Latest Blog Posts

<p>A scene from &quot;The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.&quot;</p>

A scene from "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

UK box office for 'Tintin' tells an uncertain tale

What do good-but-not-great numbers foretell for US release?

Box-office analysis is a funny old business, one I find simultaneously fascinating and alienating: the line between success and failure can be as subjective as it is fine. Which is why it's with some interest that I've been following the reports on the opening numbers for "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" in its first week of UK release: what initially appears to be good news turns out to have rather more mixed signals.

On the one hand, as The Guardian's Charles Gant (the go-to guy for British box-office reporting, for those interested) tells it, the film's a hit. Topping the charts with a first-week total of approximately $10.8 million (hey, we're a small country), it's enjoyed the biggest opening of any animated film this year. However, as Gant explains, when you factor in the money it made in previews, the film is actually tracking behind January opener "Tangled," with the end of the UK half-term school vacation promising something of a drop-off. In other words: sure, it's a hit. But it looks unlikely to be a phenomenon on the scale of Spielberg's Spielbiggest.

Read Full Post
<p>Nicki Minaj</p>

Nicki Minaj

Has Nicki Minaj gone too far in Big Sean's 'Dance (A$$)' remix video?

The focus is on her most formidable 'asset'

Let’s face it, expecting any modicum of class in a video where the most repeated word is “Ass”  makes about as much sense as expecting a vegan selection on the menu at a steakhouse.

Still, I can’t help but be disappointed in Nicki Minaj’s participation in the video for Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$)" remix released this week.

If Minaj wants me to look at her completely as a candy-colored cartoon character, which I do most of the time anyway, she’s pretty much accomplished her goal. The wide-eyed X-rated Barbie doll act is wearing thin though. And with each project, it becomes easier to dismiss her talent as a rapper and focus on her as some brightly colored object that distracts momentarily from anything else in view, but is forgotten the second she is out of the picture.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Michael Fassbender angles for Best Actor Oscar consideration in &quot;Shame.&quot;</p>

Michael Fassbender angles for Best Actor Oscar consideration in "Shame."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Long Shot: Let England shake

Britain offers a variety of quality contenders in 2011... but are there too many?

A strangely jubilant atmosphere prevailed at Monday’s boozy standing lunch in central London, where this year’s British Independent Film Award nominees were read out to an invited crowd of journalists, industry pros and some of the nominees themselves. Well, perhaps not “strangely”: free Moët champagne and gourmet sliders tend to brighten the black moods of film folk, and that’s before you start throwing awards at them.

But the general air of apology and scepticism that clouds most British industry events was absent: for once, no one was complaining about what a crap year it was for UK cinema, a surprisingly routine line even in the best circumstances. Indeed, once the nominees for Best British Independent Film had been read out, conversation turned in quite the opposite direction: when the frequently filler-reliant BIFAs could assemble a slate as diverse and exciting as “Shame,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “Senna” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “Tyrannosaur,” you’d be hard-pressed to call it anything but a banner year for the industry.

Read Full Post
<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Gaga forms Born This Way Foundation, will headline KIIS FM Jingle Ball

Who else will join her at Jingle Ball?

Never let it be said that Lady Gaga doesn’t put her money where her mouth is. She and her mom have formed the Born This Way Foundation. The non-profit will tackle self-esteem and bullying issues.

“Together, we hope to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment,” Gaga said in a statement, as reported by Idolator.

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Glen Campbell</p>

 Glen Campbell

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Glen Campbell gets inked by Paul Westerberg in 'Ghost' video

Moving video salutes legendary artist's past and present

The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg makes a rare appearance in Glen Campbell’s “Ghost On The Canvas.” What’s the connection you may wonder?  Westerberg wrote the tune for Campbell for his new album of the same name. The set, likely to be Campbell’s last following his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, has received rave reviews, including mine.

The video features Campbell playing live, often in front of a golden multi-layered orb that recalls the logo from Campbell’s variety TV show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”

Westerberg appears as a painter, who watches Campbell on TV (and plays the vinyl album on his turntable), as he creates images of Campbell alongside some of his iconic friends who played pivotal parts in his career, including Dean Martin, as well as Campbell on a black velvet painting — the ghost on the canvas.  The final portrait of  Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens with Campbell creates a Mount Rushmore of musical titans.

[More after the jump...]

For anyone who’s followed Campbell’s story with this album, there’s something tremendously moving about the video, which also shows him backed by three of his four children, as he is in concert. Having seen Campbell twice on this tour, it’s clear he draws tremendous emotional support from having them on stage as he occasionally falters and they are there to pick him back up musically and keep him on track. 

I’ve been plugging this album every chance I get. The sad story is compelling, but even without that, Campbell, with great assistance from producer Julian Raymond, has made an incredibly gorgeous album that brings his career full circle. His guitar playing remains sharp and poignant and the song selection never shies away from the devastating illness his faces without ever wallowing in it.

In other Campbell news, the 45th Country Music Assn. Awards will honor Campbell during its Nov. 9 telecast. Three fellow gunslingers, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill and Keith Urban, will salute Campbell, who nabbed CMA Entertainer and male vocalist of the year in 1968.


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Read Full Post
Taking questions for 11/3 Oscar Talk

Taking questions for 11/3 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

Alright, you know the drill. Rifle off your need-to-knows and Anne and I will try to address a few for Friday's podcast. We'll already be covering: "Young Adult," "J. Edgar," the "War Horse" heartland screenings and British Independent Film Award nominations. So keep that in mind to steer away from redundancies.

Read Full Post
<p>Crosby (Dax Shepard)&nbsp;and Jasmine (Joy Bryant)&nbsp;on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Crosby (Dax Shepard) and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'Forced Family Fun': Vertigo-go

Everyone's right and everyone's wrong in a solid episode

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I Google whether you can eat lobster...

Read Full Post
<p>Charlize Theron in a scene from &quot;Young Adult&quot;</p>

Charlize Theron in a scene from "Young Adult"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Young Adult' pops up at the New Beverly

Jason Reitman's latest film finally lands in Los Angeles and it's a winner

LOS ANGELES - "It's nice to just show the movie and say, 'Here it is, hope you like it,'" Jason Reitman said to me at a party following a "pop-up" screening of his latest film "Young Adult" last night. And he's been doing just that, in select cities across the country -- Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Austin and a stop north of the border in Toronto -- aiming at the kinds of fans who'll line up for a secret screening without knowing what the film will be. And the experience seems to have invigorated him a bit.

Going into these cities, he and screenwriter Diablo Cody haven't done the usual press commitments. No chatting with local news stations, radio shows, newspapers and college papers like you'd expect. In and out and a "hope you like it." It's fair to say the kind of intense press rounds he exhausted on "Up in the Air" two years ago were the last thing he wanted to do this time around, but it's also been about setting a foundation that says, "This ain't 'Juno.'"

And no, "Young Adult" is not "Juno." Not that the latter is the trifle it's come to be considered since its 2007 release (it has its dark and emotional moments), but the latest Cody/Reitman collaboration is an unflinching piece of work committed to following its lead character on a downward path, eschewing a narrative of redemption and never conceding any ground.

Read Full Post
<p>John&nbsp;Lasseter hams it up for the camera at the ceremony for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.</p>

John Lasseter hams it up for the camera at the ceremony for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Oscarweb Round-up: Lasseter gets his star

Also: ADG fetes 'Harry Potter' franchise and 'War Horse' pop-up screenings?

Not to follow up yesterday's round-up with yet another Pixar-themed lead story, but, alas, when it's in the news... Yesterday John Lasseter was the recipient of the 2,453rd star awarded/bought on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He apparently had some touching words for the late Steve Jobs, who passed away last month and was key to Pixar's early success. I wasn't able to attend the ceremony at the last minute, but Anne Thompson was on hand and got some nice video of the event. [Thompson on Hollywood]

Read Full Post
<p>Gemma (Katey Sagal)&nbsp;and Clay (Ron Perlman)&nbsp;on &quot;Sons of Anarchy.&quot;</p>

Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Clay (Ron Perlman) on "Sons of Anarchy."

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Kiss': Crazy stupid love

Various characters make foolish decisions based on love for others

My review of tonight's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as it's a little late for Legos...

Read Full Post
"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' dumps another couple and Justin Bieber performs

It's another surprise as a celebrity hoofer gets booted

It's time for another elimination -- and Justin Bieber! Not being a tween, I can't say I'm overly excited about this, but I understand that many high-strung young girls are very, very excited about it, and having once been a high-strung young girl myself, I'm happy for them. Live the dream, kids. Live the dream. If you're lucky, Justin will grow up to be an admirable human being and not a creepy, self-absorbed junkie (I'd say that, judging from my teen idols, the ratio could be fifty-fifty, so root for admirable). And yes, maybe one of you will marry him. It happens. 

Read Full Post
<p>Damian McGinty and Heather Morris of &quot;Glee&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Damian McGinty and Heather Morris of "Glee"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - 'Pot of Gold'

The show returns, and with it does all its bad habits

I mean, where to even begin, people? It’s been weeks since last we saw “Glee,” and its return had me wishing that the baseball playoffs had lasted another three rounds. At gunpoint, I’d still rank the “Rocky Horror”-inspired episode of this show as its worse, but Lord, did tonight’s “Pot of Luck” give that hot mess a run for its money. Even by the show’s own less-than-lofty standards, this was a mishmash of disparate elements that confused “stringing together forty minutes of material” with “actually producing an episode of television.” We saw some hopes for this show’s future before its sports-induced hiatus, but this episode pretty much washed all of those away in a flood of stupidity.

Read Full Post