Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jesse Spencer in &quot;Chicago Fire.&quot;</p>

Jesse Spencer in "Chicago Fire."

Credit: NBC

'Chicago Fire' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new NBC drama?

I posted my review of NBC's "Chicago Firethis afternoon. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched, what did you think? Was the beefcake and cheesecake on display interesting enough? Did you find the characters compelling? Were the fires cool? How do you feel about Jesse Spencer playing American after eight years as Dr. Chase? And will you watch again? 

Have at it.

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<p>Leonardo Di Caprio gets to indulge his sleazy side as Calvin Candie in 'Django Unchained'</p>

Leonardo Di Caprio gets to indulge his sleazy side as Calvin Candie in 'Django Unchained'

Credit: The Weinstein Co.

New 'Django Unchained' trailer features fast funny word play and more DiCaprio

Yep... that's a Quentin Tarantino movie all right

It looks like The Weinstein Company and Columbia are on track for that Christmas Day opening for "Django Unchained" after all.

I would not have been shocked to learn that they were moving it until 2013.  After all, production ran much longer than expected, and Tarantino was constantly tweaking and adjusting the script during production.  I'm sure that's a good thing, and everything I've heard from people on the film is that it's coming together really well.  But sometimes it takes longer to get a film right than is originally planned, and this looked like one of those cases.

In addition, this is the first time Tarantino has made a film without his editor, Sally Menke, and she was a pretty important part of his process.  Fred Raskin, who is cutting the film, served under Menke on a few films, and he's been an assistant editor on a number of films like "Boogie Nights" and "Insomnia" and "Punch-Drunk Love."  He's also been sole editor on the last three "Fast and Furious" movies as well as Justin Lin's "Annapolis," and my guess is Tarantino wanted some sense of continuity, and Raskin was around during the "Kill Bill" films, so there's already a certain level of comfort.

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<p>The &quot;Arrow&quot;&nbsp;producers know what the CW audience wants to see from leading man Stephen Amell.</p>

The "Arrow" producers know what the CW audience wants to see from leading man Stephen Amell.

Credit: CW

'Arrow' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new CW drama?

I posted my review of the CW's "Arrowyesterday. Now it's your turn. Whether or not you're a fan of the Green Arrow comics, what did you think of the show? Did Stephen Amell seem suitably superheroic for you? Does anyone want to try his workout regimen? Was the character too Batman-esque, or is that the best way to approach the character in live-action? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

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<p>This apparently happens on Wednesday's &quot;X Factor&quot;</p>

This apparently happens on Wednesday's "X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Boot Camp #3 and Judges' Homes #1

The judges pick the Top 24, choose sides and begin mentoring

Wednesday's (October 10) episode of "The X Factor" is a bit of a hodge-podge, as your local cable listings probably correctly note that it's half-Boot Camp and half-Judges' Homes.

I believe this means we're going to spend an hour cutting the field to 24 and then we're gonna hang out with L.A. Reid and Justin Bieber. 

Click through and let's get this live-blog started!

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<p>Jack White's &quot;I'm Shakin'&quot; poster</p>

Jack White's "I'm Shakin'" poster

Watch: 'I'm Shakin'' is a Jack White vs. Jack White battle of the bands

You got him noivus

Jack White found a break dancer laying around somewhere and hoisted him into his music video for "I'm Shakin'," the cover clip also featuring White performing in a battle against himself.

This complicated matter ends at that. It features all his new, favorite adoptive colors -- black and blue instead of his previously heralded red and white -- and styled his gifted backing band so that they're ready for a Quentin Tarantino fight scene. The Buzzards vs. the Peacocks, to be precise.

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<p>Shailene Woodley, seen here at the MTV&nbsp;Movie Awards this summer, may be joining the cast of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'</p>

Shailene Woodley, seen here at the MTV Movie Awards this summer, may be joining the cast of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Photo

Shailene Woodley reportedly in talks to play Mary Jane for 'Spider-Man' sequel

Will Electro be the bad guy this time?

Shailene Woodley's work in "The Descendants" was a revelation, and a major announcement for her as a talent to watch.  Since then, she has not been in overkill media hype mode, which is nice.  She went back to the TV show she stars in and she has, no doubt, been reading and meeting people and looking for the next thing she'd do.

Playing Mary Jane Watson in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" sounds like a pretty good gig.

Variety is reporting that Woodley is in early talks to play the part, and she would be joining returning stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, no doubt complicating the easy chemistry they displayed in the first film.  Woodley seems much younger than Garfield, but I'm sure they've put them together at this point if they're getting close to hiring her, and returning director Marc Webb must be happy with what he's seen.

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Credit: AP Photo

Adele, One Direction and Taylor Swift all zoom onto the Billboard Hot 100

How high up does 'Skyfall' make it in its first week?

One Direction, Taylor Swift and Adele all zoom into the Billboard Hot 100 this week with new songs.

Before we get more into that, Maroon 5 does the nearly impossible by holding Psy’s “Gangnam Style” at bay one more week as “One More Night” chalks up its  fourth week at No. 1. “Style” boasts more streaming and sales than “Night,” but “Night’s” airplay kept it in the top spot. The Billboard Hot 100 tabulates airplay, streaming and digital downloads to determine a song’s position.

On to the newbies: One Direction’s “Live Like We’re Young” zooms onto the chart at No. 3, propelling largely by its 341,000 downloads. Swift’s “Red,” the third song previewed  from her upcoming album of the same name, comes in at No. 6.  (The previous two “Red” tunes, official first single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Begin Again,” peaked at No. 1 and No. 7, respectively).

Adele’s James Bond theme, “Skyfall,” launches at No. 8, the singer’s highest debut yet, according to Billboard.

Filling in the rest of the Top 10: fun.’s “Some Nights” falls 3-4, Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean slips one spot to  No. 7, Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” drops 5-9 and Alex Clare’s “Too Close” slides 9-10.

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<p>Taylor Kinney's torso is on display in &quot;Chicago Fire.&quot;</p>

Taylor Kinney's torso is on display in "Chicago Fire."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'Chicago Fire' fails to ignite

Lots of pretty firefighters and paramedics, but not many compelling characters
Practically since the dawn of television, there's been a Holy Trinity of acceptable professions: cops, doctors, and lawyers. (For a while, there were also cowboys, but most of them were essentially cops with bigger hats.) If your main characters have one of those three jobs, you will not lack for storylines, nor, most of the time, for interested viewers.
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<p>Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter.</p>

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter to be feted at London Film Festival

The couple will both be honored with BFI Fellowships at the fest

The 56th BFI London Film Festival kicks off tonight with the UK premiere of Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” -- it's playing as I write this, in fact -- but Burton’s moment at the festival isn’t limited to the curtain-raiser. Indeed, a couple of further showcase events have combined to make the kooky London-based director the festival’s unofficial mascot – in tandem with his personal and professional partner in crime, Helena Bonham Carter.

Indeed, there’s a pleasing symmetry to Burton and Bonham Carter’s presence at the LFF. While he is opening proceedings, she gets to see them out: the festival will close on October 21 with Mike Newell’s new adaptation of “Great Expectations,” in which she takes on the plum role of Miss Havisham. Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, the selections ensure that the offbeat couple could be in red-carpet attendance – in all their uncombed glory – at both ends of the fest. (It’s almost as if programmers were miffed that “Frankenweenie” is Burton’s first HBC-free project in 13 years. They mustn’t be separated, dammit.)

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Listen: Kelly Clarkson's new song, 'Catch My Breath'

Listen: Kelly Clarkson's new song, 'Catch My Breath'

It's her life and she'll live it how she wants, thank you very much

Kelly Clarkson has had it with your telling you how to live her life.  On “Catch My Breath,” she declares she will forge her own path and you can’t keep her from wanting and doing it all.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Pink in &quot;Try&quot;</p>

Pink in "Try"

Watch: Pink and her dance partner toil through complicated 'Try'

Amazing physical performance

Let it be said that "Try" should have been Pink's first single from "The Truth About Love," in lieu of "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)." The latter title has all the bratty, attitudinal connote to be expected from the pop star, but it's "Try" that has heart.

And "Try" got the better video. Pink shows off her showmanship and physical abilities with a partner in this emotional dance piece, set in the desert (oh, goodie, a desert!) and an empty house. They depict the toil a warring couple goes through to get to stasis -- or before they collapse into each other's arms. It seems less to insinuate actual abuse, but the emotional peaks and valleys between lovers. It's very powerful, particularly since both performers hold their own in the give-and-take of command.

Plus the styling is rad and I kinda want to live in a cloud of neon pink. But A- because of flying chairs. What the hell.

It's a challenging, sexually charged and not-always-pleasant piece for Pink.  The singer -- whose pride has been on her rebel-girl, outsider's prom queen moxy -- has me thinking about the year 2000. That is, that same year, she had her first two top 10 hits, sharing the charts with other solo female pop stars Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears ("Oops!... I Did It Again," my gosh), Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah and Madonna. (I'll even through Destiny's Child in there, but that's about the time it was Beyonce's show anyway.)

Talent show judge, talent show judge, recovering talent show judge, deceased, talent show judge, semi-retired from music, deceased...

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<p>Anthony Hopkins and Scarlett Johansson as they appear in &quot;Hitchcock.&quot;</p>

Anthony Hopkins and Scarlett Johansson as they appear in "Hitchcock."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

See Anthony Hopkins strut (okay, waddle) his stuff in first 'Hitchcock' trailer

Fox Searchlight is releasing the Hollywood portrait in prime Oscar season

"Hitchcock"  is the late arrival in this year's Oscar race, yanked forward from Fox Searchlight's 2013 slate into a prime-bait November slot. Does that mean they think they've got something genuinely special on their hands --, or just easy fodder for acting nominations, given the Academy's recent weakness for famous people playing other famous people?

A newly unveiled trailer doesn't do much to answer the question, though it does confirm what early marketing materials suggested: that "Anvil!" director Sacha Gervasi's film -- not a formal biopic, despite what the bland title promises, but a study of the making of "Psycho" -- is taking a comedic approach to the material. Given Hitchcock's own playful sene of humor, that seems the right approach to take... though let's hope the film has a black edge to it, and isn't just a puffball in the "My Week With Marilyn" vein.

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