Latest Blog Posts

<p>Amy Seimetz and Shane Carruth in &quot;Upstream Color.&quot;</p>

Amy Seimetz and Shane Carruth in "Upstream Color."

Credit: eprb

Georgia critics big on '12 Years a Slave' and 'Upstream Color'

'Mud' finds some Southern support

The Georgia Film Critics' Association is a young and fairly small group: they've been going three years and have 10 members, which means their nominee list is a bit less groupthink-influenced than most. "12 Years a Slave" might lead the field with 11 nods, but there are unusual choices elsewhere: while "American Hustle" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" share second place with seven mentions, so does Shane Carruth's "Upstream Color," which landed Carruth nods for directing, writing, cinematography and score. Meanwhile, "Mud" found some Southern comfort with a Best Picture nod. Full list below; everything else at The Circuit.

Read Full Post

Jimmy Fallon's primetime special does well for NBC

Jimmy Fallon's primetime special does well for NBC

In a good sign for Fallon's "Tonight Show" launch, about 5.7 million viewers tuned in for last night's "Best of Late Night" special.

Will Smith breaks his silence on James Avery's death

Smith says of his "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" co-star, in a statement: "Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace."

Jonah Hill will host "SNL" for the 3rd time
Hill was just announced for the Jan. 25 episode, with musical guest Bastiell. Hill previously hosted "SNL" in 2008 and 2012.

Robin Roberts officially comes out on "GMA"
This morning, Roberts showed a picture of her longtime girlfriend.

Eurythmics will reunite for Grammys' Beatles tribute
Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart will be part of the Feb. 9 special "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles."

"Girls" meet "The Bachelor"

Lena Dunham and Allison Williams bumped in Juan Pablo.

Check out "The Simpsons'" Lego set

It consists of 2523 pieces.

Read Full Post
<p>Joaquin Phoenix and Russell Crowe both did remarkable work in Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator'</p>

Joaquin Phoenix and Russell Crowe both did remarkable work in Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator'

Credit: Paramount Home VIdeo/DreamWorks

We kick off a new column called 'Movie Rehab' with a look back at Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator'

Does winning Best Picture automatically turn people against a movie?

HitFix just quietly turned five years old.

The most remarkable part of that is the time frame in which we launched. We could not have picked a worse day for the site to go live. The financial meltdown was happening at the exact moment that we were attempting to start a brand-new media company, and if we'd failed, it would have made us just one more example of how the crisis impacted people.

Instead, we've slowly but surely carved out our own place online, and with each new voice we've added to the mix, HitFix has gotten stronger. For the last five years, I have been blessed by the opportunity to define my own blog by my own interests, and I feel like I've done some of my best work here. "Film Nerd 2.0" has taken on a life of its own, and I am enormously grateful to everyone who has not only read the columns but shared them.

The one thing I don't think we've done as well as we could have is create a larger sense of community in the comments section. Sure, we've got several people who comment regularly, but what I'd really love to see is more conversation. That's hard when we're publishing a review of something that isn't out yet because you guys aren't able to weigh in at that point, and by the time the film is out, that review could be 20 articles back on the blog.

Read Full Post
<p>Director and co-star Kenneth Branagh on the set of &quot;Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit&quot;</p>

Director and co-star Kenneth Branagh on the set of "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit"

Credit: Paramount

Set Visit: 'Jack Ryan' team brings Russia to London for franchise reboot

How has Tom Clancy's hero been made current?
LONDON, ENGLAND. It's a late October day in 2012 and a movie called "Maryland" is shooting in the lobby of a Moscow skyscraper.
As the dateline to this story might spoil, we're actually nowhere near Moscow. We're actually directly adjacent to the very British Liverpool Station.
And as the headline to this story might also spoil, "Maryland" is just a dummy title to throw civilians off the scent. The movie that's actually shooting is Paramount's "Jack Ryan," a reintroduction for the eponymous character, who has been previously played by Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford.
On this day, our new Jack Ryan, played by Hollywood's reigning king of the franchise reboot Chris Pine, isn't engaged in any high tech espionage, or at least not in any tradecraft that we can see. The budding intelligence operative is just descending an escalator and a flight of stairs outside of headquarters belonging to villain Viktor Cherevin, played by Kenneth Branagh, who is present, but dressed for his other job as director on the Paramount production. Over and over, Jack Ryan makes his way out of the building, each time seemingly sensing that he's being watched. Each time, he ends up in a mysterious blue van.
Read Full Post
<p>Chris Pine of &quot;Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit&quot;</p>

Chris Pine of "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit"

Credit: Paramount

Chris Pine makes Jack Ryan his own on the 'Shadow Recruit' set

What is it like to balance Jack Ryan and Captain Kirk?
LONDON, ENGLAND. Over the past 25 years, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan has been realized on the big screen by a three-headed Cerberus of A-listers, each capturing a different side of the intelligence operative who, through an epic series of convolutions, eventually became the President of the United States, at least on the page.
In "Hunt for Red October," Alec Baldwin was a macho, prime-of-his-life Jack Ryan, facing off with Sean Connery in underwater mayhem.
In "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger," Harrison Ford portrayed an older, wiser Jack Ryan, still capable of kicking butt if required, but better suited for the political side of global intrigue.
In "Sum of All Fears," Ben Affleck was an inexperienced Jack Ryan on the cusp of greater responsibilities, though the shadow of 9/11 made it hard to view that character as anything other than an in-over-his-head tragic figure when the movie opened in 2002.
It's October 2012 and on the London set of "Jack Ryan" (the subtitle "Shadow Recruit" will come later), Jack Ryan is being reborn. Many of us will say he's being rebooted. Heck, I'll say Jack Ryan is being rebooted, but for producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, that's not the preferred nomenclature.
Read Full Post
<p>Seth Rogen guested on Sunday's &quot;The Simpsons&quot;</p>

Seth Rogen guested on Sunday's "The Simpsons"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 49ers-Packers thriller, 'The Simpsons' lead FOX on Sunday

'Revenge,' Jimmy Fallon special also draw solid numbers
Fast National ratings for Sunday, January 5, 2014.
The chilly Wild Card showdown between San Francisco and Green Bay came down to a last minute field goal and carried deep enough into primetime to help FOX win Sunday night in all measures.
With FOX's primetime win inevitable, several other networks spotlighted specials, with NBC's "Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" doing solid demo numbers and ABC's "The Bachelor: Countdown to Juan Pablo" finishing close behind. The "Bachelor" special proved a compatible lead-in for "Revenge," which did its best key demo numbers since early October.
Meanwhile, you might have noticed enhanced tweeting around "The Good Wife" without competition on HBO, Showtime or AMC, but that attention wasn't linked to any real ratings growth, as the CBS favorite was down from its last original airing.
On to the numbers...
Read Full Post

'House of Cards' unveils its full Season 2 trailer

"House of Cards" unveils its full Season 2 trailer
The 2nd season tagline: "There are two kinds of pain."

Read Full Post
<p>Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas in &quot;The English Patient,&quot; Saul Zaentz's third Best Picture winner.</p>

Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas in "The English Patient," Saul Zaentz's third Best Picture winner.

Credit: Miramax Films

Saul Zaentz's Oscar-gilded career makes the case for selectivity

The late producer won three Oscars from 10 films

I had a busy weekend, and in the rush of it, somehow missed the news that producer Saul Zaentz passed away at the age of 92. As well as being an accomplished producer and industry figure, Zaentz is a name familiar to seasoned Oscar-watchers, having won the Best Picture award on three occasions: for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), "Amadeus" (1984) and "The English Patient" (1996).

Read Full Post
<p>Josh Holloway in &quot;Intelligence&quot;&nbsp;and Tricia Helfer in &quot;Killer Women.&quot;</p>

Josh Holloway in "Intelligence" and Tricia Helfer in "Killer Women."

Credit: CBS/ABC

Review: CBS' 'Intelligence' & ABC's 'Killer Women'

Old-fashioned, cliche-ridden shows that nonetheless have appealing leads; is that enough?

If there really aren't any new stories left to tell in fiction, then the only hope is that the same old tales are told interestingly. Sometimes, it's just a matter of finding a new approach, whether it's the haunting visual style of something like "Hannibal," or, going a bit further back, the melding of mob and psycho drama on "The Sopranos."

Sometimes, though, the only thing making the dusty clichés look pretty are the actors wearing them, which is the case for CBS' "Intelligence" and ABC's "Killer Women," which debut tomorrow night at 9 & 10 respectively. (Starting next week, "Intelligence" will air Mondays at 10.) Both are assembled whole cloth out of bits of other shows — many of them much better than these — and put all the weight on stars Josh Holloway (for "Intelligence") and Tricia Helfer (for "Killer Women").

Read Full Post
<p>Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in &quot;Blue Jasmine.&quot;</p>

Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in "Blue Jasmine."

Credit: Sony Classics

Roundup: Why studios need to get creative with the calendar

Also: Dressing '12 Years a Slave,' and January wasteland gems

"It makes no sense to me that Hollywood distributors mark off particular times of year as no-go zones for major theatrical releases. That practice serves only to tell our audiences to stop paying attention at certain times of the year -- and that benefits nobody." So writes National Association of Theater Owners president John Fithian, in a piece where he looks over the 2013 release calendar, and calls for distributors to be more creative with their scheduling, citing "Blue Jasmine" and "Gravity" as examples of films that bucked conventional programming wisdom to great effect, and the summer animation glut as an example of tentpole excess. [Hollywood Reporter]

Read Full Post
<p>Dane DeHaan in &quot;Kill Your Darlings.&quot;</p>

Dane DeHaan in "Kill Your Darlings."

Credit: Sony Classics

BAFTA picks Rising Star nominees, including Dane DeHaan and Lea Seydoux

Winner will be chosen by the public

The BAFTA nominations in all other film categories will be announced on Wednesday, but the British Academy got the ball rolling this morning will the five nominees for their Rising Star Award -- now in its ninth year, and the only BAFTA category in which the winner is determined by a public vote. The nominees, meanwhile, are chosen by a jury of journalists and industry professionals, which this year included Gemma Arterton (a nominee herself for the award a few years ago), producer Pete Czernin ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel") and chairwoman Pippa Harris, deputy head of BAFTA's film committee. And the five names they've chosen are...

Read Full Post

Seth Meyers unveils his 1st 'Late Night' promo

Seth Meyers unveils his 1st "Late Night" promo
"Basically, I'm moving 30 feet," says Meyers.

"Celebrity Big Brother" scolds Evander Holyfield for comparing gays to disabled people

The former heavyweight champion was given an official warning for his "homophobic comments."

Charlie Sheen calls Ashton Kutcher "lame"

Sheen wrote a "hey Jon!!!" tweet to Jon Cryer, and asked: "who's your lame side-kik?"

"Girls" joins Snapchat to send fans silly photos
"This season, we're living snappily whatever after," says the "Girls" Twitter account.

"The Good Wife" cast makes a "Tricky Trick" music video
Watch the cast dance in a video based on Sunday's episode.

NYPD's new commissioner tells Tom Selleck he's making a "Blue Bloods" uniform mistake
In real life, the NYPD commissioner doesn't wear a police uniform.

"Today" begins an "all-out counteroffensive"
The new media blitz, launching Monday with the tag line "Rise to Shine," is aimed at bringing "Today" back to the top of the morning show ratings.

"Game of Thrones": Check out the new Mountain
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson posted a pic of himself in costume. PLUS: "Thrones" casts a Braavosi captain.

Henry Rollins weighs in on the "Duck Dynasty" controversy
The punk rocker turned History channel star proposes that "Duck" become a gay porn series.

"NCIS: Los Angeles" star Daniela Rush welcomes a son
She gave birth to baby River Isaac on Sunday.

Read Full Post