Latest Blog Posts

<p>Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have been one of the biggest power couples in the industry since the '80s, and her recent appointment as the president of Lucasfilm has only made them bigger.</p>

Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have been one of the biggest power couples in the industry since the '80s, and her recent appointment as the president of Lucasfilm has only made them bigger.

Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Photo

Frank Marshall says 'Star Wars' director search is winding down

They can't make the choice soon enough

The announcement of who is directing "Star Wars Episode VII" cannot come quickly enough.  At this point, I want it to happen because I can't believe I'm writing one news story a day about a movie that will not be in theaters until 2015.

Frank Marshall, husband to Kathleen Kennedy, who is now the president of Lucasfilm, was cornered by MTV.com and gave them precisely the sort of non-interview that is going to end up being widely reported in the absence of anything concrete.  Marshall knows why, too.  As he mentions to MTV, this is going to be perhaps the most hyped blockbuster film of all time, and for those of us who were doing this during the build-up to "The Phantom Menace," that is a slightly terrifying proposition.

According to Marshall, the hunt is down to "a couple of candidates," which seems right to me.  As I said in the piece yesterday about reactions from Jon Favreau and JJ Abrams, I'm betting they are further along in this process than the press realizes.  The announcement of the Disney/Lucasfilm deal caught everyone off-guard, and since that moment, we've been playing catch-up.

Read Full Post
Vinny Guadagnino

Vinny Guadagnino

Credit: MTV

'Jersey Shore' star Vinny Guadagnino gets his own talk-variety show, yo

Snooki and J-Woww aren't the only ones to get a spin-off

"Jersey Shore" may be in its final season and most of the actual location has been washed away by Superstorm Sandy, but we're not getting rid of the guidos and guidettes quite that easily. MTV today announced that the network has given the greenlight to hybrid talk show/reality series “The Show With Vinny” hosted by cast member Vinny Guadagnino.  

Read Full Post
<p>Sally Field in &quot;Forrest Gump.&quot;</p>

Sally Field in "Forrest Gump."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

On Sally Field and that phantom 'Forrest Gump' nomination

As the actress seeks her third Oscar nod, we remember one that got away

In Contention readers are generally a hawk-eyed bunch, quick to leap in with corrections when Kris or I make an honest error or suffer an accidental brain-fade, particularly on matters of Oscar trivia -- collectively, you can make for an intimidatingly officious subeditor. So it's all the more surprising that, over the past week or so, I've been corrected by three separate readers on a point I had right in the first place: that with her allegedly fiery performance in "Lincoln," Sally Field is seeking her first Oscar nomination in 28 years, and her third overall.

In each case, a reader either commented or tweeted to politely remind me that Field actually received her third Oscar nomination back in 1994, as a supporting actress in Best Picture shoo-in "Forrest Gump." And in each case, as much as I appreciated the gesture, I had to reply that, not to put too fine a point on it, she wasn't.

Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;New Girl,&quot;&nbsp;Nick (Jake Johnson)&nbsp;tries to help Jess (Zooey Deschanel)&nbsp;through a tough time.</p>

On "New Girl," Nick (Jake Johnson) tries to help Jess (Zooey Deschanel) through a tough time.

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Menzies'

It's that time of the month for Jess, while Carla Gugino seduces Schmidt

A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I feel like I want to murder someone and also I want soft pretzels...

Read Full Post
"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: It's a double elimination as the finale looms

Ne-Yo and Kylie Minogue perform but that's not the shocker

Tonight, not one but two couples will be going home. Is this sad? A little. Is it necessary? Of course! So, let's rip off the Band-Aid, Tom Bergeron, and get on with it. Of course, because this is about five minutes worth of show, there will be performances (Kylie Minogue, Ne-Yo) and there will be clip montages and there will be celebrities under lights, sweating. Oh, and there will also be a dance featuring actual professional dancers. Craziness!

Read Full Post
<p>Bryan Keith of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Bryan Keith of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Tuesday - Top 12 Results

Which two went home tonight?

 

One hour. That’s how long two eliminations take on 'The Voice', apparently. And so we have it with tonight’s results episode, which will send those two receiving the least votes after last night’s performance episode home tonight. There’s no guarantee that each team will have participants at the end, so theoretically two people from the same team could depart tonight. That’s a smart move, since it doesn’t unnecessarily penalize singers on a strong team from cannibalizing each here from this point on.
 
Last night, I predicted that Adriana Louise and Michaela Paige would be those two. But that’s far from a safe prediction. All that we can know for sure is that Carson Daly…will take lengthy pauses….before announcing…those dismissed. On tap tonight is also a performance from Christina Aguilera, making her the second coach in two weeks to perform on the show. It seems safe to assume CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton will partake in that trend soon enough.
 
For now, let’s get to tonight’s running diary as we get to the final ten contestants for this cycle.

 

Read Full Post
<p>Jack Nicholson, seen here at this summer's AFI&nbsp;tribute to Shirley Maclaine, may star in 'The Judge' for Warner Bros.</p>

Jack Nicholson, seen here at this summer's AFI tribute to Shirley Maclaine, may star in 'The Judge' for Warner Bros.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello/Invision

Jack Nicholson may play Robert Downey Jr.'s father in 'The Judge' for Warner Bros.

Will the veteran actor make a deal to play an Alzheimer's patient on trial for murder?

It is becoming increasingly rare that we see Jack Nicholson onscreen, so even the possibility of him signing to play Robert Downey Jr.'s father in "The Judge" is a big deal.

There was a time when I thought of Nicholson and De Niro as the twin titans of American movie acting, and it seemed like they worked constantly.  Age being the demanding master that it is, both men have slowed down in recent years and there are far fewer interesting roles written that they are right for, which could also be a big factor in why we see less of them.

De Niro has responded by cornering the market on the whole "hardass father" archetype, playing it for comic effect in the "Meet The Parents" series and playing it closer to real in the excellent "Silver Linings Playbook" or in "Being Flynn."  Nicholson has responded by simply taking fewer roles.  He was great in "The Departed," but "The Bucket List" felt to me like one of the easiest paychecks of his career.

Read Full Post
<p>Garret Dillaunt and Alan Cumming in &quot;Any Day Now.&quot;</p>

Garret Dillaunt and Alan Cumming in "Any Day Now."

Credit: Music Box Films

Trailer for 'Any Day Now' promises a rare acting showcase for Alan Cumming

Music Box Films is releasing the indie drama on December 14

"Any Day Now" is one of those films that's been creeping steadily along the festival circuit since the spring, quietly amassing critical goodwill and prizes. The Tribeca, Chicago, Seattle, Woodstock and Outfest festivals may not command much attention individually, but when a film manages to walk away with the Audience Award from all of them, it clearly has something going on.

Though I'd repeatedly heard the title on the fringes of various festival reports, I hadn't really clocked to what it is or what it's about -- not having had an opportunity to see it on my side of the pond -- until the film's newly released trailer landed in my inbox.

Read Full Post
Watch: Metric is 'Breathing Underwater' in road video

Watch: Metric is 'Breathing Underwater' in road video

'Synthetica' getting the deluxe treatment

Culling what one can from the music video for "Breathing Underwater," Canada's Metric is a popular band and performs and popular events, and deserve to anyhow. It would also be exhausting to be them.

That seems to be it.

"Breathing Underwater" is from Metric's "Synthetica," released in June; the album is getting a deluxe re-release this month, with five acoustic tracks tacked on. The shiny new version will be out Nov. 20 via digital retail and Dec. 4 at brick and mortar.

Read Full Post
<p>Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper do career-best work in David O. Russell's eminently charming 'Silver Linings Playbook'</p>

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper do career-best work in David O. Russell's eminently charming 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Review: 'Silver Linings Playbook' plays by the rules but gets it all right

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have never been better

I haven't read Matthew Quick's novel, but I can see why David O. Russell was drawn to the material, and it feels like both the most commercial thing he's ever made and the most personal.  After all, Russell is as well known for his on-set difficulties with anger as he is for the films themselves, and I'm sure there are people who have worked with him who would be happy to call him crazy.  "Silver Linings Playbook" is about embracing whatever madness drives us, and it certainly seems like Russell is a guy who manages to make the most of his gifts no matter what his demons.

Pat (Bradley Cooper) has been in a mental hospital under court order for eight months as the film opens, and it's time for him to go home.  His mother Delores (Jacki Weaver) comes to get him, and right away, we get a sense that something terrible happened to land him in there in the first place.  Pat is determined to stay out, to rebuild his life, and when he speaks of his wife Nikki (Brea Bee), it's apparent that he believes they are going to get back together.  It may not be that easy, though, and in the flashbacks we see, their relationship ended with a shocking act of violence on the heels of a betrayal, and while Pat may believe he's got a future with Nikki, it's pretty obvious he's fooling himself.

Read Full Post
Matt and Amy Roloff

 Matt and Amy Roloff

Credit: TLC

The star of 'Little People, Big World' talks family and bridezillas

The Roloffs say staying married means 'not liking each other sometimes'

After six seasons of "Little People, Big World," Matt and Amy Roloff seemingly rode into the syndication sunset in 2010, happy to work on their massive farm near Portland, Oregon and watch their four kids flutter out of the nest. But TLC has announced that the Roloffs are returning to the series grind with "Little People Big World: Wedding Farm" (premiering Tues. Nov. 13 at 9:00 p.m.), a six-episode series following the couple's decision to get into the wedding industry. Amy talked to HitFix about why she and Matt took on yet another endeavor, how they've managed to stay married for 25 years, and why she refuses to renew her vows on TV, even though they have the perfect venue right in their own backyard. 

Read Full Post
<p>How to Destroy Angels</p>

How to Destroy Angels

Review: Trent Reznor's How to Destroy Angels' EP 'An Omen'

Can this hybrid of talent amount to much on its second go?
With the release of their first self-titled EP and now with “An Omen,” How To Destroy Angels have proven to be a much leaner, cleaner-sounding crew than Trent Reznor’s other band. In conjunction with longtime collaborator Atticus Ross and Mariqueen Maandig, Reznor tries to configure the drones and squirrely, processed matter around calculated acoustic rhythms and electronic melodies, as the Nine Inch Nails frontman trades vocal spaces with Maandig when he’s not outright absent. he band is at its best at combining its talents on the sixth of six tunes, “Speaking in Tongues,” a journey-is-the-destination ellipsis of noise and rising melodies.
 
But at its worst, “An Omen” is dispassionate and utterly unextraordinary, and it’s this for at least half the tunes. Reznor and Ross’ work on “The Social Network,” for instance, had similar minimalist strains, but at least didn’t lack in emotionality; the formula here is off, sometimes lost in drab lyricism. On “Keep It Together” Maandig and Reznor sing “I can’t keep it together” in staggered time like a broken round, because – get it? – they can’t seem to keep it together. “The Loop Closes” sings “the beginning is the end / keeps coming around again” over and over again because, again, get it?
 
“Ice Age” is more like a workshop tune, and unproven model, where the band appears to be recreating the band Califone inside of ProTools with Maandig’s practiced, calm voice wandering off in another sonic direction. That track, like the slow-building “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” has all the trappings of an interesting hybrid of tone and talent. However, it doesn’t amount to much.
Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME