Latest Blog Posts

<p>Elijah Wood and Allison Mack in &quot;Wilfred.&quot;</p>

Elijah Wood and Allison Mack in "Wilfred."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Wilfred' - 'Dignity'

Wilfred plays frustrated comedian at Ryan's office

A review of tonight's "Wilfred" coming up just as soon as I schedule an exit interview with the snow globe...

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<p>From &quot;True Blood's&quot; next episode &quot;Boot and Rally&quot;</p>

From "True Blood's" next episode "Boot and Rally"

Credit: HBO

Listen: Iggy Pop and Best Coast combine for new 'True Blood' tune

'Let's Boot and Rally' goes together like 'sexy' and 'vampires'

The folks over at "True Blood" had the ingenuity to combine Nick Cave with Neko Case for one of the show's songs before, and so music supervisor Gary Calamar tried to step up to the plate again for another masterful combo, and with an original song to boot.

The result is rock legend Iggy Pop and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino combining for "Let's Boot and Rally," for the episode "Boot and Rally" airing on July 8 this weekend. Sexy vampires will be able to do what sexy vampires do to the strains of more Iggy and less Best Coast, but that's no problem. Calamar and James Combs' songwriting feels like a simple commotion, and it makes me want to shimmy. And seek blood.

Check out the whole story of the get-together and stream the track at KCRW, where Calamar works when he's not finding music that sounds like a clingy, lace dress for "True Blood."

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<p>Benicio Del Toro and Demian Bichir seemed to get along much better at the 'Savages' press day than they do in Oliver Stone's new film.</p>

Benicio Del Toro and Demian Bichir seemed to get along much better at the 'Savages' press day than they do in Oliver Stone's new film.

Credit: HitFix

Benicio Del Toro and Demian Bichir talk about eye-to-eye combat in 'Savages'

Oliver Stone's bad guys seem to be having a good deal of fun

The last film I screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year was "Seven Days In Havana," an anthology film about life in Cuba.  One of the segments was directed by Benicio Del Toro, and he was there on stage along with Gaspar Noe, Laurent Cantet, Julio Medem, and the others.  Del Toro seemed like he was humbled to be standing onstage among the other filmmakers, and it was interesting to see this wildly charismatic guy at his most human and nervous.

That charisma is on full display in "Savages," where he plays Lado, a disgusting enforcer for the Baja Cartel.  It's one of those performances where every little detail, every choice that Del Toro made, plays into the character and the story.  Lado is like a shark, and in those moments where the protective membrane rolls up over his eyes, metaphorically speaking, just before he tears into some poor bastard, Del Toro is terrifying.  It's great work, and he seems to relish every moment he has in the film.

Sitting down to talk to him, I was surprised to see him paired with Demián Bichir, who was so tremendously good in "A Better Life" last year.  Bichir has an interesting role in "Savages," a sort of middle-management cartel figure, and in one of the most memorable scenes in the film, Bichir and Del Toro end up on opposite sides of an interrogation.  It's brutal and awful and something we had to discuss with the both of them.

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<p>Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan on the set of &quot;Ruby Sparks.&quot;</p>

Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan on the set of "Ruby Sparks."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: 'Ruby Sparks' Zoe Kazan explains the story of her debut screenplay

Plus: New footage from the late summer Fox Searchlight release

t's been a strange summer season so for at the art house. Unlike last year, which was dominated early both critically and at the box office by "Midnight in Paris," "The Tree of Life" and "Beginners," 2012 looked like it would be much quieter.  That's hardly been the case.  Focus Features' "Moonrise Kingdom" is a certifiable hit, "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is pretty much a global blockbuster (even if it's not really playing to the traditional specialty crowd), Weinstein's "Intouchables" is a solid foreign language player, the success of Millenium's "Bernie" is proving an embarrassment to all the major indies who turned it down and "To Rome With Love" and "The Beasts of the Southern Wild" have been superb in their limited runs so far. One film that could tap into the crowd that enjoyed "Moonrise" is "Ruby Sparks."

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<p>Carly Rae Jepsen</p>

Carly Rae Jepsen

Credit: AP Photo

Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' phones in another week at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

Which song is the lone new entry in the Top 10?

Carly Rae Jepsen’s summer just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Her breakthrough hit, “Call Me Maybe,” logs its fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, while “Good Time,” her duet with Owl City, is this week’s top debut, zooming onto the chart at No. 18.

Phones remain popular on the Hot 100 as “Call Me” keeps Maroon 5’s “Payphone” at bay at No. 2. The group’s hit, which features Wiz Khalifa, does log a No. 1, however, as it rises to the top of the Billboard’s Radio Songs chart, according to Billboard.

It’s a very static Top 10 as No. 1-8 and No. 10 remain the same as last week. In addition to “Call Me Maybe” at No. 1 and “Payphone” at No. 2, Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” is No. 3, Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” is No. 4 and Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” is No. 5.

At No. 6 is Ellie Goulding’s “Lights,” fun.’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae is No. 7 and Nicki Minaj’s Starships” is No. 8. The lone new entry, and change at all within the Top 10, is David Guetta’s “Titanium” featuring Sia, which leaps 12-9. Usher’s “Scream” stays at No. 10.


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Pink announces title and release date for her new album

First single, 'Blow Me,' out now

“The Truth About Love,” Pink’s first studio album in four years, will come out Sept. 18, the singer has announced via her website.

The pop singer’s last studio album, “Funhouse,” came out in 2008, and contained such hits as “So What” and “Sober.”  A greatest hits set released in 2010 spawned the hits “Raise Your Glass” and “F**kin’ Perfect.

[More after the jump...]

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Credit: AP Photo

Adele and Gotye lead 2012 mid-year sales stats

Are album sales up or down over last year?

One-named acts rule 2012 so far: Half-way through the year, Adele and Gotye have bragging rights to the top-selling album and single so far.

Adele’s “21” has some more than 1 million copies this year, while Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100  for several weeks, is the top selling single, moving 5.5 million downloads.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Philip&nbsp;Seymour Hoffman in &quot;The Master&quot;</p>

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Could Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's divorce make 'The Master' this year's zeitgeist movie?

Paul Thomas Anderson's film will take on Scientology as the org battles headlines

In the wake of recent news that TomKat is officially on the outs, Dana Kennedy has penned an overly long but nevertheless interesting story for The Hollywood Reporter about "cloak and dagger" housewife operations and defections and all the drama that comes with a big Scientology story. And all I could really think of the whole time was, "Boy, this could put some wind in the sails of 'The Master.'"

Paul Thomas Anderson's much-anticipated film will take on Scientology, though not explicitly, with Philip Seymour Hoffman playing a bit of an L. Ron Hubbard surrogate. The Weinstein Company will roll it out in mid-October, prime real estate in an awards season. Recent trailers have been unique in the usual PR fray (typical of Anderson), building on mystery and intrigue. But something like this could shine a brighter light on the film four months out.

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<p>A&nbsp;little YouTube love from Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and friends helped the world take notice of Carly Rae Jespen's &quot;Call Me Maybe,&quot;&nbsp;but the song had to be good to become the massive hit it is today.</p>

A little YouTube love from Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and friends helped the world take notice of Carly Rae Jespen's "Call Me Maybe," but the song had to be good to become the massive hit it is today.

My Top Singles of 2012 so far: Gotye, Carly Rae Jepsen and a few surprises

Who else makes the list?

We're a few days into the second half of 2012 so it seemed like a good time to look back at the last six months and take stock. There have been some undeniably strong songs, the kind that will forever mark 2012 in many people's brains, but I still struggled to come up with a list of 10 singles that I really loved this year so far.

I decided to make the task a little more difficult by restricting my choices to radio singles instead of any album track. What surprised me is that no rock or country songs made the list. Plus, there are some obvious choices that I've seen on other "best-of" so far, most notable fun.'s "We Are Young," that didn't make mine.

A few of the selections will look and sound very familiar, but there may be some surprises here or there.

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<p>Oliver Stone was all smiles at the press day for his new film 'Savages'</p>

Oliver Stone was all smiles at the press day for his new film 'Savages'

Credit: HitFix

Oliver Stone on pushing boundaries and shocking audiences in 'Savages'

When you're the screenwriter of 'Scarface,' is there any excess left to explore?

There was a moment in the mid-'90s when Oliver Stone could get anything funded, and he was making giant studio movies that were unlike anything anyone else was doing.  It felt like he was pulling something over on the studios on a regular basis.  He was larger-than-life, and it was amazing to watch happen from the sidelines.

During that time period, there was one project I partnered on with a number of people, including my co-writer Scott Swan.  It was an animated R-rated horror film, mega-graphic and super creepy.  And at that moment, Ixtlan Pictures, Stone's production company, was looking to get into the animation business, specifically looking for material suited to adult audiences.  When we met with the executives there, we were told that Stone got bit by the bug when he was working on "Natural Born Killers" and supervised the animation for that film.  He thought there was a chance to do something no one had really done in the mainstream yet.

And for about two months, it seemed like it was a "maybe," like they were thinking about whether or not they could put an animation pipeline together, trying to wrap their heads around the real costs of the idea.  In the end, they decided not to move ahead with anything in the animation realm, and we moved on to try to find someone else to partner with us on it.

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Shanna and Abraham on 'The Glee Project'

Shanna and Abraham are two of the contestants likely to lose on 'The Glee Project'

Credit: Tyler Golden/Oxygen

'The Glee Project' recap: 'Adaptability' narrows the field

Kevin McHale guest mentors a week full of twists

If there's one thing every actor needs in the crazy world of "Glee" it's adaptability.

But before everyone settles in for their homework assignment, Aylin and Charlie have something very important to share. They've set "ground rules" in their relationship and resolve to be friends without flirting. And Charlie is hyped: "We take all this energy we used to put into things like...snuggling...and put it into kicking each others' asses. It's making both of us better."

This week's theme: Adaptability
Homework assignment: Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
Guest mentor: Kevin McHale

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<p>We always knew that James Bond had a way with the ladies, but in 'Live Or Let Die,' it turns out his 'special agent' has magic powers.</p>

We always knew that James Bond had a way with the ladies, but in 'Live Or Let Die,' it turns out his 'special agent' has magic powers.

Credit: EON/MGM/UA

James Bond Declassified: File #8 - 'Live And Let Die' introduces Roger Moore

The Macca theme, the gator farm, Sheriff Pepper and more

FILE #8: "Live And Let Die"

This series will trace the cinema history of James Bond, while also examining Ian Fleming's original novels as source material and examining how faithful (or not) the films have been to his work.

Directed by Guy Hamilton
Screenplay by Tom Mankiewicz
Produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli


James Bond / Roger Moore
Dr. Kananga aka Mr. Big / Yaphet Kotto
Solitaire / Jane Seymour
Tee Hee Johnson / Julius Harris
Felix Leiter / David Hedison
Rosie Carver / Gloria Hendry
Baron Samedi / Geoffrey Holder
Quarrel Jr. / Roy Stewart
Whisper / Earl Jolly Brown
Adam / Tommy Lane
Miss Caruso / Madeline Smith
Sheriff J.W. Pepper / Clifton James
M / Bernard Lee
Moneypenny / Lois Maxwell


It's not insignificant that this is also the first James Bond film that Michael G. Wilson, step-son to Cubby Broccoli, worked on as part of the production office.  This is a clean break in eras.  There is everything before "Live And Let Die," and there is everything after.

That said, it has been a while since I've last seen "Live and Let Die."

The main thing that's happened since the last time I saw the movie and now is that I've really gone back and read Fleming's book.  It was a book I never read during my first round of Bond titles.  My dad's library was incomplete, but there were enough that I felt like I got the point.  Re-reading some of the books starting from about the age of 20 to now, I've grown to have a very different understanding of Fleming's strengths and weaknesses.  I've also become a much more ardent fan of blaxploitation cinema and the era in which this film was made.

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