Latest Blog Posts

<p>Alice Englert and Elle Fanning in Sally Potter's &quot;Ginger and Rosa.&quot;</p>

Alice Englert and Elle Fanning in Sally Potter's "Ginger and Rosa."

Review: Elle Fanning can't save the soapy mess of 'Ginger and Rosa'

Sally Potter's period drama just doesn't jell

TELLURIDE – Over a small number of films, Elle Fanning has displayed a transcendent range that many would argue has surpassed the talents of her better-known sister Dakota.  In Sally Potter's "Ginger and Rosa," a new drama that premiered Friday at the 39th Telluride Film Festival, the 14-year-old actress once again impresses.  This time she makes a mature leap by enveloping herself in a character thee years her senior.  Unfortunately, the rest of the Potter's endeavor is a ponderous mess that negates the best aspects of Fanning's performance.

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<p>Laura Linney and Bill Murray in &quot;Hyde Park on&nbsp;Hudson&quot;</p>

Laura Linney and Bill Murray in "Hyde Park on Hudson"

Credit: Focus Features

Laura Linney returns to Telluride with stuffy 'Hyde Park on Hudson'

Roger Michell's latest bogs down in problematic romance

TELLURIDE - Actress Laura Linney -- a part-time Telluride resident -- missed the festival last year for the first time in eight years. Well, she's back this year with the film that kept her away in 2011.

However, it was odd to more than a few that the festival decided to plop the world premiere of Roger Michell's "Hyde Park on Hudson" in the Abel Gance outdoor cinema this year. It's happened in the past, of course. But somehow, films like "Into the Wild," "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Paranormal Activity" make more sense than a tiny, stuffy drama about a former president's affair with a distant cousin.

But it is what it is, and the movie is what it is, too: problematic. The above logline aside, the film is also about a visit by the royal family -- King George VI and Queen Consort Elizabeth (recently portrayed by Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech," but here taken on by Samuel West and Olivia Colman) -- to President Franklin Roosevelt's Hyde Park, New York retreat on the eve of war. They'd like a little help, you see, but the young king is struggling with confidence issues, while his strong-willed wife is obsessed with appearances ("They want us to eat hot dogs? What are they trying to say??").

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<p>Spike Lee and one his &quot;Bad 25&quot; interviewees, Mariah Carey.</p>

Spike Lee and one his "Bad 25" interviewees, Mariah Carey.

Credit: Optimum Productions

Spike Lee unveils adoring Michael Jackson doc 'Bad 25' in Venice

Tribute to Jackson's 1987 blockbuster album will air on ABC at Thanksgiving

VENICE - In a strangely programmed day at the Venice Film Festival -- no competition films are premiering, so we're feeling the effects of the slimming-down of the lineup this year -- so Spike Lee is enjoying the plum screening spot with his music documentary "Bad 25." It played for the critics this morning, and had its grand outing this evening, following a ceremony where Lee was presented with the festival's Jaeger-Le Coultre Glory To The Filmmaker Award.

It's the start of what should be a busy publicity trail for the film, a thorough, track-by-track study of the making of Michael Jackson's mega-selling 1987 album "Bad" -- marking, as depressing as this is to contemplate, the 25th anniversary of its release. (How did we ever think we could live so large and get so old?) The film will also play as a Special Presentation at the Toronto Film Festival, and ushers in a lavish reissue of the album itself on September 18, with all manner of bells and whistles. Meanwhile, Lee's two-hour-plus film will be televised by ABC on Thanksgiving in November -- though whether that precludes any form of theatrical distribution in the US, I haven't yet worked out. (It'll surely see the inside of a few more theaters internationally.)

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<p>Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston in &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston in "Argo."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ expertly entertains and educates

Alan Arkin is fantastic among a superb ensemble

TELLURIDE – The Iran Hostage Crisis is one of the more defining moments in American history, but it has never received its due course on the big screen.  That changes somewhat in Ben Affleck’s engaging and entertaining new thriller “Argo” which sneaked at the 39th Telluride Film Festival Friday.  

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<p>Prince</p>

Prince

Credit: AP Photo

Prince heads to Chicago for residency at United Center

Stint starts Sept. 24

Prince will begin a series of Chicago concerts  Sept. 24 at the United Center in support of Van JonesRebuild the Dream organization.

A representative tells Hitfix that the number of dates in the Windy City residency will be announced shortly and more details will certainly be revealed by the time tickets go on sale on Sept. 6.

Welcome 2 Chicago”  will mark Prince’s first date at the arena since 2004.  Rebuild the Dream offers entrepreneurs tools that individuals and communities can use to create a fairer economic future for all.

The “Welcome 2...” concept began with Prince’s “Welcome 2 America” New York dates in 2010 and usually involve Prince taking up residency in a city, often for several nights, and tying in with a local charity or organization.

Last spring, as part of "Welcome 2 America: 21 Night Stands," Prince played 21 shows in Los Angeles, the majority of them at The Forum.

 

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<p>Nas</p>

Nas

Watch: Nas relives his divorce from Kelis in new video for 'Bye Baby'

What's that about Johnny Depp and Janis Joplin?

In case you hadn’t heard enough about Nas and Kelis’s 2009 split, he lays it all out for you, from his perspective, in the video for the new song, “Bye Baby.”

The clip features Nas talking into the camera as if he’s addressing Kelis, her wedding dress draped over his leg, as he goes into deep detail about her “trust issues,” why he walked away,  their 50/50 divorce split, and other intimate details.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Backstreet's back: The Backstreet Boys sing on 'Good Morning America'

Watch: Backstreet's back: The Backstreet Boys sing on 'Good Morning America'

Group performs for first time since Kevin Richardson rejoins the band

Backstreet’s back. And there were lots and lots of girls at the reunion party this morning as the band, in its first appearance since Kevin Richardson rejoined the boy group, singing “I Want It That Way” on “Good Morning America” this morning as part of the Summer Concert Series in Central Park.

As the video shows, 13 years after the Grammy-nominated tune ruled the charts, BSB performed it with their same signature dance moves and their stellar harmonies. We admit, some of the solo sections sounded a little rough, but when they all sing together, they still sound great.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Roger Corman</p>

Roger Corman

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Filmmaker Roger Corman to be toasted by the Telluride Film Festival

The maverick filmmaker gets another tribute in the twilight of his career

TELLURIDE - What else can one say about Roger Corman? He may think his influence on the film industry has been "overrated," but when future stars like Jonathan Demme, Curtis Hanson, Jack Nicholson, John Sayles, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone cut their teeth under your wing, your mark on the form is undeniable.

That idea was explored in an interview I conducted with Corman last year on the occasion of the documentary "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel." It was on the heels of a David O. Selznick award from the PGA in 2006, Honorary Oscar recognition in 2009, a Fantastic Fest fete in 2010 and a Los Angeles Film Festival tribute in 2011. Indeed, it's become rather posh to toast the maverick filmmaker, whose 400+ features may be on the fringes of cinema, but whose impact on some of its most successful artists simply means his fingerprint will always be on the industry.

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<p>'Predator' was one of the best movie surprises of the 80's for me</p>

'Predator' was one of the best movie surprises of the 80's for me

Credit: 20th Century Fox

The Vacation Read: What were your best and worst movie surprises?

Our fifth day of vacation has us thinking about the way movies can sneak up on us

At the start of this week, I mentioned the "Robocop" remake in passing as a way to get to a larger conversation about spoilers for things that are in production or in development.

One of the reasons I feel so protective of "Robocop" is because the original is one of the great movie memories of my life.  When the film came out in 1987, I was working at a theater, and the poster for the film was a source of constant amusement for us.  The tag line was "Part Man, Part Machine, All Cop," and that plus the title was a recipe for cheese.  Or so it seemed.

A few days before the film was released, they screened it at midnight for the employees of the theater, and I was a believer by the time the closing credits rolled.  I was won over completely by the film, and I still think it's a sort of a miracle.  The script, the cast, and Paul Verhoeven's work as director… all of them came together in a way that was magic.  I look at it now, and I still can't believe it exists.  It doesn't feel like other films from the '80s, it doesn't really feel like anything else Verhoeven ever made, and looking at the sequels and the TV series that spun off from the film, it's obvious that even the people who made it weren't able to reproduce the film's appeal.  Even if I didn't hate the script for the new movie, I would still be skeptical just because I know how amazing it is that the film worked in the first place.

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<p>Garry Marshall and Louis C.K. in &quot;Louie.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Garry Marshall and Louis C.K. in "Louie." 

Credit: FX

Review: 'Louie' - 'Late Show (Part 1)'

A happy accident at 'The Tonight Show' leads to a huge opportunity

A quick review of last night's "Louie" coming up just as soon as I review a remote control right before murder-suiciding my whole family...

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: Oh My Lord and Taylor

The men feel confident as the women fall apart

This week promises lots of tears. That's all I got from the promo -- crying and panicking. I have no idea what challenge is going to drive our intrepid designers into hysterics, but I'm predicting something big and scary. Maybe designing a frumpy housecoat for Queen Elizabeth or flattering outfits for the stars of "Mike & Molly" or something. Actually, that last challenge would only bother Ven. Yes, I have not forgiven him for being such a jerk last week. May he choke on a carefully constructed fabric rose, and soon. 

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Britney and Danielle fight to stay in the house

Ian and Frank argue while Dan gloats over his power move

It's Thursday, so someone's packing their bags and heading home from the "Big Brother" house. But who? It looks like Britney, but I can't rule out one last power quack from Brit. And I still have to wonder -- was everyone really snowed by Dan's fake funeral? I mean, once the weepiness was over and clearer heads prevailed, they had to realize Dan was snowing them, right? Oh, why do I bother? As many crafty power moves have gone on in this game, I'd argue there's been an equal amount of suckerdom. 

Britney, Ian and Shane are blindsided by Jenn's decision to rescue Dan -- and Frank's decision to backdoor Britney. Britney wants to know if Danielle knew this was coming. Sweet little Danielle plays dumb. She isn't in cahoots with Dan! Or anything! Danielle doesn't make eye contact, but Britney doesn't seem to notice the tell. Britney should not play poker, ever. 

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