Latest Blog Posts

"The Taste"

 "The Taste"

Credit: ABC

'The Taste''s Anthony Bourdain talks fish confusion and bad table manners

The famous chef says

When "The Taste" premieres with a two-hour episode tonight (Tues. 8:00 p.m. on ABC), the new cooking contest promises to put 16 competitors of varying skill levels -- from professional chefs to home cooks -- to the ultimate taste test. Each must create a perfect bite for food icons and judge/mentors Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludovic Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey. To make it a little tougher on the judges, the taste test is truly blind -- they don't get to see the chef or learn anything about him or her before they must decide whether or not they want that chef to be part of their team. Then, at the end of each episode, they must judge the competitors' dishes blind to determine who's getting sent home. You know, like "The Voice," but with food. 

Read Full Post
<p>Jay and Mark Duplass return to &quot;The Mindy Project&quot;&nbsp;tonight.</p>

Jay and Mark Duplass return to "The Mindy Project" tonight.

Credit: FOX

Mark and Jay Duplass on 'The Mindy Project,' 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Safety Not Guaranteed' & more

What's it like when two filmmaking brothers play brothers on camera?

Mark Duplass likes to work — and the more job titles, the better. In 2012 alone, he appeared in four movies, doubled as a producer on one of them ("Safety Not Guaranteed"), did his usual 13 episodes as Pete on FX's "The League," and wrote and directed "The Do-Deca Pentathlon," his latest filmmaking collaboration with brother Jay Duplass. (Their previous films include "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" and "Cyrus," among others.) And tonight at 9:30, the brothers Duplass make their latest on-camera appearance on FOX's "The Mindy Project" as Brendan and Duncan, a pair of midwives who are competing with Mindy's obstetrics practice.

I spoke with the brothers back in December (shortly before the release of "Zero Dark Thirty," in which Mark is part of a massive TV Character Actors On Parade supporting ensemble) about how they hooked up with Mindy Kaling, what it's like to play brothers on screen, and whether Mark prefers one of his many showbiz identities to the others.

Read Full Post
Listen: Paramore's propulsive new single 'Now'

Listen: Paramore's propulsive new single 'Now'

See cover art for 'Paramore' and the track listing

Paramore’s Hayley Williams channels Gwen Stefani and Amy Lee on the propulsive single, “Now,” the group’s first single from its forthcoming self-titled album, out April 9.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Lake Bell of &quot;In a World&quot;</p>

Lake Bell of "In a World"

Credit: Sundance

Sundance Review: 'In a World...' is a promising directing debut for Lake Bell

TV veteran also wrote, produced and stars in the voice-over comedy
Although she's worked steadily and bounced freely between comedy and drama, Hollywood has occasionally struggled to figure out how to properly use Lake Bell.
Fortunately for Lake Bell, there is a writer-director with the good sense to get the most out of Lake Bell. That writer-director's name? Lake Bell, of course.
The "Surface" and "Childrens Hospital" star is making her feature debut as a writer-producer-director-star with the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Competition entry "In a World..." And the results are encouraging. While Bell definitely shows some first-timer growing pains behind the camera, she's got a snappy ear for dialogue, a smart eye for casting and she's given Lake Bell what may be her best part ever.
As a fully realized film, "In a World..." is clever and sweet and while it may not linger permanently in my mind, it has me genuinely intrigued by Bell's potential as a multi-hyphenate. 
More after the break...
Read Full Post
<p>Josh Radnor and Ashley Benson in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Josh Radnor and Ashley Benson in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Ring Up'

Ted dates a much younger woman, Robin turns invisible and Lily loves Marshall's new accessory

A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as a flash mob breaks out in front of a group of Korean American food trucks in Williamsburg...

Read Full Post
<p>Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in &quot;The East.&quot;</p>

Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in "The East."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Review: Brit Marling tackles the eco-terrorists (and the Hollywood thriller) in 'The East'

Slick, involving film is the multiplex-friendly face of Sundance indies

PARK CITY - "Why is it that self-righteousness always goes hand-in-hand with resistance movements?" So asks Brit Marling's prematurely jaded intelligence agent in her investigation of a particularly precocious band of eco-terrorists in "The East," a slick, involving, somewhat uneven independent thriller that marks the writer-producer-star's second promising collaboration with director Zal Batmanglij.

Funny enough in itself, the question encapsulates much of what works in this high-concept, higher-gloss bid for mainstream attention from the team behind "Sound of My Voice": incorporating and accommodating a range of views, the politics are elastic in what threatens from a distance to be a dry, earnest slab of liberal issue-mongering. Perhaps chiefly a study of noble causes pursued by less-than-noble means -- and questioning how wide that chasm between , "The East" follows Batmanglij's previous film in portraying the infiltration of a cult-like underground organization with an undefined depth of influence.

Read Full Post
<p>I don't want to ruin the surprise, but walking and talking might play a small part in Richard Linklater's new film 'Before Midnight'.</p>

I don't want to ruin the surprise, but walking and talking might play a small part in Richard Linklater's new film 'Before Midnight'.

Credit: Sundance Film Festival

Review: Richard Linklater's 'Before Midnight' once again showcases Hawke and Delpy

Is this threequel better than the first two films?

PARK CITY - I called my wife tonight when I got out of the theater where I saw "Before Midnight," the new film by Richard Linklater that follows up his first two movies about Jesse and Celine, because that seemed like the most urgent thing in the world at that particular moment.

I was 25 years old when "Before Sunrise" came out.  I was living with a woman, on my way to married, working as a screenwriter and making a living with my writing for the first time ever, and when I saw the film, it hit me dead center.  I was blown away by the gentle, clever, romantic voice of the movie.  Ethan Hawke is practically the default avatar for white dudes my age, an '80s survivor that has grown up interesting and seemingly intact, and Julie Delpy… well, come on.  I grew up in love with European cinema.  I certainly had my "OMG French girls" phase, and Delpy looks like the walking embodiment of it. 

What really seemed dazzling to me was the way the script by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan did one of the things I find most difficult in writing:  they carefully crafted something that felt utterly spontaneous.  At the end of that film, I don't remember thinking, "Okay, now I want a sequel."  I just loved it as a standalone thing, and it went into my regular rotation of films I adored.

Read Full Post
Watch: Pat Smear and Taylor Hawkins talk Foo Fighters' future

Watch: Pat Smear and Taylor Hawkins talk Foo Fighters' future

How does the term 'reunion' sit with former Nirvana member Smear?

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear have no fear that the Foo Fighters are finished. They're merely enjoying their break, supporting the lead Foo. At the "Sound City" premiere at Sundance, the two members fleshed out their feelings on Dave Grohl's non-album project  -- which, coincidentally, turned into an album project anyway ("Sound City - Real to Reel").

Smear -- who also played in Nirvana -- said that the assembled Sound City Players may just become "the greatest cover or backing band of all time."

As for the future of the Foos, "Today, it's just this. We're all here and we're all playing," he said, referring to the fact that all personnel was on hand for the premiere and helped on its soundtrack.

Drummer Hawkins said that the Foo Fighters have a "natural never-ending future... we're family." When Grohl told festival-goers last year that the band was going away for a while, "people made a bit more out of it" than it was. "I don't think it was meant to be dramatic. We should have said nothing, then everybody would be really happy when we came back. It's cyclical," said, commenting o n the album release cycle, "then everybody needs to go do something else."

For Hawkins, something else are "small" projects, mountain biking "every day of my life" and making time with his kids. "My 'that' is this, helping Dave out."

Watch the rest of our red carpet interview above, with a cameo from film buff and Slipknot leader Corey Taylor and Smear talking about the term "reunion" with Nirvana in mind.

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: 'Home Is Where the Art Is'

Adrienne and Paul reemerge and Lisa holds a grudge against Mauricio

You know that fight Mauricio and Brandi had last week at Kyle's little Moroccan-themed get together? Well, it was so intense, it's still going on a week later! Not really, but we're picking up right where we left off last week, which means more of Brandi screaming and swearing, more of Mauricio wondering why he didn't just pick up McDonald's and have a quiet meal at home, and Ken nibbling on Mauricio's knees in defense of his glamazon faux-girlfriend. Oh, and as usual Taylor tries to make it all about her, not that anyone cares.

Read Full Post
<p>Shia LaBeouf in &quot;The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.&quot;</p>

Shia LaBeouf in "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman."

Review: Shia LaBeouf keeps running in 'The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman'

Can a movie become dated during its world premiere?

PARK CITY - After battling giant evil robots for a good chunk of the past six years, Shia LaBeouf is proving he's up for something different when he gets in front of the camera.  Last year he starred in John Hillcoat's period thriller "Lawless" and Robert Redford's political drama "The Company You Keep," the later which will hit theaters in April.  It's been a long time, however, since LaBeouf was likable, let alone appeared as though he was actually having a good time making the picture.  Enter,  Fredrik Bond's "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman" which premiered Monday night at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from &quot;The Look of Love.&quot;</p>

A scene from "The Look of Love."

Credit: IFC Films

British films 'The Look of Love' and 'The Summit' both secure distribution at Sundance

IFC and Sundance Selects have opened their arms

PARK CITY - The acquisitions announcements are coming thick and fast in Sundance, and while I haven't been keeping up with that side of things, I did notice that two of the festival's bigger British entries have found a home with the IFC family.

Michael Winterbottom's "The Look of Love," a semi-comedic biopic of London porn entrepreneur Paul Raymond, has been picked up by IFC Films -- no surprise there, given that they've handled most of Winterbottom's recent work. The new film has enjoyed a mixed reception at the festival -- I thought it was so-so myself -- but is on the accessible end of spectrum, and might actually play better on a VOD platform. (In my review, I mentioned that I thought the material best suited to TV, so close enough.)

Read Full Post
<p>Michael B. Jordan and Ariana Neal in &quot;Fruitvale&quot;</p>

Michael B. Jordan and Ariana Neal in "Fruitvale"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Michael B. Jordan impresses in Weinstein Sundance acquisition 'Fruitvale'

Will we hear more from this tearjerker on the circuit later this year?

PARK CITY - Going into Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale" this afternoon, I was unaware of the unfortunate case of Oscar Grant. So my experience of the film is bound to differentiate from someone who was up on the story or, indeed, any number of audiences who are bound to catch up with the film after the festival, once the particulars are chewed on in the entertainment media a lot.

So, on those particulars, Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, was shot by a police officer at the Fruitvale BART station on his way back from New Year's festivities in the wee hours of January 1, 2009. The altercation was captured by numerous cell phones and led to strife and unrest regarding police brutality. It has been argued an accident and an execution, but what Coogler's film does so well, and when it is at its best, is when it fleshes out and defines the life lost, the father trying to put his life back together and the pain that came with his death.

Read Full Post