Latest Blog Posts

<p>Sgt. Brody (Damian Lewis)&nbsp;lays his cards on the table in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Sgt. Brody (Damian Lewis) lays his cards on the table in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'The Weekend': Carrie'd away

Carrie and Brody get quality time in a cabin, while Saul tries to work Aileen

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I take a nosegay...

Read Full Post
<p>Christopher Heyerdahl as The Swede on &quot;Hell on Wheels.&quot;</p>

Christopher Heyerdahl as The Swede on "Hell on Wheels."

Credit: AMC

'Hell on Wheels' - 'Immoral Mathematics': Swede emotion

Christopher Heyerdahl makes a strong first impression as The Swede

As I said last week, I don't like "Hell on Wheelsenough to do weekly reviews (especially while covering three other cable dramas every Sunday night), but as I'll be watching the episodes, I'm going to try to do weekly talkback posts like this one so long as the interest is there.

In the case of the second episode, I imagine the main topic of conversation will be the introduction of Christopher Heyerdahl as The Swede, who's far and away the best part of what I've seen of the series so far (including three episodes past this one). Vivid character, strong performance, and just plain fun. (Fienberg interviewed him about the role over at The Fien Print.)

What did everybody think, of both The Swede and the episode that introduced him?

Read Full Post
<p>Ernie and Cindy of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Ernie and Cindy of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Super Shady'

Dancing, butter-churning, a Double U-Turn and... bunnies!
Here I was terrified that Sunday (November 13) night's "The Amazing Race" would continue this season's every-other-Leg pattern and be a Non-Elimination Leg and while I was bracing for annoyance, a really excellent episode broke out.
 
There was travel intrigue, a solid Roadblock, two photogenic Detour options, a Double U-Turn that was actually used and... BUNNIES!!!!
 
Oh and best of all... A team went home. Huzzah, "The Amazing Race." Huzzah.
 
Full recap, devoid of much of my typical irritation, after the break...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Steven Yeun in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Steven Yeun in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'Chupacabra': Roll in the hay?

Daryl goes solo, and Glen makes a discovery

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I'm wearing ears...

Read Full Post
<p>Steve Buscemi on &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Steve Buscemi on "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Two Boats and a Lifeguard': Uneasy lies the head

Nucky makes a big decision, and Jimmy tries to enjoy his own party

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I prefer to think of myself as an artichoke...

Read Full Post
<p>Christopher Heyerdahl of &quot;Hell on Wheels&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Christopher Heyerdahl of "Hell on Wheels"

Credit: AMC

HitFix Interview: Christopher Heyerdahl talks 'Hell on Wheels' and 'Breaking Dawn'

'Sanctuary' veteran discusses playing The Swede and the new 'Twilight' film
Christopher Heyerdahl wasn't in the premiere of AMC's "Hell on Wheels," but his initial appearance in this Sunday's (November 13) episode provides the period Western with a much-needed jolt of menace and danger.
 
Heyerdahl's The Swede arrives in Hell on Wheels as the head of security to Colm Meaney's Doc Durant and instantly turns his attentions (with good reason) to Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount), who he sees as fly in the ointment of the Union Pacific's forward progress. The Swede (who isn't actually Swedish) is scary, tortured by his Civil War experiences and also oddly hilarious, the latest in a long line of scene-stealing supporting turns for Canadian actor.
 
From "Smallville" to "Supernatural" to "Stargate: Atlantis" to "Caprica" to "Human Target," Heyerdahl has been one of the staple guest stars in Vancouver's acting ensemble. For many viewers, he's best known for his regular roles as John Druitt and Bigfood on Syfy's "Sanctuary" and for an even larger audience, he's familiar as ancient vampire Marcus in the "Twilight" films.
 
In our wide-ranging interview, Heyerdahl discusses his inspirations for The Swede, his Vancouver ubiquity and working on the upcoming "Breaking Dawn" with Bill Condor.
 
Click through for the full interview.
 
Read Full Post
"The Amazing Race"

 "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Reality TV Roundup: 'Real Housewives' fight, a 'Survivor' lie is revealed and a 'Dancing' feud is squashed

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now

Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch "The X Factor," "Survivor," "Dancing with the Stars," "Top Chef," "Project Accessory," "Work of Art," "The Biggest Loser" or "America's Next Top Model," the latest elimination for each show is revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too. 
 
COMPETITION REALITY SHOWS

SURVIVOR
It's a double elimination that squishes too much show into too little time! Ozzy gets the boot and has a nice time fishing on Redemption Island, and he's joined by Jim. Everyone hates Cochran, and Dawn is the last underdog for us to root for, if you believe the editing. 
 
Christine Markoski stands by her "temporary" assessment of Coach. Ouch.
 
Whitney claims to be single on the show. She isn't. 
 
Jeff Probst will continue to host "Survivor" even though he's taking on his own daytime chat show. Here's how it will impact "Survivor."
 
You may have noticed that CBS censored Ozzy's vote for Cochran. If you're wondering what it said, click here. But we're pretty sure you can figure it out on your own. 
 
THE AMAZING RACE
Justin and Jennifer blow a roadblock when Jennifer leaves a clue with Justin and stares stupidly into space instead of going back to him to get it. So, yup, they go home.
 
Justin and Jennifer reveal exactly how long Jennifer stared into space. Yes, it was way too long. 
 
THE X FACTOR
Stereo Hogzz becomes the latest act to be sent home. Might have had something to do with that name. 
 
Rachel Crow's cute AND she was a crack baby. So she's inspiring, too!
 
DANCING WITH THE STARS
The competition gets down to the final four couples -- by kicking Nancy Grace to the curb. 
 
Nancy Grace claims she was robbed of the mirror ball. She's kidding. I think. 
 
Still, she lost a lot of weight on the show, so it's not a total loss. 

Cheryl Burke reveals her rules for ruling the show. And why Rob Kardashian is her favorite star partner ever. No, really. 
 
Derek Hough and Lauren Conrad have broken up. In case you knew they were together in the first place. 
 
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff offer dance lessons to veterans. As if we didn't love him enough already.
 
Maks says he has nothing but love for Hope and he's not feuding with Derek. Good. 
 
TOP CHEF
The final group and the chefs stranded on the bubble fight it out for the last of the chef's jackets. Farewell, Chaz, we hardly knew thee. 
 
THE BIGGEST LOSER
Joe Mitchell is the latest competitor sent home from the ranch. He says he won't give up hope, which means he won't be sitting on the sofa, eating and crying. 
 
PROJECT ACCESSORY
The judges don't have to decide whether Nicolina's tampon belt or David's Aspen Barbie is worse -- it's a double elimination, so they both go home
 
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL
Shannon will not compromise herself by modeling underwear! So Shannon will be going home. 
 
Shannon talks about protecting her brand. By not modeling undies. No, seriously. 
 
 
NON-COMPETITION REALITY TV SHOWS
 
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS
Kim reveals her big secret to Kyle while Taylor and Lisa are fixing for a fight. 
 
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA
Phaedra likes dead people, Kandi likes sex toys, and NeNe and Sheree like fighting and screaming at one another. 
 
And speaking of sex toys, Kandi has some details on her sex toy line. Oh, I'm sorry, intimate luxury line. 
 
Kim and Kroy got married on Nov. 11, 2011. Because they're kute!
 
 
MISC.
Check out the winners of the Your OWN Show contest. Each winner gets their own show. Just a guess, but I somehow doubt any of these are going to save the network. 
 
Now that Piers Morgan has dumped "America's Got Talent," Howard Stern might step in. Hide your kids, America. 
 
Kasey and Vienna of "Bachelor Pad" deny they've broken up. But we know it'll happen eventually, right?
 
The Duggars are having another kid, which means it's time to change the title of "19 Kids and Counting" again. 

Remember Megan on "Rock of Love"? No? Well, she got six months probation for a DUI. 
 
Nick Cannon, host of "America's Got Talent" and unfunny Mariah Carey spouse, joked about killing a dog. PETA was not amused. 
 
"Work of Art"'s Bayete Ross Smith was eliminated and says he "couldn't pull it together at all." 
Read Full Post
<p>The Band Perry</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

The Band Perry

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Music Power Rankings: Madonna, The Band Perry and Black Sabbath vie for No. 1

Plus, lots of corporate moves

1. EMI: British company’s record side gets sold to UMG and its publishing division to Sony/ATV. The home of the Beatles will be no more. Hello, goodbye.

2. Dr. Luke: Britney, Katy, Rihanna and Ke$ha's producer scores his biggest hit yet: a huge label deal with Sony.

3. Mac Miller: Indie rapper will come in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week with “Blue Slide Park,” bolstered by the track “Donald Trump,” which has drawn more then 34 million YouTube views.  Trump demands to see his birth certificate.

4. Black Sabbath: Metal vets get back together for new album produced by Rick Rubin. Tour sponsored by Depends.

Read Full Post
<p>Emma Stone and Coldplay with Bill Hader of &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Emma Stone and Coldplay with Bill Hader of "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Emma Stone and Coldplay

Some solid second-half sketches highlight a typically uneven show
OK, apologies up front everyone: I’m on the road for family obligations this weekend. So instead of writing up tonight’s “Saturday Night Live” in my man cave, I’m doing this from the nation’s capital. Live from Washington D.C.: it’s Ryan McGee! I have the show in my hotel room, but without the beauty of DVR, I may miss a little more than usual in tonight’s recap. I ask that you are patient with me this week as Emma Stone and Coldplay both return to Studio 8-H. Coldplay is here to promote their new record “Mylo Xyloto,” while Stone doesn’t have anything she’s here to push, other than maybe the DVD release of “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. That’s fine, since she was a game host last year. Biggest question of the night: how will “SNL” handle this week’s Oscars’ debacle? Will they go after Brett Ratner and former “SNL” alum Eddie Murphy in a meaningful way, or just relegate their pot shots to “Weekend Update” jokes?
 
Only one way to find out. Onto the recap!
 
Read Full Post
<p>Oprah&nbsp;Winfrey, John&nbsp;Travolta and Kelly&nbsp;Preston at the 2011 Governors Awards</p>

Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta and Kelly Preston at the 2011 Governors Awards

Credit: AMPAS

The Academy celebrates Smith, Jones and Winfrey at third annual Governors Awards

After tumultuous week, AMPAS takes a moment to toast Honorary Oscar recipients

Thanks to the miracle of Twitter and about 10 minutes of down time on vacation in Miami, I can pretty much cyber-report on tonight's Governors Awards ceremony. You ready? Alright, so…

As guests took their seats, John Williams' "Star Wars" score struck on the sound system and the room was flooded with Storm Troopers. Darth Vader took to the stage. Obviously, it was a tip of the hat to one of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients, James Earl Jones.

Anyway, Vader hit the podium, removed his masked to reveal -- wait, it wasn't David Prowse at all. It was Academy president Tom Sherak. "How was your week," he quipped to the audience. Fair play, sir (even if he did recycle the joke from earlier in the week at a screening of "The Great White Hope" in honor of Jones). Casual. Light. Way to take it in stride after a five- or six-day spread few would want to endure. (And poor Dawn Hudson -- apparently she had some sleepless nights over the whole Ratner/Murphy brouhaha.)

Read Full Post
<p>Henry Cavill (center) in Tarsem's &quot;Immortals.&quot;</p>

Henry Cavill (center) in Tarsem's "Immortals."

Credit: Relativity Media

Cinejabber: Whether you're high or low

Open thread. The floor is yours.

Another Saturday, another Cinejabber – your space to kick around whatever film-related thoughts you fancy, while we seek life beyond the movie theater.

Or, you know, not. My weekend is shaping up to be very cinema-bound indeed, with a rather schizophrenic to-do (or to-see) list combining art and trash, recalling nothing so much as the critical adage of playing both brows against the middle. It begins on a noble note: I’ll be wallowing this afternoon in all 190 minutes of the digitally restored Marcel Carné opus “Les Enfants du Paradis” at London’s invaluable BFI Southbank.

From there on, my plans get slightly less respectable, as I’m hoping to catch two new releases whose press screenings I napped on. One of them I feel little need to apologize for: Tarsem had me at hello with his wildly underappreciated (and frankly just wild) fantasy thriller “The Cell,” which you may or may not remember was robbed of every design award going in 2000, so there’s no way I’m not seeing him indulge his mask fixation to the nth degree and the third dimension in “Immortals.”

Read Full Post
<p>Snowy,&nbsp;Captain Haddock, and Tintin get caught up in dangerous business in Steven Spielberg's rollicking new 'The Adventures Of Tintin'</p>

Snowy, Captain Haddock, and Tintin get caught up in dangerous business in Steven Spielberg's rollicking new 'The Adventures Of Tintin'

Credit: Paramount/Nickelodeon/Dreamworks

Review: Spielberg's 'The Adventures Of Tintin' offers remarkable action and energy

Strong performance-capture work gives this technical marvel a human edge

"The Adventures Of Tintin" is a preposterously fun movie, first and foremost, regardless of what technology was used to make it.  It is very old-fashioned in storytelling terms, but cutting-edge in the way it's told.  It tells a rough-and-tumble adventure story that is more real-world than much of what Hollywood makes these days, but it's animated in a way that removes it from reality completely.  It is a film that seems to hinge on a number of contradictions, and that friction is just one of the reasons I really loved the experience.

Much has been written about how long Steven Spielberg's been interested in making a film version of Herge's long-running comic series, and one of the biggest questions that I've heard repeatedly is "Why would he do it as a performance capture animated film?"  I think the first answer to that question is obvious after you see the movie and you see Snowy, Tintin's canine sidekick, in action.  Snowy is a major character in the film, and has an outsized personality.  Trying to get the same performance out of a real dog in the middle of a film also involving stunts and special effects and international travel would be a nightmare, and as it is, Snowy is one of the main highlights of the movie now.  Also, there is a sense of scale and abandon to the way the action is staged in the film that would be a nightmare to orchestrate in live-action, and I think working in animation has set Spielberg free in a way I'm not sure we've ever seen from him before.

Ultimately, though, the tools used wouldn't matter if the film was no fun.

And this film is nothing but fun.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME