When it comes to documentaries, the Academy has missed the boat on landmark films as often as they have with narrative features -- and one need only look at Cinema Eye's new list of the 25 most influential documentaries of all time to be reminded of that.
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ABC orders more scripts for "Trophy Wife" and "The Goldbergs"
Each Tuesday comedy has received a three-script order, which could pave the way for more episodes.
Conan O'Brien and Jack White are considering buying a minor league baseball team
Both have reportedly met with Dodgers management about buying a minor league team. PLUS: Preview Conan's interview with Mel Brooks for "Serious Jibber-Jabber."
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" announces 3 new cast members
Twins Nicole and Teresa Napolitano and their friend Amber Marchese are joining Season 6.
Jimmy Fallon: We're doing "Late Night" now as if it was "The Tonight Show"
"We're doing our show as if we were doing 'The Tonight Show,'" Fallon said Wednesday during an interview in Orlando. "It's news to everyone else. We have been doing 'The Tonight Show.'"
"The Neighbors" celebrating "Challoweenukah"
The ABC comedy is combining Halloween and Chanukah.
Game shows hosted by "Original Kings of Comedy" comedians are doing very well
Cedric the Entertainer is up 20% in the key demo with "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," while Steve Harvey is up 15% with "Family Feud."
Kerry Washington will be just the 9th black woman to host "SNL"
Seven of the nine black women who have hosted "Saturday Night Live" hosted in the past decade. PLUS: Could Kenan Thompson be right?, and here are more funny black women, and even more.
Discovery Channel's L.A. office features a painting of Honey Boo Boo
There are also cardboard cutouts of Mama June and her famous daughter.
Why "Lost's" Damon Lindelof and Twitter were a bad combination
With an intense fanbase of "Lost" fans, it was hard for somebody like Lindelof to move on on a medium like Twitter.
NBC interested in an animated comedy voiced by Ed Helms
Helms is teaming with an "Office" producer on "Mystery Island."
Should little kids wear "Breaking Bad"-themed Halloween costumes?
One mom is appalled by two kids in Walter White and Jesse Pinkman costumes, complete with "blue meth" lollipops.
"SVU" sends Munch out in style
Richard Belzer's character got a special sendoff.
Shawn Ryan and Justin Lin team up for a 1957-set Hawaii drama pilot for Fox
The project would focus on the shadiness in Hawaii as it prepares to become the 50th state.
The Clash were already big Ian Rubbish fans
How did Fred Armisen land an interview with The Clash? Not only were they fans of his Ian Rubbish character, but Mick Jones actually watches "Portlandia."
Marc Summers: Nickelodeon is "going in the dumper"
Listen to the former "Double Dare" host lash out at his former cable network.
BBC planning 2,500 hours of programming for the 100th anniversary of World War I
The programming will be presented from 2014 to 2018.
"Heroes of Cosplay" getting extra episodes
Syfy has ordered six more episodes of its breakout reality show.
"Modern Family's" Sarah Hyland looks totally different in "Bonnie and Clyde"
Hyland is playing Clyde's sister-in-law in the Lifetime film.
Jerry Seinfeld's wife confirms that Whitney Cummings threw glassware at her head
Howard Stern brought Cummings to a Seinfeld party, where she rubbed her "privates" on the couch.
Former "Homeland" star Diego Klattenhoff doesn't get the hate for Dana Brody
Klattenhoff, who played Mike on "Homeland" and who now stars on "The Blacklist," calls the anti-Dana phenomenon a "weird thing." PLUS: Damian Lewis won't let his kids watch "Homeland."
"Welcome to the Family" books Yvette Nicole Brown
The "Community" star will guest as a next-door neighbor.
"Grey's Anatomy's" Jesse Williams hangs with Elmo
Watch his visit to "Sesame Street."
Amy Poehler on "SNL's" Cecily Strong: "She's crushing it" on Weekend Update
"She's going to be great," says the former Weekend Update anchor. "She's so great already and she's just starting."
"Shameless" character actor Ed Lauter dies
Lauter, 74, appeared on a number of TV shows, from "ER" to "Grey's Anatomy."
"Switched at Birth" adds "Ugly Betty's" Alec Mapa
He'll play a new friend for Lea Thompson.
"Kevin Arnold" meets "Buffy"
Fred Savage is directing an episode of "The Crazy Ones."
"New Girl's" Nick & Jess relationship: Why it's not working
Nick and Jess together are "alarmingly sexless."
Danny McBride makes a commercial for "cat wine"
"Good yum Drinky!"
Tim Allen's "Home Improvement" son directed him on "Last Man Standing"
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is sitting behind the camera for this week's episode.
Midway through "Escape Plan," the agreeably cheesy new thriller that stars both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, I found myself cackling as I imagined Arnold sitting in his agent's office, asking them to find him a project where he could do a whooooooooole lot of acting.
"I know you've found me a few starring roles since I made my comeback, and I did that 'Expendables' gig, but what I really want is a role where I get to do a lot of voices and improv comedy and I'm a mastermind who is constantly playing characters. Like I said. Lots and lots of acting."
I'm not sure I'd necessarily call all of that acting good, but it sure is fun to watch Arnold throw this much effort at anything. I'm not sure I believed he still had it in him, but he looks like he's having a blast here as Rottmayer, a convict who is locked away in The Tomb, the highest of high security prisons. He doesn't show up until about a third of the way into the film, but once he does, he can barely stop smiling.
It almost seems too easy a choice to hire Kimberly Peirce to make a new version of Stephen King's "Carrie." After all, her film "Boys Don't Cry" is an excellent look at how an outsider desperately tries to fit into a high school world, and the film positively vibrates with genuine pain.
Her second film "Stop Loss" is less successful overall but it still has a palpable sense of what it feels like to not quite fit. The unease in her work makes her a preposterously on-the-nose choice for "Carrie," and I don't mean that as any sort of insult. It's just one of those things where as soon as you hear the choice, it's an automatic "duh."
Sitting down to talk to her, I didn't want to talk about it as a horror film. I know this is the story that launched King's career as the master of modern written horror, but "Carrie" has always struck me as a tragedy, and it seems like Peirce saw this as a very human story, driven by very human problems.
From the opening shot of the wallpaper with the familiar white-clouds-on-blue-sky motif to the exactly-right-genre-parody storytelling in the opening sequence to the way the story builds to a tremendously well-plotted payoff for both story and character, "Toy Story Of Terror" is a "Toy Story" story in every way, and should delight Pixar fans perennially now.
I love that this is now the Bonnie continuity, and I love the detail of watching TV in the car during a rainy drive. Awesome modern detail. Jessie is claustrophobic. That makes perfect sense after what we know from "Toy Story 2," but handled well here. It's easy to forget that she was completely and utterly insane in that film, mentally broken in a very scary way. Joan's work in the special is very, very good, and I always love the moments where things go very subtle.
The way the story unfolds and the way the toys talk about horror convention is fun and simple and makes sure that things don't get too scary for kids. Pricklepants gets to make an impression here since he's the one who knows how things are supposed to work. Timothy Dalton has never met a plate full of ham that he has not gleefully devoured, and I love him for it. He seems to relish the absurdity of playing a character named Pricklepants who speaks in such positively Shakespearean diction.
Dead is never really dead on "American Horror Story," and this witchy season is no exception. While you would think our sweet young things at Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies would be inclined to behave themselves and lay low after the bus-flipping incident last week, that wouldn't be any fun at all, would it? No, while Zoe and Madison are busy finding new ways to get into trouble, Fiona's stashing an immortal in her bedroom and Delia's having snakey baby-making sex with her husband Hank. Really, just about anyone passing by these ladies would have a hard time ignoring the weird thing going on in their orbits, but I guess that's why having the power of compulsion is so darn handy.
Kanye West kicks off his "Yeezus" tour this week, and HitFix is here to help you and a friend get into the concert.
We're giving away TWO Kanye West show tickets, in a market of the grand prize winner's choosing. Five runners-up will score a Yeezus concert tour poster, featured below.
There are two chances to enter:
1. Retweet the following embedded Tweet and Follow @HitFix
2. For a second, bonus entry, share the embedded Facebook Post and Like HitFix on Facebook
"Yeezus" is West's latest album, which arrived at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 charts and was led by single "Black Skinhead." Check out all of the Kanye West 2013 tour dates below. For more tour info, head to Kanye West's website.
10/19/13: Seattle, WA KeyArena
10/20/13: Vancouver, B.C. Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
10/22/13: San Jose, CA SAP Center
10/23/13: Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
10/25/13: Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
10/26/13: Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
10/28/13: Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
11/01/13: Anaheim, CA Honda Center
11/03/13: Denver, CO Pepsi Center
11/05/13: Minneapolis, MN Target Center
11/07/13: Chicago, IL United Center
11/08/13: Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
11/09/13: Chicago, IL United Center
11/10/13: Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills
11/12/13: Toronto, Ont. Air Canada Centre
11/13/13: Toronto, Ont. Air Canada Centre
11/14/13: Montreal, Que. Bell Centre
11/16/13: Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
11/17/13: Boston, MA TD Garden
11/19/13: Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
11/20/13: Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
11/21/13: Washington, DC Verizon Center
11/23/13: New York, NY Madison Square Garden
11/24/13: New York, NY Madison Square Garden
11/29/13: Miami, FL AmericanAirlines Arena
11/30/13 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay Times Forum
12/01/13: Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
12/05/13: New Orleans, LA New Orleans Arena
12/06/13: Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
12/07/13: Houston, TX Toyota Center
Remember "Liz & Dick"? Oh, maybe you don't, and that is entirely forgivable. It was that tepid, sudsy Lifetime movie about the on-again-off-again-on-again-whatever romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Not even a year later, its only real relevance is twofold. One is its inability to deliver that comeback Lindsay Lohan still so desperately requires, and two is in giving critics like me a convenient comparison point for the BBC America's take on this epic romance, "Burton and Taylor" (airing tonight at 9:00 p.m.). Lifetime set a low bar, but the good news is that "Burton and Taylor" makes it abundantly clear how this story, unwieldy and ridiculous in the wrong hands, should actually be told.
One important element, of course, is the cast. Dominic West, while younger than Burton in the time period portrayed in the movie, ably captures the actor's heartbreak and struggle, while leaving the bombast we associate with Burton for the few scenes that take place on stage. Of course, as it was in real life, Burton was always overshadowed by the show pony that was Taylor, and to some degree that's the case here.
I was initially surprised that Helena Bonham-Carter was cast in the role of Taylor, simply because I associate her with quirky Tim Burton fare and period dramas. Taylor was such a memorable sexpot I wasn't sure I could see Bonham-Carter oozing sex in a negligee. Ironically, it was the one thing I expected Lindsay Lohan to deliver in ""Liz & Dick," but even then she seemed like a kid prancing around in her mom's sexy underwear.
Luckily, that isn't the Taylor we get in this movie anyway. "Burton and Taylor" wisely picks the most poignant part of the story and hones in on a short time frame in order to get it right. While "Liz & Dick" tried for epic sweep and ended up cobbling together cliches and pointless recreations of movie scenes, "Burton and Taylor" assumes we know the characters and their backstory, then digs into the deeper stuff.
The story revolves around Burton and Taylor coming together after five years for a Broadway run of Noel Coward's "Private Lives." It's a bald attempt by Taylor to reconnect, an idea both enticing and repellant to Burton. It's easy to see how Elizabeth Taylor in real life could be a handful; needy, manipulative, loyal, funny and acutely aware of how to make an audience happy. Burton was clearly troubled in his own way, a slave to his addictions and conflicted about fame. At this point in his life, he seems to have made peace with his problems -- he's found a new girlfriend, stopped drinking (more or less) and is focusing on a production of "King Lear" -- but Taylor, just by being Taylor, could easily destroy his fragile sense of balance.
We don't need a lot of flashbacks to see why these two love one another passionately -- and we don't need a lot of blustery dialogue to understand why Burton can't stay. What might be most remarkable about Bonham-Carter's performance and "Burton and Taylor"'s script is how it subtly shows us Taylor's loneliness. Taylor's not sitting in a room alone, watching TV and slinging back cocktails (though yes, there are many cocktails slung in this movie). It's in countless small details that add up to a crushing sense that the former child star whom audiences still adore has an aching hole in her heart, one she desperately hopes Burton can fill. When she angrily asks him, "Where's my Antony?" it speaks to how much she wants to live in the couple's past, white hot (and ultimately toxic) passion, and how Burton is slowly understanding he's grown past it.
It may be kicking Lindsay Lohan while she's down to compare these two movies, but I hope Hollywood (or at least Lifetime) does it, if only to get a clear picture as to what works in a TV biopic and what doesn't. Somehow "Liz & Dick" covered more of this relationship and showed less, threw suds at the audience and delivered less drama, and hit plot points with a hammer when only a gentle tap was needed. Biopics by their very nature are problematic; we know the ending, and we know too much. But somehow "Burton and Taylor" delivered surprises and careful insights, and whether or not any of it was technically true (though I'm sure it was), it didn't matter. At the end of the day, as a story about two people we thought we knew, it worked.
Are you going to watch "Burton and Taylor"?
Follow Liane Bonin Starr on Twitter @HitFixLiane
"South Park" unable to meet its deadline for 1st time due to a power outage -- tonight's episode is a rerun
Thanks to their computers being down for hours, Matt and Trey weren't able to complete tonight's episode. So it'll air next week.