Latest Blog Posts

<p>Paul Rudd and Albert Brooks play father and son in Judd Apatow's new comedy, 'This Is 40'</p>

Paul Rudd and Albert Brooks play father and son in Judd Apatow's new comedy, 'This Is 40'

Credit: Universal Pictures

On-set with Judd Apatow's 'This Is 40,' we talk to Albert Brooks and Robert Smigel

Two very funny men step outside their comfort zones for Apatow's new comedy

It is increasingly uncommon to have a day on a set alone, with no other press, but with Judd Apatow's films, there is a long precedent that is on my side.  After all, I've visited him on all of his films, as well as many of the movies he's produced, and I've built a rapport with Judd and with many of the people who work on his films that makes it very easy to hit the ground running when it comes time to write about what he's working on.

When I got the call to drive down to the set of "This Is 40," I was told that they'd picked the day specifically so I would have a chance to talk to Albert Brooks.  That was a priority for me because of how much I adore his work.  I'd talked to Paul Rudd a few weeks earlier about how excited he was to have Brooks playing his father in the film.  Considering he had just finished a film where Jack Nicholson played his father, I told Rudd he was rapidly defining a very strange niche for himself as an actor, but one that seemed like it would be a lot of fun.

Read Full Post
Alicia Keys is on fire about new album, 'Girl On Fire'

Alicia Keys is on fire about new album, 'Girl On Fire'

No, the 'Hunger Games' reference was not intentional

Alicia Keys looks hot on the cover of her new album, “Girl On Fire.”  Clad in all black and looking like a cross between Cat Woman and The Avengers’ Black Widow, Keys looks ready to take on the world. And apparently she is: she tells  Entertainment Weekly that “the powerful feeling is what it’s all about.”

Out Nov. 27, the album “represents a new me in every way,” she says.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Matt Damon received the BFCA's Joel Siegel Award in 2011 for his humanitarian and charitable efforts.</p>

Matt Damon received the BFCA's Joel Siegel Award in 2011 for his humanitarian and charitable efforts.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Matt Damon and John Krasinski join the season in Gus Van Sant's 'Promised Land'

Focus announces the fracking film will be released on December 28

Alright, make some room. Another potential Oscar play has joined the party.

We've been speculating for some time that either Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock" (Fox Searchlight), Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace" (Relativity) or Gus Van Sant's "Promised Land" (Focus) could be last-minute additions to the season. Gervasi's film, it appears, is sticking with a 2013 launch, while Cooper's -- which came *this* close to peeking out this year -- will hold off as well.

But Focus has just announced that Van Sant's film, from a screenplay by Matt Damon and John Krasinski (based on a story by author Dave Eggers), will indeed hit the ground running in 2012. The film, starring Damon and Krasinski, along with Frances McDormand, Rosemarie DeWitt and Hal Holbrook, will miss the festival circuit but it's set for release New York and Los Angeles on December 28.

Read Full Post
<p>One Direction</p>

One Direction

One Direction plans November album release

First single, 'Live While We're Young,' out in October

One Direction is definitely striking while the boy band iron is hot.  In November, the British quintet will release a new album, less than eight months after its debut, “Up All Night,” came out in the U.S.

That album, which is the top-selling album in the U.S. released by an act in 2012,  is in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 23 weeks after its debut. It has sold more than 1.1 million copies.

The still-untitled album will be preceded by “Live While We’re Young,” the appropriately-titled first single, which comes out Oct. 1. Sevan Kotecha, Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk wrote the tune; they are the same team responsible for the band’s breakthrough U.S. smash, “What Makes You Beautiful.” Also contributing to the new album are Dr. Luke, Ed Sheeran, Tom Fletcher, and Toby Gad.

As you’ll recall, One Direction already put tickets for is Spring 2013 U.S. tour on sale more than a year in advance. The U.K. portion includes nine shows at London’s O2 Arena.

Read Full Post
Oscars get 'Smash'-ed as Craig Zadan and Neil Meron set to produce 85th Academy Awards

Oscars get 'Smash'-ed as Craig Zadan and Neil Meron set to produce 85th Academy Awards

'Chicago' winners have long saught the gig

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this morning that Oscar winners Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 85th Academy Awards.  The best news about this announcement for fans of the grand daddy of all awards shows is that after two years Don Misher is no longer behind the scenes as an executive producer. Misher was part of the 83rd Academy Awards which is now considered one of the worst productions in the history of the event.

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from Tim Burton's &quot;Frankenweenie.&quot;</p>

A scene from Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Frankenweenie' to open 56th BFI London Film Festival

Tim Burton's animated feature will have its world premiere at Fantastic Fest

The BFI London Film Festival has enjoyed mixed fortunes with its opening night slot in recent years. They lucked out in 2008 and 2009, securing highly anticipated world premieres in "Frost/Nixon" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox," attracting unprecedented international media attention to a festival that had never been noted for such publicity coups: its chief purpose, after all, is to bring the highlights of Cannes, Venice, Toronto and the like to local film buffs who don't have the luxury of festival-trotting for a living.

It was an exciting development, but it couldn't last: for the last two years, former LFF director Sandra Hebron kicked off the festival with films that had already premiered in Toronto. And while "Never Let Me Go" was a respectable choice -- if a bit on the glum side for curtain-raising duties -- last year's choice of Fernando Meirelles's dismal, critically savaged "360" (which only recently slumped in and out of US and UK cinemas) was calamitous.  

In that respect, Hebron set her Australian successor, Clare Stewart, a pretty low bar to clear. Happily, one needn't have seen "Frankenweenie" to know that she's done so pretty comfortably.

Read Full Post
Dania Ramirez and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

 Dania Ramirez and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez talk 'Premium Rush'

The stars talk 'bike vision' as well as tackling NYC on two wheels

In "Premium Rush," Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Wilee, a hard-charging, no-brakes (literally) bike messenger regularly dodges disaster delivering packages throughout Manhattan. His day gets considerably more dangerous, however, when he's given a mysterious envelope to deliver "premium rush" -- and finds himself a hunted man. As you might expect, the movie is a non-stop thrill ride that will either make viewers want to grab their own bikes and hit the streets -- or retreat to the relative safety of a taxi. 

Read Full Post
"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Boogie and Frank fight to win the Power of Veto

Boogie is determined to find the mole who targeted him

 So, Shane made his power move, placing Frank and Boogie squarely on the block. Whether or not he'll really get rid of one of them, of course, is a bigger question mark than the one on that weird ball machine that showed up on Sunday. Frank has had more comebacks than Sylvester Stallone, and Boogie is, well, Boogie. For them, this isn't over until the fat lady sings, goes on "Biggest Loser," wins the competition and gets her own inspirational talk show. 

But that doesn't mean Frank and Boogie aren't upset about Shane's big move. Frank is devastated to be on the block again, but Boogie is pissed. He thinks Shane's an idiot, because there's a chance Boogie and Frank will stay in the game -- and Shane's made himself a massive target. Well, yes, that happens whenever you're HOH, doesn't it?
Read Full Post
"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: the top 10 perform with all-stars

Alex Wong and other familiar faces return to the show

The all-stars are back! The all-stars are back! But before we got to exactly which all-stars will be joining out top ten dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance," we have an opening tribute to Gene Kelly. I get the concept; we have a smattering of costumes from his most famous roles, a dollop of his most famous steps, but it all feels a little disjointed and hard to watch to me -- and I love Gene Kelly. It's not an auspicious start to the episode, but let's hope things improve from here. Our guest judge tonight is Benjamin Millepied, who is the founder of the L.A. Dance Project. And guess what? There's going to be a performance from L.A. Dance Project tonight! 

Read Full Post
<p>Mike Birbiglia directed 'Sleepwalk With Me,' which he also wrote based on his book and his stand-up material, and he stars in the film adaptation as well.</p>

Mike Birbiglia directed 'Sleepwalk With Me,' which he also wrote based on his book and his stand-up material, and he stars in the film adaptation as well.

Credit: IFC Films

Review: Mike Birbiglia's 'Sleepwalk With Me' is sweet and surreal look at stand-up stress

True-life story paints an unflinching picture of life as a stand-up

Mike Birbiglia has gotten a surprising amount of mileage out of telling the story of his early days in stand-up comedy and the sleep disorder that forced him to take stock of his life.  First, it was material for his act.  Then he did an episode of NPR's "This American Life" based on that material.  Then he developed it into a book.  Now, based on that book and all the other previous versions, he's finally turned it into a movie.  He stars in the film, he wrote the script with his brother Joe, "This American Life" producer Ira Glass, and his co-director Seth Barrish, and the result is intensely personal, a laser-accurate look at the self-imposed pressures of a life in show business.

When I first heard Birbiglia was making a film version of the story, I assumed it was going to be a documentary of sorts.  It isn't, though.  Instead, it's a slightly fictionalized version of the events he lived through, and while much of it is funny, I think it's ultimately a small-scale character drama, well-observed, and Birbiglia reveals himself as more than "just" a comic presence.

Read Full Post
<p>Why do I have a sneaking suspicion there's been at least one conversation about 3D regarding the 'Videodrome' remake?</p>

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion there's been at least one conversation about 3D regarding the 'Videodrome' remake?

Credit: Universal Home Video

'Videodrome' remake gets a director at Universal

Adam Berg moves from commercials to a remarkably uncommercial title for his first film

I do not envy Adam Berg.

Many first-time feature directors are cutting their teeth on found footage films or remakes these days, simply because that's so much of what is being produced.  It's a tough spot to be in.  

On the one hand, you get a guaranteed greenlight, and you know the studio is going to promote the movie because it's an investment for them.  These remakes are about extending the copyright on something.  They're about keeping intellectual property in circulation.  They are expensive marketing campaigns to sell the original in a super-deluxe home video edition.  They are business, pure and simple, and as such, you know the studio is going to put a certain amount of muscle into making sure people see the movie.

But on the other hand, you are competing with another film before you ever roll a frame of film.  You've got this original film out there, and audiences have whatever relationship they have with that film.  If they love it, they might hold that against you.  If they hate it, they might never give your film a chance.  The percentage of great remakes to uninspired remakes is daunting, to say the least, and I think when you tackle a title that has a devoted fanbase, you're really daring fate.

Read Full Post
<p>This is how Algrim the Strong and Odin looked in the animated film 'Thor:&nbsp;Tales Of Asgard,' and now it looks like both roles have been filled for the upcoming 'Thor:&nbsp;The&nbsp;Dark World'</p>

This is how Algrim the Strong and Odin looked in the animated film 'Thor: Tales Of Asgard,' and now it looks like both roles have been filled for the upcoming 'Thor: The Dark World'

Credit: Lionsgate Home Video/Marvel Animation

'Thor' sequel adds one actor but two villains as 'The Dark World' gets bigger

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbale set to play Alrgrim the Strong and Kurse

You had me at "Kat Dennings."

The absurdly plush actress was one of the comic highlights of the first "Thor," so it was great news to hear that she's coming back for the sequel.  I know there were many people who thought for sure that the sequel would lose some of the key cast of the original just because they had trouble imagining Natalie Portman doing a comic book movie sequel.

Sounds like everyone's onboard for "Thor: The Dark World," a title I like a lot.  In general, I love how the Marvel sequels seem to be using subtitles instead of numbers.  It also sounds like they're taking existing storylines from the comics and tweaking or expanding them so they fit into the continuity established by the movies.  Great idea.  It gets fans excited because they know generally where things are headed, but there's enough invention going on that everyone's got surprises in store for them.

Read Full Post