

A review of the "Bunheads" mid-season premiere coming up just as soon as I wire a cardboard box for electricity...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 165: Press tour, 'Girls,' 'Shamless,' 'Enlightened' & more

Dan and Alan also review Cinemax's "Banshee"

The

Time for a half-and-half installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, which covers both the first few days of the Television Critics Association press tour and the premieres of a bunch of pay cable shows this weekend, from Cinemax's latest drama to the return of one of TV's most divisive (and, from our POV, best) comedies. The lineup: 

TCA Press Tour (00:01:20 - 00:34:55)
"Banshee" (00:35:10 - 00:43:20)
"Girls" (00:43:25 - 00:53:40)
"Enlightened" (00:53:45 - 00:59:29)
"Shameless" (00:59:30 - 01:10:50)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>Superman and Batman will get the LEGO&nbsp;treatment when 'Lego:&nbsp;The Piece Of Resistance' arrives in theaters in 2014.</p>

Superman and Batman will get the LEGO treatment when 'Lego: The Piece Of Resistance' arrives in theaters in 2014.

Credit: Warner Bros/LEGO

Warner Bros. puts 'brain trust' together to oversee new feature animation division

The 'Lego' movie will hopefully kick off a new era for the company

So why haven't they done this for their DC films yet?

I've read the same reports you have today about how Warner Bros. is hoping to jumpstart their animation division by putting together a "brain trust" of people to help make decisions and steer development, and that's a great idea.  I'm a firm believer that the development process does not have to stink, but it does most of the time because you have people who are exceptional at the money side of the business insisting on giving creative notes.  This baffles me because it seems so plainly contradictory as a business model.  We need both disciplines in the film business, obviously.  When you're dealing with an art form that costs millions and millions of dollars, you need people who know how to keep that money coming in, but most of those people have no idea how to actually write a great movie, so getting notes from them on the process can be an exercise in frustration and madness.

No, I like the idea of the creative round-table.  TV shows use that model, and some of the best shows are the result of all those minds focused on one creative task.  Pixar's story department is one of the very best in the business because they take full advantage of having all those voices in the mix.  Marvel Studios has done a good job following the same basic game plan.  Comedy filmmakers often bring in groups of writers to take one last group pass at a script before they go into production.

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<p>Check out that skull ring. If that doesn't say 'Conan the Barbarian,' nothing does.</p>

Check out that skull ring. If that doesn't say 'Conan the Barbarian,' nothing does.

Credit: HitFix

Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about playing an older Conan in upcoming sequel

Watch one of action cinema's greatest icons make me very, very happy

It's safe to say you're going to see a little flurry of Arnold Schwarzenegger related activity here in the next week or so.

Makes sense.  He's got his first starring role in a while coming out on the 18th, and Lionsgate is doing everything they can to create some attention for the movie.  Since this is his return to leading roles, there is a fair amount of natural excitement out there among movie fans.  I watched first-hand as Arnold turned a group of journalists who are used to meeting movie stars the vapors at an event on Friday, and I'll have more on that for you later tonight.

First, though, I wanted to share a brief clip from the interview I did with Arnold yesterday.  He was paired with Johnny Knoxville, and yes, that's just as strange in the room as it is on a poster.  We talked about "The Last Stand" for most of the conversation, but I couldn't help but make one quick digression right at the end of things.

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