Latest Blog Posts

<p>Scott Speedman and Andre Braugher in uniform on &quot;Last Resort.&quot;</p>

Scott Speedman and Andre Braugher in uniform on "Last Resort."

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Last Resort' - 'Skeleton Crew'

Secretary Curry comes to the island in the most cohesive episode yet

A review of tonight's "Last Resort" coming up just as soon as they have rodeos in France...

Read Full Post
<p>The bone claws are back in a new image from James Mangold's 'The Wolverine'</p>

The bone claws are back in a new image from James Mangold's 'The Wolverine'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

James Mangold makes some surprising claims about the 'Wolverine' timeline

Plus a new image shows off those bone claws

It's been a strange day in the "X-Men" movie universe.

Obviously, fandom is freaking out over Matthew Vaughn leaving "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," and I plan to take a deeper look at the post-Rothman world of Fox superhero movies in the days ahead.  For now, though, I'm fascinated by a comment that Empire ran today as part of their exclusive visit to the set of "The Wolverine," James Mangold's take on the mutant that has been played since 2000 by Hugh Jackman.

At this point, I would not be shocked to learn that people are confused by the timelines and continuities of the "X-Men" series.  After all, there's the trilogy of films based on the Bryan Singer take on the characters, there's the "Wolverine" solo film, and there's last year's "X-Men: First Class," which appeared to overtly contradict several things in the already established movies.  I'm not sure I quite understand how they're supposed to connect on a story level if we're meant to accept that they all take place in one movie universe.

Read Full Post
<p>Nobody makes a face quite like Bruce Willis.</p>

Nobody makes a face quite like Bruce Willis.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

A second trailer gives us more of the set-up for 'A Good Day To Die Hard'

It's starting to look a little bit more like the old McClane after all

I have to say this is looking a little bit more like "Die Hard" now.

I still think it's just plain weird to have built a franchise around John McClane, but I get the reason that most fans want more of something they like.  McClane's great in the first film for two totally different reasons.  First, he's great because he's a normal person who has to figure out how to stay alive and save his wife against armed, organized overwhelming odds, and that resourcefulness and fortitude make him heroic.  Second, he's great because he knows exactly how to mouth off in a way that makes Hans Gruber mental, and that is just plain fun to watch.

That sense of "wrong place, wrong time" is a big part of that first film, and it's one of the things that makes McClane a real hero.  He's not doing a specific job he's being paid to do.  He just ended up in a position to be the one person who can disrupt this thing that's happening, and so he does it.  The idea of him being trapped inside the building with the thieves was definitely one of the things that was most vigorously imitated by others, enough that you could pitch a movie as "'Die Hard' in a fill-in-the-blank" game of "Mad Libs" for years afterwards, but I don't think the contained space is what people who go see "Die Hard" sequels want.

Read Full Post
<p>M83 at Austin City Limits</p>

M83 at Austin City Limits

Credit: Katie Hasty

Watch: Hope set for liftoff in M83's 'Steve McQueen' video

Contest-winning clip is full of wonder

M83's video for "Steve McQueen" deals with a lot of the same themes the lyrics to the song do: there's something hopeful and mysterious springing forth from us, at times, when the secret unlocking of our greatest desires feel, for once, within reach.

The clip thusly features a kid, a wrangler of magic around some unknown plot involving his toy animals and an unorthodox use of the garden sprinkler. It's colorful and unknowable, with animations from Spike Jonze collabo Sylvain Derosne, under the direction of Derosne and Balthazar Auxietre.

It came about as part of a video contest (in partnership with, with the directors describing their depiction of the “power of childhood, an eagerness for life, and the kind of paradoxical energy you have when you grow up.”

I'm confused by it, but I like it.

"Steve McQueen" is the next single from M83's "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" from last year. It will be out with multiple remixes starting on Nov. 27. M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez is also releasing a 12" for Record Store Day's Black Friday edition, with four remixes of that track, on Nov. 23.

Read Full Post
<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

5 Lessons the Music Business Can Learn from Taylor Swift's 'Red Campaign

What has she done right?

As you know, Taylor Swift’s new album, “Red,” which came out Monday, is on target to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week of release. Should it do so (it sold 500,000 copies in its first day), Swift will become the first female artist in Nielsen SoundScan’s 21-year history  to have two albums sell more than a million copies in one week. Her third album, 2010’s “Speak Now,” also achieved that feat.

Swift and her label Big Machine have waged a campaign that did everything possible to ensure her success. Here’s what other artists and labels could learn from the marketing and promotion of “Red.”

1. Share with your fans... but not too much. Swift debuted a portion of a new song every Monday on “Good Morning America” for the five weeks prior to “Red’s” release and then fans could buy the song the next day on iTunes. But none of these songs were available on streaming services.

2. Sex doesn’t always sell. To Swift’s credit, she has enough clout to not make every video look like she just stepped out of a Maxim photo shoot. Though she shows plenty of leg, she is the most-clothed woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone in years, other than Adele. Usually, a woman has to be in some state of nudity or lingerie (with smartly placed hands, etc) to be on the cover. She has stayed true to her image and her own comfort level and her fans respond to that authenticity.

3.Even if you’re a superstar, you still have to put in the promo time. Swift is working it this week, appearing on “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “Letterman,” etc..  The only folks stumping harder than her this week are Obama and Romney

4. Not only did Big Machine decide not to allow streaming on Spotify and the other services upon “Red’s” release, the label only allowed iTunes to sell the album digitally the first week of release, according to Billboard. That’s because Big Machine has no control over how iTunes rivals Amazon or Google Play may price the album download and were afraid that the retailers may sell it for less than $3.49 as a loss leader. After Amazon sold Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” for 99 cents, Billboard changed its rules and will no longer count such deeply discounted album sales in their SoundScan figures for the first several weeks of an album’s release.

5. Most importantly, make an album that’s worth every cut. While I’m not in love with every song on “Red,” it is clear that every song got her total attention. There is no filler. She can easily go five singles deep here, but even the album cuts were crafted with great love and care.


Read Full Post
<p>Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen on the set of &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;An Undiscovered Journey.&quot;</p>

Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen on the set of "The Hobbit: An Undiscovered Journey."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Journey to 'The Hobbit' set for Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman and the spectre of 48 frames per second

Plus: Richard Armitage, Jackson's joy and more

WELLINGTON, NZ – It’s our second day on the set of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and we’ve finally gotten a chance to chat with the man steering the ship of the massive undertaking, Peter Jackson.  But it was never supposed to be the New Zealand filmmaker’s job.

Read Full Post
"American Horror Story"

 "American Horror Story"

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story' recap: 'Tricks and Treats'

Sister Jude and Sister Mary Eunice are no match for a man possessed

While I'm still not entirely committed to "American Horror Story," I have to give the show credit for one absolutely brilliant move: no matter how ridiculous it gets, I'm not sure anyone will ever be able to say it's really jumped the shark. This show pretty much kicked things off from day one with Fonzie zipping around on the waves, merrily water-skiing right past logic and subtlety, splashing us with copious quantities of homage until our heads hurt. It's not for everyone, granted, but it's definitely a wild ride.

Read Full Post
<p>Jerry O'Connell, Mason Cook and Portia de Rossi as the new Munster family on &quot;Mockingbird Lane.&quot;</p>

Jerry O'Connell, Mason Cook and Portia de Rossi as the new Munster family on "Mockingbird Lane."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC airs 'The Munsters' reboot 'Mockingbird Lane'

Bryan Fuller's take won't become a series, but it will get to be seen by the public
“Mockingbird Lane,” which NBC is airing tomorrow night at 8, is a blast from the TV past in two different ways. First, it’s an adaptation of “The Munsters,” the enduring black-and-white ‘60s family sitcom about a wacky clan whose members include two vampires, a werewolf and a Frankenstein’s monster. Second, it’s an unsold pilot that NBC is airing just for the heck of it, even though the network didn’t order it to series.
Read Full Post
<p>Denzel&nbsp;Washington in &quot;Flight&quot;</p>

Denzel Washington in "Flight"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Tech Support: 'Looper,' 'Django' and 'Flight' highlight the race for Best Sound Editing

Other formidable contenders include 'The Avengers' and 'The Dark Knight Rises'

We all know what a pot sounds like when it comes crashing to the kitchen floor. But what about a Hulk smashing things? Or a Lizard man hissing? Or a bear screeching? Or a…Bane…making a tumbler fall several stories?

Such sounds can rarely be properly captured while filming, leaving our supervising sound editors with the responsibility of creating them. They are awarded at the Oscars for their accomplishments in the category of Best Sound Editing.

Like Best Sound Mixing, this category’s nominees are picked by the sound branch, though winners are chosen by the Academy as a whole. The category tends to favor action films and war films. This is unsurprising given the need to create distinctive aural accoutrement in such movies. Animated films, particularly those of Pixar, also do exceptionally well given that there is usually is no “filming” in the traditional sense where sounds would be captured.

Read Full Post
<p>Bon Jovi</p>

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi returns in 2013 with new album and tour

'What About Now' slated for Spring release

After taking most of 2012 off, Bon Jovi returns in  2013 with a world tour and a new album.

The tour, dubbed Because We Can, kicks off first. The world tour, which will go to arenas and stadiums, starts in Feb. 13 in Montreal.  Look for U.S. dates to follow the Canadian leg, and then the tour will proceed to Europe, the Far East, Africa, Latin America and Australia.

During the tour, the group will debut new songs from “What About Now” its new album out this Spring.

Canadian Tour Dates (U.S. Dates to be Announced):
February 13, 2013          Montreal                      Bell Centre
February 17, 2013          Toronto                       Air Canada Centre
February 20, 2013          Ottawa                        Scotiabank Place
April 2, 2013                  Calgary                        Saddledome
April 3, 2013                  Edmonton                   Rexall Place
April 5, 2013                  Winnipeg                     MTS Centre

Read Full Post
<p>Ian McKellen returns as Gandolf in &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;An Undiscovered Journey.&quot;</p>

Ian McKellen returns as Gandolf in "The Hobbit: An Undiscovered Journey."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Ian McKellen admits he thought 'The Hobbit' would make a good TV series

The legendary actor speaks from the set of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

WELLINGTON, NZ – After almost a year and a half of shooting two, er, now three “Hobbit” films, no one would fault Sir Ian McKellen for being a tad bored. That’s a long time to work on any movie or spend away from home (granted there were two long breaks).  The 73-year-old acting icon has ventured to the set of “The Hobbit” this May day to spend what was supposed to just be 20 minutes talking to visiting press, but it soon became clear McKellen was excited to have a live audience again. 20 minutes soon turned into something closer to 40.

Read Full Post
"Project Runway All Stars"

 "Project Runway All Stars"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway All Stars' mentor Joanna Coles expects to get auf'ed

She says she's different than Tim Gunn in one key way

Joanna Coles will be back for another season of "Project Runway All Stars," but don't expect her to stick around for much more than that. In a conference call with journalists, the fashionista talked about why her recent exit from Marie Claire makes it likely that she'll be auf'ed -- and she totally gets it.

Read Full Post