Latest Blog Posts

<p>Josh Hopkins and Dan Byrd on &quot;Cougar Town.&quot;</p>

Josh Hopkins and Dan Byrd on "Cougar Town."

Credit: ABC

'Cougar Town' 'Southern Accents': All in the family

Jules resents Grayson's baby mama, Laurie raises Bobby's consciousness and Andy seeks office

A review of tonight's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I can prove forethought in a pig murder...

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<p>2 Chainz' &quot;No Lie&quot; feat. Drake</p>

2 Chainz' "No Lie" feat. Drake

Credit: Def Jam/T.R.U.

Listen: 2 Chainz and Drake tell you 'No Lie'

'T.R.U.' track arrives way ahead of an August album release

2 Chainz has been the hot name featured on a lot of tracks lately, like on Nicki Minaj's endlessly catchy "Beez in the Trap," Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music love-in "Mercy" and T.I.'s "Spend It." Now he's got a Drake on his side for his first single "No Lie" from his forthcoming full-length album debut.

And, weirdly, Drake seems to dominate much of "No Lie," as he carries the hook and takes up most of the first half. It's your typical Drizzy boasts with 2 Chainz' bobbing, choppy rhymes coming in later on, with his "Thug life, one wife, a mistress and a girlfriend," along with some fashionable name-drops. It's a good combo of talents, for where street meets the club.

2 Chainz, aka Tity Boi, seems to take a tip from Rick Ross on the synth lines, giving an impression a spaceship may touch-down in the middle of this seemingly sci-fi soundtrack. This "clean" version plays a lot with the foul English, so it might as well be alien tongue.

"No Lie" -- out on digital retailers on May 8 -- is the first single from 2 Chainz' Def Jam debut "Based on a T.R.U. Story," which goes on sale toward the end of the summer, on Aug. 14. Can't wait that long? Check out the half-a-dozen mixtapes the MC's put out over the last five years, or spin some Playaz Club, his duo with Dolla Boy.

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<p>Norah Jones' &quot;Little Broken Hearts&quot;</p>

Norah Jones' "Little Broken Hearts"

Credit: Blue Note

Album Review: Norah Jones' 'Little Broken Hearts'

Grammy-winning singer collaborates with Danger Mouse to stunning effect

Norah Jones’ new album, “Little Broken Hearts,” out today, is a gorgeous sonic and lyrical exploration of a crumbling relationship that takes Jones’ already impressive talents to a new plateau.

It’s a stunningly dark album that covers betrayal, debilitating hurt, shame, the desire for revenge, and, ultimately, the ability to walk away, bowed but not broken. The album opens with the dreamy, string-laden “Good Morning,” in which she, over a sleepy, lullaby-like melody, gently sings that she’s “folding her hand,” as she realizes she's holding losing cards. From the opening notes, even though only Jones’ name is on the album, it is clear that her collaboration with co-producer/co-writer Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) is a total partnership.

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<p>Catwoman gets a face-lift in the upcoming &quot;The Dark Knight Rises.&quot; Does Michelle Pfeiffer's 1992 portrayal merit consideration on our list?</p>

Catwoman gets a face-lift in the upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises." Does Michelle Pfeiffer's 1992 portrayal merit consideration on our list?

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Lists: Top 10 performances in comic book movies

With 'The Avengers' on the way, we look at the top portrayals of the subgenre

Joss Whedon's "The Avengers" opens Friday, but it doesn't merely signal the beginning of the summer movie season. It signals the start of a summer highlighted by comic-based tent pole filmmaking. Still to come are Sony's reboot, "The Amazing Spider-Man," and the denouement of Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise, "The Dark Knight Rises" (the latter having dropped a new trailer last night).

So it makes sense to keep the lists going this week with something pegged to Marvel's big, inevitable event film. But who wants another "top 10 comic book movies" list, anyway? I couldn't go there. Narrow it down? Top 10 Marvel movies (stretching back to pre-Marvel Studios, of course)? I just don't like enough of them.

When I laid out my brief thoughts on "The Avengers" last week, I noted that, for me, what makes the film so special and work so well as a piece of entertainment is how organic the ensemble is. Everyone gels, major actors with major franchises coming together to make something greater. With that in mind, how about focusing on performances in comic book movies?

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<p>The new deal goes into effect this summer.</p>

The new deal goes into effect this summer.

Credit: Dolby

It's official: The Dolby Theatre is the Oscars' home for the next 20 years

Two new deals bring a venue name change and security to the annual show

After some back and forth with CIM Group, commercial real estate owner of the theare (formerly known as the Kodak) at the Hollywood & Highland complex that has been home to the Oscars for the last decade, a new deal has been struck to keep the annual show there for another 20 years.

According to a press release, another deal was also struck, with Dolby Laboratories, Inc., to name the venue The Dolby Theatre. So it's goodbye Kodak, hello Dolby. And as Roth so pointedly noted a few weeks ago when these rumblings first began, it's somehow poetic and sad to see one of the last bastions and earliest creators of celluloid take its exit here as the company that created a digital 3D projection system steps in.

Of course, Dolby's major imprint has always been trailblazing in the world of audio. Indeed, further into the release it is noted that during the term of the agreement "Dolby will continue to update the theatre with innovative, world-class technologies to ensure that the theatre remains state-of-the-art, beginning with the immediate installation of its recently released Dolby® Atmos™ sound technology."

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<p>Dot Hacker (Josh Klinghoffer second from left)</p>

Dot Hacker (Josh Klinghoffer second from left)

Credit: Geoff Moore

Interview: Josh Klinghoffer talks Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dot Hacker, Rock Hall of Fame

Exclusive premiere of Dot Hacker’s full 'Inhibition' album stream from Soundcloud

Josh Klinghoffer has toured with and recorded with an astounding array of critically and commercially renowned artists, from his current crew Red Hot Chili Peppers to Beck, PJ Harvey and Gnarls Barkley. But for the career musician, his most recent project has fulfilled a lifelong career fantasy: he wanted to start his own band, to plays his own songs, in a band of friends.

Sounds pretty attainable, right? Imagine, though, the guitarist and drummer has been in other people’s touring bands since he was in his teens. For years, he’s plotted song demos but rarely had the time and personnel to flesh them out. And in the last couple years, he joined RHCP to replace his friend, former collaborator and longtime guitarist John Frusciante.

“You’d think that [Red Hot Chili Peppers] is my main thing. And of course I love being in that band,” Klinghoffer said in our recent interview. “But since I was a teenager, I wanted to be in a band with my mates, my pure image of a band. My path in life has never led me to that until now.”

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<p>Uma Thurman in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Uma Thurman in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

'Smash' - 'Tech': A Swift return

Despite isolated pockets of quality, the show is still pretty dire

A review of last night's "Smash" coming up just as soon as I magically take a train from Grand Central Station to Boston...

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<p>Jon Snow (Kit Harington)&nbsp;on the Iron Throne in an early &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;&nbsp;promotional image.</p>

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) on the Iron Throne in an early "Game of Thrones" promotional image.

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' gets an unofficial hip-hop anthem

There is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today.'

Fan-generated art (by which I mean not just pictures, but words and music and video) can be some of the best things you find on the Internet, and some of the most dire. The hip-hop songs of Adam WarRock, fortunately, are the good kind of fan art. I've much enjoyed his "Parks and Recreation" tracks and his "Justified" song, for instance. Now he's turned his attention to "Game of Thrones," with a song inspired by the advice Syrio Forel gave Arya Stark during one of their fencing lessons in season 1, and a beat courtesy of Block McCloud's "Crazy Man." You can download it here, and I've got the video embedded below: 

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<p>Michael Haneke, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant on the set of &quot;Amour.&quot;</p>

Michael Haneke, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant on the set of "Amour."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Cannes Check: Michael Haneke's 'Amour'

Continuing our preview series on the Cannes competition

The director: Michael Haneke (German-Austrian, 70 years old)

The talent: After the low-profile ensemble of "The White Ribbon," Haneke returns here to the big names. Isabelle Huppert has a history with Haneke and Cannes: she won the festival's Best Actress award (her second) for "The Piano Teacher" in 2001, and headed the jury that handed him the Palme d'Or three years ago. This marks her third collaboration with him, and her first since 2003's "The Time of the Wolf," but she doesn't appear to be the primary focus this time: that'd be two veterans of the French New Wave, Emmanuelle Riva ("Hiroshima, Mon Amour,") and Jean-Louis Trintignant ("Three Colors: Red" and "Z," for which he won Best Actor at Cannes in 1969). (Fun fact: Riva played the lead in Georges Franju's original film of "Thérèse Desqueyroux," Claude Miller's new adaptation of which is closing the festival.) Also on board: British opera baritone William Shimell, who made an impressive film debut opposite Juliette Binoche in 2010's "Certified Copy."

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<p>Barney and Marshall go to Atlantic City on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Barney and Marshall go to Atlantic City on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Good Crazy': 'Round Robin

Ted struggles to get over Robin, Barney hates Quinn's job and Marshall gets too intense for Lily

A very quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I meet a cute travel agent while reading a newspaper at a bookstore...

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<p>The cast of &quot;The L.A. Complex&quot;</p>

The cast of "The L.A. Complex"

Credit: The CW

Interview: Creator Martin Gero talks 'L.A. Complex'

Now might be a good time to tune in to The CW's Canadian transplant
It's not too late to catch up with The CW's new drama "The L.A. Complex," but after last week's less-than-robust premiere numbers, you don't want to wait too much longer to tune in.
The story of a group of young transplants, mostly Canadian, trying to make it as actors, dancers, comedians and musicians in Hollywood is simultaneously familiar, but freshly executed and Sepinwall and I said nice things about "The L.A. Complex" in last week's podcast
I also chatted [before the show's launch] with "L.A. Complex" creator Martin Gero, whose credits start with the indie feature "Young People ****ing" and also include writing and producing runs on TV shows as different as "Stargate Universe" and "Bored to Death."
A lot of our conversation hinged on me trying to get Gero to admit that "L.A. Complex" is a very Canadian-feeling show, but it also includes discussion of his approach to Hollywood, the show's approach to controversial subject matter and The CW's approach to side-boob. 
Click through for the full interview... And don't forget that "L.A. Complex" airs its second episode on Tuesday (May 1) at 9 p.m. on The CW...
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<p>You see how he's smiling?&nbsp;That's because he knows he's going to be making these films as long as he is physically able.</p>

You see how he's smiling? That's because he knows he's going to be making these films as long as he is physically able.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Sam Jackson talks about assembling 'The Avengers'

Is he feeling franchise fatigue yet?

Samuel L. Jackson carries a lot of iconography into a room with him when he arrives somewhere.

My own kids, for example, already know him as Mace Windu.  Allen's four, but he knows Jackson by sight and by sound.  All he needs to do is hear his voice from another room, and he'll walk in, ready to see what Mace Windu is up to.

That can make things complicated when I'm playing a film like "Jackie Brown," and his dulcet tones draw the kids to the TV just in time to hear Jackson lay down a stream of perfectly timed motherf**kers.  They're starting to realize he is in a lot of movies, and when they saw him on the posters for "The Avengers," they were excited.

He's got more to do this time around than in any of his previous appearances, and talking to him at the press day for the film, it seems like he's just warming up.  He's happy to keep playing Nick Fury as long as they'll have him, and he's got a good handle on the character's whole history, making jokes about the David Hasselhoff version at one point in the day, eager to step into the Hasbro room to see the action figures.  Right now, Marvel is working hard to bridge the classic rendition of Nick Fury into the Samuel L. Jackson image that they've developed.

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