Latest Blog Posts

<p>Steven McQueen and Todd Williams of &quot;The Vampire Diaries&quot;</p>

Steven McQueen and Todd Williams of "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

Interview: Todd Williams discusses his 'Vampire Diaries' hunter

'Chicago Code' veteran discusses his approach to Connor
Todd Williams' Connor Jordan hasn't been around for very long on "The Vampire Diaries," but the character has already caused a heap of trouble, leaving bodies and flashbacks in his wake.
Introduced earlier this season in "Memorial," Connor arrived in Mystic Falls to investigate the death of The Council and we quickly learned that he's a vampire hunter with a very peculiar and increasingly informative tattoo. 
Since then, Connor has spent nearly equal amounts of time torturing or threatening the show's main characters and being tortured and threatened by them.
Earlier this week, I got on the phone with Williams, who some viewers will remember from his regular gig on FOX's short-lived "The Chicago Code." 
We talked about Connor's moral code, his mysterious past and the sort of revelations that may come out in Thursday's (November 8) episode, titled "The Killer."
Click through for the conversation...
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Now that's what I call a money shot.
Now that's what I call a money shot.
Credit: Universal Studios

The first trailer for 'Jurassic Park 3D' plays like a greatest-hits reel

Steven Spielberg film returning to theaters for 20th anniversary

Yesterday, I showed the poster for "Jurassic Park 3D" to my two sons, who have seen the film here at home several times, including a Film Nerd 2.0 screening that I wrote about, and when Toshi realized he was going to get to see it in a theater next summer in both IMAX and 3D, his eyes went wide.

"That's going to scare me out of the crap!"

Indeed it will.  I'm all for the sudden realization by the studios that they have these valuable assets on their shelves, these movies that could be living an ongoing theatrical life if they would just treat them like events, even if they are releasing them in slightly revised form.  In this particular case, I think "Jurassic Park" is pretty much the perfect movie to use, and 3D and IMAX both sound like they could be great new ways to have fun with the film.  It's funny to see this trailer because they can use images that were never part of the original advertising for the film.  If they'd shown this much in 1993, audiences would have been furious. 

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<p>Sally Field talks about her role as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's &quot;Lincoln.&quot;</p>

Sally Field talks about her role as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

Sally Field says acting with Daniel Day-Lewis was like she'd 'died and gone to heaven'

Two-time Oscar winner gives an impressive history lesson on Mary Todd Lincoln

BEVERLY HILLS - You don't get to speak to a legend like Sally Field every day.  The 66-year-old actress has been in the public eye for over 45 years first gaining notoriety with her starring roles in the '60s TV series "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun." In the '70s she began to show an unexpected range. Whether it was her acclaimed performance in the TV movie "Sybil" or  indulging superstar Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit" it was clear Field had more than a smile, she had fire.

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<p>Here's the logo for my new book, &quot;The Revolution Was Televised:&nbsp;The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV&nbsp;Drama Forever.&quot;</p>

Here's the logo for my new book, "The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever."

What's Alan writing? A new book called 'The Revolution Was Televised'

A look back at TV dramas from 'Sopranos' through 'Breaking Bad' will go on sale around Thanksgiving

Over the last year and change, you may have noticed an occasional mysterious allusion to some project I was working on but wasn't ready to discuss. Well, today I am very proud to announce that it's my new book, "The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever."

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<p>Besedka Johnson and Dree Hemingway form a very odd friendship in Sean Baker's 'Starlet'</p>

Besedka Johnson and Dree Hemingway form a very odd friendship in Sean Baker's 'Starlet'

Credit: Music Box Films

Meet Dree Hemingway and Besedka Johnson in this exclusive clip from 'Starlet'

The carefully rendered character drama arrives in theaters this weekend

I'll have a review of Sean Baker's "Starlet" for you a little later, but first I want to share a clip from the film with you.  It's the story of a girl in her 20s living in the San Fernando Valley, where she meets an old woman at a garage sale.  The woman sells her a vase, and inside, the girl finds $10,000 in cash that the old woman didn't know existed.  What results is a very strange friendship, and a very charming movie.

Dree Hemingway is the star of the film, and I'm going to bet this is just the start of what we'll see from her.  She does very delicate, careful work as Jane, who is still young and still figuring out who she is, but who also seems to be possessed of a greater sense of self than most of her peers.  And, yes, she's one of those Hemingways.  Her mother is Mariel Hemingway, making her the great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway.  She is tall and striking and seems to made up of about 96% legs.

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<p>Christoph Waltz as he appears in &quot;Django Unchained.&quot;</p>

Christoph Waltz as he appears in "Django Unchained."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Christoph Waltz elevated to the Best Actor race for 'Django Unchained'

He'll compete with co-star Jamie Foxx for a spot in a crowded race

The Best Actor field is already sufficiently crowded -- with a couple of nominees seemingly glued in place -- that you wouldn't envy any newcomer to the race. Yet The Weinstein Company, which is hardly short of a serious contender in the category, is reportedly sufficiently high on Christoph Waltz in the still-unseen "Django Unchained" to campaign him in the lead category.

Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil quotes an unspecified "insider" as saying Waltz's performance as a dentist-cum-bounty-hunter, who joins Jamie Foxx's title character in a rescue mission, "towers over the whole movie." That's the kind of claim many had assumed would be made for Leonardo DiCaprio's villainous supporting turn. Is Waltz really the film's MVP -- just as he was, to Oscar-winning effect, in Quentin Tarantino's last effort -- or is he being elevated to declutter DiCaprio's Best Supporting Actor campaign?  

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<p>Ke$ha in &quot;Die Young&quot;</p>

Ke$ha in "Die Young"

Watch: Ke$ha is the leader of a sex compound in 'Die Young'

Britney should be in there somewhere...

Ke$ha channels a number of pop divas in her music video for "Die Young," but none so closely as "Slave 4 U"-era Britney Spears. Sex and death have always been bedfellows, but the arcing, aching, sumptuous, dirty eventualities of a video like this seem to be nodding at that youthful peak era, where something so ridiculously indulgent and over-the-top proved to be the norm and nasty.

However, the chasm between the fun-bop of the song and the So Serious nature of the debauched clip that can't quite bridge. Ke$ha's mug flashes in tasteful black-and-white, then in early-'90s neon and in the leathery sepia tones of her semi-religious desert sex compound (a girl can dream); she's carried in as a idolatrous prop (a la Gaga), contorting in tribal furs (Shakira), introducing anarchy to a place of religious worship (Madonna) in a sea of triagles (Geometry 101). All together, this video and the Ke$ha brand hasn't a clue what it is, beyond blipping animal rule into a big pile of gropers till the world ends...

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<p>Emmy Rossum of &quot;Beautiful Creatures&quot;</p>

Emmy Rossum of "Beautiful Creatures"

Credit: Warner Brothers

Emmy Rossum is 'the sexy bad girl' on the set of 'Beautiful Creatures'

'Shameless' star discusses the new look for Dark Caster Ridley
COVINGTON, LOUISIANA - It's early May in Covington, Louisiana with the heat and humidity to prove it, but in Gatlin, South Carolina it's shortly after Halloween. 
Pumpkins still perch on the stoops in a neighborhood that required very little set decoration to embody the more-Southern-than-Southern fictional town at the heart of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's "Beautiful Creatures," a bestselling Young Adult Fantasy novel getting the big screen treatment courtesy of Warner Brothers and Oscar nominated writer-director Richard LaGravenese.
In the book, the first installment of the "Caster Chronicles" series, Gatlin is an imagined stand-in for any Dixie town lorded over by the Daughters of the Confederacy, in which the ghosts of the Civil War hover atop the architecture like spectral Spanish moss. There's more than enough literal Spanish moss to go around in Covington and other than the South Carolina license plates on any car that might accidentally or purposefully make it into a shot, the city -- statistically a piece of the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area, but a long drive from New Orleans on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway -- might as well be playing itself, minus the newfound infestation of witches and other supernatural creatures. 
The only real signs of state affiliation are on the backs of the individual crew members, whose t-shirts boast work on productions like "Treme" and "Bad Lieutenant" or offer support for the Saints and embattled coach Sean Payton.
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<p>Viola Davis,&nbsp;Alden Ehrenreich and&nbsp;Richard LaGravenese on the set of &quot;Beautiful Creatures&quot;</p>

Viola Davis, Alden Ehrenreich and Richard LaGravenese on the set of "Beautiful Creatures"

Credit: Warner Brothers

'Beautiful Creatures' Set Vist: Celebrating Christmas with Emma Thompson and the cast

Zoey Deutch and Thomas Mann also discuss their witchy new teen romance
COVINGTON, LOUISIANA - Richard LaGravenese is experiencing seasonal confusion on the set of "Beautiful Creatures."
The reality is that it's May in this small city an hour's ride (if your driver is more prone to telling stories about his time in the Marines or complaining about the corrupting influence of movies on kids than paying attention to directions) from New Orleans. 
But time is passing very differently in fictional Gatlin, South Carolina.
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<p>Fiona Apple</p>

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple, Avett Bros., Norah Jones and more on 'This is 40' soundtrack

And, of course, Graham Parker

The previously announced Fiona Apple will be joined by Ryan Adams, Norah Jones, the Avett Brothers, and, of course,  Graham Parker, on the soundtrack for Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40.”

While tracks from some of the artists, including Paul Simon, the Avetts, and Loudon Wainwright, have been released before, the cuts from Jones, Apple, Parker (who plays heavily into the plot), Lindsey Buckingham, Wilco, and Adams are all original.  Jon Brion composed the score and produced several of the new cuts, including Apple’s “Dull Tool.” The soundtrack comes out Dec. 11.

Read Drew McWeeny's review of "This is 40" here.

The track listing for "Music From The Motion Picture This Is 40" is as follows:
1.   I'm Your Angel – Yoko Ono  
2.   Always Judging – Norah Jones 
3.   What Do You Like? – Graham Parker with Punch Brothers
4.   Sick Of You – Lindsey Buckingham 
5.   Rewrite – Paul Simon  
6.   Shining Through The Dark (Live) – Ryan Adams  
7.   Lunch Box Odd Sox – Paul McCartney
8.   Brother & Sister – Lindsey Buckingham Featuring Norah Jones  
9.   Theme 1 (Debbie & Oliver) – Jon Brion   
10. Watch The Moon Come Down – Graham Parker & The Rumour 
11. Days That We Die – Loudon Wainwright 
12. She Acts Like You – Lindsey Buckingham 
13. Dull Tool – Fiona Apple
14. Lucky Now (Live) – Ryan Adams 
15. I Got You – Wilco
16. Live & Die – The Avett Brothers 

Bonus track (digital only):
17. Protection (Live) – Graham Parker & The Rumour


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<p>Ben Affleck in &quot;Argo&quot;</p>

Ben Affleck in "Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tech Support: 'Argo,' 'Les Mis' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' feature in the race for Best Film Editing

Other contenders include 'Life of Pi,' 'Skyfall' and 'Flight'


This word is iconic in popular culture as something the director shouts to end the shooting of a scene. It even featured prominently in last year’s Best Picture winner.

But it's the film editors who truly "cut" our films down to what we actually see on screen. Deciding what leave in, what to leave out, how to convey the narrative and how to establish pace are just a few of the editor’s extraordinarily important roles.

The work of many other crafts artists, to say nothing of the actors, is finished when the shoot is done. Others, such as the composer, only begin when the shoot is over. The film editor, on the other hand, is there throughout, working with the director until the film is just right.

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<p>Dalia (Carly Chaikin)&nbsp;becomes a magician's assistant on &quot;Suburgatory.&quot;</p>

Dalia (Carly Chaikin) becomes a magician's assistant on "Suburgatory."

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Suburgatory' - 'Foam Finger'

An unexpected reference to another show highlights an uneven episode

A review of last night's "Suburgatory" coming up just as soon as the kugel is a gateway kugel...

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