Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: For the seventh week in a row, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” tops the Billboard Hot 100. Furthermore, all the songs in the top 7 remain the same as last week.
Latest Blog Posts
Look, we all know that The Judges' Save is a crapshoot.
Yes, it got us more quirky musicality from Casey Abrams and it allowed Jessica Sanchez to make it to the Finals, but how much gratitude should we show an innovation that also prolonged the "Idol" lives of Matt Giraud and Michael Lynche?
I guess we should feel lucky that Sam Woolf has survived to participate in a theme that I'm sure is near-and-dear to his heart: '80s Night.
Sam isn't the only "Idol" Finalist with a sketchy connection to the '80s. Actually, the total number of remaining contestants who drew breath in the '80s is a resounding "zero."
So... This is gonna be fun!
Just before we started this interview, I mentioned the craziest thing that happened on the set of "The Invention Of Lying," curious to see if Garner had ever made the connection. When I visited that set, it was in Lowell, Massachusetts, and it was just me visiting for the two days I was there. They sent a driver to my hotel on both days to get me to and from the set, and if there's anything I've learned over the years, it is that you should always talk to the drivers on a film, because they know everything.
Sure enough, the guy who drove me back and forth during my time in Lowell was especially chatty, a really nice guy who had grown up in the area. One of the things we discussed was that another movie company had optioned the rights to the driver's life and they were planning to make a film about him. He told me some of the details of his life and his story, and he told me a few stories about his brother, and I'll say this much… he was great at telling those stories. Even so, I figured I'd never hear anything else about the guy or his story.
Then a few years later, David O. Russell released "The Fighter," and I pretty much got my mind blown. The driver on "The Invention Of Lying" was Micky Ward, and they really did end up making the movie about his life story. When I asked Garner if she remembered him, she had that same "oh my god" moment that I'd had in the theater. She said she never made the connection, but she remembered him from when he was a driver.
I've run into Garner many times over the years, and she always strikes me as someone who is essentially unchanged by their time working in the film industry. She never seems like she considers herself a star, and she seems to genuinely consider whatever question you ask her instead of just offering up the same sound bite over and over. I'm not sure Hollywood really knows what to do with her. She's given plenty of good performances, but she's never really had that one role where she cuts loose and shows us everything she's capable of. Maybe that's not important to her. She seems perfectly happy giving strong performances in supporting roles, and she doesn't seem driven to work non-stop just to keep working.
She also seems like she's still very connected to her roots, as you'll see when we talk about her upbringing in our interview about the new film "Draft Day," where she co-stars with Kevin Costner. We talked a bit about working with Ellen Burstyn, who plays Costner's mother in the film, and her joy at getting to work with Burstyn was very clear from the conversation.
Overall, it's always nice to check in with Garner, and especially when you're able to discuss something where she's done nice work.
"Draft Day" opens in theaters everywhere on Friday.
"Rio 2" is a perfect example of franchise maintenance in place of storytelling, and the nicest thing I can say about it is that my kids found it to be an agreeable way to spend part of an afternoon.
I know I saw the first "Rio." My review of it was published in the days before we started putting letter grades on films in our reviews, but I would have given it a B or a B-. I liked the way they used Rio as a setting, I thought the performances were spirited and fun, and I really liked the soundtrack that was put together by Sergio Mendes. The sequel, which is practically the definition of "more of the same," is less successful in the way it uses the rain forest as a setting, and it features performances that feel far more phoned in while still featuring a non-stop dynamic soundtrack put together by Sergio Mendes. There is nothing about the film that feels particularly compelling, and the story is really just an excuse to put a new obstacle between Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) while bad guy Nigel (Jemaine Clement) once again skulks about, all on the way to a happy ending you'll see coming a mile away.
A movie like this is made and scheduled because it is a property that Fox wants to keep active, not out of any particular need in storytelling. Carlos Saldanha is a reliable co-ordinator for this kind of bright, colorful, kid-friendly property. The palette of the movie is once again eye-popping and vivid, and it's apparent that the Blue Sky team has gotten to a place where they are capable of enormous technical sophistication. Looking at the actual craft of the animation, they're very impressive. There's some very strong character performance work that is made more memorable because of the mannerisms of real birds that they use. But all of it is in service to a disappointingly familiar overall piece of work.
“Justified’s” penultimate finale up vs. last year
About 2.37 million tuned in for the Season 5 ender, up 5% from last season.
Rolling Stone’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus cover mistake was deliberate
A Rolling Stone source tells AdWeek that John Hancock was wrongly signed on the U.S. Constitution “in the spirit” of the HBO comedy’s farcical tone.
TV series based on “Truman Show,” “Terminator” and Charles Lindbergh are in the works
Paramount TV is developing drama series based on the two hit movies, plus a limited series based on the A. Scott Berg biography of Lindbergh.
Is Cosmo’s “SNL” female cast member slumber party offensive?
Is the new issue's photo shoot a step back for women in comedy?
Zach Braff's new film "Wish I Was Here" had its premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and I reviewed it out of that first screening. At the time, I didn't even think about the film as being potentially controversial. It's such a sincere, sweet, sharply-performed film that it seemed like an easy one to recommend.
I guess I was absent from the Film Critics Union meeting where we all decided that we're not allowed to like Braff's work anymore, past or present. That same meeting must have been where we all decided that because he used Kickstarter to help make the film, we must automatically hate the movie and review the way it was made rather than the film itself.
Already, I'm seeing plenty of snark today in response to the trailer for the film. Allow me to offer a counterpoint to that by saying that the trailer does a nice job of suggesting the tone of the film without giving away the entire thing. A good deal of the trailer is built around a few specific scenes in the film, presented here in a way that isn't about giving you story so much as a mood.
It's Firewall & Iceberg podcast time, with a trio of spoiler-iffic segments this week, as Dan and I break down the just-concluded seasons of "Shameless" and "Justified," then dive into a mixed discussion of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and its impact on "Marvel's Agents of PUNCTUATION."
There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.
Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls.
Time for a busy and spoiler-y Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
On this week's show, we discuss the finales for "Shameless" and "Justified" and then we discuss both "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and Tuesday's game-varying episode of ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
I'm pretty sure we only spoil the shows in question in the segments in question, but if you haven't seen various episodes and finales, be cautious!
"Shameless" finale (00:01:15 - 00:18:00)
"Justified" finale (00:18:05 - 00:37:15)
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and Tuesday's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (00:37:20 - 01:06:35)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed or subscribe on IHeartRadio.]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Tomorrow night's "Parks and Recreation" — titled "Flu Season 2," though it wisely doesn't try to simply replicate the beats of the show's funniest episode — is one of my favorites of this season, with a good mix of big laughs and big emotion, and a moment for everyone in the cast to shine. There isn't a Ron Swanson story in there, necessarily, but he spends most of the episode as a sounding board for Ben, and in the process Nick Offerman once again reminds you how much he can do with very little material.
If you really can't wait for the second season of "Orphan Black" (which returns April 19 on BBC America), good news -- today we got tantalizing new posters of a few of our favorite clones. There's no spoilers here, but maybe some clues.
The Roots have something to say on their new single, “When The People Cheer,” the first cut from the provocatively titled new album, “...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin,” out May 13.
Letterman and Lindsay Lohan phone Oprah
Dave announces he's a Scientologist.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ naked Rolling Stone cover contains a major flaw
John Hancock never signed the U.S. Constitution!
Bill O’Reilly slams Stephen Colbert — is "Papa Bear" trying to get him the “Late Show” gig?
Last night’s “O’Reilly Factor” served only to bolster Colbert’s relevance, says James Poniewozik. “Make no mistake,” he says, "however much Colbert wants Letterman’s job and however much CBS wants him, making Colbert the subject of another public flame war only raises his profile higher than it already is. Is O’Reilly maybe trying to undermine Colbert, sending the signal that CBS will alienate conservative viewers if it hires Colbert? If so, I doubt that would work. Many conservatives have had it in for Letterman for years, and CBS gladly renewed him as long as he wanted to keep the job.”
E! to air a special devoted to Ryan Seacrest’s radio show
The April 23 special will celebrate Seacrest’s 10-year gig as host of “On Air with Ryan Seacrest."
Teresa & Joe Giudice will erase more than $13M in debt by paying $7,500 to their creditors
TMZ has uncovered documents showing the “Real Housewives” couple living a lavish lifestyle.
“Divorce Court” renewed through 2017
It’s TV’s longest-running court show.
Roseanne unveils skinnier new look for “Last Comic Standing”
Did Roseanne Barr drop all this weight for her return to TV?