Best and Worst of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

Best and Worst of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

It's great, but not let's get crazy here

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" torched the box office last weekend and has already grossed over $186 million. That was pretty much expected based on the franchise's fan base and the strength of the first film in the franchise, 2012's "The Hunger Games."  What had to be a happy surprise to Lionsgate and director Francis Lawrence were some of the glowing reviews the film has received.  Some pundits even throwing out that "Catching Fire" is so good it's the best sequel since "Empire Strikes Back."  OK, the HitFix team thinks it's a really good flick, but let's not get crazy here people.  "Catching Fire" isn't destined to make most critic's best of year lists.  Obviously, "Catching Fire" isn't aiming for Oscars (or maybe it is?), but as pure old-fashioned cinematic entertainment it features more than enough obvious highlights and lowlights to wax on. And, yes, we can't wait for "Mockingjay, Pt. 1" either.

Read Full Post
<p>Margo Martindale during a dramatic moment in the first season of FX's &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Margo Martindale during a dramatic moment in the first season of FX's "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Margo Martindale is the latest victim of my obsession with 'The Americans'

Could she be back for more than one episode?

Poor Margo Martindale.  On a brisk Sunday morning in New York, the Emmy Award winner was paired with Oscar winner Chris Cooper to discuss  their impressive performances in John Wells' big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts' acclaimed stage play "August: Osage County."  Both actors have outside chances at best supporting Oscar nominations and, of course, what do I want to talk about?  All I want to do is ask Martindale questions about a television show she isn't "officially" a regular guest star on anymore, "The Americans."  

Read Full Post
<p>Jane Fonda at the 2013 Outfest Legacy Awards.</p>

Jane Fonda at the 2013 Outfest Legacy Awards.

Credit: HitFix

Jane Fonda steals the show from Lee Daniels at Outfest Legacy Awards

Plus: Did Raven-Symoné make her first 'out' appearance?

LOS ANGELES — If you've ever met Lee Daniels or seen an interview with him, you'd quickly ascertain that the director of "Precious" and "The Butler" is his own force of nature. He has a charisma and passion that has helped fuel his success as a filmmaker. So, to be fair, only a true diva could upstage him and especially on a night he's receiving a prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Enter Jane Fonda.

Read Full Post
Winners and Losers: Where are the 'Twilight' saga cast one year later?

Winners and Losers: Where are the 'Twilight' saga cast one year later?

You might be surprised who is in the winners list

It's been a little over a year since the "Twilight" saga said goodbye with the final chapter, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 2."  In the 12 months since Hollywood just hasn't been the same.  Studios have tried to recreate the screaming tween magic with numerous faux franchises such as "The Host" and "Mortal Instruments," but moviegoers just won't have it.  Sure, there's "Hunger Games" and potential future players like "Divergent" and "The Maze Runner," but where is our pop culture phenomenon to fill the "Twilight" void?  

Read Full Post
<p>Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson pose at the Los Angeles premiere of &quot;Catching Fire.&quot;</p>

Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson pose at the Los Angeles premiere of "Catching Fire."

Credit: AP Photo/Jordan Strauss

Jennifer Lawrence stuns as 'Catching Fire' premiere takes over downtown LA

Lionsgate throws a big party for their new blockbuster

LOS ANGELES - Can you imagine how hard it is to keep topping yourself on the red carpet when you're literally "the girl on fire"?  Somehow Jennifer Lawrence managed to do it again as jaws dropped when she appeared in a gorgeous see-thru swimsuit-esque dress at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Monday night.

Read Full Post
<p>Russell Tovey, Frankie J. Alvarez and Jonathan Groff on the set of HBO's &quot;Looking.&quot;</p>

Russell Tovey, Frankie J. Alvarez and Jonathan Groff on the set of HBO's "Looking."

Credit: Instagram.com/HBOLooking

Is HBO's 'Looking' the great gay TV series some of us have been waiting for?

Trying not to get too hyped about the new series

When it comes to "gay" TV shows, I tend to keep my expectations low. Lord knows there are more than enough gay men and women working in Hollywood today ( just behind the camera, of course) so you'd think we'd have a long line of quality shows to look back upon. Sadly, that hasn't been the case. There have been lots of well written and wonderfully conceived gay characters, but specific TV shows?  Not so much.

Read Full Post
<p>Adam Driver</p>

Adam Driver

Adam Driver says 'there's no truth' to rumor he's Nightwing in 'Batman vs. Superman'

'GIRLS' star is telling the truth or...

We all know how good Adam Driver is as an actor based on his work in the acclaimed HBO TV series "GIRLS" and films such as "Frances Ha," but is he telling the truth about his rumored involvement in the upcoming "Batman vs. Superman"?

Read Full Post
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Steve McQueen and Brad Pitt

2014 Oscar contenders work the room at the 2013 Governors Awards

That was the goal at least

A slew of potential nominees for the 86th Academy Awards attended the annual Governors Awards Saturday night, where voters were on hand to salute honorees Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury, Piero Tosi and Steve Martin. While a few were actually friends or relatives of the honorees, 99 percent of them were in full campaign mode (or at least that's what the studios and their publicists were hoping for).

Read Full Post
<p>Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o and Steve McQueen arrive at the GQ&nbsp;Awards earlier this week in Los Angeles.</p>

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o and Steve McQueen arrive at the GQ Awards earlier this week in Los Angeles.

Credit: AP Photo/John Schearer

Fox Searchlight celebrates the holidays with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and '12 Years a Slave' stars

And the 'Veep' star goes bug-eyed over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's latest

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — After a rough start to 2013 ("Stoker," say what?), Fox Searchlight has had a lot to celebrate. The studio's Sundance pickup "The Way, Way Back" was one of the art house hits of the summer earning $21 million, September comedy "Baggage Claim" did an OK $20 million with an $8.5 million budget and Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" became a surprise indie smash with $16 million and is still going strong (with $20 million well within reach). Oh, and of course, there is that little drama "12 Years a Slave" that critics and audiences have been a tad euphoric for.

Read Full Post
<p>Terrence Howard and Robert Downey, Jr. during a photo call for &quot;Iron Man&quot; in Rome in April, 2008.</p>

Terrence Howard and Robert Downey, Jr. during a photo call for "Iron Man" in Rome in April, 2008.

Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Terrence Howard now blames 'Iron Man 2' cut on Robert Downey, Jr.

It always comes down to money

Terrence Howard's departure from the "Iron Man" franchise has been the one blemish on Marvel Studios since the company began making its own films in 2007.  Howard played Co. James 'Rhodney' Rhondes, a long time friend of Tony Stark's (Robert Downey, Jr.) in Jon Favreau's franchise making hit. After "Iron Man" grossed over $585 million worldwide, it was assumed that the remaining cast would return for the inevitable sequel where Rhodes was expected to become Iron Man's buddy War Machine.  But it didn't happen.  The studio claimed contractual differences with Howard and cast Don Cheadle to replace him. "Iron Man 2" went on to make even more money than its predecessor and Cheadle easily made the role his own.

Read Full Post