Latest Blog Posts



Credit: Reprise

Album Review: Green Day's "Uno!" gets the party started

First in trilogy delivers aggression with a dance beat

“Uno!,” the first in a trilogy of albums coming from Green Day over the next four months, is a thoroughly enjoyable non-stop torpedo blast of catchy melodies, guitar riffs and propulsive drum blasts.

The trio told Billboard recently that in the schematic of the three new albums, “Uno!” was the album to play as you’re getting ready to go to the party. If so, batten down the hatches because it’s going to be a long night.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Mindy Kaling in &quot;The Mindy Project.&quot;</p>

Mindy Kaling in "The Mindy Project."

Credit: FOX

Series premiere review: 'The Mindy Project' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new FOX comedy?

I posted my review of "The Mindy Projectyesterday (and I interviewed Mindy Kaling before that). Now it's your turn. How did you feel Kaling both wrote and played her character? Did you feel the supporting players (and guest stars like Bill Hader and Ed Helms) were well-used? Did you laugh? And, most importantly, will you watch again?

Have at it.

Read Full Post
<p>Gael Garcia Bernal in &quot;No.&quot;</p>

Gael Garcia Bernal in "No."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Chile submits 'No'... will the Academy say yes?

Pablo Larrain's 1980s political satire was a critical sensation at Cannes

A flurry of new titles have been added to the pile of Best Foreign Language Film Oscars submissions -- which currently numbers 53 -- in the last day. Among them are films from such one-time nominees as Georgia and Vietnam, as well, hearteningly, the first ever entry from Kenya. I'm always pleased to see more African films in the mix.

Though I need to investigate the new additions further, only one of them immediately strikes me as newsworthy -- and it's a film I've been half-expecting and wholly hoping would show up here since its Cannes debut back in May. Given its combination of acclaim, awards and name appeal, you might have thought Pablo Larrain's superb political satire "No" a shoo-in to be Chile's submission, but there was always the realistic worry that the inscrutable politics of national selection would determine otherwise.

Read Full Post
<p>Adam Levine of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Adam Levine of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Tuesday - Blind Auditions, Part 7

Guess what tonight's episode is? More Blind Auditions!
I remember a time when “The Voice” wasn’t holding blind auditions for its third season. The skies were blue. The fields were green. Dinosaurs roamed the earth. Good times.
OK, it hasn’t been that long, but you’ll be forgiven if it seems that way. Still, you really can’t blame NBC for stretching these auditions out as long as possible. Thus far, it seems like the ratings gamble for the network has paid off, with the show siphoning off viewers from other networks and helping The Peacock win the first official night of the Fall TV season. You read that correctly: NBC won the night. Look for cats and dogs living together anytime soon now. Mass chaos, is what I’m saying.
Let’s get into tonight’s one-hour episode. There are only twelve spots still open on the four teams combined at this point, so the competition will get fierce. Chairs will spin EXTRA hard, I’m telling you. They’ll spin so hard that Christina Aguilera’s fan will fly out and cut the head of CeeLo Green’s bird clean off. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton may or may stop flirting with each other long enough to actually notice.
As always, I’ll be keeping a running diary. As always, the times below are EST. As always, if the sob stories these contestants roll out raise my eyebrows, I reserve the right to make up new ones. In honor of “The Avengers” coming out on DVD/Blu-Ray today, I’ll have The Hulk have a stab at their backstory.
Read Full Post
<p>Zooey Deschanel in &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Zooey Deschanel in "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

Season premiere review: 'New Girl' - 'Re-Launch' & 'Katie'

Jess's life hits some bumps in the road as season two begins

"New Girl" has begun its new season with multiple episodes, and I have thoughts on both coming up just as soon as I figure out my sex character is named Sgt. Giddyup Carruthers...

Read Full Post
<p>Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson are &quot;Ben and Kate.&quot;</p>

Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson are "Ben and Kate."

Credit: FOX

Series premiere review: 'Ben and Kate' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new FOX comedy?

I reviewed FOX's "Ben and Kate" yesterday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched tonight (or in one of its many online preview windows over the last few weeks), what did you think? Did you like the sibling chemistry between Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson? Did you find it funny? Do you also want to draw attention to your mouth? And will you watch again? 

Have at it.

Read Full Post
<p>Alice Lowe and Banjo... or Poppy... take a breather after a fairly emotional moment in Ben Wheatley's 'Sightseers'</p>

Alice Lowe and Banjo... or Poppy... take a breather after a fairly emotional moment in Ben Wheatley's 'Sightseers'

Credit: IFC Films/Sundance Select

Review: Ben Wheatley's 'Sightseers' gives a dark spin to romantic comedy

The first Fantastic Fest secret screening is one of the year's most charming surprises

Ben Wheatley has quietly turned into one of the most interesting voices in English film right now, a guy who seems fairly adept at bending his personal storytelling style to the material he's shooting instead of imposing one voice on everything he does.  He is sly, with a jet black sense of humor, and he seems to take great pleasure from pushing his audiences to deeply uncomfortable places.

His breakthrough film was "Down Terrace," and I remember how excited Tim League was about that film.  It's a very small-scale, well-observed film about a family scratching out a low-level criminal existence, and I liked it a lot.  His next film, the genre-bending "Kill List," absolutely flattened me when I saw it at SXSW, and I felt like it marked a real step forward by him.  With his third film, "Sightseers," he's made what could be his first cross-over hit, a film that still plays dark and that surrenders none of his personal voice, but that is universal in a way that "Kill List" was never going to be.  It is little wonder it found a place in the Fantastic Fest 2012 line-up as Tuesday night's first secret screening.

Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe) have fallen in love, and they've decided to take a trip together.  Chris has a caravan that he's decked out for the trip, and Tina's as excited as she could possibly be.  She's been living with her demanding, angry mother her whole life and she's reached a point where she can't imagine doing it any longer.  Chris isn't just a possible romance, he's an escape from a life that has become insufferable to her.  She's got the trip idealized in her head before she even leaves the house, and if Wheatley just wanted to tell a story about how real life rarely meets our expectations, that could be potent material.  He's got something much more sinister in mind, though, and we get hints of it from the early part of the film when we see hints of Chris's temper, particularly in response to what he sees as the coarse and the rude.

Read Full Post
<p>Johnny Simmons, Ezra Miller, and Mae Whitman were a lot of energy to manage in one interview when we sat down to discuss 'The Perks of Being A Wallflower'</p>

Johnny Simmons, Ezra Miller, and Mae Whitman were a lot of energy to manage in one interview when we sat down to discuss 'The Perks of Being A Wallflower'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: 'Perks Of Being A Wallflower' star Ezra Miller and a 'Scott Pilgrim' reunion

The young cast talks about how much the book means to them

The last time I saw Johnny Simmons and Mae Whitman in the same place at the same time, it was on the Toronto set of "Scott Pilgrim Versus The World."  I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to see members of that cast colliding over and over in the future, and that it's going to remain a very dear memory for them.

This time, we were in Toronto to discuss the new movie "The Perks of Being A Wallflower," and they had three of the young actors who make up the ensemble grouped together for the chat, including Whitman and Simmons.  I didn't meet Ezra Miller in Cannes when "We Need To Talk About Kevin" was playing there, and I'll admit that after I saw that film, I thought Hollywood was going to typecast him because of how completely effective he was in the part.

Instead, I think this film will introduce him to a much broader audience, and I think it's going to have a long shelf life.  While I may not have known the book, I've come to realize that there's a big audience out there who read and really enjoyed the book, and it's important to them.  This isn't just another teen movie to them.  The book's characters are significant because they recognize themselves in them. 

Read Full Post
Amy Adams

 Amy Adams

Credit: HitFix

Amy Adams and Matthew Lillard talk about 'Trouble with the Curve'

Clint may talk to empty chairs, but these stars say he's great on set
While Clint Eastwood may be the biggest star (and the biggest news magnet thanks to his recent speech at the Republican National Convention) of "Trouble with the Curve," his co-stars Amy Adams and Matthew Lillard hold their own in this softhearted drama. As Mickey(the daughter of Eastwood's talent scout Gus Lobel) and scheming corporate villain Phillip, the duo get plenty of screen time with the star, and while both have to be jerks to him on-screen, they have nothing but nice things to say about him off-screen. 
Read Full Post
Watch: Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina discuss FOX's 'The Mindy Project'

Watch: Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina discuss FOX's 'The Mindy Project'

What kind of boss is Mindy Kaling?
If Zooey Deschanel was FOX's New Girl last year, that mantle has been passed to Mindy Kaling in 2012, with the network even pairing "The Mindy Project" with "New Girl" on Tuesday nights.
Just as Deschanel wasn't really an unknown when her series premiered, Kaling already has a legion of fans thanks to her run as part of the ensemble of "The Office" and as a writer and producer for the series (to say nothing of a bestselling book). Still, this is Kaling's first time as boss.
A couple weeks back, I sat down and talked with Kaling and "Mindy Project" co-star Chris Messina about the new comedy, about what drew him to a regular TV gig and what kind of a boss she strives to be.
Check out the full conversation.
"The Mindy Project" premieres on Tuesday, September 25 at 9:30 on FOX.
Read Full Post
<p>Kylie Minogue's &quot;Flower&quot; cover</p>

Kylie Minogue's "Flower" cover

Kylie Minogue: In awesome 'Holy Motors' and awful 'Flower'

How will the singer and actress' 'Abbey Road Sessions' turn out?

I'm still processing the film "Holy Motors," which rolled into Fantastic Fest this week. What's taking me next to no time in dismissing is the music video for the song "Flower." What they both have in common is Kylie Minogue.

"Holy Motors" is a dream-like cinematic history lesson and funeral, through the lens of director Leos Carax who unveils his own personality through actor Denis Lavant. Lavant is led through a series of "appointments," movie scenes in which he must act: he plays a killer, a father, a monster, an executive, a woman, a man who's dying... among these, he's also lead love interest, during a break from his appointments with a lost lover, Ms. Minogue. She, of course, is also playing yet another character, one who breaks into song like in a movie musical.

Read Full Post
Watch: No Doubt's new clip for 'Push And Shove'

Watch: No Doubt's new clip for 'Push And Shove'

Fun in black and white

It’s the night of the living No Doubt. In the band’s video for “Push and Shove,” the title track to the group’s new album out today, the quartet runs through the city streets in a various outfits and in various speeds (depending upon the song’s varying tempos).

Gwen Stefani does the heavy lifting here since she’s lipsyncing most of the time, while her bandmates join in on the fun, including giving her a pink belly, but have left their instruments at home. The most work they do here is hefting a drink or two.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post