Latest Blog Posts

<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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<p>The aesthetically challenged cast of &quot;Chicago Fire&quot;</p>

The aesthetically challenged cast of "Chicago Fire"

Credit: NBC

Interview: 'Chicago Fire' creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt talk serialization, 'Rescue Me' and more

'Wanted' writers explain why this isn't a fire-of-the-week drama
NBC's "Chicago Fire" is being promoted as the new drama from Dick Wolf, but the firefighter saga doesn't necessarily feel like what some viewers might expect from the "Law & Order" guru.
While there have certainly been exceptions, Wolf's more successful shows have pioneered a procedural structure in which strong actors have played frequently interchangeable characters, about whom audiences have learned very little. 
"Chicago Fire," at least in its early going, is more about the men and women of Firehouse 51 than their professional emergencies. The concentration is on the ensemble -- featuring Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Lauren German, Monica Raymund, Eamonn Walker, David Eigenberg and more -- rather than weekly infernos.
Much of that is certainly attributable to the approach taken by "Chicago Fire" creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, making their first foray onto the small screen in the midst of a feature career that includes the exceptional remake of "3:10 to Yuma" as well as the blockbuster adaptation of "Wanted."
I had a long chat with Haas and Brandt and, to be frank, I got a little myopic regarding the show's narrative approach and focused on that to the exception of a slew of other questions. So this interview goes into great depth on character-driven storytelling versus procedural storytelling, but maybe not as much depth on the rest of the series, which premieres on Wednesday night on NBC.
We also covered reshoots to the pilot, inevitable "Rescue Me" comparisons and... more about serialized, character-driven storytelling.
Check it out...
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<p>On &quot;The Mindy Project,&quot;&nbsp;Amar'e Stoudemire hangs with Mindy Kaling.</p>

On "The Mindy Project," Amar'e Stoudemire hangs with Mindy Kaling.

Credit: FOX

The Morning Round-Up: 'New Girl' & 'The Mindy Project' reviews

It's a night for thirtysomethings to hang with twentysomethings

It's morning round-up time, with quick reviews of last night's episodes of "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project," coming up just as soon as I spend $49.95 on a subscription to an inaccurate, real-time actuarial service...

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