Latest Blog Posts

<p>Geoff Stults, Parker Young and Chris Lowell in &quot;Enlisted.&quot;</p>

Geoff Stults, Parker Young and Chris Lowell in "Enlisted."

Credit: FOX

Review: FOX's 'Enlisted' finds laughs and heart in Army life

Comedy from 'Cougar Town' co-creator deserves better than Friday timeslot

"Enlisted" creator Kevin Biegel told me that he had the first hour of "Stripes" playing on a loop as he wrote the pilot for the military comedy about three brothers serving together in an Army rear detachment unit in Florida. (It debuts on FOX on Friday night at 9:30.) And there are times when you can definitely see — or, in the case of the soundalike musical score, hear — the influence of the classic Bill Murray movie on the new show. But that's a wisesass movie about a wiseass soldier who regrets enlisting almost from the moment he does it. What makes "Enlisted" different, and potentially very special, is that it has a sincere streak to go right along with its goofy side. It gets a lot of laughs out of life in the military while still demonstrating respect for the military and its soldiers, and genuine affection for its characters.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,&quot; a nominee in the fantasy category.</p>

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," a nominee in the fantasy category.

Credit: Lionsgate

Costume Designers Guild nominees range from 'Her' to 'The Hunger Games'

'American Hustle' extends its perfect guild record

The Costume Designers Guild has become, if I'm not mistaken, the first below-the-line guild to reveal its 2013 nominees -- and a number of the season's most ubiquitous titles are once more in the mix. "American Hustle" extends its perfect Guild record thus far with a nomination in the period category for Michael Wikinson's extravagantly kitsch 70s threads, where it'll compete against the more muted wardrobe of fellow Best Picture frontrunner "12 Years a Slave." (Yes, we know the latter wasn't eligible for the WGA Award and, in effect, has an unblemished guild record too. No need to remind us.)

Read Full Post
<p>Josh Holloway of &quot;Intelligence&quot;</p>

Josh Holloway of "Intelligence"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Big 'Intelligence' sampling boosts CBS Tuesday, while 'Killer Women' misfires

'NCIS' hits a season high in viewers for CBS
Fast National ratings for Monday, January 7, 2014.
 
"Intelligence" capitalized on a big "NCIS" lead-in to get a huge overall sampling on Tuesday night, helping CBS win primetime in all measures.
 
Among young viewers, the "Intelligence" preview wasn't quite as massive, but CBS is likely quite pleased with reaching 16.5+ million eyeballs before next Monday's time period premiere and also with the relatively limited tune-out at the half-hour for the Josh Holloway drama.
 
There was probably less pleasure over at ABC, where "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife" all performed in their normal range, but "Killer Women" became the network's second straight premiere to launch with under a 1.0 in the key demo.
 
FOX, meanwhile, may be wondering where the "New Girl" audience has disappeared to. "New Girl" was still FOX's top Tuesday comedy in the key demo, but it finished behind both "Dads" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" overall.
 
On to the numbers...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Benedict Cumberbatch in &quot;12 Years a Slave.&quot;</p>

Benedict Cumberbatch in "12 Years a Slave."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Gravity' and '12 Years a Slave' win Screenwriters' Choice Awards

'Breaking Bad' and 'Modern Family' win TV honors

Well, this is a new one on me -- though the Screenwriters' Choice Awards are apparently in their second year. The name is, perhaps, slightly misleading: winners are determined by the worldwide users of Final Draft screenwriting software, though the nominees are drawn up by a panel of working screenwriters. We're not exactly talking a rival to the WGA here, but there's no harm in drawing more attention to the craft.

Read Full Post
<p>Martin Scorsese</p>

Martin Scorsese

Credit: AP Photo/Victoria Will

Roundup: Scorsese's open letter on film's bright future

Also: White denies heckling allegations

Another day, another "open letter." Closed letters are under-appreciated, as are, you know, articles. Still, Martin Scorsese's open letter to his daughter Francesca -- effectively an excuse for him to wax lyrical about the current (and future) state of film -- is coming from a good place, and a welcome corrective to all those "cinema is dead" thinkpieces that surface on an annual basis: "I don’t want to repeat what has been said and written by so many others before me, about all the changes in the business, and I’m heartened by the exceptions to the overall trend in moviemaking – Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, David Fincher, Alexander Payne, the Coen Brothers, James Gray and Paul Thomas Anderson are all managing to get pictures made, and Paul not only got The Master made in 70mm, he even got it shown that way in a few cities. Anyone who cares about cinema should be thankful." [Espresso]

Read Full Post
<p>Sandra Bullock in &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Is the newly British 'Gravity' the film to beat at the BAFTAs?

UK's top film awards again reflect the Oscar race, with a few key exceptions

As I said in my predictions piece yesterday, "Gravity" was always likely to find a strong core of support in the BAFTA membership, given the involvement of heavyweight British producer David Heyman, extensive below-the-line contributions from British artists and the fact that much of it was shot at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios. Still, I didn't anticipate them embracing Alfonso Cuarón's film this much. Not only does "Gravity" lead all contenders with 11 nominations, but BAFTA effectively claimed it as their own, handing it a Best British Film nomination that pushed it ahead of "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" in the final tally.

Read Full Post
<p>Alexander Ebert</p>

Alexander Ebert

An epic interview with Alex Ebert on 'All Is Lost,' Golden Globes and Edward Sharpe

Frontman/composer on the history of cool, Oscars, Grammys and that Heath Ledger musical

LOS ANGELES - The score to Robert Redford's quiet, isolated film "All Is Lost" is, as one could expect, quiet and isolated. It's very patient output from composer and songwriter Alex Ebert, whose regular gig in the roving roots rock and psych-pop band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros features him resembling more of a tent revival preacher, a charismatic reveler-leader of a pack 12-strong musicians plus their fervent fans.

So "All Is Lost" is a reflection of alternate abilities, or a weirder, more alienated take on Ebert's knack for headstrong melodies and executions. He's stretched out, too, before in his old project Ima Robot and as a solo act, having released one album, "Alexander," as the latter. But it's this recent film music endeavor that's earned him a Golden Globe Awards nomination, for Best Original Score.

The singer and songwriter and I met in Los Angeles during this hotly contested awards season to talk about the making of the grave "All Is Lost" soundtrack and the evolution of Edward Sharpe, among plenty of other topics like the history of cool, Heath Ledger's creative strengths, derivative works, "selling out," starving art and activism. Below is our abridged Q&A.

Read Full Post
<p>Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in &quot;12 Years a Slave.&quot;</p>

Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in "12 Years a Slave."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Gravity' leads BAFTA nods, '12 Years a Slave' and 'American Hustle' close behind

No love for 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Things were close at the top, but thanks to a Best British Film nod that I didn't see coming, "Gravity" leads this year's BAFTA nominations with 11 bids. "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" are close on its heels with 10, as is "Captain Phillips" with nine. Surprising omissions, however, include "Dallas Buyers Club" -- absent from all categories. Full list below; more analysis to come shortly.

Read Full Post
Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams talk about the future in 'Her'

Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams talk about the future in 'Her'

Well, at least Amy does

NEW YORK - I'm somewhat torn as to whether to communicate just how awkward my interview with Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams was for Spike Jonze's masterful "Her" last month. Our video editing team did a wonderful job of making it seem less so, but let's just say that Mr. Phoenix lived up to his well deserved reputation. It's one reason you hear a lot more from the wonderfully charming Ms. Adams in the interview embedded at the top of the post than the movie's leading man. Granted, we were able to discuss a bit about Jonze's vision of a future Los Angeles and the changes to the project through production, but it certainly wasn't what I'd hoped for when I walked in the interview room. Certainly not for a film that ended up at no. 9 on my top ten list of 2013.

Read Full Post
<p>Oscar Isaac picks up another Best Actor prize after winning the NSFC award over the weekend.</p>

Oscar Isaac picks up another Best Actor prize after winning the NSFC award over the weekend.

Credit: CBS Films

'12 Years a Slave,' Alfonso Cuarón win Vancouver critics prizes

And Oscar Isaac lands another lead actor trophy

The Vancouver Film Critics Circle has hopped on the "12 Years a Slave"/Alfonso Cuarón bandwagon, but I'm mostly interested in that Best Actor win for Oscar Isaac. After the guy couldn't get arrested on the circuit, he's finally landed a couple of wins, first from the National Society of Film Critics over the weekend and today with the Vancouver crowd. "Inside Llewyn Davis" also won the group's screenplay prize. Check out the nominees here, the full list of winners below, and remember to keep track of it all via The Circuit.

Read Full Post
<p>Edi Gathegi and Timothy Olyphant in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Edi Gathegi and Timothy Olyphant in "Justified."

Credit: FX

Season premiere review: 'Justified' - 'A Murder of Crowes'

Raylan heads to Florida to deal with Dewey Crowe's family, while Boyd and Wynn go to Detroit

"Justified" is back for a fifth season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I tell you about Tim Horton's...

Read Full Post
<p>Tricia Helfer in &quot;Killer Women.&quot;</p>

Tricia Helfer in "Killer Women."

Credit: ABC

Series premiere talkback: 'Killer Women'

What did everybody think of the new ABC cop show with Tricia Helfer?

Yesterday, I posted my review of ABC's "Killer Women." Now it's your turn. For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? Do you buy Tricia Helfer as a badass, insightful Texas Ranger? Even though Number Six and Anders almost never interacted on "Battlestar Galactica," was it weird to have Michael Trucco in the cast with her? Did you like the chemistry between Helfer and Marc Blucas? Did you like the revelation about her ex-husband? Did the investigation, and the mission south of the border, interest you? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME