Latest Blog Posts

'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' kicks off our new format of video reviews
Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' kicks off our new format of video reviews

The amazing new Matt Reeves film seems like the perfect opportunity

One of the things that we're noticing here at HitFix is that there are a number of different ways you guys digest the information that we publish.

I am well aware that not everyone has the time to devote to a giant full-length review of a film, and I am certainly not the briefest of people when I have something I'm trying to say. That's especially true when I love a movie, and I want to go into depth or discuss why it landed on me a certain way. Film criticism is a very personal thing in a lot of ways, and yet some people are just looking for a general reaction. Good or bad? Worth my $10 or not?

Read Full Post
BBC America renews 'Orphan Black,' sets 'Broadchurch' return for 2015
Credit: BBC America

BBC America renews 'Orphan Black,' sets 'Broadchurch' return for 2015

Tatiana Maslany drama will be back for Season 3

BBC America kicked off its Television Critics Association press tour panel on Wednesday (July 9) afternoon with a pair of unsurprising announcements: "Orphan Back" has been renewed for a third season and the second season of "Broadchurch" will air on BBC America. 

Both seasons will air in 2015.

Read Full Post
<p>Why is this man smiling</p>

Why is this man smiling

Nobody's buying what Robin Thicke's selling: 'Paula' tanks in first week's sales

Although, we may be complicit in a bounceback...

Robin Thicke's last album became his first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album sales chart when it bowed in the U.S. in 2013: "Blurred Lines" was the name, and "Blurred Lines" it boasted. The runaway hit single (and it's breast-bearing "unrated" music video) help propel Thicke's name back into consumer consciousness because, consider, Thicke was a hot dog in 2008 for "Something Else" (No. 3) then dropped down a bit with hilariously named "Sex Therapy: The Session" (No. 9) and "Love After War" (No. 22) in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

So maybe it was the success that doomed Thicke's new album "Paula," which apparently sold just more than 500 (five hundred) copies in the U.K. last week, and made it to No. 9 on The Billboard 200 this week with only 24,000 copies. To put that into perspective, "Blurred Lines" sold 177,000 copies when it came out last summer. "Love After War" (that No. 22) sold more than 40,000 in its debut week.

Lots of factors can go into this. "Get Her Back," the lead single, was only just added at radio in the last couple of weeks. It starts at No. 82 on the Hot 100. It's an OK song, but it doesn't snap like "Blurred Lines."

"Get Her Back" has been promoted via TV appearances, but so has a couple other choice cuts from "Paula," which may not point consumers at a singular touchstone for buying.

There was only about a month put into promoting this album cycle.

And, also, "Paula" is really weird, and puts fans in a really weird place.

It's said that new album sales are a reflection of the last album, and if you'll remember, "Blurred Lines" (the song) put many fans and potential fans in an awkward spot, ultimately because of content. Obviously, the T.I. and Pharrell Williams-featuring single had (and still has) loads of support as a party and radio song. But it wasn't all good feelings, with it's "blurred" messaging in the lyrics and the video, giving many people a stink-face about Thicke, who went on a weirdly Weiner-esque defense of the song. For instance, that "Today" show head-scratcher. Plus, people got sick as sh*t of it as it mixed with the peak of Miley Cyrus twerk hysteria.

Then, there's "Paula," an album that my cohort Melinda Newman called a mix of apologies and revenge. It's devoted to his estranged wife Paula Patton, and he's made it explicit that this album was intended to "win her back." That in itself makes it a liability for a singer who is airing his and his wife's dirty laundry with such slap-dash commercial gusto.

I love Usher's "Confessions." It's also an album about splitting up and divorce and marital issues. But it sure as hell isn't called "Tameka." In R&B, there's a requisite demand for intimacy and authenticity, for the listener and by the performer. And there's also an art to keeping it personal, despite the famous-ness of its artist. That you can call a blurred line. The explicit shame-training artlessness to "Paula" -- months after the dick-swinging of "Blurred Lines" and the conversations about sexism and womanizing it started -- doesn't seem so much as a "confession," but a power and publicity play, so air and embarrass. Whether wrongdoing in the Patton-Thicke marriage was on his part, or her part or their combined parts (heh), there's a creep factor Thicke should have considered before his showed up with a busted-up face in the truly terrible "Get Her Back" music video.

Speaking of music videos, most of Robin Thicke's aren't doing him any favors, so there's that.

"Paula" wasn't working for consumers. Again, I think it's healthy and good for music fans to have complicated relationships to their artists. Robin Thicke is forcing those complications, as he's smiling and winking at the camera the whole time.

Perhaps Thicke will be thankful that his low albums sales in the U.K. and the U.S. will raise awareness that he even has a new album out. Hell, you could see this article and think the same thing, though I'll warn it's densely mediocre. Go give a spin to Trey Songz' "Trigga" instead (he's No. 1 this week).

Read Full Post

'Orphan Black' renewed for Season 3

“Orphan Black" renewed for Season 3
The BBC America clone drama will return next spring. PLUS: BBC America will air "Broadchurch" Season 2 early next year.

Read Full Post
<p>Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Richard Linklater and Patricia Arquette at the New York premiere of &quot;Boyhood&quot;</p>

Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Richard Linklater and Patricia Arquette at the New York premiere of "Boyhood"

Credit: AP Photo

On 'Boyhood' as Richard Linklater's Truffaut film

Ellar Coltrane's Mason follows Celine and Jesse in the spirit of Antoine Doinel

Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" is a masterpiece. Full stop. It's an effortless piece of humanist filmmaking we don't often see, particularly on these shores where the Hollywood machine has forever altered the concept of what a movie should be, where independent cinema is pushed to the fringes while soaring budget gambles dominate the status quo and the middle ground of American cinema is consistently eroded. "Boyhood" is, at last, I think, the film Linklater has been striving toward his whole career. It is his Truffaut film.

Read Full Post
Gus Van Sant may sign his name to the American remake of 'Death Note'
Credit: Nippon Television

Gus Van Sant may sign his name to the American remake of 'Death Note'

Shane Black's got a 'Predator' to kill, evidently

"Death Note" would have been a very strange Shane Black movie.

That alone seems like a reason to have been excited about the possibility of seeing it, but in the grand scheme of things, it seems like a better fit for Shane Black to move on to a new "Predator" movie.

Besides, the notion of seeing Gus Van Sant direct a new take on this highly-acclaimed and very strange title is fairly provocative in a different way, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to see what he does with it.

The original manga series was by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, and it tells the story of a high school student who finds a notebook that grants whoever owns it the ability to kill anyone simply by writing their name in the notebook. By using it, he draws the attention of the Shinigami, a disturbing race of inter-dimensional death gods.

The student, named Light in the original version, decides to use the notebook to kill bad people and create a perfect world, but that ends up bringing him to the attention of a detective who is determined to catch whoever is behind this wave of strange supernatural deaths. It's a simple set-up, but an incredibly complicated series that spans several years in the manga. There was an anime adaptation in 2006, and that was followed by a two hour film, then a number of other other specials, and then a series of live-action fins, including one directed by Hideo Nakata.

Warner Bros. initially hired Charley and Vlas Parlapanides to adapt the property, and their script wasn't bad. I thought the Shane Black drafts by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry were also very close to getting it right, but Black evidently butted heads with the studio over what parts of the complicated mythology they were going to use in the film.

Van Sant has dabbled with the dark side in projects like his infamous "Psycho" remake, "To Die For," and "Paranoid Park," and his film "Restless" exhibited a very gentle approach to the supernatural. I think Van Sant is most interesting here because he's not a guy who you would automatically attach to this. Whatever his approach to the material is going to be, it won't be what we expect, and that automatically makes it interesting.

No word yet when they plan to make or release the film, but we'll keep you posted. In exchange, please don't write "HitFix" in any cursed notebooks. Thanks.

Read Full Post
Jay Z

Jay Z, No Doubt and Carrie Underwood headline 3rd Global Citzen Festival

Central Park event highlight global poverty

Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood and fun., will headline the 3rd annual Global Citizen Festival, held Sept. 27 in New York’s Central Park.

The free, ticketed event, which coincides with the UN General Assembly, brings awareness to extreme poverty around the globe and will air live on MSNBC. Additionally, NBC News will produce a one-hour primetime special about the issue that will air the night of the concert.

Also on the bill are The Roots and Tiesto.

To receive tickets, go to and take action on one of the campaigns fighting poverty by signing a petition or sharing on a social network to enter. Tickets will be doled out throughout the summer.


Read Full Post


Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Reese Witherspoon hits the road alone in new 'Wild' poster

Can 'Dallas Buyers Club' director Jean-Marc Vallée lead her to Oscar glory?

It's been nearly a decade since Reese Witherspoon picked up a Best Actress Oscar for "Walk the Line," but her recent renaissance (kicked off by her supporting turn in "Mud") could culminate in more Oscar attention.

Read Full Post
Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen shoots a modern day Western in 'Hunter of Invisible Game' video

The Boss co-directed the 10-minute short film

Bruce Springsteen has never been a fan of appearing in his music videos, so it’s somewhat of a surprise that today on his website he released a 10-minute short film for “Hunter Of Invisible Game,” a haunting, elegiac track from this year’s “High Hopes” album starring Bruce Springsteen.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Dawn of the Planet of the Apes&quot;</p>

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Time to dust off that 'Andy Serkis for Best Actor' Oscar discussion

In fact, let's make some room for Toby Kebbell in the supporting conversation

A couple of years ago, Andy Serkis' name again made the rounds in the awards conversation vis a vis his performance capture work. The talk concerned his performance in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," and came nearly a decade after he stirred consideration among more progressive minds for his work in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Well, with a performance in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" that is sure to outshine a great many that will be in the actual running, it's time to dust off that conversation once again.

Read Full Post

'The Flash' casts Robbie Amell as Firestorm

“The Flash” casts Robbie Amell as Firestorm
The “Tomorrow People” star, the cousin of “Arrow’s” Stephen Amell, will make his debut in the third episode of the season.

Report: Rosie and “The View” have been in talks for 6 months
People magazine says Elisabeth Hasselbeck was right in that “The View” has been interested in bringing back Rosie O’Donnell for a long time now. Rosie is expected to be one of three new additions to “The View” panel.

Stevie Nicks joins “The Voice” as Adam Levine’s advisor
The Fleetwood Mac star will be part of next season.

“Orange is the New Black" meets "Frozen"
Watch animated mashup “Frozen is the New Black."

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Night Shift&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' and 'Night Shift' lead dull Tuesday

NBC wins the night in everything... Yawn.

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

On a slow, boring Tuesday night, NBC dominated primetime in most measures with a repeat of "America's Got Talent" and a new "Night Shift."

"Night Shift" was down a little bit from last week, "Extreme Weight Loss" added a couple viewers and nothing else was particularly notable on Tuesday.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post