Latest Blog Posts

<p>Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in &quot;The Help.&quot;</p>

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in "The Help."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Predicting Sunday's SAG Awards

Could 'The Help' have its biggest night of the season?

Positioned almost a month away from the Academy Awards ceremony, the Screen Actors' Guild Awards are frequently something of a buzzkill in the Oscar race -- not because they don't make for a perfectly entertaining evening in themselves, but because they have a nasty habit of sealing up the competition in a number of categories, making life rather dull for attentive awards-watchers.

A certain degree of overlap with the Academy membership makes their routine foreshadowing of the acting Oscar winners -- in the 17-year history of the awards, nearly 70% of the performances honored by SAG went on to take the big prize -- inevitable, though since the awards calendar was reshuffled a few years ago, they tend to answer some questions in the race a bit too early. With this year's acting races already showing little wiggle room, don't count on the Guild to open things up.

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<p>Leslie (Amy Poehler)&nbsp;shows off her bowling skills on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Leslie (Amy Poehler) shows off her bowling skills on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Bowling for Votes': The perfect game

Leslie overreacts to a slight, April tries to crush Chris and Tom schools Ron

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I find an octagonal house...

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<p>Chevy Chase as Pierce on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Chevy Chase as Pierce on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I miss 'Community': Because Pierce isn't as dumb as he looks

Every now and then, the old man has something to teach Jeff

It's Thursday at 8, which once upon a time would have meant an episode of "Community" was about to start. Instead, "Community" remains off of NBC's schedule with no announced return date(*), which means it's time for another installment of Why I Miss "Community," which I'm going to keep running every Thursday until we know the show's coming back.

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Kim Kardashian

 Kim Kardashian

Credit: AP Photo

Are you ready for Kim Kardashian's multi-episode arc on 'Drop Dead Diva'?

The tabloid fixture debuts her new character on the show's season premiere

Just in case you thought the Kardashians might finally be reaching the end of their extremely lengthy fifteen minutes, guess again. Kim Kardashian, who last year snagged a role in Tyler Perry's "The Marriage Counselor," has just landed a multi-episode arc on the fourth season of the Lifetime series "Drop Dead Diva" according to Deadline Hollywood. On the show Kardashian will play Nikki, the new love interest of Fred (Ben Feldman). Nikki will also be partnering with Fred's ex Stacy (April Bowlby) in a new business venture. 

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<p>&nbsp;Chris Brown</p>

 Chris Brown

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Chris Brown is back with 'Turn Up The Music'

Does it remind you of a certain recent 'party hit?

Wow. Someone has been listening to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and “I’m Sexy And I Know It.”  And his name is Chris Brown.

“Turn Up The Music,” a song from Brown’s forthcoming album, “Fortune,” is a straight-up slab of electro-dance that is a kissing cousin to “Party Rock Anthem... especially the first several bars.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>&nbsp;LMFAO</p>

 LMFAO

Credit: AP Photo

LMFAO to join Madonna for Super Bowl, says will.i.am

Will the 'Party Rock' duo appear alongside Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.?

Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime extravaganza is only a little more than a week away, as more rumors sneak out about her 12 minutes to rule the world on Feb. 5.

The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am has now gotten into the act, telling a U.K. radio station that LMFAO, who are signed to his Interscope-distributed imprint and Cherrytree Records, will play with Madonna at the big show in Indianapolis.  As you’ll recall, the Black Eyed Peas provided the half-time entertainment last year.

"I'm going to the Super Bowl this year to see my group LMFAO perform with Madonna," he told Capitol FM.

This is on top of a report from Wednesday from the New York Daily News’ Gatecrasher column that Madonna was “bringing gay to the Super Bowl,” according to one of her back-up dancers.  We don’t even know what that means.

The Material Girl, herself, is keeping tightlipped. At the “W.E.” premiere on Monday, she simply said that she was “extremely nervous” and that in addition to singing “Gimme All Your Luvin” (reportedly with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., both of whom appear on the song), her performance would include some  “oldies but goodies.”

We’re trying to get more details and will fill you in if we get them. In the meantime, voracious Tweeter will.i.am has tweeted nothing further about his radio remarks, neither has LMFAO.
 

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<p>&nbsp;The cast of 'Bridesmaids'</p>

 The cast of 'Bridesmaids'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Kristen Wiig and the 'Bridesmaids' cast will present at the Oscars together

Best supporting actress nominee Melissa McCarthy reuniting with cast mates

The hilarious ladies of "Bridesmaids" are getting back together in a few weeks -- but not for the rumored sequel

The hit film's stars Kristen WiigRose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Maya Rudolph are set to be presenters at the 84th Academy Awards.

Emmy winner McCarthy ("Mike and Molly") is up for the best supporting actress Oscar for her scene-stealing performance in "Bridesmaids," while Wiig is nominated for the film’s original screenplay. All six are making their first Oscar show appearances.
 
The Academy Awards, produced by Brian Grazer and Don Mischer, will air on ABC Sunday, February 26 from the Kodak Theatre in L.A. Billy Crystal is hosting.

Think you can guess this year's winners? Prove it in our
Oscar pool.

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<p>Rodriguez</p>

Rodriguez

Review: 'Searching for Sugar Man' requires some waiting for a sweet payoff

The musical journey of Rodriguez brings the dead back to life at Sundance

Two documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival turned their focus on American singer-songwriters making an impact on different eras of apartheid-stricken South Africa. But one major difference between the Paul Simon “Graceland” doc “Under African Skies” and Malik Bendjelloul's directorial debut “Searching for Sugar Man” are the artists’ awareness of their influence on that African country. Simon lived it. Obscure folk artist Rodriguez had no idea what the hell was going on. 

Sixto Rodriguez put out two albums under his last name in 1970 and 1971 via Sussex/A&M. They failed to sell here in the ‘States. Through several interviews with recording engineers and label executives that “discovered” him in dingy nightclubs in Detroit, there was a feeling of disbelief that an artist so talented went unrewarded in his lifetime.
 
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Watch: Aaron Paul talks 'Smashed' at Sundance

How is this substance abuser different from his 'Breaking Bad' substance abuser?
The other day, I posted the chunk of my conversation with Aaron Paul that focused more on his Emmy-winning AMC dramedy "Breaking Bad" than on his well-regarded Sundance dramedy "Smashed."
 
Today, I'm posting the longer portion of the interview focusing on "Smashed." You'll discover pretty quickly that it's almost impossible to talk "Smashed" with Aaron Paul without also discussing "Breaking Bad."
 
In "Smashed," Paul plays a jovial alcoholic who proves to be an emotional liability for his equally booze-loving wife (the excellent Mary Elizabeth Winstead) when she decides to go clean.
 
Other than a focus on addiction, Paul's "Smashed" character has little in common with Jesse Pinkman, but "addiction" isn't exactly a tiny similarity. 
 
In our chat, Paul discusses the difficulties finding feature scripts that live up to the standards set by "Breaking Bad," his reservations about returning to addiction and his very different approach to his "Smashed" character.
 
Check it out...
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<p>&nbsp;Lil Wayne</p>

 Lil Wayne

Credit: AP Photo

Lil Wayne set to release 'I Am Not A Human Being 2'

Cash Money's Birdman spills on Nicki Minaj and other acts

Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” has been out for less than six months, but expect the rapper to drop another album within months.

“I Am Not A Human Being 2” will come out “real soon, according to Cash Money’s Birdman (aka Bryan Williams), who shared the news with Complex.

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<p>Jeff Cronenweth received a second consecutive Oscar nomination for David Fincher's &quot;The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.&quot;</p>

Jeff Cronenweth received a second consecutive Oscar nomination for David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Cinematography

'The Artist,' 'Dragon Tattoo,' 'Hugo,' 'The Tree of Life' and 'War Horse' square off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

As is often the case, the cinematographers' branch didn't exactly search far and wide for contenders in this category, settling instead on a quartet of high-profile Best Picture nominees, plus one major December release (and guild nomination hog) that surely came close to cracking the top race. Four of the men selected, moreover, are previous nominees, in keeping with this year's unofficial theme of sticking with the familiar.

The scramble for the fifth slot on the ballot was, presumably, a tight one: moodily lensed by Hoyte van Hoytema, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" was a surprise ASC nominee that seemed to be building late momentum in the final stages of voting, but wound up ceding its spot to more postcard-pretty work from a two-time Oscar champ who had been frozen out of the guild list. Oh, well. 

The nominees are...

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<p>A scene from&nbsp;&quot;Harry&nbsp;Potter and the&nbsp;Deathly Hallows:&nbsp;Part 2&quot;</p>

A scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tech Support Interview: Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan on a decade of designing 'Harry Potter'

The production designer and set decorator have been nominated for the fourth time on the series

On Tuesday, Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan respectively earned the ninth and fifth Oscar nominations of their careers for serving as the production designer and set decorator of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” They shared a win for "The English Patient" in 1996 and this year's mention is the fourth they have earned for the Harry Potter series, making the Best Art Direction category the place where the franchise (which wrapped itself up in 2011) has seen its greatest Oscar success.

The world of the boy wizard has been the duo's driving professional task for quite a while. Indeed, Craig (who also won Oscars for “Gandhi” and “Dangerous Liaisons”) is one of the few consistent department heads on the series going back to 2001. He interviewed with "The Sorcerer's Stone" and "The Chamber of Secrets" director Chris Columbus about the first movie over a decade ago. When he was offered the job, he says he jumped at it and never looked back. McMillan was shortly thereafter called by Craig and agreed to hop on board.

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