Latest Blog Posts

<p>Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa</p>

Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa

Listen: Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa's 'Weed Iz Mine' from 'High School' flick

Future stoner film collaboration is smokin'

It was inevitable that Snoop would star in his own stoner comedy. So it will be so. The hip-hop vet has linked with rising Wiz Khalifa, for the flick, dubbed "High School," a title which itself has been puffed and passed around.

Naturally, the two will be releasing a collaboration soundtrack to the effort. No word when an actual drop date is, though efforts are obviously under way.

Below is a stream of "The Weed Iz Mine," which bums it's title off of "The Boy Is Mine" and "The Girl Is Mine." If you're gonna be like that, then nobody gets the weed/boy/girl, OK kids?

Khalifa told Rolling Stone that "High School" is "about pot, of course... But it’s about me and [Snoop's] relationship, spin-off of us being cool in the industry, smoking a lot of weed, and being around a lot of weed. We’re going to try to have fun with it and also try to enlighten people at the same time, not just get everybody high."

Just transcribing that sentence got me high.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>From Rise Against's &quot;Help Is on the Way&quot;</p>

From Rise Against's "Help Is on the Way"

Watch: Rise Against reveals compelling 'Help Is on the Way' music video

Footage from Hurricane Katrina doesn't fail to inspire, remember

This week Rise Against celebrates a No. 2 start of "Endgame" on The Billboard 200, but also remembers with solemnity a fearful part of American history.

The music video to "Help Is on the Way" follows the general lyrical thread of the single, featuring a family struggling with the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina over a day during the disaster.

"Directed by the esteemed Alan Ferguson, our film crew went to New Orleans and filmed what became a dramatic and compelling narrative of Hurricane Katrina through the eyes of a family. As a band, we opted out of being a part of the piece for fear our role might diminish the importance of this video and skew it's reception. What follows is another video we are proud to put our name on," reads a statement on the punk-inspired rock act's website.

The story is simple and simply told, a poor family pushed up through its home as the waters rise, after the levees break. They pray for rescue and flip through their own family history as dead bodies float in the water and other stragglers seek refuge on their roof. Rise Against leave it off with a message to encourage donations.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Leslie Knope's &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;book will become a reality this fall.</p>

Leslie Knope's "Parks and Recreation" book will become a reality this fall.

Credit: NBC

Ready for 'Parks and Recreation': The Book?

'Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America' coming in October

NBC wound up only needing 16 episodes of "Parks and Recreation" this year, and since 6 of those episodes were produced last spring, only 10 had to be made as part of this production season. Which means "Parks and Rec" co-creator Mike Schur has had a lot of extra time on his hands, and he spent a good chunk of it working on a tie-in project for TV's best comedy that would only come into existence if NBC renewed it for a fourth season.

Well, the renewal came late last week, and now the project is official: "Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America," a book "written by" Leslie Knope but really worked on by Schur and many other members of the "Parks and Rec" cast and creative team.

Read Full Post
<p>David Morse and Holt McCallany on &quot;Lights Out.&quot;</p>

David Morse and Holt McCallany on "Lights Out."

Credit: FX

'Lights Out' - 'Rainmaker': As it is written...

David Morse turns in a great guest performance as another ex-champ

A review of tonight's "Lights Out" coming up just as soon as I quote the serenity prayer...

Read Full Post
<p>Josh Kelley</p>

Josh Kelley

Hitfix Interview: Josh Kelley talks music, wife Katherine Heigl, Lady A

What song did he write for his wife on new album, 'Georgia Clay?'

In recent years, the country music highway has been littered with the remains of former pop stars who have found themselves edged out of mainstream pop music. They usually declare that they have kept their love of country hidden all these years, but country is secretly where their heart has always been.

Josh Kelley would like you to know he is not one of those carpetbaggers. “When I was 21, I tried to get a record deal in Nashville before I signed with Hollywood Records and I got turned down,” the Augusta, Ga., native tells Hitfix, adding that he rejected by the very label, MCA Nashville, that he now finds himself signed to. “Hollywood took my bluegrass songs and made them pop and I was fine with that, but I grew up on country music.”

The country club has been far more welcoming the second time around: “Georgia Clay,” the catchy first single and title track to his MCA Nashville debut, out today (March 22) is No. 18 on Billboard’s Country Songs chart and climbing.

Up until now, Kelley was best known for top 10 adult contemporary hits such as 2003’s  “Amazing” and 2005‘s “Only You.” It was on the video shoot for the latter that he met his wife, actress Katherine Heigl—whom he endearingly refers to as “Katie” during our interview. He also co-wrote the theme song for the CBS comedy “Mike & Molly” with Keb’ Mo’.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Rebecca Black: black &quot;Friday&quot; indeed</p>

Rebecca Black: black "Friday" indeed

Rebecca Black's 'Friday' and the spoils of our dumb internet

SXSW couch-surfing and inane cornballing: We did this to ourselves

I've quipped this before, but in the future there will be courses in college devoted to Internet Classics. One man's "Shreds" is another man's "The End of the World," is another man's "Shrimp Running on a Treadmill with the Benny Hill Theme," and only time will tell which intentionally funny clips will remain embedded in our short little attention spans long enough to make it into the canon.

Of the unintentionally hilarious front , we've just added Rebecca Black to the 101 coursework. In less than a month -- and mostly over the past week -- her "Friday" video has logged more than 36 million YouTube view (and good for the top of Melinda Newman's Power Rankings last week).

I don't need to go in much as to why "Friday" is funny, but it's worth talking about why it's sad.

Going beyond the fact that Black's mom paid a bunch of hacks $2,000 to pop out a pop turd and matching video, her family gets to line those pockets with even more padding. Forbes and Billboard have weighed in on the statistics, and it looks like digital sales of "Friday" could fetch $25,000 a week at this rate, moving around 43,000 units on Amazon and iTunes. The millions of YouTube views could be $20,000+.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Duncan Jones, director of 'Moon,' joined forces with 'Donnie Darko' star Jake Gyllenhaall for a trippy new time-travel thriller called 'Source Code,' and we sat down with them at SXSW&nbsp;to discuss the film.</p>

Duncan Jones, director of 'Moon,' joined forces with 'Donnie Darko' star Jake Gyllenhaall for a trippy new time-travel thriller called 'Source Code,' and we sat down with them at SXSW to discuss the film.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal and Duncan Jones on their new sci-fi thriller 'Source Code'

The star and director of this weekend's trippy time-travel tale talk about how it works

Duncan Jones is a bright, unaffected guy who seems determined to make science-fiction movies he wants to see.  I met him once, briefly, while he was working with the great Paul Hirsch to edit his new movie "Source Code" in Los Angeles.

Jake Gyllenhaal, on the other hand, I've been interviewing for the past decade now, ever since I talked to him for the first time at Sundance '01, where he was representing "Donnie Darko" along with his sister Maggie.

Together, the two of them seem quite proud of their twisty little thriller, a sort of sci-fi riff on the Hitchcock everyman movie, in which a regular guy finds himself in a crazy situation and has to puzzle his way out of it somehow.  The movie opened the SXSW Film Festival this year, and the audience seemed to have a blast with it.  Makes sense, because it's a movie that really works overtime to engage the audience and to entertain, but without empty thrills.

"Source Code" offers some significant creative challenges for the filmmakers and the performers, and I knew I wanted to talk to them about how they carefully constructed something that pays off in such rich and interesting ways, and how you build a character arc eight minutes at a time.

I think we were careful to avoid any significant spoilers in our conversation, but it's not really a film that's built around one big twist, so it's not the sort of thing that I think we could accidentally trip over in a discussion.  Instead, the film relies on the way it carefully and continually tweaks your expectations and your ideas about what you're watching and who these characters are.  The way the film pays off isn't one big firecracker out of nowhere, but is instead about the careful build-up to an eventual release that makes perfect emotional sense.  I like that the science in the film is far less important in terms of how it works than what it does to these people.  Those are the science-fiction stories I like the most, the ones that press us to examine our own humanity and the boundaries of it.

Read Full Post
<p>Jennifer Hudson</p>

Jennifer Hudson

Credit: AP

Album review: Jennifer Hudson's 'I Remember Me'

Go to church with the Oscar winner as she soars above it all

We’re not an “American Idol” fan, but if all it ever did was introduce us to Jennifer Hudson (even though she was voted off in the seventh round),  then it’s all been worth it.

Hudson, whose second album, "I Remember Me" is out today, has one of the best voices to come around in years. Some folks compare her to Aretha. No one matches the queen of soul in our book. For us, she’s more like Chaka Khan: her voice has a fluidity and vulnerability, but also a strength and heft.

First single, “Where You At,” written and produced by R. Kelly showcases all those abilities as we can almost feel her pain as she stands there in the freezing cold for someone who never shows, yet we know her indominable spirit will see her through. Unlike other divas, Hudson never resorts to cheap vocal tricks because she doesn’t need to.

The terrain here is a familiar one for R&B divas: tunes about heartbreak and love interspersed with inspirational songs about faith. It’s like going through the worst heartbreak and getting taken to church at the same time. On “I Got This,” Hudson knows that her troubles and worries will be taken care of by a higher power.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Johnny Depp, seen here signing autographs for fans at the Tokyo premiere of 'The Tourist,' is still working on his remake of 'The Thin Man'</p>

Johnny Depp, seen here signing autographs for fans at the Tokyo premiere of 'The Tourist,' is still working on his remake of 'The Thin Man'

Credit: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Johnny Depp's 'Thin Man' remake gets the writer of 'Bad Boys 2' attached

Jerry Stahl could end up being a really strong choice

Hiring Jerry Stahl to write "The Thin Man" is, frankly, one of those might-be-a-masterstroke ideas that makes me reassess my original reaction to an announcement.

I love "The Thin Man" movies.  I love the Dashiell Hammett novel, which is totally different from really any of his Continental Op stories.  I have always thought Nick and Nora Charles are the greatest example of movie marriage of all time, and I find myself able to rematch any of the movies any time, something that's true of very few film franchises.

If you're not familiar with "The Thin Man," it tells the story of Nick Charles, a former police detective who married Nora, a society girl whose family money allowed Nick to retire and live a debauched life.  He's older than her, and one of the things that the first movie clearly demonstrates is that Nora is fascinated by Nick's former life, by the way he knows everyone from the lowest criminal to the highest elected official, and by the idea of him solving a crime.  It's a turn-on for her to see him in action, and all Nick wants to do is keep drinking, keep relaxing, and keep loving Mrs. Charles up as much as possible.  When a family friend disappears, his daughter draws Nick out of retirement, reluctantly, a drink in one hand the entire time, and the result is a great mystery with some of the best rapid-fire smart dialogue of its era.

Read Full Post
<p>Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon </p>

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon added to ACM lineup

'Water For Elephants' stars presenting together at April 3 country awards show

Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson have a new movie to push, “Water for Elephants,” so that’s all the reason they need to be added to the list of presenters at the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Witherspoon and Pattinson will present together on the show, which airs April 3 at 8 p.m. in CBS. Their new movie (based on Sara Gruen’s beautiful book) is about a traveling circus, which is kind of like a carnival, which is kind of like a county fair and country artists often perform at county fairs. It all makes perfect sense. Who doesn’t enjoy a good Funnel Cake, by the way. And, of course, Witherspoon won an Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in 2005’s “Walk the Line.” We thought Pattinson was off shooting the 59th "Twilight" movie, but he must be getting the night off.

There will also be plenty of country artists at the ACMs, including Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, who will perform. Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire will host.


Read Full Post
<p>Will we have to wait til after Christmas for the return of &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;pals Don and Peggy? </p>

Will we have to wait til after Christmas for the return of "Mad Men" pals Don and Peggy?

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' close to season 5 renewal, but when will AMC air it?

Could the return of Don Draper be pushed off until 2012?

So it sounds like "Mad Men" is coming back. We just don't know when.

Read Full Post
<p>Delroy Lindo and Billy Lush on &quot;The Chicago Code.&quot;</p>

Delroy Lindo and Billy Lush on "The Chicago Code."

Credit: FOX

'The Chicago Code' - 'Blackhand and the Shotgun Man': Proof of life

Jarek and Caleb work a kidnapping, while Liam gets to know Alderman Gibbons

A review of last night's "The Chicago Code" coming up just as soon as I keep track of your energy drink consumption...

Read Full Post