Latest Blog Posts

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 133

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 133

Dan and Alan talk 'Saving Hope,' 'True Blood,' 'Buffy' and more

The

Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls.
 
Time for the promised bonus installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
Just under the wire, we discuss Thursday's premiere of NBC's "Saving Hope." We also talk about IFC's "Comedy Bang Bang!" and "Bunk." I complain about HBO's "True Blood," while Sepinwall vows to never watch again unless I force him. We also briefly discuss the TCA Award nominations and then Alan shared some of his preferences in TV for kids.
 
And, finally, we talk about the "Witch" episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
 
This is probably our shortest podcast in a while, but combined with the 90+ minutes on Monday, that's still a lot of podcasting.
 
Today's breakdown:
"Saving Hope" (00:00:50 - 00:10:15)
"Comedy Bang Bang!" and "Bunk" (00:10:20 - 00:19:00)
"True Blood" (00:19:00 - 00:32:00)
TCA Award Nominations (00:32:00 - 00:42:25)
Alan's Kids' TV Roundup (00:42:35 - 00:49:25)

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Rewatch (00:49:30 - 01:03:45) 

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

Read Full Post
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 133: 'True Blood,' 'Comedy Bang! Bang!,' 'Bunk' & 'Saving Hope'

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 133: 'True Blood,' 'Comedy Bang! Bang!,' 'Bunk' & 'Saving Hope'

Dan and Alan also talk TCA Awards and continue their 'Buffy' rewatch with 'Witch'

The

We promised a two-podcast week for the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, and we delivered, dammit. With "Mad Men" and "Game of Thrones" out of the way, we had plenty of time for reviewing, awards discussion, letter answering and our discussion of a "Buffy" episode that was a step down from the pilot.

The line-up: 

"Saving Hope" (00:00:50 - 00:10:15)
"Comedy Bang Bang!" and "Bunk" (00:10:20 - 00:19:00)
"True Blood" (00:19:00 - 00:32:00)
TCA Award Nominations (00:32:00 - 00:42:25)
Alan's Kids' TV Roundup (00:42:35 - 00:49:25)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Rewatch (00:49:30 - 01:03:45)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Read Full Post
<p>Will Johnny Galecki and&nbsp;Jim Parsons dress up for &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot; Comic-Con panel in Hall H?</p>

Will Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons dress up for "The Big Bang Theory" Comic-Con panel in Hall H?

Credit: CBS

'Big Bang Theory,' 'Fringe' hit Hall H as Warner Brothers TV announces Comic-Con plans

'Nikita,' 'Supernatural' and 'Person of Interest' among other panels

Organizers of the San Diego Comic-Con have slowly but surely been coming to the reality that many TV show panels are as much in demand from convention-goers as movie panels — if not moreso — and over the last few years, the Convention Center's biggest room, Hall H, has started hosting TV events on Sundays after the movie studios have skipped town. So when Warner Bros. released its Comic-Con plans (the first TV studio to do so this year), it was no surprise to see "Fringe" get a promotion from Ballroom 20 to a Sunday slot in Hall H. But the bigger deal involves "The Big Bang Theory," which will also be in Hall H, but on Friday — which is typically prime movie studio time.

As other studios and networks announce their own Con plans, it'll be interesting to see if "Big Bang" is an anomaly, or if other TV shows that generally have to turn many, many people away from Ballroom 20 — say, "Game of Thrones" and "True Blood" — also get the big room on an earlier day.

After the jump, a list of the pilots Warner Bros. will be screening in Ballroom 20 on Wednesday, July 11, and then days, room numbers and tentative guests for the various Warner Bros. panels:

Read Full Post
Watch: Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace discuss their 'Prometheus' influences

Watch: Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace discuss their 'Prometheus' influences

Fassbender talks Peter O'Toole, while Rapace talks angels
LONDON - In Ridley Scott's new sci-fi epic "Prometheus," the characters played by Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace have a peculiar relationship.
 
On one hand, both characters are pondering their origins.
 
Rapace's Elizabeth Shaw is leading an outer space mission with a goal that's no less than tracing the roots of humanity.
 
Fassbender's David is an android, so he has no roots, but he's fascinated by the people who made him, whether he's studying advanced linguistics or watching and rewatching "Lawrence of Arabia" to mimick the mannerisms of the young Peter O'Toole.
 
On the other hand, Shaw is a woman of cross-carrying faith, while David is a pragmatic rationalist, no more able to understand faith than several other challenging human emotions.
 
Head-butting ensues.
 
Off-screen, Rapace and Fassbender's relationship is humor-driven and the two volleyed one-liners back-and-forth both before and after I sat down with them last week at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden. If that humorous rapport doesn't always come through in this interview, that's probably because I was attempting to ask a few serious questions relatively early on the morning after the film's premiere.
 
Also check out my conversation with Charlize Theron & Guy Pearce and stay tuned for interviews with Logan Marshall-Green, Damon Lindelof and Ridley Scott in the days to come.
 
"Prometheus" opens on Friday, June 8.
Read Full Post
Kevin Smith (left) and Ben Affleck at a 1999 "Dogma" event
Kevin Smith (left) and Ben Affleck at a 1999 "Dogma" event
Credit: Wire Image

Kevin Smith on Ben Affleck's directing career and cherry-picking 'Red State' for 'Argo'

'That dude was always going to pop as a director.'

One of the films you'll soon see I'm pretty high on for the upcoming awards season is Ben Affleck's "Argo." I don't know what it is but I just find myself rooting for Affleck to really succeed behind the camera. Guys like him, Bennett Miller, George Clooney, Tom McCarthy, Scott Cooper, Billy Ray, Sean Penn, they trade in a sort of stripped-down, frill-free cinema that nevertheless never sacrifices thematic potency for subtle strokes.

It's interesting to note, then, that a number of those filmmakers are either current or former actors themselves. Affleck did his time building a movie star image that eventually became fodder for gossip column inches, and he also made his share of dubious role choices. But he was surely always learning from those experiences. He is still, after all, an Oscar winner for one of the richest screenplays of the late-1990s.

Read Full Post
<p>Claire Danes and &quot;Homeland&quot; earned four Television Critics Association Awards nominations.</p>

Claire Danes and "Homeland" earned four Television Critics Association Awards nominations.

Credit: Showtime

TCA Awards nominees include 'Breaking Bad,' 'Mad Men,' 'Game of Thrones' & 'Homeland'

The Television Critics Association also celebrated 'Girls,' 'Louie,' 'Parks and Recreation' & more

Showtime's "Homeland," HBO's "Game of Thrones" and AMC's "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" were among the shows getting the most love in the nominations for the 2012 Television Critics Association Awards.

Read Full Post
<p>Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Cat Deeley of &quot;So You Think You Can Dance&quot;</p>

Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Cat Deeley of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Atlanta Auditions

What treasures would the judges find in the Dirty South?

Howdy, readers.

I'm back to live-blogging "So You Think You Can Dance."

I contemplated live-blogging last week's Los Angeles audition episode, but then I realized that live-blogging a two-hour episode in London keeps you up until after 3 a.m. and that just wasn't happening. But I watched the episode when I returned and there were actually a lot of terrific dancers showcased. It was, in fact, a far better structured episode than the premiere from two weeks ago.

How will this week's episode from Atlanta come out?

Let's see... After the break...

8:02 p.m. ET. We've got Debbie Allen as our guest judge. I wish they could just take Jesse Tyler Ferguson around on more auditions. He was really improved on last week's episode. He's definitely better and Toasty Oreos and he's also better than Adam Shankman who, fortunately, was probably in post-production on "Rock of Ages" when they did auditions. Lil C remains my favorite guest judge.

Read Full Post
<p>Denzel&nbsp;Washington in &quot;Flight&quot;</p>

Denzel Washington in "Flight"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Robert Zemeckis is back in live action territory with Denzel Washington in the trailer for 'Flight'

Could the film be an under-the-radar Oscar prospect?

One more trailer today -- a sneaky one. If you take a look at the slate of films Paramount Pictures has for this year's Oscar season, you'll find that the studio might want to go shopping on the fall festival circuit. But for a company that isn't huge on acquisitions, particularly for awards product, you can bet that's not likely to happen.

What you're left with are two films: the animated "Rise of the Guardians" out of DreamWorks and Robert Zemeckis's first live action film in over a decade. The latter is "Flight," starring Denzel Washington as an embattled airplane pilot in legal hot water following his crash-landing a commercial flight -- and saving many lives in the process.

The smart play for Paramount this year might just be to focus on a smaller slice rather than split its focus across a wide spectrum. Indeed, the last few (post-Vantage) years have seen collectives like "Star Trek"/"Up in the Air," "The Fighter"/"Shutter Island"/"True Grit" and "Hugo"/"Super 8"/"Young Adult" chew up that focus (not that they haven't come out with plenty to show -- four Best Picture nods in those three years, after all).

Read Full Post
<p>Leonardo&nbsp;DiCaprio in &quot;Django Unchained&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Django Unchained"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' trailer promises an assured romp with lush production values

"The 'D' is silent."

The Weinstein Company is bursting at the seams with possibilities for this year's awards season, as I'll detail further when I write up the year's first Off the Carpet column next week. One of those films is Quentin Tarantino's hotly anticipated "Django Unchained," which gets a nice, shiny trailer today on the heels of some footage that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last month.

It looks like an exciting western romp, as we might have expected. Leonardo DiCaprio appears to be having a blast. Everyone does, really. There are lots of immaculately crafted frames throughout, proving what we already figured: the material is a showcase for lenser Robert Richardson. Indeed, all the design elements in the film appear to be top notch.

I like that Tarantino is stretching his work into the realm of period with this and "Inglourious Basterds" before it. And I have rather high hopes that the western genre will get a healthy injection by the box office success this is sure to have (a nice compliment to the success of "True Grit" two years ago).

Read Full Post
<p>Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx co-star in Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' this Christmas, and the first trailer is online now.</p>

Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx co-star in Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' this Christmas, and the first trailer is online now.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

First trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' blasts its way online

Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonard Di Caprio, and a fistful of bullets

When I was at the Cannes Film Festival this year, I attended the special presentation thrown by The Weinstein Company to premiere footage from Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained."  I did my best to transcribe those clips as completely as possible for you, trying to share some impressions of those short glimpses at two of this year's most highly anticipated films.

Now the first official trailer for the film is here and it seems like a much tighter version of that clip package we saw with a few new shots thrown in for good measure.  It uses both the Johnny Cash and James Brown cues that we heard, it's got that great Franco Nero appearance right at the end, and it also adds the awesome new tagline, "Life, Liberty And the Pursuit Of Vengeance." 

Oh, hell, yes, Quentin.

Read Full Post
<p>Holliday Grainger, Robert Pattinson and Christina Ricci in &quot;Bel Ami.&quot;</p>

Holliday Grainger, Robert Pattinson and Christina Ricci in "Bel Ami."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Tech Support: 'Bel Ami,' all dressed up with nowhere to go

Could the period dud's duds earn the annual 'WTF' slot in Best Costume Design?

Rather like that dully nice party guest whose name refuses to stick in the memory, "Bel Ami" is a film of which I have had to be reminded more than once this year. I saw it back in February, in the wilting days of the Berlin Film Festival, and even then a colleague had to wheedle me into accompanying him. The film evaporated from memory within days, only to crash it once more as London bus banners bedecked with Robert Pattinson's face flashed past my living-room window, announcing the film's March release in the UK. It swiftly exited consciousness again, in a fug of limp reviews and indifferent box office, only to resurface this week, with a fresh round of critical sighs signalling the film's arrival in US screens on Friday. 

I meant to review "Bel Ami" out of Berlin, but somehow kept putting it off until the film slipped my mind altogether. Nearly four months later, I still think my tweet review pretty much suffices. The film is a harmless would-be prestige picture whose only real prestige lies in the pilfered genius of Guy de Maupassant -- the 19th-century French author's sly society satire, concerning a dim Parisian cad ascending the political ladder on the backs of his mistresses, here simplified into a ruffled bed-hopping soap, preoccupied principally with getting Pattinson and the attractive female ensemble into tasteful states of undress.

Read Full Post
<p>There's always been a sense of romance to the drive-in theater, and not just because 80% of those cars are full of people who are doing it, either.</p>

There's always been a sense of romance to the drive-in theater, and not just because 80% of those cars are full of people who are doing it, either.

Credit: LIFE Magazine

What makes June 6 a special date for movie-lovers?

And how would you like to join us for a special outing to a drive-in theater?

Want to go to the drive-in with me?

That's not a hypothetical question, either.  I'm genuinely curious how many of you in the Southern California area would want to participate if I organized an outing to the three different drive-in theaters that are currently playing new releases within about an hour's drive from where I live.

Today, if you go to Google's front page, you'll see the latest of their themed Google Doodles, an actual animated film saluting the opening of the first drive-in theater in America on June 6, 1933.  79 years ago.  And while the theaters did not endure in great number, it gives me a smile to know that right now, I can go see movies in three different drive-in theaters, and that my kids are going to be able to have that experience.

The appeal of the drive-in is the sense of community when you attend with friends, I believe.  Everyone goes and pulls their cars in and sort of camps together… and it's great fun.  I did it a few times when I was at Ain't It Cool, always with the assistance of the great Jack Morrissey, a fellow movie theater nerd with a real love of classic Americana regarding where and how we watch films.  I don't just remember the movies I saw as a kid… I remember where I saw many of them, and I remember the greatest screens I saw movies on.  The actual physical experience of seeing the films that influenced me were often part of the impact the films had on me.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME