Latest Blog Posts

<p>Daniel&nbsp;Craig in &quot;Skyfall&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Tech Support: How an 0-34 trio of Oscar nominees helped make 'Skyfall' a sensation

Sound mixer Greg P. Russell, DP Roger Deakins and composer Thomas Newman are all eyeing their first win at the Oscars

When you stack up the Oscar records of cinematographer Roger Deakins, composer Thomas Newman and sound mixer Greg P. Russell, an amazing stat hits you in the face: 0-34. Three guys have gone to the Oscars 34 times and not once have they walked away with a trophy. And this year, each of them feature on one of the biggest critical and commercial hits of the year: Sam Mendes' "Skyfall."

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<p>Alicia Vikander at the New York premiere of &quot;Anna Karenina.&quot;</p>

Alicia Vikander at the New York premiere of "Anna Karenina."

Credit: AP Photo/Andy Kropa

Discover the next big thing: Alicia Vikander of 'A Royal Affair' and 'Anna Karenina'

The 24-year-old actress should soon be a regular in Hollywood

BEVERLY HILLS - The most surprising thing upon first meeting Alicia Vikander is her accent. As we sit down in a hotel conference room to specifically discuss her new film "A Royal Affair," she sounds American.  Well, maybe American with a hint of international upbringing.  Considering Vikander's Swedish background it was obviously unexpected, but then again, Vikander continues to surprise.

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<p>Peter Cambor, Derek Miller, Brian Austin Green and Harold Perrineau in &quot;Wedding Band.&quot;</p>

Peter Cambor, Derek Miller, Brian Austin Green and Harold Perrineau in "Wedding Band."

Credit: TBS

Review: TBS' 'Wedding Band' rocks, but only occasionally laughs

Brian Austin Green fronts a likable but bumpy new comedy series
Of the many things TBS’ new one-hour comedy series “Wedding Band” (tonight at 10 p.m.) has on its plate, it gets the most important one right: the wedding band itself.
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Dave Kobler gets in touch with his inner Katniss

Dave Kobler gets in touch with his inner Katniss

Credit: NatGeo

Hunting, fishing and panicking with the 'Doomsday Preppers'

A trip to West Virginia was full of surprises, canned goods and one bunker

We're all going to die.

Okay, hopefully not anytime too soon. But if you ask the stars of "Doomsday Preppers" (new season premieres Tues. Nov. 13 at 9:00 p.m. on NatGeo), there's a fair chance it's not only going to happen sooner than we expect, but most of us are either going to starve to death, die of thirst, get hacked up by crazed marauders or turned into oven baked hams when we can't hide from the nuclear blast. And by "we," doomsday preppers really mean everyone but themselves.

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"The X Factor"

 "The X Factor"

Credit: Fox

Reality TV Roundup: A 'Survivor' talks ball and 'Housewives' gets fresh nuts

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now
Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too. 
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<p>Jeff Kent of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Jeff Kent of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Jeff Kent talks 'Survivor: Philippines' and the Hall of Fame

All-Star second baseman talks Jonathan Penner and the Steroid Era
Jeff Kent's legacy is already pretty well established.
The National League MVP in 2000 and a five-time All-Star, Kent retired in 2008 with 377 career home runs and 1518 RBIs. You could make the argument that he's one of the greatest offensive second basemen in baseball history, an argument that's sure to come up when he makes his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot next winter.
Jeff Kent is unlikely to make the "Survivor" Hall of Fame, but by finishing 10th for the "Survivor: Philippines" season and making the Jury, he didn't shame himself either.
In fact, for several episodes, Jeff Kent was the most active and important player in "Survivor: Philippines," temporarily anchoring a briefly successful alliance, but then turning on that alliance in a seemingly single-minded attempt to get Jonathan Penner voted out of the game. And then one week after that vote failed to go his way, Jeff Kent was blindsided and sent packing. 
In this week's "Survivor" exit interview, Jeff Kent discusses his regrets about the past couple episodes and tries to clarify how Jonathan Penner fit into his strategy. And, because it's not like I get to talk to Jeff Kent frequently, I also made sure to ask him about the decisions facing Hall of Fame voters in upcoming years as some of the pivotal players in the so-called Steroid Era (including his old teammate Barry Bonds) hit the ballot.
Click through for the full interview...
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<p>Taylor Swift performing this week in London</p>

Taylor Swift performing this week in London

Credit: Joel Ryan/AP

Taylor Swift's 'Red' and Ne-Yo's 'R.E.D.' battle it out on next week's Billboard 200

Aerosmith and Third Day also crack the Top 10

Taylor Swift will make it three weeks at No. 1 next week on the Billboard 200 with sales of up to 225,000 for "Red."

That means it will outsell the No. 2 title, “Now That’s What I Call Music 44,” by more than 2-to-1, with that compilation set to top out at 100,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

“Now 44” is joined by three other debuts: “Music From Another Dimension” from Aerosmith, the band’s first album of new material in more than a decade, comes in at No. 3 with sales of 70,000. Ne-Yo’s’s “R.E.D.” sneaks into the top 5 at 60,000 (making two different albums titled "Red" in the top 5). Third Day’s “Miracle” cracks the top 10 with 30,000 units sold.

Filling in the rest of Top 10, Rod Stewart’s holiday album, “Merry Christmas Baby,”  is No. 4, while Jason Aldean’s former No. 1, “Night Train,” is No. 6. Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” falls two spots to No. 7, while Meek Mill’s “Dreams And Nightmares” and Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” are in a dead heat for No. 8 with both projected to sell between 35,000 and 40,000.


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<p>It should be interesting to see who they bring back for 'Episode VII'</p>

It should be interesting to see who they bring back for 'Episode VII'

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm confirms Michael Arndt as 'Star Wars' writer and new details on directors emerge

Lucasfilm seems awfully chatty this time around

Well, that was quick.

My guess at this point is that we'll hear the name of the director making "Episode VII" before the end of November.  If Lucasfilm and Disney were willing to announce the hiring of Michael Arndt today, then it's obviously been in the works for a while, and they are most likely further along in the process than anyone guessed.

Star posted another video today with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy, and they evidently plan to post a new video every week.  I think it's interesting to see how different their approach to talking to the audience is this time around than it was when they were gearing up for the prequel trilogy.

Since we now know that Michael Arndt is writing "Episode VII" and that he's already written treatments for the trilogy, the big question is who will direct, and Kathleen Kennedy talks at length about what attributes they're going to be looking for in a director.  It should be no surprise that "enthusiasm for the series" is the most important thing.  Kennedy is correct, of course, that there is a whole generation of filmmakers working today who were drawn to film in the first place by "Star Wars," and I don't think they'll have any trouble finding people who are interested in playing in this universe.

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<p>John Noble of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>

John Noble of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There '

The show's season-long scavenger hunt slows things down to a crawl at an inopportune time
There’s a tendency to overanalyze episodes of television shows as they approach their announced end dates. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it’s one that’s coincided with the rise of online analysis of shows on a weekly basis. Even when a show like “M*A*S*H” ended, there simply weren’t the forums available for widespread, multidirectional analysis, no matter how many fans watched that finale. So on one level, it’s unfair to judge tonight’s episode of “Fringe” based on the fact that only seven more will ever air. On the other hand, “Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There” would be a middling episode of “Fringe” at best were it not placed at this time in the show’s run. As is? It’s a borderline travesty.
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<p>George Clooney, seen here accepting an award for Being Generally Awesome, could star in Brad Bird's science-fiction film '1952'</p>

George Clooney, seen here accepting an award for Being Generally Awesome, could star in Brad Bird's science-fiction film '1952'

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello/Invision

George Clooney may star in Brad Bird's UFO movie '1952'

With story details still closely guarded, this is an intriguing package

It's interesting that when people started listing A-list filmmakers they'd want to see tackle the next "Star Wars" film, Brad Bird's name came up more than almost any other.  I've had faith in Bird's abilities as a storyteller for years, and as soon as I saw a rough cut of "Iron Giant," I was ready to declare the guy a national treasure.  It wasn't until he made the jump to live-action filmmaking with "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' that he was suddenly at the top of every fanboy's wish list for pretty much every genre film in development.

I'm excited to see him develop original material, though, because I think he's got a strong voice and he's got a deeply-rooted love of genre.  He's exactly the sort of guy we should be supporting in the creation of new properties instead of just dumping the familiar on him over and over.  Sure, he'd make a great "Star Wars" movie, but I'd rather see whatever "1952" is from him instead.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'."

Credit: Gracie Films

10 films advance to Oscar shortlist for Best Animated Short

And they range from Disney's 'Paperman' to a Maggie Simpson adventure

The Oscars may seem some way off still, but the short film categories are already getting down to business. A couple of weeks ago, we got the official, er, shortlist for Best Documentary Short; now, Best Animated Short is the next category to whittle down the playing field.

Ten titles have advanced to the second voting stage, selected by the Academy's Short Film and Feature Animation Reviewing Committee from a pool of 56 entries. Interestingly, the press release states that three to five of the 10 will be nominated, though there haven't been fewer than five nominees in the category since 2000.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

A scene from "Lincoln"

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Lincoln'

Steven Spielberg's look at the 16th President hits theaters today

One of the most buzzed films of the Oscar season hits theaters today after having its "official" bow at AFI Fest last night. The film comes into the season with huge expectations and, by most accounts -- including, most definitely, my own -- it rises to them. But I don't expect the film will land so well with everyone, so I'll be curious to hear what others think. When you get around to it, do let us know your take in the comments section below. And as always, feel free to rate it above.

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