Latest Blog Posts

Oscar Talk: Ep. 86 -- 'The Dark Knight Rises' is here, but is it a player? (SPOILERS)

Oscar Talk: Ep. 86 -- 'The Dark Knight Rises' is here, but is it a player? (SPOILERS)

Also: MVPs from the year's first half and looking ahead to fall fests

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

Two years ago we brought the podcast back for a special edition around the release of Christopher Nolan's "Inception," a highly anticipated movie. Well, here we are again, with "The Dark Knight Rises" hitting theaters and fans and fanatics alike eager to get a look. So it seemed a good time to pop our head back up. Let's see what's on the docket...

Read Full Post
Listen: Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre combine for less-than-regal '3 Kings'
Credit: Def Jam

Listen: Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre combine for less-than-regal '3 Kings'

Opportunistic wasted opportunity

A title like "3 Kings" with a combo Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre certainly sounds ambitious. But if this was to be a royal coalition, they should have called in some reinforcements -- or at least for a livelier beat.

Dr. Dre spends his spin on hocking his now-famous headphones instead of delivering of some intrepid new rhymes. Nobody expects "Detox" anymore. But for those rare verses he throws down the pipe, he should rest on laurels that consist more than weed, his headphone company and the Compton memories from a decade before.

Rick Ross takes his turn shilling -- lest we forget -- the Maybach Music name, the name that survives despite the fact that actual Maybach vehicles will be discontinued after 2013, making service a struggle. And speaking of servicing, Ross concedes he may not be a billionaire yet, but proposes, still "come and suck a d*ck for a millionaire," a come-hither as comical as when a similar sentiment was expressed in "The Big Lebowski."

It's kind of refreshing, then, when Jay-Z steps up to bat, not because he knocks his verse out, but he trips and laughs at himself in a real free style, even to check that the tape's still rolling after a boast about getting grills and shopping at TJ Maxx.

Read Full Post
<p>Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown from &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown from "Community."

Watch: 'Community' stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie & Yvette Nicole Brown at Comic-Con, Part 2

How did they become the tightest-knit, silliest cast on television?

Time for part 2 of my Comic-Con chat with "Community" co-stars Joel Mchale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown. Part 1 was the more serious end of things, as the actors talked about the show's continued survival, their feelings about Dan Harmon's exit, their relationship with the fans, etc.

In part 2, things get a bit sillier (albeit not to the furry level of last year's McHale/Brown/Rash extravaganza) as they discussed exactly how they came to be such a tightly-knit group — right before the cameras rolled, Jacobs and Brie were loudly dueting on Flight of the Conchords' "Jenny" "Debra" by Beck — whether the cast or the study group is emotionally closer and (for a surprisingly long period of time) what the heck is up with Chevy Chase's feet.

Enjoy. The new season of "Community" debuts Friday, October 19 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. 

Read Full Post
<p>Alma and Sophia entertain a visitor on &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Alma and Sophia entertain a visitor on "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 2, Episode 8: 'Childish Things' (Veterans edition)

Alliances are forged, or rejected, in a female-centric hour

We're continuing our summer trip back through David Milch's epic revisionist Western "Deadwood." As always with this project, we're going to have two parallel discussions going at once: identical reviews, but one where the comments section is just for people who are new to the series and don't want to be spoiled on anything past the events of the episode being discussed, and one for people who know "Deadwood" backwards and forwards, and want to be able to discuss it all at once. This is the veteran-friendly version; click here for the newbie-safe one.

After taking some time off from the project due to Comic-Con, I've got a review of episode 8, "Childish Things," coming up just as soon as I both reject and repudiate the offering...

Read Full Post
<p>Alma and Sophia entertain a visitor on &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Alma and Sophia entertain a visitor on "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 2, Episode 8: 'Childish Things' (Newbies edition)

Alliances are forged, or rejected, in a female-centric hour

We're continuing our summer trip back through David Milch's epic revisionist Western "Deadwood." As always with this project, we're going to have two parallel discussions going at once: identical reviews, but one where the comments section is just for people who are new to the series and don't want to be spoiled on anything past the events of the episode being discussed, and one for people who know "Deadwood" backwards and forwards, and want to be able to discuss it all at once. This is the newbie-safe version; click here for the veteran-friendly one.

After taking some time off from the project due to Comic-Con, I've got a review of episode 8, "Childish Things," coming up just as soon as I both reject and repudiate the offering...

Read Full Post
Watch: 'Fringe' star John Noble discusses his Season 5 acting choices

Watch: 'Fringe' star John Noble discusses his Season 5 acting choices

How hard will it be for Noble to top Walter Bishop in future roles?
SAN DIEGO - I've mentioned this before, but if John Noble isn't HitFix's Most Interviewed Man, he's very close.
 
I've done four or five video interviews with the "Fringe" star over the years, plus at least one long interview on the show's Vancouver set, where John Noble and I shared a key scene together in the Season 3 episode " Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?"
 
On the list of contemplative, generous and sage interview subjects, Noble has to rank somewhere near the top. He's always given Walter Bishop and all of his incarnations an astounding amount of thought and anybody who thinks Noble's interest in the dimension-bending realities of "Fringe" is just an act has never tuned in to Science Channel's "Dark Matters." He truly relishes the nuances that "Fringe" has allowed him to explore.
 
Last weekend at San Diego's Comic-Con, I caught up with Noble after the final "Fringe" panel, a standing-room-only affair in front of 6000 passionate fans in Hall H. It's no wonder that the actor was, in his words, "numb" after the emotional experience.
 
In our four-plus minute conversation, Noble discusses the choices he's facing for the 13-episode fifth season, set largely in the future introduced in the "Letters of Transit" episode. He also discusses the particular challenge he's facing looking forward to life after "Fringe."
 
You've already seen my interview with Anna Torv, but hopefully my chats with J.H. Wyman, Joshua Jackson and Lance Reddick will also be posting in the days to come.
 
"Fringe" returns to FOX on Friday, September 28.
 
 
Read Full Post
<p>Christian Bale in &quot;The Dark&nbsp;Knight&nbsp;Rises&quot;</p>

Christian Bale in "The Dark Knight Rises"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Christopher Nolan's Batman finale hits theaters today

OMGIT'SHEREOMGOMG! Yes, "The Dark Knight Rises" has arrived. Midnight screenings are happening right now. The box office is bursting at the seams and a trilogy is wrapping itself up. With style? With class? Well, you tell us. And feel free to rate the film above. I'll get to my thoughts in tomorrow's special edition podcast, but I'll be curious to see if anyone finds the film as structurally messy and thematically confused as I do.

Read Full Post
"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime Television

'Project Runway' recap: 'A Times Square Anniversary Party'

We meet the top 16, but which diva will melt down first?

"Project Runway" is back for season 10, bitches! And I mean bitches in the good way, because I've missed you guys and your collective knack for sniffing out the tacky stuff faster than Michael Kors can come up with a zinger! Aren't you excited? Didn't you miss Tim Gunn? I know I did! Especially when I was watching "Project Accessory" and wishing I could stick sewing needles in my eyes. Anyway, this season promises to be a whole hella lot of crazy, what with designers actually LEAVING THE SHOW in the middle of the night like very chic catburglers carrying pinking shears. Thanks to a lead-in episode, we do get to meet all of the designers tonight, so we should all be able to place our bets on a winner pretty quickly. For the record, I've made mine. But let's get to that in a minute. First, we need to meet our designers! Past winners Nick Verreos and Mondo Guerra lead the way.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;takes the girls out to eat.</p>

"Louie" takes the girls out to eat.

Credit: FX

Review: 'Louie' - 'Daddy's Girlfriend, Part 1'

Louie goes looking for love in so many places

I've been taking some days off this week, so as I suggested at the end of last week's "Louie" review, I'm going to discuss the "Daddy's Girlfriend" two-parter after it concludes next week. But for those of you who want to discuss fist pumps, Parker Posey, Maria Bamford, fake reality TV shows and everything else from part 1, have at it. We'll have a lot more to talk about next week, as part 2 is my favorite of the five episodes FX sent out in advance of the season.

Read Full Post
<p>Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown from &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown from "Community."

Watch: 'Community' stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie & Yvette Nicole Brown at Comic-Con, Part 1

How did they react to Dan Harmon's exit? And what does Gillian want in a 'Community' movie?

A year ago at Comic-Con, I sat down with the bulk of the "Community" cast in two groups of three for a couple of long video interviews. One conversation was pure anarchy, while the other featured the funniest/furriest running gag I've ever been in a room for.

This year, I got Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown, and while I was tempted to force some kind of sequel to "YOU GUYS!!!!," there were too many serious things to discuss about "Community" as it approaches its fourth season, including the firing of creator Dan Harmon, the hiring of new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio, and the way the insanity of the show's fans has buoyed the actors no matter how dark the show's fate has seemed.

Things get a bit goofier towards the end of this part of the interview, as they discuss Jacobs' plan for a "Community" movie, but look for more laughs in part 2 (coming tomorrow morning) as the actors discuss exactly how and why they've become so close and silly together.

The new season of "Community" begins on Friday, October 19 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

Read Full Post
<p>This happy group will lose one member tonight</p>

This happy group will lose one member tonight

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday - Who was voted out first?

Would Frank or Kara be the first hamster to sit down with Julie Chen?

Welcome to the first live "Big Brother" episode of the season, all leading up to the season's first official elimination. Yes, Jodi was actually the first hamster to depart the spinning ball, but she never received a key to the "Big Brother" house, so do we actually count her as a houseguest? I sure don't.

So either Kurvy Kara or 21st Century William Katt Frank will be out first. On one hand, I like Kara's bikini potential. On the other hand, I was a huge fan of "The Greatest American Hero" as a kid, so I have vestigial admiration for Frank.

And, most importantly, will Julie Chen have her shoulders covered for the live episode? These are the things that keep me up nights...

Click through for the full recap...

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from &quot;The Master&quot;</p>

A scene from "The Master"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Master' gets a full trailer and poster

The film comes along at an interesting time for Scientology

In tomorrow's podcast Anne and I touch on the possibility of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" showing up at Venice, but we both secretly hope it goes to Telluride, too/instead. Because, yes, that's where we'll be, and like most cinephiles, we're excited for Paul Thomas Anderson's first film in five years.

The film will be coming along at an interesting time for Scientology (the "religion" sent up in some ways by the narrative with an L. Ron Hubbard-like character in Philip Seymour Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd). Tales of subterfuge and escape acts have circled Katie Holmes's divorce from Scientology golden boy Tom Cruise in recent weeks, drumming up more and more stories about the organization, some new, many old, all bizarre. But all of that will be backdrop to the film, which, to judge by the new full-length trailer (which comes after a couple of teases), presents Anderson in top form with some of the industry's best actors giving it all they've got.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME