Latest Blog Posts

<p>Paul Feig on the set with Kristen Wiig on the set of &quot;Bridesmaids.&quot;</p>

Paul Feig on the set with Kristen Wiig on the set of "Bridesmaids."

Credit: Universal Pictures

An epic conversation on 'Bridesmaids,' 'The Office' and 'Dumb Jock' with Paul Feig

Could a 'Bridesmaids 2' ever happen?

The Golden Globes and SAG Awards nomination announcements are right around the corner and one film that could be a major surprise is "Bridesmaids." Sure, Melissa McCarthy seems like as shoe-in for a best supporting actress nomination for SAG and possibly the HFPA, but a best ensemble (SAG) and best picture - comedy or musical (Golden Globes) could also be in the works too. Screenwriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo may also find their way to a WGA Awards nomination in the original screenplay category.  This all comes after McCarthy has already been lauded today by the Boston Society of Film Critics and the New York Online Film Critics.  It seems appropriate then, that I share a long and intriguing conversation I had last month with the film's director, Paul Feig.

Read Full Post
<p>Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt)&nbsp;gets some quality time with his son in the &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) gets some quality time with his son in the "Boardwalk Empire" season finale.

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Boardwalk Empire' creator Terence Winter post-mortems season 2

Why did Nucky, Jimmy and Margaret make the choices they did in the finale?
"Boardwalk Empire" wrapped up its second season earlier tonight with some surprising developments. I published my finale review a few hours ago, and I also got a chance yesterday to talk to the show's creator, Terence Winter, about how and why everything went down, coming up just as soon as I buy some stamps…
Read Full Post
<p>Carrie (Claire Danes)&nbsp;and Saul (Mandy Patinkin)&nbsp;try to solve a &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;puzzle.</p>

Carrie (Claire Danes) and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) try to solve a "Homeland" puzzle.

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'The Vest': It's not easy seein' green

Carrie needs more time to recover, and the Brodys take a trip

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I write a 45-page manifesto declaring that I've reinvented music...

Read Full Post
<p>Wes Studi and friends on &quot;Hell on Wheels.&quot;</p>

Wes Studi and friends on "Hell on Wheels."

Credit: AMC

'Hell on Wheels' - 'Pride, Pomp and Circumstance': Man vs. machine

Doc Durant has to deal with visits from the Cheyenne and his favorite congressman

Once again, the forum is yours to discuss the latest episode of AMC's "Hell on Wheels," which seemed heaviest on Doc Durant - and, as a consequence, lightest on Cullen - of any of the episodes so far, while also giving us plenty of Reverend Cole, Lily and Joseph as everyone dealt with the arrival of the Cheyenne in the camp.

What did everybody else think? Even those of you who have professed to be fans of the show don't seem particularly fond of the writing and/or performance of Doc; feel any differently after tonight? 

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;Amazing Race&quot; Top 3</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

The "Amazing Race" Top 3

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' Season 19 Finale - 'Go Out and Get It Done'

The three teams head to Atlanta to race for the million
After a season that left me frustrated more often than it left me exhilarated, "The Amazing Race" completed its 19th run on Sunday (December 11) night.
The response written in my notes after watching the finale and seeing how the results shook out? "Yeah, I can live with that." 
Given how infuriating large chunks of the season were, that's about as much as "The Amazing Race" could hope for this time around. The finale was solid and satisfying and the team that won was certainly worthy enough of the million dollar prize, especially after they turned around and immediately expressed their charitable intentions for the money.
How did the "Amazing Race" season conclude? Click through...
Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' - 'Three Wigs and a Baby'

Kim has a kid, Sheree commits to court and NeNe has an Italian admirer
So, it's the episode we've all been waiting for (or, actually, maybe not). Kim is going to squeeze out her boy spawn after many months of flopping on her bed like a dying whale, if dying whales compulsively ate junk food and whined. I'm sure this will be presented as a heartwarming moment, but I suspect what we won't see will be fairly nightmarish moments when she details all the different ways she intends to kill Kroy while he silently thinks of ways he can get full custody of his son and flee the country once his football career is over. 
Read Full Post
<p>Nucky (Steve Buscemi)&nbsp;has his day in court in the &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Nucky (Steve Buscemi) has his day in court in the "Boardwalk Empire" season finale.

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire' - 'To the Lost': Nucky, get your gun

Jimmy and Nucky try to make peace, while Nucky hatches a plan to avoid jail

A review of the "Boardwalk Empire" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I take the ducks...

Read Full Post
Awards Season Super Sunday: LA Film Critics anoint 'The Descendants' as AFI dumbfounds
Credit: Fox Searchlight

Awards Season Super Sunday: LA Film Critics anoint 'The Descendants' as AFI dumbfounds

Boston Film Critics also have their say

The presidential campaign may have Super Tuesday, but awards season has Super Sunday.  Sure, you could argue that moniker should be designated to Oscar Sunday, but when you have the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the AFI yearly Top 10 and Boston Film Critics being announced on the same day, that's pretty significant.  Plus, there's also those minor orgs such as the San Francisco Film Critic's Circle, the New York Online Film Critic's and the Houston Film Critic's Circle who dish out their yearly picks on this fine December day.  (And, no, the last three really don't mean anything in the larger scheme of things, but they look pretty on for your consideration ads).

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Win Win&quot; stars Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer greet the news of their film's Houston critics' nom with typical enthusiasm.</p>

"Win Win" stars Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer greet the news of their film's Houston critics' nom with typical enthusiasm.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'The Artist' leads with 7 Houston film critics nods

'Descendants,' 'Win Win' also favorites and Andy Serkis gets another mention

Okay, this is just getting silly: if you’re a small regional critics’ group hoping to get some attention for your awards, why announce on the weekend when apparently everyone but the Delaware Christian Youth Film Enthusiasts Society has chosen to do the same? Be that as it may, the Houston critics yesterday announced a list of nominations, and most of the usual suspects rate a mention, with a few pleasing curveball choices.

I can't help but wonder about their intentions when a late release like "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" shows up in their Best Picture category without scoring a single other nomination -- are they truly voting for their favorites, or simply predicting the Academy's ballot? Happily, there's evidence of sincere individual thinking in the Best Picture nomination for Thomas McCarthy's "Win Win," while it's interesting to see the film's young star Alex Shaffer show up in the Supporting Actor category. (No love for Paul Giamatti, however.)

Read Full Post
<p>Sean Penn in &quot;The&nbsp;Tree of Life&quot;</p>

Sean Penn in "The Tree of Life"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

San Francisco critics honor 'Tree of Life,' 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

Unique set of winners also includes Tilda Swinton and Errol Morris's 'Tabloid'

Oh, you though we were done? Well settle back in because we have more. We'll be posting the Houston film critics nominations momentarily, but for now, we have the San Francisco Film Critics Circle's full list of winners.

Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" won Best Picture and Best Director (as well as Best Cinematography), and it's really an outside-the-box pair of decisions when you get right down to it. Obviously "The Descendants" and "The Artist" are poised to be the lazy, generally agreed-upon critical darlings all season. So to spring from something like this is, well, commendable.

The lead acting prizes were also unique, Gary Oldman winning Best Actor for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and Tilda Swinton winning Best Actress for "We Need to Talk About Kevin." And the rest of the picks were equally singular. Though Albert Brooks did chalk up his third win of the day. Check out the full list of winners below.

Read Full Post
<p>Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart and Michael Shannon in &quot;Take Shelter.&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart and Michael Shannon in "Take Shelter."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'Take Shelter' leads Detroit critics nods

Nominees feature surprise mentions for Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling

Hey, have you heard the news? Apparently, in a last-minute schedule change, the Academy has moved the Oscar ceremony up to tomorrow. Critics' groups, as a result, have gone into panic mode, desperately flinging out awards announcements today in the hope of remaining relevant to the Oscar race. That's my theory, anyway. Seriously, what's wrong with the other six days of the week?

Anyway, after Los Angeles, Boston and the New York Online crowd had their say (with San Francisco still to come this afternoon, I gather), the Detroit critics' nominations aren't exactly the biggest news. Indeed, one could argue that nominees are an unnecessary indulgence for smaller critics' groups. But it's hard to complain when it allows for some unusual suspects to show up, and such is the case with the Motor City's list, which is unexpectedly topped by Jeff Nichols' disquieting indie hybrid "Take Shelter."

Read Full Post
<p>At least something new won a Best Picture prize.&nbsp;Congratulations to Alexander Payne's &quot;The Descendants.&quot;</p>

At least something new won a Best Picture prize. Congratulations to Alexander Payne's "The Descendants."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'The Descendants,' Terrence Malick win with LA film critics

Fassbender takes Best Actor, Best Actress brings another perennial surprise

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has finished its annual voting on this year's awards-worthy efforts. Firstly, though, a quick note of huzzah to them for sticking with this week rather than leaping to go first ahead of the New York Film Critics Circle's nonsensical date. And kudos to the LAFCA member (who shall remain nameless) who proposed moving the date to January when that announcement was made.

And the awards themselves represent a classy, unique perspective on the race, to say the least. Starting with an inspired choice for Best Music/Score and continuing with nice tops of the hat in the screenplay and director categories, it was just a refreshing vote to watch unfold.

However, when the dust settled on the Best Picture category, it was a bit anti-climactic, with "The Descendants" taking the honor amid all that unique thinking. Ah well, it's a distinguished set regardless. Check out the full list of winners with my real-time commentary scattered throughout below.

Read Full Post